4th January 2023 - Open AV Spaniel Trial (except cocker)

As I have said before, this Trialling Season has been tough in many ways.
Lots of Clubs have had to cancel for reasons you will all be aware of. 5 Weeks ago, we didn't have a ground for our Open AV Spaniel having lost Checkley, again for reasons you will all know about, but, after an interesting discussion with Sandon Headkeeper, Matt Nesbitt, a date was fixed and our Open Stake Status was safe for another year! So, today we held our 151st Trial at Sandon and, no matter what he might tell you, I think Matt secretly enjoyed it!
Having lost only 2 handlers from an original entry of 48 (unheard of)! we all met this morning on what started as a miserable, overcast day and a steady drizzle which thankfully faded away as we were all taken to "The Wood" in Matt's Shoot Trailer. As often happens, Game was slow to start with and the first few dogs had long hunts with little reward.
We did catch up with the birds eventually in the thick bramble and bracken and, despite not ideal shooting conditions, our Guns did manage to produce the goods when it mattered! Our Judges, Simon Blackman on the right and Richard Biggs on the left gave dogs ample time in what were very testing conditions and gradually worked their way through both rounds fairly evenly with Richard finishing his second round leaving Simon with only 2 dogs left to see.
To quote Simon, this was a tough ground but the winning dog certainly earned his place at next weeks Championship. We did need a run-off for First place which left us with the results as follows.
Our Winner, awarded The Westray Trophy donated by John Duke and The Jeff Maidment Trophy donated by Dave Ross was Chinachgook Enable handled by Ian Clarke.
Second was Gemraer Don Dynamo handled by Adam Brown. Adam was awarded the BASC Runner's up Trophy.
Third was awarded to Jonathan Nightingale with Leahanie Zeus.
Fourth place was Jim Dransfield with Eborakon Anna.
Stuart Lewis with Dreelside Rita and James Luxford handling Barcudwen Destiny of Honeysuckle were both awarded Certificates of Merit.
Damian Riley with Lindowmoor Hurricane was awarded The Moss Trophy donated by Rachael Briggs for The Best Hunting Spaniel and Stephen McGuire was awarded The Wanfield Trophy donated by our President, The Earl of Shrewsbury for The Gun's Choice.
Thanks as always to "The Dove Valley Team" and to everyone involved at Sandon for their help in running this Trial and of course to our Generous Sponsors, Skinners, Sporting Saint, BASC, Gundog Journal, Animology, Twicebrewed Twines and ACME Whistles.
Our Raffle raised £118 for The Gamekeepers Welfare Trust and an auction for a Dog Portrait very kindly donated by Helen Morgan (The Quiet Doodler) made £120.00
(Total raised so far since October 1st £1079.00)
All in all, a tough but very successful day and thank you again to all concerned.
Good Luck to Ian at The Champs next week!