Working Test Results 2019.
Up-dated September 16th.

Open Cold Game Retriever Test, Sunday, 

September 8th at House Farm, Knightley by kind 

permission of Mr S Cartmail.

Judges - Nichola Reynolds, Sharon Kitson, Test Secretary Sean Farrell, 

Dave Field and Jim Murphy.

L to R. John Yarwood, 2nd with Mitforton Outlaw. Winner - Ian Glover wirh Bearbrace Glovian. Certificates of Merit, Scott Marland with Greenbriar Tame and Vikki Stanley with FtCh Patanavac Brough.

Third, Cindy Joule with Elusive Lilly.


Chatsworth Retriever Team Event.

Steve LeVoi, John Yarwood, and Gary McCarthy finished a very respectable Third.


Summer Fun Day.

A/V Gundog Working Test Scores.

Please click  "HERE"

A/V Spaniel Test Scores. 

Please click  "HERE"

Fun Day Photos - Please click  HERE


Novice and Puppy Retriever.

Sunday, June 2nd.

Blythe House Farm by kind permission of

Mr and Mrs George Astley.

Words and photos Barry Dutton.

Generously Sponsored by Skinners and Cheshire Gundogs.

Today we held our Retriever Puppy and Novice Working Gundog Tests at Hamstall Ridware, Nr. Lichfield by extreme generous permission of Mr and Mrs George Astley. Our esteemed Judges for the day were Polly Gibb, Patricia Bell and James Barnes to whom we owe a big thank you for giving up their precious time on a Sunday to judge our dogs.Our sponsors for todays Tests were Skinners Dog Foods and Cheshire Gundogs courtesy of Chris Durkin . The Club wish to place on record our grateful thanks for their generosity.

The Novice dogs were subjected to 5 Tests whilst the puppies were assessed over 4 Tests.

Test 1 for puppies( Polly ) was a Sit up then a mark to the left and right both to shot. The puppy was then sent for the left mark only. For the Novices they had a short blind and a long mark both to shot and had to pick the short blind first.

Test 2 for puppies ( James) A mark retrieve across a ford.

For Novices a marked retrieve across a 15 yard river to shot.

Test 3 for Puppies ( Pat) Walk up to post, Stop at post. Dummy thrown. Leave dog and walk back to start. Send for memory. For Novices a pure long blind without a shot.

In the afternoon Test 4 ( James and Polly ) for Novices only was a 4 dog walk up.

Test 5 for Puppies ( Pat) was a straight mark into a pool. For Novices it was a mark into the pool followed by a blind indicated by a shot further down the field. Blind to be retrieved first.

At the end of the tests after all the judges had returned their scores it was found that 3 dogs in the puppy section had tied on 65 points each.

The run off was a blind retrieve on a straight run out marked by a gun shot. Unfortunately neither dog was successful so a further run off took place. This time it was a marked retrieve following a gunshot. This time all three dogs had success and the judges reached a verdict.

Puppy Awards.

First place to Philly Pinn with Blackharn Tilly of Tullytuwaite taking the Puppy Trophy. Philly also recieved a Bag of Skinners Dog food, a Game Bag donated by Cheshire Gundogs, and a club Salver.

Second was Ian Glover with Gibbolt Manaslu taking a Skinners Voucher and Club Salver.

Third was Mark Giles with Stauntonvale Eton Mess taking a Club Salver.

Fourth place on 64 points was Richard Kershaw with Waterygate Dougie.

C.O.M. went to Doug Ingall on 62 points with Stauntonvale Affogato at Connisbrook.

Ian Glover and Philly Pinn.

Novice Awards.

There was no First place awarded. Second place was awarded to Carol Probert on 87 points with Etomanni Ludo of Corsemailzie winning the Novice Rose Bowl and taking a bag of Skinners Dog food, a Cheshire Gundogs Game Bag and a Club salver.

Third place went to Steve Burns on 83 points with Eiderberry Fastnet at Jollybrow taking a Skinners Dog food Voucher and a Club Salver.

Fourth was Neil Dutton on 82 points with Greenbriar St George of Llangynidr.

C.O.M. was Steve Burns again on 80 points with Lowforge Pebbles at Jollybrow.

Carol Probert and Steve Burns.

The raffle raised a Total of £123 which is added on to the seasons Raffle takings which now stands at £1841 which will be donated to The Midlands Air Ambulance after the final Cold Game Test in September. Im sure we can make this up to £2000. Once again many thanks to the people who donated raffle prizes and to the people who bought the tickets.

And finally a big thank you to Test Secretary Sean Farrell and his Team Dove Valley.

More photos on our Facebook Page.


Open Retriever. Sunday May 12th.

at Yoxall Lodge, 

by kind permission of Mr and Mrs Mike Chappel.

Judges -  Phil Smithies, John Iacono and Tim Brain.

After a miserable week reminiscent of a typical English Winter, it was nice this morning to see my barometer had risen by a long way overnight with the promise of a nice day for our Open Retriever Working Test at Yoxall Lodge. Our Hosts, Mike and Jane Chappel made us extremely welcome and gave us free rein on their fabulous estate. Test Secretary, Sean Farrell, had set some challenging Tests and, following his welcome and introductions, the day began with Tim Brain judging Test 1 which was a straightforward blind across a grassy paddock tucked up under a wall. Test 2 with Philip Smithies officiating was a bit of a stinker but still a perfectly normal shoot day scenario. With no shot to pull the dogs, handlers had to send 50 yards to a lake and then across the lake to a "Duck" on the far bank. Test 3, judged by John Iacono involved a long run across undulating pasture to a bird which had fallen near the base of a thick hedge. With no lunch break, although we did have a quick cuppa, Test 4 began. John had chosen to judge this Test which was a long double, again over undulating pasture with a mark being picked from the field before returning for a blind which was around 40 yards to the left of where the mark was. Test 5 brought Tim and Phil together to judge a 4 dog walk-up in a new mixed woodland plantation. After walking up for about 30 yards, a flush of a dozen birds and twice as many shots gave the judges chance to look at steadiness in quite a tempting situation. These birds were picked by hand and the handlers walked on a little further before being asked to send their dogs downhill through the plantation to two distinct areas where 12 birds had been placed in cover in and around a large mature spinney. Each dog was given 2 retrieves, one from each side and, whilst relatively straightforward, there were varying degrees of success which gave Tim and Phil lots of scope with their marks. This Working Test had included the three major components needed to thoroughly test the dogs with drives, walking-up and water and, with very few failures but large variations in scores, the results were announced as follows.

The winner, recieving the Connie Trophy donated by Jed Booth, a bag of Skinners and a nice Game Bag donated by Chris Durkin was Ian Glover (below) handling his consistent Bearbrace Gloveian. 

Second, winning the Yoxall Trophy and a Skinners voucher was Kim Dutton with 
Shadyacres Teardrop. 

Third was Judith White handling Minstead Axel, also recieving a Skinners voucher. 

Fourth was awarded to Nicky Waddington with Wyenor Golden Delicious. 

Certificates of Merit were awarded to Judith White with Minstead Costello, Richard Kershaw handling Waterygate Stanley and Alan Penney with Flashmount Ebony. 

With Sponsorship from Skinners Dog Food (Roger Skinner) and Chris Durkin of Cheshire Gundogs, this was a good, well thought out Test on a truly outstanding ground and our thanks to everyone involved for making it happen. Our raffle raised £97 which will be added to our Midlands Air Ambulance donation which will be made at the end of September.

Retriever Test Secretary, Sean Farrell.


Novice Spaniel, Sunday, May 5th

at The Cubley Estate

by kind permission of Mr and Mrs David Legh and Mr S Wood.

Words - Barry Dutton. Photos - John Jeffrey.

Judges - Kev Richardson and John Sexton. 

Cubley Estate, Nr Ashbourne was todays setting for Dove Valleys Final Spaniel Working Gundog Test for this season, a Novice A/V Spaniel Test and held by extremely kind permission of Mr and Mrs David Legh and Mr Shane Wood. Today our esteemed judges were Mr John Sexton and Mr Kev Richardson, to whom the Club are very grateful for the giving of their precious time. Our Sponsors today, in no particular order were:- ACME Whistles, Countryman Fairs, G.T.Leads, Chudley Dog Food, Cheshire Gundogs and British Association of Shooting and Conservation ( B.A.S.C.). The Club wish to place on record our grateful thanks to our sponsors who have once again provided most welcoming prizes for this season.

The Test was carried out in a brand new plantation which was planted a couple of years ago in recognition of Her Majesty The Queens Diamond Jubilee. The ground was excellent and hopefully we will get invited back there next season.

So following Test Secretary Jane Burton's briefing, 32 dogs and handlers made a prompt start at 09.30 hrs ( Its worthy of noting that the Age difference between the oldest and youngest competitors is 51 years with me at 64 and Oliver Robertson at 13). The format was John was on the right and Kevin on the left. Dogs were hunted up for a while and then following a Gun Shot a marked retrieve went out in front on Kevs side followed by a second Gun Shot to indicate a blind dummy placed behind the line on Johns side. Once the dogs had sat to shot, the blind was retrieved first and then the marked retrieved second. The stewards, Julia Bott, Kerry Bottom and Kim Jones soon had the dogs in and out with a regimental air and before you knew it, all dogs had completed both runs and the Test was declared over. That was the easy bit. The hardest part was for the 2 judges to sit down and come to a unified decision to decide the awards. Easier said than done. Although their books were very much together, the hardest part was to split the top 4 dogs which only had 2 marks between them. They had to go back through all of the notes they made and eventually had to split hairs to make their final decision. Thats how close the competition was today.Thank you very much John and Kev.

In first place was Morgon Griffiths with his ESS Bitch BOLEHILL RELENTLESS taking the Follyview Trophy donated by Mr and Mrs Neale Satchwell.

It was a pleasure to see Morgan win today as he has recently incurred major surgery and has made it here today to win the Test. Well done Sir.

Second place and taking the Jean Gledhill Shield was Kate Jeffrey with her ESS Bitch ROXBERG KATES TWISTER TILLY AT SHIREBROOK.

Third place went to Kev Bradley with ESS Bitch SHIFTWELL APHRODITE taking the Dove Valley Shield.

Fourth place award went to G Frodsham with ESS Bitch KENTIXEN MISSION.

Certificates of Merit were awarded to :- Jayne Cuthbert-Brown with HENRYAN STORM, Barry Dutton with COTWALTON JUST WILFRED, Melissa Stubbs with WOODMAGIC WILLET,

Paul Woodcock with CLEWLOW NETTLES, J.Case with KIRTLEVIEW BLOSSOM and finally to Dawn Newman with CORNER MARSH CRISTO. Todays raffle made a staggering £150 which as you may well know is added to our years Tests and Trials raffle money which at the moment stands at £1568 which will be donated to Midlands Air Ambulance at the end of the Test season. Thank you to everyone that donated raffle prizes today and also bought tickets. Finally once again a big thank you to Test Secretary Jane Burton assisted this year by Guy Radford for putting on three amazing Working Tests and of course to the many helpers who have assisted us at the Tests. Well done Team Dove Valley.

Mrs Legh presents Morgon with his awards.

Generously Sponsored by
Acme Whistles. 

Countryman Fairs.  

GT Leads.  

Chudleys Dog Food.  

Cheshire Gundogs – Chris Durkin.


See more photos on our Facebook Page.


Novice Retriever, Sunday, April 14th 

at Bradley Old Parks by kind permission of 

Mr M Samworth and family.

Judges - L to R. Carol Probert, Dawn Scott, Julia Deeming and Test Secretary, Sean Farrell.

Our first Novice Retriever Working Test of our 25th Anniversary year was held today at Bradley Old Parks near Ashbourne by kind permission of Mr M Samworth and family. This is a wonderful Estate and today we were given access to an area which we have never used before. Sean Farrell, our new Retriever Test Secretary in his first Test had set up some very thoughtful but testing scenarios which enabled our Judges to thoroughly examine the dogs. Sadly, we didn't receive any Young Handler entries so we were left with a field of 28 Novice Dogs from an original entry of 30. Sean's opening welcome highlighted his nervousness but he did a fabulous job and managed to get the day off to a good start and everyone knew exactly where they were going. Test 1, judged by Julia Deeming was a mark with shot over the corner of a lake into marsh grass. This was relatively straightforward and produced some nice work. Test 2 with Dawn Scott officiating was a little more difficult. A shot from a hidden gun in front drew the dog's attention forward but the retrieve was 30 yards to the right of the gun. Some dogs pulled to the shot area and had to be handled which gave Dawn a lot of scope with her marks. The best dogs here were those who took the line they were sent on and, with a left to right breeze, quickly found their bird. Test 3 judged by Carol Probert was a relatively short double. A saluted mark followed by another shot to an opposing blind had been set in mature woodland and some good work was seen. Julia and Carol joined forces for Test 4 which was a light woodland walk-up for two dogs in white grass with two marked retrieves each. Sean was able to utilise our army of helpers here with two throwers and a gun. Two shots for two birds with the dogs sent diagonally then swapped over and repeated proved quite interesting and good marking dogs were credited accordingly. Test 5 and arguably the most difficult of the day and judged by Dawn, was a long mark over a ditch on open pasture. Whilst the dogs returned with the mark, a blind was placed in the ditch on the same line. Handlers then had to send the dogs back for the blind. I'm sure you can imagine the type of problems the handlers encountered here but it was a perfectly plausible shoot day scenario and again, some excellent work was seen, particularly from the dogs which listened to their handlers!

Following a warming cuppa on a very cold April Sunday, the results were announced as follows.

First place, winning the BASC Trophy, a bag of Skinners and a Posh Gamebag donated by 
Chris Durkin of Cheshire Gundogs was Charlotte Brailsford (below) with 
Kentixen Sunshine Blossom of Casheath. Charlotte had been placed second 5 times 
before today with this dog so her determination and consistency finally paid off!  

Second place, winning The Tutbury Gun Rooms Shield and a bag of Skinners (Roger Skinner) was Ann Blake handling Bromleywood Romeo.  Third was awarded to Arthur Telfair with Upperaughton Blackberry. Fourth place to Helen Swan with Braitoft Ennerdale.

Certificates of Merit were awarded to Steve Burns with Eiderbay Fastnet at Jollybrow and Sandra Braithwaite handling Braitoft Astute.

The first 4 handlers each received a Dove Valley Silver Salver and all 6 award winners 
received a 25th Anniversary Rosette.

L to R. Charlotte Braislford, Ann Blake, Arthur Telfair, Helen Swan, 
Sandra Braithwaite and Steve Burns.

Our thanks must go to Mr Samworth for allowing us to use his Fabulous Estate and to our Sponsors, Skinners and Cheshire Gundogs.

Lastly, as usual, a massive thank you to "The Dove Valley Team" led by Sean. A great day.

Saturday, April 13th.

Inter Counties Team Event - Kelly Memorial Shield.

Captain’s Report by Lewis Butler.

I today was bestowed the privilege of captaining the DVWGC team at the annual Inter Counties Team Event - The Kelly Memorial Shield, of which for this year was hosted by the United Retriever Club (Bucks area) at Rapley Farm, Windsor by kind permission of Her Majesty The Queen, the Crown Estate Commissioners and head keeper Mr Peter Clayton. In true DVWGC spirit, I am now able to provide a concise account of the day’s events.

The judges were Jane Coley, Judy Rainey, Liz Taylor and Henrik Vilendal.

The DV team comprised Ian Glover running his Lab dog FTW Bearbrace Gloveian, Stewart North running his Lab dog OFTAW Northglen Crumble and Yours Truly with my Lab dog FTW Hollowgate Red Flush of Moorarch.

The competition consisted of six tests and with DVWGC seeming to be relatively unknown to a number of other competitors, we set out to change that. Throughout the day the mood in the DV camp was palpable, with a healthy amount of witty banter and a generous dollop of encouragement and team spirit, resulting in all dogs successfully completing each test.

Test 1 was a difficult start, with three blinds situated on the perimeter of a miniature spruce (or Christmas tree!) plantation, of which all were nominated individually by the handlers and were subsequently picked with relative ease.

Test 2 took place in the main spruce plantation, with a marked retrieve thrown across a track into the edge of the plantation approximately 80 yards out. The dogs were then expected to pick this and then en route back, another shot was fired and a marked retrieve was thrown further down the track. FTW Hollowgate Red Flush of Moorarch excelled on this text scoring 20.

Test 3 proved to be testing for a number of competitors, with some zeros hitting the score board. The test was a marked retrieve through a wood at ‘10 o’clock’ to the handler, approximately 80 yards out. Upon a successful pick was a blind at ‘two o’clock’ about the same distance out. On sending the dog they were faced with a ditch immediately before getting on to line. Ian Glover’s FTW Bearbrace Gloveian showcased a finely tuned stop whistle before making a smart job of the exercise.

Test 4, situated opposite Test 3, was a selection of three marked retrieves all around 150 yards out, located in woodland, set behind an outrun through a clearing. The marks were thrown in succession and as such become memories for the dogs. All three were picked with unwanted, but necessary handling.

After completing the morning’s tests, we took a break for lunch before returning to Test 5, which was a walk up through the plantation used for Test 1. The line was substantial, with each dog being given a marked retrieve across the line, however not quite a simple as it’s seemed on the face of it, the camber in the land made the fall unclear for the dogs. Ian Glover made a superb job of this retrieve.

The final test, Test 6 took place near a pond, on the waters edge. All three dogs were off lead, and could nominate their retrieve. The retrieves were two blinds to either side in the reeds on land, with a central marked retrieve being distributed into the pond. Naturally, the mark was picked first stylishly by Stewart North, with myself taking the first blind which was nestled in a patch of long grass on the waters edge away to the right. Ian Glover concluded the test, and day, with a calm and collected retrieve to the left, again on the waters edge which was tucked into some cover masked by a brick pillar.

After the finish and deliberation, the results were declared, and out of fifteen quality teams, Dove Valley gained a respectable fourth place overall, just one point off third place.

1st - URC Hants & SW Area - 305 points

2nd - Kennet Valley GTS - 298 points

3rd - Utility Gundog Society - 287 points

4th - Dove Valley WGC - 286 points

After a superb day, in fantastic company I would like to take this opportunity to thank Dove Valley for inviting me to run and captain the team, and of course my team mates for making the day so enjoyable.


Open Spaniel Working Test, Bagorts Park,

Sunday, April 7th.

By kind poermission of David and Carol Dale.

Generously sponsored by BASC, Countryman Fairs, GT Leads, 
Chudleys Dog Food and Acme Whistles.

Judges - Ian Bogaki and Graham Burton.

Bagots Park has been an important venue for us during the past 25 years, playing a major part in the growth of our "Little" Club! We have had some memorable days there with some great Tests and Trials and today was no exception. Our generous and extremely supportive hosts, David and Carol Dale, are always keen to make sure we have a good day and their genuine interest in the Gundog World only helps us achieve our goals. 17 Open Spaniels were well and truly tested today by our Judges, Ian Bogaki and Graham Burton. Headkeeper Dean led us to The "Moat Wood" with a reasonably heavy covering of brambles and bracken. It was clear from the off that you needed a fearless dog to feature in the awards today. Following normal procedure, we set off with Ian on the right and Graham on the left. A shot to salute a blind retrieve for the right hand dogs followed by the same for the left hand dogs got the Test underway. After hunting on a short distance, another shot on the right signalled a Marked retrieve which was thrown in to the area which the left hand dog was hunting. Again, this was repeated for the even numbered dogs until we reached the end of the first round. All dogs were called in for their second runs, regardless of performance, and the whole thing was repeated. Our Judges were careful to ensure that the dogs all had the same type of work although the cover did vary slightly as you would expect but generally, it was very fair for each dog. Following the end of the second round we waited to see if a Run-off was needed but it wasn't so we all walked back to base to await the results.


First - Debbie Mould handling her Springer Bitch, Marketgate Marble. 
Debbie was presented with The Crichflight Shield donated by Ken Baker.

Second - Teignsedge Kansas Thunder handled by Mark Hancock (ESS Bitch) 
Mark was awarded The Blackwall Trophy for The Best Hunting Spaniel.

Third - Jim Sutton with Merebrow Lucky Loki (ESS Dog) 
Jim was awarded the Pauline Dyson Trophy.

Fourth - Scafell Swift handled by Angela Atkin (ESS Bitch)

CoM - Tollieford Violet handled by Jackie Elliott (Cocker Bitch)

Following the awards, we had a Run-off for The Pat Horobin Memorial Trophy for Top Dog Overall between Winner, Debbie Mould and John Gainey who won our Novice Test at Chatsworth on March 24th. It was a close call but Debbie clinched it!

Left to right. Graham Burton, Jackie Elliott, Mark Hancock, Debbie Mould, Angela Atkin,
Jim Sutton and Ian Bogaki.

This had been a tough Test on a very good ground and thanks must go to Jane and the
"Dove Valley Team" for making sure the day was a success.

More photos on The Dove Valley Facebook Page.


Novice and Young Handler's Working Test.
Chatsworth, Sunday, March 24th.
By kind permission of The Duke of Devonshire.

Photos - John Jeffrey.

Generously sponsored by BASC, Countryman Fairs, GT Leads, 
Chudleys Dog Food and Acme Whistles.

Judges - Martin Elliott and David Ross.

Results - Young Handlers.

First - Lily Kay with Skye. 

Second - Oliver Robertson with Del.   

Third Lily Kay with Seren.  


First - John Gainey (below) with PEPPERCREST DIAMOND DAYS. 


Second - Phil Smith with  JOYFUL JESSY JO.  

Third - Dave Gallimore with RYTEX ROMULUS OF GALLIFIELD.  

Fourth - Barry Dutton with COTWALTON JUST WILFRED.  

C.O.M awarded to 13 year old Oliver Robertson with BELVEDEN AVORIAZ.
Well done Oliver for taking the only COM in such a strong field and also coming second in the young handlers class.

Full report and photos on The Dove Valley Facebook Page.