Field Trial Results 2018.
Background photo - Osmaston Park Lake by Barry Dutton.

The 131st Field Trial Meeting.

Open Stake for 16 Cocker Spaniels, The Hales Estate 

by kind permission of Mr A Hall.

December 11th.

Words and photos - Barry Dutton.

Judges - Bob Aldenton and John Bailey.

And so it came to pass that the final Trial of the season for Dove Valley arrived. Today it was the Open Stake for 16 Cocker Spaniels which was held in the beautiful grounds of The Hales Estate by kind permission of Mr A Hall and Family and the Guns of the estate. This ground is always a pleasure to trial on and today was no exception. Todays Guns were David Ross, Chris Cadman, Graham Burton and Ian Ross and again the Club extends their thanks to the Guns for helping to finance todays Trial. Our Sponsors today in no particular order were:- Trover Coats from the Channel Islands who have sponsored each trial this season with a Fleece Drying Coat for second place in each Trial. To J.Hudson and Co of ACME Whistles again who have sponsored each trial with a Gold Sleeved Whistle. B.A.S.C. who have sponsored each trial with a Game Bag and various other products and to Chudleys who again have sponsored each of the first 4 award winners in each trial to a Bag of Chudleys Dog Food. We gratefully and respectfully thank these kind people for their generosity over the season. That only leaves me to introduce the Steward of the Beat Steven Baker affectionately known as Rosie. Steve stayed with the trial throughout the day orchestrating the runnings and the efficient team of stops and picker up. So off we set at 09.40 into the woods which was a very good even covering of bramble, bracken and brashings and was consistent through out the day. The dogs came and went. Some putting themselves out some just falling short of the mark but on the whole they all put up a very good show of themselves making a difficult task for the judges to split. At around 1 pm all dogs had run, the Judges had a short get together and called up Nick Gregory and Ryan Kay for a run off for, unbeknowings to anyone, first and second place. After a short run off the judges had made their choices and for the last time this season those immortal words TRIAL OVER echoed through the woods and back to base we went. It wasnt all over by any means as the judges now had to decide upon all the other placings which they had a long think about but they managed it and the results are as follows:-

First place to Ryan Kay with his Bitch STARRY SKYE OF FARLAVALE. Ryan took the Open Cocker Trial Trophy presented by former Club Chairman Tony Horobin.

Ryan also took the Tasco Trophy presented in memory of Mary Rountree by The Longer Estate and The Wauchope Family for Best Retrieve of the day and also the Mossy Brooke Trophy presented by Pat and Richard Wild for The Guns Choice.

Second place to Nick Gregory with his bitch WINDWITHE WINTER NIGHT taking the Tissueman Trophy presented by Rob and Karen Smith.

Third place went to Paul Stirzaker with his and Louisa Stirzaker's bitch NORTHGLEN GEM.

Forth place to Jason Waldron with his Bitch GLENUGIES PROSPECT.

Certificates of Merit were awarded to :- Jon Rees with BYRBWLL BALOO, Andrew Whitehouse with SUGARBULLET RAVENS QUEST, Martin Proctor with HAWK VALLEY SAPPHIRE, Jeremey Davies with FTCH TUDORBRIAR SWIFT, Andrew Whitehouse with FLASH WONDER and Stewart North with TOADS PANNEL FOXY AT NORTHGLEN.

The first 4 award winners received a bag of Chudleys Dog Food. First place winner received a Gold Sleeved Whistle fom ACME Whistles and also a Game Bag from B.A.S.C.. Second place received a Dog Drying Coat from Trovers of the Channel Islands. All COMS receive a "Goody Bag" again courtesey of BASC.

In summing up Robert Aldenton said whenever he gets invited to Judge at Dove Valley he knows its going to be a good day and to have Steven Baker the Gamekeeper with us all day things cannot be any better. He praised the ground and the supply and flow of birds. He also highly praised the merits of the competitors today. They found it extremely hard to split the results hence the long time in coming to the final result with all of the finishing dogs on an A.

A big thank you was given to F.T.S. Donna Kilford for producing yet another excellent trial and of course equally excellent season. In turn Donna thanked each of TEAM DOVE VALLEY for their assistance throughout he season and played Mother Christmas by giving them all an early Christmas present each.

Todays raffle raised £80 which over the total of the Clubs 7 trials this season has raised over 
£800 pounds. This will be added to any raffle monies raised at next year's Working Tests and then 
will be donated to the Midlands Air Ambulance. So a big thank you to everyone who has 
supported the raffles over the season. 


The 130th Field Trial Meeting.

Novice Cocker Spaniel Stake, The Radbourne Estate, Derby, 

by kind permission of Nick Cooper. 

November 19th.

Words and photos - Barry Dutton.

Judges - Jeremy Organ and Jonathan South.

Today we travelled to a venue we haven't used for quite a while, The Radbourne Estate, Derbys for our 16 Dog Novice Cocker Stake. What a ground it turned out to be. If Carlsberg made Trialling Grounds then they would have probably made this one! 

Guns. L to R - Dave Ross, Chris Cadman, Graham Burton and Ian Ross.

Our thanks must go to our very generous sponsors who, in no particular order were Trover Coats, British Association of Shooting and Conservation, ACME Whistles and Chudleys Dog Foods.

So after everyone had sang Happy Birthday to FTS Donna Kilford, the briefing took place and then off to the words to begin the days task in hand. The whole trial was conducted in 3 lots of wooded areas. The cover was bramble which was fairly even and good spacing allowing the handlers to see their respective dogs. The birds were sitting very tight and there were some excellent off the nose flushes. A few dogs put them selves out due to running in and a couple were eye wiped. So after 3 hours of trialling the judges put their heads together and shortly after those immortal words of Trial Over were uttered and back to base we went.

The awards were as follows:-

First Place was an emotional Jon Rees with his 18 months old C.S.Dog BYRBWLL BALOO taking the Ormewood Trophy presented by Mr Paul Rawlings and also the Premium Pets Trophy presented by R and M Pope for Best Hunting Spaniel.

Second Place to David Corner with his C.S. Bitch SWEET ELPIS OF THORNTON taking the Bedford Trophy presented by Mrs Elizabeth Bedford.

Third place to David Holmes with his C.S.Bitch CRAKERIVER PADDYS GIRL.

Fourth was Vet David Thomson with his C.S.Dog GLENCAMBUS NIGHT WATCH MAN.

Guns choice went to Kate Jeffrey with hers and Husband John Jeffreys C.S.Bitch LENDEVERS AROMATIC HERB. winning the Dove Valley Plate.This was the partnerships first ever Trial and they gave an excellent account of themselves.

First to fourth prize winners each received a Bag of Chudleys Dog Food, a Bag of BASC Merchandise and a club Rosette.

First place also took a Gold Sleeved ACME Whistle and a Deluxe Game Bag from B.A.S.C.

Second place also took a Dog Drying Coat courtesy of Trover Coats.

In summing up Jeremy Organ stated what a fabulous ground we have had the pleasure of using today. It allowed the dogs to show their capability to hunt which is the primary factor in trialling. Both judges were happy with the work that the dogs had put in today and that the winner had really outshone with its tenacious hunting ability. Jeremy added that the trial had been conducted in the spirit in which makes the day that much enjoyable and finally thanking the Guns for their shooting prowess. Todays raffle raised £100 which takes the season tally for 5 Trials to over £700 which will be donated to the Midlands Air Ambulance at the end of the Test season.

All in all another great day of trialling which they cant take away from us. Well done Team Dove Valley.


The 129th Field Trial Meeting.

Novice Stake for 14 A/V Retrievers,
The Dunstall Estate, by kind invitation of Mr Simon Clarke.
November 14th.
Words and photos - Guy.
Generously Sponsored by Skinners.

Judges, L to R -  John Day, Sarah Miles, Julia Redpath and Derek Capel.
Sadly, invitations to hold Field Trials on grounds like Dunstall don't come along as often as they used to in years gone by and, of course, as Trials have become so popular, it isn't surprising. But, invited we were and, with fabulous support from "The Dove Valley Team" we set about the task in hand.
Following the formal introductions, Headkeeper and Steward of  the Beat, Bill Constantine led us all to the first drive and, as Simon wanted to give his Guns a good day, he had agreed that following the whistle to end the drive, our Judges could pick what they needed and move on leaving any surplus birds to the Pickers-up. Simon had hand picked his team of Guns who were not only accomplished Shots but also very interested in the dog work and their selection of "The Gun's Choice" provided much interest and banter throughout the day.

Guns. L to R. George Astley, Simon Clarke, Mathew Clarke, Frank Thompstone,
Ian Marshall and Joe Tipper.

With the first round complete after the first drive, and the loss of a few dogs,
we all boarded shoot transport and moved to a drive which included a small lake surrounded by a little wood. The birds did not perform as expected here and were not keen to fly much above head height but the Guns did provide us with a few interesting retrieves which were dealt with quite quickly.
By now our Judges, Derek Capel and Sarah Miles on the right and John Day and Julia Redpath on the left were deep into one of their many conflabs before we were able to move on to what was to be Ann Blake's last lunch as she has finally hung up her apron as our Caterer after many years.
The last drive saw 6 dogs left in contention and they were all in line as the beaters pushed birds from a conifer wood and game strip over the Guns who were standing in a valley which provided excellent viewing for the gallery.
Birds had dropped in the wood and in the open and our Judges had the chance to test for handling as well as game finding ability which was a fitting end to what had been a good Trial on a very good ground. With the last dogs on 5 retrieves apiece, the Judges had seen enough and, with a round of applause for Simon's Spaniel which picked the last bird of the day, we headed back to base.


First, Ian Glover with Bearbrace Gloveian. Ian was presented with The Staftly Trophy in memory of Pat Taft and The Merriwych Trophy in memory of our second Chairman, Dennis Stevens.


Certificates of Merit, John Iacono handling Serrara Sizzler and Peter Goddard with Carltonstar Quinn of Chitterman. 

Best Yellow Lab and Best Lady Handler, Angie Townsend with Ticefield Ramble on to Elmertown. Angie was presented with the Hawkslow Cup for The Best Yellow Labrador donated by Sally Antram and The Roston Cup for The Best Lady Handler donated by Gregg and Carol Shaw.

Gun's Choice, John Yarwood with Ragweeds Image. John was presented with the Sprinfield Trophy donated by Steve and Angie Lomas and a Skinners Fleece presented by Yvette Moore.

L to R - Peter Goddard, Derek Capel, John Iacono, Angie Townsend, Ian Glover, Yvette Moore from Skinners, John Day and John Yarwood.

A fabulous end to a great day!

The 128th Field Trial Meeting.
Open Stake for 18 A/V Spaniels (except Cocker)
at Bagots Park, by kind permission of Mr and Mrs David Dale.
October 26th.
The following report by Barry Dutton has been copied from our Dove Valley Facebook Page.

Photo - Barry Dutton.

Who would be going to the E.S.S. Championships in Ireland in January. That was the question to be answered at todays Dove Valley WGC Open AV Spaniel ( excluding Cocker) 18 Dog Stake, which was held at Bagots Park Estate, Abbots Bromley, by extreme kind permission of Mr David and Mrs Carol Dale. It is always a pleasure to be at Bagots and to enjoy a warm welcome from the Hosts. Our esteem Judges today were Chris Thurston-Woolnough, Gary Smith ( both A Panel) and John Sexton and Nick Powell ( both B Panel ) We thank the judges sincerely for giving of their time so freely and for them travelling from such far and wide places. Our Guns today were Graham Burton, David Ross, Ian Ross and John Williams. Again thanks must be given to these Gentlemen for not only shooting so accurate today but for financially supporting the Trial. Finally we must not forget the magnanimous generosity of our sponsors for todays Trial who are, in no particular order, Trover Coats, B.A.S.C. Central England Region, Chudleys Dog Foods and last but by no means least, J.Hudson/ ACME Whistles. So after FTS Donna Kilford's briefing we set off in to the woods with the rain just about to drench us. In fact it rained on and off for most of the trial, making everything that much harder. The cover was bramble and bracken and the dogs soon got down to their tasks. Birds were slow to emerge so when they did, they were quickly despatched by the guns producing some testing retrieves for the dogs and handlers. So after 41/2 hours of Trialling in testing ground against the elements, the judges called up David Holmes, David Massey and Mark Watson for a three way run off. It transpired the run off was for the first 3 places. So after the Judges ran the 3 dogs against each other in to a head wind, it was Trial over and back to base. Host David Dale and a couple of the ladies had already gone back to stoke the log burner and make tea and coffee for the returning pack which was a very welcome site. 
So to answer my opening question:-

First place goes to Mark Watson with his ESS Bitch, WRENMARSH TEMPTATION taking the Westray Trophy presented by Mr J.Duke and the Jeff Maidment Memorial Trophy donated and presented by David Ross. Second place went to David Massey with his ESS Dog RIXTONMOSS RACHINE winning the B.A.S.C. Central England Region Trophy donated by B.A.S.C. and presented by B.A.S.C. Regional Officer Matt Dutton. Third place awarded to David Holmes with his ESS dog HELMSWAY HARKILA. Fourth place awarded to last years winner Chris Durkin with his ESS Bitch EDWARDIANA BEACH. This combination also won the Guns Choice taking the Gavoise Trophy presented by Mr. G.D.Evans. C.O.M's awarded to: Andy Whitehouse with his ESS Dog SUGAR BULLETT AL. also to Anthony Myors with his ESS Dog GRAFTER JED OF KYSHANT who also took the Blackwall Trophy for Best Hunting Spaniel. Just as a statistic, 9 of the 18 dogs in todays stake were out of Helmsway Sires, 8 of them out of Helmsway Heath. Sponsored prizes were: All first four places took a Bag of Chudleys Dog Food , a Bagots Park Baseball Cap and a B.A.S.C. Insulated Mug. Second place also received a Trover Dog Coat and First place received a Golden Sleeved ACME whistle and also a Game Bag from BASC. So First place took almost £400 worth of prizes away with him. 

Photo - Barry Dutton.
After all thanks were cordially given and equally received, Judge Nick Powell on behalf of the Judging Panel summed up by saying that the judges were fully appreciative of the ground and weather conditions today. They were extremely pleased to see that the dogs adapted extremely well to the changing conditions and it was a collective thought that some of the dogs were let down by their handlers. Nick added that they all had enjoyed judging a great trial and that they were happy to remain behind and give constructive feedback to any handler that so required. So halfway through the Dove Valley Trialling Programme and another brilliant effort by TEAM DOVE VALLEY.

More photos on our Facebook Page.
The 127th Field Trial Meeting.

2 Day Open Qualifying Stake for 24 A/V Retrievers.
The Osmaston Estate, Ashbourne.
By kind permission of Mr P Smitt.
October 15th and 16th.
Sponsored by Skinners and BASC Central Region.
Words and photos  -  Barry Dutton.

Judges - L to R. Sarah Coomber-Smith, Di Stevens, Nichola Reynolds and Robin Watson.

Guns - L to R. Jed Booth, Pete Bancroft, Steve Mear, Chris Cadman, Becky Wilkinson and Brian Wilshaw.

Osmaston Park was the setting for our Open Qualifying Stake. Headkeeper Clive Heaven, his wife Gloria, Son Richard and his team of beaters made sure the birds were where they were needed at the right time and in the right numbers. So after Guy's customary briefing we all boarded the 3 buses and made our way down to the Woods. We started off with an uphill climb into some mixed Woodland with bracken and a few brambles. Within 2 minutes the first bird of the day was shot which is always a welcome sight to see. Unfortunately,the first dog down didn't pick it and was eye wiped by the second dog. Fortunately, this wasn't a precedent for the day and it was a long time before the next dog went out. This was primarily down to the high standard of the Dogs and their Handlers. After the end of two walked up drives we had only lost 2 dogs and stopped for lunch. The rain had set in by now which prevented the birds from showing themselves but nevertheless the birds were bountiful and another walked up drive after lunch put another dog out. Round three started with some blind retrieves into a field of tall mixed cover. This proved slightly more difficult putting two more dogs out. After the birds were picked a final walked up drive was started through the woods once more and at the end of the drive we were down to 15 dogs to go forward to day two.

Headkeeper Clive (left) Gloria and Richard.

The second day began with an early morning mist which quickly dispersed and with no rain forecast, we all loaded onto the buses and drove down to the Woods.  All 6 guns and myself were in the gun bus waiting to be driven down when we realised everyone else had gone and left us in the yard without a driver! After about 10 mins we decided nobody was coming for us so we drew lots to for a driver and off we went.

The day started with a drive with all dogs in line. This was the acid test because as the dogs were all sitting patiently in line watching and marking the pheasants, a crafty hare got up and ran the whole length of the line. It then preceded to do a 180 degree about turn and run the opposite way back up the line. Unfortunately, it was all too much for one of the dogs who gave chase. Right after that a pheasant dropped stone dead right next to the line and unfortunately that also proved too tempting and one of the dogs ran in and picked so two more dog were lost. All remaining 3rd round dogs picked their birds and the drive re- commenced to start the 4th round. After the birds were picked and a few more dogs were eliminated, we finished off with a short walk up to allow the last 2 dogs to complete the day. After a short discussion, Robin Watson declared those immortal words TRIAL OVER and back to base we went.

The results were as follows:-

First place to Terry Prentice with Lab Dog FTCH. HITOWNGREEN DIAMOND JOE OF FINDPOINT taking the Klato Cup presented by Mr David Clayton and the Flaxfire Trophy presented by Mr C.P. Walker. Terry also won a Deluxe Game Bag donated by B.A.S.C. Central Region, A Bag of Skinners Dog food and a bag of Sneyd Dog Food donated by Mr David Latham.

In second place was David Latham with Louise Latham's Lab Dog 
NETTLEBRAE ANDY OF FENDAWOOD taking the Derrity Trophy
presented by Charlotte Jeffrey.

Third place went to Kevin Butler with Lab Dog TURPINGREEN BOHOL

A Certificate of Merit awarded to Sue Berman with 

The Marshflight Trophy presented by Mr K.J.Morton for Guns Choice also
went to David Latham.

L to R. Kevin Butler, Terry Prentice and Dave Latham.

Sue Berman.

On behalf of the judges, Sarah summed up by saying how successful the trial had been with all dogs and handlers putting on a great display. The best dogs had risen to the top and they had all thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of the trial and thanked everyone responsible for making it happen.

As you may be aware we are donating all this season's raffle monies from 
Trials and Tests to The Midlands Air Ambulance and todays raffle raised 
£174 making a running total over 3 trials of £390. Guy thanked everyone for supporting the raffle and donating prizes and wished 
everyone a safe journey home. 

Another fine day for TEAM DOVE VALLEY.

More photos on our Facebook Page.


The 126th Field Trial Meeting.  

Friday, October 5th.

18 Dog Novice A/V Spaniel Stake.

Bagots Park, by kind permission of David and Carol Dale.

Words and photos - Barry Dutton.

The start of our Spaniel Trial season began today with an A.V. Spaniel 18 Dog Stake. The venue was at Bagots Park, Abbots Bromley by extreme kind permission of Mr David and Mrs Carol Dale. We cannot thank them enough for the times they allow us to use their ground for either Trials, Tests or Training. Our esteem Judges today were Alex Badger, Roy Ellershaw, Jamie Smith and Martyn Elliot. Trials cannot be run without people like these and to this end we bestow our thanks for the giving of your time. A big thank you to Roy who stepped in to officiate at the last moment due to illness hence us having 2 A panel Judges. This may have been a blessing in disguise as it allowed our two Non-panel judges a chance to run the Trial with the two A panel judges right behind them to give them guidance. Our Guns today were Charles Dale, son of David and Carol, Jason Grainger, Chris Cadman and Graham Burton. Again we thank our guns for helping to support the running of the Trial.Our Sponsors today, in no particular order were ACME Whistles, B.A.S.C., Trover Coats and Chudleys Dog Foods. The generosity of these Companies are greatly appreciated and I would imagine the winner left with over £300 worth of prizes.

So after the customary briefing we headed off into the woods where the Trial was conducted in its entirety.Steward of the beat was Headkeeper Dean Stephens. The cover was very varied ranging from ankle deep brambles through to 5 feet high bracken. It was unfortunate that all dogs did not get a retrieve, but as Alex Badger summed up in his speech " All dogs that ran here today were afraid of nothing. Handlers had got the dogs ready and everything bodes well for them for the rest of the season. It was tight to split the winners however we managed to do it and we honestly believe the right dog came out on top. Any dog that took an award today will have no problems in progressing further in the future". This sentiment was appreciated by the competitors. So after a lengthy day of Trialing the judges called up David Templar and Jason Croft for a run off. Following the run off it was back to base for the awards.

In first place was Jason Croft (below) with his Cocker dog PRIORHEATH BOSS HOGG taking the Liz Bedford Trophy presented by The Club. Jason also took a bag of Chudleys Dog Food, A Gold Sleeved ACME Whistle, A Trover Dog Coat, a range of goods from B.A.S.C. and a Bagots Park Cap.

Second was David Templar, with his ESS dog COUNTRYWAYS RAILEY OF WINDBUSH taking the Melissa Stubbs Trophy presented by The Club, a bag of Chudleys Dog Food, BASC goods, and a Bagots Park Cap.

Third was Kevin Woods handling Will Clulees ESS dog SPANQUEST TAFF , taking Chudleys Dog Food and a Bagots Park Cap.

Fourth was Angela Atkin with her ESS bitch SCAFELL SWIFT taking the same as third place.

C.O.Ms went to Dave Gallimore with BOGGWATER CHARLTON STAR OF ONCOTE, Paul Murray with TEDDY COVER, Stuart Lee with DUNNBRIGG BUTTERCUP and Andy Fisher, with BROOKEQUEST BLIZZARD.

Guns Choice was Andrew Fyfe with Amanda Fyfes Honest Bob. So half of the starting line up came away with prizes.

So a great start to the season and well done TEAM DOVE VALLEY.

More photos on our Facebook Page.
The 125th Field Trial Meeting.  

Tuesday, October 2nd.

14 Dog All-Aged A/V Retriever Stake,
 The Foremark Shoot, by kind permission of  Mr P Bishop.
Words - Guy. Photos - Barry Dutton.

Judges - James Murphy, Mick Newsam, Doug Ingall and Shelia Suzuki.

Guns - L to R. Jed Booth, Brian Wilshaw, Dave Walchester, David Cooke,
Pete Bancroft and Steve Mear.

Our Trial on this ground last season for Novice Retrievers was somewhat disappointing due to the poor standard of dog but, to be fair, this is a very testing ground which is why we decided to make this Trial an All-Aged with preference in the draw given to dogs with a Field Trial award. 

Following the introduction of our Host, Judges, Guns and Stewards, we followed Philip Bishop's Right Hand Girl, Alecia, to our starting point where we lined out to walk-up a wide, well established Game Cover crop. With Judges Shelia and Doug on the right and Mick and James on the left we set off.

With Spaniels working in front of the line we quickly found some Game and straight away it was clear that the more experienced dogs were going to give us a good day's sport and lots of debate between our Judges as they sorted out their books. Our Guns performed well and where necessary, allowed birds to flush to a sporting distance  creating  good chances for dogs to perform well. We continued Walking-up for the body of the stake although Philip set up a drive at one point which enabled our Judges to sit all dogs in line. Sadly, and very suprisingly, it was a blank drive but at least we tried! As the day progressed we saw some very good work from both Dogs and Guns and with 4 dogs left on 5 Retrieves each our Judges decided they had seen enough.


First place was awarded to Jennie Dimmock with Millerise Leo at Lyanmoreshot. Jennie was presented with The Gossmount Trophy donated by Jan and Kevin Marriott.

Second place was awarded to Laura Marsh with Jobeshill Okavango of Roseshire. Laura was presented with The Delfleet Pepper Trophy donated by Jane Jacombs for the Best Yellow Labrador.

Third was awarded to Carol Probert with Turpingreen Acuna of Corsemalzie.

John Yarwood with Ragweeds Image was awarded a Certificate of Merit.

Guns Choice was awarded to Ellena Swift Nunneley with Swiftlands Dora  taking the Thorpe Cloud Clary Trophy donated by Graham and Diane Barrett.

L to R. Carol Probert, Jennie Dimmock, Laura Marsh and Ellena Nunnelly with some cheeky Guns in the background!

Our raffle raised £111 plus a kind £25 donation which, along with any other raffle money made throughout this season's Trials and next year's Tests, will go to this years nominated charity, The Midlands Air Ambulance.

This was a good Trial to start our Season and thanks to everyone involved for helping to make the day so successful.

More photos on our Facebook Page.

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