Report on the 176th FCRS Field Trial held on 24th October 2019

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The Flatcoated Retriever Society held its 176th Field Trial Meeting – an Open Stake for up to 16 flatcoated retrievers – on Thursday, 24th October 2019, at Bretby Shoot, Burton-upon-Trent, Derbyshire by kind permission of the keeper, Mr Matt Smith.

Very grateful thanks to our judges Mr Dave Brown (A3357), Mrs Sarah Comber-Smith (A25), Mr Steve Cullis (B2759) and Mr John Yarwood (B3484) for giving up their time. Thank you also to the team of guns who ensured a plentiful supply of game: David Bellamy, Geoff Derrick, Simon McKay, John Troop, David Savory, Gary Shelbourne and Vinny Wilkinson. Chief Steward was Roz Bellamy who kept track of the day with her usual skill and expertise. Thanks also to the many helpers who helped the day run smoothly.

After a couple of late withdrawals, we started the trial with 12 dogs in line. The first drive produced plenty of birds for the guns who shot very well resulting in plenty of game on the ground. Early casualties could not resist the temptation of a flapping bird just a few yards in front of the line or the pricked cock bird that ran the line. The judges then took the dogs in pairs, each retrieving birds in turn. There were a couple of failures and two dogs failed to pick the identified bird and instead recovered another, cutting the field to just four dogs.

The judges took the 4 dogs through to a walk up on rough ground with mixed cover. Game was less plentiful but sufficient birds were shot to test the remaining dogs. Each dog retrieved in turn and then a single bird was shot in the centre but two handlers; Helen Ford handling Percuil Donner, and Mark Johnson handling Wolfthistle Alfred Unus Est, were unable to get their dogs into the area being unsighted by the tall and dense cover crops. As the other two dogs had completed their retrieves, the judges walked forward and found the bird.

The Judges declared the “trial over” and competitors, judges and helpers retired to the yard where a delicious hot lunch, prepared by Roz Bellamy, was served. After lunch the result was announced.


1st Skeppartops Enjoy the Freedom handled by Ms Linda Vågberg from Sweden, competing in her first UK trial. Ms Vagberg was awarded The Winch Challenge Cup, The Birch Challenge Cup for the highest placed retriever handled by its owner and The Hellingley Retriever Cup (Oliver Trophy) for the highest placed retriever handled by a lady but these trophies can only by held by members resident in the UK.

2nd Mahinda Pompoko handled by Mrs Hilary Rosser who received The Creton Trophy and The Olaf Trophy for the “Guns Choice”. Congratulations to our winners and to David Savory for organising another successful trial.

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