On Saturday 24 March we held our novice and open working tests. Once again we were fortunate enough to return to Byrd’s Retreat — a marvellous ground with much appreciated facilities — by kind permission of Mr and Mrs Bob Byrd. And yet again we were blessed with good weather as competitors, helpers and judges gathered by the lodge.
Judges for the day were Steve Ashby (A ), Steve Smith (Head Keeper) and Rachel Birch. There was a good entry of 30 (28 ran) for the novice test. Tests in the morning included a mark, with shot, down a ride into the woodland; a double mark to shot; a blind in long grass under the pylon; a hunting exercise and a three dog walk-up with a mark and a blind retrieve for each dog.
At the end of the morning there was a full set of awards; they are all to be congratulated on their success, particularly, the winner, Suzi Price.
Novice award Winners:
- lst – Suzi Price with Ruddlesberry Songbird and awarded the Windyhollows Bounty Trophy and the Vortex Cup for Judges’ Choice)
- 2nd – Helen Ford with Percuil Dasher and awarded the Monica Woods Memorial Trophy
- 3rd – Caroline Hewison with Venus in Transit over Casblaidd
- 4th – Helen Ford with Percuil Donner
- CofM — Caroline Hewison with Donascimento Danilo from Casblaidd
Although the entry for the open test in the afternoon was initially somewhat disappointing, it was bolstered by additional runners on the day. Five tests were offered as for the novice, but amended appropriately, – longer retrieves and blinds without shot. These were, rightly, challenging for all the dogs but the judges were happy with the foilowing awards:
Open award winners:
- lst – Gill Awty with Venetian Red at Maddistream
- 2nd – Nicola Brown with Percuil Tarufﬁ at Meadowshaw
- 3rd — Brian Travers with Littledart Hurricane.
My thanks to the landowners, gamekeeper, judges, Chief steward, and all helpers — especially those providing the food and drink! Skinners’ sponsorship was also much valued. And, of course, the day couldn’t run without all the competitors, so thank you for coming and well done to you all.