We are extremely grateful to be able to have run our novice test on the wonderful Fonthill Bishop Estate by kind invitation of Lord Margadale and Mick and Sharon Lewis.
We held our tests on what proved to be another extremely hot day so we elected to run the tests largely in the shade of the woodland alongside the lake.
Test 1 Judged by Angie Townsend. A double mark into heavy cover going up a hill with the marks landing firstly nearer to the bottom of the cover followed by a second mark landing nearer to the top of the hillside. The dogs had to run across a flat paddock of about 50 yards to then pick the lower first mark, followed by the higher second mark. This proved to be a challenging test with the heat and scenting conditions not helping the dogs.
Test 2 Judged by Kieth Townsend A mark thrown but a blind to be picked first. Held in a lightly wooded area the mark landed to the right slightly out of sight to the dog and the blind was at an angle to the left near a tree trunk. Those dogs that trusted their handlers and kept to the line sent succeeded and then were able to have a good memory of the mark.
Test 3 Judged by Martin Bagg Double blind no shot. This was again held in the woods. The dog was first sent along a track to then be stopped before a large tree on the right to be hunted to the right to find a dummy that had been placed onto a large tree trunk. The second blind was then placed further along the track just before the track continued to the right. Having a good stop whistle was essential!
Test 4 Judged by Ken Green. A 4 dog walk up The dogs walked forward and a shot was fired and a mark was thrown out about 70 yards then a shot was fired by a “gun” that was in line with the walked up line for a rabbit that was about 15 yards from the gun. First dog sent for the mark, second for the blind and then the dogs were rotated so that each dog had both retrieves with the added pressure of remaining quiet and steady whilst other dogs were running past them. Ken and his helpers Howard, Steve and Richard were fantastic braving the heat on what proved to be a very tricky test.
I am delighted to say that we had the first four dogs placed with 76, 75, ,74 and 73 points so no run off in the heat phew. We also awarded a COM who had a very respectable 71 points.
Our patron Dame Mary Morrison gave out the prizes 1st Julie Spencer with her labrador bitch Bellaroyal little red panda, winning the Angel Engineering Perpetual trophy. 2nd Wendy Bardsley with her labrador dog Laborie Kwaduma 3rd Nigel Probert with his labrador bitch Withyrose Islay of Llangynidr 4th Lee Burdett with his labrador bitch Hintonbreeze Cote D’azur COM Simon Dawson with his Labrador dog Berryshot Scooter
Thank you as always to our wonderful sponsors Skinners and Gamekeepers Goods A big thank you to all the judges for giving up their time on such a hot day. I’d like to say a massive thank you to Damien, Pete and Tilly on test 1. Toni, Trish and Katie on test 2. Phillipa and Micheal on test 3 And Howard, Steve and Richard on test 4. Also Marion who was the steward for both test 3 and 4 and Sarah and Jane who did a multitude of tasks to help in the smooth running of the day. Many of these lovely people had not helped at a test before and without which we could not have been able to run the day.