On Sunday 13th August we held the last of our retriever working tests at Hillview, Witham Friary by kind permission of Will and Vicky Sheppard.
Judges were Christine Collins, Roland Stacey, Peter Leyden and Nikki Urquhart.
We were lucky with the weather just a little squally shower initially then cloud and breeze, perfect!
We held our tests in a mixture of stubble field and pastures.
2 dog Walked up
Thrower Simon and Irene
N/D N/H and SP
One thrower walked ahead of handlers but to the left out in the stubble field.
The second thrower was directly ahead of the competitors against the hedge line.
At judge’s request a dummy thrown out into field first followed by a dummy thrown directly ahead from hedge line. Dog on the right sent for the left hand first dummy thrown then dog sent for second dummy thrown ahead.
Dogs change sides short heel and exercise repeats.
Short heel work before single retrieves are thrown starting with hedge ( right side) thrown and dog on right sent then field dummy thrown for left hand dog. Short heel a few paces with dogs changed sides. Exercise repeated. That way no younger dogs crossing past each other.
This test was challenging but a high standard was achieved by most.
Blind and memory mark
Thrower and placer Lucy and Mark
N/D N/H & SP
Shot fired towards an area of brashings on the edge of a stubble field where 3 blinds have been placed. Mark thrown other side of rise in field landing out of sight of the dog.
One blind to be picked and then mark taken as a memory.
Single mark to land other side of rise in the stubble field.
This proved to be a tricky test, if the dog had the confidence to continue on the line towards the dummy they were able to wind it successfully however the draw of seeing the dummy thrower proved too much for some.
N/D N/H & SP
Long mark in a grass field followed by a blind placed further back in front of area of nettles.
Long Mark (but shorter than for N/D N/H &SP )and a dummy replaced for second retrieve.
The puppies retrieves were shorter than the ND/NH and SP so we ran the puppies over this test first so creating an area of scent before the marked dummy of the longer retrieves of the other groups.
Both handlers and dogs had to gauge the distance well as the grass hid the fall of the dummy and there was a fairly strong wind that could either help or hinder the retrieves.
Double mark (N/D N/H & SP)
Throwers Richard and Gareth
Dummy thrown to land in area under oak tree followed by dummy thrown to land in area beyond telegraph pole. Handler to nominate which dummy to be picked first.
With both retrieves it was crucial for the handler to take time to line the dog up well to help their dog’s confidence to pick the correct dummy.
Two single marks sending from a shorter distance.
Here it was important for the handler to turn the dog to help them mark the dummies.
1st & the Phoenix Kennels Cup to Andrew Steggles with Trodenmills Kriss Cross (80/80)
2nd - after a run-off to Alex Brain with Castlecopse Forget Me Knot
3rd to Nickie Macgregor with Hareatzac Igaraba
CoM to Lee Dunn with Esmeralda Echo
CoM to Carla Gibson with Gingerfox Firecrest of Severncrest
1st & the Coulson Cup to Ken Spratling with Jester Dabinett Diinham
2nd to Wendy Brown with Braltontwist Pumpkin
CoM to Anne Dawson with Wrothstone Dawn at Betscalo
1st & NdNh Trophy to Lee Dunn with Bradley Green Eclipse Sue
2nd to Rebecca Atkinson with Roxhart Black Spruce
3rd to Lee Pope with Framptons Fleck
CoM to Fen D’Lucie with Chesilstar Bourbon
CoM to Jane Flenning with Hamleyheath Phoebe
Congratulations to everyone in the awards.
Thank you as always to our wonderful sponsors Skinners and Gamekeeper’s Goods.
Thank you to our helpers - Carol, Briony, Linda, Simon, Irene, Julie, Lucy, Mark, Sarah Gareth, Richard, Emma, Paul & Debbie.
We had a lovely amount of entries and finished in time for great homemade cakes baked by Lucy and Mark and hot drinks.
Thank you all so much for such an enjoyable test season, best wishes from all at WWGS .