Dove Valley Working Gundog Club has had a tremendous Spaniel Working Test season again this year. Here’s the Dove Valley Working Gundog Season Round-Up from Jane Burton:
This year the Dove Valley Working Gundog Club has organised four Working Tests, one open and three novice all of which were very generously sponsored by Chudleys, Acme Whistles, Trover Coats, Countryman Fairs and one event by Caroline Bridges Photography.
In total The Dove Valley Working Gundog Club ran 91 dogs, with an unusually even split of English springer spaniel and Working Cocker Spaniels. Normally English springer spaniel dominate, but not this year, I think that was partially down to having Jamie Smith, who won the Cocker Championships last season at Sandringham Judge for us at Chatsworth House on April 22nd.
We are extremely lucky to have been invited to three truly fabulous grounds. The first Tests; Open and Novice at Bagots Park, Abbots Bromley was a heart stopping event as the night before saw 8 inches of snow fall. I was in two minds whether or not to cancel, but the sheer determination and resilience from the Spaniel community was amazing and we agreed to go ahead.
Our judges: Alistair Ross, Paul Johnson, Ian Bogaki and Martin Elliott came from miles around to judge 33 dogs, also from as far afield as Liverpool. It truly was a fantastic event. John Parr with Glenugies Ruff Diamond a Cocker Spaniel won the Open and Paul Murray with English Springer Spaniel Dog, Teddy Lover winning the Novice. Paul Murray also won the run off between the Open and Novice winners.
Chatsworth is a truly stunning setting and is very well supported. We ran 33 Novice Spaniels, which I’ve already mentioned was dominated by Cocker Spaniels. The sun shone, in contrast to Bagots Park and the ground was fabulous. Several members of the public stopped off to watch the proceedings and ask what was happening, which is always lovely to be able to enlighten people about the fantastic world of Gundogs.
We had two girls under 17 running their Cocker Spaniels; Caitlin Cook with Ruby and Bethan Robertson-Ball also with a bitch called Ruby. At the end of a long day, Caitlin Cook took a stunning Young Handler trophy and of course a 15kg bag of Chudleys Working Crunch.
The overall winner on the day was Dave Gallimore with English Springer Spaniel dog, Boggwater Charlton Star of Oncote by just one point. Neale Satchwell, our senior judge gave an absolutely excellent closing speech, explaining how their points were gained and of course lost and giving encouragement to the handlers new to our sport what to work on. He commented on the very generous sponsors and of course the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire for their invitation.
Foremark Shoot held on Sunday 6th May.
There was a stark contrast in with weather for our 4th and final test. It was a beautiful sunny day. The test was run under the canopy of a deciduous wood with a carpet of bluebells. We had 19 Novice Spaniels.
The judges: Neale Satchwell and Keith Onions guided both handlers and dogs through their tests and we finished at lunchtime.
The winner was Nik Howe with his English Springer Spaniel dog, Rushymoor Rasta. I was delighted as they had lost out of first place at Chatsworth by only one point. The highlight of the day was the surprise and overwhelming joy of Jackie Elliott with her Cocker Spaniel bitch, Tolleiford Violet. It was a last minute decision to enter her into her first test.
There has been so many memorable moments this season, but the resilience and determination of the Spaniel community to make what could have been a disaster at Bagots Park into a fantastic success, for me is what it’s all about and makes the time and effort worth while.
For more information about the Dove Valley Working Gundog Club and the excellent work they do please visit the Dove Valley Working Gundog Club website.