We caught up with Howard Kirby and his partner Dr. Linsey Whitley to find out what’s next on their journey to France.
“In our efforts to ensure that both Rory and Tashi are at their best for The World Championships in France we are taking them training on a Partridge Shoot in Dorset. The weekly trip allows us to train on stubbles. The dogs have to be very careful and accurate as they gallop across the wind. The Partridges sit really tight and if the dogs don’t ‘wind’ them early enough the Partridges will ‘jump’ and be gone before they get a chance to point them. In a trial this would eliminate the dog.”
“We’re still unsure as to what type of terrain the ‘Worlds’ will be held on but the jungle drums tell us that we may be hunting in very thick woodlands. The Continental handlers fit a bell to their dogs collar. The theory being that you listen out for the sound of the bell and when it stops jingling, your stop has stopped moving and is on point. With luck you can then locate him.”
“In anticipation of needing to use a bell we fitted one to both dogs, Rory barely seemed to notice his whilst my big powerful Field Trial Champion trotted round in circles totally bemused by the jingly thing attached to his neck. Tashi is going to have to wear it during the day until he overcomes his concerns.”
“Emails to and from our Team Captain have confirmed our chest sizes for the team uniforms. This brings back memories of The Opening ceremony at the World Championships in Serbia 2015. We March out as a team in uniform to the National Anthem carrying a Union Jack. A real honour and a career high for me! I can’t wait to do it again in France. Yip Yip!”
Keep tuned for Howard’s next chapter as we follow him through his journey on the road to France.