Chudleys has been following Howard Kirby as he prepares for the World Championship for Pointing Dogs and the St. Hubertus Cup in France! With only days to go, we catch up with Howard one last time before the main event...
"Not long to go now, it seems like we’ve got all the paperwork in place. The combination of firearms, dogs and people seems to require an awful lot of it. Rory and Tashi are looking good, in fact Rory has just competed in his first two trials of the season and came 2nd, then won the next one. So that’s the confirmation we needed that we’re getting things right.
We’re preparing for the World Championships so it’s important to make sure we train and push the dogs as much as we can, however, it’s essential that we don’t lose sight of the fact that these fantastic dogs have been trained to work with us and do what we ask them to do. They must have confidence in us to help them find game, so it’s important that the training exercises that they do inspire them. This will ensure that the huge Prey Drive and enthusiasm that they bring to the field is not undermined in any way.
We’re still not sure what kind of ground we’ll be working on, there’s talk of dense woodland! We need to be ready for the wide open big running ground but if we get into the woods it will be essential that the dogs stay on the whistle and remain obedient. This is where the bell that the dogs have been wearing on collars for the last few weeks might help. Tashi is a really forward going dog and I need to be on top of him all the time otherwise there’s a risk he’ll go ‘all self employed on me’ once he gets among the woodlands.
I’m usually very laid back about competitions but this trip is really exciting - GB Team, Trip to France, Mediterranean Cup, St Hubertus, World Championships. Two weeks hanging out with the Top Running HPRs and their handlers. I hope you’ll understand why I’m just a whole lot excited."
We wish you the best of luck in the World Championships, and look forward to catching up again with you afterwards!