BD&CGRC A.V. Retriever Novice Field Trial Stakes
Held at Little Jennings Farm, Portman Burley Estate, Beaconsfield
By kind permission of John Blackiston and Simon Bolton
on 7th December 2009
Judges: John Stubbs, Peter Scott, Sue Searle and Mary-Jane Opie
We were very generously supported by the Mike Courtier team of guns who were shooting for the trial.
We were spared the horrendous weather that was forecast and although we started the day in heavy rain it soon stopped and apart from a bit of drizzle the majority of the trial took place in dry, if somewhat cold weather.
The first drive was on undulating grassland with the birds falling in the open and all the dogs in line. The fact that all the birds were lying on the grass proved a mixed blessing for some handlers as they struggled to keep their dogs in the area designated by the judges when their dog had marked a bird in a different part of the field. We lost a number of dogs for “being out of control”.
The second drive was on the opposite side of the valley, again on open grassland but the judges extended the line, so that the dogs and handlers were unable to see what was happening at opposite ends of the line. The judges now stretched the dogs by making the retrieves much longer and asking for specific birds. This round proved particularly challenging for young dogs and only 5 dogs went forward to the third and final drive.
After a short break when very welcome hot soup and sausages were served to the judges and helpers we drove to a beech wood on the other side of the estate. The remaining five dogs were now positioned on a ridge above the guns. Here the birds fell into bracken in front of the dogs and now the dogs really had to hunt to find the birds. Unfortunately, Dave Barnes young dog Souter Romulus at Millgreen found the very plentiful scent in the woods too tempting and didn’t hold a tight enough area to find a dead pigeon, resulting in an eyewipe by Darryl Greaves bitch Olivertash Dakin who made it look very easy. The remaining dogs completed their retrieves and the judges declared trial over.
They awarded four prizes:
1st Olivertash Dakin and Darryl Greaves L Ret B
2nd Ravenspeak of Highshot and Basil Smith L Ret D
3rd Jagdens Grouse of Gospelash and Nick Coates L Ret D
4th Haddeo Hermia and Stuart Robson G Ret B
Olivertash Dakin also won the Braidmore Trophy for Guns’ Choice and was a very worthy winner.
The day went very well, as John Blackiston did an excellent job in providing a steady stream of birds when needed, the guns shot brilliantly for us and I was very fortunate to have plenty of willing and experienced helpers. I’m very grateful to everyone who gave up their time, particularly the URC committee members who turned out to help at a ‘goldie’ trial.