Chatsworth Country Fair Inter Team Gundog Working Test for the Chatsworth Country Fair Challenge Trophy and the Staindrop Challenge Trophy for the best individual.
Judges - Sue Lowe and Will Hales
Chief Steward - Michael O'Hanlon
Gundog organisers - Philip Smithies and Bronwyn Roberts assisted by Joan Heyes and Joyce Smithies
Thirteen teams of 3 representing gundog clubs and societies from all parts of the country started day 1 of this 2 day test feeling excited and with a little trepidation at what lay in store for them.
Some competitors had run in the individual competition the previous day. This did not give them an advantage as Michael O'Hanlon used a different piece of ground.
The 3 team members all competed at the same time in a 3 dog walk up.
Each member had a mark in front and a blind behind. Each completed all the marks then the blinds.
The natural bunkers soon tested the handler and dog. Unfortunately some dogs did not score on the blind retrieves.
Moving forward again there was a gunshot followed by a dummy thrown to the far bank of the river. This was both a distraction and a memory retrieve, which had to be picked by a nominated team member after the 3 marked retrieves on the water had been picked.
As with the blinds the water proved to be a challenge for some dogs.
At the end of day 1 3 handlers out of 39 returned a perfect score to be joint best individual.
In the order (highest scores) at the end of day 1:
193 - PTA
179 - 3 Ridings
173 - URC (Midland)
171 - Yorkshire
166 - Kent, Surrey and Sussex
166 - Lincolnshire
164 - Dukeries
158 - Dove Valley
156 - Leicestershire
155 - NDLRC
155 - East Midlands
At the end of the day the joint best individuals who had clear scores (60) were:
Andrew Slingsby - Dukeries
Penny Heath - SEG's
Christopher Pilkington - PTA
Well done to all competitors.
We look forward to day 2. All teams will be wanting to improve their postion in the points table.
Thanks to Wuffitmix for sponsoring these tests.
At lunch time the gallery (which was a full house) greatly enjoyed a gundog demonstration by the Junior Handlers from Dove Valley Working Retriever Club.
Summer, Billie-Jo, Brook, Oliver and Harry demonstrated their handling skills with 3 labradors and 2 springer spaniels.
We started with a steadiness exercise before advancing to the spaniels quartering in front of the line, then water retrieves in the river and to finish the demonstration Summer and Billie- Jo had their dogs retrieving across the river.
The junior handlers were supported by Don and Pat Robertson and all of them received a goody back of assorted dog training equipment generously provided by Gundog Gear.
Good luck for tomorrow and the tests commence at 9:30am.