WuffitMix were proud sponsors of the Scottish FTA's 2 day Open Stake held at Bowhill on October 12th and 13th. Field Trial Secretary Anne Heading gives a wonderful report of the two days below.
Despite the promise of heavy rain first thing, we set off in quite pleasant conditions but with a strong wind in our backs. As always at Bowhill, there was an ample supply of partridges and pheasants and the lovely open ground afforded good viewing for most.
Although one or two dogs struggled, we witnessed some very good retrieving where birds had fallen across deep gullies into heavy cover on the far side; and some accurate marking on birds that had fallen a long way out. Unfortunately, the forecast rain caught up with us about midday and never let up so the second round was completed in somewhat soggy conditions.
Dogs through to Day 2: 1 Sue Hutton's Beggarbush Noble - handler Chris Hutton 2 Cherry Finlan's FTCh Jarailstar Rocky Road - handler John Halsted 7 Gary Wood's Harperrig Rannach 13 Wayne Mitchell's Turpingreen Barrera of Labdom 14 David Latham's Fendawood Harold 17 Thomas Bushby's Saxaphone Hawthorn of Shadowbrae 19 Kevin Haynes' Jocksburn Amber of Cairngryffe 20 Mike Rolland's Leacaz Isle of Rum at Cardy 21 Philippa Williams' Castlemans Soul Mate 23 The Duchess of Devonshire's FTCh Brocklebank Navigatorof Chatsworth - handler John Halsted 24 Paul Dixon's Balbirnie Logo of Thornship
The heavy rain of the first day continued through the night and into the second day of the trial making the conditions hard for everyone and particularly for the dogs. We started off working up a deep gully with all the judges and competitors on the top of the right hand bank with one gun whilst three of the guns walked one behind the other up the bottom of the gully with the other two on top of the far bank. This created some difficult retrieves with birds falling over a fairly challenging fence on top of the far side, and others falling into deep wet bracken on the steep slopes. By the time we had finished walking up this gully, two of the eleven dogs that started the day had fallen by the wayside.
We then proceeded to the top end of another deep gully where the bracken was even thicker. This time the judges decided to take a side each with one pair on top of each bank. Unfortunately, in the course of working our way down this gully we lost another five dogs. However, it is fair to say that all the dogs deserve praise for their brave attempts to retrieve in such testing conditions and the prize winners certainly earned their awards.
As always, our host Stuart Riddell, together with his son Robert had organised two first class days for us, and with our usual excellent team of Guns led by John Castle and a steady supply of partridges and pheasants, we couldn't have wished for better. Our thanks to them all are endless. Many thanks also to Stuart's team of helpers, the game carriers, flag ladies, pickers up and to Fiona Kirk whose little Cocker Spaniel worked her socks off hunting up the soaking bracken on the second day. A special thank you to Adam Mair who did a great job taking charge of the line on the second day.
A big thank you to our lovely team of judges from the north of Scotland and from south Wales - Les McLean, Simon Hagain, Gary Youngson and especially Mark Bettinson who stood in for Roger Tozer who had to call off at short notice.
We are very grateful also to BASC and Wuffitmix for their generous sponsorship. We couldn't run successful trials without all of these kind people.
Full Trial Results: FIRST and winner of the Scottish Retriever Trial Trophy: DAVID LATHAM'S FENDAWOOD HAROLD also winner of the Cromlix Trophy for Best Marker and Guns' Choice
SECOND and winner of the Lord Kinnaird Trophy: The Duchess of Devonshire's FTCh Brocklebank Navigator of Chatsworth handled by John Halsted
THIRD and winner of the Hendry Challenge Trophy for best Amateur Handler / Owner Sue Hutton's Beggarbush Noble handled by Chris Hutton
FOURTH: Cherry Finlan's FTCh Jarailstar Rocky Road of Blackhatch handled by John Halsted
We would like to wish our warmest congratulations to all in the awards and to Anne and the Scottish FTA for putting together such a wonderful trial.