English Setter Club honours Bettie Town with Glen Prosen challenge
A SPECIAL one-off event organised by the English Setter Club was held in memory of the club’s late president Bettie Town on the stunning Glen Prosen estate in the Angus Glens of Scotland, writes Dom Goutorbe.
It was a proper shooting day with a team of four guns including Robin Batchelor, John Billett Snr, John Billet Jnr and James Shelmerdine, but it was also a competition with English setters, Gordon setters, Irish setters and pointers competing against each other. Each breed assembled a team of six dogs to go head to head against the other breeds within the sub group.
Our grateful thanks must go to the host Robin Batchelor and the team at Glen Prosen led by headkeeper Bruce Cooper. The organisation, the welcome and all the help they gave to make the day a success was second to none and resulted in an unforgettable day for those fortunate enough to be there. There was also fantastic support from other shooting estates from around the country and various setter and pointer enthusiasts, all of whom wanted to help the English Setter Club raise the profile of grouse shooting in this traditional way.
Unusually for setter and pointer trials, game was actually shot over the dogs, and the judges Colin Organ and Fiona Kirk were looking for dogs that guns would be happy to follow all day: dogs with stamina, pace and style who were able to work the wind correctly, who held the points and produced the game in a way that gave the guns the best opportunity of a successful shot. Handlers were also judged on the way they instructed and positioned the guns. The judges assessed the work by dog and handler on a points system – the better the dog and handler, the more points credited to them.
Conditions on the day were perfect and the dogs made the most of them. There was some fantastic work from both the setters and pointers and the home team’s retrievers. The stunning location of Glen Prosen with the heather in full bloom just added to what was a perfect day.
Downwind work is not often tested in setter and pointer field trials. The judges were impressed with the quality of work from Meryl Asbury with English setter dog Upperwood Sacre Bleu, Maddy Raynor with Gordon setter bitch Clitters Lannie, Jon Kean with pointer dog Fearn Questron and Steve Robinson with Irish setter
The English setters’ winning team receiving their prize painted by artist Tanya Still, from left: chief steward David Hall, Dom Goutorbe, Meryl Asbury & Gerald Devine.
bitch FTCH Rapid Meg. However, it was Fearn Questron earning the position of top downwind dog, with his game production just clinching it from the Irish setter.
The winning team at the end of the day was the English setter team handled by Dom Goutorbe, Gerald Devine and Meryl Asbury. The English setters consistently showed stamina, pace, style and the ability to cope with the wind conditions and different terrain
All participants together in memory of Bettie Town.