English Set­ter Club hon­ours Bet­tie Town with Glen Prosen chal­lenge

Shooting Gazette - - Gundog update gundogs -

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.

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