the URC border Counties & Cotswold Area held its open qualifier at the elms Farm rockhampton, by kind permission of mr and mrs mike Goode with judges Nick Coates and Craig perry, writes Ian Wilson. A fierce south westerly wind was challenging at times both for the organisers and the competitors. the event was kindly sponsored by Skinnerõs with more 20 dogs competing over five tests.
the first was a long swim to an island. We had a blind in a stand of ash saplings over the water and the dogs were sent from a corner of grass across a track to the island.
Next there was a shot to a dummy which was not to be collected. A dog was sent, stopped at a hedge and directed right through the hedge over a dry ditch to find the blind a little way into a field.
the third test was a long double mark, sending from behind a gateway, and both marks had a shot. the first was thrown onto grass behind game cover, and the second thrown over an embankment into a dry pond. the competitors had to choose the order of collection.
In the fourth test the dogs were sent from a corner under a willow tree beside a pond. A seen was thrown into the water to the right of the small island. this was collected and the dog was then sent for a blind on the far side of the jump tucked into the grass.
After lunch and a little break, we continued with the final test which was a short walk-up followed by a drive. At the start of the test the competitors were told there might be the odd bird about and to be aware that there was a gun in the wood.
Walking towards the ploughed square we heard two shots in the wood but unfortunately there was no game in the field. the drive commenced, each gun fired a shot and a dummy thrown in the air, for each shot, landing out of sight over the brow into the plough. this was repeated for another shot for each gun. the dogs picked a bird in order and there were plenty of dummies. remembering the shots in the wood, there was a bird in the trees. the dogs were sent, in turn, from the right hand side of the plough, along the line of dogs, through a gap and into a wood to collect the dummy.
At the end of the afternoon we all returned to base for tea and cakes prior to the awards being presented. Jill Gardner did the honours, giving the Lonelinar Shield to the winner, the Amorosa Cup for the best Labrador, which also went to
open test winners and judges, from left: clare Baker, annette shearman, craig perry, Jennie dimmock, nick coates, nick Jordan & Kate Green. Jennie Dimmock, and the Amber Shield for the best Golden retrieve, which was awarded to Annette Shearman.
We also greatly appreciate the time given by the judges and all the helpers without whose tireless dedication competitors would have no competitions in which to run.