Shooting Gazette - - News -

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.

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