Tight competition in Gloucestershire
Club: URC border Counties & Cotswold Area Event: Novice working test Venue: Ozleworth Estate
Judges: Claire raymond and Mary Jarrod
We were privileged to hold this year’s test on the estate by kind permission of the landowner Mr A. Stone, and at the invitation of the gamekeeper, Mr A. Hall. The ground, although challenging, provided a brilliant opportunity to set a variety of interesting tests.
The initial two tests were performed on an undulating bank of ground. The two tests consisted of each judge running a two-dog walk-up, both running parallel. Dogs were sent alternately by each judge for a marked retrieve to the top or bottom of the slope, to the front of the line. The handlers then swapped sides to run under the second judge. This test proved challenging because of the nature of the terrain.
The third test was a doubleseen retrieve in long grass with various bunkers, with the handlers choosing which retrieve they wished to pick first. Test four was a long marked retrieve from the top of a bank offset from a track through an archway in the hedge into the next field; the grass was long and there were various distractions.
After lunch we continued with test five which was a hunting exercise picking blind retrieves in two specific areas of the field. These were outlined in detail by the judge, with two dummies randomly placed in each area. Competitors were expected to pick one retrieve from each area in their own time.
Test six had handlers facing a marked and a blind retrieve, which made the most of the varied landscape. The marked retrieve was thrown out onto a track running up a narrow field with woodland on either side. The competitors were then expected to turn the dog away and send for a blind retrieve on a 90˚ angle down a steep bank with a winding track at a specified area.
With all tests completed, a run-off was required to decide first place. This consisted of a long marked retrieve on a fresh piece of ground. The first run-off failed to show a clear winner so the two dogs competing for the trophy ran again and a clear winner was apparent.
At the end of the afternoon we all returned to base for tea and cakes prior to the awards presented by Iris Wright. We greatly appreciate the time given by the judges and all the helpers without whose dedication competitors would have no competitions in which to run.
Open test winners and judges, from left: Michelle Cox, Claire Raymond, Debbie Polley, Mary Jarrod, Roland Stacey & Janice Miller.