Ir­ish take Home In­ter­na­tional ti­tle at Game Fair

Shooting Gazette - - October 2017 -

Event: Home In­ter­na­tional Venue: Game Fair, Hat­field House Spon­sors: CSJ Dog Food and Coun­trys­ports Ire­land

Team Ire­land re­claimed the Home In­ter­na­tional ti­tle at the re­cent Game Fair, mak­ing it the sev­enth time they’ve reigned supreme since the com­pe­ti­tion was founded in 1969.

Held at Hat­field House in Hert­ford­shire, teams from Eng­land, Ire­land, Scot­land and Wales each worked five spaniels in the morn­ing and five retriev­ers in the af­ter­noon of the two-day event, in a se­ries of de­mand­ing tests de­signed to best demon­strate each dog’s abil­ity, with all the dogs’ per­for­mances con­tribut­ing to­wards the over­all team score.

The top prize in the com­pe­ti­tion – the Shoot­ing

Times Trophy and a cash award of £200 – was pre­sented to Ire­land’s team cap­tain Wil­lie Edgar for fin­ish­ing in first place on 931 points. Ire­land’s win­ning team was made up of Wil­liam Me­gaughin, Louis Rice, Wil­lie Edgar and Ian Blair, who all ran spaniels, and Damian New­man, John Barr, De­clan Boyle and Sean Di­a­mond, who ran retriev­ers. Sec­ond place went to Wales, cap­tained by Alan Rees, on 918 points, with Eng­land, cap­tained by David Latham, coming third on 900 points. Scot­land, cap­tained by Joe Ma­clure, fin­ished fourth on 847 points.

Held ev­ery year and form­ing the cen­tre­piece of the gundog events at the Game Fair, this year’s Home In­ter­na­tional took place in the In­ter­na­tional Gundog Arena on the Satur­day and Sun­day of the event.

Wil­lie Edgar, the cap­tain of the Ir­ish team, which had not won since 2013, said: “There’s been months of train­ing and a lot of hard work. Coming from Ire­land we haven’t a big pop­u­la­tion of gun­dogs, so to win re­ally puts us amongst the top gun­dogs in the world.

“We were run­ning both retriev­ers and spaniels but in the morn­ing the spaniels won their com­pe­ti­tion by 60 points, giv­ing the retriev­ers a bit of a com­fort zone. Thank­fully the retriev­ers held their own, which led us to win the whole com­pe­ti­tion.”

The win­ning team: Wil­liam Me­gaughin, Louis Rice, Noel Mur­ray, Ian Blair, Wil­lie Edgar, John Barr, Damian New­man, De­clan Boyle & Sean Di­a­mond.

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