First spaniel trial held at Shote­sham Park

Shooting Gazette - - Gundog update gundogs - RE­PORT BY: JU­LIA REED

Club: The Util­ity Gun­dog So­ci­ety Event: Novice a.v. spaniel stake Venue: Shote­sham Park

Judges: Mark Clif­ford, Andy Water­house, Alex Hayes & Les­ley Young

Head­keeper: Mark Wat­son Un­der­keeper: Wil­liam Beck­er­leg Spon­sors: Sport­ing Saint & Kronch

The UGS held a 16-dog novice stake near Nor­wich by very kind per­mis­sion of the Bai­ley fam­ily. Four­teen springers and two cock­ers com­peted in bram­ble and wa­ter meadow on this beau­ti­ful estate in Nor­folk. We were de­lighted to be in­vited to this ground, and it was the first time a spaniel trial has been held here. The guns Nigel Reed, Phil Askew, Richard Beck­er­leg and Brian Chesser (shoot­ing his first spaniel trial) shot ex­tremely well to pro­duce pheas­ant, hare, rab­bit, par­tridge and pi­geon for, what was, a very good field of novice dogs. Mark Wat­son, Wil­liam Beck­er­leg and their team of beat­ers and stops worked re­ally hard to keep the game flow­ing, and did an amaz­ing job. It was a plea­sure to have Ed Bai­ley in the line all morn­ing watch­ing the dogs – he now knows what his keeper does in his spare time!

Thank you to all who helped, too – with­out those who give up their time to come along and game carry, stew­ard, and so on, where would the club be? And sub­stan­tial thanks must also go to our spon­sors for their on­go­ing sup­port.

This was the last UGS Spaniel Trial of the sea­son and, as ever, my estate/shoot own­ers have been amaz­ing. We have had five great tri­als on the most ex­tra­or­di­nary grounds, three of which were new to the so­ci­ety this sea­son. There has been some great dog work and some not so great.

The guns have been bril­liant, giv­ing up their time and pay­ing to shoot for the dogs. The judges have all been fair and help­ful and the band of helpers that I have had this year have made my life much eas­ier. It’s mostly a thank­less task be­ing a field trial sec­re­tary, but this year has been great and I have thor­oughly en­joyed ev­ery trial.

Win­ners and judges in­cluded: Mark Wat­son, Wil­liam Beck­er­leg & Lucy, Ed Bai­ley, Richard Beck­er­leg, Mike Reader, Owen Rus­sell, John Kee­gan, Bonny Sadler, Andy Water­house, Rod Chap­ple, Alex Hayes, Phil Askew, Les­ley Young, Ja­son Croft & Mark Clif­ford.

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