Spaniel fra­ter­nity gath­ers to Show Sup­port for the preest fam­ily

Shooting Gazette - - Gundogs -

the Cen­tre­walk Test Day, held at brand­house Farm, near Tet­bury, by kind per­mis­sion of mr and mrs regis was a huge suc­cess, writes mau­rice Stan­bury. The event brought to­gether a large num­ber of peo­ple from the spaniel fra­ter­nity and the wider sport­ing world to show their sup­port for richard Preest and his fam­ily, fol­low­ing richard’s spinal stroke.

The good news is that he is now out of in­ten­sive care and has been moved to the na­tion­ally recog­nised Spinal In­juries re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion Unit of Sal­is­bury Hos­pi­tal. but he still has a long way to go. Later in the day, his daugh­ter Ge­orgie was able to give us an up­date on his sit­u­a­tion and played a short video from richard thank­ing ev­ery­one for their won­der­ful sup­port.

The morn­ing was de­voted to work­ing tests for any va­ri­ety spaniel, both at novice and open lev­els. en­tries were lim­ited to 18 dogs in each class; many more en­tered ini­tially but had to be suc­cess­ful in a bal­lot to gain a run. The two tests ran con­cur­rently and were ably judged by Dave rayner, Si­mon Jones, Steve Adams, Jeremy or­gan, Will Clulee and Ian Flint. Andy Cullen had gen­er­ously pre­sented the Cen­tre­walk Tro­phy for the best dog over­all, which re­quired a run-off be­tween the win­ner of each class.

The ‘top dog’ award was won by bar­cud­wen mambo, a three-year-old english springer spaniel dog, owned and han­dled by Aled Jones. He also took the award for ‘best hunt­ing spaniel’. en­graved glass tro­phies had been do­nated by Andy and He­len Fisher for the class win­ners and there were many other prizes for award-win­ning dogs, do­nated by dog food man­u­fac­tur­ers and gun­dog ac­ces­sory com­pa­nies.

Spec­ta­tors were able to watch the com­pe­ti­tion then, dur­ing the lunch in­ter­lude, en­joy a hog roast with a drink from the bar, while the com­peti­tors munched a ‘hel­luva pasty’. They all had the op­por­tu­nity of con­tribut­ing fur­ther by par­tic­i­pat­ing in a raf­fle with an amaz­ing ar­ray of prizes and gear them­selves up for the auc­tion which was to take place in the af­ter­noon.

The auc­tion in­cluded 50 items, pri­mar­ily of a sport­ing na­ture, which like the raf­fle prizes had all been gen­er­ously do­nated. The top lots in­cluded a 300-bird day for two guns on the bad­minton es­tate, hosted by the Duke of beau­fort; a num­ber of spaniel train­ing days around the coun­try; a week in a self-cater­ing cot­tage in the Dart­moor na­tional Park; coach­ing and load­ing from an ex­pe­ri­enced shoot­ing coach on a shoot day. The op­por­tu­nity for tooth whiten­ing and bo­tox treat­ment by a cos­metic den­tist raised a few grins, which no doubt in the fu­ture will be­come sparkling smiles.

The auc­tion was con­ducted by Justin Lascelles, who demon­strated his abil­ity

to squeeze the last drop out of those present, to­gether with those who par­tic­i­pated on­line or over the tele­phone. A very spe­cial day came to a con­clu­sion when Tom Shep­pard was herded into a chair to be given a full mo­hi­can by de­mon bar­ber Paddy Wil­liams — the au­di­ence con­tin­ued to dig deep into their pock­ets and con­trib­uted £500 for the spec­ta­cle.

The event was the brain­child of mar­garet Cox and Jeremy Davies fol­low­ing a short tele­phone con­ver­sa­tion in early July. The sub­se­quent in­volve­ment of He­len and Andy Fisher, as­sisted in all mat­ters dig­i­tal by Liam mul­crow, brought the Cen­tre­walk Day to fruition in just over six weeks. They should all be con­grat­u­lated on a fan­tas­tic event which at the last count, in­clud­ing in­di­vid­ual do­na­tions, had raised in ex­cess of £20,000.

Two weeks prior to the event Liam mul­crow, as­sisted by mar­tin Smee and other friends, had or­gan­ised an auc­tion of stud dogs to­wards the same good cause. Studs were promised from the lead­ing spaniel ken­nels in­clud­ing buc­cleuch, Churchview, Pool­green and ry­tex and many more from in­di­vid­ual own­ers of cham­pion stud dogs. The auc­tion was held on­line over five days and raised more than £16,000. All in all, a won­der­ful dis­play of good will.

hosts at Brand­house farm, peter and gil­lie regis, with rufus their springer spaniel and their pre­sen­ta­tion sticks.

auc­tion­eer Justin lascelles drums up some lively bid­ding for the best lots.

andy faulkner (left) and aled Jones, win­ners of their re­spec­tive classes, wait to hear the out­come of the run-off for ‘top dog of the day’.

the de­mon bar­ber, paddy wil­liams, gives tom Shep­pard a mo­hi­can hair cut and raises £500 in the process.

The win­ners of the open and novice tests, from left: Danny Hub­bard, Richard Gisby, Andy Faulkner, Aled Jones, Si­mon Black­man, Steve Lines, An­drea Per­rett, Andy White­house and Kelly Ward, pic­tured with their prizes sup­plied by gen­er­ous spon­sors.

Judge Jeremy Or­gan ex­plains just what is re­quired to Steve Lines be­fore be­gin­ning a tricky open test.

The Cen­tre­walk Test judges from left: David Rayner, Ian Flint with head­keeper Andy Fisher and fel­low judges Will Clulee, Jeremy Or­gan, Si­mon Jones and Steve Adams.

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