Spaniel fraternity gathers to Show Support for the preest family
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.