- The GRC Open Working Test took place at the
beautiful Whitfield Estate near Ross-on-Wye in Herefordshire
by kind invitation of the Hon. Charles Clive on Sunday 13th June.
The weather was perfect – clear blue skies with a light breeze
and there was plenty of water for dogs to have a cooling dip
- Although a smaller number of entries than
in past years, the standard was every bit as high and the atmosphere
was as relaxed and happy as ever so it was a most enjoyable day
for all concerned. This must have been due in large part to the
two excellent judges, Messrs. Adrian Verinder and Robin Watson
with their wicked senses of humour. We are all grateful to them
both for a memorable day.
- There were five tests beginning with a long
mark over a track and up into a wood where some dogs lost the
mark and handlers found it difficult to handle through the trees.
Second was a long blind the other side of the lake up a well
grown grassy hillside between copses of bushes. Then came a blind,
saluted by gunfire, over the lake, which is around 50 yds. wide
and has a long island with thick cover just left of the line
the dogs would take – not to mention the itinerant geese and
ducks who were not to be moved by passing dogs. One or two dogs
fell prey either to the island or the live distractions – or
both! This was followed by a blind to gunfire into the wood and
a mark into the lake – blind to be hunted up first.
- After lunch we had a walk-up in well grown
set aside where each dog saw a ‘bird’ shot close to the line
immediately followed by a shot on the end of the line with the
call ‘rabbit down, 20 yards off the end of the line!’ The judge
then picked up the mark as it was too close to be of use as a
retrieve and sent each dog in turn for the ‘rabbit’.
- The winner was Judith Evans’ Holway Victor
who had looked good at everything he did – confident and fast.
2nd. was Colin MacGregor’s Tauvechan Magnum
3rd. & 4th. Judy Hendry’s Kenee Mist of Deadcraft and her
son Deadcraft Humphrey. Judy also gained the silver plate for
the highest placed bitch.
- Congratulations to all three and thank-you
everyone for such a lovely day.
- Here it was a pleasure to give first judging
appointments to two up and coming field trailers and I am extremely
grateful to Graham Cox and Gwen Knox for being ‘in the wings’
if needed. In the event they weren’t as both John Slatter and
Claire Baker proved confident and excellen
- t judges. Many thanks to all of them for
giving up their day for our enjoyment.
- The Puppy Tests were based on basic training
exercises as these dogs are too young to have been out in the
shooting field. They had five tests which tested for heelwork,
steadiness, hunting ability and water ending with a mini walk-up
for two puppies at a time.
- Results of the Puppy Test were:
1st. Alexis Prosser’s Mistybrook Shannon of Yarlington
2nd. David Rundall’s Laytoncroft Mulberry
3rd. Lorina Blankenspoor’s Cleynhge Walk over Them
4th. Pam Lynes’ Castlemans Grand Slam
- Novice and Veteran ran the same tests with
minor adjustments to reflect the greater experience and in some
cases, lesser agility, of these seasoned campaigners. So the
water test which involved hunting reeds on the far side of the
pond was a mark for the Novices and a blind with gunfire for
the Vets. And the fence for the retrieve into the wood was removed
in consideration of the fact that some of the participants were
12 years plus.
- Results for the Novice:
1st. Laurina Blankinspoor’s Childrey Fennel with Cleynhage
2nd. Chris Marchant’s Castlemans Warhead
3rd. Norma Sleeman’s Burnthill Cascade
4th. Jean Bavestock’s Baveybuilt Merlot
1st. Mary Lodge’s Bednall Finlay
2nd. Mervyn Philpott’s Standerwick Robina
3rd. Hilary Smith’s Foxcote Shamrock
- As this was my last season as Working Test
Secretary I would like to say how very much I’ve enjoyed running
the Tests. I am particularly grateful to all those who have helped
out – some like Laurie Pittaway – who aren’t even Golden people
– and also to everyone who takes part. As Mick Baker – a dyed-in-the-wool
lab. man, who was kind enough to acquire Whitfield Estate for
the Open for us, and helped out at both tests – commented, there’s
such a lovely atmosphere at these Tests and everyone seems to
really enjoy themselves! (Rumours are now rife that Mick has
seen the light and will be getting a ‘proper dog’!) He’s right
too. Golden people are nice, friendly people and after the Tests
are over, all the dogs run free – one person described it as
‘free-range Goldens’. It’s a beautiful sight and something you
never see at AV Tests, sadly. I wonder why?
- I couldn’t possibly leave without thanking
Gwen Knox for her unfailing support and friendship. As far as
I am concerned, Gwen IS the working GRC and all those of us who
take part in Tests or Trials owe her an enormous debt of gratitude
for her single-minded determination to further the best interests
of working goldens.
Many thanks also to Michael Tong for his gentle kindness over
the accounts about which I worried far more than the Tests!
- I leave you in the very capable hands of
Kim Ellis whom I’m sure will do a superb job as Working Test
Secretary. She’s certainly made an excellent start.
So thank you all for your support, your patience and unfailing
good humour. Good luck and I’ll see you around, as they say.
Working Tests, at Hardwicke Court, Glos.
place two weeks later at Hardwicke Court, Glos. By kind permission
of Mr. Charles Lloyd-Baker who very kindly also presented the
awards for us over the tea and cakes.