A.V. OPEN SPANIEL (Ex Cocker) 3rd December at Leigh Manor

A dry day with very little wind and a touch warmer than of late for our last trial this season, making for good scenting conditions. Paul, our Spaniel Trial secretary, had overcome huge challenges with competitors withdrawing and we assembled thinking we had a full card of 16 dogs. It was therefore disappointing for our nominated judge, Garry Veasey who was stuck in grid lock traffic on the M6 and we had to find another A panel judge. Luckily Will Clulee kindly stepped up to the plate by withdrawing his dog from its run and we were able complete the card with a spare dog that a handler had with them, Paul kept remarkably cool but then he did say he has run 73 trials in his career, so far, so it takes a lot to daunt him.

We moved off to the top of the wood with no time wasted and young Sam Shearer our steward of the beat for the day had ensured there were plenty of birds in the woodland cover. The trees had lost their leaves in the recent storm but there were quite a few extra fallen trees to negotiate. As ever our team of guns, Jonathan, Ben, Steve and Ken shot really well and birds were dropped in good order for the dogs whilst keeping up a steady steam of friendly banter – no one was telling who shot two white birds !!

By lunchtime the dogs had completed two runs and the judges Will Clullee and Barry Faley put their books together and were able to declare trial over without the need for a run- off. Thank’s, as always, to all who help, Grace, Clive and Jane stewarding, Neil for carrying game and to our sponsors “Skinners” and BASC. We have to mention Jayne CB our excellent cake maker who provided no less than 4 cakes which filled a gap while we waited for the prize giving, the raffle raised £39 for our charity Midlands Air Ambulance

1st and Guns choice Betley Court Holly- David Ross

2nd Shiveck Zoli – Sally Jenkins

3rd Dashbrook Midsummer- Steve Bolton

4th Marketgate Darling – Richard Wells

COM Tyberius Bud – Bob Fairhurst

COM Draigoch Ella – Alice Wise

Report by Grace Brown

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