A Clumber spaniel won an any variety field trial last month — the first time this breed has done so in living history and only the second time since field trials began.

A Clumber spaniel won an any variety field trial last month — the first time this breed has done so in living history and only the second time since field trials began.

The victory by three-year-old Midori Diamond Huddlestone (Rigg), in an any variety spaniel novice stake held by the Tyne Tees and Tweed Field Trial Association, against 15 springers, is so unexpected that the Kennel Club does not have a channel through which the dog can advance further. There is no open stake that the breed can enter, simply because, for decades, it has seemed incredible that one could qualify, potentially blocking a route to full championship status.

Not many Clumbers about

Clumbers have a tiny population — fewer than 200 puppies per year compared with more than 30,000 cocker and springer spaniels.

Rigg, handled by Roy Ellershaw and owned by Working Clumber Spaniel Society committee members John and Jane Smith-Bodden, follows in the footsteps of Beechgrove Bee, the only other Clumber winner, at the inception of field trials in 1899.

John hopes this victory will show the value of Clumbers. “Rigg and Roy have obviously made history with this win, but it must be remembered that Rigg is simply representative of the quality of dog now available in the modern work-bred Clumber spaniel,” he said. “We are talking about a typical, rather than exceptional, dog from the current stock. We hope that others will see the opportunity that clearly exists to succeed with a Clumber.”

springer spaniel dream gundog

The dream gundog team

I’ll tell you what I want to see behind me when I am standing in a line of guns outside a likely looking…