The judges were Philip Wagland, Robert Daws and Charlotte Smith, and the event was kindly sponsored by Alpha.

Four breeds of gun dog retriever were represented in the 26 entrants.

The weather was cloudy and warm, with a fresh breeze aiding scent. Run on field trial lines the test involved walking up sugar beet, on undulating land.

In the first round dogs were mostly given marked retrieves of pigeons, with occasional blinds diagonally behind.

In the second round there were longer cross retrieves, often falling over a brow. This led to wider variations in marking ability and handling.

The overall work was good and there were only two opportunities for eye-wipes.

The high standard meant the judges called in 16 dogs for the third round of long marks and blinds down the line.

The retrieves over a hedge caused most difficulty, with some dogs struggling or being eye-wiped.

The 10 best dogs then sat through a mock drive, and a series of blinds sorted out the results.

The top dogs could be handled smartly to the area, but needed to hunt independently when out of sight of the handlers to be successful.

After six retrieves the judges made seven awards, with three different breeds represented. Alpha dog food was presented to the prize winners.

RESULTS

1. Russell Hodgen with lab.b. Riggenhall Twist Russjancoe

2. Colin Tasker with gr.d. Haremire Arran

3. Philip Smithies with lab.b. Basswood Tempest

4. Mick Newsam with lab.d. Hatchfield Breeze of Maswen

CoM Andy Kinta with Chesapeake b. Lateshift Moon Charisma

CoM Cliff Higham with lab.d. Ropehall Dipper

CoM Anne Blake with lab.b. Kinderton Black Pepper