In fine early spring weather with a brisk cool northeast breeze and high clouds breaking later to give sunshine and rising temperatures, Leicestershire Gundog Society held their first working tests of the year on Sunday, 1 April. Appropriately, the occasion saw the re-introduction, after a gap of several years, of the AV Spaniel novice and open competitions.

By kind permission of Mr J Barker the events were held at Groby Lodge Farm in Leicestershire. Formerly a large dairy operation, the farm has seen extensive planting of woodlands recently under the stewardship of the keeper, Mr Tony Warner, and it was in one of these new blocks that the events were held.

This area of young trees, holding some tight-sitting pheasants, made excellent ground on which to work spaniels; chief steward Mr T Winfield and judges Mr S Tyers and Mr J Daniel making good use of the opportunities provided to bring out the best qualities of the competing dogs. The novice competition was held first, results being as follows:

1st Mr John Sexton with ESS dog Testway Tornado

2nd Mrs CE Munn with Cocker bitch Westhala Dee Dee

3rd Mr Richard Barker with Cocker bitch Rosebank Heather

4th Mr KP Farmer with ESS dog Kenmilquin Muscari

CoM: Mrs L Wilde with ESS dog Huntersview Carib; and Mr K Walker with Silks Domino.

The second competition followed without a pause, individual tests being adjusted by the judges to the higher standard required of open dogs. With the event ended the judges conferred and decided on the result:

1st Mr John Sexton with ESS dog Testway Tornado

2nd Mr KP Farmer with ESS dog Jamian Griffen

3rd Mr MCW Buckley with Cocker dog harnwood Mill Race

4th Not Awarded

CoM Mr M Smith with Cocker bitch Grouseseeker Mischief with Cwnhelabach

In a short speech the winner of both events, a very pleased Mr John Sexton, thanked Mr Barker for providing such good ground and set the seal on two competitions which are firmly back in the LGS calendar.