CLA Gundog of the Year, a new competition aimed at the country’s leading gundog handlers, will be launched at this year’s Game Fair at Belvoir Castle, Leicestershire, on July 20-22.

The competition, sponsored by Subaru UK Ltd. and open to all gundog breeds, will take place over each of the three days of the fair, and will see the country’s top gundogs competing in a series of tests. The winning handler will receive the Sir John Ruggles-Brise Trophy and have exclusive use of a Subaru Diesel Outback for a whole year.

Andrew Crawford, director of the CLA Game Fair, said: “It is appropriate that the UK’s largest countryside show should recognise the UK’s best gundog. We would also like to encourage more gundog owners to visit the show and this competition will provide a chance to be inspired by seeing the top working partnerships in action.”

Fiona Joint, CLA gundog chairman, said: “To find the top gundog in the UK, the CLA Gundog of the Year competition will be open to the country’s leading handlers, including those taking part in the Euro Challenge and Home International Competitions, as well as the judges and the gundog demonstrators providing they are resident in the UK.

Entry to the CLA Gundog of the Year competition is open to gundogs that have won a Kennel Club field trial award, have passed an open working test or come with the endorsement of a gamekeeper who has worked with the dog on a shoot.

To enter the CLA Gundog of the Year competition visit www.gamefair.co.uk, print out the entry form (stating which day you wish to participate) and return it by post to Fiona Joint, Chalky Lane Cottage, Chrishall, Royston, Herts SG8 8DX no later than July 1. Alternatively email the form to gundogchairman@cla.org.uk.

Fiona will carry out a draw at 6pm on July 4 and the names of successful applicants posted on the CLA’s website. Those competitors selected to compete in the CLA Gundog of the Year competition will pay an entry fee of £2 on the day of the competition at the central payment stand and given an approximate time for their run. No entries will be taken on the day.

There will be a run off on each day for the top dogs, the winner of which will be invited back on Sunday for a run-off and for the prize giving. The dog who achieves the highest standard in the eyes of the judges will be the winner.

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