AS ONE OF the few walked-up trials in the South West, it was great fun to watch and observe good gun dog work. Headkeeper, Michael Lewis, took the competitors to Great Ridge Wood on the Cranborne Chase where there was a good supply of game, including woodcock, rabbit and pheasant.
Tom Sheppard and friends worked their spaniels in the line to flush game for the team of guns, who performed well to provide more than enough retrieves for the competitors.
Judges, Lady Venetia Hugh-Smith, Mike Knox, B. Smith and Steve Ashby, took five dogs forward after the first two rounds. Initially, it seemed as if it would be difficult to separate the top dogs, but then Tess Lawrence was called forward, second dog down, on a strong running cock bird.
FTCh Willowyck Ruff quickly owned the line and disappeared into the undergrowth for some minutes before re-appearing with the bird and the winner was clear for all to see.
The awards were presented by the Hon. Mary Morrison, who had taken a very active interest in the trial during the day and congratulated the winners on the very high standard of work.
1st: Tess Lawrence with FTCh Willowyck Ruff.
2nd: Phil Bruton with FTCh Olivertash Bailey.
3rd: Laura Dearlove with Endacott Kess.