Arun and Downland Gundog Society - Novice Test
Held at Eashing Farm, Godalming on 14th April 2012
A big entry for the Novice but every test was a double and they were all very local to the meeting place so no long route marches taking up time. 4 Tests and 4 judges so quite straightforward. Paula went right through this year which meant that everyone got home in time to see the Grand National.
Interestingly, two judges elected to give marks out of 20 and the other two chose to give marks out of 40. Not a problem but it kept the people doing the adding up on their toes !
So, a possible 120 marks and the clear winner only lost 2. Well done Neil Cornish with his young dog, not yet 2 years old. The winners are getting younger and younger all the time – and that’s just the handler’s !!!!!
So, what did Neil and his dog have to go through to achieve his trophy.
Test 1 was a mark across the river in front with gunshot, followed by a blind to the left at a right angle which was placed in a ditch. Harder for the first group of the day to ask their dogs to plunge into cold water before they had really warmed up to being in a competition. Most people achieved creditably although it was interesting that in some cases, the mark over the water proved more difficult than the blind.
Test 2 was a double blind without gunshots. The blinds were placed in the line of a skimpy hedgerow across an open space. This really got the Handlers worried and tentative but in fact it was very achievable and a very high average on the marks. Once the dog got in the right place for the wind and scenting, it all fell into place. Still, very scary for the group that started on this Test !
Test 3, although a mark and a blind in the same place, was the most challenging Test of the day, but again, achieved by most with creditable marks. Up a VERY steep bank covered with stinging nettles. It was very noticeable that the dogs were distracted from their mark by having their feet stung and there was very little scent for the blind. The general opinion was that it must have been a bit easier for the later groups when the nettles had been bashed down a bit and a bit of a pathway laid out. Also , no doubt, the more dummies that fell in the same area, the scent improved slightly. I guess Top Marks had to go to the poor dummy thrower who must have felt like he was climbing Mount Everest every time he had to descend to replenish his dummy bag !!!!! What would we do without the willing helpers on the day who have no idea what is in store for them before they arrive at the venue at crack of dawn ????? A very big thank you to all of them !
Test 4 was a Hunt Up but half the marks were awarded for a bit of heelwork to start with. Suprisingly, there were more zero’s given in this Test than any other but I think on the whole it was the heelwork that separated the men from the boys !
So, Neil now has to move on to Open Tests (Intermediates are few and far between ) and see how he and his young dog fare in the harder Open Tests for the rest of the Summer. I’m sure you are both up to the challenge and very capable of doing well.
1st Neil Cornish with Lamlodge Louis
2nd Sharon Belton with Warrenby Gypsy
3rd Susan Wood with Longcopse Ripple
4th Penny Allanson-Bailey with
Hesperides Sweet Heart
COM Mike Flemming with Barnesbrook Horus
Congratulations to you all