The weather gods smiled on us today at Acton Reynald Shoot. It was sunny, occasional clouds, a whisper of breeze and the ground was bone dry. However the roots that we were walking up had grown well and through the middle of the field the leaves were mid thigh height. If it had been wet underfoot it would have been very hard going through the roots. As it was it was challenging for all the dogs, and in the dry, and on partridges, there was poor scenting conditions.
For a Novice Trial so early in the season the dogs in the line worked really nicely, and there didn’t seem to be any lack of ability or lack of control. Partridges were not there in huge numbers which put the onus on the Guns to shoot well. In some of the areas we were not walking over the birds streamed out in their hundreds! Isn’t that always the way?
There were some long halts to the line while the dogs worked the roots for birds down. Our judges gave everyone plenty of time before calling up as necessary. With two runners on her score card and two eye-wipes the eventual winner was Vikki Stanley with her dog Garagill Viking. She won the Gordon Humphries Trophy and at the presentation Vikki gave credit, with a catch in her voice, to Gordon - Gordon Hodgeson - who bred her dog. David Jackson was in right to the end of the Trial with some good steady dog work with his dog Shipka Birchwood to eventually take second place. The Guns’ Choice Trophy was won by Charlotte Brailsford running Kentixen Sunshine Blossom of Casheath. This yellow bitch worked hard all through the trial and it was nice to see the Guns’ appreciated her style and good handling.
Our grateful thanks go to Acton Reynald Shoot, who have hosted this Trial for over 20 years. Also to our Beat Keeper Craig Roberts and his team of beaters. Thank you to our four judges, Keith Bellamy, Glenis Caldwell, Mike Allen and Gary McCarthy. It was a long and often hot and tiring day for them and cold drinks and late lunch were much needed when we were finished.
Thank you to our team of Guns who have kindly shot for us for more than just the four years that I have been Field Trial Secretary.
I would specially like to thank also the Club members whose invaluable help makes running the Trial so much easier: Bronwyn Roberts, Lis Weigh, Donnamia Walkling, and all those who go round making sure I haven’t forgotten anything! Thank you one and all.
1st and winner of the Gordon Humphries Trophy
Vikki Stanley and Garagill Viking
David Jackson and Shipka Birchwood
Guns’ Choice Trophy
Charlotte Brailsford and Kentixen Sunshine Blossom of Casheath