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Monthly Archives

June 2016


By | Competition | No Comments

10TH JULY 2016

Judges: To be confirmed
Organisers: The United Retriever Club (North Midland Area)

The United Retriever Club is one of the largest gundog clubs in the UK. It runs retriever training, working tests, field trials and shows. It operates through nine regions or areas. The North Midland Area was founded in the Hope Valley of Derbyshire 50 years ago, so this year is our Golden Jubilee. It now operates mainly in Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Yorkshire.

The demonstration takes the form of a working test, in which different breeds of retriever compete. The judges will be respected and experienced people who have had success with their own dogs. A commentary will explain the work of the dogs and the scores given by the judges.

The competition is special in the gundog world because of the number of different breeds taking part, plus some teams of different colour variations. Each team is made up of dogs of one breed, or colour variation of a breed. This will give everyone an opportunity to watch various styles of work from the different breeds. There are four dogs and four handlers in each team, two Novice dogs and two Open dogs. All these retriever breeds work on shoots, retrieving pheasants, partridges, ducks and rabbits. In a working test like today the dogs will retrieve canvas dummies. The dummies may be thrown for marked retrieves, or hidden for blind retrieves. The best dogs will work quickly using their natural instincts, but also take instructions from their handlers when necessary. The Open dogs will be set longer or harder retrieves than the Novice dogs, which will be tested on more basic work.

The judges will award marks for each retrieve, and a commentary will explain what is happening.

The winning team is awarded the Esmoro Trophy, plus mementoes for the team members. The top Open dog wins a Trophy and the best Novice dog is awarded the Hope Tankard.

The Retriever Breeds.

Labradors: The most popular and numerous of the retriever breeds. They have short coats and there are three teams representing the three possible colours, Black, Yellow or Chocolate. Labradors are noted for their strong hunting, good noses and swimming ability. They are the most numerous and successful in trials and the shooting field.

Golden Retrievers: These are second in numbers to the Labradors. They have longer coats of various shades of gold, light or dark. Working Goldens tend to be darker in colour and fitter in conformation than show type Goldens.

Flatcoated Retrievers: This is a traditional old breed of retriever, but nowadays is less numerous than the Labrador. Like Golden Retrievers, the Flatcoats have long coats and hunt with a higher head carriage to catch the scent. Flatcoats can be black or liver in colour.

Chesapeake Bay Retrievers originated in Eastern USA, where they were used to retrieve ducks and geese from the big estuaries. They are strong and powerful and are brown or sage in colour.

Irish Water Spaniels. These brown dogs have curly coats. In the show ring they are classed as spaniels, but they work as retrievers rather than spaniels.

Curly coated Retrievers. This is an old breed dating from Victorian times, but is less common in the modern shooting field. The breed sports a black or liver coat of tight, crisp curls, which repels water, burrs, or thorns. They are strong muscular dogs.

Phil Wagland, (Hon.Secretary)

PRIZES KINDLY DONATED BY Alpha The food of champions


By | Test Dates | No Comments


The United Retriever Club (North Midland Area) held Working Tests on 19th June 2016 at Haughton Warren, Nottinghamshire by kind permission of Mr T Banks & The Bevercotes Park Shoot. The judges were Charlotte Smith, Malcolm Peacock and Alan Richardson. The prizes were sponsored by Alpha The Food of Champions.

The Puppy and Novice Handler tests ran simultaneously, with four components judged by Charlotte and Malcom. There were 11 puppies and 9 novice handler entries. Some started with a marked retrieve from a pond judged by Malcolm, and others with a mark in long grass assessed by Charlotte. Malcolm next judged the dogs on a blind along a vehicle track through the grass. Charlotte tested the heeling of the dogs, which were then sent back along the path for a retrieve.

The awards were presented by Mrs Jenny Richardson at lunchtime.


  1. Tidaross Byron LR D Chris Johnson
  2. Bearbrace Gloveian LR D Ian Glover
  3. Lanataweood Heligan LR B   Mrs K Bowman
  4. Idonea Southdownway GR D Harvey Richardson

Novice dog/Novice Handler

  1. Millcoe Girl LR B       Miss E Benfield
  2. Lanataweood Heligan LR B   Mrs K Bowman
  3. Idonea Southdownway GR D Harvey Richardson
  4. Long Marsh Anna LR B         Billie-Jo Wagstaff

CoM: Briffoaks Cerberus LR D Philip Robinson

There were 23 entries for the Novice test. This commenced in the morning with two tests judged by Alan Richardson. The first was a long mark in a grass strip alongside a ditch. The second was a blind across a ditch into the corner of a wood near a release pen. All dogs progressed to the afternoon tests. Alan judged a mark into a large pond.

The dogs found this easy. Meanwhile Charlotte and Malcolm judged a walk-up with four dogs in line through long grass with clumps of thistles and other weeds. Each dog went under both judges, with a marked retrieve under Malcolm and a blind judged by Charlotte. Although there were some clean retrieves many dogs struggled and failures gave the chance of eyewipes. To conclude Alan judged a long blind in pasture alongside a wood, where many dogs performed excellently.

Thus there had been many ups and downs for competitors and no run-offs were required to sort the places. The prizes were presented by our Vice-President Elaine Welburn.

Novice. 1.Briffoaks Cerberus    LR D Philip Robinson

  1. Flashmount Cracker LR D Sally Plant
  2. Monwodeliea Cabiri LR D Marlene Dobson
  3. Lowsommer Dark Sika LR D Sharon Eadson

CoMs: Emmanygan Zetas LR B Anne Austin

Kendeci Severn LR D Chris Johnson

Venus in Transit over Casblaidd FCR D Caroline Hewison

The 26 dogs entered for the Novice Test faced tests simulating work on the shoot. In the morning Paul Birkbeck judged a double mark in the rough grass of Pondhole drive. Nearby June Brocklesby judged a mark in long grass, followed by a blind next to a hedgeline. After lunch Geoff Dobb judged in Fishpond Wood. Two shots saluted a blind on a narrow path, and a mark on an adjacent pond. With the blind required first, the memory retrieve on the water proved too tempting for several. Meanwhile June Brocklesby judged a blind in a set-aside strip alongside the wood. A broad belt of cover crop was the setting for a walk-up judged by Paul Birkbeck and Mandy Minshall. Four dogs were in the walk-up, during which each had a forward mark and a back mark. As in the morning accurate marking and a good nose was needed to succeed in rank cover.

Various difficulties had been overcome by the five dogs in the awards, with run-offs required to decide the placings. The awards were announced by Chief Steward Steve Crookes in front of the Alpha banner.

  1. Pebbletoft Pepper GR D Phil Wagland
  2. Mistybrook Maive of Moscargrange GR B S&AM Crookes (H=Anne Crookes
  3. Gortons Roaring Thunder GR D Alan Richardson
  4. Greenbriar Conder at Annsfarm LR B A.Beal (H=George Longden)

CoM: Lowforge Di Canio                   LR D   Audrey Ellis

Photos show Judges and Award winners.

Puppy Test Award winners and Judges : L-R: A Carey, F Newton, A Sweeney, G Dobb (J), T Dobson, S Kitson, J Brocklesby (J), M Minshall (J), M Dobson, P Birkbeck(J).

Novice Test. Judges standing L-R G Dobb, J Brocklesby, M Minshall, P Birkbeck. Award winners kneeling in front: L-R: G Longden, A Crookes, P Wagland, A Richardson, A Ellis.