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The United Retriever Club (North Midland Area) held an Open Working Test for Any Variety Retriever on Sunday 7th May 2017 at Cubley, Derbyshire by kind permission of The Hon. David Legh. 32 dogs were entered and prizes were generously sponsored by Alpha – the food of Champions.

The weather was warm and sunny, pleasant for dog work and also lunchtime picnics. The judges were Derek Capel and Guy Radford. With Steve Crookes as chief Steward. The morning tests involved a walk-up through a young plantation of trees. The two judges had four dogs in line, for three retrieves each. These were a forward mark, a diagonal mark and a tricky diagonal blind behind the line. After lunch there were two double retrieves. Guy judged near a small pond, with the dogs sent first for a blind, followed by a memory mark across the pond. On rolling pasture Derek judged a double mark, the dog picking one in the middle distance first, then sent back over a brow and out of sight for the more distant one. During the day most all the tests had produced their share of failures, so the number of clean dogs was fewer than usual.
Mr & Mrs Legh and Headkeeper Kim Robinson had watched the afternoon proceedings and were there for the presentations.

1st Garry Ellison with FCR B Ollersett Sparkling Nymph
2nd Charlotte Jeffrey’s LR B Derrity Rose
3rd Jane Fairclough’s LR B Stauntonvale Sangiovese at Jobeshill (Midland Area)
4th Susan Corden’s LR B Dalesprings Black Orchid
Water Cup : Paul Birkbeck’s LR D Warrenbank Fen

Report by Phil Wagland (Hon.Sec)

Photo of Prize winners attached L-R P Birkbeck, G Radford, J Fairclough, D Capel, G Ellison, C Jeffrey, S Corden.


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North Midland Area
18th September 2016

The Training Class Test brought the season of training on dummies to a close, ready for dogs and handlers to move on to picking game in the shooting field. Mr Robert Bower again invited us to Manor Farm, Carburton, Notts where we had varied ground for judges David Bellamy and Anna Wagland to test the dogs. As is usual this test is unclassified and divided into three separate classes. The day was sunny and pleasant, and the undulating ground included pasture, a block of maize, and mixed woodland dissected by rides. Three different breeds took part in a friendly atmosphere, with the tests designed to reflect the different stages of training for the three classes.
The awards and prizes of Alpha dog food were presented by our host Robert Bower and the awards were as follows:

1st. Mandy Minshall’s Lab d “Connor”

1st. Nessa Thompson@s Lab d “Pepsi”
2nd. Paul Williams’ GR d “Macy”
3rd. Caroline Hewison’s FCR d “Reef”
4th. Marlene Dobson’s Lab d “Spice”
CoM. Cherry Wood’s FCR d “Raven”
1st. Christina Robinson’s Lab d “Eddy”
2nd. Phil Robinson’s Lab d “Quin”
3rd. Terry Dobson’s Lab d “Brigadier”
4th. Nessa Thompson’s GR d “Willow”
CoMs: Polly Morten’s Lab d “George”
Mandy Minshall’s Lab d “Flynn”


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price line up18th September 2016. 14 dog Novice stake for AV Retriever at Broughton, North Lincolnshire by arrangement with Mr Gordon Holt and NGRA team of guns. Judges: Mr David Probert, Mr Philip Smithies, Mr Steven Burns & Miss Sharon Kitson. Sponsors Alpha Foods.

1st and Guns Choice Dave Sidwell Oakshot Aragon
2nd Sandra Halstead Drakeshead Alfie
3rd Philippa Williams Castlemans Sonoran
COM Kristian Bredahl Olesen Blackthorn Quango
Best Golden Retriever Alan Richardson Gortons Roaring Thunder

The first NGRA field trial of the season was held at Broughton, North Lincolnshire. The weather was dull with drizzle. Most of the trial involved a walk-up through a large field of sugar beet with a fairly steady supply of red-legged partridges. There were 11 Labradors, two Golden Retrievers and one Flatcoated Retriever running. Our seven guns shot accurately and walking the beet produced marked retrieves. One dog ran in, one failed on a runner, and two were eyewiped. With one further failure nine dogs progressed to the third round.

However a long retrieve to the far field boundary saw four dogs eyewiped by the judges. With the remaining five in close contention during the third round, the judges asked for a sixth retrieve. A drive at a maize plot proved barren, so after a lunch break we walked up a swathe of thistly rough ground towards a duck pond. After good work and an earlier eyewipe Alan Richardson’s Golden unfortunately failed to find, yielding an eyewipe for the eventual winner. The four Labradors sharing the awards included one from Denmark. The prizes were sponsored by Alpha Feeds.

Phil Wagland (FT Secretary)

Photo shows Judges and Award winners