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Test Dates


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The Open Cold Game Test at Edwinstowe, Nottinghamshire was held on 11th September 2016 by kind permission of Mr Robert Bealby. The judges were Mr Arthur Hewer and Ms Julia Sykes. The weather was sunny and dry. But the sugar beet was wet from rain the previous day. It was also tall and dense, quite difficult to walk through and work the dogs. In the morning the beet was walked up in line, with retrieves orchestrated by the signals of Chief Steward Phil Smithies. Guns saluted pigeons thrown at a distance for forward marks in the first round. In the second round dogs were sent down the line for blinds close to the far end of the line. After three retrieves in the morning walk-up, 10 dogs were called in for a two more blind retrieves in an area of tall, leafy beet. One of these blinds proved fairly straight forward, but he other involved the dog going over a brow and picking out of sight of the handler. One judge watched the dog work from a forward position and assessed its game finding ability. After the concluding refreshments the trophies, awards and prizes of Alpha dog food were presented to the four successful handlers, three of whom had two dogs each in the awards.

1st: Paul Birkbeck’s LR D Warrenbank Fen, 2nd: Julie Campbell’s LR D Lowsommer Delta.3rd: Charlotte Smith’s LR D Derrity Thor, 4th: Peter Orwin’s LR D Rudby Rusty, CoMs: Paul Birkbeck’s LR D Stephens Brother at Warrenbank, Charlotte Smith’s LR B Derrity Rose, Peter Orwin’s LR D Norbeck Tosh.

Photo shows Judges and Award winners L-R : Phil Smithies, Charlotte Smith, Arthur Hewer, Paul Birkbeck, Julia Sykes, Julie Campbell, Peter Orwin.



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The United Retriever Club (North Midland Area) held a Cold Game Test on 7th August at Strines Moor, Yorkshire by kind permission of Mr & Mrs Hunt. The judges were Steve Crookes, Anne Crookes and Paul Birkbeck. The tests were based on natural shooting situations with retrieves on pigeons. The weather cloudy and cool initially with a strong breeze, warming up later in the day.

There were 5 Veterans running and 26 in the Intermediate/Novice section, with three breeds of Retriever competing.

In the morning Steve judged a long marked retrieve across sheep pasture, the bird falling well beyond a low wall which deceived some handlers and their dogs. Meanwhile Anne and Steve judged a walk-up across moorland, with swathes of tall rushes providing heavy cover. There were four dogs in line, changing sides to go under both judges. A mark in front was visible in the air before falling in the clumps of rushes. It was all too easy for dogs to overshoot the mark and get lost in the cover. A blind down the line was much shorter but still caused problems for some dogs. The afternoon tests were sited on different ground, adjacent to a grouse moor. Anne judged a long blind on a windswept moor, the bird representing a grouse dropped in a heathery gully to the rear of one of the butts. Paul judged a retrieve glimpsed by the handler and dropping over a brow into a deep valley. Although unseen by the dogs the shot drew them onto the line and most found very quickly. Meanwhile Judged next to a long pond, where a raft of duck decoys posed a diversion. However the shot saluted a blind in the heather and gorse alongside the path and the retrieve did not involve entering the water.

The awards were presented by Vice=President Elaine Welburn, with prizes of Alpha dog food greatly appreciated by the competitors, with three breeds sharing the honours.

Veteran. 1st Amana Minshall’s LRD Burlinton Bert of Belvedere (10 y o)
2nd Andrew Baker’s LRD Swaine Dentanum of Saffronlyn (9)
3rd Ray Reed’ LRD Saxaphone Rooney (9)
4th Billie-Jo Wagstaff with LRD Swaine Spire (9).
Intermediate/Novice :
1st Penny Marriner’s LRB Cherry B Lady
2nd and Best Novice Tankard : Daryl Boldy’s LRB Swiftbrook Alula of Garrenwell
3rd Phil Wagland’s GRD Pebbletoft Pepper
4th Caroline Hewison with FCRD Venus in Transit over Casblaidd
CoM : Anna Wagland with GRB Funnyline Fieldquest Kelbook
CoM Carol Probert with LRB Turpingreen Acunia of Corsemalzie

Photos show Judges and Award winners.

top team


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The Inter-Breed Team competition for the Esmoro Trophy took place at a new venue in 2016. The test was held as part of the Green Hammerton Country Fayre, an event raising funds for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance and other local charities, The weather on 10th July was cloudy, with a hint of showers and a breeze making it pleasant for the working dogs. Organized by the United Retriever Club, eight teams took part, with 2 Novice dogs and 2 Open dogs in each team. Black, Yellow and Chocolate Labradors competed against the Golden Retrievers, Flatcoats and the lesser known breeds of Irish Water spaniels, Curly-coated Retrievers and Chesapeakes. These minor breeds were commended for getting their team members from far afield.
The Judges were Janet Allsop and Cherry Wood, with Phil Wagland as Chief Steward and Anne Crookes as commentator. The event was sponsored by “Alpha – The Food of Champions”. Each team came into the arena as a foursome, to tackle a variety retrieves on ground which was a mown grass field, with heaps of brashings, a jump over straw bales and a row of horse jumps. The dogs were well tested on a variety of marked and blind retrieves, with a team picking up test as the finale.
The awards were presented by Mr John Lightowler.

1st Yellow Labradors 293
2nd Golden Retrievers 286
3rd Black Labradors 277
4th Flatcoated Retrievers 267
5th Chocolate Labradors 253
6th Curly-coated Retrievers 241
7th Irish Water Spaniels 204
8th Chesapeake Bay Retrievers 171

Winning Team of Yellow Labradors
Daryl Boldy : Garronwell Capri (top Novice dog)
Paul Stogden : Churnsway Zeus (Top Open dog)
Geoff Dobb : Woodcockhill Steinbok
Margaret Pearce : Millsey Griff of Esmoro

Photo enclosed: The first three teams with trophies, rosettes and prizes of Alpha dog food.
Phil Wagland, Hon Sec. URC N.Midland Area.


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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.


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The United Retriever Club (North Midland Area) held an Open Working Test for Any Variety Retriever on Sunday 8th May 2016 at Welbeck, Nottinghamshire by kind permission of Mr W Parente and the Estate. Our guests included Margaret Rowson, the dog handler on the estate, and URC Chair Iris Wright.26 dogs were entered. Prizes were generously sponsored by Alpha – the food of Champions.

The weather was very warm and sunny as it seemed summer had truly arrived.

The three lady judges were Sue Lowe, Julie Campbell, and Elaine Whittaker. The ground included rolling pasture, woodland and two large lakes. The retrieves were planned to reflect working dogs on the shoots on the estate.

In the morning good use of made of the water. Julie judged two retrieves on the woodland fringed lower lake, one near the shore to the right and the other a long swim diagonally to the far left. Meanwhile Elaine judge a mark and a blind, sending from a dry valley uphill and over a post and rail fence into light woodland. A mature oak woodland, floored with bluebells was the setting for a pick-up assessed by Sue Lowe. All three tests proved discriminating with a wide range of scores and a sprinkling of failures. After lakeside lunch picnics just 12 dogs were called in for three more tests. Sue Lowe judged a walk-up in the grassland with a forward mark and a back blind for each dog. Under Julie the dogs were sent for a long mark across a recently drilled arable field. At the upper lake Elaine sent the dogs for a long mark, involvi8ng an outrun along the bank and an entry to the water at a distance. The scors were close and some dogs in the run-off faced a further long swim for a blind across the broad waters of the upper lake.

To celebrate the North Midland Area’s Golden Jubilee a decorated cake was displayed at the concluding tea, and special Rosettes were presented with the awards, trophies and Alpha dog food.

1st Frank Wright’s LR B Levenghyl Dancing Teasel (BCC area)
2nd S&AM Crookes’ GR B Millgreen Opal of Moscargrange (H=Steve Crookes)
3rd Russell Hodgen’s LR B F.T.Ch.Partridge Flush of Russjancoe
4th Janette Sayer’s LR D Laurinco Red Flame of Hollowgate (Lincs)
Certificates of Merit: John Cardno’s LR B Busskets Lawn Astrid
Nessa Thompson’s GR D Arkholme Skylark of Haventrent (Also Water Cup)

Test Dates 2016

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Area Secretary: Mr P.J.Wagland, Pebbletoft, 33 Almond Grove, Worksop, Notts S80 1AU Tel 01909-476024 Mobile 07929608310
email philwagland@pebbletoft.fsnet.co.uk

TEST DATES 2016 Meet 9.30 for 10am start.

May 8 Open Test Welbeck, Notts

June 19 Puppy, Novice & Novice Handler Tests
Haughton Warren, near Walesby, Notts

August 7 Intermediate, Veteran & Novice Cold Game Tests,
Strines Moor, South Yorkshire

Sep 11 Open Cold Game Test Edwinstowe, Notts

Sep 18 Training Class Test Manor Farm, Carburton, Notts