Chatsworth September 2007

NORTH WEST LABRADOR RETRIEVER CLUB

Working Test Secretaries

Mr Ian
& Mrs Judith White

MINSTEAD

Bontuchel,

Ruthin , LL15 2DD

Tel.01824 707893

National Team Gundog Working Test


CHATSWORTH 
1st and 2ndSeptember 2007

This event has now been running for a number
of years and has gradually grown in stature and is now classed as one of the events to be in. Although it takes
place right at the start of the trialling season and it uses dummies, many
people see it as their last chance to see how their dog is going before they
use it in a trial. The ground that is used is kept especially to run the event
on every year. It’s in two halves separated by the river that runs through the
middle of Chatsworth. One side is completely natural being bracken and briers
with fences running from the river at 90 degrees making

it
into sections that have rides cut through it. On the other bank there is a
fenced off area of flat grass

in front of a big elevated stand for
spectators. This has Christmas tree tops that are stacked in

areas
to form cover for the retrieves.

This year there were 13 teams competing from
all over the country. The selection is done using a very complicated system
which I won’t even try to explain. The weather forecast for the weekend

looked
good and was until the last hour on Sunday when the heavens really opened. The
judges

this year were the retiring Organiser of the event, Joan
Hayes and Graham Cox ably assisted by the

new organiser of the event
Derrick Capel and his band of helpers.

The event started with all the teams
completing a walked up session in the bracken and brash each member of the team
having 3 retrieves. This took all day for all the teams to complete and at the
end

of a difficult day the Utility Gundog team were in 1st
place. Vic Barlow being in 1st place in the

individual
part of the competition with a maximum score.

The NWLRC team unfortunately didn’t have a
good day with a couple of its members having zeros as the dogs just finding it
a bit too much. On the Sunday all the teams were taken across the river and
were sent from in front of the spectators grandstand across the water into the
area of brash that had been used the day before.

Many of the teams
that had done well the day before were struggling and visa versa quite a few

having
zeros. There was a misunderstanding with the first team to go, Arun &
Downland and after two of their members had scored zeros, there was a steward’s
enquiry and they were going to be allowed to run again later in the day.
Apparently the Judge, Graham Cox, had given two bits of wrong information about
the positioning of the blinds on the far bank.

NWLRC faired better on the
second
day and moved from last place on Saturday to 7th on Sunday.
Unfortunately, they only take the top 5 teams through to a run off. Vic Barlow
continued his superb form in the individual part of the

competition
with yet another maximum score. This coupled with yesterday meant he could not
be beaten for the top individual. As the top 5 teams battled it out for the top
place the rain started, this rather dampened the enthusiastic crowd that had
been watching but after the 2 days there was a dead heat between Lanes &
Mersey and East Midlands Gundog Society.

The team captains were called to nominate their competitor for a run off. Lanes. & Mersey inevitably chose Vic Barlow who was a member of their team and Steve
Richardson from East Midlands. They were bothgiven a very

long mark which ended up going over quite a
big mound, which meant you couldn’t see your dog to

handle it. The dog had to work it out for itself. With the
judges watching from the top of the hill it was

decided that Steve Richardson’s dog had done a slightly better job of the
retrieve.

So the winning team for 2007 was East Midlands Gundog Society.