RAGLEY HALL, CLA GAME FAIR 2013- GUNDOG INTERNATIONAL.

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ALAN REES – WALES GUNDOG TEAM CAPTAIN’S COMMENTS & THOUGHTS

Well just having returned from the CLA Game Fair International Gundog Working Test, I have to admit it was an exciting competition, with the best spaniels and retrievers in the British Isles competing for individual and team competitions. There is only one stage for the ultimate professional and their quality gundog to compete and perform, it is this competition and now in its 36th year.

As Captain of Wales, I have to say things didn’t start well, on the previous Wednesday Aled Jones’ Meg the Machine withdrew as she was in season, this bitch having won the Spaniel Championship in 2011, this was a big loss. If that wasn’t enough the night we traveled, Mark Bettinson had to withdraw Astraglen Milo from the retriever team – the dog had been bitten and was at the vet.

In came Dickie Jones to the Spaniel team and Kevin Downs at short notice to the Retriever team, then eventually things settled down and we had a full team of ten dogs to compete. The Game Fair organisers had worked so hard to set up this course and I was so pleased to see all their work come to fruition – a personal thank you to them all.

As a team I was pleased to see progress from a mix of youth and experience in the team – the spaniel team in third place and the retriever team in third place as well –

SPANIELS                                                               RETRIEVERS

Ireland ——-526                                                      England —— 556

Scotland —–507                                                      Ireland ——- 537

Wales ——–494                                                      Wales ——– 495

England ——480                                                      Scotland —– 493

Our overall position was 4th  —– 11 points behind Scotland in 3rd, 49 points behind England in 2nd, but 74 points behind the winning score of Ireland.

I was delighted to see retriever and spaniel scores over 100 out of a possible 120 from 5 of our dogs. Three retrievers on 102,105 and 115, then two of our spaniels on 103 and 111, well done lads. Other members of the team put up very good scores under pressure, the heat and conditions on Saturday was very different to those on Sunday, but well done one and all – no Welsh dog failed any of the tests.

Highlight of the weekend for the team was to witness Andy Fisher running last for the retrievers on Sunday afternoon. Andy and his Golden Retriever TRIGGER set the crowd alight chasing John Halstead’s 118 out of 120. The dog and handler gave a fantastic account of themselves ending up in a run off for 3rd place with 115. Andy took 3rd place convincingly at the run off in the individual competition. Aled Jones, with his young spaniel also had a fantastic run, just missing out on an individual 3rd place by 1 point.

Well again we were very well supported and I thank all the well wishers, clubs, societies and individuals at the event and the help received leading up to the event. We appreciate your support.

Leading onto our very special thank you – this thank you is for CSJ dog food for the continued support and sponsorship of this team. In economic times such as these it would be impossible for us as the Welsh Team to run at this most prestigious and highest profiled International Gundog event.

DIOLCH I CERI, PHIL AR CWMNI

THANK YOU CERI, PHIL AND THE REST OF YOUR STAFF.

Alan Rees – Wales Team Captain.

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