November News from Mark Laker

November News from Mark Laker

‘Calling up the dogs and handlers for Agility Team GB Squad 2017!’


Posting by Mark Laker

It’s that time of year again when I call up dogs and handlers for next years Agility Team GB Squad. The 50 top performing agility dogs of 2016 will be part of this years squad who will train and prepare over the winter ready for team selection in May 2017.

Over the last four years I have been slowly evolving the squad selection and preparation process. Each year I learn what has worked well and what needs improving. The plan is that we give handlers all the tools and techniques required for international competition so they are ready to perform at their best for the Performance Weekend in April.

I’m introducing a few changes this year which are designed to provide more motivation for the handlers to really engage with the squad process and ‘run to win’ on squad days. The basic structure behind having a squad is sound and we have certainly identified some of the top dogs & handlers in the country. However, we learn a bit more about what works and what needs tweaking each year, this needs to be incorporated into future squad days

Not forgetting the Juniors who will also be starting their selection process in December. These young handlers will have two try-out days before we select the team who will represent Agility Team GB at the European Open for Juniors in Luxembourg next July.

So, it’s an exciting time of the year and the start of next years performance programmes.

Moray Firth Spaniel Trials 2016

Posting by Lorna Gray

The Moray Firth Spaniel & Retriever Club held their Spaniel Trials towards the end of October and are pleased to announce the results.

Our Open ESS Trial was once again held at Altyre Estate by the kind permission of Sir Alastair Gordon-Cumming and head keeper Peter Cairney. As in previous years we had a great day supported by a fantastic team of helpers and guns. The trial was not an easy one with game in plentiful supply but proving difficult to catch up with and the eventual winner worked hard to earn the win. Judges that day were Richard Claydon and Steve Charlton.




1st Duke of Buccleuch’s Cowarnecourt Jonquil of Buccleuch handled by David Lisett 2nd Eddie Scott’s FTCh Broomfield Annie 3rd Richard Wells Pitrahh Dirty Angie 4th Ben Watkins FTCh Simonside Doris of Laysan


  • Spence Waddell’s Gartshore Ardara
  • Julie Thatcher’s Shalloakwest Shadey
  • Steven Blackwell’s Luthmhor Draco
  • William Johnstone’s Buccleuch Katy

The Novice AV Spaniel Trial took place the following day at Glenferness Estate by the kind permission of Lady Balgonie and keeper Terry Bain. Game was in good supply and the day went smoothly, finishing in good time and with everyone in good humour.

Thanks go to our judges, Richard Claydon and Steve Charlton who were both judging for the second consecutive day and Jim Adamson and Stuart Dunn. I am thankful to them for agreeing to judge for us and to our sponsors CSJ Specialist canine feeds, Tain Pottery and D & FM Sporting for their generous and continued support.


1st & Guns Choice: Eddie Scott – Broomfield Hope 2nd Richard Wells – Marketgate Dixie 3rd: Eddie Scott – Broomfield Anna 4th: Jim Clark – Shalloakwest Peroni of Surefly

Thanks again for your sponsorship of our club and trials, the Salmon Oil always goes down well, it certainly keeps the coats on the spaniels looking good. We had a good couple of days and I had loads of help which makes the day much easier. By the time its all over I seem to have forgotten how much work it was to get everything organised and that’s thanks to our committee, great members and those who just want to give their time to help out and see some good dogwork.