Blog posting by Alan Rees
Cawdor Estate, Nairn, Scotland- 13th & 14th May 2017.
This year’s World Cup event for Retrievers witnessed 15 countries, each with a team of 4 Retrievers, congregating at Drynachan Lodge, on the well known Scottish Sporting estate, by kind invitation of Lord & Lady Cawdor.
We were all welcomed with the sound of a lone piper on a glorious Saturday morning and the excitement was palpable amongst all that attended. As one of the five judges invited, it was clear to me from the outset that Roddy Forbes and his son Fraser, with an army of helpers, had designed a series of challenging tests, five double retrieves on the first day followed by five further single tests on the second. This would raise the bar for this competition to another level in its fourteen year history, with retrieves on all types of terrain with dogs being required to retrieve from across the Findorn river.
Wales had to make two late changes to the selected team due to Mark and Jamie Bettinson’s withdrawal and in came Vikki Stanley, running two dogs, joining Haydn Willmott and Nigel Probert. At the end of the first day Denmark lead comfortably from second placed England by a clear 35 points. Behind England in third were Holland a further 13 points adrift. Wales, who had their problems, were lying in fifth place 90 points off the leaders, but with everything to play for on a second day in the grounds of the picturesque Cawdor Castle.
At close of play on the second day Denmark were worthy winners with 1028 points out of a possible 1200, England narrowly missing out by 8 points in second place with 1020, with Holland holding onto third place, just ahead of host nation Scotland.
Wales finished in fifth place on 935 points, with the four dogs and handlers returning scores of 243 for Vikki’s first dog, 238 for Nigel, 259 for Haydn and 195 for Vikki’s second dog. This was a creditable performance from the four Welsh dogs over a very challenging course.
I felt very humbled and honoured to have been invited to judge this event due to my close affinity to Roddy and his family and the Cawdor Estate. It was a magnificent two days and the atmosphere was electric with a good crowd of spectators in attendance.
Again, I would like to personally thank Ceri, Phil and All at CSJ for their continued support of the team and for their generous sponsorship.
Diolch o galon.
As we now turn our attention to the Home Internationals, the Four Nations international challenge at Scone Palace, Perth and the Game Fair Four Nations International at Hadfield House, watch this site for further information on team selections.