By Alan Rees, Team Captain
What a venue, the picturesque Scone Palace , the racecourse and the river Tay. The Four Nations had congregated, accepting the invitation to this inaugural event. The format of the competition had each country running 3 retrievers and 3 spaniels and started with introductions after a lone piper’s welcome.
England and Ireland fielded their Game Fair teams while Scotland and Wales were experimenting with a development team, with a number of new faces and new dogs, giving handlers and dogs an opportunity to run at this full international event.
The course for both spaniels and retrievers was long and challenging, over tall jumps, thick cover and with a very challenging water retrieve. The spaniels were marked out of 120 and retrievers out of 100. Wales found the going tough; Jamie Bettinson with 78%, Alan Rees on 72% and Vikki Stanley 68% for the retrievers and Dave Williams with 78%, Dean Melhuish with 68% and Steve Erasmus on 48% for the spaniels were locked in a 3rd and 4th place battle with Scotland, whilst England and Ireland locked horns in a battle for 1st and 2nd.
The competition ended with England in 1st, Ireland 2nd, Scotland 3rd and Wales in 4th place. Compliments go to our Scottish hosts who made us all feel very welcomed and left no stone unturned with regards to the organisation. We look forward to the event’s development.
A very big thank you to Ceri, Phil and all the staff at CSJ who accompanied the team on this trip. Thank you for your support, especially the sponsorship, which allows the Wales team to compete at these prestigious events.