By Joanne and Kim Barnes
The Ammerdown AV Test (in aid of Dorothy House Hospice) was once again held on the Ammerdown Estate on Sunday 20th March by kind permission of Sam Nickels, Scot Yorke and Dean Tayler of the Ammerdown and Owls Nest Shoot to whom we are most grateful. The Test has returned from a four year absence due to family circumstances and, of course, Covid.
The aim of the Ammerdown Test is to try and provide a low key, less pressured entry into the world of Gundog competitions for the first time competitor and a chance for the genuine novice to hone their skills. Although not a KC registered event, we follow KC guidelines as far as practical.
The low key and friendly atmosphere of the day is due entirely down to the judges. Each judge is a gundog trainer in their own right and renowned for their people skills, friendly manor and expertise in the field of gundog training. We are extremely grateful to the commitment that they all showed for the day.
Our thanks go to the jugdes:
Mr Neil Varney of Twistmount Gundogs
Mr Shane Leigh of Garrowwood Dog Training
Mrs Sandra Blake
We are also extremely grateful to CSJ who were once again very generous in their sponsorship of awards and would very much welcome their support in the future. We thank them.
The run up to the test was more stressful than normal with a large number entrants pulling out the day before the test with covid and personal/dog related injury which meant runners were well down on previous years. We decided to add a puppy test this year. Unfortunately the puppy judge contacted very early on Sunday morning unable to attend due to a family illness which added to the fun. We are extremely grateful to Sandra Blake who did a sterling job of not only running the puppy but managing to run the retrieve for the novice as well.
The day started out in glorious sunshine, lots of nervous chatter amongst the six or so first timers. Which soon disappeared with the calm influence of the judges and support of the more experienced competitor. After a short introduction by Neil Varney of what the judges would be looking for, the day started.
The novice test consisted of a hunt up in fairly open woodland intermixed with a few rushes. The standard of hunting was very high considering the inexperience of some of the handlers. A sit to shot followed by a seen retrieve which all the dogs performed well with the odd dog running in. The hunt up continued another shot fired and a short blind was left out. This proved slightly more challenging for some of the dogs with the more experienced dogs and handlers making up points. This completed the first run. A short break and light lunch gave the entrants the opportunity to consult the judges for advice and recommendations for the second run. The test concluded with a separate retrieve alongside a cover crop which again suits the more experienced dogs who marked well and the less experienced stopping short and entering crop too early and struggling to be pushed back.
The puppy test consisted of two short hunt ups in tufty grass and sparse cover crop and concluded with a much simplified version of the retrieve. With such a wide variation of ages ranging from 7months up to 17.5 months, Sandra did an amazing job of setting and marking the test.
We retreated back to the Jolliffe Arms in Kilmersdon for the prize giving. With the excited chatter and smiling faces it looked like a good day was had by all.
1st. ESP Dog Digby — Ruby Walter
2nd. ESP Bitch Countryways Krystal—Oliver Ellis
3rd. ESP Bitch Artos—Bethany Kington
4th. Not presented
COM. ESP Bitch Craiwarn Sarafina—Steve Viviash
COM. CS Dog Wea Wea— Karen Fleet
1st. ESP Bitch Alispen DIamond Nalya— David Drew
2nd. CS Bitch Zywarix July Belle—Jess Ward
3rd. CS Dog Mooncourt Black Jack—Kim Barnes
4th. CS Dog Mooncourt Herbie—Tawana Butt
We would like to thank –
All the helpers on the day Emma Wollacott, Howard Feltham ,Stephanie Milne, Christine Wilkins, Justin and especially Emilia no 1 Dummy thrower, it’s always nice to see the younger generation involved with the dogs.
CSJ Specialist Canine Feeds
Lewis Thomas Hairdressing
Lindsey from Crafty Brown Bear Designs and Embroidery for the donation of two stunning hand made and embroidered blankets
Tracey Corbin for all your help and advice
Jolliffe Arms, Kilmersdon
And a special mention to little Albie who carried out the best retrieve it has been my privilege to witness. With the help of you all we managed to raise £380 for Dorothy House.
Many many thanks, Joanne and Kim