By Alan Rees
The Four Nations Challenge Gundog International
This year’s event saw the welcomed return of the Four Nations Challenge competition. Three Spaniels and three Retrievers made up the International teams from Scotland, England, Ireland and Wales. From the outset the warm, dry, still weather conditions was going to cause scenting problems, despite the fact that the event was being held some three months later than usual, it still felt like it was being staged in mid July.
The Welsh running order of Aled Jones with Brynambor Blaze of Barcudwen , Rhys Carpenter with Lynchside Shikra and Nathan Quinn with Whitebeam Warbler made up the Spaniel team, Aled having to substitute Barcudwen Molly for his young dog. The Retriever team was Alan Rees with Fendawood Ecclestone at Delfryd, Andrew Fisher with Kaliture Rooster and Nigel Probert with F.T.Ch. Stauntonvale Buckwheat of Llangynidr.
This year’s event proved to be one of the closest fought international competitions at Scone Palace, Scotland and Ireland battling it out for the top two places respectively with England and Wales in a close battle for third and fourth. Three dogs returned a top score of 114, Drew Allen, Scottish Retriever and Spaniels, Ireland’s Raymond Wilson and Wales’ Rhys Carpenter .
The International competition turned out to be a bit of a mixed bag with Scotland registering a win after their fourth place at the Game Fair, England in third place after their previous win at the Game Fair and Wales and Ireland reversing their positions.
Despite the disappointing result at Scone Palace, the Team has shown its resilience, consistency and development, each team member personally supporting each other. This can only bode well for future competition.
It was fantastic to have Ceri and Phil, of CSJ K9, at the event with us supporting the Welsh team. A huge thank you to you both for your generosity and continued support.
May I take this opportunity to wish everyone a successful up and coming trialing season.
Diolch yn Fawr
Wales Team Captain