After a few years since we have been racing at Ford estate, it was an exciting run for two 6 dog teams working around the fast winding, technical and exciting trail. The dogs were amazing, reacting to every command at such speed. To come across the finish line with the biggest smile knowing the teams give everything. The results come second to a perfect run but a gold and silver makes us so proud of our dogs.
A massive thank you to CSJ for all their support. Our dogs are fuelled by CSJ CP30 & CSJ salmon oil.
We are looking to select a Team of Spaniels, Retrievers, and their handlers, capable of running at International Level.
If you have an interest in representing Wales at The Game Fairat Ragley Hall on the 30th and 31st July 2022, and/or Scone Palace, Perth on the 2nd July 2022, please note the following:
If you have a Spaniel or Retrieverthat meets the following criteria – You and your dog has won a Novice Working Test, won or gained an award at an Open Working Tests, or gained an award or won a Field Trial.
If you want to enter your dog for Selection, please complete a Kennel Club approved entry form in full. Please return your completed entry form, electronically or by post no later than 15th April 2022.
SUCO sled dogs won two silver medals at the BSSF British championships held at Ford estate Northumberland on 26-27th March 2022.
On a technical but very enjoyable course, for both dogs and athletes, we ran 2 teams. Gonzo was in the masters bikejor and was lying in silver medal position after run 1, 3 tenths of a second down. Even though he ran 9 seconds quicker on day 2, we stayed in a very credible silver medal position. Dexter was running in the 1 dog scooter and, after a scare with a blowout puncture walking to the start and a quick borrow of a scooter, he ran really well to take second after day one. He ran a quicker time on day 2 to hold onto the silver medal position.
Gonzo on the bike on his 5th Birthday and Dexter on the scooter they ran really well on both days. Huge thanks to CSJ for your amazing continued support. We are so proud of the dogs fuelled by CSJPERF30, thanks to all the team.
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.
Novice 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
Puppy 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 BASC Mooncourt Gundogs KRB Services 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.
This exciting event will take place at George Bonsall’s farm in Slindon on Saturday 19th March 2022, where the top 40 nursery dogs will compete for the Championship, sponsored by CSJ.
Each national team is made up of 10 dogs and their handlers. These dogs will compete over a large testing course.
Carol Mellin will be there to film and livestream the runs
Carol Mellin has set up a private Facebook group for the 4 Nations Nursery Final livestream. There is a nominal charge of £5 to Join the Group. PM Carol Mellin before the day of the trial: https://www.facebook.com/carol.mellin.501
Look out for the winning team members and the overall 4Nations Champion wearing CSJ kit embroidered with the CSJ logo in Ukrainian colours. Good luck everyone!
Last month I wrote about why reading is important to me and how I set a goal that developed my reading habit.
I haven’t always been an avid reader
It was my interest in sports psychology that increased my reading. For some people reading is relaxation, for others it’s therapeutic, and for others, reading is seen as a time-consuming activity that’s hard to fit into busy lives. For me, reading is educational. I enjoy learning, exploring and researching. We need a good reason to read, and a willingness to commit the time.
We’re lucky to have access to books through ebooks, Audiobooks, online resources and of course good old print. I use all types…but still prefer paper.
There are some fantastic apps for people who are short of time to read
My favourite is Blinkist (other similar apps are available). This app enables you to read a book in 15 minutes…well you get an extremely good overview of the book, the highlights, learning points etc. in short ‘blinks’. I aim to read a Blinkist book a day. Because it’s an app, you can easily save them for future reference.
So rather than setting yourself a huge goal of reading a lot of books in a year, aim to read for 15 minutes a day.
It’s the time of year for being indoors and reflecting of this year and planning for the next.
There is so much to think about that I thought I would look up a couple of Christmas quotes to concentrate this message:
‘Christmas is a time of year for remembrance. We take stock of where we came from and have a moment to think about where we are going, as we pursue the future with hope.’
This echoes my sentiment yet is written more eloquently. When coaching, we encourage people to find the best word(s) to help their minds and heart combine to drive their motivation.
Remembrance – think about things that have happened to forge a strong memory
Take stock – gathering information/details about the achievements made or the activities that didn’t quite go to plan.
Have a moment to think – although it’s important to understand the past, to avoid similar mistakes in the future, it isn’t a good idea to dwell either.
Pursue the future with hope – I like this phrase as pursue sounds like you need to engage in an activity rather than thinking it will just come to you.
“Hope is an optimistic state of mind that is based on an expectation of positive outcomes with respect to events and circumstances in one’s life or the world at large” (source Wikipedia)
At its best, Christmas is a mirror in which we see reflected the very best life can be. Where we see ourselves moved by generosity, inspired by hope and uplifted by love, not only for ourselves but for the whole evolving universe.”
What more can be said?
In a good goal setting program there is often an element of being grateful for what you have, the people who have helped you and of ‘paying it forward’ which gives others hope to enable everyone to reach for their goals.
Christmas gift suggestions: To your enemy, forgiveness. To an opponent, tolerance. To a friend, your heart. To a customer, service. To all, charity. To every child, a good example. To yourself, respect.
Is it just at Christmas that you should consider these gifts?
It seems the first and last of these are the real hard hitters. A great many people allow themselves to underachieve because they lack confidence. Often, people can waste emotion and energy wondering what others might think of them. Then like some reactive dogs they chose to strike out first with destructive comments. It can become a downward spiral and never has a positive outcome. Far better to believe everyone has the gifts above and embrace the giving of them personally to have a clear conscious and peace of mind.
Christmas is a time when everybody wants his past forgotten and his present remembered.
We hope Christmas brings you what you want this year and good luck in 2022.
First trial of the season at Upton Pyne and wow what a trial, plenty of game and the ground was perfect for spaniels, all thanks to Paul Bowyer the keeper for all his hard work getting it ready for our trials.
Thank you to the judges: Nick Davies and David Gregory
I’d planned to continue writing about goal setting and ideas for conducting annual reviews this month. That was until I watched One Man and his Dog on Countryfile recently. I felt moved to write about the incredible people and their dogs at this year’s finals.
Watching dogs work sheep has always fascinated me
I appreciate the hundreds of hours of training and dedication that must go into working a dog at the top level of the sport.
Karen and I went on a trialing taster day many years ago, we enjoyed it. The dogs we had at the time were hilarious. Millie couldn’t see the sheep, she was totally fixated on us, and Deacon my Border Collie, was apparently a natural, not on sheep though, maybe cows, or Buffalo! he was far too strong for sheep – I think the trainer was being polite and meant unruly!
This year’s young handlers put on an amazing show of professionalism and dedication while competing at this high level. Even when things didn’t go to plan, they continued to focus on the objective and worked with their dogs – I was impressed.
And then there was the judge, our very own Ceri
Karen and I were shouting at the TV “Hey, we know Ceri, she’s famous, we know her!”.
For me, this competition demonstrated top human and dog performers working in unknown and testing conditions – including a motley bunch of sheep, and under the pressure of TV and fellow competitors.
After the immediate ‘wow’ I got from watching these dogs and handlers, my brain flicked into sports psychology mode. I started wondering how the competitors prepare for these events, how do they warm-up (all that whistling must play havoc with your lips), do they visualise the outrun, the drive, how they’re going to pen the sheep. And how do they maintain focus when the performers (sheep and dogs) are working so far away. These questions and many others went over in my mind.
Congratulations to this year’s finalists who were all fantastic and a credit to the sport.