Tina Smith has kindly sent the results of the The Welsh Springer Spaniel Club’s Autumn Assessment Test (open to all minority Spaniel Breeds) held on November 9th at Brookwood, Surrey, by kind permission of Mr R Reeder. The judges were Chris and Carol Page of Clumber Spaniel fame.
Judges’ comments: We should like to thank the Welsh Springer Spaniel Club for inviting us to judge this Assessment Test and also the people that entered, making it a very enjoyable day. A big thanks to Derek Dean for organising the event and to Mr & Mrs Reeder for making such wonderful ground available.
We hope that our comments will be viewed as constructive observations and not as criticism, as the object of an Assessment Test is to note where progress can be made with the dogs.
Chris & Carol Page
Puppy (6 runners):
It was a joy to judge the puppies. The competition was very close with regard to the ability of the dogs, all had the “get up and go” that so many dogs lose when they get older. Most “hunted” rather than performing a pretty pattern. Some showed better retrieving skills, but with patience all achieved the retrieve that they were asked to get. The basic obedience was of a very high standard. One note of caution however please, please, please, don’t train your dogs to be obedient at the expense of natural ability to hunt, natural hunting is not necessarily precision drill work. Also the tendency to over handle was evident, remember “have confidence and trust in your dog and the dog will have confidence and trust in you”. All these puppies should go on to do well if this showing is anything to go by.
- Coedmawr Fleur – Mike Brain (WSS)
- Barhi Hidden Dragon – Mrs Finuala Barnes (WSS)
- Mishules Tora Ziyal – Shula Shipton (Field)
- Coedmawr Rhosyn at Isfryn – Tina Smith (WSS)
Novice (10 runners):
Judges’ comments: This was held on open ground covered with heather, offering the chance to really hunt the dogs. They proved to be very varied in ability and the dogs that took top honours were significantly above the rest of the field. Handling also varied considerably and some of the dogs were looking for, and not receiving, clear instruction. Clear and confident handling can aid a dog’s performance and practice on this aspect is as important as putting the dogs through their paces. Nevertheless, all gave their best efforts and look set to continue improving towards the Open test
- Fiergen Snowdrop – Sandy White (WSS)
- Red of Brock – Paul Steadman (WSS)
- Sh Ch Parkmist Mr Frisk JW – Sharon Barkley (WSS)
- Mishules Tora Ziyal – Shula Shipton (Field)
Open (12 runners):
Judges’ comments: This was held was in the woods where there was good cover and by this time it was raining making it suitably more difficult for the dogs. Each of the competitors was given the choice of their own dummies for the retrieve or cold game. In the event there would be no extra bonuses should cold game be used. Most competitors chose cold game. For some this proved to be a brave decision for others no problem but at the end of the day was good experience for the dogs. However some dogs that might well have picked up their own dummies did not pick up the game. Some advice would be take the easy option if offered in any test or assessment if you’re not 100% sure of your dog.
The standard was good with regards the dogs, however when the dogs went out of sight, some handlers went into “hyper-whistle” and lost valuable points, this comes back to “have confidence and trust in your dog and the dog will have confidence and trust in you”. If you over whistle the dog, apart from confusing the dog, it tells the judge that you are not in control of the dog. The one dog allowed to “hunt naturally” found the only game in the Open and had best hunter. The dogs in the Open were good and some certainly good enough to Field Trial however they will find progress difficult unless you give them the freedom to hunt and you control your commands. Overall the Open was a pleasure to judge. Most of the Open dogs I could shoot over with confidence and most would bring the game back a credit to all of the hard work of their handlers.
- Isfryn Ghost Swift – Tina Smith (WSS)
- Highclare Fully Charged at Isfryn – Tina Smith (WSS)
- Amiro Baccanal – Ann Morgan (WSS)
- Julita Ruella – Julie Revill (WSS)
- Pennylock Shield for Highest Placed WSS over five: Julita Ruella
- Best Hunter (Novice): Fiergen Snowdrop (WSS)
- Best Hunter (Open): Purwick Teasel – Mr R Windebank (WSS)
WSSC of South Wales Stake Field Trial – January 2003
for all-aged AV Spaniel (except Cocker & ESS) held at Southstoke, Bath. The Judges were Mr Dennis David (‘A’ Panel Judge) and Mr Nevil Davies.
- 1st: withheld
- 2nd: Sedgehurst Hawkridge – (Clumber) – handler Mr J Zurich
- 3rd: withheld
- 4th: withheld
- CofM: Sedgehurst Maxim Venaticus – (Clumber) – handler Mr N J Darley
- CofM: Micklemess Just George – (Clumber) – handler Mr C Page
- CofM: Sedgehurst Tormentum – (Clumber) – handler Mr J Zurick