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Novice Field Trial For A/V Retrievers 17th November 2023

Powis Castle Shoot Welshpool on 17th November 2023.

Judges: John Yarwood, Sharon Kitson, Stuart Arch and Karen Vere Hodge.

We held our last trial of the season on Friday 17th November at Powis Castle Shoot in Welshpool. This was by special permission of Mr Peter Shaw in conjunction with the Guns, captained by Mr Joe Saxton. The Club extends our grateful thanks to Peter who is always very accommodating and helpful and knows what we need to conduct a successful trial and at the same time keeping the interest of the guns as a priority, who's day it really is! This can be a delicate balancing act and Peter is a magician and seems to always get it just right .... Thank you.
Our judges were Mr John Yarwood, Sharon Kitson, Stuart Arch and Karen Vere Hodge. The day was bright and fine during the trial and the Autumn colours in the wooded banks showing a magnificent range from deep green to oranges and reds was a joy to behold.

12 Novice Dogs lined up to face a steep bracken and wooded bank in front and a lake behind and we witnessed some excellent shooting with the guns dropping enough birds to conclude very nearly two complete rounds on this drive. Sadly, the amount of game down and the very testing situation, proved a little too much for one or two dogs. With retrieves from woodland, streams, pasture and the lake made for a fair test of the abilities of the dogs.
With the guns going off to shoot another drive, we used the birds down and we still had a quite a lot to gather in which task was delegated to our official picker up, Dai Conway who had travelled from South Wales especially to help out, for which the Club was very grateful.

We then moved on to another area of the estate and the dogs and judges faced a steep bank with a small wood on it that ran down to a stream and on the opposite bank a large tump [Welsh word for a small steep hill] that had a well grown crop of Beet on it. The guns shot several birds that made it over some tall trees and then dropped in the Fodder Beet on this tump, three of which were runners. With just 4 dogs left at this point, the judges brought these dogs together. After trying for these live birds, Kevin Turner was sent for a wounded bird down the bank of beet and eye-wiped another dog that had previously worked the same area well, making it look straight forward. John Thomas was sent to a different area of the beet and after a long hunting session, picked another bird and the judges closed their books.
The winner was Mr Kevin Turner with his Lab bitch, Klato Jezzabel at Yewsbrook and a COM was awarded to Mr John Thomas with his Lab bitch, Sandclyst Annabelle.

We are a small sub-committee of just three of us, Sam Hynd, Kirsty Jones and myself, all sitting on the main committee, with Sam's experience as Chief Steward and marking, Kirsty marking and carrying game and myself marking as well as shepherding everyone along, with our President Mr Richard Edwards [same name] as main game carrier, plus Dai Conway, I would like to commend them all for their help and dedication.
Our sincere thanks for all the judges for the quiet efficiency, you were a pleasure to watch. Thank you. We retired early afternoon to hot soup and refreshments and a well-earned cup of tea.
John Yarwood found the cakes like a well practiced Labrador !

Thank you to the competitors, judges and helpers for a lovely atmosphere.

Richard Edwards FT Sec