GRCN Working Test – Crathorne Estate

Today was the first working test of the year for the GRCN, and good god did they get a good day for it!

The sun shone all day, except for a brief “April shower” just as the run off for the novice test was being run. But all in all the day was wonderful I got lightly sunburnt but at least it’s proof that the sun was shining.

I spent the day with one of the judges on both of his tests for the day, so I only saw what went on on his particular test.

The novice test in this case was in my opinion relatively testing for a lot of the dogs as they had to not only pick a blind over water but also then go pick a mark (the crossing of the water for the blind being the difficult part in my eyes – I had to run between the two dummy throwers delivering as they went through there dwindling supplies as each dummy was picked. I’m surprised no one was taking bets on when I would fall in I felt as if I would more than once. But I live to see another day, good job I love my wellies.

Many of them did so beautifully although some got a bit waterborne shall we say and others weren’t so keen on crossing the river for something they didn’t know was there. But as it was such a hot morning I think many of them were glad of the refreshing spray running through the water – I know I was!

The run off for the final placing’s was between two Holywear Goldie’s and a lovely little Labrador bitch, this was just as the heavens opened but this didn’t put the dogs off their pace and it just freshened the afternoon up nicely after a good lunch and flask of tea.

The final placing’s for the Novice group are as follows, and clearly it was a day for the girlies to win out:

  1. Spirit of Grouse Lodge (Labrador Bitch)
  2. Holywear Guelder Rose (Golden Bitch)
  3. Holywear Blackthorn (Golden Dog)
  4. Aroexis Petal (Labrador Bitch)

The Open test was situated in the same field however this time no water was involved. The test was over two marks, the first was slightly hidden behind a hawthorn – I say hawthorn but I don’t know my trees,so for arguments sake maybe it was a big shrub? Anyway that was the first mark but then a second mark would be thrown over the other end of the field into a slightly overgrown area. The dogs would be sent for the first mark first and second mark second.

The majority of dogs faired better at this than the novice test and some of the handling was poetry to watch. Some faults were made but in general it appeared to be a good test. I rue the day I ever attempt to compete though, as myself and the judge made comment on how it’s so very different to working on a shoot day and that’s what my dogs are trained for… So will need to change my habits a bit, not that they’re sloppy but I think I need to sharpen up a bit!

There was no run off for the Open dog test and this time the dogs succeeded the bitches with top marks, and not a Goldie in sight!

  1. Leader Blue (Labrador Dog)
  2. Kenocto Major Mace (Labrador Dog)
  3. Garronpoint Till (Labrador Bitch)
  4. Lowforge Aragon of Leacaz (Labrador Dog)

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