GRCN Working Test – Butterknowle Fell

For some reason the GRCN are blessed this year with good weather! Although I doubt the dogs would agree as really it was too hot for them if anything. It did however make the tests more testing as the distinct lack in wind meant some of the dogs struggled more on the blinds. And like the dogs the hot weather also got me – I came home burnt but that was my own stupid fault for forgetting to wear sun cream, and I know I wasn’t the only one!

Anyway, the tests were Puppy, Novice and Open. And they ran as follows (bearing in mind I forgot my pen and paper until the end so if I got anything wrong I’m sure anybody reading who was there will correct me).


Mark down into thick rushes – which was probably the least challenging of the tests, but with the dogs being only young some of them couldn’t contain there excitement and others were challenged by it being there first competition.

Double (Select which to pick first) – this tested there ability to work to command and there directioning ability as they had to pick the dummy you chose first. This was up on the top of the fell in amongst some gorse and from my perspective the most challenging.

Blind – Now this is the one I watched but can’t remember if it was a blind or a mark… I’m pretty sure it was a blind with a shot but it was early on in the day! It was run down a passage of gorse and a fence so a pretty straight run but there was a lot of distractions in the form of sheep shit and sticks, which I know from walking a young Stormford pup along to watch was ever so much more exciting to be sniffing at and picking up!


  1. Amancio Osprey [Ftch Darleigh Thunderbolt x Swaine Jaune of Amancio] Labrador Bitch
  2. Pebbletoft Pepper [Souter Romulus at Millgreen x Moscargrange Barley of Peppletoft] Golden Dog
  3. Garronpoint Medway [Ftch Darleigh Thunderbolt x Garronpoint Spree] Labrador Dog


Blind with a Gunshot – This looked easy but actually turned out to be a little harder as the ground didn’t run straight, and the dummy was so well hidden even I couldn’t see it from the top of the hill. And the lack of breeze really didn’t help, I think if there had been more of a breeze the Goldens would have fared better on the test but the Labradors pipped them to the post on this one with there differing hunting styles.

Blind and Mark into cover – Very few dogs successfully achieved both or even a single retrieve on this one. The blind was straight down from the handlers but again the lack of wind didn’t help and the temptation of the mark for some seemed to be too strong. The mark itself was just as hard as the dogs were going down over a brow on the hill into some cover and some struggled with this as they either didn’t go down far enough or struck out to far left of the mark. I did watch one Golden successfully complete it and at that point only one other dog had managed to do both retrieves! On any other day that would have been just as challenging but the weather made it nigh on impossible – but that’s just how the tests go.

Mark – This was a mark down into rushes, similarly to the puppy test earlier in the day so all in all a relatively simple one after the challenges of the other two.

Run off – Obviously somebody had just bought a new toy as both run offs used this. You know the rabbit runners that terrier people use at fairs and shows, well it was one of them, but by god did it test the steadiness of the dog. But we’d all gathered round to watch and it only took seconds!


  1. Cynminfa Jenny [Ftch Levenghyll Peacock x Ropehall Poppie of Cynminfa] Labrador Bitch
  2. Holywear Blackthorn [Dukes Wood x Birdsgreen Amazing Agatha of Holywear] Golden Dog
  3. Lazull Lucas [Ebony Black as Night x Duchess Dark Angel] Labrador Dog
  4. Delfleet Pike [Ftch Mediterian Blue x Delfleet Dawn Flush] Labrador Dog


Blind and Mark – The blind was to be picked first in some light cover and the mark was just on the brow of the hill. Some dogs sadly bypassed the blind and went straight for the mark, but I think most dogs were pretty competent at this test even with the distractions of dog walkers and hikers roaming by.

Double (first drop, first retrieve) – This was a lovely test to watch as the dogs were handling really well as you would expect for open standard dogs. A nice left and right into cover really helped show the handlers skills and the dogs training – although I’m sure many would disagree.

Memory Failure – I sat and watched this test last so you’d think I would remember what it was but I honestly can’t! I’m going to blame the hot sun and the distraction of my growing sunburn!

Run off – Again out came the rabbit device, but on top of that the dogs also had to pick a blind with a gun shot, but somebody forgot to move the rabbit device and so that was a massive distraction to the dogs upon retrieving the dummy. But I think only one dog faltered and decided that it would be more interesting and promptly dropped the dummy to have a good look.


  1. Summer Satin [Ftch Endacott Shelf x Drakeshead Evie] Labrador Bitch
  2. Jodies Star [Maplebrash Magic x Brody’s Star] Labrador Bitch
  3. Cynminfa Jenny [Ftch Levenghyll Peacock x Ropehall Poppie of Cynminfa] Labrador Bitch
  4. Leader Blue [Greenbriar Falkland x Sparkling Sunbeam] Labrador Dog

All in all a damn good day out! And I got a day off for being dummy thrower, so you’d think I would be more likely to remember everything but no – I have a horrific memory now so lord knows what it’ll be like when I’m old and grey…

Congratulations to all the winners and well done to all runners as let’s be honest it was a hard day for all the dogs involved, I know a nice long splash about in the river afterwards made the day worthwhile for the Stormford dogs that came to observe.


N.B If I have anything wrong please comment as no doubt I will – thanks

2 thoughts on “GRCN Working Test – Butterknowle Fell

  1. Your memory is rubbish!
    The puppy test number 3 was def a blind.
    The Open test number 3 was a mark at long distance into thick cover.

    Thanks for looking after Flick for the morning and I am sure Flynn appreciated his babysitter while his mummy was off with his buddy TT!

    H x

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