This season I decided to run three of our main dogs, FTCH Brynfedi Adle of Countryways, Clodhahill Onya, and Lisgarvagh Eyre, while Andrea ran Whiznic Waltz of Countryways and Phortaigh Dair of Countryways, as well as our little cocker Countryways Knight.

All of these had some success, Adle had several runs in open stakes, managing to only take second place and many awards. Unfortunately she developed a chest infection early on in the trials season, just taking the edge off of her, but still a fantastic bitch. She is currently pregnant, we hope to FTCH Buccleuch Pepper.

Onya had five runs in novice, taking three awards, ending up with a first place, qualifying her for open stakes. She, again, showed some great attributes, amazing style and she has the ability to pull off some fantastic retrieves. Sometimes I cannot believe what she can do. Onya was mated to Andrea’s dog, Phortaigh Dair of Countryways, and we have four puppies, that could be available. I would like these to go to field trials homes preferably.

Lisgarvagh Eyre, Charlie as he is known, ran in quite a few trials, still only managing to take second place. He unfortunately hasn’t had the luck. I believe he has now had something in the region of 8 second places, but we have still got great things for him. He has been used on several of our bitches and the puppies are looking good. He is bred from my old dog, Raven Inquest and his mother is international and double championship winner Clonduff Delilah.

Andrea had great success in her first season competing with Spaniels, running Scrumpy as he is called, or Phortaigh Dair of Countryways, she managed to run in twelve trials, picking up ten awards. Taking second place, twice, and having a run-off for first, but unfortunately got beaten. We have have high hopes for this dog as everybody who sees him, thinks he is something special. For a larger-type dog he has a fantastic action, low carriage, love brambles, good retriever, great nose with a little more experience it won’t be long before he wins and goes on to bigger and better things. She has done extemrely well this season, all credit to her, and now she has accepted as a decent handler. She also ran honey, lesser known as Whiznic Waltz of Countryways, who is actually the mother of Scrumpy. Bred from two field trials champions. Oh, I forgot to say Scrumpy is incredibly well bred, and already we have got great puppies by him. Back to honey, she only had chance to run in two trials and managed to get awarded in one, as Andrea uses her as part of her picking up team.

Probably the best news this season was that Louis Rice won the british championship with a bitch that was sired by our dog Raven Inquest. Also, the dog owned by Dennis Dogay that had certificate of merit and also highest placed newcomer was also sired by Raven Inquest. For me this just confirms that my old dog was exactly what I had always said he was, he was the outcross that everyone should have used, because from what I can gather, he has now produced the English championship winner, the Irish championship winner (a bitch that we had bred) also International champion in Denmark and I believe there are several other champions and international champions over in Europe also producing many field trials winners in this country, all from different bitch lines, that is how you judge a good stud dog. One that can produce two different lines, also he only ever mated to champions, so a large proportion of the bitches were not that well bred but he has stamped his mark on them. He would always produce very sensible offspring. They would be totally ok sat assleep at the peg, or even before the competition, but when asked would have amazing drive and style, and also great cover dogs and obsessive retrievers. I hope Charlie can pick up the baton from him.

  • Championship winner picture 2015/16.

I was asked to write a article for iShoot magazine, which appeared in the March issue, where I give a run down of the events on that day, and some photographs. Unfortuantely they decided to head it with a totally odd, generic spaniel picture. The rest of the pictures were taken by myself. I will also post a short slideshow of some of the pictures that I took.

  • Best newcomer picture.

Obviously spend the other half of the season shooting, I manage to have around twenty days driven shooting this season, and lots of training days. This season was probably the wettest we have ever had, so got wet, quite often, but had some great days with the shooting syndicate. Obviously, if you didnt know, all of my trial dogs come and sit with me when I am shooting.

As I seem to have mentioned the weather, at this point I would like to thank Nomad clothing for supplying me with a new shooting suit, as you all know I already wear of their suits for trialling. If you have never seen or handled this amazing material, it is still baffles me, being a snug fleece material but totally waterproof. This season I have been stood in more rain, more wind than I can imagine, and all of my friends wearing some of the most expensive clothing that you can buy, have all got wet. I on the other hand, have been dry. With a bug smile on my face. So, if anybody would like to keep dry, without wearing leggings, and overtrouser, and something heavy and crunchy, then check out Nomad clothing, on www.nomaduk.net