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The British Spaniel Championships 2001

(Published in Spaniels In The Field Spring 2001)

The British Kennel Club Spaniel Championships have been run and organized by the spaniel club since 1962, when Major Peacock of the Kennel Club invited the Spaniel Club and Joe Greatorex to organize the running of the event.

Over the last one hundred years field trials have evolved as a means of assessing the working abilities of gundogs, with the objective, through breeding policies, of improving the quality of the working stock for the shooting man. The Spaniel Championships are the pinnacle of the spaniel year in the UK. Each competing spaniel has won at least one open stake during the field trial season in order to qualify for its place in this prestigious event.

The 71st Spaniel Championships were held at Conholt Estate with the kind permission of Mr. Paul Van Vlissingen. This event turned out to be a successful and enjoyable occasion for handlers and spectators alike. The cover for the three days consisted of brambles and heavy woodland undergrowth with fallen trees, providing ideal habitat for pheasants, woodcock and rabbits.

The Any Variety Spaniel Championships started on Thursday the 11th of January and concluded on Friday the 12th of January. Forty-six dogs qualified to the championships with thirty-eight starters. The judges for the event were Mr. Ian Openshaw and Mr. David Paterson. Speculation was widespread after the second series with several dogs having great performances in the brambles. Viewing was limited to the spectators due to the woodland cover, however of the dogs seen, some great performances were observed. John Bailey with FTCH Nant-Y-Bwla Ricky had a great run attacking the brambles with pinpoint retrieves. Carl Colclough with Parkbreck Achieve Of Dearneside had a 55-minute run in heavy brambles and never slowed up. Mr. C. J. Taylor and Steadroc Sker demonstrated great finds and retrieves coupled with relentless drive in the heavy cover.

After a break for lunch the judges announced the dogs to be run off for placements. During the run off, two dogs are braced, and the handlers stand side by side to enable the judges to compare the hunting style, drive and game finding ability of their favorite dogs.

FTCH Whitehope Whindancer handled by Paul Dyson and Parkbreck Achieve of Dearnside handled by Carl Colclough were the first brace to run. Carl and Achieve easily beat Whindancer and Paul on hunting ability and style, and after 1 minute of hunting, Paul was picked up by the judges, leaving Carl to run against FTCH Barnbrook Trident handled by Mr. R Shepard. The smooth flowing style and game finding ability of Achieve once again showed through, easily beating out the veteran dogs. Spenclough Pippit and Mr. P. Whitehead were called to run against Edwardiana Tweed handled by Mr. D. Lisset. Both started out hunting well. Pippit had a quick find on a pheasant that was shot over a deer proof fence so no retrieve could be taken. The two were hunted on for another 25 yards and the judges picked them up. Tweed had beaten Pippit in style and hunting power but Pippit had a clean find in the fallen trees. This is where judging really comes in to play. Steadroc Sker handled by Mr. C.J. Taylor had also been called into the run off, but the
judges elected not to run him and therefore the trial was concluded.

1st Place.
FTCH Steadroc Sker (Dog)
Owned and handled by Mr. C.J. Taylor Sire: FTCH Clarburgh Art
Dam: Chilview Ann of Steadroc
Breeder: Mr. G. Edwards

2nd Place.
Edwardiana Tweed (Bitch)
Owned & handled by: Mr. D. Lisett
Sire: FTCH Laganmill Malvern
Dam: Toonarmy Torrent Breeder: Mr. J. Edwards

3rd Place.
Spenclough Pippit (Bitch)
Owned & handled by: Mr. P. Whitehead
Sire: FTCH Kenine Robb Of Rytex
Dam: Simonsseat Fern Of Spenclough
Breeder: Mr. P Whitehead

4th Place.
Parkbreck Achieve Of Dearneside (Dog)
Owned by: Mr. Nigel Hoyle
Handled by: Mr. Carl Colclough
Sire: FTCH Badgercourt Moss
Dam: Saradynpark Black Magic
Breeder: Mr. Carl Colclough

FTCH Steadroc Sker is the first dog in 9 years to win the Any Variety Spaniel championships. The last dog to win was FTCH Tanya’s Bass Special in 1991/92 handled by Mr. Noel Black. He was preceded by FTCH Cortman Lane in 1985/86 owned and handled by Mr. Keith Erlandson.

parkbreck

Parkbreck Achieve Of Dearneside