One of the first decisions taken by the newly elected Committee of the IGL was to hold a Novice Field Trial for our members. This took place at the Ganton Estate in Yorkshire by the very kind permission of Mr and Mrs Nicholas Wrigley and with thanks to a generous team of guns. Committee member Stan Tweedy had organised everything and everyone and Head Keeper Neil Barnes ensured that the Society, competitors and guns all had an excellent day.
The judges were Derrick Capel, Keith Barnes, Louie Robertson and Andy Latham. Derrick and Louie were paired on the right and Keith and Andy on the left. The line moved off with two right hand guns on the far side of a hedge making for one or two difficult retrieves in the first round. Other retrieves were the competitors’ side of the hedge but also caused a few problems with one dog failing to make the area and another picking the wrong bird. Jane Coley was unlucky not to pick a bird which had moved despite her dog’s perseverance on the fall and Sue Lowe had a good eyewipe only for her dog to move on a hare.
The Trial continued to walk on either side of a hedgerow with a brief drive while a small wood was beaten through by the keepers and beaters. It was a very natural day’s shooting with opportunities for the dogs to mark as well as show their handling and game finding skills. Polly Dunckley had a good eyewipe on a bird which had landed in roots putting out her dog’s litter brother (and his breeder!) and the final three dogs were taken into some standing wheat with a hedge about seventy yards to their left. David Latham with Nettle Brae Andy of Fendawood had to handle on a bird which landed almost directly in front of him. Peter Orwin’s dog Norbeck Tosh made tidy work of a difficult retrieve as a pheasant rose on the near side of the hedge but was shot on the far side about forty yards out. The final retrieve saw Polly Dunckley with Castleman’s Oasis of Smithsteads picking a bird a little further out in front.
The awards were announced as follows:
1st and winner of the Willowyck Trophy Peter Orwin and Norbeck Tosh
2nd and Guns’ Choice Polly Dunckley and Castleman’s Oasis of Smithsteads
3rd David Latham and Nettle Brae Andy of Fendawood
Our host Mr Wrigley had kindly joined the Trial for part of the day and a donation was made by the IGL to St Nicholas Church in Ganton in order to thank Mr Wrigley for his generosity. Ganton is a brilliant ground and many will remember a fantastic Championship being held there some years ago. The Society was made very welcome and we could not have hoped for a better Novice Trial.