A WIN FOR SAM!
Beggarbush Dash of Countryways, I managed to finish the season off with a bang, fulfilling more than all of my ambitions for the season. By going out and winning one of the last trials of the year. We were to go to Lydney to the English Springer Spaniel club of Wales, where each year they run a superb trial. Mainly in bracken also with some patches of bramble, it is know for having lots of game so they have many entries for this trial. Everybody has an equeal chance to get a flush and retrieve. Thanks to the work done by Josh, the keeper, and his staff for putting in so much work.
Sam had a very good first run in bracken, hunting tight and fast he is a slightly larger dog than I usually run, but he has a low tail action and his head is always on the ground. He is a great game finder, he managed to look into every piece of cover, suddenly scented a bird in a small clump of bracken, punched it out and made it fly, it was shot to our left whereby he was sent to retrieve, he went straight out and back with no handling. I was asked to carry on hunting, and I did for a further 50 yards with no game on my side, but there were several birds shot on the left hand side (a good distraction).
My second run was on a very steep bank, quite bare with several large patches of heavy bramble, sam likes heavy brambles. I cast him straight into the first clump and he hit it hard covering all of the cover with pace and drive. Then, trying not to slide down the bank, we hunted the bracken. Finally hunting another large patch of brambles. Obviously, this time of the year you have to go looking for game. He hit the brambles really hard, he is quite fearless. Producing a hen bird which flew 50 yards and was shot into a gulley over a brow. I was asked to send him, he went directly to the fall, and returned with the bird with no handling. Carried on hunting for a short way, it was finished.
The judges then decided there would be a run-off. Sam managed to hold his ground, I believe hunting slightly tighter and looking in every piece of cover. He really does use his nose to look for his game (great game finder). Back to the house for the awards, I was in as everybody would know, a great hurry to leave because I had to drive for 4 1/2 hours after the trial to North Yorkshire to go shooting the next day, and everybody laughed at me when they kept me hanging on for the result, but it was worth the wait, he came first! Hopefully, next season, we will run him in open stakes with a lot of work and a prayer we might manage to qualify him for the championship. His litter sister ran this year and also has been made up into a Field Trials Champion, so there is great hope for him yet.
I have seen one or two really nice puppies by Sam, Ian Flint has a bitch by Sam that is very, very nice. Obviously, Ian is a little bit biased, as Sam is by Ian’s dog Craighor Boris FTCH.