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Jim Clarke with Brick of Ballyblack
Jim is undoubtedly NZ’s leading breeder
of working Springers and one of very best dog
handlers for many years.

now available in NZ. This is in no small part due to the efforts of Jim Clarke, the number one breeder of working Springers in this country. He is also one of the finest dog handlers on our trial scene. The New Zealand spaniel men owe him a lot for his improvement of our breed here. Rachael Greaves, from Australia, has also brought in excellent UK blood. Several of her dogs have been brought to New Zealand and likewise, she then imported some of Jim Clarke’s spaniels back to Australia. Suffice to say, if an Australasian Springer has the kennel prefix Ballyblack (Clarke) or Wrangham (Greaves), you can be assured that you are getting the best working blood available down under - and that most of the prominent UK kennels will be featured in the pedigree, not too far beyond the second and third generations.

It may be a small group of dedicated people advancing spaniel work in New Zealand, but advancing it is. Representatives of field trial clubs from the southern part of New Zealand attended working trials in the north this past season with a view to conducting their own, in the south. More trial dates than ever before will appear for our next season and the fields are getting bigger and better.

Top handlers are coming to the fore and it is good to see working cockers imported by one of their number, Bob Whitehead. He brought in a dog and bitch and the dog was then used over the only other known working cocker in the country. Tim Finlay has a pup - Mel of Lake heath - from this litter who gives every indication that he will be a force to be reckoned with in the coming season. Bob Whitehead’s bitch, Field Winner, Gelligoch Candy - already has a live game trial win under her belt. I will be surprised if the coming season doesn’t see her with her title.

So our scene is set with working Springers dominated by the great Ballyblack kennel, top handlers, top UK blood and great field trial grounds. We are having a grand time with our working Springers downunder.

Clark Reid

Clark Reid grew up with a passion for gundogs and hunting on New Zealand’s North Island. He is well known as one of NZ’s leading fly-fishing guides and flytiers. Recently, he added "Pheasant Guide" to his list of occupations. Over the years, Clark has run Labradors, GSPs, and now, spaniels. He declares that he will now run nothing else… he’s a spaniel fanatic. Clark is currently bringing on two young ESS: Colchicus of Springhaven and Brick of Ballyblack, 2 years and 2 ½ years respectively - with hopes to add two more pups in the kennel over the ensuing months. All of these dogs will compete in working live game trials.

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