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Eric Elwick's dog, Breckswood Lark, caught the eye with it's absolute disdain for heavy brambles. Nine-year old Harrison Lee-Everton's bitch, Helsby Heidi of Marstonmill, was another eye catcher. She was so ably handled that one had the impression the spaniel would do anything for him. Last, but not least, was Adrian Slater's dog, Kipperidge Jasper. Adrian has won this Open Test in the last two years and looked likely to win again for a hat trick.

By lunchtime, from the body of the test, the top six Spaniels selected by the Judges and to everyone's agreement, were as follows:

  • Jon Bailey's Ess dog - FT Ch Nant-y-Bwla Ricky - after the Final, Awarded: First
  • Adrian Slater's Ess dog - Kipperidge Jasper - after the Final, Awarded: Second (by one point)
  • Chris Wadsworth's Ess dog - Spenlough Scott - after the Final, Awarded: Third
  • Simon Tyer's Cocker dog - FT Ch Sandford Black Mamba - Awarded: Fourth and Best Cocker
  • Jack Davey's Cocker - Cadboll Zest - after the Final, Placed: Fifth
  • Jon Bailey's Ess dog - Gowerby Mystique - withdrawn

The Grande Finale

The following Retrievers joined the above Spaniels in a Grande Finale:

  • Mrs Coley's Lab D - Waterford Calibre - after the Final, Awarded: First
  • Sheik Mohammad Al Thani's Lab D - Bengrave Michael Mols (handler D. Robertson) - in the Final, Awarded: Second
  • Mr D. Robertson's Lab D - Bengrave Badger - after the Final, Awarded: Third
  • Mr D. Latham's Lab B - FtCh Drakeshead Deana - after the Final, Placed: Fifth
  • Mr A. Latham's Lab D - Endacott Shelf - after the Final, Placed: Sixth

With the spaniels hunting in front and retrievers at heel behind, this part of the test brought all of the competitors and spectators together. Basically, it tested the spaniels in hunting and steadiness. The spaniels were sitting out from the handlers as the retrievers raced past to the seen and unseen retrieves - over two jumps. Then the spaniels showed their ability in similar fashion before going off to a double retrieve from water. The retrievers finished with a long back retrieve.

All this was enacted in a small planting of pine trees in full view of the spectators, who were able to walk alongside a fence, for a birds eye view of the full proceedings. This was a very successful exercise testing all dogs in a manner in which they had not been worked during the body of the test.

Judges for the two-day Open Retriever Test were: G. Cox, J. Lawton, V. Olner, and P. Parkins.

Both breeds were judged out of 300 points and most Award Winners achieved approximately 250 points, over-all.

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