Utility Gundog Society – HBB Branch held their 12 Dog Novice Dog Stake on the 23 November 2023 at The Smith-Pearman Shoot, Standon, Hertfordshire by very kind permission of Mr Philip Smith and Mr Jefferey Pearman.

The trial was very kindly judged by Jim Gale, Phil Allen, Julian Williams & Jim Collins.  We really appreciate your dedication, skills, and experience to make this trial flow and arrive at the right decision.     This trial was also the final judging Appointment of Jim Gale, who has been actively involved in Field Trials for over 40 years, Jim, we wish you well in your retirement.

It was a real family affair as the steward of the Beat was our Host, Philip Smith and the team of guns was ably led by Philip’s son Ben.

This was a walked-Up trial over a wide variety of cover crops including artichokes.    The weather was sunny with a light breeze.  

The dogs and handlers were presented with some challenging retrieves especially when the birds fell beyond the dense cover and deep ditches on the headlands.  The judges gave the dogs time to demonstrate their natural ability however, we sadly lost five dogs in the first round.

A further two dogs were lost during the second round.   The 3rd round saw some fabulous dog work, including Daniel Higgs’ Golden Retriever Reedmoor’s Ares of Higgscroft who picked a lively runner in dense woodland when tried as second dog. 

The fourth and final round started with four dogs, however another was no longer required leaving three dogs to feature in the awards. 

A very worthy winner and awarded The Earnsfield Teal Memorial Trophy was Daniel Higgs’ Reedmoors Ares Of Higgscroft        

Second and awarded The Pintailen Cup was Kinagar Fire and Ice, owned and handled by Judith Curtis, who ran a great trial.

Third was Andrew Wright with Wadesmill Rosesdale, another Golden Retriever. 

The Guns choice, who awarded The Raynton Park Trophy was Lindsay Hudson’s Labrador Retriever Bancyboblen Whisper At Howlandwood 

I would like to thank our host, Philip Smith, Jeffery Pearman, the Keepers and Beaters, the Judges, the Guns, Judges Stewards Tammy White & John Keegan, Game Carriers, Steve Coxwell & Josephine van der Dussen  and the committee of UGS HBB for all their support and guidance during my first season as Field Trial Secretary. 

Finally, a thank you to the competitors, in the gallery there was good camaraderie and appreciation of good dog work.

Gill Davies Retriever FT Sec UGS – HBB