Who do you aspire to?
Now I’ve got to where I want to be in the gundog world I don’t aspire to anyone. I tend to be a leader rather than a follower but when I started gundog training I liked Alan Thornton, David Garbutt and obviously my Father. I watch these people and I'm impressed by what they do and you find out how to do it and over time you learn how to take it to the next level. I've always trained my own way right from the start. My Father encouraged me to find my own path.
Gundog training has moved on such a lot over the last 10 and 20 years. You come to places like the Game Fair and you’ll see people straight lining as they’ve learnt my methods and other people’s methods and the standard just gets better and better. At first you must have something to aim for but once you get to the top you’ve got to be a leader rather than a follower.
How do you stay at the top of your game?
Working hard. There’s no short cuts. Very rarely do I train with other people. 95% of my training I do on my own in a field for hours and hours. It’s similar to an Olympic athlete they don’t train to compete everyday. They work out in the gym, they get up on the bar, fall off, get back on, fall off and they work on that exercise until eventually they perfect it and master what they want to achieve. It takes time and you can’t do it training with others. When you’re ready you then go into the field with others to see if what you are trying to achieve works.
Many thanks to John for giving up his valuable demo time to Biddablebardsley at The Game Fair, Hatfield 2017.