In the URC team challenge, success comes from the dogs and handlers being united and working together. This competitor had an interesting experience with a young dog who is showing vast potential in the working test arena. There were ups and downs throughout the competition and at times the pressure was almost too much as they were asked to do an additional challenge at the end of the day. There isn’t a single word to describe that mixed feeling of relief and exasperation. But a smile can convey the emotion. This dog brought back the smile to his handler. The feeling of relief when something has gone well is captured in this clip…
James Walsh with Leadburn Vanessa completing a blind retrieve at the URC Hants & South West Area Finals June 2016.
It's going to be an exciting day at Bisterne Estate on Sunday 26th June. This is the date for 2016's United Retriever Club Area Finals, a popular annual event when many of the top open dogs and competitors from around the country come together for a team challenge.
This year the URC Hampshire and South West Club are hosting the competition and last night I had the opportunity to see what happens behind the scenes in the lead up to the event. As the evening began to unfold it was evident the team were undeterred by the challenges of a large event. They worked tirelessly through each test making sure every scenario was covered. It was clear that the preparation and organisation was key in getting the little things right. As the sun faded and the warm evening breeze whisked away any apprehension the URC community were united by doing something amazing in a beautiful environment. The team put together something which offers an exciting challenge for everyone to share and enjoy.
And as a magnificent Red Deer came out of the woodland and boldly pranced around the meadow I was able to lose myself in the moment. It's the little things that stick in the mind and I hope Sunday will offer a little something for everyone...
My first experience of representing the Labrador Retriever breed at the Field & Country Fair was amazing. It was a joy to meet people from different parts of the country and learn about the variety of gundog breeds.
It was quite overwhelming to see the regard and affection the public had for our dogs. The Sporting Dog Pavilion was a celebration of our outstanding canines and the event brought likeminded people together to share our passion. I have tried to capture a flavour of these gorgeous gundogs with a few words from their owners.
"What do you love about your gundog?"
Any plans for the weekend? I’m heading to the Field & Country Fair which is held in the beautiful Cotswold setting of Cornbury Park. It’s the perfect weekend get-a-away for field sports enthusiasts and a stunning location for a country show. This year I feel privileged to be able to represent the working Labrador Retriever breed in the Sporting Dog Pavilion. It will be a golden opportunity to spend time with people who regard owning gundogs as their life’s passion, along with its rewards and challenges. Our love and loyalty to the dogs will shine brightly throughout the weekend and the ambience will reflect a wonderful celebration of our gundogs. If you’re after a family day of fun, why not come along and enjoy a variety of field sport’s activities and rural events. The food village is one of my favourites and I can’t resist tasting cheeses, sipping apple cider and finding a shady spot to chill and watch a variety of gun dog demonstrations.
I will be blogging throughout the weekend and hope to capture my ‘Field & Country Fair’ experience through BiddableBardsley…We’ll be based in the Sporting Dog Pavilion so please pop in and say ‘hi’ and meet our working labrador retrievers…
Hope to see you there!
The Field & Country Fair, Cornbury Park, Oxfordshire, 10th,11th & 12th June 2016.