OUR YEAR - 2009/2010
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We are still attending Gundog training with our trainer Jack Gretton, with Kate and Ziva, slowly but surely they are coming on.

We entered Kate and Ziva in the Midland branch of the United Retriever Club's, Puppy Test in which they were the youngest, with the oldest puppy at just under 18 months, so a very big age difference. But they completed all the tests, which was our aim, knowing that some of the tests they were asked to do they had not done before, so we were well pleased with them.

Then we attended the Sporting Irish Water Spaniel Club's Gundog Tests at Chillington Hall on 11th and 12th July. Kate and Ziva were entered in the puppy tests 6 – 12 months, well I have to say it was a disaster, oh we had trained, but we had not trained for all those Goose droppings in the test area, well they could not get enough, either going out for the dummy or coming back with the dummy.  So that was a failure, so back to the drawing board, and train some more.


Kate (left) and Ziva in the water test at Chillington Hall 

Bentley has been here 3 years now, and he is 4 years old where does the time go!

Bentley at the SIWSC water test

We then went to the CLA Game Fair on 24th, 25th and 26th July. The demo went well and it was nice to see a lot of our puppies there and their owners of course.


Kate came into season, her 1st , and in due course brought Liz in as well.

Then on the 22nd of August we lost our homebred girl Teasel, she was just over 10 years, and it happened very suddenly over about 4/5 days. She had a tumour behind her eyes, and it was getting bigger and forcing her eyes out and affecting her jaw as well. We were absolutely gutted, especially Melvyn, she and he were a team. They had done so much together, working tests she was placed in many tests, but she beat the labs in a novice Any Variety Gundog working test, which then made her an Open dog. Teasel also entered in Field Trials. She was also Melvyn’s peg dog on the shoots, and she was his picking up dog on our local shoot.

Teasel (23/04/1999 - 22/08/2009

We attended John and Diana’s training weekend 29th and 30th August  this was also the start of our fortnight's holiday, we were both very sad after losing Teasel, but we would like to thank John and Di for making us very welcome and giving us no time to dwell on things. The training weekend went well, Melvyn attended on his own with Ziva, as Kate and Liz were still in season (which was driving Bentley crazy!) and I stayed at the caravan with them, but Di insisted that I was fetched to join in the evening meal which she had very generously put on for everyone after training. It was also decided that we should put Liz and Kate in Di’s kennels then I could attend the training on Sunday with Rio.  We had another good training day and the weekend was well attended.

Sporting Irish Water Spaniel Club training weekend.

 United Retriever Club Midlands area wrote to see if we could get a team of IWS together to run at Hope Show on Bank Holiday Monday, which we have done now for a few years, but unfortunately it clashed with the training weekend, so we had to decline.


John and Di Rolfe very kindly asked us if we would like to go picking up with them on the South Downs, so Liz and Kate went into John and Di’s kennels and Bentley, Ziva and Rio went on the shoot. Ziva and Rio went as spectators, just to sit and listen, where as Bentley went to work at picking up all those Partridges.

Tuesday saw a bag of 240 birds, and it was Bentley’s first time on Partridge, and at first it was as though should he pick these small birds, as he had picked Pheasant and Duck before. At the end of the day he was starting to get the hang of these small birds.

Wednesday - Bentley was out on a Duck drive, which he really enjoyed and the bag was 430 ducks, so plenty to do from 1.30 to 4.00 pm.

Thursday was back to the South Downs on Partridge, Bentley was really getting it together now, and I was pleased for Melvyn as it was taking his mind off Teasel, and he now had to work with Bentley and get him going. Teasel was always good and it would have been easier to use her if she had been there. Ziva also managed to pick a Partridge, I had seen it drop in a stubble field and as we had to walk that way back to the cars, I decided to take her and get her downwind from it, and cast her into the wind, not too far from it, she was not long before she got the scent of it, and straight on to it, picked it clean and straight back to me. I was very pleased with that, in fact I was very pleased with both of them as they had sat and watched, Ziva was very interested, Rio was sometimes and then she would be rolling about on the ground with something in her mouth playing, but at 6 months old what else would you expect, at least the gun shot was not any problem. This was another 240 bird day.

Friday - Back again to the South Downs, Bentley is really up for it now and is looking very competent at his job, and this was another 240 bird day.

Thank you again John and Di for a very busy week, long days, and intense picking up lessons for Bentley. We thoroughly enjoyed it.

We arrived back home on the 9th just in time for Kate’s 1st birthday on the 10th.

Melvyn had a gun at the Field Trial Training day at Catton which was run by Jill Taft, all Labs but for Ian Probert’s IWS Mr Doyle. Melvyn enjoyed his day and shot a few Partridge as well.

Midland Game Fair on the 19th and 20th was a very good weekend with two tents to man, the Discover Gundogs and the British Heritage Dog Breed's tent.

Rio started her training up at Jack's, she is doing nicely for a pup, and she enjoys it.


On the 4th it was the Sporting Irish Water Spaniel Club Any Variety Gundog Working Test. We had entered Ziva and Rio in the 6 to 12 months class, and Kate in the 12 to 18 months old class, and keeping our fingers crossed that it would be a bit more successful than the last time we were out! Ziva came 2nd and Rio came 3rd with her brother Tristan coming 4th.

Ziva                                                              Rio

Kate came second in her class with just 2 points behind the 1st place. She was awarded the Wrenthorpe Cup for highest points for an IWS Puppy.So well done to the three youngsters .

Kate posing with the Wrenthorpe cup

Ziva was 1 year old on the 9th.

We started picking up on the 31st on our local shoot with Bentley and Liz, it is good to get out and see the dogs working.


Ziva had her hips and Elbows scored, and they came back Hips 3 – 5, with her Elbows 0 - 0 which are very good.

We held the very first Sporting Irish Water Spaniel Club Field Trial Draw at our house on the 6th . In attendance for the draw were  Jill Taft, Louise Bailey and Pauline and Ian Probert. It was a good evening and we all sat down to a Chinese meal afterwards.

SIWSC Field Trial draw

Bentley and Liz went to have their eyes tested on the 23rd and they were both clear.

Then the next day,  I (Denise) went into hospital to have my Knee operated on, so far so good.


At last it is here, the very first Field Trial for the Sporting Irish Water Spaniel Club in the modern era. Although there were no 1st 2nd or 3rd awards and only two Certificates of Merit given, it just shows that due to snow and Icy conditions there was not much scent and that the dogs were novice dogs.

Doyle (Kirkmarsh Mr Doyle of Hiberna) making a retrieve at the SIWSC field trial

Ziva came into her 1st season on the 28th.

Bentley Mated John and Di Rolfe’s bitch Maeve on the 29th and puppies should be due late February.

January 2010.

Kate had her Hip and Elbows scored on the 22nd and they came back Hips 5 – 7 and her Elbows came back 0 – 0, so another good score. 

Melvyn had being picking up all season, but due to my operation I was now able to start going with him again so, on the 23rd, Melvyn and I took Liz and Kate out, as I thought Kate should go out and have a look as she missed out at John Rolfe's. She was really good just sat and watched what was going on. So we were well pleased with that.
Shoot photo

Then it was Keeper's day on the shoot, the last day of the season. Melvyn was Shooting,  and I was picking up with Bentley and Liz. The Norwood Shoot is very local to us, and it is a very friendly shoot. The Land Owner has the shoot videoed on every shoot day. We have managed to get some photos from these videos to put on our website, the young man with Melvyn is Denise’s Dad Austin who at 84 still enjoys his field sports. Please  remember it  is a video of the shoot and not our dogs.




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