An Introduction to the Show Spaniels Field Day
The Show Spaniels Field Day is an annual event that is organised to give the many Show Spaniels the opportunity to prove that they still have the intelligence, character, and instinct to enable them to carry out the function that they were originally bred for, demonstrating that a well constructed dog can still work if given the chance.
This was the 33rd event, and it was held at the Barholm Estate, Lincolnshire, by kind permission of M Trollope-Bellow Esq. The event was run, as always, by the Midland English Springer Spaniel Society, in association with the Welsh Springer, London Cocker, Sussex Spaniel, Field Spaniel and the English Springer Spaniel Clubs. The event secretary is Mrs Kay Woodward (Wadeson).
There are three tests run during the day. The first is the Show Gundogs Working Test. This event is open to any Spaniel who has won a first prize at a Championship Show. Each dog is tested in the line, the dog must show that it is not gun shy, and was off the lead during gunfire; that it will hunt, face covert, and retrieve tenderly. The SGWT is run using live game. If a dog is adjudged to be to the standard the the Show Gundogs Working Certificate is awarded. Should a Show Champion be awarded the certificate, then it is entitled to be called a full Champion, and its name may be prefixed with CH (Champion) rather than just SH CH ( Show Champion).
The second test is the Advanced Test. This test is run using cold game. To be eligible for this test a dog must have been placed 1st to 4th in either the Novice or Advanced Tests at a previous Show Spaniel Field Day, or at any working test organised by a Gundog Club, and any dog which has gained its Show Gundogs Working Certificate.
The third test is the Novice Test. This is divided into dogs and bitches. It is open to spaniels of any age who have not won an award or Certificate of Merit at a Field Trial, or a First at a Novice Test, or a 1st-4th at an Open Test, or the Advanced Test at the SGFD. The dog must walk to heel, sit and stay, and be called from a distance. It must retrieve a dummy marked with gunfire, and hunt for an unseen dummy as in picking up.. This test is run using dummies rather than cold or live game. A team event is run in conjunction with the Novice Test. The team comprises three dogs, confined to one breed, and points awarded to each count towards the team score.
The total number of qualifying certificates granted at this event since 1966 is 254, comprising 97 English Springer Spaniels, 55 Welsh Springer Spaniels, 30 Irish Water Spaniels, 29 Clumber Spaniels, 23 Field Spaniels, 19 Cocker Spaniels, 6 Sussex Spaniels, and 3 American Cockers.
The 33rd Show Spaniels Field Day - 2000 -
There were 32 exhibitors at this years' event, running a total of 51 dogs. The Show Gundog working scene in the UK is a very friendly one, and we all met up at Barholm at 9am in the drizzling rain. We were welcomed by Mrs Margaret Backhouse (Majeba), who is President of the Midland English Springer Spaniel Society, introduced to Mr Trollope-Bellow, our host, and given our instructions and running order for the day. Our judges were to be Mr A G Nicholls and Mr W A Cooke (SGWT and Advanced Test) and Mr R Mosedale (Novice Test). Mrs Backhouse assured us that the weather would improve and we set off to begin our various tests.

Mr M Trollope-Bellow and Mrs Margaret Backhouse

The Show Gundogs Working Test
There were19 dogs entered for the SGWT. 6 English Springers, 8 Welsh Springer Spaniels, 3 Clumbers, 1 Sussex, and 1 American Cocker Spaniel. The test started in a newly planted wood, but no game was found, so we moved on to a sugar beet field where an abundance of pheasant was found. Each dog was required to hunt, to show the required control whilst hunting, and to flush the game. Once a bird was flushed, the guns shot, and the dog was required to steady, and then to retrieve their shot bird. Of the 19 starters 5 were awarded the certificate, a low percentage compared with previous years. These were Mrs P Guy's Fenaybrook First Knight (ESS), Messrs Kugow and Holt's Meggamoch Gypsy at Walomeister (Sussex), Mrs A Morgan's Amiro Apache Lone Walker (WSS), Mrs A & Miss T Ritchie's Steelriver Rysa (WSS) and Ms G Tully's Highclare Royal Alliance (WSS). As always there were mixed fortunes along the way, some dogs having to work very hard for their flush, some finding immediately, some with distant retrieves, and some that were close to hand. There was even the odd "runner", but the guns showed their prowess and the concensus of opinion was that they were all very good shots.
A smiling Pat Guy with Fenaybrook First Knight seconds after having been awarded their Show Gundog's Working Certificate.



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