Alfinmarsh Jays Justice first
We set off to test grounds nice and early to make certain we got there on time. We followed the sat nav loyally and it did not repay us for it, in fact unbeknown to us it took us 6 miles away from the grounds. We got stopped by a chap who had followed his sat nav and found a dead end, so we waited whilst he got direction from someone via mobile, whilst waiting two more trialers turned up. Anyway chap got of the mobile and said 'Follow me, I know the way', with that he took off at 70 miles an hour and disappeared in the distance as are old landrover refused to keep up. Thankfully we were saved by another trialer who with a bit of help via mobile found the grounds and drove at a realistic pace for our old landi. Finally we had made it there, phew!
Right, arm band on and Jay Jay by my side, we were finally about to do the second part of what she and I had trained for since the day she was born (the first being getting her up to shoot standard) and amazingly I was standing there with my nerves under control.
When it came to our turn to our first run, we could not have been under better guidance then Judge Mike Leafley, with his kind and warm smile he asked me 'was it our first time' and then went on to tell me exactly what he wanted us to do, both judges were good at making me feel calm.
We started working and Jay Jay was her sweet listening but very stylish dog I love and know and I was enjoying the run. But then came the unseen retrieves and bless her heart through an error of handling from me, she lost her way and then lost her confidence. She finally retrieved the dummy but on the next run the same thing happened, she looked lost when doing the unseen retrieve. She hunted lovely and Mike was kind enough to say 'she was stunning, and that he could not fault her hunting' it was just the day had got to her being her first time out.
Throughout I had kept my nerves, which was easily done because of the calm friendly voices of the judges, being gentle and nurturing throughout.
We stayed behind to wait for the awards, not because we thought we might be placed as we were convinced we would not be, but to be there to congratulate all who were as they too had shown only kindness to us. You could off knocked me down with a feather when they said Jay Jay and my name for 3rd place. I was over the moon and saved from being nagged all the way back home by my 'back seat driver' for my incorrect handling.
We cannot thank enough, all at the Leconfield club for making such a wonderful day for all who took part, the judges for being so encouraging and the owner of the land the trial was run on, which was perfect hunting grounds for the spaniels.
It was a wonderful day and a day I will never forget.
Video clip at link below