London Cocker Av Novice Trial
First trial of the season
Should have wrote this up last week but time flies by.
On Wednesday we headed of to Wattisham, Suffolk, where the trial was to be held. Now we know Frank and the London cocker club put on fabulous trials, so we headed off really looking forward to the day though not quite sure what it would hold for us having only worked once, that sunday, on turnip crops.
We had only worked the mixed crop at the shoot a couple of times, and that was last season, so who knew what would happen with that fact and my nerves. But then again, she has always been a darling on keeping tight and honest in front of me, so we went feeling not to nervous.
I was running number 10, so we had to wait our turn and while we waited Jay Jay stayed transfixed on the whole process slowly winding herself up. By the time I let her off she shot of like a rocket, hunting nose down etc, but one didn't feel a connection, had she forgotten I was there, one did wonder :) I made a big boo-boo with my whistles, so I couldn't blame her for my mistake :)
But thankfully birds were flushed by her, shot, and then she retrieved :) But I cannot lie, she was not my Jay babe.
It was nice to see other dogs running as now I have something to compare her too and I can happily say that girl will hunt very well, retrieve very fast and has cracking marking capabilities.
So what we need to do now is work out why she was so wild at the trial, for her, as once that is sorted I am very hopeful for her :)
We think it is because we have been working in wood at the shoot for a month or so, none stop since we got permission to use the shoot land, which has been a cracking experience for her and one she needed. It has given her plenty of experience with pheasants, as before we got permission to use the shoot, that girl for almost all her life had been hunting with hardly any finds as there is just not the correct land around us, it being mainly sheep fields.
So it was an experience she needed and one we are very glad to be able to now provide her with, but we could have done with another month before the season started to remind her of her basics once again,working on flat areas or long grasses to keep her pattern tight when in crop environments, but ha-ho that is life :)
After saying all of that, she did come away with a COM (certificate of Merit) which we were very shocked and very pleased with.
Second Shoots Kick-off
I have to admit that not a lot happened on the shoot :( We went on the picking up line, though we had planned to go on the beating line at this shoot, but we had chosen to do the picking-up on that day as Gary, apart from breakfast, would be driving straight to the shoot from night shift and would therefore be shattered. The poor beat captain said
afterwards he could have really done with us as whilst there was a lot of people there, a lot of them were new. Sadly we didn't really get to pick up anything until the last drive. Before that Jay Jay had to deal with a hen that ran into a really thick bush and she had to drag it out, and she did, but I wasn't happy on allowing her to do this, just hope the girl remembers that shot birds you retrieve, healthy birds you flush.
Still it was great to catch up with everyone, and the meal at the pub was very welcomed :)