HWVA Training Day at Mullenscote – 23rd May 2021
The day was very successful and we managed to dodge the worse of the rain by taking breaks when the heavens opened. Howard Kirby our host greeted everyone and gave us the housekeeping instruction and a layout of the day. We were divided into three groups, according to experience.
Howard instructed on the wind. The hunting consisted of a marked off hunting field 85m by 180m field of rough grass. All runs were into wind for maximum benefit. Two species of birds were set in soft release cages a various stage on the beat for pointing and blank shots were fired on the birds release for dogs to honour them away.
Various scenarios of retrieves were set up by Lyndsey Howard and adapted to each of the groups abilities. We were all reminded to never miss out the basics of heal work., recalls and sit/stay exercises. For the more advanced group, double jumps for seen and blinds were used. An added distraction and a challenge for the dogs was evidence of rabbit activity. A phrase used by Lyndsey that stuck with me when a dog is not carrying out what was expected is, ‘it’s down to the handler to know how to manage it’.
Annie Jones took us to the water and set up several different entry points using different distances, small jumps and through rougher grass.
The day ended with a competition. We were put into three groups of three with the newer handlers as captains. The three tests were set using hoops as placement platforms to ensure less straying on the exercise by both handler and dog. Each team captain nominated who would do which test. Test 1) heel work sit stay and recall 2) Seen retrieve 3) Seen over two jumps followed by a blind in the same spot. The winners judged by Claire Buchanan was Alice Croxford with her 12-month-old KG, Jackie Hammans with her 2-year-old HWV and Christine Carpenter with her 2-year-old Weimaraner and were presented with bright orange Mullinscote baseball caps.
We are very privileged to be able to use a ground like Howard can provide and he and his team made the day fun while learning.
Thanks went to Debra Revell Working Secretary for the arrangements.