HWVA Grouse Pointing Test, Roxby Moor 30th July 2017
Judged by Mrs Stevie Allerton & Mr Mark Taylor
This event was held at Roxby Moor North Yorkshire by kind permission of the Roxby estate and under the guidance of the keeper Mr. Mark Taylor.
Our judges for the day were Stevie Allerton and Mark Taylor.
Roxby is a small part of the North York Moors, an area of outstanding natural beauty and so it turned out to be with sunshine, blue skies, a brisk wind and views of the sea. The going underfoot is not arduous with well manicured heather and no really lumpy bits to get the lungs stretched, heart pumping and sweat pouring
Mark (who is also the keeper, for those who thought they recognised the name) did his best to guide us so that dogs could be worked into the wind, successful for the junior dogs but the later adults had to persevere with fluctuating wind direction. There were birds in quantity waiting to be found but not too many to make it easy for the dogs, the difficulty was that they were sitting tight and mainly waited until the very last second before they lifted. A field of 17 assorted breeds, 8 of which were HWV, had assembled for a tilt at the undisputed king of game birds including 2 striking looking Old Danish Pointers.
There was a great deal of quality dog work; there was also some which was a bit haphazard but we were dealing with a group of dogs and handlers of varying ability. In reality there wasn’t anything which caused a major upset to result in anyone being ejected.
The delight of the day was in watching Oska Kroggan, a Wire Haired Vizsla handled by Ken Hindmarsh. This dog knew his job and carried it out beautifully even to the extent of telling Ken he knew there were more birds to be found in this patch, and he wasn’t going to budge until he had proved it.
The judges were fair to all competitors sometimes going above and beyond to get the dogs onto birds, being flexible and understanding in the event of a slight hiccup, Marks strap line of “it would happen on a shoot day” was a refreshing one and allowed proceedings to continue.
The weather god was kind and brought the forecasted rain just before and during the lunch break. After lunch 4 dogs were taken for a second run. In all 10 dogs were graded.
Our thanks go out to:
The Roxby estate for allowing us the privilege of using the moor.
Mark Taylor (the keeper) for being a brilliant host and allowing us out to play with his birds during what for him is another very busy part of his year.
The judges Stevie Allerton and Mark Taylor (also the keeper) for their flexibility and fairness.
The competitors who turned out to make this event a success. Thank you for letting me enjoy your dogs.
The landlady of the Fox Inn, Roxby who took pity on a weary traveller and permitted the use of the facilities and asked “would you like a cup of tea?” Hospitality which is refreshing to find in this day and age. And yes I did accept and it was crackin.
What a pleasure to be out on this moor again, by kind permission of the Roxby Estate and the keeper, Mark Taylor, who was my co-judge today. His knowledge of the grouse and their eco-system is invaluable, and as he works HPRs himself he is able to bring that practical experience to the task of assessing the dogs entered today.Such is the popularity of this moor that 17 dogs were entered, 5 Juniors and 12 Adults. We ran dogs for a minimum of 10 minutes, in accordance with the published guidelines (even if they had a point very early in their run) to enable us to make a proper assessment of all the elements required of a hunting/pointing dog. We were able to grade the following dogs:
Karrouki Windfire JW, HV Dog, handled by Susanna Mills. A lovely free-running dog who covered the ground with style and pace. He reacted to any latent scent he found, checked it out and moved on without dwelling too much in one spot. His method of covering the beat was very pleasing with good head carriage. He found and pointed 4 grouse and was steady to the flush. His handler caused him to back-cast on one occasion, otherwise there was nothing to fault. Graded Very Good.
Diggmere New Star, IS Bitch, handled by Jean Baldwin. A completely different style, being a Spinone, but what a lovely hunter. Her pace and style of running was appropriate for her breed. She turned into wind on every flank, keeping a good head carriage, and was responsive to scent but also to the handler, working very nicely as a team. She had a blank first run but we felt was worthy of seeing again. Her second run resulted in a long hard hunt, eventually culminating in a point on a large covey, which she held for some time. This young bitch just displayed a lack of confidence in herself at times but this should develop as she matures. Graded Very Good.
Ismeya Szilvia, HV Bitch, handled by Peter Szalai. What a lovely run from this intelligent and biddable little bitch, who was handled quietly and calmly, letting the dog get on with it but supporting her where needed. She always had her head turned into the wind and kept touching on a line of scent (from a hare that had vacated the beat). The handler moved her away back down to the bottom of the wind on the right of the beat and she found and pointed a covey of 5 in the longer heather. She was controlled well at the flush. Graded Very Good.
Firefrost Huntress, HWV Bitch, handled by Hazel Drew. This dog covered her beat methodically, although she did back-cast a few times. Eventually she was rewarded with a point, which she held for some time, flushing a total of 7 grouse. Very good control on the flushing of the last two very young birds. Graded Good.
Weipowa Rising Star, Wei Bitch, handled by Cheryl Hill. Good drive from this responsive and biddable bitch. Maybe if she wasn’t so biddable she wouldn’t have allowed the handler to keep causing her to back-cast! She had a good find and point fairly early in her run on a single cock grouse and was kept steady at the flush. We worked her on and she encountered another single bird but had not been the right side of the wind to have pointed this one. Pleasing style and pace. Graded Good.
Zoldmali Anizs, HWV Bitch, handled by Ian Wearing. This dog got into birds early on in her run and pointed 2 adults with very young chicks. The dog became very cautious and was unwilling to flush after the first “cheeper” was produced, perhaps not wanting to risk making a mistake. We re-aligned her beat to avoid incident and she quickly resumed hunting with pace on a wide beat. She had a good find and point on a single bird in a clump of long heather but again was very “sticky” when asked to flush. Graded Good.
Karrouki Windrush D’Lyla, HV Bitch, handled by Susanna Mills. A good little game finder, she just kept on finding grouse. She had a point on 4 early on in her run so we worked her on in order to see more ground coverage. A find and point on 2 was then followed by another point on 4. Very enthusiastic flushing of the birds but the handler kept control and the dog was dropped on the whistle each time. Graded Good.
Gonegos I Put a Spell on You, HWV Bitch, handled by Roy Bebbington. This 9 year old had a hard hunt on a back wind and really showed that she knows her job, covering the ground in search of scent. It was a blank run. Her second run led her almost straight into scent. She quartered a couple of passes and drew onto point. The cock bird lifted on the far side of the long heather before we approached but she remained steady on point, producing the hen and a chick. Graded Good.
Pilgrimsledens Tor, Old Danish Pointer Dog, handled by Knud Madsen. A steady and methodical manner of working along the edge of a gulley, this dog had a point on 3 birds early in his run. He worked on with good style and had a point on a single very young bird, but then went down into the gulley where the hunting pattern went a bit awry. We felt the handler could have been more supportive to the dog here and got him back on track. As the dog eventually came back up onto the higher ground he reacted to some scent, had a think about it and took himself further down the wind to have a second go at it, then on the third time was successful in nailing the birds. A lovely point on 5, followed by a steady response to the flush. An intelligent piece of work by this dog. Graded Very Good.
Oska Croggan, HWV Dog, handled by Ken Hindmarch. This dog certainly knows his job. His handler just needs to trust him more. He produced a beautiful piece of work, hunting a wide beat with good drive, never turning his nose off the wind, and just kept finding birds. Points on two sizeable coveys was followed by another on 3 very young birds. The dog was absolutely under control and steady on the flush and was very well handled, a pleasure to judge. Graded Excellent.
Many thanks to the HWVA for the invitation to judge at this superb venue, along with our thanks to steward, Phil Robinson, and all those behind the scenes who contribute to the smooth running of these events.
Judged by Mrs Stevie Allerton & Mrs Jean Baldwin
What a pleasure to be out on this moor, by kind permission of the Roxby Estate and the keeper, Mark Taylor, who was with us all day and made sure we were able to put dogs in touch with the grouse.
Our thanks to steward, Sharon Newman, Mark Taylor, and all those behind the scenes who contribute to the smooth running of these events.
The weather stayed fine and provided ideal conditions for the dogs, although the south-westerly wind caused the keeper a few headaches as it meant we had to run a partial cheek wind or a back wind for the Adults. We ran dogs for a minimum of 10 minutes, in accordance with the published guidelines (even if they had a point very early in their run). to enable us to make a proper assessment of all the elements required of a hunting/pointing dog. We were able to make 6 awards today from a card of 7 Juniors and 9 Adults.
Ekkolanders Indian Summer (LM) handled by Karen Saynor. This 11 month old bitch showed great style and pace from first being cast off to hunt. She covered the ground well and showed an intelligent use of the wind, although a couple of backcasts did lose her contact with the wind on occasion. She had a good find and point on a single bird, was steady to flush, and worked on purposefully again for the rest of the 10 minutes. Graded Very Good.
Parhelis Irulan (Wei) handled by Adrian Morgan. 20 month old bitch demonstrating lovely style and drive from the off. Good ground coverage with minimal handling, always with her nose into the wind. There was a pair of grouse right on the edge of her beat that lifted when she wasn’t in a position to have pointed them. The rest of the 10 minute run was blank so we decided to see her again for another run later. On her 2nd run she indicated scent from a long way back, according to her head carriage. She came on a firm point and the handler worked her in through the long heather, a few steps at a time. She never lost contact with the birds and flushed them just as they reached the shorter heather. A lovely piece of work. Graded Excellent.
Ambermoore Crazy Diamond (HWV) handled by Jan Gough. This bitch had a different style and pace of hunting, but did so very competently and methodically. Ground treatment was good, working a cheek wind with a deep gulley on the edge of her beat. She worked the wind correctly, and drew onto point on the brow of the gulley. A pair of grouse lifted from below her on the bank as the handler approached, and she was steady to the flush. We worked her on and at the end of her allotted time she bumped into a bird as she turned on the edge of her beat (not pointable with the wind) , then had a flash point on the second bird of the pair. Again she was steady to the flush. Graded Very Good.
Oska Croggan (HWV) handled by Ken Hindmarch. This 7 year old dog showed maturity in his intelligent use of the wind. A nice hunting dog that was lovely to watch, reacting to scent and not wasting any time in sorting it out. He found a single grouse in a tiny narrow strip of long heather that would have been very easy to miss, had a tentative point, and was steady to the bird as it flushed. Running on, he subsequently had a good solid point on a trio. Graded Very Good.
Seehof Krysia (GSP) handled by Janice Hawkes. This young bitch runs with a lovely style and head carriage and never turns her nose off the wind. She had a point early on, in the first minute, but a noise from a dog in the gallery caused her to move and she lost contact with the bird. During her run she did have a tendency to point residual scent, but eventually drew on and firmed up on point, taking her handler in a good 30 yards to flush a single grouse. Sympathetically handled. Graded Good.
Morehay Fane (HWV) handled by Colin Hailstone. This dog was presented with a back wind but he hunted it well and covered a wide enough beat. He had a a point on a pair of birds which he held for a long while. Asked to hunt on, the handler cast the dog away but the dog used his intelligence to work back into the large clump of reeds again and produced another three birds. He was absolutely steady to the flush. A nice piece of work. Graded Very Good.
Stevie Allerton & Jean Baldwin.