SIWSC Training Event, Moorwood Farm, Somerset

We had a wonderful Easter Weekend at the Sporting Irish Water Spaniel Club’s training event held at Moorewood Farm in Somerset.

The event ran like clockwork, and even the weather was glorious with blue skies and sunshine really making it feel like spring for the first time this year. I only had Simon with me as Sookie is hopefully now in pup and Teresa was staying at home with her and Harley.

The weekend was broken down into training sessions on Saturday and Sunday morning with a series of assessment tests on Sunday afternoon, with there being puppy, novice and open groups.

Simon was in the open group and was excellent on Saturday, doing everything that was asked of him with both power and style, I finished the day feeling very chuffed with both him and myself. Big mistake!

The first exercise on Sunday morning was a relatively simple seen retrieve in cover, shortly before the shot and the dummy being thrown a hare broke from cover and ran towards where the dummy would eventually land and then off to the left. Simon , as usual, completely ignored the hare. The shot was fired, the dummy thrown and Simon looked like he had marked it, but when he set off he followed directly the path that the hare had taken and to make things worse he did not stop on the stop whistle. W
e ran a few more exercises and he had gone right off the boil, he was like a different dog from the day before.

We had to go right back to basics, heel work, stop whistle, sit stays etc. We went for lunch with me feeling far from confident.

There were three tests in the evaluation session in the afternoon, a very long seen retrieve, where the dummy throwers were about 150 yards sown a ride and the dummy was thrown into the cover at the side of the ride, followed by a blind retrieve about 60 yards into heavy cover, and lastly a walkup with a seen to the front and a blind to the rear.

Simon was almost back to his Saturday form and ran well in all the tests, his walkup was pretty much perfect. We were placed first.

A huge thanks to the trainers and judges : Mr Neil Varney of Twistmount Gundogs, Mrs Celia Norris and Mr Colin Selwood