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(Updated 19/8/01)

You might not be able to teach an old dog new tricks...

… but when it comes to hounds and gundogs, you can always rely on that ‘Hansom’ man, Dick Finch, to come up with something new and exciting.

Renowned breeder and judge of show and working dogs, Dick has been responsible for building the Midland Game Fair’s reputation as one of the country’s leading venues for hounds and especially gundogs.

And Midland 2001, held as usual at Weston Park, Shropshire, on Saturday and Sunday 15 and 16, will be no exception and will also see a couple of exciting innovations.

‘The Albrighton Foxhounds and the Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire & Staffordshire Beagles, will be appearing in the main arena on both days’, said Dick, ‘In the past, we have only ever paraded the hounds, but this year, for the first time, we have asked the Albrighton Foxhounds for a complete meet on the Saturday. This will include Masters, Staff, Field Master, Members of the Hunt and Pony club members of the Albrighton Foxhounds, and hopefully some of their ladies who are attending and are able to ride side-saddle will do so’.

In addition to the Hound Parade, a Mink Hound Show will take place this year after its two previous successes … although, as with so many events this season, whether packs are able to attend is still very much dependent upon the foot and mouth animal movement restrictions.

Last year’s Gundog Parade was the best ever, with at least two representatives of more than 30 separate and distinct breeds present. This year, Dick hopes to do equally well, but is also introducing a Sight Hound display at the Fair for the first time.

‘We have Hound and Mink Hound Parades, Gundogs have their own parade and a number of different field trials and other competative events, Lurchers and Terriers are particularly well catered for and we do have a Greyhound Coursing display’, he explained, ‘But there are plenty of other Sight Hounds, what about them? Not catered for.
‘I just felt this was an omission and it was time to do something about it. We would like at least two representatives of as many breeds as possible and all the appropriate club secretaries have been contacted and asked to arrange entries for our inaugural Sight Hound Parade. This will take place on both days in the Countryside Alliance arena, which this year is at the heart of our new and expanded Countryside Village.’