Adverts: 0161 709 4576 - Editorial: 0161 709 4571
Mail Order: 0161 709 4578 - Subs: 0161 709 4575 - Webteam: 0161 709 4567
IGL Retriever Championships
Cold winds fail to cool three day success

Photo by Gaynor Bailey
At the IGL Retriever Championships held earlier this month at Ganton,
North Yorkshire, labrador FT Ch Millbuies Milly retrieves at speed.

The 2002 International Retriever League’s Retriever Championship on December 9th, 10th and 11th at Ganton Estate, North Yorkshire by kind permission of Mr N Wrigley and Mr M Rodgers, was a tremendous success.

Sponsored by Roger Skinner Ltd and CAB Transit Boxes, this was the second Championship to be held at Ganton, the first being in 1997 when Gordon Holt’s F.T.Ch. Haskayne Moss of Glensue won so convincingly, the ground being perfect to show off the dogs prowess.

Forty four dogs ran comprising 41 Labradors, 27 males, 14 bitches, of which eight were yellow, the rest black and three Golden Retrievers, 1 dog, 2 bitches. The youngest was Ace of Haverholme born 22.6.00, owned by Guy Bennett, the oldest Golden Retriever Catcombe Chenouk born 4.6.95, owned by Danny Burgess.

Definitely not a learner! Tess lawrence was the subject of a John Halstead ‘prank’ at the IGL Retriever Championships in which she later came third with Allan Thornton’s labrador Willowyck jacksnipe.

The Trial commenced with a walk up in tall set aside with Bill Ferguson and Peter Cole judging on the right, Sandra Halstead and Billy Steel Junior on the left, the first retrieve being of a pheasant shot ahead on which Eric Haydon’s black Lab. Tag of Billyward made a good mark and fast return.

Garry Ford, a keeper from Scotland, had a nice short runner with his Lab. bitch Saturn Lily of Laggengill and Janet Webb’s Conneywarren Russet of Birdbrook made a good job of a pheasant a long way ahead which had fallen in a wood. Unfortunately Liz Bruce’s Glenpatrick Daniel, a smart Scottish Lab. picked the wrong bird when asked to retrieve a pheasant ahead and so was put out, followed by Kevin Doughty’s Hamford Zealot of Highsea’s, who was first dog failure on a runner. Glyn Coopar’s Golden Ret. dog Robenda Paiute made a fast retrieve of a bird deep in the wood and then did the same for his second bird, a great relief to have the first Round of 2 retrieves under your belt!

Syntax Silversnipe Classic, owned by Christian Ayres, a pacey Lab. bitch who won the 2 day Lab. Ret. Club Trial at Sandringham three weeks previously to qualify for the Championship with a marvellous retrieve of a runner which she took a long way, showed her ability on runners again to take one which had moved fast into the wood.

Heather Bradley’s F.T. Ch. Kenwu Wilson of Heathergaye, who had gained 2nd in last year’s championship at Windsor, picked a nice partridge a long way in front of the line putting out Rick Moloney’s Muddymile Dipper who had failed to find. Mike Tallamy’s good looking Labrador dog F.T.Ch. Bringwood Bobby of Brindlebay did a fast return with a pigeon out of a wood and on his next retrieve showed what a good marker he was by dashing straight to a dead pheasant way over to the left, returning with it at speed.

Quick return

F.T. Ch. Loxhore Fern of Lannaker delighted owner Roy Tomlinson with a quick return carrying a hare shot a long way in front beyond a hedge and Bob Stobbart’s Golden Ret. bitch Robenda Sioux marked her bird to the inch with a fast return from way ahead. Ashley Donnan’s F.T. Ch. Glenloch Trojan from Northern Ireland, proved to be another good marker as did Allan Thornton’s Willowyck Jacksnipe, handled by the very experienced Tess Lawrence as poor Allan has been suffering with bad knees. Mrs Heywood Lonsdale’s handsome dog Carolhill Flash, handled by John Halsted Jr, was also going well as was the 2001 Championship winner from Scotland, Tom Smith’s F.T.Ch. Craighorn Bracken, although Tom admitted that he had butterflies in his stomach!

Phil Parkins was the only handler who had qualified two of his own dogs, which was quite an achievement, F.T. Ch. Millbuies Milly and her son, two year old Fernshot Comet, both doing fast, smart work.

Last year’s winner Tom Smith taking retrieve from FT Ch Craighorn Bracken and judge Peter Cole.

Thirty dogs were required by the Judges for the second day, again with a biting east wind but at least fine weather, with 1 retrieve each in the Second Round, asking the handlers to send their dogs for cross retrieves all the way to the far end of the long line. F.T. Ch. Kenwu Wilson of Heathergaye showed how it should be done followed by F.T. Ch. Bringwood Bobby of Brindlebay with copybook marks to the left.

Unfortunately, here we lost Bob Stobbart’s Golden Robenda Sioux who wasn’t listening to his whistle when being handled on a long, long retrieve ahead, eventually called up by the Judge, who next sent Ashley Donnan’s F.T. Ch. Glenloch Trojan, returning with the pheasant in no time.

Darren Hales’s bitch Biney Belle tried hard to jump a seven foot high wire netting fence to retrieve a pheasant which had fallen in the pen before realising that the wire had been raised at the bottom and she could run underneath. Andy Latham’s Endacott Shelf failed to find the last pheasant of five which had fallen into a wood and was eye wiped by Paul Bates’s F.T. Ch. Flyline Clint, handled by Guy Bennett, who made it look easy.

Golden Ret. Catcombe Chenouk handled by Danny Burgess picked a bird a long way behind the line, right in front of the huge crowd of spectators, whilst Stan Tweedy’s Tweedshot Kestrel was unlucky enough to fail to find a pheasant in cover which was then collected by F.T. Ch. Talsbrook Rhum of Bolton Abbey, owned by Lady Hartington and handled by John Halsted Jr.

Twenty four dogs were wanted for the Third Round, two retrieves each being required. Here we lost the only remaining Golden Ret. Robenda Paiute handled by Glyn Coupar who had been going so well but couldn’t pick a bird in thick cover later found by F. T. Millbuies Milly, which must have delighted Phil Parkins. Tess Lawrence with Willowyck Jacksnipe made it look easy whilst picking a pheasant which had defeated both Phil Askew’s Dawn Chorus of Upcountry and George Greig’s Craighorn Garry, therefore putting them both out. Carolhill Flash again went well, marking perfectly a difficult long pheasant that fell in the thick gamecrop. Tom Smith’s F.T. Ch. Craighorn Bracken picked a similar bird followed by a good runner.


As the afternoon wore on four dogs failed on a pheasant lying dead beyond a ditch in a dip, where each dog was unsighted by the handler, the Judges then picking the bird, putting them all out and deciding that would be that until the third day when they would require just eight dogs, Billy Steel’s Rod Wallace of Leadburn, Phil Parkins’s F.T. Ch. Millbuies Milly, Mike Tallamy’s F.T. Ch. Bringwood Bobby of Brindlebay, Roy Tomlinson’s Loxhore Fern of Lannaker, John Derrick’s Mynddmaen Rhos Du, Tess Lawrence with Willowyck Jacksnipe, Darren Hales’s Biney Belle and John Halsted with Carolhill Flash.

There was excitement in the air at the start of the third day, the huge crowd from the UK and abroad were allowed to come close enough to have a fair view of the proceedings taking place high on the Yorkshire Wolds, the sun shining on the frozen ground, the biting wind still evident. Bill Ferguson and Peter Cole took two dogs high up into the gorse at the right side of a deep valley, Sandra Halstead and Billy Steel taking two more high up to the left where Phil Parkins’s F.T. Ch. Millbuies Milly was sent first for a rabbit shot in the gorse on the far side, accomplishing it well. Billy Steel Senior was sent next for a woodcock also from the gorse but unfortunately failed, Phil Parkins wiping his eye after a struggle.

Third, Tess Lawrence with Willowyck Jacksnipe, first, Mike Tallamy with FT Ch Bringwood Bobby of Brindlebay, second, John Halsted with Carolhill Flash and DoM Phil Parkins with FT Ch. Millbuies Milly

The next to go was Roy Tomlinson who failed on a difficult pheasant across in the gorse followed by John Derrick whose dog also failed to find the correct bird in the area. Carolhill Flash then showed the others how to do it by returning very quickly with a pheasant then a rabbit, making these extremely difficult retrieves look simple. Willowyck Jacksnipe also did good work on a rabbit followed by Darren Hales’s Biney Belle with another rabbit but after Jacksnipe had picked a cock pheasant Biney Belle picked the wrong bird from the gorse and was out. F.T. Ch. Millbuies Milly also failed to find the dead pheasant that was required but found a runner after a long search. Eventually Mike Tallamy’s F.T.Ch Bringwood Bobby of Brindlebay retrieved the correct bird, giving him an edge on the remaining contestants, with Carolhill Flash collecting a partridge from the gorse very neatly.

After a discussion the Judges decided to sit the remaining four dogs at a drive where the pheasants fell into an area of fallen corn, Mike Tallamy having two very accomplished retrieves whilst Tess Lawrence’s dog struggled on a partridge which must have put him down the order, John Halsted Jr’s making two fast retrieves, Phil Parkins’s bitch only being asked to make one retrieve which sounded as if he would get a Diploma but not be in the first three.

Returning to the meet at the village hall, (thanks to the ladies who helped there), Mrs Wrigley senior kindly made the presentations after a good speech from the President of the IGL Mr Parker since the Secretary Philip Wainwright had lost his voice. Thanks were given to the Hosts and to the Keeper Tony Canterbury who did such a splendid job of presenting the birds just where and when they were required and to all the helpers and sponsors. First, amidst a roar of approval from the crowd, Mike Tallamy with F.T. Ch. Bringwood Bobby of Brindlebay; 2nd Mrs J.Heywood-Lonsdale’s Carolhill Flash, handled by John Halsted; 3rd Allan Thornton’s Willowyck Jacksnipe, handled by Tess Lawrence; Diploma of Merit Phil Parkins’s F.T. Ch. Millbuies Milly.

So ended a memorable and excellent Championship, enjoyed by everyone.

Photo by Gaynor Bailey
The last eight - Mike Tallamy, Darren Hales, John Halsted, Billy Steel,
Tess Lawrence, Phil Parkins, John Derrick & Roy Tomlinson