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Gundog events at the
CLA Game Fair 2003

Photo by W Moores OUR DOGS
Always a great draw at the event is the ‘International’ competition;
above a labrador scales the fench after a blind retrieve from water
at the last event held at the Harewood estate in 1999.

THE GUNDOG area within the CLA Game Fair, which is to be held on August 1st-3rd at Harewood House, near leeds, is one of its most popular areas and is in its own right the largest event of its kind in the UK.

The Gundog chairman for this year is Phil Wagland, the deputy chairman is Steven Crookes and the Gundog advisor is Graham Cox.

The International Arena

This specially designed arena provides a variety of cover, fences and water to test the top dogs from Britain and Europe. The events in the arena are planned by Phil Wagland assisted by Mick Rock and Steve Crookes.

The Aigle/Euro Challenge – Friday

This year, the Game Fair is delighted to welcome seven teams who will be competing in this event, four from European countries and three from English regions. Germany was the leading European team at last year’s Game Fair. Austria was the winning team at the European International Working Test in 2002, whilst Sweden was the winning country in the Coupe d’Europe.


France has not competed at the Game Fair previously. The three English regions are North West, Midlands and Yorkshire and the North East. Each team will have four handlers and four different breeds of dog. There will be one hunting dog, such as a spaniel or HPR, and three retrievers, such as a Labrador, a Flatcoat, and a Golden Retriever or Chesapeake Bay Retriever. Each team will walk up through the arena and complete various tests. The spaniel or HPR will hunt while the retrievers walk at heel. There will be short retrieves for the hunting dog, and longer, more difficult ones for the retrievers. This will be an exciting start to a great schedule of events in the Gundog programme.

The Jeep International Team Championship – Saturday and Sunday.

England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales compete in the traditional International match with Spaniels running each morning and Retrievers in the afternoon.

This event, which began in 1969, was first held at the CLA Game Fair in 1977. England, the present holders of the Trophy have won 22 times in all, whilst Scotland and Ireland each have six victories to their credit. Although Wales have often gained top individual awards they have yet to record an overall win.

The International Arena has been laid out specially for the 2003 Game Fair and provides a variety of cover, with rough grass, roots, woodland, fences and water to test the top dogs in the country.


The International Arena is also the setting for top class demonstrations of gundog training by the most well known handlers. Ian and Wendy Openshaw, several times a winner of the Spaniel championship, will demonstrate the training of Spaniels. The work of training retrievers will be the subject of the display by John and Sandra Halstead of the famed Drakeshead Labrador kennels.

Have a Go Events
(open to everyone)

This year, there will be seven Have a Go events, reflecting the popularity of public participation. The four Have a Go events organised by the Game Fair team each have awards for young handlers, and contribute to the Victor Ludorum Award.

 The Sporting Gun Scurry: an event which finds the fastest dogs on marked retrieves.
 The Friskies Pick Up: blind retrieves against the clock.
 The Gilpa Scramble: a test of obedience and agility with a series of obstacles found in the shooting field.
 The Dog and Gun: this competition tests ability with a gun, followed by the retrieving ability of the competitor’s dog.
 The Victor Ludorum: this is an award for the competitor who scores the most points n the four Have a Go events, above.
 The Bulldog (BASC): a series of retrieves.
 Snooker (BASC): a series of retrieves involving dummies which, as in the game of snooker, are worth different points.
 Gone Wild Scurry (Game Conservancy): Retrieves over obstacles.

The Working Dog Ring

Each day, there is a full programme of displays and demonstrations in the Working Dog Ring, organised by Wendy Andrews. The displays will range across all kinds of dogs, gundogs, support dogs, agility, herding, in fact all sporting and working dogs. Dogs assist man in so many ways, and these displays will show how dogs are highly trained and enjoy their work.

These displays include:

Parade of Sporting Dogs
Hearing dogs for deaf people
Flatcoat Retriever demonstrations
Euro teams Gundog displays
Heelwork to music
Gundogs, Hawkes and Falcons
Working Golden Retrievers
Disaster dogs – search and rescue
Young Kennel Club
Working Clumber Spaniel Display

Sporting Dog Pavilion

The pavilion will include the 34 breeds of gundog officially recognised by the Kennel Club. Sponsored by Gilpa, visitors will be able to see the different breeds close up and talk to experts. Parades also take place in the Working Dog Ring, with a commentary by David Tomlinson of The Shooting Times.

Gundog Question Time

At set times, Gundog experts will be on hand to answer questions.

The Lurcher Game Fair Championship

The National Lurcher and Racing club organises this competition in the Lurcher ring.


Eye & Health check clinic – sponsored by Shooting Gazette.
Dog Crèche.