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Fourth International ESS Symposium

... a very informal photograph after the Parade!

Over the weekend of July 15th and 16th, the 4th International English Springer Spaniel Symposium was held in Lincolnshire writes David Shields.

The event was blessed with two days of glorious weather, in fact at times it was too hot for the participants, which could have been the excuse for the steady supply of cold beers enjoyed by many who were staying for the two days!

A strong International panel from Australia, America, Sweden, Norway and the UK presided over the event, with myself as the Moderator.

The first day started with each of the panellists giving a short illustrated overview of the breed in their respective countries. There then followed three excellent presentations during the day from Gil Simpson on Artificial Insemination, Jeff Sampson on Genetics and Peter Bedford on Eye Conditions. Each of these generated lively questions and discussions.

The panellists also took it turn to go through their own interpretation of the breed standard and Marie Merchant from Australia presented on the differences between the UK/FCI standard and the AKC standard. By the end of Marie’s presentation it was agreed there was maybe not quite the differences between the two standards as many thought, but was more down to the fashions and the exaggerations our American cousins are looking for in the breed.

The official part of the first day finished with Carolyn Muirhead giving a presentation on the role of the ESS in the field, following which it was then time for everyone to freshen up before the evening’s entertainment.

The second day started with a few sore heads from the previous night’s festivities, but these were soon forgotten as the day’s programme got going.

The first event on the Sunday was a demonstration of the judging system in Sweden and Norway, which was most enlightening for those from the UK who had never judged or visited shows in those countries. The morning session ended with a parade of 14 ESS champions, ending up with them all in the ring together for a very informal photograph!

After lunch a light hearted quiz kept everyone amused, and a big thanks must go to the Springer world’s own ‘Magnus Magnusson’ - Colin Corbett - for organising this. Proceedings ended with an open question and answer session and a superb talk by Dog Listener Jan Fennel.

Apart from those from the UK who attended the two days, there were visitors also from America, Sweden, Finland, Norway, France and Wales. All I can say to those who could not make it, you don’t know what you missed!

Last but not least a big thank you must go to the organising committee and to Glen Miller and Jan Fennel for opening their home to host the event.