Oct 022013
 

GUNDOG DEMONSTRATIONS

An entertaining & educational demonstration of dog training methods, gundog skills and a wonderful array of tricks – a real crowd pleaser at any event!  Stephen & his team have appeared all over the country from Cornwall to Yorkshire including at the New Forest Show, Buckham Fair, Frome Show, Salisbury Jubilee, Wessex Country Fair, Ellingham Show and many village & local events.

“Stunning! In the 40 years I have been involved with Gundog displays, yours was the most entertaining and informative display of man and dog working together in total harmony that I have ever seen! Just brilliant!”
Brian Willis, Chairman of the Shaftesbury Show

TRAINING

“We have been impressed beyond words with Stephen’s training techniques & enthusiasm. His humour, knowledge & patience encourage swift, productive development & make a seemingly complicated learning journey simple to understand & fun. Everything’s about having fun with your dog. We are so very grateful.”

Shaun & Niki Adkins

Read more about Stephen here

Sep 152017
 

Can’t say I’m too sad that the show season is finally over and that the shooting season now beckons. It’s sometimes easy to lose sight of the fact that the reason I have gundogs is to take them shooting, not to put on displays of tricks and manoeuvres that you’d never see anywhere else but in a show arena!

All in all, I’m really happy with the way the show season has gone. Yes, there have been a few hiccups along the way, but these have been overshadowed by shows that I will always remember with pride: Thornton, Buckham and Wessex to name but 3. And I’ve already received enquiries for some really big shows for 2018, including for the Royal Bath & West. We’re still mulling next year’s plan over ….

I’m so lucky to have such talented dogs but even more fortunate to have a team around me who help set everything up, perform in the ring with me, field the public’s questions and then spend a couple of hours dismantling all the gear in rain and shine. Special mention has to go to Kim Swain who has not only performed brilliantly with her dogs but also been a tireless supporter together with husband Alan and their delightful, well-mannered and ever helpful son, Max. And none of all this could have been done without the steadfast support and patience of my AB! Thank you to all of you.

Now it’s time to put the PA systems away, roll up the gazebo and store the dummy launcher and bolting rabbit for another year. It’s time to switch the girls off being Prima Ballerinas in the ring to being efficient working dogs in the shooting field again, an environment that both they and I prefer.

Now where did I store that game carrier, the priest and all my radios …..?

Sep 052017
 

It’s our last and probably biggest show of the year this Saturday – The Frome Cheese and Agricultural Show in Somerset.

The show has been staged for over 150 years and now attracts tens of thousands to the showground in Frome. Whilst cheese still plays an important role, the show has expanded to include a huge array of arena attractions, and we are fortunate enough to have been included in this year’s line up, doing one demonstration at lunchtime in the Village Green arena.

Take a look at what’s on offer at:

www.fromecheeseshow.co.uk/theshow/whatson/

The West Woodlands Showground is located just outside the town of Frome on the B3092 heading towards Maiden Bradley and Longleat. The nearest train station is Frome (less than 2 hours from London Paddington) from which they will be running a complimentary shuttle service to the showground throughout the day. All general public parking is free. There is ample space and excellent traffic management plans in place to ensure ease of access for all visitors. The Showground’s Post Code is BA11 5ES should you require it for Sat Nav guidance but please follow Show Signage on your approach. 

I know many friends, helpers and clients will be coming along to help us celebrate the last show of the year and, who knows, perhaps the last show we do. Come and join us.

 

 

Aug 142017
 

We’ve been invited back by Martin Clunes (aka Doc Martin and one of the Men Behaving Badly) to appear at his annual dog and horse show in Beaminster, Dorset this Sunday.

Everything is for charity and Martin is kind enough to hold a reception the evening before for all the contributors who give their time for free in support of this year’s charity, the Dorset Air Ambulance.

It is extraordinary how popular this event is: last year, 17,000 turned up and more are hoped for this year. It’s a really relaxed event. All the prices are reduced by stall holders as all proceeds go to charity (I seem to remember paying £1 for a coffee last year). And the entrance fee is very modest too!

Martin himself is clearly the big draw, judging many of the dog classes (including the dog who looks most like his co-star Neil Morrissey who will also be there) and entering his own Clydesdales into the heavy horse competitions. He also makes a point of mingling and meeting as many members of the public as possible.

We are on in the main arena at 1330 for 40 minutes or so. Kim and I have a new, much improved routine that shows off the dogs’ amazing abilities better, so we’re hoping to repeat the performances we delivered in Yorkshire last week. The weather is meant to be breezy and overcast – perfect for us, but not so appealing perhaps for the punters. Fingers crossed for a big turnout.

www.buckhamfair.co.uk

Aug 122017
 

Oh the embarrassment of it all!

Yes, I had to be towed on to the showground at the Thornton Le Dale Show by a tractor! Years of being in a tank regiment were of no use as I floundered in Somme-esque  mud after 2 days of incessant rain. But I was in good company – every single vehicle attending the show had to be towed on!

We’re back now from a wet but fantastically successful and enjoyable show ‘up North! What lovely, accommodating and welcoming people. Kim and I put on two 40 minute displays in the heart of gundog training country but needn’t have worried. Our displays were really well received, even to the extent that someone is driving down 300 miles for a lesson!

But , as for my cross country driving skills, it was cringe-worthy! Let’s hope that next week’s event at Martin Clunes’ estate isn’t so wet.  If it is, Andrea can do the driving and I will advise from a distance. That way I can do what I always did when I was a tank commander – blame the driver!