I now work for Howard Kirby (pictured above) who recently won the UK Championships for HPR (hunt, point & retrieve) gundogs with Tashi, his German long-haired pointer. Other breeds in this group include Weimeraners, Vizslas, all pointers, setters and many more. This was a fantastic achievement for someone whose reputation as one of the country’s top gundog trainers was built on his prowess with spaniels.
On the back of this win, Howard has decided to run an HPR training day next month for 10 HPR handlers aspiring to emulate Howard’s successes. He has asked me to run half the training events while he does the other half. Only problem is I have never owned or worked an HPR, let alone competed with one. I have helped train a Vizsla in the basics, but nothing more. In fact, until recently, I thought HPR was a brand of beer! What I do know is that the training methods for HPRs differ significantly from any of the other gundog breed types.
So I’m going to have to get stuck in to the HPR training manuals pretty sharpish if I’m to have any credibility at all. A bit of knowledge, coupled with a healthy lashing of apparent confidence and bulls**t, honed during decades in the Army as a tank gunnery instructor, should see me through! My maxim in uniform was always “if in doubt, shout!”
But I must admit to being a bit nervous ……