And so, with the Wessex Heavy Horse Show behind us, we can draw a veil over another year of demonstrations and shows. Glorious weather in Shaftesbury on Sunday at a quintessentially English country fair. Great fun.
Verdict for 2014? As always, some good events, some not so good. But overall, I’m very happy with the dogs’ performances this year. Daisy has come on leaps and bounds and has emerged as a strong, well-behaved Gundog, a firm favourite with the punters. But she’ll be over two by the time next year’s shows roll around, so we won’t be able to use her in any “puppy” training sequences again. Note to self: get another pup in 2015!
As for Poppy, she just did her stuff without too much exuberance: she’s clearly a very clever little dog who is, quite frankly, bored with doing tricks and just wants to get amongst the real fur and feather.
The biggest lesson I’ve learned? Sadly, it’s that many people for whom I give up my time free of charge don’t have the good grace to even say thank you. A sign of the times, perhaps? I hope not.
So the hoops, poles, collars, bolting rabbits, PA system and all the other show paraphernalia are tucked away until next year when we’ll take stock and see how many, if any, shows we’ll take on. In the meantime, as we used to say in the Army, I’m going to “minimise on this means” and just enjoy the shooting season with my dogs.
They’ve earned their fun!