Dog breeder Clacks aims to win big at Game Fair
A CLACKS dog breeder is hoping his luck will hold this weekend as he takes part in a one-of-a-kind competition between four nations.
Alistair Learmonth, who runs Riffmuir Kennels at Alloa, is expected to represent the Scottish HPR international team at the famous Game Fair, to be held at Ragley Hall in Warwickshire this weekend.
The hunting dog breeder will travel with Field Trials Champion (FTCh) Berriedale Vesta from Riffmuir – more affectionately known as Heidi.
Alistair is hoping her luck will hold as Heidi just won first place in a working houndhound test event held in Somerset on July 3, when her field test winning kennel mate ( FTW) Rollenwood Magheralin from Riffmuir, also known as Meah, won first place in the scurry competition.
It was a glorious day for the competition and despite the scents that mingled that day, Heidi came out on top.
Alistair, who has traveled extensively for competitions and testing, said: “It was new ground for me and there is actually a pretty strong group of individuals competing and meeting each other, you meet a lot of old friends over the years, even though we compete against each other, we chat and send correspondence. ”
Heidi achieved Field Trials champion status in January 2020 by securing first place in an open trial in Leicestershire and Alistair has high hopes for the coming weekend.
He told the Advertiser: “I hope my luck holds, we go up there and all the dogs do what they’re supposed to do.
“All the work we’ve done is just a matter of the day – the big thing that dreads me is the heat.”
At the Game Fair this weekend, the best gundogs from England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland will compete in a specially designed arena as part of a team event.
This will be the first time that Hunting, Pointing and Recovery (HPR) dog breeds – such as Alistair’s German Shorthair Pointing Dogs – will participate, bringing together the best for HPR Home International.
Four dogs from each of the four nations will collect items from both land and water before completing a recovery where they will not see the launch.
Alistair added: “It will be a fairly large group of dogs and this is the first time that this has happened.”
Beyond this weekend – which will see HPR Home International on Friday, July 23 – Heidi has also qualified for this year’s Kennel Club HPR Championship, which will be held in November.