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The Clumber Spaniel Gundog Club (CSGC) has been evolving since the start of this season and celebrates its official formation at a shoot over day on the wonderful Greystoke Castle Estate on 26th November.

CSGC styles itself deliberately as a Gundog Club, existing solely for handlers keen to train for excellence in gundog work. Our single object is to get the absolute best from some remarkably improved working lines, now requiring equally good handling and training. We welcome any minority breed spaniels interested in this aim.

Doors opened when Midori Diamond Huddlestone made history by winning an AV Novice Trial against good Springers, requiring the Kennel Club to admit minority breed spaniels to Open Stakes. The next chapter now needs to be written.

I am proud to serve as Chairman of CSGC and to have qualified a Springer of my own for this year’s Championships. Most importantly for CSGC, my own Clumbers are now seen as strong AV challengers and we have the attention of leading figures in the wider spaniel world…. but only if we act with determination and dedication. As the CSGC membership passes 30 ambitious handlers across the UK we see that there is a clear enthusiasm to raise the bar for Clumbers.

CSGC won’t suit everyone, and we are selective in admission to membership. You don’t have to be interested in competition, just to have a desire for a properly trained gundog, CSGC will not be a provider of health information, breeding restrictions or social activities. Important as health issues are, they are well catered for by The Working Clumber Spaniel Society (WCSS) or the breed club, The Clumber Spaniel Club.

Good training on live game is especially essential and training shoot overs are central to CSGC programs. Any handler who is serious about training to the standard of a good spaniel is welcome to apply, but to keep focus we will restrict membership numbers to 50 at the outset.

This Club will always concentrate its resources on the aim of improving the dogs. That means no committee honorariums or unnecessary costs. Happily, the committee has strong experience in Gundog club organisation and is well connected to those who can help the Club move swiftly and effectively.

If Clumbers in particular, and minority breeds in general, are to really fulfil their capabilities we must accept that there is much work to be done. This is not a time for complacency or belief that Clumbers are excused from reaching the standards of more mainstream spaniels. CSGC will not allow our breed to be compromised.

The best working lines would not be where they are today without the tireless work of skilled spaniel figures such as Roy Ellershaw, Paul Matthews and Dave Kent. All have given their time to our breed so freely. We are proud to count them amongst CSGC membership where they will have our unswerving respect and support. Unfortunately, not their recent experience with WCSS, at a crucial time when the opportunity for the breed is paramount.

There is no question of a split from WCSS. Rather, we urge all our members to continue to support WCSS and do what they can to hold the Society to its founding objectives.

CSGC is a Gundog Club for those serious about proper gundog training of any minority breed spaniel. Nothing more and definitely nothing less.

Andrew Parker

Chairman. The Clumber Spaniel Gundog Club 23 November 2022

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