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Andrew in Clumber mode

CSGC Chairman’s success with more mainstream breeds is good news for Clumbers with ambition.

We all know our chairman Andrew Parker is modest about his own abilities. He won’t be all that keen to feature in this blog, but forgive me Andrew, your first win with Springer Walter was a day to put firmly on the record.

Winning an AV Novice with one Springer and gaining a third place with another in the same trial is an achievement in anyone’s language. Doing it within pretty illustrious company just underlines the triumph. Andrew’s win with his Springer Walter was preceded by a number of near misses and highly creditable places. This win opens Andrew’s account in the Springer world, but it will also open doors for Clumbers. We have a chairman who will be taken very seriously amongst those who are influential in spaniel competition.

This at a time when Parkforth has a couple of Clumbers highly worthy of wider appreciation and we all know of other handy dogs coming through.

Obviously, huge congratulations to Andrew from all of us but let us also think about what a boost this will be to our new Club. Primarily, it establishes Andrew at the forefront of those (numerous)people who run a Clumber alongside other spaniels in the field. To work a Clumber as part of a gundog team is not at all unusual but those who submit their handling skills to examination at the highest level are close to unique.

Despite the fact that this was a win without a Clumber in sight, it is really important for CSGC. To get Clumbers into the best possible hands, and thereby show what the breed can really achieve, is a core aim of the Club. We know that our own personal handling and training can only improve when guided by skilled handlers usually (but not always) arising from experience and success with Cockers or Springers. Think Roy Elllershaw or Ron James.

The CSGC knows that this is also quiet advancement for Clumbers. Already the Parkforth Clumber pair Elvis and Gino are becoming known and talked about in AV terms. With every run, Field Trial Secretaries will become more curious and, yes, more excited to see the best in current Clumberdom. The only path to getting Clumbers to be taken seriously is to demonstrate what can be brought out of those dogs already benefitting from thoughtful breeding and dedicated training. That in turn requires knowledge, application by sheer graft and experience.

Andrew is the first to say he has learned his craft by working with and listening to Paul Matthews and Roy Ellershaw. Many miles travelled to work alongside other skilled spaniel handlers and careful study have been unseen. Modesty yes, but an iron determination and total focus on the goal.

The Clumber Spaniel Gundog Club will be a winner here. We can have hard-headed recognition of the fact that Andrew’s success will benefit Parkforth, CSGC and every Clumber or minority breed in serious training.

Great news then as we celebrate this Club’s formation and its significant potential. Our influence in the spaniel world has been gently expanded. We are well equipped to take the opportunities which will come our way.

Walter, Andrew's Springer, obviously proud of his achievement

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