The 2015 NFTA Championships were held in Klerksdorp and surrounding farms and convened by the Central Field Trial Club over the weekend of 24 and 25 July 2015. The weather was a major factor with cold, windy and at times wet conditions making for some trying rounds. Birds were testy and handlers more cautious than usual.
The Judging Panel whom acquitted themselves very well at this eminent event consisted of Rose Hoffman (Chief Judge) – CFTC, Mike Galloway – BFTC, Annecke Barnard – KZN HPR. The two day event was marked by cold, overcast weather and even light drizzles on day 1, followed by sunshine and cold weather on day 2. Three new venues which had been “tested” in the CFTC trial in June were used in this trial. All three were rather productive (or destructive as described by some) and proved to be the undoing of quite a few dogs. The venues were Neil Orford’s “Guinea Haven”, John Roos’s “Killing/Culling Fields” – feared for fur and feather and Thys Lourens “Vaalkop” – being the venue for the final afternoon round. The final round took place on a blustery and bitterly cold afternoon and the size and eagerness of the gallery was a great indication of the enjoyment and dedication all participants and families showed towards the sport.
A total of 31 Pointers and Setters were qualified and invited to this National Championship event with 26 dogs entered into the draw of round one. The winner of the 2015 National Championship event was a tri colour Llewellyn Setter bitch NFTCh Highlands Daisy owned by Stuart Dewing (BFTC). Daisy had some tough competition throughout the trial but showed maturity not often seen in such a young dog and exuberance in all that she did. The judges had a very difficult time placing the top three but in the end her consistency and quality work earned her first place. The second place was awarded to N.FT.Ch Von Bush Bush Biscuit, a lemon and white Pointer bitch owned by Deon Jordaan. She performed consistently throughout the season achieving 3 COM’S in the annual Club events. As mentioned above there was very little separating the top dogs and Biscuit’s performance was again from the top drawer.
The liver and white Pointer bitch FT.Ch. Mountain Valley Ammo owned by Stuart Dewing was placed third. This little dog earned a third place at BFTC championships and a COM at the CFTC Championships during the 2015 season.
A total of Four COM’s were awarded to the following dogs from 1 to 4: Glen Etive Jimmy – red Irish Setter dog owned by Neil Scott, F.T.Ch. Winston KolaPointer bitch owned by John Miller, F.T.Ch Stormberg Sport Pointer bitch owned by Jane Mackie, F.T.Ch. Windsong’s Atilla Pointer dog owned by Dr Dieter Nischk.
This year’s National Field Trail Championship was not only characterised by good dog work, clever birds and great camaraderie amongst the participants but also a fair amount of fun was had by all. On the first evening (Thursday) an auction of used / unused / not-wanted mother-in-law presents and various items were auctioned off by the well esteemed Jason Coleman-Miles who also conducted himself as an excellent Field Steward during the day. The second evening (Friday) a “Best Dressed” fashion and celebrity show was held in the Boma at HQ. Entertainment was provided by the winner of the Napier Idols 2014, Cocky Lobbin. The astute Fashion Police Panel consisted of Robbie Crawford-Brunt, Neil Scott and Charles Mackie.
The 2015 Field Trial Season was concluded with an outstanding prize-giving ceremony and dinner hosted by the friendly owners Anske and Winia of Inyala Lodge.
A special thank you to Yvette Fraser, Rose Hoffmann, Jason Coleman-Miles, Peter Koller, Perto Smith (Yvette’s Mom), Dr DJ Comyn (outstanding bar support), Deon Jordaan and Annecke Barnard for support, help with surveys and all the arrangements and organisation around the trial which often goes unseen but without which a trial would just not flow as this one did.
To all owners and your dogs, well done for participating and congratulations on your achievements during the 2015 field trial season.