Barbet News (page 33)
The CLA Game Fair 2009
Yvonne, Melanie and Richard with the
stunningly hirsuite Odo in front.
This years `C.L.A Game Fair` held at Belvoir Castle in Leicestershire proved to be another step forward for the barbet and the club. For the first time, covering all three days of such a major event would take a great deal of teamwork.
Arriving on Thursday evening, to be set up in good time for Friday, we were able to set up camp in the field set aside for those attending with working dogs. Betsy was delighted to catch up with two of her male pups, Remy and Odo and we were delighted to catch up on each others news over a glass of wine. That night we discovered the pack of hounds kenneled at the end of the field. A mexican wave of dogs barking would travel the campsite culminating in the hounds all howling in unison. It`s a wonder we got any sleep. On the Friday morning we met up with Fiona and Betsy`s daughter NÚnu. With the public arriving early we just had time to set up our pen before we were busy talking to visitors. The Sporting Dogs Pavillion remained busy throughout the day and the barbets coped easily with being constantly stroked and patted and not to mention and endless stream of visitors` dogs to meet. With five barbets in attendance we were able rotate dogs and owners in the pavillion, attend the twice daily parade of HPR (Hunt, Point & Retrieve) breeds in the display ring and still give the dogs some time out to relax.
On display in the main arena.
On the Saturday, the busiest day in terms of visitor numbers, it was Bepops turn to have a happy reunion with two of her pups as Bonnie and Duplo arrived with their owners Julie and Richard and Jill and Roger respectively. The pups, now 8 months old showed remarkable maturity and steadiness in what for them must be a strange environment. Now with seven barbets on site we were able to get a good balance between manning our stand, the display ring and having a look round the rest of the Game Fair. It soon became apparent that the dogs were generating just as much interest walking around the site as they were in the Pavillion. A quick visit to the numerous clay pidgeon traps confirmed that the dogs are not gun shy, even when next to the breech loaded guns which sounded more like small cannons being fired. In the evening, with the visitors gone, we were able to take advantage of Belvoir`s grounds and lake and take the dogs for a well deserved run followed by a mass swim in the lake.
On the Sunday the expected rain held off and we again saw large numbers of visitors taking an interest in the barbet in the Sporting Dogs Pavillion including a French family who were previously unaware of the breed (it is still rare in its native country). Luckily, having visited France several times with our girls we were able to explain in French without stretching our linguistic skills. In the afternoon, Fiona who had been manning the stand all morning with NÚnu went to support NÚnu`s gundog trainer Huw, who was taking part in the field trials as part of the Welsh team.
As the Fair came to a close and we packed up ready to travel home, we could reflect on a very successful event for the barbet. All the dogs attending behaved exceptionally well and were a credit to their breed, and the effort, commitment and passion shown by the club members for `their` breed could not fail to impress those who met the barbet for the first time. We can now look forward to next years event where the current crop of youngsters will be competing in some of the scurries and field trials and fulfilling the potential they are showing.
(l to r back)Julian, Julie, Jill, Jonty, Wendy & Melanie
(l to r front) Bepop, Bonnie, Duplo, Betsy and Remy.
For further information on the CLA Game Fair visit their website at www.gamefair.co.uk