Top Gundog Weekend Planned at NI Countrysports Fair 2017

This year the NI Countrysports Fair will feature some of the best international competitions of any game fair in Ireland and the gundog competitions are no exception. In addition to the usual Retriever Tests, Spaniel Tests, Pick-Up, Scurry and Agility Tests, we have the largest international mixed breed gundog event of the year in Ireland.


NI Countrysports Fair International Gundog Team Challenge Sponsored by Kronch

 Gundog 1  Kronch Main Logo  Gundog 2

Gundog Arena 1 –  Starting at 10am

The biggest international, mixed-team gundog test ever to be held in Ireland.   This event will see teams of spaniels and retrievers working side-by-side as you would expect to see them work during a game shooting day.  With 8 teams already confirmed from England, Scotland, Wales, Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, including the Irish CLA team, this unique event is one not to be missed.

A bit about some of the international competitors:

Scottish Team – Andy Cullen of Laochin Gundogs has gained numerous field trial awards and has represented Scotland at the Game Fair.  He is based in Hulne Park, Alnwick in the private estate of the Duke of Northumberland which allows him access to excellent training ground and enables him to carefully structure programmes to achieve success.

English Team – Dave Templar has been working predominantly with gundogs now for the last 30 years but has also worked with foxhounds.  He became a professional trainer in 1987, when he started training gundogs for the shooting field and for competitions.  Initially he started training Labradors and pointer breeds, only breaking into competitive spaniels around 7 years later.  Dave has appeared on the BBC2 programme ‘Cats v Dogs’ where he was asked to demonstrate control and handling techniques.

Welsh Team – With over 20 years’ experience Alistair Ross was introduced to gundogs by his uncle who was a gamekeeper.  He has had much success in the field of gundogs gaining a Diploma at ESS Championships, qualified 3 times for the Chatsworth Working Tests and has been a 9 times member of the CLA team.  His favoured breed is the English springer spaniel as he states ‘they do everything for me in the workplace as a gamekeeper.  I have them ‘dogging in, beating and picking up on shoot days.’

West Ireland Team – Wayne Carlisle was introduced to gundogs by his father Eric.  In the field for over 30 years, he is currently working with 3 Labradors and has had great success at winning trials and also winning with the Northern Ireland team at an international event at Birr in 2016.  He favours the breed as he enjoys having them at heel when out shooting and in the hide when pigeon shooting and picking up.

East Ireland Team – Currently working 7 gundogs, including Labradors and cocker spaniels, Damien Newman was first introduced to gundogs 38 years ago when out shooting.  He has been the winner of the Irish Retriever Championships Twice and finds that Labradors and cockers are good all round gundogs as well as competition dogs.

Southern Ireland Team – Well known enthusiast Jimmy Black has been involved with gundogs since being introduced by a friend 31 years ago.  He has won at the 2015 Irish Retriever Championship and was also runner up in the 2010 Championship.  Currently working 3 Labrador’s, he finds them very good retrievers and great hunters.

Northern Ireland Team – Bertie Barrett has been working gundogs since 1980 when he bought his first gun.  Brought up in a greyhound family he was also given a springer spaniel by a greyhound friend that same year.  He is currently working with 6 English Springer Spaniels and has had most success during the 4 times he has been on the CLA team.  Bertie loves the excitement of working, shooting and competing with his spaniels.

Irish International CLA Team – Declan Boyle has been involved in gundogs for the past 15 years after being introduced to the sport by Thomas Hughes Jr.  He is currently training 3 dogs with his favourite breed being the Labrador.  Declan does a lot of picking up and field trials with his dogs and he them to be a great all round hunting dog.  He has achieved 2 place in the Irish Retriever Championships in 2016, has run at the CLA Game Fair 5 times and been top Irish dog twice.

Scarvagh House Agility Challenge Sponsored by Nutts About Pets & NI Countrysports Fair

 Gundog 3  nutts-about-pets-logo  Gundog 4

Agility Arena – Starting at 10am

Kindly sponsored by Nutts About Pets, the Scarvagh House Agility Challenge will be an agility event with a twist.  This event will see the dog and its handler complete the agility course against the clock.  There will be a number of obstacles in the course as well as a basic retrieve to finish but beware of picking up penalty points along the way!  This event is open to all ages but adult and junior competitors will be judged separately.

Gundog Pick Up Sponsored by Nutts About Pets

 Gundog 5  nutts-about-pets-logo

Gundog Pick-Up Arena –  Starting at 10am

Running throughout the day from 10am, the gundog pick can be entered on the day and is open to any breed of gundog.  Competing against the clock the dog has to pick up a dummy and retrieve back to its handler in as quick a time possible.

BASC North / South Challenge Sponsored by Chudleys

chudleys-logo  North South Challenge Scarva 2016

Gundog Arena 2 – Starting Time To Be Confirmed

This event sees the winning team from the BASC gundog day take on the winning team from the Republic of Ireland in a challenge for the Perpetual North South Challenge Shield.


Retriever Tests Sponsored by Bluegrass

Gundog 7 Barbour-Brand-Logo_green

Blue Grass Dog Food Logo

Gundog 8

Gundog Arena 1 –  Starting at 10am

Craigavon Gundog Club will be staging the Bluegrass Retriever Tests at the show.  This event will be open to all retriever handlers within the various categories.  Entries will be taken on the day.  Starting off with the Advanced competition at 10am followed by the Unclassified and Novice tests.

Spaniel Tests Sponsored by Kronch

 Gundog 9  Kronch Main Logo  Gundog 10

Gundog Arena 2 –  Starting at 10am

Organised by Bertie Barrett, the Kronch Spaniel Tests will be open to all spaniel handlers within the various categories which will include Open, Puppy and Novice.  Entries will be taken on the day and all proceeds will go to the Children’s Hospice.  Spaniel tests will start at 10am sharp.  Proceeds from this event will be going to the Children’s Hospice.

Scarvagh House Gundog Scurry Sponsored by Kronch

NEWS  Kronch Main Logo NEWS

Gundog Arena 1 – Starting at 2pm

Open to any breed of gundog, the Scarvagh House Gundog Challenge will see individual dog’s complete retrieves against the clock over a specially designed course with a number of obstacles along the way. This event will start at 2pm sharp.  Proceeds from this event will be going to the Children’s Hospice.

Scarvagh House Agility Challenge Sponsored by Nutts About Pets & NI Countrysports Fair

Agility Arena – Starting at 10am

See Saturday schedule for details.

Gundog Pick Up Sponsored by Nutts About Pets

Gundog Pick-Up Arena –  Starting at 10am

See Saturday schedule for details.


‘SCRUFFS’ Pet Show Sponsored by Pawfect Doggie Treats and Nutts About Pets

 Gundog 11  Pawfect Doggie Treats 2  Gundog 12
 nutts-about-pets-logo  Gundog 13

Our ‘Scruffs’ Pet Show is on each day in the main arena and is open to any breed of dog and any age of handler.  This is a fun event with lots of weird and wacky classes and all you have to do is turn up at the main arena at the designated time.  Classes as well as main arena time schedules will be available nearer to the event date.

Note: Any changes to arena or times will be posted or announced prior to event.