Winner of the 2016 Northesk Memorial Trophy : Dylan Thomas with his Welsh Springer Spaniel, Glenbrows Fire Starter

THE UK’s largest shooting organisation, the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC), will host a new class for Crufts 2017.

The BASC Young Gamekeeper Trophy will be awarded for the best dog or bitch, any variety, owned by a student gamekeeper or gamekeeper under 25 years of age.

The winner of that and the other gamekeeper-only classes will go forward to the main ring at the end of the day to compete against the other gamekeepers, for a chance to win the Northesk memorial trophy.

The class joins the other 19 in the gamekeepers class, which takes place on Saturday, March 11, 2017, at the NEC in Birmingham.

Matt Dutton, a BASC game and gamekeeping officer, said: “The new BASC Young Gamekeeper Trophy will recognise the hard work of young keepers and their working gundogs. I would encourage any young keeper or gamekeeping student with a working gundog to enter the class. The BASC game and deer team look forward to welcoming you.”

Ian Grindy, chairman of BASC’s game and gameshooting committee, said: “Next year’s Crufts promises to be bigger than ever following the addition of a new class and we are particularly looking forward to seeing the young gamekeepers in action.”

Visit to enter your dog, with the closing date for paper entry forms Monday 9 January 2017.

Entries for all the BASC gamekeeping classes must be accompanied by a signed declaration which can be found on the back of the entry form.

The BASC gundog programme is sponsored by Chudleys.

Garry Doolan

Garry Doolan is BASC’s deputy director of communications and public affairs. He has more than 20 years experience of journalism and the media. He joined the organisation in 2016 and is a keen shooter and beater, with his springer spaniel Quincy.

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