BASC rings at Crufts explained

Kate Dymock

Kate Dymock

Kate is BASCs’ gundog officer and has been involved with gundogs since an early age. Before joining BASC in 2015, Kate studied Countryside Management at Harper Adams University. She is a keen shotgun shooter whose main enjoyment comes from working her two dogs in the field.

Friday 6 March 2020 will see the long-awaited Gundog Day at Crufts. Over the years, cocker spaniels have won ‘Best in Show’ more than any other breed, and golden retrievers and Labradors were the two most popular breeds competing at Crufts in 2019. I am certainly expecting great things from this year’s Gundog Day.

At Crufts there are 36 rings in total. BASC hosts rings 25, 26 and 35 in Hall 5. These rings are dedicated to showcasing working gundogs and host the historic Gamekeepers’ Classes, all kindly sponsored by Skinner’s Field & Trial.

Ring 35 – The BASC Gamekeepers’ Classes

Judge: Mr Wilson Young

Specific classes at Crufts for gamekeepers’ date all the way back to 1915. In 1990, BASC took over from the old Gamekeepers’ Association and 30 years later, we are still proud to host these historic classes and see numerous gamekeepers from all over the UK enter and compete.

Each class has its own trophy up for grabs but the winners of the gamekeeper only classes also go through to a grand finale held in the Crufts main ring.

The winning dogs will be judged again by Mr Wilson who will select the Best in Gamekeepers’ Classes – the winner of the prestigious Northesk Memorial Trophy.

Last year saw Richard Mace and his two-year-old golden retriever bitch, Purbarn a Breeze Down River, take the trophy and title. Bred by Richard, Breeze comes from a line of working golden retrievers who have long participated (and been placed) in BASC classes. This year, we will see if the pair will once again go through to the final in the Crufts main arena and maintain the Best in Gamekeepers’ Classes title.

Ring 35 also plays host to the popular Young Handler Classes. These give those under the age of 18 the opportunity to experience handling a dog in a show environment. The judge selects the best matched pair and each class has its own trophy up for grabs. The classes provide the perfect opportunity for young handlers to gain confidence in the show ring and to then progress onto the other BASC classes.

Ring 35 Classes


2019 Winner

Any Variety Pointer, Setter, HPR (for gamekeepers)The Gamekeepers Welfare Trust TrophyMr D Hardcastle, Miss N Green & Ms E Bradley with Vizslanya Sziena By Viszaset
English Springer Spaniel (for gamekeepers)The BASC Nickerson Memorial TrophyMiss G Thomas with Tigerrock Super Ted
Any Other Variety Sporting Spaniel (for gamekeepers)Gamekeepa Feeds TrophyMiss J Smith with Born to Run to Afterglow
Labrador Retriever (for gamekeepers)The Malmesbury Trophy Crufts Liphook Game Farm Ltd Perpetual Challenge Cup for Best BitchMiss L Southern with Stephens Brother at Warrenbank
Any Other Variety Retriever (for gamekeepers)The BASC John George Memorial TrophyMs H Fox with Black Mica’s Likes It Hot at Blacktoft JW
Any Variety Gundog (restricted to retired gamekeepers)BASC John Anderton Rose BowlMrs J Frankland-Mace & Mr R Mace with Purbarn a Breeze Down River
Best Young Handler under 14 years Kindly sponsored by CruftsThe Mustwork TrophyMiss J Smith with Born to Run Afterglow
Best Young Handler aged 14-18 years Kindly sponsored by CruftsThe Captain Heilgers Perpetual Challenge CupMiss J Hibbs with Afinmore Alynna at Tarasstweed

Rings 25 and 26 – The Working Gundog classes

Judges: Bitches – Mr Graham Bird; Dogs – Ms Sally Jenkins

Ring 25 and 26 originally started as classes for pickers up. Then in 2006, the name was changed to what it is today to allow more people to enter.

Due to their overwhelming popularity they were later split into separate bitch and dog classes. Three years after, with entries continuing to rise, the classes had to be held over two rings taking the total BASC ring number up to three.

The working gundog rings continue to be as popular as ever and the team class is always filled with an incredible variety of gundog breeds.

In 2019, 19 teams from different shoots and estates across the UK entered the competition. With breeds such as flat-coated retrievers, Nova Scotia duck tolling retrievers, Irish water spaniels, Chesapeake bay retrievers and many more entered in 2019, this is certainly the class to come and watch if you want to see a wide range of gundog breeds compete.   

Ring 25 and 26 Classes


2019 Winner

Any Variety Pointer, Setter, HPR
(Best Dog)

The Countryman’s Weekly Trophy

Ms S Finch
Jassendue Manet’s Medley Am Cetgueli

Any Variety Pointer, Setter, HPR
(Best Bitch)

The Tuffies Dog Bed Trophy

Mr I Wearing
Zoldmali Anizs at Glenusa

English Springer Spaniel
(Best Dog)

The Shooting Times Trophy

Ms D gates
Gunring Ensueno

English Springer Spaniel
(Best Bitch)

The Sporting Shooter Trophy

Ms D Gates
Ashring’s Maggie May

Any Other Variety Sporting Spaniel
(Best Dog)

The Sportsman Game Feeds Trophy

Mr S & Mrs J Rudbach
Micklemess Making Music at Clumbadane

Any Other Variety Sporting Spaniel
(Best Bitch)

The Marsh Trophy

Mrs G Osborn
Elgert Lady Sta’dust

Labrador Retriever
(Best Dog)

The Gilbertson & Page Trophy

Mr A Griffiths
Sarnesfield Trooper

Labrador Retriever (Best Bitch)

The Joint Aid for Dogs Trophy

Mrs L Thomson
Afinmore Alynna at Tarasstweed

Any Other Variety Retriever (Best Dog)

The Agria Pet Insurance Trophy

Mrs J Hewison
Casblaidd Very Ernest

Any Other Variety Retriever (Best Bitch)

The Marsh Trophy

Ms K Savage
Weisford Trial and Tribulations

BASC Regional Gamekeeper Team
Kindly sponsored by Crufts

BASC Old Man of the Woods Trophy
The Derek Vaines Trophy for smartest dressed team

Bala shoot

BASC Regional Working Gundog Team

The Subaru Ltd Trophy

Thrushwood shoot

We highly recommend anyone with an interest in working gundogs to come and see the Gundog Day at Crufts on Friday 6 March. It’s a great opportunity to watch the dogs compete but also a perfect chance to meet like-minded people and get answers for questions you might have on gundog training, choosing the right dog and much more.

Click here to read more about BASC at Crufts.

You can purchase the tickets in advance online, here.

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