HAMPSHIRE gamekeeper Bradley Dymond is celebrating after five-year-old German Shorthaired Pointer ‘Marsh’ became overall winner of the BASC Gamekeepers’ Classes at Crufts 2017.
Friarsbelle Marsh Mellow, owned by Bradley and handled by Nicole Coe, beat off tough competition from six other finalists in the main arena to lift the Northesk Memorial Trophy.
Marsh spent 50 days working last season but has also been a field trials winner in the UK and abroad and has qualified for the HPR Championships.
Bradley said: “It is a fantastic experience to see Marsh win such a prestigious class in the main ring at Crufts. He truly is a dual-purpose show and working dog.”
Nicole said: “He is an international show champion, although Crufts is very different to anything we have been used to. We have had a very good year with him.
“We will continue to show him this summer and then we will be back to working him in the winter. Winter is for working, summer is for showing.”
The gamekeepers’ rings included classes for gamekeepers, owners of working gundogs, gundog teams and young handlers and gave handlers the chance to show working gundogs in their prime at the end of a busy shooting season.
Nicole and Marsh were presented with their trophy in the main ring by BASC chairman Peter Glenser, who said: “Gundogs are very much at the heart of everything we do at BASC. It was a fantastic day, which demonstrated working gundogs to a global audience. I congratulate everyone who took part.”
Helen Fox, with English Springer Spaniel ‘Master Bo Jangles’ finished second while Brian Twigger’s Curly Coated Retriever ‘Twister’ came third.