A man who has previously occupied every place in the winning line-up of one of Britain’s largest gundog events has finally taken the top spot.
Kevin Warburton won the BASC Chudleys Scurry League 2017 at the Midland Game Fair with his Labrador Echo with 92/100 points.
Matt Dutton, one of BASC’s game and gamekeeping officers, said: “For winner Kevin and his dog Echo, this was their first year as a pair competing in gundog events. Kevin and his other dog KD, Echo’s Mother, have competed in the BASC Chudleys scurry league since it began and over the years the duo have occupied every other place on the winning line up except for first place. However 2017 was finally Kevin’s year and he and Echo earned their well-deserved first place.
“The final was a great culmination of the scurry league event. It was hotly contested in a very sporting way by all the finalists and Kevin came through to be a popular and deserving winner on the day.”
Mr Warburton said: “This is the fifth year I have competed in the BASC scurry final having been placed in the top five each year but never achieving first place. The competition gets harder and harder and the handlers and their dogs continue to improve, but it has been fun and enjoyable making new friends and having a great time.
“This year I started competing with Echo, using the scurries to assist with my gundog training in the field. Throughout the scurry season, Echo has continued to develop and improve and so I was delighted when on the day it all went to plan and we managed to win the final. I would like to extend my thanks to all the sponsors who have generously provided such great prizes for a great competition.”
More than 1,600 individuals entered the scurry competition which ran at shows throughout the spring and summer of 2017. Eighteen finalists took part last weekend.
Following a run-off tiebreaker, second place was awarded to Nick Wilkinson with his dog Kiwi (80 points) and third place was taken by Lucinda Southern and her Labrador Macy (80 points). Fourth place was taken by Trevor Linfoot with his Labrador (and scurry veteran) Bob (70 points) and fifth place was awarded to Shelley Sandiford and her Labrador Theo (63 points).
The finalists had accumulated the highest total of points over 10 qualifying events throughout the year involving various disciplines including obstacle scurries, water retrieves, long retrieves and pick-and-mix retrieves. The final involved five individual scurries over a testing course that included mixed unseen and marked dummies, long retrieves and a partridge pen.
Sam Horrell, chief executive officer at Dodson & Horrell, the manufacturer of Chudley’s dog food and main sponsor of the BASC gundog programme, presented the prizes to the winners.
The total value of prizes in the final exceeded £8,000 and included Chudleys dog food, a Sherlocks dog kennel, Tuffies dog beds, Percussion clothing, Sporting Saint dummy launchers, Ogden’s shooting supplies game bags and Jack Pyke gilets. All 18 finalists received personalised commemorative clothing, a gundog dummy launcher and a bespoke game bag. Keith Welsh who gained the most points in qualifying for the final was presented with a Lintran dog box.