Packington Estate

Heading layer

Dog trials

Packington Hall has a history steeped in Forestry and still has large areas of the original ‘Forest of Arden’ that once stretched from Stratford upon Avon in the South to Stafford in the North. The Parkland setting and surrounding countryside make the perfect ground for holding and flushing winged quarry. The Estate also hosts a wide variety and number of ‘dog trials’ each year and these range from events for local trailing clubs to national competitions that may be held over several days. The days are arranged through the Events Team whom ensure such days are planned thoroughly and executed precisely, from start to finish.

The Packington Estate is hosting the Flatcoated Retriever Society’s Shirley Radburn National Working Gundog Tests on 30th June 2024.

Flatcoated Retrievers are one of the seven retriever breeds recognised by the Royal Kennel Club and are one of the oldest retriever breeds. The Flatcoated Retriever Society exists to promote the breeding of a type of Flatcoat as laid down in the Breed Standard, to encourage the training and working of Flatcoated Retrievers, and to run Shows, Field Trials and Working Tests. To this end the Society runs a number of breed specific Working Tests for Flatcoated Retrievers throughout the spring and summer months. Our most prestigious Working Tests are The Shirley Radburn Nationals.

Shirley Radburn was a great friend to the Flatcoated Retriever Society who owned and competed with Flatcoats from the 1990s until her death in 2012. Shirley was an active supporter of the Society’s  Midland Area Working Test and Training Group. On her death Shirley left a substantial legacy to the Society, to promote Flatcoated Retrievers and to be used for the good of the breed. She was warmly described in her obituary, as having had a big personality with a great zest for life. She is remembered for the energy and enthusiasm with which she embraced the world of working gundogs, but above all for her devotion to her chosen breed, the Flatcoated Retriever and for her abiding interest in the Working Flatcoat.

It is therefore in her memory that our most prestigious working tests of the year are known as The Shirley Radburn Nationals. These are breed specific working gundog tests for Novice and Open Flatcoated Retrievers. The Novice class is for dogs which have not gained an award or certificate of merit at a field trial, been placed 1st, 2nd or 3rd in an Open working test or 1st in a Novice working test, while the Open class is open to all Flatcoats (although preference is given to dogs which have gained an award or certificate of merit at a field trial, been placed 1st, 2nd or 3rd in an Open working test or won a Novice working test). The schedule giving details of the tests and information on how to enter them, will be available on the Society’s website in due course.  The dogs and handlers in each class will compete over 5 tests, set on a variety of different ground – grassland, woodland and, hopefully, water. Blank pistol shot will be used and the dogs will retrieve canvas dummies. Dogs will be expected to be steady to shot and will be asked to retrieve a mixture or seen and unseen dummies. They are expected to be “on the whistle”, responding to their handlers’ whistle, hand signals and commands to stop, move or hunt.

The winning dog in each class will be awarded The Nationals Salver and The Houndswood Trophy for their respective class.

The Flatcoated Retriever Society is affiliated to the Royal Kennel Club, the Countryside Alliance, the British Association for Shooting and Conservation, the National Gamekeepers Organisation, and the International Gundog League Retriever Society. More information about Flatcoats and the Flatcoated Retriever Society may be found on the Society Website and Facebook page.

Rectangle 40

follow us