Barbet News (page 18)

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The CLA Game Fair 2008.

Richard & Wendy on the Barbet Club stand.

Richard & Wendy on the Barbet Club stand

The 50th CLA Game Fair was held this year at Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire. It is now the largest country sports event in the world, running for three days and set in 500 acres of beautiful parkland. There is plenty of room for the row upon row of trade stands selling everything from quad bikes to wellies, shotguns to fishing rods and oil paintings to smoked salmon not to mention anything a dog could possibly wish for. There are several arenas where different displays run throughout the day, one dedicated solely to gundogs.

 

Earlier this year Graham contacted Helen Nash who organises the Sporting Gundog Pavilion. The Barbet Club was delighted when she invited us to represent the breed on the Sunday of this year’s Game Fair. An exciting first for the club!

The day started very early and very hot. The queues to enter the Game Fair are renowned, so it was a must to arrive before the public to set up the display. Our stand was manned by Wendy and Julian with Bepopp, Fiona with Nenu, Jilly and Richard with Dolly and Graham and myself with Remy. Later we were joined by Liz and Saeed with Baxter.

The Barbet Club of GB stand.

The Barbet Club of GB stand.

A constant stream of people from all walks of life visited the Gundog Pavilion. Many stopped to admire the Barbets, amazed at how calm the dogs were in the hot and very crowded tent. The dogs really took the whole day in their stride and we were all so very proud of them. Several visitors returned on more than one occasion to ask further questions and stroke again the wonderful Barbet coat. There are now a lot more people aware of the Barbet.

 

David Tomlinson meets the Barbet.

David Tomlinson meets the Barbet.

After some discussion, it was decided that the Barbet should appear in the HPR (hunt, point, retrieve) parade as this group contains most of the continental breeds. We were fortunate to have one adult dog and four puppies in the parade - over 50% of the Barbets in England. The commentary was provided by David Tomlinson, a country sports enthusiast. He writes articles and takes photographs for magazines such as The Shooting Times. He showed great interest in our breed and asked to photograph them for future articles… Watch this space!

By the time the Game Fair came to a close at 6 o’clock the day had been long, extremely hot but very enjoyable. Cold drinks were taken by owners and dogs had a most welcome cool off in the river. Our day was made complete when Bepop showed Remy how a proper water dog should act. He had his first swim!

Today the club received a letter of thanks from Helen. We have been invited to represent the breed at next year’s Game Fair for all three days. This will held at Belvoir Castle, Leicestershire. It is an offer we cannot refuse!

Melanie Peacock 31/7/08 (pictures by Graham Peacock)


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