Thursday, 31 December 2009

WGAA (Vic) Retrieving Challenge Schedule

Sunday 28th February 2010. Open to all WGAA members and all gundogs.
Entry fee $10.00.
Venue: Bacchus Marsh
Please contact Graham Hayes if you have any queries – tel 9743 7402

For Sale

Two pointers (English). 4YO. Fully trained, steady to shot, seeking dead, have had many birds shot over them. Overall a pair of excellent shooting dogs. Part of a deceased estate. No papers. Will only be sold as a pair to a good hunting home. For information contact Sandy Wright 0896232390

Duck and quail seasons 2010

The acting Minister for Environment & Climate Change, Tim Holding, has declared that the Victorian duck season will run from 20 March to 30 May, a total of 72 days. This is two weeks shorter than normal, but significantly longer than last year’s 49 day season. The bag limit for 2010 is 5, of which only 1 may be an Australasian Shoveller. Also, an additional 3 wood ducks will be allowed, giving a total daily bag limit of 8 ducks per day, an increase over last year’s limit of 5 per day.
Quail season is regulated to commence on the first Saturday of April and to close on the last day of June. The daily bag limit remains at 20 birds per day.
The seasons for both duck and quail are not automatic – remember that they are the result of a lot of hard work by people from the major hunting organisations.

Sunday, 13 December 2009

Pointer & Setter Field Trial dates 2010

Saturday 24 April (Anzac Day) – WGAA (Vic)
Sunday 25 April – WGAA (NSW) – to be held in Vic.

Saturday 8 & Sunday 9 May – WGAA (NSW) – to be held in Vic.
Saturday 22 & Sunday 23 May – WGAA (Vic)

Western Australia - all 'Closed Season' trials
Friday 4th June - Bob Dean Memorial Field Trial (CS), Judge: John Kersley (SA)
Saturday 5th June - National Championship (CS), Judge: Lance Bailley Hill (SA)
Sunday 6th June - SSAA State Championship (CS), Judge: Henry Foster (Vic)
Monday 7th June - Jack Pontin Memorial Field Trial (CS) Judge TBA

Saturday 12 & Monday 14 June – WGAA (NSW) to be held if no other trials are scheduled
Saturday 26 & Sunday 27 June – WGAA (Vic)

July – date to be announced – WGAA (NSW) Closed season trials

South Australia –The quail season dates not yet available. The 2010 P&S National is scheduled to be held in South Australia.

Saturday, 31 October 2009

Field Assessment Day

WGAA's annual Field Assessment Day was held on Sunday 25th October. This is the fourth year we have conducted this event which requires dogs to complete three basic tasks - a field run, a land retrieve and a water retrieve. The retrieving assessment was under the guidance of Wayne Phelps and Barry Oliver took care of the field assessment. Once again the event was held on an excellent property at Daylesford due to the efforts of Wayne and Kevin Phelps. The club is indebted to landowners who kindly make their properties available for our use. This is an interesting and enjoyable activity open to all breeds of gundogs of all abilities. A large and enthusiastic group of handlers and their dogs took part in the day’s activities. This event has become established as a highlight of the club’s calendar and next year bigger plans are in place to further test and extend the program for the more experienced handlers as well as cater for those new to the concept. The weather was a little inclement but the rain held off and it was a happy group of people that eventually gathered around the campfire for lunch. Due to the success of the morning’s activities the event was extended into the afternoon. This day is part of the Hunt, Point & Retrieve (HPR) sub discipline program and is organized by the WGAA Vice President, Kevin Phelps.

Monday, 19 October 2009

Field Assessment Day

WGAA's annual Field Assessment Day will be held on Sunday 25th October. This is the fourth year we have conducted this event which requires dogs to complete three basic tasks - a field run, a land retrieve & a water retrieve. Once again the event will be held on the excellent Daylesford property, starting at 9 am. This is an interesting, enjoyable activity, open to all breeds of gundogs of all abilities. For directions contact the training officer, Graham Hayes, on 97437402, or Kevin Phelps on 0407091221. Bring own lunch.

Retrieving Weekend at Nagambie

WGAA (Vic) held its New Event “The WGAA Retrieving Challenge” at Nagambie on the 3rd & 4th October for all those interested in Retrieving and for all those wanting to take part in a new event. It was a great weekend.

On Saturday members took part in Retrieving training in good conditions. The club explained the format for running the new event, showing the types of retrieves, and equipment to be used.

The night had the usual campfire providing warmth and the usual stories; a good night was had by all.

On Sunday we were met with drizzle and damp conditions, and due to daylight saving lost an hour of early morning light.

Setting of the runs was delayed due to hiccups and equipment malfunction, but eventually due to the persistence and perseverance of all the WGAA Retrieving stalwarts we got the show on the road.

We had 12 competitors who braved the conditions to compete, with a good range of gundog breeds.

Competitors entered their choice of grade to compete in and teams were drawn, and it was off to the runs.

The Retrieving Challenge has 3 stations where the runs are set, offering retrieving of quail, rabbit and duck. 12 set runs covering the 3 grades, using the same distances and format from trial site to trial site.

The first station is quail retrieving, the dogs and handlers are given (1) single mark, (2) double marks, (3) two bird and (4) double fall retrieves.

The second station is rabbit retrieving, where (5) double mark, (6) triple mark, (7) single blind and (8) double blind retrieves are set.

The third station is water, where duck retrieving takes place, (9) double rise, (10) mark and blind, (11) double mark and blind, (12) is the last a double blind and mark.

These are all achievable shooting runs, ranging from 30m – 70m for sighted retrieves and up to 80m for blind retrieves. They were greeted with tremendous interest, and on completion competitors spoke highly of this new concept, and agreed it was as close to real shooting as possible.

Everyone praised the club for the use and quality of the hand made dummies, with life like look and scenting features.

The results of the Retrieving Challenge team event winners:

Gerry McDonnell with Bella – Hungarian Vizsla – Intermediate
Tim Cloke with Chopper Labrador Retriever Advanced
Alex Jevric with Elle L’Epagnel Breton Open
with a winning score of 310 out of a possible 330.

This was a magnificent achievement, WELL DONE to all of you.

Individual performances – the only dog and handler to successfully complete their grade’s retrieves were Elle and Alex in the open section. It was a joy to watch dog and handler negotiate and achieve all their retrieves, the best seen for sometime. It was a pleasure to see a good dog work, and Elle is a very good dog.

The club would like to take this opportunity to thank:

Ray Waldron, not only for providing a magnificent trial site, but also all the work he does to make our events a success.

The Committee who have worked long and hard to finally stage our first WGAA Retrieving Challenge Event.. - Kevin Phelps, Angie Bloomer, Norm CLoke, Tim CLoke, Gary Bristow and Graham Hayes.

And finally Kevin, Dianna and Tanya for providing a great lunch for us all.

It was noted how many of you thanked the club, and were interested when the next event will be held. The Committee will meet and advise you of when that will be.

Sunday, 11 October 2009

Final Training Day for 2009

The final training day for 2009 will be held on Sunday 22nd November (not the 3rd) at Tullidge Reserve, Melton, Melways Ref 337 D 10. Training commences at 9am and finishes with a BBQ lunch at around 12pm. Anyone with a gundog is welcome. Please contact the Training Officer, Graham Hayes on 9743 7402.

Saturday, 12 September 2009

Next Training Day

The next WGAA (Vic) training day is Sunday 20th September. This will be an opportunity to practise for the inaugural Retrieving Challenge to be held on 3 & 4 October.
Training continues on the 3rd Sunday of each month at Tullidge Reserve, Melton. Training commences at 9am and finishes with a BBQ lunch at around 12pm. Anyone with a gundog is welcome. Please contact the Training Officer, Graham Hayes on 9743 7402.

Annual General Meeting

The WGAA AGM is scheduled for Friday 20th November 2009 at the SSAA Springvale Range, 710 Dandenong Rd Springvale 3171. Time: 8pm.

Monday, 10 August 2009

Retrieving Weekend at Nagambie, Vic - 3&4 October 09

The Retrieving Discipline Committee is showcasing its New Event

The aim is to meet on Saturday when Retrieving Training will be available and also information on the WGAA Retrieving Challenge which is being held on the Sunday.
As this is the FIRST RETRIEVING CHALLENGE to be run by WGAA we are trying to promote this concept, so this event will be FREE TO ENTER and A BARBEQUE LUNCH WILL BE PROVIDED.
Camping is available on Saturday Night. You will need your camping equipment, food etc.

Please contact Graham Hayes for further details if you are coming or have any queries on
TEL: 9743 7402 or email:

Sunday, 9 August 2009

WGAA New South Wales Pointer & Setter Field Trials (Closed Season) 1&2 August 09

A welcome return to NSW by the Working Gundog Association Pointer & Setter fraternity saw two Closed Season format trials conducted on the first weekend in August. Held in the Southern Riverina these trials saw some excellent work on the Saturday but some strangely disappointing work on the Sunday.
Saturday’s event was conducted in some old rice bays that had a nice sprinkling of birds. The first find occurred in the first 30 seconds, and this set the pattern for the rest of the trial, with a total of 20 finds being made by the competing dogs. The outstanding performer was Neville Whaley’s pointer bitch Patch. Showing blinding speed and stylish finding ability, she only needed to complete the retrieve/seek dead to have the event sewn up. Alas, Patch did not satisfactorily complete this requirement. The immaculate retrieves performed by Henry Foster’s Major saw this consistent performer awarded first place. Andrew Melisi’s pointer dog, Conte, was an extremely close runner up.
Sunday’s trial was, by comparison with Saturday’s excellent standard, a puzzling affair. Held in the same paddocks the 11 dogs could not produce the form that was seen only 24 hours earlier. Handling problems and missed opportunities characterised the event and by late morning the Judge, Vince Guastella of NSW called an end to the trial by announcing a no result.
The social aspect of this event was second to none and was certainly appreciated by the interstate visitors. The shearer’s quarters, good friends, the barbeque, the endless talk about dogs and trials past, present and in the future – what better way to end the season?

Saturday 01 August 2009. Judge: K. Oliver.
Winner: H. Foster’s F Ch (CS) Koram Kris at Innistona (Imp Ire) NFTW & NFTW (CS)
Runner up & Best Novice Dog: A. Melisi’s Similax Conte.

Sunday 02 August 2009. Judge: V Guastella - no result.

Click HERE to see photos.

Saturday, 4 July 2009

John Nash Memorial P&S Field Trial 28/6/09

John Nash, after whom this trial is named, judged in Australia for the Pointer Club in 1988. John's impressive demeanor and the huge entry - over 30 dogs (the biggest P&S entry in living memory in Australia - possibly ever), stamped this event as one worthy of being commemorated.

The trial was conducted in a 750 acre paddock of directly drilled new crop, a testament to modern farming techniques with its huge size and GPS accurate drill rows. When the fog began to clear revealing the huge size of this paddock, things got serious and some excellent P&S work was produced. Dogs revelled in the cool, dampish conditions and the fresh northerly breeze.

The heat between Alan Willey's Abbey (PB) and Henry Foster's Major (PD) was the spectacle of the morning. Both dogs were really going for it, ranging and quartering as hard as they could go, covering their beats in correct pointer & setter style, two white flashes cutting through the remaining fog patches, turning into the wind, straining for a competitive advantage, slamming into point, backing without a moment's hesitation, steady to wing, shot and the fall of game, accurate retrieving ... this was the sort of work one always wants to see. Andrew Melisi's Conte (PD) was another stylish goer, with its high head and eye-catching productions. But for some unsteadiness at the fall of game this dog may well have been placed. The extra temptations in a shooting field trial (the shot, the fall of game, the retrieve/seek dead on a bird shot seconds before) are the criteria that separate the Closed Season non - shooting trial format from the Open Season shooting format, and a dog that can handle both formats well is indeed a tough & worthy competitor.

Such was the case today, with Alan Willey's Closed Season Field Champion Abbey coming through to win. No dog was going to be her match on this day as she produced 6 times in her two runs, retrieved flawlessly, backed in a flash and consistently took the front running - a tough competitor indeed. This was the first win ever by a Western Australian dog in a Victorian P&S field trial.

John Nash Memorial Field Trial 2009 placegetters. Judge: Barry Oliver

Winner: Alan Willey's F Ch (CS) Ywurrie Rani PB (Abbey)

Runner up: Henry Foster's F Ch (CS) Koram Kris at Innistona (Imp Ire) NFTW (CS) PD (Major)

Third: Taner Ozsehitoglu's Gamemaster Evans ISD (Brandy)

Click HERE to see photos of the John Nash Memorial Field Trial 2009

WGAA National P&S Field Trial 27/6/09

The SSAA Working Gundogs National Field Trial was conducted in the North West of the State under ideal field trialling conditions. 9 hard going dogs (8 pointers and 1 Irish setter) and handlers from three States vied for the title of National Field Trial Winner (NFTW). Trial entries have suffered a little this year as a result of the drought, with many dogs not being ready, but those that have entered have been battle hardened trial competitors and this event was no exception.

With a steady, cool breeze blowing throughout the event, dogs were given multiple opportunities to be tested on game, and throughout the day over 25 finds were registered, many of them demonstrating the best features of pointer & setter work. In WGAA events dogs must have at least 2 finds, 2 retrieves or seek deads and back when a clear opportunity is offered. With the amount of game on offer in the vast stubble paddocks these requirements were not a problem. What did cause problems were the fast running birds. In the thin stubble and direct drilled new crop the birds were able to cover big distances in a short time - a fact which tested many dogs.

When lunchtime arrived 4 dogs remained in contention for National honours - Taner Ozsehitoglu's Brandy (ISD), Henry Foster's Major (PD), Vince Pino's Diesel (PD) and Andrew Melisi's Conte (PD). The final two heats saw some excellent pointer & setter work from these 4 dogs - work one expects to see in a National event. The paddock we were now competing in was no cakewalk and birds were able to run and run, requiring a dog to be well up on its finds and to road and produce quickly and accurately.

The two top dogs on the Judge's card at this stage were the pointer, Major, and the Irish, Brandy. Both these dogs had done some breathtaking work, but in the end it was the more expreienced Major, the import from Northern Ireland, who produced two more smart finds, productions and retrieves that saw him take the honours on the day. Runner up went to the Irish, who was also awarded the Best Novice Dog award. No third place was awarded. (Diesel was credited with a total of 9 finds on the day but some poor shooting by Vince, normally an excellent shot, saw him unable to fill his card.)

Results 2009 SSAA P&S National: Judge Barry Oliver

Winner - H&L Foster's F Ch (CS) Koram Kris at Innistona (Imp Eire) NFTW (CS) PD (Major)

Runner up & Best Novice Dog - Taner Ozsehitoglu 's Gamemaster Evans ISD (Brandy)

Click here to see photos.

Monday, 8 June 2009

Western Australia Closed Season Trials 2009

The WA Closed Season Working Gundogs Pointer &Setter Trials for 2009 saw the full gamut of trial experiences. 4 trials were conducted but only 2 managed to end with results. The first two events were run under generally good conditions, but as the weather warmed up the competing dogs found the going increasingly tough. This warm weather (the last trial was held on the warmest Perth day for 25 years – 26 degrees!) combined with the often sparse cover combined to undo the best endeavours of man and dog. However, field trials are run under natural conditions and dogs and handlers have to be able to cope with whatever is present on the day.
The first event was conducted in a huge paddock of wheat stubble that held a plenty of evenly spaced game. The dogs produced some excellent work and by late morning Alan Willee’s pointer bitch and Henry Foster’s pointer dog were awarded first and second place respectively. The following day saw a change of venue and again some quality pointer & setter work was produced by Alan’s pointer which was duly awarded first place. No other placings were awarded.
With the weather warming up the remaining two trials were something of a letdown considering the quality work that had been produced on the first two days. Dry runs, mishandling of game, control problems ... the quality of the work took a severe drubbing and no results were the order of the day.
Overall the Western Australian 4 day event was a success. Competitors flew in from 3 States to compete in the closed season format, the venues for both competition and training were the result of a lot of hard work by the organisers and the hospitality provided by the WA hosts was second to none.
Click here to see a slideshow from the trials.

WGAA (Vic) 23 & 24 May Trials.

As if the drought isn’t making things tough for bird dog owners and trial enthusiasts, the trials themselves are bedevilling things with two no results occurring at the Working Gundog May trials. The Saturday event was held deep in Victoria’s Western district and was judged by South Australian Lance Bailey Hill. Over 35 birds were seen, but none of the competing dogs were able to produce enough quality work to satisfy the man with the judging sheets. Trials are not meant to be easy and there is no value in awarding placings if the quality is not present, and this was the case on this occasion.The following day was a similar story with dogs having difficulty handling game, and no one was surprised when the judge, this time another South Australian, John Kersley, pulled the pin early in the afternoon. Just why these trials went downhill is difficult to say. No doubt the continuing drought is having an effect on both dogs and game. However, on occasions on both days various dogs did produce some fine work ... it just goes to show that trials can be fickle affairs.

Friday, 1 May 2009

WGAA VIC & WGAA NSW Trial Weekend

With the Pointer & Setter field trial season in full swing, two trials have been conducted at the time of writing. Saturday 25th saw the traditional Anzac Day trial (open this year to all pointing breeds) take place in Victoria’s Western District. A minutes silence at 7 am was followed by a tough event in in a native grass and stubble paddock that held a good number of birds. Weather conditions were wet and windy – excellent for the dogs, but not so good for some of the handlers who were caught out with the rain – who could blame them?
At around 2pm the judge, Denis Everard had seen enough, and Henry Foster’s pointer dog F Ch (CS) Koram Kris at Innistona (Imp Ire) NFTW (CS) was awarded first place over Vince Pino’s pointer dog Ft Ch Rocca Diesel and Panos Papas’ pointer dog Similax Brio was awarded third place.
The following day saw the NSW WGAA Branch conduct its inaugural pointer & setter trial in Victoria (quail hunting has been closed in NSW and shooting trials are unable to be conducted at present – a situation we all hope is reversed in the near future). The venue, near Ballarat, was an excellent stubble paddock. The birds were very wild, a situation brought about in no doubt by the wind that was getting stronger by the minute, and most dogs were having great difficulty scenting and holding game. Stubble, high winds and running birds can often be a tricky combination. The judge, Vince Guastella from NSW, was very mindful of the problems and was generous in his judgement.However, the large number of ‘bumped’ birds eventually could not be overlooked and a no result was the only logical outcome.
Despite the disappointing result on the second day, the weekend was a great success. Old friendships renewed, hard going dogs, wild weather, game birds ... who could ask for more?

Anzac Day Pointer & Setter Field Trial (All pointing breeds)


The trial grounds were stubble and grassy rocky outcrops in Western Victoria.
There was a cool north westerly wind blowing and conditions were ideal for field trialing.
6Pointers , 1 German Shorthair Pointer and 1 Le’pagneul Breton made up the field.
Prior to the commencement of the trial one minutes silence was observed in respect to the brave men and women who paid the ultimate sacrifice so that we could enjoy our freedom today in this country.
Throughout the day there were plenty of quail and in the first round there was a number of dogs that impressed.
Angie Bloomer’s GSP bitch was competing in her first trial and worked her gound and drew on her birds beautifully. She had 4 birds but none were shot at.
Henry Foster’s PD Major put in a quality run and filled his card.
Vince Pino’s PD Diesel handled well and had a stylish find and back and roaded his bird out smartly.
Panos Papas’s PD Oscar did enough with a couple of finds and backs to be seen again.
Neville Whaley’s young PB worked her ground and found impressively.She had 4 finds but I think Neville could not get his safety catch off. He did shoot on her last find but Patch broke.
Barry Oliver’s PD Striker had 3 good finds and 2 retrieves. However he failed to retrieve the last bird that was shot and was disqualified.
4 dogs were taken into the 2nd. Round.
Major had 2 good finds and a good retrieve.His search and ground coverage was as required and I was very happy with his productions. He was well handled and his obedience and control was without fault.
Diesel found well, produced his birds on command smartly and showed good style and intensity on point. Vince was letting the dog down with his shooting but eventually he completed his card by doing a good seek dead.
Oscar had a satisfactory find and retrieve.
Angie”s bitch failed to back when it had several opportunities.

1st. MAJOR (H.& L. Foster)
2nd. DIESEL (V.Pino)
3rd. OSCAR (P.Papas)
Best Novice Dog. ATDAWN (A.Bloomer)

Denis J. Everard. (Judge)

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

South Australian Quail Season

Gundog owners will be disappointed at the shortening of the quail season in SA. The Dept for Environment & Heritage website lists the season as starting on 28/3 & closing on the 31/5 - a mere 2 months. While the website gives a host of evidence for shortening the SA duck season - the Bureau of Meteorology, the annual DEH wetland and waterfowl survey, the National Agricultural Monitoring Service, and the Eastern Australian Aerial Waterbird survey conducted by Professor Richard Kingsford, University of NSW, no such evidence is given as to why & how the decision re the quail season was made. It appears that the quail season decision has just been tacked on to the shortened duck season decision.

This is just not good enough! Many Victorians purchase SA hunting permits and travel to SA for hunting & triallling. They deserve better than this no explanation decision. WGAA members have for years travelled to SA for trials - especially in July. Without any reasons being given this opportunity has now been removed.

Express your annoyance over this cavalier decision by writing to the
SA Dep't of Environment & Heritage
PO Box 1047
Adelaide SA 5001

Or email the Premier at

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Clean up Australia Day

WGAA members are again asked to help in Clean Up Australia Day on Sunday 1 March. The venue is the Melton Tullidge Rd. Reserve where the training days are held at 9.00am. For more information please contact Graham Hayes 9743 7402.

Sunday, 8 February 2009

Pointer & Setter trial dates

WGAA's 2009 Pointer & Setter trial dates are as follows:

25 April (WGAA Vic) - all pointing breeds, Judge D Everard.
26 April (WGAA NSW to be held in Vic) Judge V Guastella
9 May (WGAA NSW to be held in Vic) Judge A Melisi
10th May (WGAA NSW held in Vic) Judge TBA
23 May (WGAA Vic) Judge L Bailey-Hill
24 May (WGAA Vic) Judge J Kersley
29 May (WGAA WA) Closed season- all pointing breeds, Judge B Oliver
30 May (WGAA WA) Closed season - all pointing breeds, Judge H Foster
31 May (WGAA WA) Closed season - all pointing breeds, Judge D Dunn
1 June (WGAA WA) Closed season - all pointing breeds, Judge D Everard
27 Jun (WGAA Vic) Judge H Foster
28 Jun (WGAA Vic) Judge TBA

Whoa post update

Those who attended the Rick Smith seminar will remember that Rick mentioned a new whoa post article was about to be published. This article, in 2 parts, is now available on the Huntsmith website. Go to and the two articles are currently available on the home page

Training days - March

WGAA training days continue on the 3rd Sunday of each monthat the Tullidge Rd Reserve, Melton, Melways ref: 337 D10. Training runs from 9 am until midday. Contact Graham Hayes: 97437402. All gundog breeds welcome. The March training day will be held on Sunday March 15th.

2009 Duck and Quail seasons

WGAA members will be pleased to know that common sense has prevailed and that the duck and quail seasons are both on. Duck season runs from 21.3.09 until 8.5.09, with quail season opening on 1.4.09 and closing on 30.6.09. Further information can be found on the DSE website.