Novice Spaniel Test (Any Variety)

Sunday 3rd June 2012 Haughterslaw, Ellingham, Alnwick, Northumberland


1st Craig Miller & Sam

2nd Nicky Gordon & Rocky

3rd David Ward & McCoy

4th Chris Donkin & Bertie

COM - Barry Gray & Lilly

COM - Steven Thoburn & Bella

Judge - Mr. George Wilson

More photos at


If you would like to enter please contact Kay as soon as possible to ensure the chance of a run and so numbers can be confirmed. Exact location will be confirmed when your entry is confirmed. Various dummies will be used for this test. No cold game will be used. Starting pistols and launchers may also be used. Please ensure your dog is comfortable with loud bangs before entering your dog. You may enter and request the starting pistol and/or launcher is not used, however, please be aware that those with the same marks and also had the pistol and launcher in their test will receive a higher placing. There may be a water retrieve. (No cold game in this test).

Any variety of Spaniel welcome including Sprokers.  Dogs do not need to be Kennel Club registered. 

To enter, you need to join the North East England Spaniel Club which you can do by clicking the Paypal link on and sending an email with your dogs details to  If you wish to enter the test, please enter 'Test Entry' in the subject box of your email.  Membership is £7.00.

**** Entering this test does not qualify you to enter a Kennel Club Working Test.  Entry and/or placement in this test does not award any points relevant to any Kennel Club Spaniel Test.  NEESC is not affiliated with the Kennel Club ****


If you would like to come along to help in any way, big or small, please let me know as soon as possible. All help will be gratefully received and very welcome.

(Could all members please check your email - you have mail dated 20.10.2011)

The North East England Spaniel Club was set up by Kay Mclain of Craigelachie Gundogs in January 2011 for all Spaniel lovers, owners, enthusiasts and anyone else with an interest in all Spaniel breeds. The club will hold Working Tests for Springers, Cockers, Welsh, Sprockers and even the Springador or any Spaniel you care to think of.  Being open to all Spaniels makes NEESC a very unique Spaniel Club. 

Kay has talked for the last few years about starting a club solely for Spaniels to give them back the same opportunity to run in tests in the North East region as the Labradors currently have. There are regular Working Tests held in the North East of England for the Labrador but this died out quite some time ago for Spaniels due to lack of interest and support. 

Tests will NOT BE JUDGED IN ACCORDANCE WITH KC REGULATIONS, however, to make the tests as realistic as possible they will be held as close as possible to the KC rules and regulations but the test will not be run in accordance with them.  (If the club was registered with the Kennel Club we would need to comply with stringent rules and regulations and only KC registered Spaniels would be eligible to enter. This would take away the very purpose for setting up the club. So anyone who enters a test must be aware that it is not being held in accordance with KC rules and must decide for themselves if they are happy with this before entering).

2011 - 2012 will be the Clubs first year.  If we want 2012 to be a success then lets get that membership up.  Do we want something for the Spaniels in the North East or not?  I know I do, and I know others do to, but we need to see that in the membership numbers.  More members means more events.

Membership is not solely for those who live in the North East of England.  Anyone with an interest in the Spaniel or who would like to take part in a Spaniel test is welcome to join the club.  Current members are from all over Northern England, from Edinburgh, to Hull to Barrow-in-Furness.

Membership costs £7.00 per year (there is no joining fee).  All fees for membership are used to pay for the running of club, everything from hiring ground, website costs, purchasing dummies and other equipment, insurance, judges, trophies, etc.  As membership in year one (or year two) is very unlikely to cover all of these costs, the rest will need to come out of my own pocket.  So if anyone has any good contacts for donations of dummies, pistols, etc., or connections with printers for schedule printing, insurance company to get the best deal possible for the club, ground they are willing to allow the use of for the tests, or anything else, then please feel free.  Any offers of help the club gets to really get this going will not be turned away.

If you would like to join the Club, please send an email to with 

  • 1. your name,
  • 2. your address,
  • 3. telephone number,
  • 4. dogs name,
  • 5. dogs breed,
  • 6. dogs age.  (If you have more than one dog that you think you may like to enter into a test, that's fine, membership is still only £7.00 and you can give details of all your Spaniels.)

All the information is on the Club website at

The Kennel Club associated tests have to follow stringent rules, taking a lot of the fun and pleasure out of it and adding to the stress for many novices and beginners and even to the novice dogs of the more experienced handler.  The North East Spaniel Club tests will be more about being a test for the Spaniel and a learning curve and enjoyment for the owner and the chance to assess their dogs standard before entering them in any Field Trials. The tests will be much more relaxed and informal than a Field Trial but with the same opportunities for the Spaniel as the Labrador.

As the North East Spaniel Club is not affiliated with the Kennel Club in any way, your Spaniel does not need to be Kennel Club registered for you to join or enter a test.  However, if you do decide to get into trialling through other clubs, your dog will need to be KC registered as KC registered trials are not open to non-KC registered dogs.

Organising tests and even keeping membership details up to date and data protection compliant, is a very time consuming affair, so without the interest and support, this was another reason why the Field Tests for Spaniels in our region died out.

There is a lot of hard work involved to make this a successful club but this is an opportunity for us all to enjoy our Spaniels and to let the North East see that the Spaniel is one of the best working dogs around.

If you do not wish to run your dog in a test but would like to be involved in someway, please just let me know, there will be a million and one things to do to make sure everything runs smoothly so any help, in any way, would be greatly appreciated.

The plan of this club is to provide an informal likeminded community for people to either have a go at a Spaniel test with a view to bigger and better things or purely for fun or to try out young dogs with a view to trialling them.  Every club has to have a business element to it though for it to run but overall, I want this to be more about fun, learning and encountering new challenges for both you and your dog.  So lets get the Spaniel people together and get cracking!

How Did The Idea Come About?

Kay breeds, trains and works Springer Spaniels with a passion from her Craigelachie lines and works and trains many other breeds from working dogs to pet dogs. Teresa, Kay's mother, breeds, trains and works Cocker Spaniels from her Longwitton lines. Claire, Kay's daughter, works and trains her own Springers in agility but trains other breeds in agility also. The rest of the family are also very much into dogs. So between us, there are 3 generations currently working, breeding and training dogs. This is where the idea for the Club came from. There are numerous tests and trials for the Labradors but the Spaniels seem to have dropped off the radar for opportunities for them outside of the shooting day.

The conversation to start a club began about 2 years ago but because so much work is involved in it, none of us actually ever got around to doing anything about making it a reality.  After Kay heard some of her training clients from Craigelachie Gundogs ask about clubs, tests and other options for their dogs, she thought maybe now is the time to actually do something about it.

So here we go. 

Where Will Tests be Held (Location)?

It is planned that tests will be held over a very large area of the North East spanning from north of Wooler, to North Yorkshire and across past Allendale. This will hopefully ensure that all members have a good chance of tests being close to them at some stage throughout the year.

Ground for Spaniels needs to be very specific for dogs to work and show themselves off at their best and finding good ground is very difficult. Bearing this in mind, if you would like to enter a test, please make sure you are able to attend to ensure your place is not lost and so that the landowner who kindly allowed the use of their land, has not had their kindness wasted.

Members so far are very widely dispersed, so if you would like to join but feel it may be quite a distance to travel alone for a test, let me know because it may well be that there are other members in your area who you could share travel with.

Members (Locations, Facts, etc.)

We have a diverse mix of members so far, but they all have one common interest, and that is the Spaniel, one of the most interesting and exciting breeds on the planet. The Spaniels are so adaptable for many varied types of work and excel in all areas of work and play. They are such fun dogs, they can have you at your wits end one minute and then creased up in laughter the next. But a well trained Spaniel is an absolute joy. Even the best trained of all have attitude and character and that is what makes them so good at the many diverse tasks they are asked to do.

Entering a test not only gives you the chance to run your dog in a test and to see how well the two of you can do, but to meet and talk to other likeminded people who may have travelled many miles, just to be part of something which is purely for the Spaniel.

  • The Cocker Spaniel is currently the most prominent breed owned by NEESC members, with the Springer coming in a close second and the Sprocker third. 
  • A large percentage of members have registered more than one dog with the club.
  • The majority of dogs registered with NEESC are also KC registered (but not all).
  • Members come from far and wide, from Barrow-in-Furness, to Edinburgh and down to Hull. I think this gives a reflection of how much interest there is again in Spaniels

    Everyone is welcome to join and it's very easy, just go to the North East England Spaniel Club 'How to Join' page, send an email with your details and use the subscribe button for the £7.00 membership payment and there you go. Lets get as many people joined as possible.  The more who join, the more tests, events and opportunities could be available.

    Your dog does not need to be KC Registered to join the North East England Spaniel Club, this makes NEESC a very unique Spaniel Club & you don't need to live in the North East.  This club is open to all Spaniel owners & handlers.