Gaddys host AKC Spaniel Hunt Field Trial in Winnsboro

FAIRFIELD COUNTY – Nine states were represented in the March 7 and 8 AKC Licensed Spaniel Hunt test sponsored by The Boykin Spaniel Club and Breeders Association of America. The two-day event was hosted by Winnsboro residents Nan and Roger Gaddy on their Douglass Road property in Fairfield County.

Entrants traveled from as far away as Illinois, Ohio, and Minnesota, in addition to those hailing from South Carolina and nearby states of NC, GA, TN, and VA. One of the two judges traveled from Missouri and the other from Atlanta, GA.

Marty Griner, current president of the National AKC Boykin Spaniel Club, headed up the hunt trial. The Boykin Spaniel Rescue organization sold lunch options both days as a fundraiser.

Griner, a professional trainer and Hunt Test chairman from Grovetown, GA, had seven dogs competing in the weekend’s hunt testing. Five of the dogs he trains were competing in the Junior division, one in the Senior division, and one in the Master division.

“Dogs were tested on their ability to find upland birds in cover and retrieve the birds once shot. They were also tested on their ability to retrieve a dead bird out of the water,” said Griner. “Because it was two separate licensed events, this allowed handlers a chance to earn qualifying scores twice. An AKC title takes from four to six qualifying runs, depending on the title.” Additionally, the level of difficulty of each division naturally increases. Owners could choose to pay the $75 a day entry fee for one or both days of participation.

Nan Gaddy and Gunnie earned qualifying passes to compete for the title of Upland Junior Hunter. | Photos: Martha Ladd

The Spaniel Hunt Test was held under the rules and procedures of the American Kennel Club. Of the 40 dogs registered in the three divisions, almost half of them (17) were Boykin Spaniels, SC’s state dog. Other spaniel breeds entered included Standard Poodle, English Springer Spaniel, Clumber Spaniel, English Cocker Spaniel, Irish Water Spaniel, English Springer Spaniel, Cocker Spaniel, Flat-Coated Retriever, Golden Retriever, and Nova Scotia Duck Trolling Retriever.

David Lambert of Sumter was present both days with his Boykin named Boudreaux in the Master Division testing. To date, Boudreaux is the only Boykin to pass the AKC Amateur Master National test.

At the conclusion of Sunday afternoon’s testing, ribbons and titles were presented. Nan Gaddy’s Gunnie, an 8-year-old male Boykin, competed in both days of the testing and earned two additional qualifying passes to complete the title of Upland Junior Hunter.