Cocker Spaniel from Hereford wins prestigious Kennel Club Championship

Gavin Lockyer and FTCH Endashaw Desire. Credit Alan Doyle WetDog Photography and The Kennel Club

FTCH Endashaw Desire, a two-year-old Cocker Spaniel from Hereford has won the 93rd Kennel Club Cocker Spaniel Championship, sponsored by Skinner's Pet Foods, Sporting Saint Gundog Equipment Suppliers and the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC).

The Championship was held 5-6 January 2024 at The Kennel Club’s Emblehope & Burngrange Estate in Northumberland.

Owned and handled by Gavin Lockyer, winning spaniel FTCh Endashaw Desire - known at home as Ria - was awarded first place in the competition, which saw 40 talented Cocker Spaniels tested on their natural working ability.

Speaking about their win, Gavin said: “I am absolutely delighted to win the Cocker Spaniel Championship with Ria, and to have had the opportunity to compete against the best Cocker Spaniels in the country. Ria’s a great all-round dog and I’ve really enjoyed competing with her. I was extremely proud of her performance over the two days and would like to thank all those involved in the organisation and the running of the Cocker Spaniel Championship. I would also like to thank everyone who has helped me along the way.” 

Kate Broers, Kennel Club Gundog Events Manager, said: “The Championship was a great success and thanks must go to all who were involved in the planning, preparation and running of the event. Head Gamekeeper Raymond Holt prepared the ground wonderfully, which was an impressive setting of bracken filled grassland on the edge of the spectacular Kielder Forest. The Estate was the ideal setting for the dogs and handlers to demonstrate their skills.

“Thanks must also go to the judges; Paul Rawlings, Gareth Davies, Nick Gregory and Jeremy Davies for their time and expertise when judging the dogs. They handled the two days with patience, understanding and skill.

“Finally, we would also like to extend our heartfelt gratitude to our sponsors, Skinner’s Field & Trial, Sporting Saint Gundog Equipment Suppliers and BASC. Skinner's give an awful lot to the world of working dogs and are passionate about providing the best nutrition for our gundog needs. Sporting Saint are one of the UK’s leading suppliers of gundog training equipment and BASC work to promote and protect sporting shooting and the well-being of the countryside. All our sponsors are greatly appreciated, and we would not be able to run these events without their generous support.”

Judge, Paul Rawlings, added “I was honoured to be part of the judging team and we were able to test every competing spaniel fully for their hunting, game-finding and retrieving ability. The award winners were outstanding and fully deserved such high recognition.” 

The awards were as follows:

1st place – FTCh Endashaw Desire, owned & handled by Mr Gavin Lockyer

2nd place - Popsheath Abbie, owned & handled by, Mr Ant Myers

3rd place - FTCh Tiptopjack Firebug, owned Mr Nigel Partiss, handled by Mr Ian Openshaw

4th place - Breckmarsh Jana, owned & handled by Mr Lee Cooper

Diploma of Merit to:

Wolferton Candy, owned HM The King, Handled by Mr Ian Openshaw

Mallowdale Jaffa, owned & handled by Mr Mick Walsh

Heathcroft Flyn of Tarncrag, owned & handled by Ms Fran Ardley

FTCh Delphaven Gina of Smallbrooks, owned & handled by Mr Garret Marson (Also Gun’s Choice)

FTCh Mallowdale Flair of Endashaw, owned by Mr Simon Dixon, Handled by Mr Ian Openshaw

Delphaven Fern, owned & handled by Mr Chris Slater

Int. FTCh Clentohill Jessie Jay, owned & handled by Mr Damien Kelly

Woolpitts Lossie, owned & handled by Mr Martin Deacon

FTCh Heathcroft Flora, owned by Mr Guy Stubbings, Handled by Mr J Walton

FTCh Baildonmoor Bielsa, owned & handled by Mr Paul Deal

FTCh Woolpitts Shin of Poolgreen, owned & handled by Mr William Clulee

FTCh Uplands Bluebell of Badgerford, owned by Mr P Lewis, Handled by Mr Will Clulee

The Peter Hall Trophy was also presented by the Cocker Spaniel Club to the Cocker Spaniel with the most points in the season, Woolpitts Lossie, owned and handled by Mr Martin Deacon.

For more information about The Kennel Club Cocker Spaniel Championship, please visit here on our website.