2018 IGL Championship

15 December 2018

Pernice Press was very pleased to co-sponsor the IGL’s 2018 Retriever Championship, which took place at Packington Hall, West Midlands, on the 3rd, 4th and 5th December. The Steward of the Beat, Head Keeper Les McLean, and his team along with the guns provided great sport, with a steady flow of game and challenging retrieves in varied terrain, including roots, bracken, woodland and water.  

Judges Jim Gale, Mark Bettinson, Les McLean and Barry Taylor also provided the experience and expertise needed to adequately test and manage 59 entries over the three days. Labradors dominated the field of 40 dogs and 19 bitches, with two Golden Retrievers running. Many of the handlers were previous Championship qualifiers; John Halsted distinguished himself by qualifying 5 dogs, three of whom survived to feature in the awards. 

There were also a number of new handlers running their first Championship, including Sarah Miles, Ronnie Laughton, Julia Redpath, Lorna Sanaghan, Keith Bianchi, Nigel Probert, Tom Lowe, Roger Wade, Harry Gillanders, Kieron Coey and Katherine Impey. 

The gallery witnessed consistent work and many notable retrieves over the three days. David Field’s home-bred Labrador FTCh Artistryn Ulrich picked a running partridge on the first day and maintained a high level of work throughout the competition. Annette Clark, handling Richard Hinks’ FTCh Castlemans Gobi of Garronpoint, also worked consistently well under pressure, and was the only female handler to make it through to the final round and awards. 

The retrieve that defined this Championship happened on the third day, which began with a walk up in misty conditions that made it difficult for handlers and their dogs to mark birds as they fell. Billy Steel’s FTCh Harperrig Breac was sent for a wing-tipped cock bird that landed about 100 yards in front of the line; he hunted the fall area thoroughly before taking a line another 40 yards up the hill, where the bird was glimpsed briefly before disappearing over the brow and into bracken. After less than a minute Breac reappeared to deliver the wounded bird to his handler, accompanied by well-merited applause.

With this win he joins an elite group of nine handlers who over the past century have won the Championship three or more times. After qualifying for his first Championship in 1993, he won just three years later in 1996 with Mrs Reid’s FTCh Linksview Jet and again in 2000 with Mrs Reid’s FTCh Bracken of Berrybrae, while placing second in 1995.

Photo: Winners Billy Steel and FTCh Harperrig Breac (courtesy IGL)

For more information and full results go to


Walking up for MND: Message from Marilyn Cox

31 January 2019

It is now a year since the last donation was made online to Graham's Walking Up for MND fund, and so it seems appropriate to close the page on the 31st of January 2019. 

Huge thanks to all those friends, family and supporters who have given so generously since the fund was set up in 2017.

It will continue to be possible to donate by sending a cheque in Graham's name made out to Oxford University and sent to The Department of Neurosciences.

With very best wishes,

Marilyn Cox


New Sponsorhip

19 May 2018

Pernice Press is pleased to be a new sponsor of The Yorkshire Retriever Field Trial Society, established in 1902. The Society holds four annual field trials from novice to open, including a qualifying stake for the IGL Retriever Championship.

We recently had the privilege to participate in the Society's successful and well-run Judge's Weekend, organised by some of the Britain's top judging mentors and attended by people from all over the UK and Continental Europe. You can read more about the event here.


2017 IGL Retriever Championship

9 December 2017

Pernice Press was pleased to co-sponsor the 2017 IGL Retriever Championship, held on Dec 4, 5 and 6 at Hy-Fly Game Hatcheries in Lancashire. Host Raymond Holden and his family moved heaven and earth to hold the event after devastating losses earlier in the year from an outbreak of avian flu, as well as torrential rains that flooded the coast one week before. 

Head Keeper Kevin Hughes and his team of beaters and stops succeeded in the enormous task of providing a steady flow of game for so many competitors over the three days, and the IGL’s efficient organisation and friendly smiles created a welcoming atmosphere. Judges Roddy Forbes, Judy Rainey, Alan Schofield and Sara Gadd offered copper-bottomed experience in gamekeeping, shooting and trialling from the extreme North to the South of Britain.

The Duke of Buccleuch’s FTCh Buccleuch Xena, handled by David Lisett, was a popular winner. This three-year old bitch started the season as a novice with a professional handler who had earned his reputation with spaniels rather than Labradors. After an intensive summer training with the help of John Halsted, ‘Daisy’ started the season as a novice, and finished as both Field Trial Champion and 2017 Retriever Champion.

The name Buccleuch is written into the fabric of early Labrador history, from some of the first Newfoundland dogs to reach British shores to early IGL Championship winners like FTChs Peter and Patron of Faskally, whose pedigrees carried Buccleuch breeding on both sides. When David Lisett took over as gundog trainer at Queensberry Estate 14 years ago the original Labrador bloodlines were almost lost, and only one breeding female remained. Under his careful stewardship the original bloodlines were brought back from the brink of extinction and have now reached the highest level of achievement.


Dance like a wave of the sea

27 September 2017

We are saddened to announce that Pernice Press publisher and author Graham Cox passed away on 27 September 2017, just five days short of his 70th birthday. For over 40 years Graham generously donated his time and multiple talents to gundogs and the countryside. In whatever guise he assumed - as author, journalist, photographer, university professor, a panel judge, gundog handler or in leadership roles for gundog clubs and societies - he always strove for excellence, often crossing boundaries to reach new territory. An untiring archivist and academic, he incorporated a love of teaching and mentoring into whatever task he undertook. 

Our sincerest condolences to his family and his wife Marilyn, who single-handedly cared for him during his terrible illness, with the excellent support of NHS staff. 

Now that he is finally liberated from the inexorable decline and limitations of MND, we hope that he can 'dance like a wave of the sea.'