THE England gundog team won the prestigious Home International competition at The Game Fair 2018 in Ragley Hall.

Team captain David Latham, from Middlewich, said: “It means the world to me and I’m very proud of my team members.

“This is the second biggest event of the year for me, but it is different because it is a team event and we had to pull out all the stops.

“The team have trained so hard, so it is an absolutely fantastic achievement.”

England came out on top in Warwickshire with 928 points, ahead of second-placed Wales on 873, Scotland on 835 and Ireland on 752.

The four teams gathered at the International Gundog Arena on Saturday and Sunday to compete against each other in a series of demanding tests designed to best demonstrate each dog’s ability, with all the dogs’ performances contributing towards the overall team score.

Each team worked five spaniels and five retrievers, but it was England who came out on top on home soil.

England also collected the top dog award, Annette Clarke’s retriever, Castleman’s Gobi of Garron Point, finishing on an impressive 110 points.

Annette said: “I’ve worked all year for this so I’m delighted to win. It means so much. It’s a big achievement.”

Martin Deeley, who has been commentating in the gundogs at The Game Fair for more than 30 years and presented the awards, praised the new gundog chairman Steve Smith for organising the UK’s foremost team event.

Martin said: “Steve and his team put on a terrific event. It was a series of challenging tests and I enjoyed every minute of it. It was tremendous.”

David Latham added: “Like football or rugby, the home nations event is so important.

“The spectators enjoyed it and it’s an important showcase window for stud dogs. It’s been brilliant.”