JUDGE PAUL McGAGH
BISMARCK, NORTH DAKOTA, USA
I grew up in Northern England where my Mum & Dad were in the pub trade. Ours was a real workingman’s pub. Most of the customers were coal miners or retired from the mines. The miners embodied a real tradition of owning hunting dogs, almost always lurchers or terriers, which they used to poach rabbits and hares off of local farmland and shooting estates.
These men and their dogs were colorful characters and I loved to spend all my spare time with them, I am sure to their great annoyance. The old timers could vividly recall the days of war rationing where the difference between a good rabbit dog and a mediocre one was having meat on the table or going without. Not surprisingly, my first dogs were a lurcher and Border terrier.
When I was fourteen and through the help of our neighbor and good friend Pete Hall, I acquired a well-bred Springer Spaniel pup I named Kim. My reason for wanting a spaniel was to gain access to beating on a local shoot. This, in turn, might earn an introduction to get permission to hunt rabbits. Kim turned into much more than a gateway to legitimate rabbit hunting. She was a conduit to a whole new world for me, both literally and figuratively. I have never been without a spaniel since.
The year 2005 was special for me starting in January shooting the British Springer Spaniel Championship and British Cocker National Championship in England. It culminated in October by winning both the US Cocker National Championship and the Canadian Spaniel Championship.
The format of Canadian trials is my unequivocal favorite, one that allows cockers to compete side by side with Springers at the highest level.
I have really cherished my times spent in Canada and am honored to Judge your National Championship for 2006. I wish all the competitors the best of luck!
Back to Judges page.
Webmaster: Jérémie Robin