Adventures of Nick & Ted
Sporting Gun|October 2021
Illness forces a change to Ted’s hydrotherapy fitness training and Nick Ridley tries to calm young Percy ahead of his show trial
Nick Ridley

I assume that I am not the only one getting excited about the forthcoming shooting season. I was lucky enough to get a bit of shooting and beating in last year but, like everyone else, nowhere near as much as I would normally do, and I am champing at the bit. Last month I wrote about Ted’s new fitness regime.

In fact, we had a few weeks suspension due to him having kennel cough and, because of this, we decided that we would restart his programme. The real benefit of the water treadmill is compounded through regular sessions, so it will be another few weeks before we can measure how things are progressing.

Heatwave

I also mentioned that I was preparing Percy for the Game Fair Working Test challenge, which we had qualified for a few months earlier. I had set out a training program running up to the event and then the week before the test a heatwave hit. We had temperatures pushing 30°C and even at 6 am trying to do some hunting exercises soon left the little dog with his tongue hanging out, so I needed to revise things, and quickly.

On the Monday leading up to the test, I headed back over to Percy’s breeders, Jon and Dana Rees, as they have some fantastic training facilities, including three large rabbit pens, one of which runs alongside a lake. It was a boiling hot day and not ideal for hunting the dogs, but we did some water work first and then ran them in the pen and then put them back in the lake to cool off.

I wanted to make sure Percy’s pattern was up to scratch as in previous weeks I had really been working hard in getting him to hunt grass cover.

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