Mark has lived nearly all his life in The Vale Of Belvoir owning and shooting over spaniels for nearly 50 years. Mark says “Field Trialling became my passion in the early 1990’s, forming the Belvden affix I have qualified for the Championship in 12 consecutive years moat recently in 2020. I have been lucky to make up six field trial champions and ran in the England Team at the CLA on two occasions. In 2014 I represented Great Britain in Serbia driving all the way there and back with FTCH Belvden Vatanen, it was a journey I will never ever forget!!”
As an A Panel judge, Mark spends a good proportion of his time during the season judging for many UK, Scottish, Swedish and Irish Clubs. He has also judged the Swedish, Irish, Finnish and English Championships.
Mark lived in the Vale of Belvoir since childhood, and more recently moved to a property near Melton Mowbray. He started shooting at the age of twelve and acquired his first spaniel at 19, shooting over a dog is very natural to him and is often another regular invite with clubs seeking experienced guns. The latest house move also sees him acquire land upon which he had developed his very own training ground including water and a 2 acre rabbit pen.
The first FTCh Denford Danny of Belvden won a Diploma and Guns Choice in 2001. His daughter FTCh Rydanlue Breeze won a Diploma in the 2005 British Spaniel Championships and has competed twice at the Irish Championships. FTCh Belvden Collingwood qualified for the 2007 Championships but did not compete as Mark, an A Panel judge, was one of the four judges at the event. In the 2008 Championships at Conholt Park he was awarded fourth place and best dog. FTCH Belvden Vatanen made three FTCH’s and will go down in history as one of the hardest hunting spaniels around. Sadly we lost him back in 2021. FTCH Boothy’s Bomber of Belvden made FTCH number 5 and competed in The Spaniel Championship 2017. Boothy was made up to a FTCH in only six trials. The sixth and most recent dog was made up to FTCH just before the COVID Pandemic – FTCH Belvden Justin Time. Probably the most fearless dog in cover to date acquiring the nickname “The Street Fighter”.
Now heading into semi retirement (work not dogs!) Mark hopes to spend even more time on the next generations of champions, but also expanding his training offering on his newly developed training ground. He continues to judge and most recently having completed the job of Chief Steward at The Game Fair Home International for the second time is a row is starting to offer working tests and smaller competitions at home. “We have to open the door to a new generation of handlers, field sports faces a challenging next decade and we can all play a part in how we shape it’s future”