NEESC - North East England Spaniel Club

Novice AV Spaniel Test Sunday 3rd June 2012

Winners & COM


1st - Craig Miller & Sam

2nd - Nicky Gordon & Rocky

3rd - David Ward & McCoy

4th - Chris Donkin & Bertie

COM - Barry Gray & Lilly

COM - Steven Thoburn & Bella

Judge - Mr. George Wilson

Go to the Results Page for more photos    

Kay Mclain set up the North East England Spaniel Club (NEESC) in January 2011, for all Spaniel lovers, owners, enthusiasts and anyone else with an interest in all Spaniel breeds.  The club holds Working Field Tests for Springers, Cockers, Welsh, Sprockers, Clumbers and even the Springador or any other Spaniel you care to think of.  This makes NEESC a very unique club, not just in the North East region, but in the country as a whole. 

THE TEST WILL NOT BE HELD IN ACCORDANCE WITH KC REGULATIONSTo make the tests as realistic as possible they will be held as close as possible to what your dog would need to do out on a shooting day e.g. hunting, retrieving, being steady, etc. 

(If the club was registered with the Kennel Club we would need to comply with stringent rules and regulations and only KC Registered Spaniels would be eligible to enter.  This would take away the very purpose for setting up the club.  So anyone who enters a test must be aware that it is not being held in accordance with KC rules and that NEESC is not affiliated with the KC).

2011 - 2012 will be the Clubs first year and if we want 2012 and beyond to be a success, lets get behind this and keep that membership growing.  Do we want something for the Spaniels in the North East or not?  I know I do, and I know others do too, but we need to see that in the membership numbers.  So if you're looking to join, sooner would be advised as entry into the forthcoming tests is only open to fully paid up members.  The more members, the more tests can be viably organised and held.  Current members come from all over Northern England (see below).


Kay Mclain from Craigelachie Gundogs started the club solely for Spaniels to give them back the same opportunity to run in tests in the North East region (and surrounding areas) as the Labradors currently have.


Organising any event is difficult but for Spaniel tests it is even more so. Tests for Spaniels in the North East were attended less and less years ago, to the point that they were no longer held. An awful lot of work, time and effort went into organising these events, but lack of support for them meant holding them was no longer viable. Spaniel owners are now beginning to feel this is a great loss for the North East region, hence the formation of the North East England Spaniel Club.

An awful lot of work is involved in making this club a success meaning that all tests held are very valuable, in numerous ways. There are regular Working Tests held in the North East of England for the Labrador but this died out quite some time ago for Spaniels due to lack of interest and support. We will be planning and organising some working tests specifically for Spaniels over the coming summer months. The tests will be run as close to being a Field Trial and as close to Kennel Club rules as possible but without the rules becoming too overbearing.


The Kennel Club associated tests have to follow stringent rules, taking a lot of the fun and pleasure out of it and adding to the stress for many novices and beginners. The North East Spaniel Club tests will be more about being a test for the Spaniel and a learning curve and enjoyment for the owner and the chance to assess their dogs standard before entering them in any Field Trials. The tests will be much more relaxed and informal than a Field Trial but with the same opportunities for the Spaniel as the Labrador.

As the North East Spaniel Club is not affiliated with the Kennel Club in any way, your Spaniel does not need to be Kennel Club registered for you to join or enter a test. However, if you do decide to get into trialling through other clubs, your dog will need to be KC registered as KC approved trials are not open to non-KC registered dogs.


Organising tests and even keeping membership details up to date and data protection compliant, finding the right ground, sorting insurance, dealing with queries, obtaining equipment, etc., is a very time consuming affair, so without the interest and support in the past, this was another reason why the Working Tests for Spaniels in our region died out.

Where Will Tests be Held (Location)?

It is planned that tests will be held over a very large area of the North East spanning from north of Wooler, to North Yorkshire and across past Allendale.  This will hopefully ensure that all members have a good chance of tests being close to them at some stage throughout the year.

Ground for Spaniels needs to be very specific for dogs to work and show themselves off at their best and finding good ground is very difficult. Bearing this in mind, if you would like to enter a test, please make sure you are able to attend to ensure your place is not lost and so that the landowner who kindly allowed the use of their land, has not had their kindness wasted.

Members so far are very widely dispersed, so if you would like to join but feel it may be quite a distance to travel alone for a test, let me know because it may well be that there are other members in your area who you could share travel with (any address or contact information will only be given with prior consent from the member).

Members (Locations, Facts, etc.)

So far, members come from far and wide, from Barrow-in-Furness, to Edinburgh and down to Hull.  I think this gives a reflection of how much interest there is again for Spaniels. 

We have a diverse mix of members so far, but they all have one common interest, and that is the Spaniel, one of the most interesting and exciting breeds on the planet.  The Spaniels are so adaptable for many varied types of work and excel in all areas of work and play.  They are such fun dogs, they can have you at your wits end one minute and then creased up in laughter the next.  But a well trained Spaniel is an absolute joy.  Even the best trained of all have attitude and character and that is what makes them so good at the many diverse tasks they are asked to do.

Entering a test not only gives you the chance to run your dog in a test and to see how well the two of you can do, but to meet and talk to other likeminded people who may have travelled many miles, just to be part of something which is purely for the Spaniel. 

  • The Cocker Spaniel is currently the most prominent breed owned by NEESC members, with the Springer coming in a close second and the Sprocker third.
  • A large percentage of members have registered more than one dog with the club
  • The majority of dogs registered with NEESC are also KC registered (but not all)
  • Members come from far and wide, from Barrow-in-Furness, to Edinburgh and down to Hull. I think this gives a reflection of how much interest there is again in Spaniels 

How did the idea come about?

Kay Mclain breeds, trains and works Springer Spaniels with a passion from her Craigelachie lines.  Teresa, Kays mother, breeds, trains and works Cocker Spaniels from her Longwitton lines.  Claire, Kays daughter, works with the Springers in agility.  The rest of the family are also very much into dogs.  So between us, there are 3 generations actually working, breeding and training dogs.  This is where the idea for the Club came from.  There are numerous tests and trials for the Labradors but the Spaniels seem to have dropped off the radar for opportunities for them outside of the shooting day.

The conversation to start a club began about 2 years ago but because so much work is involved in it, none of us actually ever got around to doing anything about making it a reality.  After Kay heard some of her training clients from Craigelachie Gundogs ask about clubs, tests and other options for their dogs, she thought maybe now is the time to actually do something about it.

So here we go. 

Everyone is welcome to join and it's very easy, just go to the How To Join page, send an email with your details and use the subscribe button for the £7.00 membership payment and there you go, all done.  If you prefer to pay by cheque, please just get in touch for the details, but remember, your membership can't be activated until membership has been paid.