Westcountry gundog trainer Nigel Partiss has received an award from the Queen after qualifying four dogs to compete among the nation's best in the Kennel Club's British Cocker Spaniel Championships.
Nigel, from Somerset-based "Tip Top Dogs", achieved the royal seal of approval at the event, held at the Queen's Norfolk home, Sandringham.
For most people qualifying one dog would be a major achievement. Securing places for four dogs in the final is, Nigel believes "beyond anyone's dreams". He had the most dogs in the competition.
Following a successful season competing up and down the UK in field trials, Nigel, from Ilminster, qualified Midge, Jack, Swift and Toffee for the final of the competition which took place at Sandringham Palace last week.
Almost ten inches of snow made conditions very difficult for the dogs, and many others in the competition were knocked out without finishing. All four of Nigel's dogs finished and were selected to win Diplomas of Merit by the Kennel Club Judges.
Serial Championship and Field Trial winner Midge has achieved a place in the final of the British Championship consecutively for the last five years, and this year was awarded the sought after Sandringham Game Keeper's Trophy for Best Dog in the Tournament.
Success obviously runs in the blood as Midge is mother to Jack and sister to Swift. Another of Midge's daughters was also awarded a Diploma of Merit at the Final.
To keep in touch with these winning dogs visit Nigel's website www.tiptopdogs.com