First timer Nala scoops scurry league success

A Labrador named Nala and her owner took the top spot in this year’s BASC scurry league final – the first to be held since 2019 – at the Weston Park Country Fair.

Nala was unable to compete in 2020 or 2021 due to the cancellation of the annual event due to Covid-19 restrictions. This year, her first year of entering, she walked away after being crowned winner.

A scurry is a timed retrieve for gundogs and handlers. This year’s competition saw hundreds of handlers and their dogs taking part in qualifying scurries at five shows across the country. Twenty people qualified and competed in the grand final at the fair, on the Shropshire / Staffordshire border, on Sunday.

Owner Paul Burns, from Essex, said Nala – named after a character in Disney’s the Lion King – was “amazing”.

He said: “I just can’t believe it, it’s amazing. This is the first final she has been in. She qualified at the Kelmarsh Show in Northamptonshire – the first scurry league qualifier this year so the pressure was off until the final. She has actually missed opportunities because she couldn’t run in 2020 or 2021 because of Covid so for her to come here today and win is fantastic, absolutely fantastic.”


Paul and Nala’s prizes include a year’s supply of Skinner’s dog food, gundog equipment supplied by Sporting Saint including an Air N Go launcher, a silver whistle, a jacket and dummies. They will also receive personalised engraved glassware, Ratcatcher tailor made tweed clothing, a Kara Slater A3 portrait of Nala and a 12 month subscription to Gundog Journal.

Glynn Evans, BASC’s head of game and gundogs, said: “Congratulations to Paul and Nala and to everyone else who entered this year’s competition. We were delighted to be able to host the scurry league for the first time since the start of the pandemic. We saw some really good gundog work and handling throughout the competition and our thanks go to our sponsors Skinner’s Field & Trial and Sporting Saint and to all of our volunteers who help us run the competition.”