Described as a “model student”, Jack Depledge from North Yorkshire has won this year’s National Gamekeepers’ Organisation Frank Jenkins Memorial Trophy, sponsored by Musto. The industry leading award goes to the best full- or part-time gamekeeping student or apprentice of the academic year.
The eighteen year-old winner, who completed his full-time studies this summer on the Extended Diploma Game and Countryside Management course at Newton Rigg College, Cumbria, part of Askham Bryan College, now works as a trainee keeper in Scotland’s Angus Glens.
The NGO Frank Jenkins Memorial Trophy, sponsored by Musto, is judged annually – the award is now in its seventh year – by senior members of the National Gamekeepers’ Organisation. The late Frank Jenkins was a well-known gamekeeper whose career spanned six decades.
The Chairman of the National Gamekeepers’ Organisation, Liam Bell, presented the Frank Jenkins Memorial Trophy to the winner in the Main Arena at the Midland Game Fair, Weston Park, Shropshire on Sunday 17 September 2017. The winner also took home a new Musto Highland Gore-Tex® Ultra Lite suit of jacket and trousers, thanks to the kindness of Musto, the sponsor of the NGO Frank Jenkins Memorial Trophy.
In addition, Jack Depledge received an engraved tankard from the NGO National Committee and a gift to mark the occasion kindly presented by Frank Jenkins' daughter and son (Mr Jenkins' son is a gamekeeper member of the NGO).
The winner, Jack Depledge, said: “I am overjoyed to have won the 2017 NGO Frank Jenkins Memorial Trophy. It is most unexpected and I’d very much like to thank the NGO and Musto. The award will stand me in huge good stead on my career path. I am not from a keepering family, I started beating at about five years old when my Dad joined a small syndicate in North Yorkshire. It led to me becoming a regular beater on a commercial shoot, and helping them at weekends. I love the grouse moors in Scotland where I’m working as a trainee keeper, and hope to be a headkeeper one day, fingers crossed.
“I was a full-time student at Newton Rigg College – I’d always wanted to go there – where the mix of classroom-based study and outdoor experience are perfect, and the facilities for gaining an insight into grouse, deer, pheasant and partridge are second to none. The lecturers are also fab. In particular, I’d like to thank the college’s Malcolm Riding, now retired, who set up the Northern School of Game and Wildlife, and Curtis Mossop, the Senior Lecturer and Course Manager. I’d also like to thank Duncan Thomas at BASC, who has helped me throughout my journey, from my early days in shooting to today, and of course my Mum and Dad, not least for ferrying me to shoots.”
Curtis Mossop, Senior Lecturer and Course Manager at Newton Rigg College, said: “Jack was a ‘model student’ by any measure, and I am proud for him that his hard work and dedication have won the NGO Frank Jenkins Memorial Trophy. As a student, Jack always had pride in what he did, being trustworthy and dependable, and eloquent in explaining to the public the benefits of gamekeeping, face-to-face and on social media. Jack also enjoys a maturity well beyond his years, and is superb academically and practically. For instance, he was instrumental in running the college’s partridge shoot. The perfect ambassador for the college and for the industry, he has a full and interesting shooting CV, including a placement in South Africa working with game. Above all, Jack is a good lad, and I wish him luck in his career.”
Emmie Brown, International Country Marketing Manager at MUSTO, said: “Musto is hugely pleased to support the National Gamekeepers’ Organisation Frank Jenkins Memorial Trophy once again in 2017. Young keepers are the lifeblood of the shooting world, so as a brand it is an honour to be able to give back to this community. Being able to back the work of the NGO is something very close to Musto, and we hope to continue providing support in years to come. We wish our winner every success in his career, and trust his new Musto Highland Gore-Tex® Ultra Lite jacket and trousers will shrug off the wind and rain out on the moors.”
Liam Bell, the Chairman of the National Gamekeepers’ Organisation, said: “It is wonderfully reassuring to see that new entrants to our profession are of such a high calibre. It is quite clear that Jack is a special talent, with a great love and aptitude for the job. As such he is a very worthy winner of the 2017 NGO Frank Jenkins Memorial Trophy and I congratulate him wholeheartedly on his success. It is interesting to see that Jack is not from a keepering family, so his win is testament to the shooting and keepering world being open to anyone with the right ability and commitment. May I wish him a long and successful career.”
Notes to Editors
The NGO represents the gamekeepers of England and Wales. It defends and promotes gamekeeping, gamekeepers and ensures high standards throughout the profession. It was founded in 1997 by a group of gamekeepers who felt that their profession was threatened by public misunderstanding and poor representation. The NGO has around 13,000 members. www.nationalgamekeepers.org.uk