2013 National Amateur Retriever Championship

25th Anniversary of the National Amateur Retriever Championship

July 1-6, 2013
Morrin, Alberta

National Amateur Retriever Championship Logo

Host Club

Stampede City Retriever Club
Field Trial Chair - Doug Sheperd
Field Trial Secretary - Marg Murray

Judges:

Southern Ontario Zone: Howard Simson, Bradford  ON
Eastern Zone: Nelson Spencer, Welsford  NB
Western Zone: Chris Allaire, Olympia  WA

 

Winner 2013 Canadian National Amateur Retriever Championship

FTCH AFTCH FC AFC RUNNIN’S MOLLY “B”

Owners Mickey Rawlins & Brian Clasby
Handler Mickey Rawlins

 



 

Finalists

 



 
2
FTCH AFTCH MHR SPRING CREEK’S 5-STAR ADVENTURE
Owner: J. & J. Cornell
Handler: Judy Cornell



7
30
AFTCH SEASIDE MARSH GHILLIE
AFTCH L AND L’S MARSH OBSESSION
Owners: Dennis Voigt & Fiona McKay
Handler: Dennis Voigt



9
FTCH AFTCH FIFTH AVENUE’S ROCKIN REBA
Owner: Marlene Benn
Handler: Marlene Benn



18
FTCH AFTCH REVILO’S CUTTING EDGE
Owners: Tom & Marg Murray
Handler: Marg Murray



22
AFC FTCH AFTCH UPON THE WINGS OF AN ANSWERED PRAYER
Owners:Bill Y Micky Petrovish
Handler: Bill Petrovish



27
FTCH AFTCH TEALCREEK HIGH TYDE COOT
Owners: Dona & Donald Martin
Handler: Donald Martin



31
FTCH AFTCH TELGAR’S HERBIE FULLY LOADED
Owners: Gord & Marlene Benn
Handler: Gord Benn



37
FTCH AFTCH FC AFC RUNNIN’S MOLLY “B”
Owners: Mickey Rawlins & Brian Clasby
Handler: Mickey Rawlins



40
FTCH AFTCH CASTILE CREEKS RIVERS RIPPLE
Owners: Daniel Shnitka & Birgit Juergensen
Handler: Daniel Shnitka



43
NFTCH FTCH AFTCH FC AFC Taylorlab Calumet’s Big Blue
Owner: Sharon Gierman
Handler: Sharon Gierman



44
PEKISKO’S IRONMAN
Owners: John & Sharon van der Lee
Handler: Sharon van der Lee



46
FTCH AFTCH MARALAN’S KIDS WANNA ROCK
Owner: Ian Montgomery
Handler: Ian Montgomery



49
FC FTCH AFTCH NMH GMH TAYLORLAB’S SUGAR AND SPICE
Owner: Susan Taylor
Handler: Susan Taylor



 

 

Saturday June 29, 2013

Pizza Night at Sam’s Saloon

Saturday was a day for getting settled in and catching up with old friends. Headquarters for the 2013 Canadian National Amateur Retriever Championship, was located in Rowley Alberta, a frontier town from days gone by. Pizza night in Rowley is the main attraction with locals coming from all over to party with the contestants. Rowley was featured in some western movies and is affectionately known as Rowleywood. Most of the party was in Sam’s Saloon but spilled out into the street.
 
Judges relaxing after a long day



Rocking in Rowley


Mosy up to the bar


 

Sunday June 30, 2013

Opening Banquet

The 2013 Canadian National Amateur Retriever Championship officially got under way with the Opening Banquet held in Morrin Alberta. Master of Ceremonies, Bill Pogson started off by welcoming the contestants and thanking the landowners; the Hutterite Brethren from Starland County, Pete Stahl, Gerry & Marie Koustrup, Dick Trentham, Neil Downey, Tracy Nelson, Pat Montgomery and Bob James. The use of these properties is greatly appreciated and without which these national events cannot take place.
 
When mentioning the contributions of others, enough cannot be said about the generosity of our sponsors. Bill Kennedy attended the banquet representing Purina official dogfood of the Nationals in Canada, Jim Couch representing Ducks Unlimited Canada, supplier of the Finalists’ gifts, Garmin/Tritronics, official ecollar supplier, Avery Sporting Dog which provides the hats, handlers jackets and a tremendous amount of merchandise used to raise funds on the Silent Auction table, Zinger Winger, also providing merchandise for the Silent Auction, Winchester Ammunition, official supplier of the poppers used exclusively throughout the National Amateur, local sponsors, Safeway, ScotiaBank and HomeHardware.
 
The Head Table was introduced, starting with Doug Shepherd, FT Chairman and his wife, Howard Simson, Southern Ontario Judge, Nelson Spencer Eastern Zone Judge, and Chris Allaire, Western Zone Judge, next Kerry Curran Chief Marshal, Tom Murray President of the Stampede City Retriever Club, Marg Murray Field Trial Secretary, and Bill Kennedy President of the National Retriever Club of Canada.
 
Head Table


Judges: Howard Simson, Nelson Spencer, Chris Allaire


Bill Pogson made special mention of Ray Koskinen, at 90 years old, Ray is the oldest active field trialer in Canada. Ray was responsible for soliciting help from non-trialers. Who could say no to a 90 year old man who needed help. Ray donated retriever trophies that he won over the years, that were used for the table centre pieces
 
Ray Koskinen


Trophy Centrepiece


 
Following the National anthems and toasts to the Queen and the Office of the President of the United States, Gord Benn said grace and the contestants sat down to a great roast beef and chicken dinner. Bill Kennedy, President of the NRCC thanked the caterers, the judges and Tom Murray, President of the host club Stampede City Retriever Club.
 
Master of Ceremonies - Bill Pogson


Bless ing by Gord Benn


Kerry Curran, Tom Murray, Marg Murray and Bill Kennedy


Future field trialer and proud grandma


 
The sponsors are such an integral part of the success of any National. Purina, Avery Sporting Dog, Winchester Ammunition, Garmin/Tritronics, Zinger Winger, Connie Swanson, and Home Hardware with Glenn Norton, who couldn’t be here.
 
Bill Pogson talked to the contestants about the importance of enjoying the journey and noted the absence of last year’s winner, Sherwin Scott, a great competitor with his dog Guide. As well, Bill passed along words of wisdom from other field trialers.
 
From someone who has been losing alot - It may be your sole purpose in field trialing to serve as a warning to others on what not to do.
From a fatalist - In field trials, if you make every test a life and death proposition, your going to have a problem. For one, you are going to be dead much of the time.
From a natural born pessimist - I field trials, no one is watching until you make a mistake. Then the gallery goes silent and the whispering starts.
From a 20 year veteran - In field trialing, multi-tasking is screwing several things up at once.
On judges - If you can’t convince them, try your best to confuse them.
From a veteran field trialer - Diplomacy is the art of saying good dog while looking for a bigger stick
From an old timer - Success always occurs in private while failure in field trials is done in full view
A positive outlook - One the weekend Tom Murray got back to back blues with his dog Nick, Bill’s wife got a 4th in the Junior. When asked how it went, Deb stated that she would always remember the trial as the one where she and Tom got a combined 11 points!
 
Instructions from the judges and trial committee were provided by Chief Marshal Kerry Curran. The caravan will leave headquarters at 6:55 am and will be lead by Bob James. Test dogs will be run at 7:30 am. Dogs are to be on the mat for all blinds, and handlers on the mat for all marks. No white in the gallery and all cellphones off. A dog that receives a no bird will wait 3 dogs, if another no bird occurs, the dog will wait another 3 dogs and if god forbid the same dog gets a third no bird, it will be run at the end. Monday will start out with a Land Triple and a Blind. Dogs 1, 52 and 55 are scratched.
 
Nelson Spencer spoke on behalf of the judges and indicated that they had a great setup crew, great grounds and were looking forward to judging the dogs. The judges then adjourned for the night before the calcutta got underway.
 
Nelson Spencer spoke on behalf of the Judges


Entertainment provided by local band The Roadside Attractions.


 
Doug Shepherd Field Trial Chair and Bruce Macdonald conducted the Calcutta and handed out the hats donated by Purina, bibs donated by Garmin/Tritronics and jackets donated by Avery Sporting Dog, with Bill Kennedy from Purina handing out the handlers packages. generously donated by Purina. For those unfamiliar with a Calcutta, dogs are auctioned off and the purse is divided three ways, one third to the club, a third divided amongst the holders of the tickets for the finalists and a third to the holder of the ticket for the winner. At the end of the calcutta, a 50/50 draw was made to benefit the residents of High River Alberta that were affected by recent flooding. Of interest, 25% of the dogs entered were from the United States. A special thank you to the American contestants.
 
Doug, Bruce and Bill


US Contingent


 

Monday July 1, 2013

Tests 1 & 2 - Land Triple with a Retired Gun and a Blind

Contestants that were up bright and early in the morning were greeted with heavy ground fog which dissipated by the time the caravan headed out at 7:05 am. The day was forecast to reach about 29C which is about 84F. That was in the shade and I assure you that the only shade perched on a hill in the middle of vast rolling hills, was the shade we created with trucks and tents. It was a hot one.
 
The land triple was run through a bowl with hills surrounding the test. The cover varies from heavy low brush to grazed pasture. The test was run almost due North and there was a slight downwind breeze. The long centre gun at 230 yards was stationed at the crest of a hill and was shot first and then retired. The left hand gun at 162 yards was shot second and the right hand go bird, was 90 yards. All birds were thrown from right to left. The long centre bird appeared to be a flat throw landing at the brow of the hill, and was thrown towards the blind. The left bird was thrown angled back into cover, and the go bird was thrown flat out and downhill from the gunners. Drake mallards were thrown on the centre and left marks, a rooster pheasant was thrown for the go bird and a hen mallard was at the blind.
 
The blind was not hot, which means the bird was not planted when the marks were run. After the marks were picked up, the blind was planted. If the blind planter was still visible as the dog returned with the last bird from the marks, the dog and handler went into a holding blind to wait until the blind was ready. The mat for the blind was about 10 feet to the left of the mat for the marks. The blind was 225 yards and was planted at the base of a small shrub. The line to the blind was tight backside to the left hand gun station.
 
The female test dog Elmigo’s With One Twist (Matti), owned and handled by Tim Duhaime, was called to line at 8:02am. Matti did a credible job on the marks with a few short hunts and had a number of casts to keep her in sight on the line to the blind. With the rolling hills, it was easy to lose sight of the dog on both the long retired mark and the blind.
 
The male test dog Dino’s Don Juan (DJ) owned and handled by Robin Dean had very good right and left birds and had an excellent line to the retired bird before looping to the right and disappearing behind the crest of the hill where the retired gunners were hidden. After a short hunt he sorted it out and came up with the bird. DJ had a few whistles to keep on line and had a controlled blind.
 
Dog 31 was called to line at 8:28 am and the 2013 Canadian National Amateur Retriever Championship got under way.
Test 1 & 2 Land Triple with a Retired Gun and a Blind.



 



 
The temperature rose to about 28C in the shade and a steady breeze from the south made it bearable. It was way hotter in the sun. Thankfully there was a large pond where the dogs could cool off after they ran.
 
Gallery perched on a hill



 
Gallery Shots




As the afternoon progressed, the steady breeze switched from a downwind test to coming slightly from right to left. Dog work was generally good with a few dogs hunting short on the long retired and some hunting the blind location. There were very few no birds and no misfires with the ammunition provided by Winchester Ammunition. As the sun came around, the retired gun station was more visible as were some of the large rocks in the field.
 
Callbacks: All dogs were called back to the 3rd Series except for dog 28 and dog 53.

Tuesday July 2, 2013

Test 3 - Water Triple with a Retired Gun

To start, contestants were greeted with a bright sunny day at 22C and a steady 15kh breeze out of the south. The afternoon was forecast to reach 32C. Thankfully the Purina tents were set up online to provide the judges with shade and perched on another hill for the gallery.
 
Test 3 was a water triple with a retired gun on the centre bird. The order of the guns was centre first, then right and then left. The running line was perched on a hill and the gun stations were all perched on separate hills. There was land that split the pond into two ponds. From line, the dogs could not see the first pond. The line to the right hand bird took the first pond and the line to the centre bird required a reentry into the second pond. Drake mallards were thrown on the centre retired and the right hand guns. The left gun threw a hen mallard. Distances were left 78 yards, centre 140 yards and the right hand mark was 160 yards. To begin, the test was mostly downwind angling slightly from left to right. All birds landed on land.
 
Test Dog DJ with Robin Dean


When Male Test Dog DJ ran, the centre and right guns threw left to right and the left hand go bird was thrown right to left. The line to the left hand mark was through heavy cover and a small aspen graove. DJ took the ATV highway and avoided the cover and went directly to the gun station but had no trouble coming up with the bird. For DJ the right hand gun station was at the bottom of the hill throwing uphill. He had no difficulty with coming up with the right hand mark. There were some decoys in the first pond but they didn’t appear to provide any distraction. When sent for the centre retired, DJ took the shortest route across the 2 ponds, which put him on top of the hill to the left of the gun station. He looped around out of sight behind the gun station and came in on the bird.
 
Test Dog Matti with Tim Duhaime


For the female test dog Matti, handled by Tim Duhaime, the right hand gun station was moved up the hill and back so that the throw was right to left downhill. Small aspens were placed near line to deflect dogs that might have run into a hole hidden by cover. The judges took no chances on the safety of these canine athletes.
 
Matti also ran the ATV highway and came up with the left hand bird quickly. For the right hand mark, she squared up the hill and winded the bird under the arc. For the centre bird, Matti started out on a good line but took a little too much water, made a loop short of the mark and went to the gun station before coming up with the bird. Overall, a good test.
 
 
 
 
Test 3 - Water Triple with a Retired Gun



 



 
Handlers Surveying the test


Judges taking a break during bird change


After all the delays, dog 42 was finally called to line. Most of the dogs did a very good job. At the beginning of the test there was some concern about a dog possibly winding the centre bird from the right hand station. Even with the wind shift to more of a crosswind test, no dogs did that. Although the test dogs took the ATV highway on the go bird, most of the running dogs took the correct line through the aspen grove.
 
Callbacks 3 Dogs were not called back to the 4th series. Dogs not called were dogs, 13, 38,48.
 

Test 4 - Water Blind

Test 4 was a 215 yard water blind that was run through the marks of Test 3. The mat was moved about 25 yards to the left of the Test 3 running line, and on the sidehill slope. The line to the blind was through the first pond to the left of the decoys, over the land and re-enter into the 2nd pond to then parallel the shore past the old fall for the right hand mark. The bird was planted at the end of the pond. There was a strong on shore crosswind.
 
The female test dog, Elmingo’s Violence On Request owned and handled by Rod Neterer, wouldn’t handle into the water on the re-entry into the second pond and was picked up. On her rerun she wanted to go down the centre of the pond and wouldn’t cast onto the proper line but did get the bird.
 
The male test dog, DJ owned and handled by Robin Dean, started heading right of line and had difficulty casting into the water on the re-entry. Once in, Robin kept him tight to line with a number of casts. Starting dog 56, followed DJ.
 
Test 4 - Water Blind



 



 
Callbacks: The 6 dogs not carried to Test 5 were 12, 14, 26, 32, 33, 39.

 

Wednesday July 3, 2013

Test 5 - Land/Water Triple With 2 Retired Guns and an Honour

Overnight a cold front moved in and cooler weather was a welcome change to wake up to after the 33C endured the day before. The wind shifted to a brisk N 17 kmh. To start, it was cloudy with sunny breaks.
 
Test 5 was a tight land triple with the centre and right hand guns retired. There was an honour with this test as well. A small pond was in front of the centre fall area. The order of the guns was centre, right, and left. The retired gunners were instructed to retire as soon as their bird hit the ground. Distances to the marks were 150 yards to the left hand mark, 250 yards to the right hand mark and 325 to the centre mark. Keep in mind this measurement was direct line of sight and didn’t take into consideration the substantial hills. These were BIG hills, not just slightly rolling terrain. The marsh grass down the centre of the test made for tough going. Drake mallards were thrown by the 2 retired guns and a rooster pheasant was thrown for the go bird on the left. All birds were thrown right to left into cover. No giveaways when the dog reached the fall area. The test was run due South with the wind from the North - Northwest
 
Male test dog Willowrose Billy Bob, owned and handled by Robin Dean was called to line at 8:30 am. Bobby had a very good left and mark and went directly to the bird. On his way to the right hand mark, Bobby took a bad tumble and became disoriented so he was handled to the bird. For the centre mark he flared left and was recalled. On the resend he was picked up.
 
Pulling Out the ATV


After the test dog tumbled there was a delay while judges had the area checked and cleared. Visibility was restricted by the heavy marsh grass. Murphy’s Law, what can go wrong does go wrong, so, with the test already delayed, the Chief Marshal managed to get the ATV stuck in the middle of the test and had to be pulled out.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Test Dog Maggie with Linda McDowall


 
Female test dog Linmac’s Black Magic Elixer, owned and handled by Linda McDowall, was called to line around 9:00 am. Maggie took a very good line under the arc of the left hand bird but hunted deep on the right and left side of the gunners before picking up the bird. On the right hand mark, she took a high line over a hill half way out and then corrected all the way the to bird and had an excellent mark. For the centre mark, Maggie didn’t seem to recall the centre bird and appeared confused when sent. She had to be handled to prevent her from going back to the left hand bird but got the centre bird with a handle.
 
The first dog #10 was called to line at about 9:30 am and Test 5 got underway.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Test 5 - Land Triple with 2 Retired Guns and an Honour



 



 
The judges got answers on all three birds. Some dogs missed the go bird under the arc and hunted deep, some dogs put on an extensive hunt on the right hand bird, hunting short and right, and lots of dogs just didn’t make it out to the long mark and got hung up on the drag back through the pond. There were lots of dogs that handled.
 
Gunners on the First Shift



 
Setting Up


Gun Captain Lining Up the Crew


Handlers Viewing the Test


Gallery Watching On


 
Callbacks: 9 dogs were not called back to the 6th series. Dogs not called back, 3, 8, 17, 23, 29, 35, 36, 51, 54.
 

Workers’ Party

The Workers’ Party kicked off with cocktails and a chance for everyone to commiserate about their day. The Silent Auction table saw lots of action with friendly rivalries over who would win out on choice items. Our Major Sponson Purina, represented by Bill Kennedy was on hand to personally thank the workers on behalf of Purina and to give each worker a knapsack full of Purina goodies and a large bag of Purina Pro Plan. Always good to reward the workers for volunteering their time and energy to ensure the success of the National Amateur.
 
Workers were thanked by Field Trial Chair Doug Shepher, and received a NRCC Workers pin from Western Zone Directors, Bruce Macdonald and Jane Spearing, and the Purina Workers’ bags were handed out by Purina representative Bill Kennedy.
 
Field Trial Chair - Doug Shepherd



Chief Marshal - Kerry Curran


Field Trial Secretary - Marg Murray


Stampede City Retriever Club President - Tom Murray


Gun Captains - Gord & Marlene Benn


Assistant Marshal - Dick Curran


Corporate Liaison- Bruce Macdonald


Landowner Liaison - Bob James


Canteen - Murray, Dianne, Brandon Murphy






Thursday July 4, 2013

Test 6 - Land Blind

Test 6 was a 245 sidehill land blind. The wind was fickle or non-existent and was not a factor with the early dogs. About 30 yards out there was a ridge that the dogs went over and were out of sight briefly. The handlers could move up to handle. Temperature was a refreshing 15C to start the day and it was partly cloudy.
 
Female test dog, FTCH Biggun’s Over Tucquan, owned and handled by Murray Murphy was the first test dog called to line. She broke right going over the ridge and then took a line somewhat right of line along the top edge of the adjacent hillside. She had 1 whistle.
 
Male test dog AFC AFTCH Jazztime Bluegoose’s Skatch, owned by Larry and Anna Calvert, and handled by Larry, was next. He also broke right over the ridge but stayed left and carried a better line to the blind. Both dogs had no trouble hearing whistles or finding the bird at the end of the blind.
 
The first running dog 21 was called to line at 8:20 am.
 
Test 6 - Land Blind



 



 
Handlers Planning Their Strategies


Preaching to the Choir


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Callbacks: Only 2 dogs were dropped, dogs 24 and 56.
 
 

Test 7 - Water Triple with 2 Retired Guns and an Honour

Test 7 was a water triple with an honour. It was nice to see that all of the honours were on tests with long marks and no breaker birds. The centre and right hand gunners retired. The centre gun threw first, left to right across the draw, and uphill into cover. They retired immediately. The line to that bird was through the middle of the pond. The right hand gun threw second. They stood and threw from the holding blind. The throw was angled back from right to left and the bird landed in water, in front of a large willow clump. The left hand gun threw last. The bird was thrown downhill, across a cattle path, into a mix of marsh grass and water. The gunners sat at the top of the hill. Drake mallards were thrown for all marks. The test was run due north and the wind was out of the South East varying out of the East. Distances to the guns were; 152 yards to the left gun station, 185 yards to the right gun station and 235 yards to the centre.
 
Test 7 - Water Triple with 2 Retired Guns and an Honour



 



 
Female test dog was once again FTCH Biggun’s Over Tucquan, owned and handled by Murray Murphy. For the left hand go bird, Abby cheated around the pond, ran along the cattle path and started up hill under the arc when she appeared to wind the bird and came down directly to the bird and picked it up. For the right hand mark, Abby took an excellent line, slicing a corner of the pond and went directly to the bird. For the centre bird, she started out heading for the go bird but went right on through up the hill and ended up being handled from behind the left hand gun station.
 
Abby and Murray


Larry and Skatch


 
Male test dog was once again AFC AFTCH Jazztime Bluegoose’s Skatch, owned by Larry and Anna Calvert, and handled by Larry. Skatch also cheated around the pond on the left mark but then squared up the hill behind the guns. He hunted half way down the hill before coming down into the marsh grass to pick up the bird. Skatch also cheated the pond for the right hand mark but from a line right of the gun station he corrected all the way to the bird. For the centre mark, Skatch took an excellent line through the pond and cut hard left over the hill near the retired gun station. He recovered quickly and looped over to pick up the bird.
 
Dog 37 started. Generally the dog work was good with a few bad lines, hunts on the wrong side of a gun, and a handle. Nothing like Test 5. When a severe thunderstorm and high winds moved in, the test was called with 3 dogs left to run.

 

Friday July 5, 2013

Test 7 - Continued

 
During the night’s rain, judge Howard Simson had to rescue their rental car before the flood waters crested the door frame.
 
To start the morning, contestants and workers were treated to breakfast compliments of Purina, official dog food sponsor of the National and National Amateur. Purina generously provided breakfast on Thursday, Friday and Saturday for every National and speaking from experience, was gratefully appreciated.
 
The last three dogs to run Test 7 were on deck at 7:00 am. The test was totally different from the day before with a briisk NW wind angling in from the left. It was sunny and 12C. At least with the sun, the birds showed up really well. The last dog came off line at 7:40 am.
 
Callbacks: 8 dogs were not called back to the 8th series. Dogs not called back; 4, 5, 19, 20, 41, 42, 45, 47
 

Test 8- Land Quad with 2 Retired guns

Test 8 was a Land Quad with the 2 long centre guns retired. The left centre threw first, uphill and then retired immediately to a brushed in holding blind. The long centre right gun threw second, that appeared to be a flat throw along the crest of the hill. The short right threw downhill into marsh grass at the edge of a small pond. Some dogs had a splash, some did not. The left hand bird was the last bird thrown which was a rooster pheasant thrown uphill. All birds were thrown right to left. A drake mallard was thrown at the left long retired gun. Hen mallards were thrown for both right hand marks. Distances to the guns were; 145 yards to the left hand go bird, 350 yards to the centre left, 220 yards to the centre right, and 92 yards to the right. There was a flat marshy bowl in the centre with the marks along the surrounding hills. The left centre mark was way back past the defined edge of the marsh. With the recent rains, there was water along the edge of the marshy bowl and a few small puddles of swiming water in the marsh grass. The test was run due South and the wind was from the Northwest. Dog #49 started.
 
Female test dog was once again Abby and handled by Murray Murphy. Abby had a very good left hand bird, had a quick hunt short of the bird on the right hand mark, and then chose to pick up the centre left gun third. Abby went up the centre of the field, right of the holding blind, corrected to the holding blind and then looped behind and up the hill to pick up the bird. For the centre right retired, Abby started out on a good line to the bird but hung a hard left when she reached the bottom edge of the hill. She went out of sight and the next time she was seen, she was way out in the field before disappearing behind the hill that the centre right mark is thrown. Abby had to be handled to the bird.
 
Male test dog, Skatch with handler Larry Calvert had an excellent left go bird. For the right hand mark he started off slightly right and fell down the hill to hunt short before sorting out the mark. Skatch took out the long right hand retired bird third and took a line straight at the gun station but corrected and went directly to the bird for an excellent mark. For the long centre left retired, Skatch took a line up the middle of the field, corrected to the holding blind and then looped up to pick up the bird.
 
Test 8 - Land Quad with 2 Retired Guns



 



 
As the test progress a number of dogs handled, not necessarily on the same bird. Some dogs had difficulty with the right retired and some had substantial hunts on the right hand mark. A few thought the long left mark was further and had to be handled in. The line to the centre left bird was almost over the area from where the land blind was run. Some dogs broke down in the scent from the blind and had to be handled. There was a lot of drag back scent that built up at the bottom of the hill for the centre right mark and a number of dogs initiated their hunt at the base of the hill. Most figured it out and eventually drove up the hill to the bird. There were a number of good jobs as well.
 
 
Callbacks: 17 dogs were called back to the 9th Series. Dogs called back are; 2, 6, 7, 9, 15, 18, 22, 27, 30, 31, 37, 40, 43, 44, 46, 49, 50. The 6 dogs not called back were; 10, 11, 16, 21, 25, 34.
 

Test 9 - Water Blind

Test 9 was a 236 yard water blind over a grassy point, through a natural stick pond. Remember, all distances were direct line of sight and did not take into consideration the big hills. The land entry was side/down hill for 50 yards. There were lots of sticks and logs that the dogs had to negotiate across this natural pond. A scented grassy point was on line to the blind at about 100 yards. The blind was run to the South East, with the wind angling downwind from left to right.
 
Female test dog was Prairiestorm Rich Rayasunshine, owned by Doug & Brenda Richmond and handled by Doug. She started curling left before the first point and needed a few early whistles to get on the point, then needed a number of whistles to get off the point. She went out of sight briefly around the point and then carried a line left of the proper line through some dead falls at shore, before squaring up the hill and then hooking down to the bird.
 
Male test dog Skatch with handler Larry Calvert, took a good initial line and needed a whistle to get on the point and a few whistles to get off. The rest of his blind was very good. Dog 7 started.
Test 9 - Water Blind



 



 
There were a few good jobs and a few dogs had a lot of whistles. Nobody lost their dog around the first point but there were some do or die casts to get them off. Many dogs wanted to go to sea and needed to be cast onto the point.
 
Gallery watching the 9th


View of the 9th From the Gallery


 
In Canada, Finalists are those dogs called back to the 10th series, which is not the same as our US counterparts.
 
Callbacks: Finalists called back to the 10th Series; 2, 7, 9, 18, 22, 27, 30, 31, 37, 40, 43, 44, 46, 49. There are 14 dogs called back to the 10th series. The 3 dogs not called back were; 6, 15, 50.
 

Saturday July 6, 2013

Test 10 - Water Quad with 3 Retired Guns

After an overnight rain, contestants awoke to overcast skies and a cool 11C. There was a strong crosswind from right to left and the dogs really had to fight the wind for the line to the right hand mark. The order of the guns was counterclockwise around the clock. The right hand gun shot first, followed by the right centre, then left centre, and the go bird was the left gun. Distances to the marks were; 122 yards to the go bird, 128 yards to the left centre mark, 188 to the right centre mark and 222 yards across the pond to the right hand mark. Ducks were thrown on all 4 marks. The right, right centre and left centre marks all retired after they threw their birds. The right hand mark was thrown angled back into cover. The right centre mark was thrown downhill into heavy cover and the centre left mark was thrown angled back along the shore into marsh grass. The go bird was thrown angled back, uphill into brush at the top of the hill. The dogs were in swimming water for all 4 marks and the strong crosswind pushed the dogs left on 3 of the 4 marks. Dogs must fight the wind to hold their lines and handlers appeared to push their dogs significantly right when sending for those marks.
 
Female test dog was the same as previous tests. Abby, handled by Murray Murphy, was called to line at 8:10 and finished the test at 8:32. The test took 22 minutes. Abby had an excellent left hand go bird, took a wide line to the centre left mark and hooked in early under the arc and picked up the bird. For the right centre mark, Abby took a line over the island to the right of the left centre gun station, drove back to the right hand gun station, and hooked around downhill to pick up the bird. For the right hand mark, the wind pushed the dog almost into the right centre mark which is quite a long way off line. Murray had to handle Abby to the bird.
 
Male test dog was again Skatch with handler Larry Calvert. Skatch had an excellent left mark, went under the arc for the left centre mark and had a tight hunt before coming up with the bird. For the centre right mark, Skatch took an excellent line all the way to the shore and then squared uphill to hunt left of the gun station before coming downhill to pick up the bird. For the right hand mark, Larry appeared to push the dog way right of the line to the right hand mark. Skatch took the initial line that Larry gave him, disappeared over an island and was next seen at the point to the right of the holding blind. Skatch then hooked around to pick up the bird.
 
The first running dog #22 was called to line at 9:18 am and the 10th and final series got underway.
 
Test 10 - Water Quad with 3 Retired Guns



 



 
As the test progressed through the finalists there were many handles. The test proved to be a big courage test and the wind continued to wreck havoc with the lines the dogs took to the birds. About half way through, the wind dropped significantly but many dogs still handled. There seemed to be more good jobs in the last half. At 3:00 pm the last dog came off line and a few raindrops could be felt.
 
Judges Before Final Test



 
Marshals - Curran Brothers


Handlers Viewing the Test


 
Contestants adjourned to Rowley to await the announcement. With another prairie storm fast approaching, finalists photos were taken quicly before moving the winner’s table to a more shelterd location. And the Winner 2013 Canadian National Amateur Retriever Championship is FTCH AFTCH FC AFC RUNNIN’S MOLLY “B”, owned by Mickey Rawlins & Brian Clasby. A celebration in Sam’s Saloon wrapped up the 2013 Canadian National Amateur Retriever Championship.