Saturday July 12, 2014
July 7-12, 2014
Brought to you by the National Retriever Club of Canada. Daily reports, photos and drawings by Dona Martin.
Temiskaming Retriever Club
Field Trial Chair - Peter Martin
Field Trial Secretary - Linda Shlemkevich
Southern Ontario Zone: Peter Mottola, Langton ON
Central Zone: Donn Hall, Prince George, BC
Western Zone: Marlene Benn, Ft Saskatchewan, AB
2014 National Amateur Retriever Championship
NAFTCH FTCH AFTCH FC AFC Upon the Wings of an Answered Prayer
Owned by Bill & Micki Petrovish Handled by Bill Petrovish
NFTCH AFTCH OAKRIDGERTVR GOING ALL THE WAY
Owner/Handler Lorraine Hare
FTCH AFTCH L AND L's COWBOY UP
Owner/Handler Shirley Greener
FTCH AFTCH WYNFLAT'S G.P.S.
Owner/Handler Heather Stewart
AFTCH AFC JAYBAR AMERICAN IDOL
Owners Barbara & Jerry Younglove, Handler Barbara Younglove
SWEETWATER TEN DEUCE ALL IN
Owners Lise Langlois & Howard Simson, Handler Howard Simson
FTCH AFTCH FC AFC UPON THE WINGS OF AN ANSWERED PRAYER
Owners Micki & Bill Petrovish, Handler Bill Petrovish
FTCH ALEXUS - PURSUIT OF PERFECTION
Owners Lynn & Robert Kimball, Handler Lynn Kimball
Owner/Handler Peter Martin
MJOLNIR'S THERE AND BACK AGAIN
Owners Harold & Sharon Gierman, Handler Sharon Gierman
The 2014 Canadian National Amateur Championship officially got under way with Master of Ceremonies, Bruce Macdonald, welcoming participants who for the most part, travelled long distances just to get to Kapuskasing, For the uninitiated, it felt like driving north through the wilderness until there was no more highway. That being said, the drive up offered contestants the opportunity to see elk, moose, bear, deer, and fox. The host club for the 2014 National Amateur was the Temiskaming Retriever Club.
Richard Dresser led everyone in singing the National anthems for both Canada and the United States, followed by Bill Kennedy toasting the Office of the President of the United States of America, and the Queen. Jim Green offered the blessing.
Richard Dresser and Choir
Bruce thanked the sponsors for their support, without which, these National events would struggle to provide the first class quality that is expected at a national event. Thank you Nestle-Purina, official dog food supplier to the 2014 National and National Amateur; Avery Sporting Dog; Garmin/Tri-tronics; Winchester Ammunition, Zinger Winger, Ducks Unlimited Canada, MNP LLP, Animal Portraits by Connie Swanson, Ontario Professional Retriever Trainers (Baypoint Kennels - Dan and Gloria DeVos, Hywater Kennels - Charles Dygos, Flint River Retrievers - Kevin & Linda Cheff and Ray Smith, Gahonk Kennels - David and Jane Thompson, Louise and Lorne Langevin) and Glenn & Ilham Norton.
Next Bruce acknowledged that all of the provinces across Canada were represented by the contestants and judges, and about 25% of the dogs entered, were handled by Americans. Thank you to our US friends, both handlers and sponsors for your support.
The head table was introduced from left to right, starting with Master of Ceremonies, Bruce Macdonald, NRCC Director from Alberta, Kevin Cheff, Chief Marshal, Donn Hall, judge from British Columbia representing the Central Zone, Marlene Benn, judge from Alberta representing the Western Zone, Peter Mottola judge from Ontario representing the Southern Ontario Zone, Terry Martin, Temiskaming Retriever Club hostess extraordinaire, Peter Martin, Field Trial Chair, and Dan Yeomans, Vice-President of the National Retriever Club of Canada (NRCC
Judges- Donn, Marlene, Peter
On behalf of the NRCC, Dan Yeomans, welcomed everyone to the 2014 National Amateur Retriever Championship, and thanked the Temiskaming Retriever Club for hosting the National Amateur, with special thanks to Peter and Terry Martin. Dan thanked the judges, Donn Hall, Marlene Benn and Peter Mottola, for providing their time and expertise to make this event possible. As well, speaking for the NRCC, the sponsors were again recognized for their support and contributions to the success of the National Amateur. In recognition of their contributions, Dan presented a NRCC pins to sponsor representatives that were present at the banquet. Thank you to Purina, represented by Bill Kennedy, MNP LLP, represented by Mark Laberge, and Animal Portraits by Connie Swanson, represented by Connie.
The Field Trial Committee was announced. Chief Marshal - Kevin Cheff, Field Trial Chair - Peter Martin, Southern Ontario Zone - Bill Kennedy, Central Zone - Dan Yeomans, and Western Zone - Bruce Macdonald. Peter Martin, Field Trial Chair and President of the Temiskaming Retriever Club, thanked Terry, his wife, for all of her work and support preparing for this event, Dennis Voigt for his overall contribution to the Field Trial sport in Canada, Kevin Cheff for helping to make this National Amateur possible, and Linda Shlemkevich the Field Trial Secretary and club/sponsor liaison.
When a National or National Amateur is hosted by an Ontario club, the Charlie Howard Award is presented to an Ontario Field Trialer in recognition of their long time contribution to the field trial sport nationally, provincially and locally. Dennis Voigt presented the award on behalf of Di Howard to the 2014 recipient, Jim Green. Jim began his field trial career back in 1970 and has continued his involvement in the sport ever since. At the National level, he has acted as Field Trial Chair for 2 Nationals, Field Trial Marshal, judged both a National and National Amateur, and been a Finalist 9 times with 3 different dogs. Jim was involved in the early years of the Ontario Retriever Field Trial Association (ORFTA), on the executive, judging and as a participant. Locally, Jim continues to judge and serve in various roles at Ontario field trials. Proud of his Mohawk heritage, Jim Green has been a huge contributor to our field trial game in Canada and Ontario. Congratulations Jim!
The judge from Southern Ontario Zone, Peter Mottola, spoke on behalf of the 3 judges and thanked Peter and Terry for their warm hospitality, and the setup crew, Kevin Cheff and Richard Dresser for their hard work to enable the judges to set many demanding tests that accounted for the variable conditions encountered through the week. Kevin Cheff, FT Marshal, then identified and thanked some key people for putting on this event. Thank you to Peter and Terry for hosting this National Amateur, Richard Dresser, Assistant Marshal, Marshal’s Committee, Howard Simson, Mark Laberge, Ray Smith, and Donald Martin, Bird Captain, Al Custers, Gun Captain, Lorne Langevin with Assistance from Medie Robinson, and of course the judges, Donn Hall, Marlene Benn, and Peter Mottola. As well, Kevin acknowledged the Ontario Retriever Association (ORA) for providing the birds.
Peter Martin, President of the host club, then presented the judges with a thank you gift before they retired for the night and the Calcutta began. Mark Laberge acted as Auctioneer for the night, Dan Yeomans presented the NRCC pins on behalf of the National Retriever Club, Lorne Langevin and Ray Smith represented the Ontario Professional Retriever Trainers in presenting the handler jackets that they donated, and Bill Kennedy - Purina rep, presented the bibs donated by Garmin/Tri-tronics, the hats donated by Avery Sporting Dogs, and dog food vouchers donated by Nestle-Purina for bags of dog food. Bidding was brisk, bring forth the competitive spirit already.
Auctioneer - Mark Laberge
Making presentations, Dan, Lorne, Bill
At the end of the evening, the winner of a Tri-tronics Pro 550 collar was drawn. Stan Hughes went home the happy recipient of the Pro 550 collar donated by Garmin/Tri-tronics. And then the final draw of the evening, for the opening series starting number. Dog #3, L and L Cowboy Up (Woody) owned and handled by Shirley Greener .
Brought to you by Purina, official dogfood sponsor of the National Amateur
Test 1 - Land Triple with a Retired Gun
Welcome to the 2014 Canadian National Amateur Retriever Championship. Contestants awoke to a rainy overcast day. It rained most of the day before and overnight so it was really wet and muddy. As the first flight of gunners went out to their stations, the rain finally stopped. Following tradition, one of the judges from the previous year’s National, Barbara Younglove, was on hand to pass the torch, or in this case the paddle, to the judges for the 2014 National Amateur. With that, the judges were ready to signal the guns.
Due to conditions, the start of the start was delayed. The test was a land triple with the long left gun retired. The gunners were instructed to retire when the third gun went off. The order of the guns was around the clock, from left to right. The long left fired and threw, followed by the centre and then the right hand go bird was thrown. Distances to the marks were, left 195 yards, centre 130 yards and right 75 yards. Hen mallards were thrown at the centre and right stations and a drake mallard was thrown at the long left retired. The natural field, surrounded by choke cherry bushes and poplar, had fairly high mixed cover. Regardless, the handlers could see their dogs most of the way to the marks with the exception of a dip in the field on the way to the long retired gun.
The Male Test Dog was Limey’s Maksim of Dogleg, owned and handled by Karen Spencer. Maks had no difficulty coming up with the go bird. He went wide and to the right of the centre mark and then hooked back and to come up with the bird. For the left retired mark, Maks initiated his hunt to the right of the gun station but worked it out and came up with the bird.
The Female Test Dog was Pilkingtons Hey Hey Mama, owned by Dr. Allison Petrie, and handled by Karen Carson. Twister had a good go bird. For the centre bird Twister had a short hunt on the wrong side of the gun station before working her way over to the bird. Twister had a good long retired.
Male Test Dog Maks & Karen
Female Test Dog Twister & Karen
When the test dogs ran there was a slight breeze coming from right to left. By the time the first dog was called to line, the breeze had shifted and appeared to be coming in from left to right, giving away the bird at the retired gun. Dog 3 was called to line at 9:19 am. At the start of the test the gunner visibility was reduced due to a heavy mist, but improved significantly as the test progressed.
At the End with Improved Visibility
: All dogs were called back to Test 2.
Test 2 - Land Blind
Test 2 was a land blind. The mat was moved about 25 yards to the right of the Test 1 running line. The line to the blind crossed the lines to the marks and was planted deep and left of the long left mark. Gunners sat at the long left gun station from Test 1. The blind planters were directly back of the blind out of sight over a hill. A hen mallard was used on the 225 yard blind. The line to the blind skimmed to the right of a patch of cover about 1/3 of the way out. Just enough to deflect the dogs toward the visible gun station.
Female test dog, Twister with Karen Carson handling were first to run the blind. Twister started out on line but the cover and terrain pushed her right and Karen needed a number of left hand casts towards the line to the blind. It appeared that Twister winded the bird from the right. Male test dog , Maks with Karen Spencer were up next. He took a good initial line and also faded right and needed a number of left hand casts to the bird. Dog 11 started. Work by the test dogs proved representative of the work in general.
The temperature climbed up 3 degrees to 20C but with the humidity it felt like 26C. Very warm and muggy. The rain was intermittent with some dogs running in rain and others with a hint of sun.
All dogs called back to Test 3.
Brought to you by Avery Sporting Dog, official sponsor of the National Amateur
Test 3 - Water Triple
The Judges at the Start (Notice fancy head gear!)
Test 3 was a water triple with a short retired gun station in front of a long visible gun down the shore. The right hand mark was thrown from a boat to some marsh grass in the middle of the pond. A 8 inch flexible hose was submerged to surround the grass and ensure that no birds drifted away. The pond was an old sand and gravel pit surrounded by steep hills and dense forest and brush. After the female test dog Twister and the male test dog Maks, ran the initial setup, the test was changed. Originally the left and right gunners were visible and the centre long mark was retired. Richard Dresser ran his dog The Wheeler Dealer as test dog for the revised test, that the judges decided to use. All marks were thrown left to right. The left mark was thrown downhill into the test, landing on a grassy point. The gunners retired when the 2nd gun fired. The centre bird was thrown second angled back along the shore. The boat bird was thrown last and landed in the marsh grass surrounded by the flexible hose. The wind came straight out of the North, from left to right across the test. The line to centre visible gun station was very tight to the area of fall for the left retired mark. Hen mallards were thrown for the 2 outside marks and a drake mallard was thrown for the centre mark. Distances to the marks were 85 yards to the left retired, 135 yards to the centre mark and 100 yards to the right hand go bird. As the test got underway, with Dog 19, a steady drizzle had settled in. The temperature was about 13C. With the cooler weather and northerly breeze, the mosquitoes took refuge, and we had a bit of a break from the bugs, but no break from the mud. We might have complained about the bugs and rain but it the temperatures were way better for the dogs than the heat we could have been experiencing.
As the test progressed, The short retired proved difficult for a number of dogs to come up with the bird. The bird was pretty well sheltered and it was possible to get by the bird and go long. Some dogs were charged with a switch and many had to be handled back to the short retired bird.
The Golden Boys - Worker hats supplied by sponsor MNP LLP
Many handlers have been buying out the supply of mosquito net jackets and masks, at the local stores. One handler was overheard saying that her dog wouldn’t come to her until she uncovered her face.
What’s Wrong With This Picture?
As contestants came off line, Purina rep Bill Kennedy, presented them with a Purina bag filled with lots of goodies for handlers and their dogs. Thank you Purina, our official dog food supplier. Nestle-Purina also contributed products to the Silent Auction table and in addition provided packages and dog food to the workers. Poppers being used for the marks throughout the National Amateur were donated by Winchester Ammunition. Contestants really appreciated that the guns went off as anticipated with no misfires. Thank you Winchester Ammunition.
35 dogs called back to the 4th series. Dogs not called back; 5, 10, 16, 28, 38.
Brought to you by Garmin/Tri-tronics, official E-collar sponsor of the National Amateur
Test 4 - Water Blind
More rain, mud and mosquitoes. We just didn’t seem to catch a break. Seriously, it’s July and it was 9C with a wind chill it felt like 6C. A little colder and the rain would be freezing rain or snow. The only reminder of summer was the mosquitoes and even they stayed out of the cold. The wind in the morning was 15 kmh NW with gusts to 30 kmh. A light rain continued to fall with no change forecast for the day.
Test 4 was a water blind run in a natural pond surrounded by cattails, marsh grass, transitioning to alders, white birch and spruce. To start, the line to the blind angled a side slope through heavy cover that had been cut to create paths and increase visibility. There was a red flag to the left of the line on the near shore marking a large hole, that was covered by a canoe for safety purposes and was not on the line to the blind. About half the blind was on land and half in the water. Once entering the water the line angled across a channel and just skimmed a grassy point to the right. There was no hard shore and the cover was quite high resulting with both test dogs going out of sight in the tall grass. The test dogs for Test 4 were Maks with Karen Spencer and FTCH AFTCH Baypoint Ruby Vroom to Davadar (Ruby) owned by Dave & Darlene Broomhead and handled by Dave. After the test dogs ran the blind was shortened to just beyond the grassy point. Visibility on the pond was difficult due to the glare and dark water along the edge.
Handlers were instructed that they could move laterally as much as they wanted. The bird planter in white was in a canoe hidden from line, along the near shore. The wind was from left to right slightly downwind so that handlers needed critical into the wind casts to stay in sight and out of trouble on the grassy point. A hen mallard was planted on a float board about 200 yards out. The first dog #26 was called to line at 8:27 am. The blind provided the judges lots of answers with dogs requiring lots of whistles to stay on line, out of trouble.
Handlers Sizing up the Blind
They say northerners are tough but worker Ray Smith took the meaning to a whole new level. Not exactly swimming weather, but Ray decided to take a dive out of the canoe while planting the water blind. Stated that the water was warmer than the air but he didn’t stay in for long.
Worth mentioning, Kapuskasing had the best portable toilets of any this reporter has seen across Canada and the US. Flush toilets, soap and running water to wash your hands.
: 33 dogs are called back to Test 5. Dogs not called back; 22, 29.
Test 5 - Land Triple with 2 Retired Guns and an Honour
Test 5 moved to a large natural field with wild flowers and high grass that had to be broken down with an ATV, to create paths throughout. Along the right side of the test was taller grass interspersed with trees and shrubs that ran along the side of an old road allowance. There were patches of dry grass across the centre of the test and a few bushes along the perimeter. The rain was relentless. A steady rain fell with a significant crosswind at 17 kmh NW wind that made it downright miserable. The guns were shot centre, right, left. Both the long centre and the right hand guns retired. Distances to the marks were left 145 yards, centre 315 yards and right 135 yards. A drake mallard was thrown for both retired guns and a hen mallard was thrown for the left hand go bird. Both the right and centre marks were thrown into the test from right to left. The left hand mark was thrown into the test from left to right.
Male test dog, Maks was first up. Maks went right in on the go bird and had a good mark. For the right retired Maks stayed right of the retired gun station and looped behind and over to the bird. For the long centre retired mark, Maks split the difference between the right and centre gun stations and ended up hunting out of sight along the road allowance before coming back out into the field where at the gun station and worked his way over to the bird. Female test dog, Ruby with Dave Broomhead, had an excellent left go bird, had an excellent line to the area of the fall for the right retired mark, then cut behind the gun station and hunted deep before recovering and coming up with the bird. For the long centre retired, Ruby started a little wide to the left but faded to where the gunners stood and then went to the bird for another very good mark. Dog 35 was called to line at 2:30 pm.
Work by the 2 test dogs proved indicative of the work performed by the running dogs. The judges decided to call the test after dog 20 so the workers could finish early to attend the Workers’ Party. The remainder of the dogs ran the following morning.
The Workers’ Party was held back at Headquarters and the sun made a brief appearance just as the workers arrived. After enduring the rain, cold and wind all day, it was too little too late. But a hope for things to come.
The dinner was an opportunity to thank everyone for their hard work. Purina Rep, Bill Kennedy was on hand to pass out Purina goody bags to the workers. On top of providing Handlers packages and dog food to the contestants, workers packages that included dog food, silent auction items, and breakfasts for the contestants and workers on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Purina, our official dog food supplier, also paid the travel expenses for the judges. A huge thank you to Nestle-Purina. Contributions from other sponsors were evident on the Silent Auction tables with holding blinds and a launcher from our sponsor Zinger Winger, clothing and hunting items from Avery Sporting Dog, MNP LLP. Another Garmin-Tri-tronics Pro 550 e-collar was raffled off and handler, Karen Carson won. In addition to the e-collars donations, Garmin/Tri-tronics donates all of the competitors’ bibs for both Nationals. Thank you also, to the Ontario Professional Retriever Trainers for donating the handler jackets and to Winchester Ammunition for donating the poppers used at the Nationals. Sponsor Connie Swanson was in attendance. Interesting to note, the first time Connie sponsored the portrait of the winner, her dog Sledge won.
NRCC Directors, Kevin Cheff and Bruce Macdonald were on hand to present the NRCC Workers pins and to thank the workers for their contributions, without which these National events could not be held. Chief Marshal, Kevin Cheff thanked his assistants, Howard Simson, Richard Dresser, Donald Martin, Mark Laberge, Ray Smith and Mitch Bertrand, Gun Captain Lorne Langevin and assistant Medie Robinson, Field Trial Chair, Peter Martin and his wife and Hostess, Terry Martin, and the multitude of workers in the background and the gunners, and not present but sorely missed, Field Trial Secretary Linda Shlemkevich.
Chief Marshal Kevin Cheff receiving Purina Workers’ Package
Thank you Peter and Terry Martin
Ontario Professional Retriever Trainers
Sponsor MNP LLP Workers’ Hat
Silent Auction Table Action
To honour Ray Smith’s dive out of the canoe in Test 4, Mark Laberge, previous recipient of the National Swimmer’s Award, presented Ray with the life preserver. This is purposely an old life jacket so people don’t compete to win it, but it’s pretty much a sure thing that it will be presented again in the future.
Brought to you by Purina, official dogfood sponsor of the National Amateur
Test 5 (Continued)
Finally, sun. No , no rain, and a hot breakfast provided by Purina to all of the contestants and workers. A big thank you once again to our official dog food sponsor. The last flight of dogs finished up and callbacks were given immediately following the last dog.
30 dogs back to Test 6. Dogs 7, 25, 39 were not called back.
Test 6 - Land Blind
Test 6 was a land blind, run from the honour mat from Test 5, under the arc of the left hand mark from the previous test. Distance to the blind was 295 yards. Cover was quite high and dogs went briefly out of sight on the line to the blind. With the high cover and a line of bushes at the end of the blind it was difficult to see the smaller dogs. A duck was used for the blind. There was a slight crosswind from left to right and the blind was run due North. The blind planter was hidden to the right and deep of the blind.
28 dogs called back. Dogs not called back; 14, 27.
Test 7 - Water Triple with 2 Retired Guns and an Honour
Test 7 was set in the pond adjacent to the Test 4 pond. If a dog hunted deep in no man’s land between the right and left gun stations, they could work their way back to the running line for the water blind. The marks were extremely tight and were all thrown left to right. The centre mark was the shortest at 120 yards and was thrown angled back from a canoe, landing in heavy grass along the shore. The long right mark was thrown tight angle back along the shore into heavy grass. The dog could not be seen when it picked up the bird. Distance to the right hand mark was 210 yards. The left hand mark was 200 yards, thrown along the top of a ridge on land. Both the left and right hand gun stations retired. Drake mallards were thrown for both retired marks and a hen mallard was thrown for the centre go bird. The test was pretty well downwind with a 18 kmh SW wind. Temperature was 22C with sun!
When the male test dog, Maks ran, the order of the guns was left, right, centre and the centre mark was thrown more out into the water. Maks had a good go bird, and a very good left retired mark. The right hand mark was 40 yards longer than the mark the judges decided to go with. Maks swam wide to the end of the pond and put on a substantial hunt on land in the high cover deep and wide on either side of the holding blind. The order was changed for female test dog Lucky Dux Drakehaven Hot Ticket, owned and handled by Andy Carlson. The order was, right retired, left retired and then the centre go bird. That was the order that the judges decided to go with. The bird placement was the same for both test dogs but was changed for the actual test. Ticket had an excellent go bird. For the left retired mark, she took a cut path to the left through the bush, disappeared out of sight and came out at the bird. For the long right retired mark, Ticket started wide but cut to land early and hunted backside of the gun station in heavy grass before being handled to the bird.
Dog 13 was the first running dog. The centre go bird didn’t provide the dogs with much trouble. Some dogs had difficulty with the left retired but the majority of dogs ran into trouble on the long right retired mark. Only one dog stayed in the water and pinned the mark.
Handlers Forming Their Game Plans
: 20 dogs were called back to the 8th series. Dogs back are 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 9, 12, 15, 19, 20, 23, 24, 26, 30, 31, 32, 35, 37, 40. Dogs not called back 11, 13, 17, 18, 21, 33, 34, 36.
Brought to you by Purina, official dog food sponsor of the National Amateur
Test 8 - Water Blind
More sun! The temperature started off at 17C with 14 kmh SW wind which was coming into the test from right to left. The original water blind was run in the same pond as Test 7 but in the opposite direction to the marks. That test was scrapped after the test dogs and a few dogs ran.
Test 8 ended up as a 150 yard water blind. The line from the original test was moved 90 degrees to the right and the new test was a shoreline blind into a different pond with an onshore wind. Paths were cut through the heavy cover .There was a hill about 10 yards in front of the mat, so handlers were instructed to move up to an orange ribbon once their dogs were past. From the ribbon, they could move laterally to handle. Handlers lost sight of their dogs negotiating between the high grassy island and the cut point on the way to the blind. An insurance whistle there didn’t hurt, to make sure the dog carried its line and didn’t suck to shore out of sight. The only test dog Maks, had early whistles before the water to keep him on line through the heavy cover and paths. With the onshore wind, Maks required a number of casts into the wind, along the shore to keep him on line.
Dog 30 was the first dog scheduled to run after the cancelled test, so dog 30 started.
Good intentions. Breakfast was to be sponsored by Purina. However, the canteen truck decided not to show up so Purina rep Bill Kennedy offered dog biscuits to our canine friends, before hostess Terry Martin showed up with sandwiches.
16 dogs were called back to the 9th series. Dogs called back are; 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 9, 15, 19, 20, 26, 30, 31, 35, 37, 40. Dogs not called back; 12, 23, 24, 32.
Test 9 - Land Quad with 3 Retired Guns
Test 9 was a land quad with three retired guns. The test was run in a natural meadow with high grass and lots of white daisies. A road created by the vehicles getting to the site, traversed the test. A treed hedge row ran across the back of the test with the long centre left mark thrown deep in the next field. The line to the bird was over the road and through a gap in the hedgerow. The order of the guns was long centre left, then long right, short left and the go bird was short centre right. The long centre left, long right and short left gunners all retired. Distances to the marks were; left 95 yards, centre left 310 yards, centre right 110 yards and the right hand mark was 200 yards. Drake mallards were thrown at the 2 long retired guns. A hen pheasant was thrown at the short left retired and a rooster pheasant was thrown at the centre right go bird. Both left hand marks were thrown left to right and both right hand marks were thrown right to left. The centre right go bird landed just over a ridge into knee deep cover. The left hand bird landed tight to a small bush, angled back. The right hand mark was a flat throw along the hedgerow and landed in cover at the edge. The left centre mark was thrown angled back and to the right to land in knee deep grass and wildflowers.
Male test dog Maks with Karen Spencer, had an excellent centre right go bird. For the left hand retired Maks hunted deep and to the left and then wide to the right before working his way back to the bird. Maks took a good initial line to the right hand mark but swung left before reaching the hedgerow and was deflected along the brush before cutting through and hunting back to the right hand mark. For the long centre left retired, Maks headed on a line past the left retired and had to be handled from significantly off line, to the bird. Female test dog Ticket, with Andy Carlson, had an excellent go bird, an excellent left hand retired with a very short hunt at the bush, and an excellent right hand retired mark where she disappeared briefly into the hedgerow at the bird. For the long centre left retired, Ticket started out on a good line, faded left along the hedgerow before cutting through. Ticket had an extensive hunt in the next field and was helped by the gunners to the bird. After the 2 test dogs ran the rooster pheasant was moved to the go bird and replaced by a drake mallard. The judges felt that the dogs stood a better chance of coming up with the bird if it was a duck. The test was pretty well straight down wind. As the test progressed, the long centre left mark provided the judges with lots of answers. Many dogs would not drive through into the next field. In the end dogs had difficulty coming up with the birds at all of the marks. Some handled, and there were a few double handles.
: 9 Finalists were called back to the 10th series. They are: 2, 3, 4, 6, 15, 19, 20, 26, 40. Dogs not called back: 1, 8, 9, 30, 31, 35, 37.
Test 10 - Water Quad with 3 Retired Guns
Brought to you by all of our sponsors
The 2014 Canadian National Amateur would like to once again thank our sponsors, Purina official dog food supplier to the Nationals, Avery Sporting Dog, Tritronics official e-collar supplier, Winchester Ammunition official ammunition supplier. The quality of the poppers has been superb, with no misfires. Thank you as well to Ducks Unlimited Canada supplier of the finalist gifts, Zinger Winger official remote launcher supplier, the Ontario Professional Retriever Trainers for donating the handlers jackets, MNP LLP, and Animal Portraits by Connie Swanson for supplying portrait to the winner.
Purina once again generously supplied breakfast to all of the workers, competitors and spectators.
Test 10 was set on a hill overlooking a natural pond surrounded by marsh grass, cattails, and a dense tree lined shore. To start the day, the wind was 17 kmh SW and the temperature was a comfortable 23C. At least the breeze kept the mosquitoes and black flies away. Regardless, nobody headed out into the field without first spraying bug repellent generously. Skies were overcast with thunderstorms forecast later in the day. The properties being used for this National Amateur were not groomed training grounds and as such had no actual maintained roads into the sites.
The test was a water quad with 3 guns retired, the centre left, centre right and right. The left hand mark, a rooster pheasant, was the last bird down and was thrown on land, downhill along the near shore. The order of the guns was long centre left, then centre right, then right, and then left. The long centre left mark was thrown back along the far shore. Drake mallards were thrown at the long centre left mark and the right hand mark. A hen mallard was thrown at the centre right mark which had the gun station on one island throwing across to another island. The island where the bird landed was cover is shallow water and was not land. The right hand mark was thrown along the far shore. All of the water marks were thrown right to left. The left hand go bird was the only bird thrown left to right. The correct line to the right hand bird was very tight backside to the island gun station. The correct line to the centre left bird was between the near shore and the island where the centre right bird landed. The high grass was knocked down along the slope to the left hand mark, however, dogs did disappear in the high grass on the way to the island and centre left marks. Distances to the marks were 65 yards to the left go bird, 255 yards to the long centre left mark, 95 yards to the centre right island bird, and 130 to the right hand mark. Gunners were instructed to retire when the last gun fired. The end of the pond where the test was run was sheltered with the wind coming slightly in and across the test from left to right.
The female test dog was Kapriver Ramblinrozy, owned by Mark & Sirkka Laberge and handled by Mark. Rozy had an excellent go bird and an excellent right hand mark. For the island bird, Rozy stayed on shore and then squared across to the island but passed just upwind of the bird and swam to the far shore and had to be handled into the island bird. For the centre left mark, Rozy hugged the shore and disappeared behind the large bush at the left hand mark before striking out across the pond for an excellent mark. The first running dog was called to line at 10:13 am. It is a 20 minute test.
Workers & Handlers Watching Test dog
As the test progressed, drag back from the centre left mark caused problems for dogs coming up with the rooster pheasant. Many ended up at the island bird or some even at the right hand mark. All of the marks proved difficult and there were handles on all 4 marks. Three dogs did not handle on the last test and none of the 3 had handled going into the last test. The judges set yet another demanding test and got lots of answers.