Running Order and Callbacks
2015 National Amateur Retriever Championship
July 13-18, 2015
Manitoba Gun Dog Association
Field Trial Chair - Larry Baker
Field Trial Secretary - Fred Benjaminson
Southern Ontario Zone: David Broomhead,
Eastern Zone: Jean Richardson
Western Zone: Ron Bischke
2015 National Amateur
NFTCH NAFTCH FC AFC L and L Just a Gigolo
Owned by Howard Simson & Lise Langlois
Handled by Howard Simson
FTCH AFTCH CASTILE CREEK RIVERS RIPPLE
Owner: Daniel Shnitka & Birgit Juergensen
Handler: Daniel Shnitka
AFC AFTCH PEKISKO'S IRONMAN
Owner: John & Sharon van der Lee
Handler: Sharon van der Lee
AFTCH BABY DUCKS VOO DOO THING
Owner: Al Custers
Handler: Al Custers
FTCH AFTCH TAYLORLAB'S SWEET CHEEKS
Owner: Garry and Sue Taylor
Handler: Sue Taylor
FTCH AFTCH PEKISKOS BOW RIVER LITTLEROCKS
Owner: Laura Jones & Daniel Danforth
Handler: Daniel Danforth
NFTCH AFTCH OAKRIDGERTVR GOING ALL THE WAY
Owner: Lorraine Hare
Handler: Lorraine Hare
JAYBAR DARK SIDE OF THE MOON
Owner: Jerry & Barbara Younglove
Handler: Jerry Younglove
FTCH AFTCH THE SPRINGWATERS MISTER Y OF TAMSU
Owner: John Mairs
Handler: John Mairs
RAM RIVER RAINBOW ROYALE
Owner: Daniel Danforth
Handler: Daniel Danforth
KAPRIVER CANADA IDOL
Owner: Larry Coe
Handler: Larry Coe
J. J. OF RED ROCK
Owner: J. M. McBee & Jim Lincoln
Handler: Jim McBee
Saturday July 11, 2015
Held in Balmoral, Manitoba, the 2015 Canadian National Amateur Championship officially got under way with piping in the head table at the opening banquet. As is tradition, Master of Ceremonies, Gail Komadoski paid the piper with a toast.
Master of Ceremonies, Gail Komadoski, introduced the head table from left to right, Master of Ceremonies, Gail Komadoski, Chief Marshal, Kevin Howarth, Silent Auction Fund Raiser, Elsie Baker, Field Trial Chair, Larry Baker, Western zone Judge Ron Bischke, Southern Ontario Zone Judge Dave Broomhead, Eastern Zone Judge Jean Richardson, Susan Shearer and chef extraordinaire, Colin McMichael.
Judges enjoying the evening
Susan Shearer & Colin McMichael
2015 National Amateur Placemat
Brian Dwyer Toasting the Queen
On behalf of the National Retriever Club of Canada, Manitoba Director, Larry Baker welcomed everyone to the 2015 National Amateur Retriever Championship, and thanked the sponsors; Purina official dog food supplier, Avery Sporting Dog, Garmin Tri-Tronics official e-collar supplier, Winchester Ammunition official ammunition supplier, Ducks Unlimited Canada supplier of finalist gifts, Zinger Winger, MNP LLP, Retriever Results our partner in supplying Field Trial Results, and Portraits by Connie Swanson for supplying a portrait to the winner. Larry asked for a moment of silence to honour those who aren’t with us, Al McKean and Pat Fitzpatrick, both previous winners of the National Amateur. NRCC pins were presented to sponsors in attendance, Bill Kennedy, representing Purina, and to Roland Mollot a local businessman representing Cousin’s Freight Services, that generously donated the handlers’ jackets.
Purina Rep - Bill Kennedy accepting NRCC pin
The judges were introduced and presented with NRCC pins, Western Zone Ron bischke, Southern Ontario Zone Dave Broomhead, and Eastern Zone Jean Richardson. Dona Martin, NRCC Secretary, thanked the Manitoba Gun Dog Association for hosting the 2015 Canadian National Amateur Retriever Championship and presented NRCC pins to Chief Marshal, Kevin Howarth, Field Trial Secretary, Fred Benjaminson, and Field Trial Chair, Larry Baker. Larry then went on to announce the Field Trial Committee consisting of FT Chair Larry Baker, Chief Marshal, Kevin Howarth, Western Zone, Gail Komadoski, Southern Ontario Zone, Bill Kennedy and Eastern Zone, Fred Benjaminson.
Ron Bischke Receiving NRCC Pin
NRCC Director, Larry Baker
Larry then put on his Field Trial Chair hat and thanked Diane Murphy for generously providing the table centre pieces and announced that everyone with a yellow stick under their chair got to take home a centre piece.
The Manitoba Gun Dog Association wanted special recognition given to Chief Marshal, Kevin Howarth, and his assistants, Gord MacKenzie and Mark Hastie.
Assistant Marshal - Mark Hastie
Assistant Marshal - Gord MacKenzie
Master of Ceremonies, Gail Komadoski & Chief Marshal, Kevin Howarth
Kevin Howarth provided the judges instructions:
- Handler on the mat for marks and blinds
- If a dog received a no-bird and no bird was thrown, the handler was to return to the holding blind and come back right away
- If that dog received another no-bird or if a bird was thrown, the dog was to return after 3 dogs were called to line.
Dave Broomhead, judge from Southern Ontario, spoke on behalf of all the judges, welcomed everyone to the 2015 National Amateur, and thanked the Manitoba Gun Dog Association for their hospitality, the Marshals and setup crew for their hard work during setup week and Colin McMichael for the awesome meals he provided.
Before adjourning for the night, Bill Kennedy presented the judges with gifts from Purina, and Gail Komadoski & Larry Baker presented gifts from the host club, the Manitoba Gun Dog Association.
Host Club Presenting Gifts
After the judges left for the evening, the handlers were presented contestant pins by the NRCC Directors in attendance, handler jackets donated by Cousin’s Freight Services, hats donated by Avery Sporting Dog, bibs donated by Garmin and received handlers’ packages from Purina presented by rep Bill Kennedy. At the same time, the calcutta got underway with previous winners and dogs running hot this season, being bid up. Before the night ended, the winner of a Garmin Tri-Tronics Pro 550 was drawn. And Al Custers all the way from Ontario won. Congratulations Al. Then the starting dog number was drawn and dog #47 Kapriver Canada Idol was announced as as the starting dog.
Handlers’ Package Presentation
Bidding Action From the Floor
Monday July 13, 2015
Brought to you by Purina, official dog food sponsor of the National Amateur
Test 1 - Land Triple with a Retired Gun
Welcome to the running of the 2015 Canadian National Amateur Retriever Championship. This year the event was hosted by the Manitoba Gun Dog Association at their Balmoral grounds north of Winnipeg. After the heat of the previous day, with temperatures reaching 31C, the morning temperatures of 20C, were a welcome break. The skies were slightly overcast with the sun occasionally peaking out between clouds. There was a fickle breeze coming into the test from the NE. The test was wide open with a breeze crossing from right to left on the right hand mark and mostly downwind on the other 2 marks.
Judges Before It All Starts
Handlers Anxious to See the Line
Test 1 was a land triple with the long right hand bird thrown first, the middle retired thrown second and the short left hand bird was the go bird, thrown last. A drake mallard was thrown at the long right hand mark. The other 2 marks were hen mallards. The centre retired, and the long right hand marks were thrown from left to right and the left hand go bird was thrown right to left. The field was relatively flat with cut paths through the heavy cover and numerous large bushes that the dogs had to negotiate to get to the marks. Poplar trees lined the back of the field. The right hand bird appeared to land behind cattails on the far side of a creek. The left hand bird was thrown into high grass towards some poplars. The retired gun station was located in a point of poplars and the gunners stepped out to throw into the open field, well short of the poplars behind. Distances to the marks were 205 to the long right hand mark, 175 to the centre retired and 138 to the left hand go bird.
Honorary male test dog was FTCH AFTCH Ottercreek’s Gryphon, owned and handled by FT Chair Larry Baker. Gryphon pinned the bird as was the case in so many of the trials he ran in the past. Next up was honorary female test dog FTCH Taylorlab Hey There Georgie Girl, owned and handled by Gail Komadoski. Georgie did a great job and obviously loved getting the chance to go to line one more time.
As is the tradition with Nationals, one of the judges from the previous 2014 National, was on hand to past the torch (paddle) to the next set of judges. Charlie Ross handed over the paddle to the judges.
The first official test dog to run was female test dog, Pilkington’s Chasing Liberty owned and handled by Gail Komadoski. Libby had good marks on the left and right birds. On the centre mark she went wide right and hunted back along the treeline to the bird. Fred Benjaminson was next with his male test dog NMH Riveroak Kolsvart WCX MH QFTR. He did an excellent job on all 3 marks.
As the test progressed the sun came out and the temperature rose 12 degrees Celsius from when the first dog was called to line. It was another hot day with a risk of thundershowers. The test took about 5 minutes per dog. The work was generally good. Some dogs hunted deep on the retired gun and others had a hunt on the wrong side of the right hand gun station to come up with the bird.
Test 2 - Land Blind
Test 2 was a land blind between the right hand and centre marks from the first test. Distance to the blind was 190 yards. The wind came into the test from the right, approximately from where the right gun station was located. There were no gunners in the field. The bird planter was hidden deep of the blind behind a large bush. The mat was moved to the right and down off the running mound from the 1st test.
Female and male test dogs were the same as Test 1. Libby with Gail handling, ran the blind to the right of the line and would not cast left. She had numerous cast refusals before retrieving the bird. Fred had a better blind with his dog Kol, although the dog appeared to get scent of something about half way out and had to be handled out of it. One more cast took him to the bird. The first running dog #2 was called to line at 3:30 pm. There was a grassy mound directly on line to the blind. Very few dogs actually went over the mound. There were a few excellent blinds and generally dogs required a number of whistles to keep on line. The thunderstorm finally blew in for the last few dogs bring with it lots of wind and some intermittent rain.
Tuesday July 14, 2015
Brought to you by Avery Sporting Dog, official sponsor of the National Amateur
Test 3 - Water Triple With 2 Retired Guns
With the rain that came through at the end of Test 2, we received a much needed break from the heat. The skies were overcast and the temperature was about 20C to begin the day, with a steady breeze from left to right across the test.
Test 3 was a water triple with the left and centre guns retired. A long narrow pond transverses the test with direct line to the left hand mark cutting the left corner and the right hand mark cutting across the right corner of the pond. Cattails along the edge of the pond made it difficult to go directly to the birds. The running mat was on a steep mound that was covered with hay to provide more traction and reduce slipping when the ground got wet. There was a large puddle at the base of the mound that the dogs went through for all birds. A road crossed the test between the running mound and the pond. There were numerous cut paths through the high grass and around the pond to make the route to the bird more challenging. As well, there were large clumps of natural bushes scattered through the test, making it easy to hide the left and centre retired gunners. The order of the guns was from left to right. Distances to the marks were; left 146 yards, centre 140 yards, and right 136 yards. They were all basically equidistant. The 2 outside marks were thrown from right to left and the centre mark was thrown left to right. A drake mallard was thrown on the left hand mark and hen mallards were thrown at the other 2 marks. All birds landed in high grass on the far side of the pond, with no birds landing in water.
Test dogs remained the same as the previous tests. Gail was up first with female test dog Libby. Libby took the centre bird first, then the right hand go bird, followed by the left hand retired. On the centre bird she went under the arc and hunted deep before retrieving the bird. On the right hand visible gun, Libby took a good line and was out of sight swimming before exiting the pond slightly left of the bird and looped over and picked it up. For the left hand mark, Libby took a good line but hunted deep and both sides of the retired gun station before coming up with the bird. Male test dog Kol had a good go bird, then retrieved the centre bird with a short hunt under the arc. For the left retired, Kol skirted the cattails and the pond and then cut in front of the gun station to hunt wrong side of the holding blind before working his way over to the bird.
Handlers and Judges Viewing Test 3
With about half the dogs run, the temperature remained about the same and the wind unchanged at E 15 kmh. Some handlers chose to pick up the centre bird second and some chose the left hand bird second with equal success. Most agreed that the left hand bird was the most difficult because it was so easy for the dogs to cheat the cattails, run around the pond and be upwind of the fall. Generally the dogs got the birds without getting into too much trouble.
The starting dog for each test received a gift from the host club. For Test 3, Al Custers ran the starting dog #14 and received this wine glass.
Gallery Under the Purina Tent
Medie Robinson & Diana Beatty
Test 4 - Water Blind
Test 4 was a downwind water blind running lengthwise through the pond that the water marks were run across. It seemed to be a very technical blind where the line to the blind caught a very small bay, then back up on land, angle entry past an island, over a hard point and then swim to the end of the channel. The bird was placed about 12 feet from shore on bare ground. The holding blind for the bird planter was deep and to the left, behind a mound. A hen mallard was placed at the blind which was 160 yards long. Many dogs failed to handle back into the water off the hard point near the end of the blind, and took the land route.
Bird Planter Standing at Blind
Wednesday July 15, 2015
Brought to you by Garmin/Tri-tronics, official E-collar sponsor of the National Amateur
Test 5 - Land Quad With 3 Retired Guns and Honour
After over a 3 hour delay due to fog, the male test dog was called to line. The air was really heavy, misting at times, and the temperature was about 19C. There was barely a breath of air. The test was run from a high mound that was once again covered with hay to make walking and running less treacherous. The field was very flat with cut paths through high grass and numerous large bushes scattered throughout. Test 5 was a land quad with 3 retired guns and an honour. All birds were thrown left to right. The order of the guns was long centre left, then left, then centre right, and the right hand bird was thrown last. Only the right hand go bird remained visible. The gunners retired when the dog was sent for the go bird. A drake mallard was thrown at the long centre left mark, all others were hen mallards. Visibility was poor with the mist, and the long centre left mark was especially difficult to see with a stand of white poplars behind the gunners. The left hand mark was thrown into the hip pocket of the centre left mark. The centre left gunners stood on a mound and threw downhill. The left mark was a huge throw from the treeline across a gap into a stand of brush and poplar. The throw for the centre right hand mark was such that the direct line to the bird was through a large patch of cattails. For the right hand mark, a beaten down trail skirted to the right of the high grass that was on the way to the bird. Distances to the marks were; left 152 yards, long centre left 242 yards, centre right 146 yards and the right hand go bird 120 yards.
Once again the same test dogs were run. First up was Fred with Kol. Kol had an excellent go bird. He went directly to the area of the fall for the centre right retired mark and came up with the bird cleanly. For the left hand retired bird, Kol went into the treeline to the left of the holding blind, hunted deep along the treeline before crossing the gap to the island of cover where the bird was. For the long centre left hand mark, Kol went under the arc over the backside of the mound and hunted out of sight before showing up at the bird. Gail and Libby had a bit more difficulty. Libby didn’t swing to watch the right hand go bird and was sent for the centre left bird first. She went under the arc and hunted over to the bird. Next, she appeared to be sent the the centre right mark but veered off her line and ended up hunting the backside of the visible go bird before working her way over to the bird. Libby was then resent for the right centre mark but split the difference between the 2 right hand marks and had to be handled. For the centre left mark, Libby went wide to the right of the mark and had to be handled to the bird.
At the beginning of the test, there was little to no breeze, and visibility was poor. Many early dogs had a rough time. Later, as the test progressed, a breeze came up , the sun came out, and the temperature rose to 27C. Generally the later dogs seemed to do better with more scent and paths that developed. However, it didn’t seem like anybody stepped on all 4 birds. The judges got lots of answers. By the end of the test, the heat and humidity rose to the point where even under the shelters, it’s was pretty intolerable. The breeze shifted so that some dogs appeared to wind the left hand mark on the way to the centre left mark. There continued to be some big hunts and handles.
At the end of the day, everyone adjourned to the clubhouse to socialize and more importantly, thank the workers. Luckily the thunderstorms passed by and everyone could sit outside and enjoy the evening. The Workers’ Party was sponsored by Purina to recognize all of the workers without whom these events would not be possible. Purina rep, Bill Kennedy was on hand to present each worker with a bag of Purina dog food, a goodies bag and to thank them personally. NRCC Workers’ pins were presented by FT Chair Larry Baker.
Larry started out the evening thanking our sponsors, Purina, Avery Sporting Dog, Garmin, Zinger Winger, Ducks Unlimited Canada, MNP, and Connie Swanson. Their support is greatly appreciated. Larry then went on to thank all of the volunteers whose hard work we celebrated. It takes many behind the scenes workers in addition to those we do see to put on an event of this magnitude and calibre. Thank you to all those who participated and showed their support. Larry then went on to thank his frontline workers, Chief Marshal Kevin Howarth, Assistant Marshals Gord MacKenzie and Mark Hastie, Field Trial Secretary Fred Benjaminson, Treasurer Marilyn Bayrak, Gun Captain Gail Komadoski, Grounds Charlie Ross, Hospitality Colin McMichael, Traffic and Photographer Stan Scoble, Fund Raising Fred Slemko and Percy Ruddock, Silent Auction Elsi Baker, and Corporate Sponsor Liaison Bruce Macdonald. Each worker was presented with a bag of Purina dog food, a workers’ bag and thanked by Purina Rep Bill Kennedy.
Colin McMichael then came up to thank his hospitality crew who have been working hard to provide lunches for the judges and setup crew in the days leading up to the National Amateur, and hosting the dinners with lots of good home-made Manitoba perogies, cabbage rolls, pickerel, and home baking. A roast pig was served up for the Workers’ Party and a special cake to commemorate the 2015 National Amateur was made from cupcakes and decorated by Colin. Each Morning one of the hospitality crew would bring around a tray of home baking for the gallery. All of the hospitality team made everyone feel welcome, and perhaps put on a few pounds.
Next, Gun Captain, Gail Komadoski, came up to thank the gunners. So many of the contestants stepped forward to gun and throw. A few gunners travelled to the National Amateur just to help out and a special thanks to Garry Taylor and Doug Hildebrand who drove from Saskatoon just to gun and throw.
Throughout the evening, items were pulled from the Silent Auction table and sold to the highest bidder. Auction items were donated by many of our sponsors and local businesses. Sponsors included, Avery Sporting Dog, Purina, Garmin, and Zinger Winger. Another draw for a Garmin Tri-Tronics donated e-collar was made and this time won by Susanna Kilty.
Larry Baker Thanking Committee
Purina Rep - Bill Kennedy
Colin McMichael Thanks Hospitality Crew
Thursday July 16, 2015
Brought to you by Purina, official dog food sponsor of the National Amateur
Test 6 - Water Blind with a Dry Shot
Thursday morning, contestants awoke to a light rain, little to no wind, very muggy and 18C. To get the day started on a better note, Purina sponsored breakfast for all contestants and workers. Purina is the official dog food sponsor and does so much to support the field trial sport in Canada.
Test 6 was a water blind with a dry shot. The test was run from the same mound as the cancelled test with the blind to the right of the original test along the right hand end of the pond. The dry shot gunner sat approximately 100 yards out and to the left of the blind. The handler signalled when they are ready for the dry shot. The blind was 202 yards through a small pothole, over a point, re-enter a small bay, over another point with cattails to the right, past an island of cattails on the left, then a patch of cattails on the right to the bird which was planted close to shore. There was a very tight corridor with cattails on both sides where it was easy to lose sight of the dog. A road ran along a dyke on the right side of the blind. The test took about 7-8 minutes.
Diana Beatty with male test dog Honeywoods Ready to Rumble had a number of whistles but did a respectable job keeping in the corridor, on line and under control. At times when the dog re-entered the water they were out of sight for the handler. The cover on the points made it difficult to see the dog and there are a few long moments when the handler had to wait until they could again see their dog. The wind was SW 10kmh and didn’t appear to be a factor in the blind. There were showers on and off during the test but mostly just over cast and very humid. The temperature is 23C felt like 30C.
Handlers Watch Diana & Ready
Nobody lined the blind. There were a few key spots where handlers needed insurance whistles to make sure their dog remained on line until they came back into sight. There were a number of dogs with rough work, many of whom had run the marks in the cancelled original test. Of course some dogs did really well. Most had quite a few whistles to stay visible in the corridor.
Friday July 17, 2015
Brought to you by Purina, official dog food sponsor of the National Amateur
Tests 7 & 8 - Interrupted Land Triple With a Blind
We started out the day with sunshine and breakfast for the contestants and workers sponsored by Purina. Another very hot humid day starting with 25C, felt like 33C in the shade, but there was no shade on line or in the field. Thankfully the holding blinds were back in the trees below the running mound. The test swung from North to NorhtEast and the wind came across the test from the South West. Tests 7 and 8 were a combined interrupted land triple with a blind. The order of the guns was centre long retired, left retired and right visible go bird. The handler could choose to pick up any bird and then run the blind. The remaining 2 birds were picked up after the blind. The blind was hot, which to the uninitiated means, that the bird was on the ground when the marks were thrown. Once again the test was run on club grounds which are very flat and have multiple changes in cover and many bushes scattered throughout the test. A road ran across the back of the field, in front of the blind at the treeline, and behind the right and long centre marks. There were 2 patches of cattails with water in them in front of the running mound that required the dogs to re-orient themselves after they broke through the heavy cover. A drake mallard was thrown at the long centre retired, a hen mallard was thrown at the left retired and a rooster pheasant was thrown at the right hand go bird. A hen mallard was planted at the blind. Distances to the marks and blind were; 256 yards to the centre mark, 224 yards to the left hand mark, 168 yards to the right hand mark, and 246 yards to the blind. The centre gun threw right to left across a gap to the edge of a stand of poplar and brush. The left hand bird was thrown angled back into high grass, right to left out of the test. There was a low berm running from the left hand gun station across to the stand of trees where the centre bird lands. Dogs that went over the berm were out of sight for quite some time. The gunners for the centre mark appear to the left of the bush where the right hand gunners stood. However they were about 100 yards deeper. It was very difficult for a handler to determine which gun station the dog was looking at. The right hand bird was thrown left to right, angled back towards the blind. Dogs that hunted deep on the go bird were in jeopardy of winding the blind and handlers were forced to handle on the mark. The line to the blind was to the right of the right hand bird and directly over a small bush that the handlers had to negotiate. It required a bit of fancy footwork to keep the dog insight when they were on line to the blind.
First up was Gail with female test dog Libby. Gail chose to pick up the go bird before running the blind. Libby had a loose hunt on the go bird. She had a good blind after her initial line seemed to be headed back to the go bird. Gail did a good job of keeping her on line and under control to pick up the blind. When Libby was sent for the next retrieve, she appeared to be going for the centre. After an exhaustive hunt she ended up handling and picking up the left hand retired. She handled on the centre mark as well. I suspect she won’t be the last dog to do that. Next up was John McDonald with NMH Taylorlabs Liquor Is Quicker. John also opted to pick up the right hand go bird first and had an excellent mark. In the end most handlers chose the go bird first as well. After doing a respectable job on the blind, John chose to send to the left hand mark and did an excellent job. For the centre mark, the dog appeared to head back to the left hand mark and was handled.
Saturday July 18, 2015
Test 9 - Water Triple with 2 Retired Guns and an Honour
Brought to you by all of our sponsors
The 2015 Canadian National Amateur would like to once again thank our sponsors, Purina official dog food supplier to the Nationals, Avery Sporting Dog, Garmin 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, MNP LLP, Retriever Results, 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.
The morning started out sunny but quickly clouded over The skies were black to the west behind the test with a forecast of heavy rain. The temperature was a cool 16C with little to no wind at 2 kmh S.
Test 9 was a water triple with 2 retired guns and an honour. Again, the test was run on club property, flat with a road paralleling the pond on either side. A creek flanked by cattails meandered across the test between the left and centre guns. If the dog took a straight line to the left hand mark it would cross the creek twice and then once on the way to the centre mark. A pond crossed in front of the running mound with the right hand mark thrown at the far right hand corner of the pond. It was an easy cheat to run down the road and around the corner without getting wet. The right hand throw was a short throw slightly angled in to land at the edge of the pond. The centre mark on the other hand was a huge throw towards the left hand mark, with the bird landing at the base of the mound that the gunners stood on. The left hand mark was thrown angled back towards the treeline. As was the case with previous tests, there were white poplars along the treeline in the background between the left and centre gun stations. The order of the guns was clockwise left, centre, then right. Distances to the marks were; left 236 yards, centre 250 yards and right 108 yards. Hen mallards were thrown for the 2 outside marks and a drake mallard was thrown for the centre mark. The outside, left and right hand marks were thrown left to right. the centre mark was thrown right to left. The left and centre throws converged. Both the left and centre gunners retired when the gun was fired for the right hand go bird.
As the female test dog came to line, the sun disappeared and the clouds moved in. Medie Robinson with her dog Lucy, had an excellent go bird. For the left hand mark she took a good line to the gun station, crossing the creek twice. She had a short hunt under the arc and worked her way back to the bird. For the centre mark, Lucy split the difference between the left and centre marks and appeared to be heading back to the left hand mark and was handled to the bird. Male test dog was Luke with handler Gary Randall. Luke ran around the end of the pond and went directly to the bird on the right hand go bird. For the second mark, Luke appeared to be going to the centre retired gun with his initial line. He ran out the point, skimmed the island but hunted short before taking a big turn to the left and picking up the left hand retired mark. When he was resent to the centre bird, Luke started out on the same initial line but veered off heading for the left mark and had to be handled to the centre bird. The test took between 10-12 minutes per dog. Rain settled in as the test progressed.
Handlers Watching Medie & Lucy
Test 10 - Water Quad with 2 Retired Guns
The wind picked up significantly from the morning, coming across the test from left to right 21 kmh NW. There was an advisory for the development of funnel clouds in effect for the area. During setup we had a brief spell of heavy rain.
Test 10 was a water quad with the left and centre left guns retired. The order of the guns was centre left, then left, followed by centre right and then far right. Distances to the guns were; left 238 yards, centre left 268 yards, centre right 62 yards and the right hand go bird 82 yards. Hens were thrown on the 2 short birds and drakes were thrown on the 2 long retired birds. All birds were thrown right to left. Both the centre right and the right hand marks were thrown from the shore to islands. For the dogs, the birds appeared to land on the shore where the gunners stood. The cover was very high with cattails and tall marsh grass on the way to the left and the centre left birds. The gunners for the left hand mark stood behind a boat that was on the road covering a culvert and the line to their bird was to the left side of the road that transected the pond and disappeared towards the treeline between the left and left centre marks. The temptation was huge to run the road for retrieve the left hand bird. The line to the centre left hand bird was to the right of the road with numerous re-entries where the dog was out of sight in cattails, so it was difficult to see the dog to handle if needed. The test took about 15 minutes per dog.
Female test dog FTCH AFTCH Bigguns Over Tucquan owned and handled by Murray Murphy was up first. When Abby ran, the centre right hand gunners were in line with the centre left hand gunners and threw right to left. The test was changed after Abby ran. Abby had an excellent right hand go bird and an excellent centre right hand mark. She ran the road to the back of the field and then hunted back and appeared to wind the left hand mark when she took and abrupt turn to left turn to the bird. Both retired gun stations are brushed in so the gunners cannot be seen if a dog goes deep. For the centre left bird, Abby went way right of the gun station and had to be handled. She was out of sight for quite some time and was called in and resent of the centre left mark as a single.
Next up was Hope Roberts with Brentwood Gem’s One Too Many, after the test was changed. Ceasar had an excellent go bird and an excellent centre right mark. For the left hand mark, he headed wide to the left and appeared to be heading to the water blind from the 6th series. He corrected his line to the right and started hunting to the right of the holding blind and appeared to wind the bird a long way right of the gun station. When Hope sent Ceasar for the centre left retired mark, it began to pour buckets. He started hunting short behind the centre right mark and had to be handled early. With the heavy rain and wind, it was rough going and Caesar ended up being helped. The rain stopped shortly after Hope ran and luckily didn’t return although the winds remained quite strong and gusty.