Saturday July 22, 2017

July 17-22, 2017
Mission, British Columbia


Natl Am Logo



Host Clubs

BC Amateur Field Trial Club, BC Labrador Retriever Club, and the Fraser Valley Retriever Training Club
Field Trial Chair - Doug Richmond, Debby Montgomery, Jane Spearing
Field Trial Secretary - Jane Spearing

Judges

Southern Ontario Zone: Connie Swanson
Central Zone: Chris Brandl
Western Zone: Rob Littlemore

 

Winner
2017 Canadian National Amateur Retriever Championship
FTCH AFTCH Canadian Cutter



Owned and Handled by Don Pollock

 

Finalists

No
Finalist                                                                                                 
5
Wingbusters Alabama Slamma JFTR QFTR 
Owner: Tom & Marg Murray
Handler: Marg Murray



7
Roux's Voodoo Queen Of New Orleans
Owner / Handler: Ellen Mcneill



8
FC Clearwater's Viking Legend
Owner: Ed & Cindy Nesselroad
Handler: Ed Nesselroad



15
FTCH Baypoints Thousand Fathom Edge
Owner: Peter Muursepp
Handler: Jim Mcfarland



17
FTCH AFTCH Noremac's Undertaker JFTR QFTR 
Owner / Handler: Brian Griffin



21
Wingbusters Quiet Elegance JFTR, QFTR
Owner: Tom & Marg Murray
Handler: Marg Murray



23
FTCH-AFTCH Canadian Cutter
Owner / Handler: Don Pollock



32
FTCH-AFTCH One More Round
Owner . Handler: Jim Swanson



 

Opening Banquet

The 2017 Canadian National Amateur Retriever Championship kicked off with a great opening banquet. It is always a special occasion to renew old friendships and get caught up on what’s been happening over the past year. And don’t forget perusing the many items on the silent auction tables, donated by National Retriever Club sponsors, local businesses and individuals.





 
 





 
 



 



To start things off, the head table was piped in and Jim Swanson came forward to pay the piper. Master of ceremonies, Dave Douglas kept everything moving and everyone entertained. Seemed everyone enjoyed themselves. The Canadian and American national anthems were followed by a toast to the Queen and a toast to the Office of the President made by American judge Chris Brandl.


 



 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Head Table from left to right: Mary Hinds and her husband Acting Mayor Jim Hinds, Tosca Kocken and Chief Marshal Kevin Hill, Judges Rob Littlemore, Connie Swanson and Chris Brandl, and Master of Ceremonies Dave Douglas.



 





 
 
 
Home-made food was excellent. From the salads, souvlaki, lasagna, meatballs, eggplant parmigan, spanakopita, to the cream puffs for dessert. Wonderful food and hospitality.
 
After dinner Jane Spearing, NRCC Director from British Columbia said a few words on behalf of Jim Ling, President NRCC. First and foremost, Jane thanked the National sponsors: Purina the official sponsor and dog food supplier, Avery Sporting Dog, Garmin/Tri-tronics official e-collar supplier, Winchester Ammunition official ammunition supplier, Ducks Unlimited Canada supplier of the finalist gifts, Zinger Winger, Retriever Results our partner in reporting Field Trial Results, and Animal Portraits by Connie Swanson for supplying a portrait to the winner. Next NRCC pins were presented to the judges, Rob Littlemore representing the Western Zone, Connie Swanson representing Southern Ontario Zone, and Chris Brandl representing Central Zone. NRCC pins were also presented to Field Trial Co-Chairs Doug Richmond, Debby Montgomery and Jane Spearing. Jane also received a NRCC pin as Field Trial Secretary. Chief Marshal, Kevin Hill was presented his pin as well. At the end Jane announced the Field Trial Committee consisting of: Committee Chair - Chief Marshal - Kevin Hill, FT Chair - Doug Richmond, and representing the 3 Zones, Central Zone - Rick Regamble, Southern Ontario Zone - Jane Spearing, Eastern Zone -Deb Montgomery
 
Chief Marshal, Kevin Hill thanked the landowners and asked that participants be respectful of their properties. Due to the extremely dry conditions, smokers are asked to smoke in their vehicles and not in the fields. Kevin acknowledged the hard work and long days put in by the workers and judges in preparing for this event. As well, Kevin presented the instructions from the judges. These included dog in the box or on the mat for all sends, if a dog gets a no bird, they go back 3 dogs, a 2nd no bird they go back 6 dogs and if they are unfortunate enough to have a 3rd no bird they will be run at the end.
 
Connie Swanson spoke on behalf of the judges, commenting on the excellent setup team, spectacular grounds and acknowledged the long distances competitors travelled to attend the 2017 Canadian National Amateur. Good luck to all.
 
Co-chairs Debby Montgomery and Doug Richmond presented the judges with gifts from the host clubs before the judges adjourned for the night and the business of the Calcutta got under way.
 
The acting mayor, Jim Hinds won the Garmin Pro 550 electronic collar, donated by one of our major sponsors Garmin/Tri-Tronics. A special thank you gift was presented to Stu and Diana Mead for their generous sponsorship of the handlers jackets.
 
Master of Ceremonies and Auctioneer, Dave Douglas kept the calcutta moving along so contestants could leave early and get a good nights sleep before the opening series. At the end of the night, the starting dog #46 was drawn.
 
 

Brought to you by all of our sponsors

Purina logo  Avery Sporting Dog logo  Tri-tronics logo 
Zinger Winger logo Connie Swanson Animal Portraits Ducks Unlimited Canada logo

               
 
 
      
 
The 2017 Canadian National Amateur would like to thank our sponsors, Nestle-Purina Official Sponsor of the Canadian National Open and Canadian National Amateur Retriever Championships, Official Dog Food Sponsor and the Official Dog Food Supplier to the National Retriever Club of Canada, Avery Sporting Dog, Garmin Tri-Tronics official e-collar supplier, Winchester Ammunition official ammunition supplier. Thank you as well to Ducks Unlimited Canada supplier of the finalist gifts, Zinger Winger official remote launcher supplier, and Animal Portraits by Connie Swanson for supplying portrait to the winner.

Test 1 - Land Triple With a Retired Gun

Welcome to the running of the 2017 Canadian National Retriever Championship, hosted by the BC Amateur Field Trial Club, BC Labrador Retriever Club, and the Fraser Valley Retriever Training Club. The event was being in Mission, British Columbia along the Fraser River. Majestic mountains frame the valley on either side. Some of the larger peaks are snow capped. Test 1 was set up in a cut hay field with a few rises and patches of higher grass across and behind the test. The highest cover is mostly blackberries that grow everywhere, being an invasive species that have heavy thorns and are impenetrable. The judges had to work around this hazard as it was too dangerous to even throw birds in. The temperature was 17C under clear but somewhat hazy conditions. There was a slight breeze 4 km/hr NE. We didn’t seem to be affected by all of the wildfires burning out of control in British Columbia, although the TransCanada highway was closed north of us.
 



Judges from left to right: Chris Brandl, Connie Swanson, Rob Littlemore
 
Test 1 was a land triple with a retired gun, shot left retired, right and then the centre go bird. Distances to the marks were; 416 yards to the left retired, 272 yards to the right and 100 yards to the centre go bird. Drake mallards were thrown at the left and centre marks and a hen mallard was thrown on the right mark. The left retired bird was thrown right to left into higher grass. White flagging tap was tied to the long left bird to make it more visible and fair to everyone. The centre bird was also thrown right to left but landed in a patch of heavier cover. The right hand bird was thrown left to right out of the test into higher grass. The test was run rom the top of a dyke and the dogs had to hold their lines while negotiating the steep bank down to the field.
 



 



 
Honorary test dog was retired FTCH AFTCH Marlan’s Kids Wanna Rock owned by Ian & Deb Montgomery and handled by Ian. Rocky was a long time competitor in Nationals, a Finalist, and top dog in Canada in 2013. After retrieving his bird Rocky came back and lined up waiting for more birds to be thrown. Guess he still wants to rock.
 



 
Female test dog was up first with GMH Prairiestorm Richrayasunshine (Raya), owned by Doug & Brenda Richmond and handled by Doug. Raya did a good job on the centre and right marks but had trouble on the long left bird. Doug wasn’t sure that she saw the left bird thrown. Raya broke down behind the centre gun station and had to be handled. Next up was Male test dog, a 4 year old golden named Go Big or Go Home, owned and handled by Jane Spearing. Driver had an almost identical job to Raya and had to be handled on the long left retired. He also didn’t appear to see the left bird thrown so a white ribbon was added to the bird to improve visibility. The test took about 8 minutes per dog.
 





 
Dog 46 started. At about half way through, there were some handles, and a pick up but for the most part the dogs were doing the test. A number of dogs hooked either the left or right gun station. The gunners at the right gun station sat facing away from their bird which caused some dogs to hunt the wrong side. As well, the wind was constantly switching and seemed to be swirling along the borders.
 
Brought to you by Purina, Official Sponsor of the Canadian National Open and Canadian National Amateur Retriever Championships, Official Dog Food Sponsor and the Official Dog Food Supplier to the National Retriever Club of Canada


Purina logo

Test 2 - Land Triple with 2 Retired Guns

Another gorgeous morning nestled between the mountains in the Fraser Valley. It was sunny albeit hazy with a starting temperature of 18C, scheduled to reach 25C later thar day. There was barely a breath of air about 2 km/hr from the South. The test was run NW to NE. Test 2 was a land triple with the left and centre guns retired. There were a few dozen goose decoys in the field off to the left that were not apparent from line. The order of the guns was left to right around the clock. Distances to the marks were: left retired 262 yards, centre retired 312 yards and right hand go bird 104 yards. The right gun station was set up to mimic a flyer station with a tent, 2 gunners, a bird boy, and a bird crate. The go bird was launched from a winger and there were 2 shots fired at the top of the arc. All birds were thrown left to right. Drake mallards were thrown at the left and centre marks and a hen mallard was thrown for the right hand go bird. The field was a relatively flat hay field with a cedar trees along the back edge. The holding blinds for the 2 retired gun stations were amongst the cedars. The left retired mark was thrown angled back to the right along the hedgerow, behind a large clump of dead grass. The centre retired mark was thrown towards a clump of cedars in the back of a small clearing.
 



 



 
Once again we had Raya with Doug as female test dog. Raya went directly to the go bird and the left retired. For the centre retired she went under the arc and looped over to the bird. Driver had a bit more difficulty. He had a great go bird, and then for the left retired he hunted to the right in the trees and deep of the bird before working it out. For the centre retired he did a few loops at the holding blind before hunting his way over to the bird. The first running dog #14, was called to line 8:15 am. Some bears repeatedly came out into the field to the left of the test to watch the dogs run and had to be chased away. Apparently there are a lot of black bear in the area due to the fresh berries in season.
Mountains through the haze



The calm before the test


 
 



 
 
The bears continued to take an interest in the goings on and they didn’t appear to have a fear of guns or people.
 
The test appeared to change as we progressed further into the running order and dogs began having more difficulty. The wind speed has increase minimally and of course the lighting has changed. The gunners for the left and centre marks were adjusted so that they remained in the sun, but the birds they were throwing were completely in shadows. There were significantly more handles in the last half of the running order. There was a air quality statement issued for the area. It became very hot with no shade and a long walk to line.
 

Test 3 - Blind

Test 3 was a combination land and water blind. The line to the blind was tight along the left shore of a slough. When the slough turned left out of sight, the dog should exit the water on the right shore at the end of the visible water. There was high grass and cattails to the left of line when the dog exited the water. However, there was a slight dip beside the cover where the dog went out of sight briefly. The blind planter was in white and obscured from view by the high cover from line, but was immediately visible as the dog passed the cover. The blind planter was about 45 yards short and to the left of the blind stake. The blind stake was approximately 10 yards in front of a dirt road that crossed the field. The stake was in line with a tall poplar tree in the background. Instructions to the handlers were that the dog must be on the mat to be sent, and the handler could move up immediately after launching the dog. They could move up to the edge of the water and laterally as far as they wanted to see their dog.
 



 



 



 
First up was Doug and Raya. When Raya ran the water blind, the line to the blind was along the right hand side of the slough and on to a hard point. However, the bank at the point was too steep for the dog to exit on line, so the mat was moved over to the left so that the line was down along the left side of the slough. Male test dog Driver ran the blind that was used. Jane kept Driver tight on line through the water. When he exited he saw the bird planter and had a difficult time staying on line to the blind. Dog 24 was called to line at 3:50 pm. The wind was variable but mostly from the SouthWest angling across the test from left to right a 19 km/hr, gusting to 29 km/hr. To speed up the test, dogs are supposed to return on land.
 

Brought to you by Avery Sporting Dog, official sponsor of the National Amateur


Avery Sporting Dog logo

 

Test 4 - Land Triple with 2 Retired Guns and an Honour

With the intense sun it is appreciated that our sponsors Purina and Avery Sport Dog have provided canopies for the judges and workers.



 
Another beautiful morning, clear skies and 17C, scheduled to get up to 24C. The wind was 3 km/hr N but swirling around the hills and surrounding trees so felt variable at line. The test faced NW. Test 4 was an indented land triple with the centre and right hand guns retired. The left go bird remained visible. The field is uncut hay intermixed with blackberry vines with rolling hills falling off to the right. The order of the guns was long right retired, short centre retired, and then long visible left. Distances to the marks were; 312 yards to the right retired, 192 yards to the centre retired and 280 to the left go bird. All birds were thrown right to left. A drake mallard was thrown for the right mark and hen mallards were thrown for the other 2. The left go bird was thrown downhill in front of a pair of cedar trees. Branches were placed on the ground where the bird landed so that it was not instantly visible when the dog got to the area. The centre mark was thrown from a depression in the middle of an uncut hay field uphill. The gunners retired immediately under ghillie blankets and were seated on the ground with backrests. The right hand mark was thrown flat into uncut hay. There was a road that cut between the right and centre gun stations.
 



 



 
Female test dog Raya with handler Doug Richmond ran first. For the left go bird, Raya drove uphill and hunted the wrong side before working it out. Doug chose to send Raya for the right hand retired mark second. She went under the arc and hunted over to the bird. For the centre check down bird, Raya took a line that was left of the bird and appeared to wind the bird and took a sharp right turn directly to the duck. Driver ran his marks in a slightly different order. He appeared to want the centre mark first, so when he was sent for the left hand go bird he got part way out and turned right to hunt and pick up the centre mark first. He was then sent to the right retired. Driver took a line that was left of the line to the mark and corrected to the gun station, hunted the area over to the bird. For the left visible mark, Driver went under the arc, behind the gunners and then hunted his way downhill to the bird. The guns went off at 8:30 am for the first dog #38.
 
At 12:30 pm we were not quite half way through the running order. There were 3 pickups and numerous handles with the majority of the handles with the earlier dogs before the wind picked up. Dogs were driving deep on the centre check down bird and going out of sight over the hill and either showing up at the right hand mark or having to be handled back into the centre bird.
 
Gallery Shots



 
 


 
The last dog came off line at 3:15. In the end there were 13 handles and 6 pick ups. Looked like the judges were in the driver’s seat.

Workers’ Party

After a long day in the hot sun, it was time to show some appreciation to all of the volunteer workers, landowners and sponsors. Without them, we could not hold these quality National events. As an added bonus, the Association of BC Retriever Field Trial Clubs picked up the tab for dinner. Jane Spearing made the announcement with a brief explanation of how the Association came to be and the fact that BC clubs have over the years been paying into a collective fund formed to support Nationals in the province. Dinner was tasty BBQ chicken with salads and for dessert, dress your own ice cream with local berries, Reeses Pieces, syrup, and whipped cream. Yum!
 
Jane then went on to thank our sponsors, Nestle-Purina the Official Sponsor of the Canadian National Open and Canadian National Amateur Retriever Championships, Official Dog Food Sponsor and the Official Dog Food Supplier to the National Retriever Club of Canada, Avery Sporting Dog, Garmin Tri-Tronics official e-collar supplier, Winchester Ammunition official ammunition supplier. Thank you as well to Ducks Unlimited Canada supplier of the finalist gifts, Zinger Winger official remote launcher supplier, and Animal Portraits by Connie Swanson for supplying portrait to the winner. Thank you also to local sponsors Stu & Diana Mead who donated the handler jackets, Cabela’s and Save On Foods.
 
Dave Douglas, Master of Ceremonies, started by thanking the landowners for their generosity in letting us use their property. Thank you gifts were presented to the landowners by Jane Spearing. These landowners do not field trial or run dogs, but even so, offered their properties to hold the event on. A big thank you to; Ken Webb, Thorn Yeomans, Robert & Karen Dale, and Rick & Sue McKamey.
 
Next, Dave acknowledged each worker, Jane Spearing presented them with a goodies bag, while Dan Danforth, NRCC Director from Alberta presented NRCC Workers’ pins. Many of these volunteers worked behind the scenes for over a year. Others were out at the crack of dawn each morning and worked well after the test finished for the day. Thank you to; Ian Montgomery, Rick Regamble, Nolan Nelkenbrecher, Lynne Johnson, Dan Vaughn, Mickey Rawlins, Judi Dunlop, John Simonette, Judi Simonette, Val, Beliak, Barry Kolodychuk, Gary Randall, Daniel Lapalme, Taryn Vanderkooi, John Vanderkooi, Susan Shearer, Allyson Webster, Karen Nelkenbrecker, Bev Tecklenborg, Bruce Macdonald, Dona Martin, Joanne White, Cheyl Young, Collette Kolodychuk, Brenda Richmond, Mary Brunold, Dave Douglas, Linda Page, Ken Lorenz.
 
Following dinner there were numerous door prizes presented to the lucky ones, and the draw for a Garmin Tri-Tronics Pro 550. The Silent Auction closed at the end of the evening and everyone was able to pick up their winnings before they left. A great money maker for the host club thanks to the generous donations by sponsors, local businesses and individuals.
 
Scenes from the Workers’ Party





 
 



 


 
 



 


 
 



 



 

Brought to you by Garmin/Tri-tronics, official E-collar sponsor of the National Amateur


Tri-tronics logo

 

Test 5 - Water Triple with 1 Semi-Retired Gun

What a difference a day made. The previous day was hot and sunny and the only shade that could be had was under the canopies. Thursday we received much needed rain that would hopefully help control the wildfires across the province. The temperature was 16C with a SW wind at 7 km/hr. Again the wind was somewhat variable with the influence of the mountains and surrounding trees. The test was run NE. Test 5 was a water triple with the left gun semi-retired. The gunners did not cover up but simply sat down in very high grass on the bank of the slough. High grass banks surround the slough. The test was run down a steep slope off a dyke and cut across a corner of the cut hay field that was used in Test 1, then across a long slender slough. The right and left gun stations were on the far shore of the slough throwing left to right down the shore into the water. The centre go bird was a flat throw from right to left along the near shore onto a plateau jutting into the slough. From the line it appeared as an in throw landing behind the brow of the bank. A drake mallard was thrown at the long right hand gun station out from shore into dense lily pads. A hen mallard was thrown from the high bank down into the water behind a log at shore. A rooster pheasant was thrown at the centre mark. Distances to the marks were 340 yards right, 145 yards centre and 185 yards left. The line to the left bird was a slight angle across the slough. The line to the right hand mark is a longer angle across the slough. With the wind coming from the SW, the test was mostly downwind, angling slightly from left to right.
 



 



 
Female test do this morning was Kaiya, owned and handled by Lynne Johnson. Kaiya started out well with a good centre go bird, but then when she was sent for the left mark she went out of sight over the bank and appeared back in the centre fall. After trying to handle, she was helped to the bird. For the long right hand mark, Kaiya squared across the slough and ended up hunting in the high grass on the wrong side of the gun station and then along the shore up on the bank and would not come back down into the water and the lily pads without being handled. Male test dog Driver, had a good go bird. He squared across the slough for the left hand mark and ended up hunting at the gun station before hunting his way over and down the bank to the bird. For the right hand mark, Driver hunted the near shore to the right of a holding blind that was put up for the dogs safety to keep them from running into some posts. The holding blind was changed to bushes for the running dogs. Driver hunted along the near shore and had to be handled across the slough. He bounce off the lily pads and landed at the gunners. He hunted the high grass along the bank and had to be helped by the gunners. With the wind direction the way it is, the dogs cannot get scent of the bird from shore unless they were way past the gunners down the shore. Many of the running dogs had the same difficulty coming up with the right hand mark in the lily pads.
 
Lets get the show on the road



Blackberry bushes - Nasty stuff


 

Test 6 - Double Land With a Dry Shot and a Poison Bird

 



 
Test 6 was a double land blind with a dry shot that was fired at the short gun station while the dog was still in the holding blind. When the dog came to line the handler signaled for the poison bird and was given their number before sending the dog for the short blind. The blind was run from the base of the dyke out into the same cut hay field from the first test. The bird planter for the short blind sat at the gun station from the centre mark of Test 1, and the bird was planted 5 feet in front of him. Distances were; 90 yards to the short blind, 188 yards to the poison bird, and 375 yards to the long blind. The poison bird was thrown left to right tight back side to the short bird planter. There were 2 gunners at the poison bird station. Goose decoys were placed in front of the cover on line to the long blind, more decoys were placed to the left about 2/3 of the way and a few at the bird. The bird planter is hidden behind the same bush where the gunners hid for the long left retired from Test 1. The blind was run mostly downwind.
 



 



 
Female test dog was FTCH AFTCH Clubmead’s Lucky Lady, owned by Susan Shearer & Margo Wikjord and handled by Gary Randall. On the short blind, Lady had a number of whistles early and ended up hunting the old fall in the high grass, deep and to the left of the bird. For the long blind, Lady needed a few whistles to get her on line through the decoys and cover, and a few more whistles crossing the field. Male test dog, FTCH AFTCH Grousebusters Rudy Rudy Rudy ran without the dry pop. He had an excellent short blind and lined 80% of the way to the long blind. He needed only 2 whistles to put him on the bird. The first dog was called to line at 6:30 pm. It took about 6 minutes per dog.
Brought to you by Purina, Official Sponsor of the Canadian National Open and Canadian National Amateur Retriever Championships, Official Dog Food Sponsor and the Official Dog Food Supplier to the National Retriever Club of Canada


Purina logo

 

Test 7 - Water Blind

Beautiful morning, the sun was shining, moderate temperatures 18C to begin and forecast to get to about 23C. Although the weather stated light breeze 8 km/hr SW it felt more like it was coming into the test from the East. It could be the influence of the surrounding mountains. The test was run almost directly due North. Test 7 was a water blind run from the top of a very steep, high dyke. Once the dog crossed the road, the handler could move forward to the edge of the dyke to see the dog. It was about a 50 foot drop to the water’s edge. To be on line, the dog should be close to the right side of the slough and then cross 2 points on the left side, then cross a shallow bay to the blind on the left shore. Decoys were planted just behind the first and second points and out in the middle to the right of the blind. Keep in mind the dogs picked up their last blind in the middle of some decoys. The bird planter was dressed in white and hidden in a boat tucked into a small bay to the left and behind the 2nd point. He was not visible from line but could be seen by the dog after it went through the 2nd point. Both points were high grass and the dogs swam or romped through them. The water was extremely congested with weeds and very physically demanding. In fact, almost all of the tests have been very physically demanding with the heat, hills and thick water cover. The blind was 160 yards and took about 8 minutes per dog.
 



 



Male test dog was FTCH AFTCH Wingbusters Luke Skywalker, owned and handled by Gary Randall. Luke demonstrated just how hard it was to swim in this water. He needed a number of whistles to keep him on line, and after the 2nd point it appeared he wanted to go out to the decoys to the right of line. It took a few casts to convince him to go across the shallow bay to the blind. Female test dog was FTCH Pokolodi’s Hello Hello, owned by John Hatfield and handled by Jane Spearing. Echo hugged the left shore for the first half and wouldn’t cast out into the water until she reached the 1st point. She got through the slot on the first point and curled left and needed a few casts to get her on line going through the 2nd point. She curled left after the 2nd point and appeared to be sucked in by the bird planter in white but recovered and handled to the blind.
 
OMG - What’s That



Workers - Backbone of our Nationals


 

Test 8 - Water Triple With 2 Retired Guns and an Honour

Test 8 was another physically demanding test through heavy duck weed across the entire pond. It was mostly swimming with the cover along the edge a heavy mat that the dogs had to slug through. No birds landed in the water for a splash. The order of the guns was long centre retired, then the left retired and then the short right hand go bird remained visible. The honour was to the right of the running dog. Drake mallards were thrown at the 2 retired gun stations and a hen mallard was thrown for the go bird. Distances to the birds were; 155 yards left, 250 yards centre and 60 yards right hand go bird. To begin withe, the wind was blowing down the slough angling from right to left 13 km/hr SW. The test was run NE to SE. The left bird was a contrary throw from left to right into the test, landing just to the right of a large bush in high grass. The gunners stood to the left of the bush and then retired behind. The long centre bird was thrown tight angle back into cut hay along a blackberry hedgerow. There was a critical period after the dog exited the water on the far shore where they were out of sight and could easily show up at the left or centre mark.
 



 



 
Male test dog again was Luke with Gary Randall handling. Luke had no problem with the go bird. For the left mark he crossed the pond directly in line with the centre mark. When he exited, he hung a left out of sight behind the tall grass and next time he was seen, he was coming back with the left hand bird. For the centre mark, he took the identical line across the water and looked like he was going to drive through to the centre bird. Unfortunately he broke down and hunted the backside of the high grass before being handled out of the left hand fall to the centre bird. Female test dog was Emmy Lou’s LA Exprees, owned by Gord & Marlene Benn and handled by Marlene. Unfortunately Emmy broke on the go bird but did a nice job retrieving the duck. Next, Emmy started on a good line to the left hand bird but squared across, exiting at the same spot as Luke. She immediately turned left but then drove deep to pick up the long centre bird. For the left mark, Emmy took a line along the near shore and had to be handled across the pond. She then tried to go back to the centre mark and and was handled.
 
Mechanics are so important when running a National. Thanks to Winchester Ammunition for donating the popper loads, we have had no misfires. Landowners are an integral part of National events as well. There generosity in allowing us to use their properties is appreciated. As well, donations from our official sponsor and dog food supplier, Purina and our major sponsors Garmin and Avery all contribute to a successful trial and silent auction. Kudos.
 
Some of the competitors found a treasure trove of daikon radishes in the field where we were parked. Apparently quite a delicacy.
 
Marlene Benn and Emmy



Daikon Radishes


 
 
 

Brought to you by all of our sponsors

Purina logo  Avery Sporting Dog logo  Tri-tronics logo 
Zinger Winger logo Connie Swanson Animal Portraits Ducks Unlimited Canada logo

               
 
 
      
 
The 2017 Canadian National Amateur would like to thank our sponsors, Nestle-Purina the Official Sponsor of the Canadian National Open and Canadian National Amateur Retriever Championships, Official Dog Food Sponsor and the Official Dog Food Supplier to the National Retriever Club of Canada, Avery Sporting Dog, Garmin Tri-Tronics official e-collar supplier, Winchester Ammunition official ammunition supplier. Thank you as well to Ducks Unlimited Canada supplier of the finalist gifts, Zinger Winger official remote launcher supplier, and Animal Portraits by Connie Swanson for supplying portrait to the winner.

Test 9 - Land Quad With 3 Retired Guns

For the final day, the judges planned a big day with a land quad for the 9th, followed by a water quad for the 10th. The weather didn’t really cooperate as it fluctuated between rain and drizzle. Visibility was poor with low lying clouds and fog. The temperature was 15C to start and there was barely a breath of wind. Weather said 6 km/hr, felt like 1.
 
Test 9 was run in a cut hay field with cover varying from 6”- 12” in the field and 2”-3” through the uncut patch of grass that jutted into the field in front of the left hand mark. The field had rolling hills and shallow valleys where the dogs went out of sight and needed to re-orient themselves to the mark they were retrieving. Distances to the marks were; 76 yards to the go bird, 350 yards to the centre left retired, 245 yards to the centre right, and 265 yards to the right retired. Rooster pheasants were thrown for the go bird and centre right marks. A hen mallard was thrown for the right retired mark and a drake mallard with white ribbon was thrown at the centre left retired station.
 
The left centre and right hand gunners retired. The right centre remained visible. The gunners for the go bird remained hidden until they walked out to shoot and throw their bird. They retired after the dog picked up their bird. The line to the go bird was through a heavy patch of high grass, but the bird landed in 6’-12’ cut hay. The line to the long centre left retired, caught a corner of the same patch of high grass and then up and down through rolling terrain to the bird. The throw was angled back and landed in the cut hay. The centre right bird was thrown angled back towards the long centre left gunner station, and landed in the cut hay. The right hand bird was thrown angled back and downhill, in front of a large bush where the gunners retired.
 



 



 
John van der Lee with AFTCH Pekisko’s Real Steel ran male test dog. Not much to say other than Rocky ran an excellent test, going directly to the area of the fall for all 4 birds. There didn’t appear to be much scent on the right hand mark and Rocky was practically standing on the bird without coming up with it immediately. Female test dog was Emmy Lou’s LA Express, owned by Gord & Marlene Benn and handled by Marlene Benn. Emmy had no difficulty with the go bird. For the right hand retired she went wrong side of the bush where the gunners hid and then curled around behind the bush and showed up at the bird. For the centre right, Emmy took a line outside of the mark and then curled in and hunted short before working her way to the bird. For the long centre left retired, Emmy took a good line to the bird. The guns for the first running dog, #7 went off at 8:00 am.
 





 
 



 

Test 10 - Water Quad With 3 Retired Guns

Test 10 was a water quad with 3 retired guns. The centre marks were a flower pot with 2 gun stations on an island, the left centre throwing angled back, right to left and the right centre throwing angled back, left to right. The left centre gunners retired. A boat and mound of high grass separates the gun stations. All of the birds were thrown left to right except the left centre island bird. The order of the guns was long right retired, centre left retired, centre right and finally the short wiper bird on the near shore, that retired after they threw their bird. Distances to the birds were; 275 yards to the long right, 155 yards to the centre right, 170 yards to the centre left and 40 yards to the left go bird. The test was run from the top of a dyke, down a steep side slope to a plateau of cut grass and then high grass at the edge of the water. Apparently the water level dropped 2 feet since setup. Some of the swimming water from last week was now a heavy slog through marsh grass and duck weed. The wind was coming across the test from right to left with the island birds mostly downwind. The wind was somewhat fickle and didn’t play a major roll.
 
The left hand go bird was thrown out into the water with a big splash. All of the other birds landed in heavy marsh grass. The line to the left hand island mark was actually through the blackberry bush and under the arc of the go bird. With the steep slope to fall off, the best a handler could hope for was the dog corrected their line after they went by the bush. Once again this was an extremely physically and mentally demanding test. The dogs had to keep their focus through the heavy cover and re-orient themselves when given the chance when they were in relatively clear water to swim. By the 10 series, the dogs were exhausted from the previous tests but could not give into the temptation of taking an easier route to the bird, especially the long right hand retired mark that was thrown into dense marsh grass to the right. It definitely looked like an easier route to take left of the gun station.
 



 



 
Female test dog was FCTCH AFTCH Castile Creeks Rivers Ripple, owned by Daniel Shnitka and Birgit Juergensen, and handled by Daniel. Good go bird. Rip took a good line to the right hand island bird and hunted under the arc out of sight before showing up at the bird. For the left island bird, she corrected around the blackberry bush, took a few steps down the shore then squared across to the gun station where the gunners were hidden under a ghillie blanket. Rip then turned and went directly to the bird. For the long right hand retired, Rip took a line left of the gun station and was heading into no man’s land and then turned left so she was handled to the bird. Next up was male test dog FTCH AFTCH Hard Road Jack, owned by Robert Sluggett & Hope Roberts, and handled by Hope. Jack had a good go bird, and a good right hand island bird. For the left hand island bird, he hugged the near shore and then squared across and curled into the bird. For the long right hand retired, he started on a good line but faded to the left quite early and was handled to the bird. The test took 25-30 minutes a dogs.
Catching ZZZ



Dog in Box


 
What an exciting end to a week of challenging tests. Going into the test, 4 dogs had not handled. Anyone could step up and win. Both dogs and handlers are exhausted so it will take teamwork, focus and determination to get all of the birds clean. In the end, no dog completed the 10th series without handling.