Saturday July 14, 2018

July 8-14, 2018
Callander, Ontario


Natl Am Logo


NBDRTC logo

Host Club

North Bay & District Retriever Training Club
Field Trial Chair - Hubert Shank
Chief Marshal - Heather Stewart
Field Trial Secretary - Shirley Greener

Judges

Southern Ontario Zone: Dan Yeomans
Central Zone: Dawne McKenzie
Western Zone: Daniel Shnitka

 

Winner

NAFTCH FTCH AFTCH Pilkingtons Ruby Blues Day
Owned and Handled by Ken Crosby



 

Finalists

 



 
No
Dog Name                                                                                                       
10
Windcrestrpmlegend Of The Past
Owners: Jim Dorobek & Roger Magnuson
Handler: Jim Dorobek


19
FTCH-AFTCH Baypoint's Hit And Miss
Owner / Handler: Lorraine Hare


20
FTCH-AFTCH Maxfly's Hanna Storm
Owner / Handler: Rick Cardinal


28
AFTCH Amarillo Bone Collector
Owner / Handler: Dave Wardle


32
FTCH-AFTCH High Mileage By Golly
Owners: Stan Hughes & Joan Van Damme
Handler: Stan Hughes


33
FTCH-AFTCH The Springwaters Mr Y Of Tamsu            
Owners: John Mairs & Lorraine Hare
Handler: Lorraine Hare


35
AFTCH Quackaddict Voo Doo Child JH
Owner: Al Custers
Handler: Connie Swanson


42
FC-AFC-FTCH Alexus - Pursuit Of Perfection
Owner / Handler: Lynn Kimball


45
FTCH-AFTCH Pilkingtons Ruby Blues Day
Owner / Handler: Ken Crosby


49
AFTCH Amarillo Diggin Up Bones
Owner / Handler: Dave Wardle


50
FTCH-AFTCH The Springwaters Rippin Reba
Owners: Gary & Chris Mason
Handler: Gary Mason


52
Luckydux Gave Her Momma Forty Quacks QFTR
Owner / Handler: Andy Carlson


 

  

Opening Banquet

Welcome to the running of the 2018 Canadian National Retriever Championship, hosted by the North Bay and District Retriever Training Club. The Callander Community Centre serves as a perfect venue for the banquet with all proceeds from the bar going to the Nipissing Childrens’ Christmas Fund compliments of the Callander Fire and Rescue Squad.Great home cooking with roast pork loin, mashed potatoes, vegetables and salad. And don’t forget the fabulous pies curtesy of club members Shiela Andrew, Lynn Maeck, and Pat Barber.
 
Opening Banquet is always a time to catch up with old friends and make a few new ones as well. The community centre was packed with contestants, judges, and club members, all having a good time and enjoying the camaraderie.





 
 





 
 
 



 
Right on time for dinner, the head table was piped in. Hubert Shank, Master of Ceremonies led the way, followed by Dan Yeomans, judge representing the Southern Ontario Zone, Dawne McKenzie, judge from the Central Zone, Daniel Shnitka, judge from the Western Zone, Purina Rep Bill Kennedy, Diane and Jim Ling, Past President of the National Retriever Club, Heather Stewart, Chief Marshal, and Tanya Andrew, President of the North Bay and District Retriever Training Club.
 



Head Table: Tanya Andrew, Heather Stewart, Jim Ling, Diane Ling, Bill Kennedy, Daniel Shnitka, Dawne McKenzie, Dan Yeomans, Hubert Shank.
 



 
 
Master of Ceremonies, Hubert Shank introduced the Head Table, and then raised a glass to toast the Office of the President of the United States and the Queen. Then Gerry Burmaster was called upon the lead the group in singing the US and Canadian national anthems.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Next up was the President of the North Bay and District Retriever Training Club, Tanya Andrew. Tanya thanked the members and friends that have stepped up to help host this National, many working tirelessly behind the scenes. A special lifetime membership award was presented to Jim Andrew, Hubert Shank, and Bill Fleming by their daughters. This award recognizes their past and current contributions to the club. Tanya also wanted to remember Chip and Shirley Stroud who were founding members of the club and have sinced passed.
 



Left to right: Tanya Andrew, Jim Andrew, Hubert Shank, Carolyn Vankeuren, Bill Fleming, and Sarah Fleming
 
Thank you also went out to Shirley Greener who stepped up as Field Trial Secretary even though she is not a member. And to Dona Martin for the internet coverage and Karen Carson who kept all of the Facebook followers up-to-date.
 



 
 
Daniel Shnitka spoke on behalf of the judges and explained that tests may not be in the order as anticipated but will meet the criteria for a National. The judges concern for the heat and health of the dogs is foremost on their mind. Daniel thanked the setup crew, Shirley Greener, Dave Thompson, and the Chief Marshal Heather Stewart. Setup dogs gave the judges a good understanding of the tests they were setting. Daniel mentioned he has learned alot already about deer flies and mosquitos, none of which are on Vancouver Island where Daniel lives.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


 
 
Next up, Jim Ling Past President of the National Retriever Club of Canada. Jim acknowledged the huge contribution our sponsors make and thanked Purina, the Official Sponsor of the Canadian National Open and Canadian National Amateur Retriever Championships, Official Dog Food Sponsor, Avery Sporting Dog, Garmin official e-collar 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. NRCC pins were presented to the Purina Representative, Bill Kennedy and Connie Swanson for her contribution of original portraits for the winners of each National and National Amateur. Jim followed up with awarding NRCC pins to FT Chair Hubert Shank, Chief Marshal Heather Stewart and Field Trial Secretary Shirley Greener. Next the judges were also present NRCC pins, Dan Yeomans representing the Southern Ontario Zone, Dawne McKenzie from the Central Zone and Daniel Shnitka from the Western Zone.
 
 
Dennis Voigt spoke on behalf of Di Howard in presenting the Charlie Howard Memorial Award. Dennis outlined the criteria for being nominated and provided a brief history of past recipients. This year the award was presented to Jim Andrew for his contribution to the Field Trial sport at the national, provincial and local levels. Jim can always be relied upon to step up and help whenever needed.
 



 



 



 
 
Next up the Chief Marshal, Heather Stewart provided the instructions from the judges regarding no bird protocol, dealing with deer flies bothering the dogs etc. and announced the first test would be a Land Triple.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Everyone attending the dinner was eligible for the draw to win a large gift basket which was donated by Bill and Carol Fleming. Dave Broomhead was only too pleased to be the lucky recipient.
 



 
 
As well, Garmin, one of our major sponsors donated the contestant bibs, 2 Pro 550 e-collars as fund raisers for the Host Club and money to offset expenses. Ken Crosby held the lucky card and won one of the collars. Thank you to Garmin for their generous contributions. It is sponsors like Garmin that help to make our National events successful.
 
Before the judges headed out for the night, club President, Tanya Andrew and Master of Ceremonies, Hubert Shank, presented them with judges gifts.
 



 
Once the judges had retired for the night we got down to the serious business of the Calcutta. David Thompson was the Auctioneer, Bill Kennedy introduced the dogs and presented the hats and bibs, and NRCC Director, Richard Dresser presented the contestants with NRCC pins.
 



 
 

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 2018 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, Avery Sporting Dog, Garmin official e-collar 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

The 2018 National Amateur got officially underway with Dog #51, the first running dog, called to line at 9:30 am. And what a gorgeous day after the blistering heat from last week. The starting temperature was a breezy 18C with a SW crosswind of 23 km/hr. Test 1 was a standout out land triple with no retired guns. The guns were shot clockwise from left long to short right. The field was bush hogged with variable cover surrounded by dense forest of mixed poplar and spruce. There was a pond crossing the line to the left mark. The judges made every effort to ensure the safety of the dogs in anticipation of a very hot day. For that reason, the length of the test was reasonable with nothing too long. The long left mark at 155 yards was a drake mallard, thrown into the test from left to right. The centre mark at 124 yards was a hen pheasant thrown towards the left mark, from right to left. There was a large clump of poplar trees about half way to the gunner station that made picking out the centre gunners a challenge. The go bird on the right was 114 yards and was a hen mallard thrown out of the test from left to right angled back. All birds landed in moderate cover. The wind was coming across the test from left to right, posing a problem for some dogs if they got deep of the centre bird and winded the left bird.
 



 



 
As is tradition at our Canadian Nationals, one of the judges from the previous National passed the signalling paddle to the judges for the current National. In this case, Connie Swanson, from the 2017 National Amateur in British Columbia, passed the paddle to judge, Dan Yeomans, representing Southern Ontario Zone. As a point of interest, the paddle was first used at the 2010 National Amateur held right here in Callander, Ontario and one of the judges was Dawne McKenzie, returning 8 years later.
 



 



Honorary test dog, Pilkington’s My Lil Secret was called to line shortly after 9:00 am. Secret, a long time competitor on the Ontario circuit is owned by Gary and Chris Mason and handled by Chris.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Female test dog was Davadar’s To The Moon and Back, owned and handled by Kevin Riddell. Rogue did an excellent job with no trouble coming up with her birds. Next up was Elkim’s Where to Aim, owned by Lorne Langevin and handled by Shirley Greener. Hootie was keen to get started and took off after his bird as soon as the judges gave him is number. He had two excellent outside marks and a brief hunt at the centre gun station before picking up his bird. The centre bird was very difficult to pick out between the white poplar trees and the throw was obscured by the trees as well. Dogs really needed to watch the bird all the way to the ground to see it.
 



 
Almost half way through the running order there were many handles and one pickup. The dogs really had difficulty with the centre mark. The grove of poplar pushed some dogs back side of the gun station and they drove deep to a large rock face at the treeline. Many dogs pushed down the shore of the pond and ended up back side of the left gun station, but seemed to recover quickly.
 
Gallery Shots





 
Some of our Sponsors



 
As the test progressed, the wind picked up to 33 km/hr but remained consistently Southwest. The middle bird continued to give the handlers grief and many had to handle. Many of the dogs that did the left mark successfully cheated the pond to the right, whereas the dogs that took the water typically ended up back siding the gunners.
 
 
Brought to you by Purina, Official Sponsor of the Canadian National Open and Canadian National Amateur Retriever Championships, Official Dog Food Sponsor to the National Retriever Club of Canada


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Test 2 - Land Triple With a Retired Gun and Honor

Day 2 started off sunny, not a cloud in the sky and a perfect temperature of 22C but the forecast was fora very hot 28C. We were parked in a hay field with no shade except for under the tents from Purina and Avery. If it wasn’t for the breeze 23 km/hr SW providing some relief it would already be hot in the sun. Monday’s breakfast was sponsored by Al and Lou Moroz. Every day the contestants were treated to a hot breakfast sponsored by a different group. Sunday breakfast was sponsored by the South Western Ontario Retriever Training Club.
 
Test 2 was a land triple with 1 retired gun and an honor. The cut hay field sloped from right to left across the test. The left hand gun station was situated along a point of cover coming from the left into the test. There was a large point of cover to the right on the way the the centre retired mark and a wedge of cover right in front of the line. Dense mixed bush surrounded the field. The order of the guns was long centre retired, left and then the right go bird. The centre mark at 282 yards was thrown left to right along the treeline between a road that traveled along the treeline and the cover. To start, the gunners and the bird were in shadows. The left mark at 198 yards was thrown into the test from left to right into a dense hedgerow with lots of field behind. The go bird to the right was thrown into the test from right to left along the tree line into heavy cover. A hen mallard was thrown for the go bird and the other marks were drakes.
 



 



 
First up was male test dog, Hootie, handled by Shirley Greener. For the go bird, Hootie went right into the cover and came back with the bird. Hootie did pretty much the same thing for the left mark, into the cover and came back with the bird. The dog could be seen during it’s hunt if it back sided the gun station or hunted behind the point of cover that the bird was thrown into. For the long centre retired bird, Hootie started off in line or slightly to the left of the gun station. When he got into the large point of cover he hung a left and had to be handled out of the fall area of the left hand mark. When the test dogs ran, the gunners and the bird throw for the centre retired mark were in shadows so that the bird was hardly visible. Female test dog was once again, Rogue, handled by Kevin Riddell. Rogue went right in on the go bird. She was headed at the gun station for the left mark but went through the hedgerow behind, and hunted out of sight before appearing in the field hunting deep of the point of cover that the bird was thrown into. For the centre retired, Rogue cheated the large point of cover which put her into no man’s land in the middle of the field. She also had to be handled to the bird. A 3rd test dog was requested and white flagging tape was added to the bird on the long middle retired. As the sun came around the gunners and the bird were be in sun and were highly visible. FTCH-AFTCH Dutchmans Creek Lady owned by Jim & Shiela Andrew and handled by Jim came to line to run the test with ribbon on the centre mark. Lady had a tight hunt in the cover for the go bird. She went backside of the left hand gun station through the hedge and hunted her way over to the bird. For the centre mark, Lady went through the cover, under the arc and had an intelligent hunt in the area before picking up the bird. With the wedge of cover in front of the line, it is important for the dog to start with a good intial line through the cover or reestablish their line if they cheated.
 
Jim and Lady



Kevin & Rogue


 
Handlers on line



 
Rogue Gallery



 

Test 3 - Land Blind

Test 3 was a land blind crossing the lines to the right and centre marks. There was a strong crosswind from left to right. One of the judges placed a drawing in the holding blind indicating the line to the blind that went between the right cover that the go bird was thrown into and the line to the centre mark, and the point of cover that the left mark was thrown into. Dogs wanting to jump into the cover on the right had a tough time casting into the wind. The holding blind where the bird planter was hidden, was easily picked out from line but was significantly off line to the right. There was a flock of goose decoys to the right of the holding blind. A drake mallard was planted in front of a small bush at 214 yards. The temperature rose to 26C but didn’t feel that hot with the wind.
 



 



 
First test dog to line was Hootie, handled by Jim Andrew. Hootie started out heading for the right hand cover and needed a number of left hand casts into the wind. When he got to the gap between the points of cover he flared right and needed a left cast which he took behind the left point but quicly recovered and had one more whistle to the bird. Next up was female test dog Rogue with Kevin Riddell. Rogue started out heading for the cover on the right and wouldn’t take her casts to stay out. She disappeared into the cover and couldn’t be seen until she was in the field heading for the goose decoys. A third test dog, Lady handled by Jim Andrew also headed into the cover and was recalled. She did OK on her second try.
 
Handlers viewing the line



 
 

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


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Test 4 - Water Triple with 2 Retired Guns and Honor

After the heavy rain the night before, contestants awoke to sunny 16C but very humid. Although the afternoon was not forecast to get above 25C, with the humidity it would feel much hotter. To start, there was a slight breeze 6km/h NE which was downwind and coming across the test from right to left. The morning’s breakfast was sponsored by a local business, Infiltrator. Much appreciated by judges, workers and contestants alike.
 
For the 4th test we returned to the property from the first test, owned by Boyd Rutledge and Guylaine Mailloux. There were 2 ponds. The line to the go bird paralleled the shore of the left pond with the lines to the middle and right marks through the right hand pond. Moderate cover of cut hay surrounded the ponds and dense mixed bush provided the backdrop to the test. The order of the marks was centre retired, then right retired and finally the left mark. Distances to the gunners were left 142 yards, centre 138 yards, right 156. The centre retired mark was thrown left to right, angled back uphill into a strip of cover between 2 trees. The right retired bird was thrown right to left across the pond to land with a splash on the far shore. The go bird on the left was thrown out of the test from right to left to land in moderate cut grass on the far shore. The line to the go bird was all swimming but a dog isn’t far off line if it runs the shore between the ponds. The line to the middle retired is a square entry but the dog must drive uphill and fight the inclination to hunt short along the shore. The line to the right retired started on one side of the pond, angled across and continued all the way to the end at the far shore. The pond was relatively narrow and for some dogs it was a big temptation to run the near shore all the way to the gun station.
 



 



 
First up was male test dog AFTCH Jaegermeister of Winchester Fields, owned and handled by Steve Patterson. Jaeger cheated the left pond but went directly to the left hand go bird. He was sent for the right retired second but he got out early on the far side of the pond and hung a left, going for the middel retired bird. He hunted all the way across to the wrong side of the gun station before driving uphill to the bird. For the right retired, Jaeger went wide right on land and had to be handled into the water and to the bird. Next up was female test dog FTCH AFTCH Dutchamns Creek Lady owned by Jim & Shiela Andrew and handled by Jim. Lady stayed in the water and had a very good left go bird. For the middle retired she hunted a bit short before going up the hill to the bird. For the right retired, Lady took an excellent line through the water. At the end she curled around the last point and exited heading for a large rock in the field behind and had to be handled. A third test dog was requested, so Elkim’s Where to Aim owned by Lorne Langevin and handled by Shirley Greener was called to line. For Hootie the judges changed the throw of the right hand mark so that it landed in the water with a splash. Hootie had a good go bird, backsided the middle gun with a clean hook For the right mark he exited early on the far shore, ran around the end of the pond and jumped in the water to retrieve his bird. The judges decided to go with the bird landing in the water. With that in mind, there was some variation on how visible the bird was when the dog gets to the area.
Steve & Jaeger



Shirley & Hootie


 
Handlers Planning Their Strategies



 
As predicted, many dogs did not get wet on the left go bird and/or right retired. When we started, the morning wind was barely perceptible. Later, the wind picked up and changed direction a number of times throughout the day, varying from right to left to in your face or downwind. Just depended on when you ran.
 

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


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Test 5 - Water Blind

Wednesday was a beautiful morning. Sunny, 12C with a slight breeze North 5 km/h, forcast to get up to 26C. Thankfully the wind will picked up a bit and kept us from wilting. Breakfast was sponsored by Windcrest Kennels, Gary and Chris Mason. Thank you.
 
Test 5 was a 165 yard water blind running through the same ponds as Test 4, but from the opposite side, from behind the left hand mark. The same 2 ponds from Test 4 were in play with the line to the blind catching a corner of the first pond, crossing the land between the ponds that so many dogs ran down, catching a corner of the second pond up to the treeline and the running line from Test 1.
 



 



First up was Male test dog, Jaeger owned and handled by Steve Patterson. Jaeger needed a few whistles negotiating the 2 ponds to keep him on line. To begin, the end of the blind was in shadows but Jaeger being yellow was easily seen. Next up was Female Test Dog Lady owned and handled by Jim Andrew. Lady needed only 2 whistles to get to the end of the blind but being black was not visible around the blind.
 
Handlers Sizing Up The Test



 
For the most part, the dogs did the test but some of the early dogs got lost in the shadows at the end. The bush where the bird was planted became evident in the sun now. Although the wind indicated it was from the North, however, the dogs were winding the blind from the North side, so it must have been swirling against the treeline. There were a number of dogs that missed re-entering the water in the 2nd pond. 

Test 6 - Double Land Blind

 



 
Test 6 was a double land blind set in a cut hay field dotted with round bales. Thank you to landowners Ben & Audrey Hughes. Because the mats were getting too hot in the sun, flagging tape was used to indicate the running line. The first blind to be run was from the left running spot to the right hand blind which was 268 yards. The first blind was the longer of the two and was a no picture blind with an island of cover up front. The dog had to negotiate through a tight corridor between hay bales at about 3/4 of the way out. The wind was coming across the test from left to right and there was a point where the dogs could wind the short blind on the left and the holding blind where the bird planters were hidden in the treeline half way between the blinds. The short blind was hot when the long blind was run. The handler moved to the right about 10 yards to run the second blind which was 226 yards long. There was an island of heavy cover in the middle of the blind and some hay bale goal posts that needed to be negotiated near the end. Ducks were planted at each blind. 



 



 



 
First up were Lady and Jim. For the right hand blind, Lady took her initial line through the cover and with a few whistles, stayed in control to the blind. For the left blind, Lady started off well, but went left and missed the line through the hay bales. Next up was male test dog Jaeger with owner Steve Patterson handling. For the right blind, Jaeger started off right of line and missed the cover up front. About 2/3 of the way to the blind, he got left of line and winded the holding blind for the bird planters and Steve had a hard time handling to the bird. For the 2nd blind Jaeger did a much better job and handled through the hay bales at the end.
 
The wind picked up from earlier in the day to W 8 km/h. The temperature rose to 25C but didn’t feel that hot with the breeze. There was no shade except for the Purina and Avery tents. Gratefully appreciated. Each day there was a raffle for all the workers. The big prize each night was a bag of Purina dog food, donated by Purina.
 

Workers Party

 
The Workers Party was a fish fry sponsored by Dan & Gloria DeVos from Baypoint Kennels. And what a great fish fry. Serge Losier fried up a huge stack of perch and potatoes. There was more than enough for seconds and some thirds. Dessert was Shiela’s pies. Excellent. Nobody went home hungry.
 
After everyone was stuffed, Field Trial Chair Hubert Shank presented the workers with NRCC pins, a token of our appreciation. Without the volunteers that take time away from work to help out, these events would not be possible. A number of Ontario Pros also took time away from training to give back to the Amateurs who are their clients. Thank you, Gun Captain, Lorne Langevin, Dave Thompson and Carl Clark. A big thank you goes out to club members, Jim and Shiela Andrew, a driving force behind hosting this National Amateur. As well, thank you to Bill and Carol Fleming, Chief Marshal Heather Stewart, Field Trial Secretary Shirley Greener, Facebook Communications, Karen Carson, Sponsorship Advertizing Coordinator Kevin Riddell, Traffic Coordinators Dave & Donna Wardle, Dona Martin NRCC Communications Officer. Many club members and friends worked behind the scenes leading up to and during the event. Thank you to club President Tanya Andrew, fish fryer extraordinaire Serge Losier, Jim & Pat Barber, Ron Burns, Brian & Brent Samis, Lorraine Hare, Kirtis Cardl, Lou Moroz, Jason Allen. Thank you to Don & Diane from Arnstein Equipment for the generous use the the John Deer Gators for setup and gun changes.
 
After worker acknowlegements, items from the silent auction were drawn. A huge thank you to our sponsors and patrons, Avery Sporting Dog, Zinger Winger, Garmin, Golden Lake Garments, Retrievers Online, Gunner Kennels, Handmade K9 Leads, Ramps Up, and many more local businesses.
A Hungry Crowd



Traffic Cops


 
 
Having a Good Time



Enjoying the Company


 
 
Time to Relax



 
Thanking the Workers


 
 
Cookin Up the Fish



Singing Up a Storm


 
Brought to you by Purina, Official Sponsor of the Canadian National Open and Canadian National Amateur Retriever Championships, Official Dog Food Sponsor to the National Retriever Club of Canada


Purina logo

 

Test 7- Water Triple with 2 Retired Guns

Contestants awoke to another clear sunny day. Starting temperature 16C with barely a whisper of a breeze at 9 km/h SE but there were no ripples on the pond. The wind picked up later as the temperatures rose to a forecasted high of 30C. For our American friends that is 87F. Thank you to the Northern Ontario Retriever Association for sponsoring the breakfast. As well, thank you to landowner John Hyatt for allowing the National Amateur to be held on his property. He is not a field trialer or a member of the host club but generously allowed the National to use his land and water.
 
Test 7 was a water triple with 2 retired guns and an in your face go bird that was thrown into the test, very tight to the line to the long middle retired. A hen mallard was thrown from the shore out onto the front side of a point in mud. Sometimes a bit of a splash, sometimes not. The line to the go bird was through 8-10 decoys. The order of the guns was, centre retired 272 yards, then right retired at 150 yards and finally the go bird at 68 yards. The centre retired threw angled back from left to right and retired behind a large spruce tree in a bush hogged hay field. The line to the centre retired was over the point and very tight to where the go bird was thrown. The right hand retired gun station was about half way out on a point coming into the pond from the far shore. The bird was thrown right to left into the test, landing on the end of the point. There was a structure that looked like a holding blind on the far shore deep and to the left of the right hand mark. Parking was limited with the trucks parked about 30 yards from the short gun station. Every effort was made to avoid interference with the test.
 



 



 
Male test dog Jaeger ran first. He had an excellent go bird. On the right hand retired, he squared the pond putting him a long way right when he reached shore and hunted back in the woods out of sight for a long time. He eventually worked his way out the point to the bird. For the centre retired, Jaeger started out heading for the middle of the pond. He went around the first point and curled into the second point where he ran down the point and out into the field under the arc to the bird. There was a low area behind 2 mounds on the way the the centre bird where the dogs were out of sight for a significant amount of time. Next up was female test dog Lady. Lady also had an excellent go bird. Lady took the middle retired out second. She also swam around the first point and curled into the second point where she broke down and had to be handled. She then wanted to head for the treeline left of the gun station and took a number of whistles to get to the area. Once she was in the area Jim let her hunt to show the handlers where she would wind the bird. She had a big hunt short and on both sides of the gun station before going deep to pick up the bird. For the right retired, she started off heading for the holding blind but gradually faded into the centre of the pond and had to be handled.
 
As the test progressed, the wind switched and picked up. The wind came into the test down the pond from right to left. It became really hard to get by the right hand bird.
 
Pretty Crowded



 

 

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


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Test 8 - Water Blind

Friday started off overcast with 11 km/h S wind which made Test 8 a downwind test. Rain moved in later in the morning. Breakfast was once again sponsored by the Northern Ontario Retriever Association and was free to all of the contestants, workers and judges. Thank you N.O.R.A.
 



 
For Test 8, we returned to the same property where Test 7 was run but used a different pond. This test was run in a natural beaver pond with marsh grass surrounding it followed by dense bush, and dead white birches and spruce that have been killed off by the beaver flood. Test 8 was a 252 yard shoreline water blind. There was a boat 120 yards out tucked into a small cove and somewhat obscured from line with a person sitting in a white jacket. However, the boat was very obvious to the dog as it approached the area. There were snowmobile posts in the pond left of line. The blind was run from a mound that was created when the small pond up front was dug. There was about 30 yards of high marsh grass to negotiate before the dog got into the open water. A sparse point of willow came out from the right. It was romping water through this cover. A fence post just to the right of line as the dog went through the willow was a good indicator of the proper line. A number of coves and bays along the shore drew the dogs to shore, not to mention the boat with a person in a white jacket. The pond opened up to the right behind the last point. The bird planter was way around the corner on the beaver dam where the bird is planted.
 



 



 
Male test dog Jaeger ran first. He was handled early into the small pond up front and then again to get through the high marsh grass. Steve had a fight on his hands to keep Jaeger on line because he wanted to scallop back towards the boat and shore. Eventually Steve lost the battle and Jaeger disappeared into the cover on shore and was called in without picking up the bird. Next up was female test dog Lady. Jim kept Lady under control on a tight line to shore. After the last point she disappeared around the corner and went out of control before coming back in sight and being handled to the bird. There was a light coloured log on the beaver dam out of sight to the line that she may have been drawn to. A 3rd test dog, FTCH AFTCH Keys II was called to run the blind. When Keys ran they had the person in the boat cover up with a ghillie blanket. Keys did a good job and although he appeared to notice the boat, was not sucked in. Robert did a good job keeping him out from shore to the bird. The first running dog was called to line at 9:00 am.
Robert & Keys



Scoping Out The Test


 
At about half way through, most of the dogs stayed out of trouble but required quite a few whistles to do so. As the test progressed further, the wind picked up significantly and came around so there was a strong crosswind, making it more difficult to get the cast into the wind away from shore.
 

Test 9 - Land Quad With All Guns Retired

Test 9 was a land quad with all guns retired. It was run from another location on the same property as the double land blind for Test 6. It was a cut hay field dotted with round bales. There were islands of bushes, heavy cover and rock piles in the field as well. Mixed poplar and alders surrounded the field. A treed hedge row with uncut hay separated the short right hand gun station from the rest of the test. A rooster pheasant was thrown into the high hay from right to left into the test. The long right hand mark was thrown along the treed hedge row out into the cut field between the road and the trees. There was a slot between 2 islands of cover where the long left mark was thrown right to left in the cut field, about 15 feet from the heavy cover. The short left hand mark was thrown into an island of uncut hay, The order of the guns was long right, long left, short right and finally short left. A rooster pheasant was thrown on the right hand mark. All other marks are drake mallards. The gunners for the long right mark retired into the trees. All other gunners were surrounded by hay bales when they retired. Distances to the marks were; 240 yards to the long right retired, 268 yards to the long left retired, 104 to the short right retired and 172 to the go bird retired. The wind was coming across the test from left to right. Rain started and stopped intermittently but was not heavy.
 



 



 
For this test we had a change of the male test dog. NFTCH FTCH AJ Top Cruisin With the Pirate, owned and handled by Tom Sullivan. Just as Whiskey came to line it started to rain harder than before but didn’t seem to phase Whiskey. For the go bird, short left retired, he had a very tight hunt in the area of the fall. For the short right retired, Whiskey stepped on the bird for an excellent mark. For the long right retired, Whiskey headed wide left into no man’s land and ended up at a rock pile between the 2 long gun staions before making an abrupt right hand turn to go to the bird. Not sure if he got on the road that goes along the treeline and the back of the field. For the long left retired, he hunted around the gun station and then to the bird. The wind direction which was coming across the test from left to right probably gave up the bird when the dog got to the hay bales where the gunners were hidden. Next up was female test dog Lady with Jim handling. For the go bird, Lady went wide to the right of the island of cover and hooked in to pick up the bird. With the wind direction as it was, it would be difficult to get by the bird on the right. For her 2nd bird, Jim appeared to send Lady at the short right mark but Lady had other ideas and followed the road to the long right. She started her hunt a bit deep and to the left before turning back into the bird. For the long left, Lady hunted right of the hay bales, then around them and over to the bird. For the Short right which she didn’t appear to see thrown, Lady went slightly right of the holding blind, hunted deep under the arc in cut hay before jumping into the uncut hay to retriever her bird. The first dog was called to line at 4:05 pm.
Whiskey & Tom



Getting Ready to Rock


 
As the test progressed, some dogs had excellent work while others put on substantial hunts and/or handling. The rain continued to be on and off and the wind remained from the same direction but sometimes died down to a whisper.
 
 

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The 2018 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, Avery Sporting Dog, Garmin official e-collar 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 10 - Water Quad With 3 Retired Guns

Test 10 got off to a slow start. The judges were concerned with the safety on one mark and decided to move their original test to the pond used in Test 7. The running line was on the opposite end of the pond, on the other side, running back towards the running line of Test 7. The long retired holding blind was just visible over top of the dike behind the point where the go bird from Test 7 was thrown. The go bird in Test 10 was a contrary throw from the end of the second point in Test 7, to the base where dogs exited on their way to the long retired in Test 7. After the heavy rain the night before, it was very humid and we had a heat warning in effect for the area. At noon it was already 25C rising to 28C by the end of the day. The wind was variable 9 km/h SW , coming down the pond left to right.
 
Test 10 was a water quad with 3 retired guns. All birds were thrown on land. A hen mallard was thrown at the right hand mark, and drakes were thrown at the other 3. The 2 right hand marks and the long left mark were thrown right to left. The go bird was a contrary bird thrown left to right from the end of the point to the base. Distances to the guns; right retired 144 yards, middle right retired 166 yards, middle left go bird 162 yards, and 242 yards for the long left retired.
 
The first dog #49 was called to line at 11:18 am. The test took between 25-30 minutes per dog.
 


 



 
Male test dog FTCH AFTCH Keys II owned and handled by Robert Wright. For Keys, the 2 outside birds landed with a splash. Keys took the obvious slot through the cover to the left of the gun station but corrected his line all the way to the bird. Robert chose to take out the right hand mark second and Keys string lined the bird. For the middle right retired, Keys crossed the water right of the holding blind and established his hunt on the right before heading left to the mark. For the long left retired, Keys took the same slot through the cover that he took for the go bird, which put him to the right of the gun station from the get go. He headed straight for the gunners for the go bird and had to be handled. Once he reached to dike he hunted between the go bird and the left gun station out of sight behind the dike and worked his way down the dike to the bird. Given the wind direction, he may have winded the bird.
 
Next up was FTCH AFTCH Dutchmans Creek Lady, owned and handled by Jim Andrew. For Lady, the judges decided to have no splash for the left mark but kept a splash on the right. Her right hand bird landed belly up in the water. For the go bird, Lady had an excellent line through the cover to her bird. Jim chose to take out the long left hand mark second. Lady took the same line through the cover up front but started correcting as if she was going to go around the point where the go bird gunners were sitting. However, she succumbed to temptation and caught the tip of the point and then had to handled off the point to the dike. She disappeared over the dike out of sight and eventually had to be handled again to the bird. Lady had a white belly up for the right hand mark so had an excellent mark. For the middle right retired, Lady had a good line across the pond and stepped on the bird. After Lady, the judges decided to have the right hand bird land in cover on land.
 
All dogs received fresh birds for all marks. There was no bird change, just gunners. The temperature rose to 29C in the shade. Way too hot in the sun. Thanks to Purina and Avery for providing shade tents for the judges and the gallery. The long left mark proved to be the most difficult by far. Many of the dogs did not far enough left to see the throw and got hung up on the left go bird on the way to the left mark. There were a few handles and big hunts and of course a few did the test. At the gunner change, the wind had switched from E to SW and everything in between. Dogs seemed to wind the left hand mark before reaching the far shore. Earlier dogs reached the shore and pur up substantial hints.
 
In the end, the cram rose to the top and the 2018 National Amateur Champion was crowned. Special thank you to the judges, and the host club for putting on such an enjoyable National. Whether you were a Finalist or went out early, everyone had a good time.