2019 National Amateur Retriever Championship

July 22 - 27, 2019
Keoma, Alberta


Natl Am Logo



 

 

Host Club

Alberta Field Trial Club
Field Trial Chair - Daniel Danforth
Chief Marshal - Rick Regamble
Field Trial Secretary - Laura Danforth

Judges

Christine Mason, Guelph ON
Nolan Nelkenbrecher, Maple Ridge BC
Barry Grundy, Black Diamond AB
 

Winner



NAFTCH FTCH AFTCH FC AFC Pekisko’s Ironman
Owned by Sharon & John van der Lee / Handled by Sharon

 
 
No
Dog Name                                                                                          
 
2
Licensed To Carry
Owner/Handler: Merrisa Hewitt Rossi


4
FTCH AFTCH One More Round
Owner: Jim & Sherrylyn Swanson
Handler: Jim Swanson


8
FTCH AFTCH Wingbusters Alabama Slamma
Owner: Thomas K & Margaret Murray
Handler: Marg Murray


9
Roux's Jambalaya Crawfish Pie File' Gumbo
Owner/Handler: Ellen Mcneill


12
NFTCH AFTCH FC Taylorlab's Sweet Cheeks
Owner: Garry & Sue Taylor
Handler: Sue Taylor


14
FTCH AFTCH FC AFC Pekisko's Ironman
Owner: John & Sharon van der Lee
Handler: Sharon van der Lee


21
FTCH AFTCH Wingbusters Quiet Elegance
Owner: Thomas K & Margaret Murray
Handler: Marg Murray


26
FTCH AFTCH Pekisko's Black And Blue
Owner: John & Sharon van der Lee
Handler: John van der Lee


37
FTCH AFTCH Ram River Rainbow Royale
Owner/Handler: Daniel Danforth


 

Daily Reports

 

Sunday July 21, 2019

Opening Banquet



 
The 2019 Canadian National Amateur kicked off with the opening banquet, held at the Community Center in Keoma Alberta. After the head table was piped in, the Star Spangled Banner and Oh Canada were sung, Contestants were welcomed to the Great White North by David and Laura Danforth Eh! David is the Field Trial Chair’s son and the Master of Ceremonies for the evening. A toast to the queen and a toast to the Office of the President followed
 



 



 
 
The Head Table was introduced; Laura Danforth. Field Trial Secretary, Dan Danforth Field Trial Chair, Jane Spearing National Retriever Club of Canada Director, Rick Regamble Chief Marshal. Barry Grundy Judge, Chris Mason Judge, Nolan Nelkenbrecher Judge, Doug Shepherd Assistant Marshal and his wife Elaine who contributed to the great hospitality offered up by the host club, the Alberta Field Trial Club. Once the Head Table was introduced, grace was given, and an awesome prime rib dinner with yorkshire pudding and all the fixings was served. Home-made pies for dessert were a hit.
 
After dinner, Jane Spearing, NRCC Director, thanked our major sponsors without which this event couldn’t be held. Thank you to: 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 contributor to the finalist gifts, Zinger Winger official remote launcher supplier, Kent Cartridge official supplier of popper ammunition, and Delta Waterfowlers. In recognition of their contribution to the success of the 2019 National Amateur, Jane presented NRCC pins to Field Trial Chair, Dan Danforth, Field Trial Secretary Laura Danforth, and Field Trial Marshal Rick Regamble. NRCC pins were also presented to the judges, Barry Grundy Western Zone, Chris Mason Eastern Zone and Nolan Nelkenbrecher Western Zone.
 



 
Field Trial Chair, Dan, then thanked the landowners for their generosity in allowing the tests to be held on their properties. These landowners are farmers and ranchers and do not run field trials so we can’t thank them enough. Thanks goes to John & Madonna Kalbhen, Ken & Lorna Usselman, and the Mountainview Hutterite Colony. Dan also wanted to give Glenn & Ilham Norton a special thanks for supplying the handler jackets and a gunner for the week. Numerous local sponsors and contributors provided items for the Silent Auction tables, Element Technical Services sponsored the Workers Party, which was a pig roast. Dan and Laura then presented the host club gifts to the judges. Rick Regamble, Chief Marshal then provided the judges instructions before they were excused for the night so that the serious business of the Calcutta could get underway.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Scenes from the Party
Auctioneer



Rick Regamble


 
Good Times



Good Friends


 
 
 
 
 And New



Old Friends


 
 
Pre-National Team Work



Purina Gives Each Contestant a Bag of Dog Food


 
Reward Offered



 
Contributors



 

Monday July 22, 2019

Hosted by the National Retriever Club of Canada. Daily reports, photos and drawings by Dona Martin

 
 

Brought to you by all of our sponsors

Purina logo  Avery Sporting Dog logo  Tri-tronics logo 
Kent Cartridge logo     Zinger Winger logo         Ducks Unlimited Canada logo

                   
 
 
      
 
The 2019 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, Kent Cartridge official supplier of popper ammunition, and Delta Waterfowlers.

Test 1 - Land Triple With a Retired Gun

Welcome to the running of the 2019 National Amateur hosted by the Alberta Field Trial Club in Keoma Alberta. As is the tradition at our Canadian Nationals, the signalling paddled is passed on from one event to the next. On behalf of the 2018 National, Doug Shepherd Chief Marshal, passed the paddle to one of the 2019 National Amateur judges, Nolan Nelkenbrecher.
 



 
Couldn’t ask for a nicer day to start the event. The skies were sunny and clear. The temperature was 11C which was a welcome change from the heat wave the rest of the country was experiencing. The high was forecast to reach 25C. There was a breeze at 12 km/h out of the South. The test was wide open and run mostly down wind with a slight crosswind from right to left. The marks were thrown in a cut hay field with round bales dotting the landscape and bright yellow canola fields in the background. There was a large uncut island of cover in the middle of the test. However, the lines to the marks did not require the dogs to go through the high grass. The left hand go bird landed at the front edge of the cover, and the line to the middle bird skimmed the right side of the island of cover. The order of the guns was counter clockwise from right to left. The right hand gunners retired. The go bird was a hen mallard and the other 2 marks were both drakes. The 2 outside birds were thrown into the test and the middle bird was thrown left to right so that the middle and right birds were converging. Distances to the marks were 245 yards to the right hand bird, 279 yards to the middle bird and 119 yards to the left hand go bird.
 



 



 
Marlene & Herbie



 
Honorary Test dog, FTCH AFTCH Telgar’s Herbie Fully Loaded is owned by Marlene and Gord Benn and handled by Marlene. Herbie showed the young whipper snappers how it’s done and went directly to his bird. First up was female test dog FTCH Club Mead’s Rebel’s Ms Ruby MH, owned by Stu and Diana Mead and handled by Diana. Diana chose to send Ruby for the middle stand out bird second and had a very good mark. For the right hand mark, Ruby clean hooked the gun station and went directly to the bird. Next up was male test dog Storm Warnings Hellor High Water QFTR owned by Dan & Laura Danforth and handled by Laura. Zap had an excellent go bird. Laura opted to pick up the right hand retired second. Zap took a wide line to the left and initiated his hunt short and to the left before working his way back to the bird. For the middle bird, Zap ran at the guns but corrected to the bird for a very good mark.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Laura & Zap



Diana & Ruby


 
As the test progressed the wind picked up enough to be a factor on the right and center marks. Dogs were drifting backside on the center mark and wide left on the right hand mark. Few dogs were on the proper side of the gun approaching the middle mark. Some dogs thought they were supposed to get in the cover on the way to the middle bird. That can be seen before they were even sent for the bird. For the right hand bird the dogs needed to be deep before they could wind the bird from the left. The hay bales appear to be more of a factor on the right hand mark, with some dogs initiating their hunt short around the first bale they encountered.
 
Gallery



 
Callbacks: All dogs were called back to the 2nd series which will be a Land Blind in the same field as Test 1. Dog 26 starts.
 

Test 2 - Land Blind

Test 2 was a land blind in the same field as Test 1. The mat was moved about 80 yards to the left and slightly forward. The line to the blind was between the right and middle marks, with a crosswind coming off the right hand mark. The 3 hay bales on the right indicate where the right hand gun station and mark were. The field sloped right to left up front with some undulations along the way. A drake mallard was planted in front of a lone hay bale at the brow of the hill. Distance to the blind was 276 yards. The bird planters were hidden over the brow of the hill in a cluster of trees. They used an ATV to facilitate a quick plant.
 



 



 
First up to run was female test dog Ruby, handled by Diana. Ruby had a very good blind with a few whistles to keep her on line. Male test dog Zap started out tight to line but showed the handlers the major pitfall of the blind when he winded the right hand fall. He was wide to the right and ended up going wider. Laura had to whistle him in to gain control and handle to the bird.
Marshals - Doug Shepherd & Rick Regamble



Judges - Barry Grundy, Chris Mason, & Nolan Nelkenbrecher


 
Generally the work was similar with dogs getting left of line and needing a few whistles and casts into the wind to get on line. The scent coming off the right hand fall area didn’t seem to be as big a hazard as was first anticipated. The last dog came off line at 3:00 pm so everyone headed back to Headquarters for callbacks and a little relaxation and socializing.
 
Callbacks: 31 dogs were called back to the 3rd series. Dog 24 was not called back. Test 3 is planned as a water triple at Kalbhen’s. Use the south entrance. Caravan leaves Headquarters at 7:00 am and the route will be signed from Headquarters. Dog 35 starts. Bulrush Budlight of Nighthaven receives an I Ran First hand towel, embroidered by Lisa Williams and a Kong Wubby. Kong Company generously donated some of their products to be given out with the I Ran First towels.
 



 

Tuesday July 23, 2019

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


ASD logo

Test 3 - Water Triple With a Retired Gun

Another sunny morning to start the day. Temperature was 16C but climbed fast. We were under a Heat Warning for later in the day when it reached 33C in the shade. Of course being in the West on a cattle ranch, there was no shade. The test was run pretty well due North, with a slight breeze at 3 km/h across the test from left to right. The edge of the pond was surrounded by cattails with the surrounding area gently rolling hills covered in low sage brush.
 
The order of the guns was, middle retired first, which was a square entry straight across the pond. The right hand mark was thrown second and the short mark on the left at 85 yards was thrown last. For the go bird, a hen mallard was thrown left to right into heavy cattails at the end of a point. Drake mallards were thrown at the other 2 stations. The middle retired was the longest bird at 189 yards and was thrown right to left into the wind. The dogs had to drive up and out of the pond to get the bird. The right hand mark was 148 yards and was thrown left to right out of the test on an elevated point. The bird landed just over the brow.
 



 



 
Female test dog Ruby was up first. Ruby did a good job on the go bird, although the handler couldn’t see the dog in the high cover, only the movement in the cattails. Diana elected to take out the right hand visible second. Ruby had a good line across the pond and went directly to the bird. For the middle retired, Ruby took a line tight backside of the gun station and quickly recovered to go directly to the bird. It appeared that Ruby winded the bird from the wrong side. Next up was Zap. Zap also had an excellent go bird. His line across the pond to the right and mark was excellent. When Zap reached the far side of the pond he hunted along the shore before going up the hill to the bird. Zap had a similar job to Ruby on the middle retired. He went wrong side of the holding blind and appeared to wind the bird to go directly to it. The first dog was called to line at 8:38 am.
 
A Few Sponsors to Acknowledge - Avery, Kent Cartridge, Zinger Winger, and Garmin



 
Notice the Avery tent in the background providing much appreciated shade on this very hot day.
Competitors Planning Their Strategies



Judge Watching Test Dog


 
As the test progressed the temperature rose to 25C. The wind dropped considerably to nothing or 1km/h out of the East. That’s 180 degrees from first thing this morning. For some dogs the pond was like a mirror. Work was good to very good with no dogs getting into trouble at not quite half way.
 
Handlers had to be very careful negotiating the field on the way to line. There were numerous Richardson Ground Squirrel aka “gopher” and badger holes hidden in the grass, just waiting to trip them up.
 



 
There were 8 more dogs to run following the last bird change at 3:30 pm. Lighting conditions had changed and the far shore was less intimidating once it was no longer in shadows. The wind continued to be variable. When the wind picked up and came across the test from right to left, the dogs started out heading for the right hand mark and either faded with the wind or wanted to square across the pond. Regardless of the reason, dogs were starting out for the right and ending up with the middle bird. There were a few pick-ups and handles.
 
Callbacks: 28 dogs were called back to the 4th series which is planned to be land marks. Dogs 6, 11, 13 were not called back.
 

Wednesday July 24, 2019

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


Tri-tronics logo

 

Test 4 - Land Triple With 1 Retired and an Honour

For the 4th series we were back on the expansive Kalbhen ranch. Their generosity in allowing us to use their property was extremely appreciated. The test was run from the top of a hill covered in pungent sage. Made you wonder how much that affected the dogs scenting ability. The mat faced West, directly over top of the center go bird. There were 2 prominent feeder shelters in the middle of the test deep and to the left of the short middle bird with a dirt path going across the test between the feeders. It was interesting to see how they factored into the test. A ditch ran behind the centre mark and across the test following the base of the hill. Tall marsh grass surrounded the ditch on either side. The field beyond was a mix of grazed grass and tall clumps of alfalfa. The cover was quite high to all the birds.
 



 
The order of the guns was right retired at 341 yards, left long at 370 yards and a short middle go bird at 142 yards. The left and right marks were drake mallards, and the middle go bird was a rooster pheasant. All birds were thrown right to left. The rooster was thrown in front of the high marsh grass bordering the ditch and the dogs had to be right on top of it to wind the bird. Once a number of birds were thrown the scent was stronger and the grass around the bird was beaten down. The wind was coming into the test at 22 km/h W. The long left gunners remained visible and the right hand gunners retired. Conditions were sunny with scattered clouds. The wind was forecast to pick up significantly as the morning progressed.
 



 



 
For the test dogs, both long guns retired. First up with female test dog was Rose was Peggy Gardiner. Rose had a good go bird. She was sent for the left mark second and ended up hunting the left shelter before making her way back to the long left mark. Rose took a line to the right of the right hand gun station and hunted just right, before going to the bird. Next up was Zap with Laura handling. Zap had an excellent go bird. Laura sent Zap for the right hand mark second and he curled around the back of the short gun station heading for the right hand shelter and had to be handled. For the left mark, Zap headed for the left shelter and was handled and then helped to the bird. The judges decided not to retire the left mark at that point.
 
The wind picked up and dogs were really having to fight the wind and the wall of cover in the slough on the way to the right hand mark. Once the dog left the mat the cover was so high through the slough and out into the field that it was easy for the dogs to lose their bearings. The dogs got to bouncing through the high cover to try and see where they were going. The feeder shelters proved to be an influence in the test as was the road between them. When the dogs came out of the high cover surrounding the slough, the first thing they saw were the roofs of the feeder shelters.
 
The wind increased to 65 km/h and was so strong that the tents had to be taken down even though they had been anchored and strapped down. There were white caps on the pond behind the line. Dogs were being pushed way right on both the left and right marks and were getting wind saves from 100 - 150 yards away, With 4 dogs to run the judges called a wind delay.
 
The last dog finished running at 3:00 pm. Test 4 was the only series run that day. This gave the chance for all of the workers to finish up early and enjoy themselves at the Workers’ Party.
 
Callbacks: 23 dogs were called back to the 5th series. Dogs called back; 1,2,4,7,8,9,10,12,14,16,21,23,25,26,28,29,30,31,34,35,36,37,38. The 5 dogs not called back were; 5,18,19,22,27. The 5th series will be a land blind with dog 12 starting.

Workers’ Party

And what a party. Sponsored by Element Technical Services and catered by All Seasons Pig Roast and Catering. Dinner was good down home cooking with roast pig and all the trimmings.
 



 
After dinner we had a big time with the Gunfighter Western Stunt Club entertaining us with a good ole fashion shoot em up. Contestant, Dan Vaughan was abducted by gunslingers for stealing a horse and was going to be hanged until the sheriff stepped in to save him and shoot all of the bad guys. Great entertainment.
Horse Thief



Gun Slingers


 
The Hanging Tree



The Undertaker


 
Marshals Doug Shepherd, Rick Regamble, David Danforth,



 
Judges



Starting off with Field Trial Chair, Dan Danforth thanked everyone who participated in making the 2019 National Amateur a success. I mean everybody. It takes a village. Starting with the landowners who generously allowed us to use their land. Thank you to John & Madonna Kalbhen, Ken & Lorna Usselman, and the Mountainview Hutterite Colony. Dan thanked all of the club members, field trialers from all over Alberta and British Columbia, contestants and spouses of contestants that helped with setup, decorating the hall, hospitality, lunches, meals, Silent Auction, or gunned and threw. NRCC pins were presented to each and every worker present. And a special thanks the Dan & Laura Danforth for their hard work in the front lines and behind the scenes.
 
Thank you to our sponsors and local contributors to the Silent Auction. Thank you to Purina, Avery Sporting Dog, Garmin, Zinger Winger, Kent Cartridge and Ducks Unlimited, and local contributors Glenn & Ilham Norton, Tyler Evans and Kevin Cheff. Sharon van der Lee won the Pro 550 collar donated by Garmin. Zinger Winger holding blind and winger were big money earners in the Silent Auction as were numerous art pieces donated by field trialers and club members. Thank you.
 
Silent Auction



Xavier - Hired for the week by Glenn Norton




 

Thursday July 25, 2019

Test 5 - Land Blind With a Dry Shot

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

 
Thursday morning contestants awoke to cooler weather, 13C, which was a welcome relief from Tuesday’s heat. The temperature was forecast to climb to about 25C. With the wind from the west at 19-29 km/h it did not feel too hot. Skies were sunny and clear. Breakfast was sponsored by Purina, our official dog food sponsor and now people food.
Pancakes & Fruit



Enjoying Breakfast


 
Ready Set Go
 



 
For Test 5 we were back in the same field as Test 4. The line was moved down the hill and to the left so that the line to the blind crossed all 3 lines to the marks. The gunner station from the go bird remained and became a dry shot. Distance to the gunners was 130 yards, but they could not be seen by the dogs from the mat. Distance to the blind was 197 yards with a road crossing the line at 60 yards. The gunners and road were in a dip between the blind and the running line. The mat was below the brow of a hill, so it essentially was a no see um blind. The begining of the blind was through a mixture of alfalfa and grass, with the end of the blind up hill in sage. Handlers could move up to a ribbon to handle once the dog past the ribbon. They could not stop the dog and move forward until after they cast. Wind was slightly downwind across the test from left to right.
 
View From the Ribbon



View From the Mat


 



 
The test went really fast. In just about an hour most of the dogs had run. Generally work was similar with no one having great difficulty.
 
Callbacks: 22 dogs were called back to the 6th series. Dog 30 was not called back. Test 6 will be a water blind and dog 25 starts.

Test 6 - Water Blind

Test 6 was a 220 yard water blind. The correct line was over the first point at 140 yards and past the 2nd point. The land entry was about 80 yards and the bird was placed at the edge of the pond on the far shore. There were cattails all along the shore. The cattails on the point had been cut down to enable visibility. There was romping water approaching and leaving the point. There was a strong (28-42 km/h) on shore crosswind, slightly downwind as well.
 



 



 
First up was male test dog Eromit Casper's Shadow, owned and handled by Dan Vaughan. Shadow immediately headed right on his initial line to avoid the water. He needed a cast into the wind which he didn’t take so the judges asked that he be called back and resent. On his 2nd try, Shadow had a better initial line, requiring a few casts before the water to get on line. Once in the water, he was out of sight behind the cattails for the count of 16 before Dan could handle. When he saw him, he was headed right into the bay before the point and needed a few casts into the wind to stay on line. Shadow was in romping water before and after the point. He had a good line through the last bit of water, but got loose in the cattails at the end of the blind. At the time the male test dog ran, the blind was about 12 yards uphill through cattails so the handler couldn’t see their dog. After the male test dog ran, the cattails in front of the pond were thinned and shortened so handlers could see their dogs sooner, a patch of cattails were cut at the end of the blind and the drake mallard was placed at the shore. The line was moved slightly right to ensure there was no mistaking the requirement to get on the first point. Female test dog Brook, with Laura handling took a couple of casts to get in the water on line, and a number of casts to negotiate the points and finish the blind.
 
Callbacks: 18 dogs called back to the 7th series. Dogs called back; 1,2,4,7,8,9,12,14,21,23,25,26,28,29,34,35,36,37. Dogs not called back; 10, 16, 31, 38. Test 7 will be a water triple and dog 34 starts.

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

Test 7 was a water triple with 2 retired guns and an honour to the right of line. There was a side hill entry for all 3 birds. The marks were run across a bay off a larger pond. A thick cattail border surrounded the bay. Drakes were thrown for all 3 marks. The order of the guns was right, centre left. The right hand mark was the longest at 300 yards. The middle bird was next at 257 yards and the short left go bird was 187 yards. The right and middle birds were converging and were thrown tight angle back into mixed sage, alfalfa and grass. The go bird was thrown right to left out of the test. The bird landed in marsh grass at the base of a steep dirt bank. There was a road between the centre and right hand marks coming from behind the center gun station and crossing the end of the pond.
 



 



 
We had a change of test dogs for this test. First up was male test dog FTCH AFTCH Hard Road Jack with owner/handler Hope Roberts. Deuce had an excellent go bird with a good line along the slope of the hill and across the pond to the bird. Hope chose to take the middle bird out 2nd. Again Deuce held his line along the side hill and across the pond. At the last minute he went left of the holding blind and hooked around to go directly to the bird for a very good mark. For the long right hand bird, Deuce took an initial line high along the ridge then dropped down to square across the pond. He took a good angle across the road and went directly to the bird for another excellent mark. Next up was female test dog Emmy Lou's La Express owned by Gord & Marlene Benn and handled by Marlene. For the go bird, Emmy crossed the pond in line with the gunners, went deep under the arc to the top of the bank and then came down to pick up her bird. For her second bird Marlene chose to send her for the long right hand mark so the handlers could see something different. Emmy held her line along the side hill, and then squared across the end of the pond. On exit she curled left and ended up behind the holding blind for the middle station and quickly came around to get her bird. When Emmy was resent for the right hand bird, she stayed high on the slope and swam along the near side of the pond before exiting at the end. This took her wide right of the right hand station where she initiated her hunt, eventually working her way over to the bird. The test took about 16 minutes per dog.
 
BIG White Decoy. Who would have guessed there are pelicans in Alberta



 
Callbacks: 14 dogs were called back to the 8th series. Dogs called back; 1,2,4,8,9,12,14,21,23,26,29,34,35,37. 4 dogs were not called back; 7,25,28,36. Test 8 is planned to be a land quad at Usselman’s, with dog 1 starting.
 

Friday July 26, 2019

Test 8 - Land Quad With 3 Retired Guns

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


Avery Sporting Dog logo

 
Another beautiful sunny day. Temperature to start was 14C and forecast to climb to 28C. The judgers decided to shorten the test before the test dogs were called to line out of concern for the dogs in the heat. With only 14 dogs to run, it still got pretty hot before the test concluded. Purina generously sponsored breakfast for all the contestants and workers. Fresh fruit, pancakes, sausages and of course coffee. Thank you to our major sponsor Nestlé Purina, official dog food sponsor to the National and National Amateur.
 
For Test 8 we returned to the same hay field where Test 1 was run. The line to the left hand gun station was directly due North and the wind was coming out of the South at 5-7 km/h. Round bales were scattered across the field. A swath of uncut grass ran across the test. The left, middle left and long middle right were all thrown right to left. The short right go bird was thrown out of the test from left to right. Distances to the marks were; left 249 yards, middle left 172 yards, long middle right 295 yards and the right hand go bird was 90 yards. The middle left shot first, long middle right 2nd, left 3rd, and a big swing over to the right for the last. Rooster pheasants were thrown for the 2 outside marks and drake mallards were thrown for the 2 inside marks. The right hand go bird was thrown angled back left to right to land in front of the high cover of the slough. The middle left check down bird was thrown right to left to land in the high cover of the slough. The long middle right bird was thrown right to left into the hedgerow cover. The line to that bird was through the heavy cover of the slough, to the right of the middle left holding blind. The left hand bird was also throw right to left into an island of high grass interspersed with poplar trees.
 



 



 
We had a change of test dogs for Test 8. First up was male test dog Tia's Ebony Pirate Blade, owned and handled by Colette Prefontaine. The descriptions of how the test dogs do is meant to give you and idea of what to expect from the running dogs. This is not always the case when conditions change, lighting, wind, scent, drag back scent can all change dramatically as the test progresses. For the go bird on the right, Blade had an excellent line to the mark, jumped over the bird into the high cover and immediately recovered to pick up his mark. Colette chose to send Blade for the left retired second. Blade had an excellent line to the bird, jumped in the cover and came back with the bird. The handler could see the dog in the high grass surrounding the bird. For Blade’s third bird, he headed out on a line to the long right mark, but broke down in the high grass in the slough to the right of the middle left gun station. He put up a substantial hunt on the wrong side of the middle left gun station before hunting his way to the bird. Having used up his line to the long middle right mark, Blade took a line wide and to the right of the long middle right gun station. He hunted short in front of the cover and not wide enough to get the bird before disappearing into the cover along the hedgerow and coming out with the bird. Next up was FTCH AFTCH Grousebusters No Fear No Mercy, owned and handled by Lois Aitken. Lois was asked to try to pick up the middle left retired second. Mercy had an excellent go bird. Lois sent Mercy for the middle left retired but Mercy wanted nothing to do with that and went for the long middle right retired. She entered the cover under the arc, and hunted over to the bird. When resent for the middle left, Mercy wanted to get the left bird, so she started heading for the middle left and very quickly changed her line to head wrong side of the island of cover of the left hand mark. Mercy hunted deep of the island out of sight and then appeared going across the gap between the island and the slough. She eventually worked it out. When she was sent for the middle left for the third time, she took a line just to the left of the bird as she entered the cover in the slough. She went a little deep and the came back into retriever her bird. It will be interesting to see how the test evolves for the running dogs.
Scenes from the Gallery



Burgers for lunch


 
Callbacks: 12 dogs were called back to the 9th series. Dogs called back; 2,4,8,9,12,14,21,26,29,34,35,37. Dogs not called back 1,23. Test 9 will be a water blind with dog 9 starting.

Test 9 - Waterblind

The water blind was run from the top of a hill, downhill with a slight left to right slope, crossing a road at 32 yards, entering the water at 60 yards, through a border of cattails. The dog then had to skim past a point on the right at 116 yards, and then a point on the left to the bird at 160 yards. There are very high cattails on both points. The left hand mark from the 7th series was behind the right hand point. A few decoys were strategically placed in the area where the bird landed. There was a high dirt bank to the right and behind the blind on the far shore. The bird was placed at the shore. It was 26C, sunny with a slight breeze from the south at 11-17 km/h. The sun was behind the handler and later dogs had difficulty seeing the handler. The shortest route to land was straight across to the first point into the cattails.
 



 



 
Male test dog was once again Blade with Colette at the helm. Blade needed one whistle before the water because he fell off the hill a bit and Colette wanted him to enter the water on line. He had a few whistles across to the first point and then took the cast at the point all the way to the far shore, just right of the bird. Colette stopped him and put him on the bird. It was romping water from the first point to the bird. Next up was Marlene with Emmy. Marlene gave Emmy a whistle near the shore to put her on line because she was entering a bit fat. Emmy took her cast to heart so she needed another whistle immediately to put her on line. She had a few casts to the point so she didn’t take too much of the point. She took a good cast to skim the point. Marlene was asked to blow her whistle while Emmy was in the romping water to see if she could hear it. She did. And then finished the blind.
 
Blade & Colette



 

Handlers planning they’re route


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The Judges are in the Drivers Seat
 



 
The last dog came off line at 4:30. Everyone headed to Headquarters to wait for callbacks and the announcement of the Finalists.
 
Callbacks: 9 dogs were called back to the 10th series. Dogs called back are: 2,4,8,9,12,14,21,26,37. Dogs not called back 29,34,35. Dog 21 will start the Test 10 which is planned as a Water Quad.

Saturday July 27, 2019

Test 10 - Water Quad With 3 Retired Guns

 
 

Brought to you by all of our sponsors

Purina logo  Avery Sporting Dog logo  Tri-tronics logo 
Kent Cartridge logo     Zinger Winger logo         Ducks Unlimited Canada logo

                   
 
 
      
The 2019 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 for providing hats and jackets, Garmin official e-collar supplier. Garmin provides bibs and contributes financially. Thank you as well to Ducks Unlimited Canada for their contribution towards the finalist gifts, Zinger Winger official remote launcher and holding supplier, and Delta Waterfowlers for supplying worker hats.
 
Final day of the 2019 National Amateur. The morning was overcast with a temperature of 17C, forecast to rise the 28C by late afternoon. The wind was 15-23 SW km/h. We returned to the Kalbhen ranch for the 10th series. Thank you once again to Nestlé Purina for supplying breakfast to all the workers and competitors. The running line was close to the long left retired mark from the 4th test and the near shore of the pond was the right shoreline from the 6th series water blind. The lines to all of the marks, crossed the line to the earlier water blind. The pond was surrounded by a border of cattails. A mixture of alfalfa and grass cover the area around the running line. There is a rock island in the pond between the long middle left and the short middle right. The test was run due North, North East from a knoll on one side of the pond, across to a large hill on the other. The long right and middle left marks were close to the top of the hill and the short middle right and left marks were closer to the shore. All birds were thrown on land, across the pond. There were substantial swims so the test took about a half hour per dog. The order of the guns was long right, long middle left, middle right and then left. Distances to the marks were; 331 yards to the long right, 256 yards to the middle right, 342 yards to the long middle left and 216 yards to the left go bird. Drake mallards were thrown for the 2 short marks and hen mallards were thrown for the 2 long marks. All gunners retired except for the go bird. The holding blinds for the retired gun stations were quite obvious against the homogenous sage covered hillside. A few small bushes were placed on the hill side but didn’t appear to be enough to distract the dogs. With the heavy cover bordering the pond and the drive up hill, the holding blinds for the retired guns were probably less obvious from the far side of the pond and the base of the hill.
 



 



 
Emmy & Marlene



 
To give you and the handlers an idea of what to expect from the dog work, a male and a female test dog are run. Male test dog was Blade with owner handler Colette Prefontaine. For the left hand go bird, Blade exited the pond in line with the gun station and corrected to go directly to the bird. Colette chose to send Blade to the short middle right retired, second. Blade had a good initial line across the pond and then curled into the holding blind. He made a brief loop on the wrong side and then went directly to the bird. Blade was sent to the long right retired third. He took an initial line way right towards a point on the near shore and then popped. He was handled around the point and then cut across the pond and drove up the hill the right side of the holding blind and then looped over to the left to get his bird. For the long middle left retired, Blade started off positively with a good line across the pond. He broke down beside the left hand visible gun station and had to be handled up the hill to the bird. Marlene and Emmy ran next. They had identical work to the male test dog. Good go bird and short middle right retired, popped and handled on near side point and broke down beside the left gun station when sent for the long middle left retired. The wind picked up significantly after the test dogs ran. Dogs had to fight to wind to stay on line to the long right and long middle left birds. Some faded with the wind, others held their lines. The long swims proved to be exhausting for the dogs and was definitely a factor in their success as was the length of time the dogs had to remember their marks.