Sunday July 8, 2018

Updated: 5:40 pm
 
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Hosted by the National Retriever Club of Canada. Daily reports, photos and drawings by Dona Martin
 
 

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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

Updated: 5:40 pm
 
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.
 
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As the test progresses, the wind has picked up to 33 km/hr but has remained consitently Southwest. The middle bird continues to give the handlers grief and have to handle. Many of the dogs that have done the left mark successfully have cheated the pond to the right, whereas the dogs that have taken the water typically end up back siding the gunners. We are coming down to the last few dogs.
 
Callbacks: 44 dogs were called back to the 2nd series. Dogs not called back; 8, 16, 18, 24, 29, 38, 48. Test 2 is planned to be another land triple with dog 9 starting.