Thursday July 25, 2019

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

Test 5 - Land Blind With a Dry Shot

Updated: 9:50 am
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 awoke to cooler weather, 13C, which is a welcome relief from Tuesday’s heat. The temperature is forecast to climb to about 25C. With the wind from the west at 19-29 km/h it should feel too hot. Skies are sunny and clear. Breakfast this morning is sponsored by Purina, our official dog food sponsor and now people food.
Pancakes & Fruit

Enjoying Breakfast

Ready Set Go

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

View From the Mat


The test is going really fast. In just about an hour most of the dogs have run. Generally work has been 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

Updated: 11:55 am
Test 6 is a 220 yard water blind. The correct line is over the first point at 140 yards and past the 2nd point. The land entry is about 80 yards and the bird is placed at the edge of the pond on the far shore. There are cattails all along the shore. The cattails on the point have been cut down to enable visibility. There is romping water approaching and leaving the point. There is 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 ititial line, avoiding 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 ititial line, requiring a few casts beore 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, and 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 not mistaking the reuirement 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 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

Update: 4:15 pm
Test 7 is a water triple with 2 retired guns and an honour to the right of line. There is a side hill entry for all 3 birds. The marks are being run in a bay off a larger pond. A thick cattail border surrounds the bay. Drakes are thrown for all 3 marks. The order of the guns is right, centre left. The right hand mark is the longest at 300 yards. The middle bird is next at 257 yards and the short left go bird is 187 yards. The right and middle birds are converging and are thrown tight angle back into mixed sage, alfalfa and grass. The go bird is thrown right to left out of the test. The bird lands in marsh grass at the base of a steep dirt bank. There is 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 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. The the long right hand bird, Deuce was 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. 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 hunting over to the bird. It took about 16 minutes per dog, so do the math. The test will take 6 hours with one bird change,and the first running dog got underway around 3:40 pm.
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.