Tuesday July 10, 2018

Updated: 5:10 pm

 

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Test 4 - Water Triple with 2 Rtired Guns and Honor

Updated: 5:10 pm
 
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.
 
Callbacks: 41 dogs were called back to the 5th series. Dog 15 was not called back. A water blind is planned for Test 5. Dog 43 starts.