2010 National Retriever Championship

September 20-25, 2010
Merritt, British Columbia
National logo

Host Club

BC Amateur Field Trial Club
Field Trial Chairman: Graham Tyler
Field Trial Secretary: Jane Spearing

Judges

Tom Hawley, Eastern Zone, Richard Dresser, Southern Ontario Zone, John McBride, Central Zone

 

 

Winner 2010 Canadian National Retriever Championship

 

FC AFC Taylorlab Calumet’s Big Blue, Owners Sharon and Harold Gierman, Handler Sharon Gierman


NFTCH FC AFC Taylorlab Calumet's Big Blue with owner Sharon Gierman

 

Finalists


Phot of Finalists

Left to right: Kenny Trott, Rick Regamble, Colin McNichol, Dan DeVos, Daniel Shnitka, Sharon Gierman, Todd Fournier, Ray Smith
Missing: Jim Swanson, Kevin Cheff

 

 7 FTCH AFTCH Walk on the Wild Side, Owner/Handler Jim Swanson

14 Mr. Oliver D Place, Owner Grady Peacock, Handler Kenny Trott

19 FTCH Riveroak Turn Me Loose, Owner Norm Elder, Handler Colin McNichol

23 Castile Creeks Rivers Ripple, Owners Daniel Shnitka & Birgit Juergensen, Handler Daniel Shnitka

24 FC AFC Taylorlab Calumet’s Big Blue, Owners Sharon and Harold Gierman, Handler Sharon Gierman

41 Wingbusters Skys the Limit, Owner/Handler Todd Fournier

42 After Five, Owner Jim Dorobek, Handler Ray Smith

56 FTCH Downtown Smacken Around, Owner Donna Woolham, Handler Dan DeVos

62 FC FTCH LKY’s Controlled Burn, Owners Brad and Diane Clow, Handler Kenny Trott

63 FTCH AFTCH She’s Gonna Rip, Owner Bobby Lindsay, Handler Rick Regamble

68 FTCH Sloan of Sweetwater, Owner/Handler Ray Smith

70 FTCH AFTCH Pilkington Casper of Mt Granite, Owner Gerry Burmaster, Handler Kevin Cheff

 

Monday September 20

This year, the 2010 Canadian National Retriever Championship was held in Merritt, British Columbia, located in the Nicola Valley, where the Nicola and Coldwater Rivers meet. The surrounding hills were mostly grasslands, resembling dry desert-like conditions.

Test 1 and 2 - Land Triple with a Retired Gun and Land Blind

Tests 1 and 2 were run back-to-back. The steep rolling hills and valleys were covered with sparse vegetation consisting of crested reed grass and sage brush. Test 1 was a Land Triple with a retired centre gun. The retired centre gun threw first, followed by the long left gun and then the right. All birds were thrown right to left. Keep in mind that the distances provided for all of the tested were as the crow flies, not as the dog runs up hill and down. That being said, the long left gun was 180 yards, the centre retired gun was 145 yards and the short right go bird was 95 yards. A mixed bag was thrown. The right go bird was a hen mallard, the centre retired was a cock pheasant and the long left was a drake mallard. A hen mallard was planted at the blind. The holding blind for the centre retired gun was located in a valley below the brow of the hill and wasn't visible from line.

Test 1 - Land Triple with Retired Gun


Test 1

 
Test 2 Land Blind


Test 2

 

Honorary Test Dog, Elmino's Pacific Eider, owned and handled by John Hatfield stated the 2010 National, followed by Diana Beatty with her female test dog, Erinhill's Aurora Borealis (Rory). Willie Taylor ran male test dog, FTCH Trimarc's Coal Dusty, owned by Dixie Lane. Rory had a problem with the retired gun and needed to be handled when it appeared she was leaving the area and heading for the long gun. The 2nd test dog did a good job.

Female Test Dog Lil, owned and handled by Diana Beatty.

Diana and Lil
Male Test Dog Dusty, owned by Dixie Lane and handled by Willie Taylor

Willie and Dusty
 
Test 1 and 2 Drawing


Test 1 Drawing

At 8:05 am, the test got underway. The first test got lots of answers. Even with seemingly perfect lines to the bird, dogs drove deep and didn't acknowledge the retired gun station and had to be handled. As well, the conditions were less than favorable. The rain was relentless, causing the Grounds Committee to put down wood chips along the path to the test in an attempt to make the hike up the hill less treacherous.

 
Trek up the slippery slope


Slippery trek to line

 
Gallery attempting to stay dry under Purina tent

Test 1 gallery
Are we having fun yet?


Test 1 contestants

 
Hanging out the laundry


Drying wet clothes

 

Callbacks: 64 dogs were called back to Test 3. Dogs no longer in contention: 11, 12, 18, 39, 64, 69.

West Coast Dinner

After a long wet day, contestants were treated to some West Coast hospitality complete with smoked salmon for starters and an abundance of frresh halibut, salmon and tuna. Time to compare notes and dog work.


Buffet line

Enjoying good company
 
 

Good times


 
 

Good conversation

Planning for Day 2

 

Tuesday September 21

The caravan left headquarters early for a 30 minute drive south east to the picturesque Kane Valley Ranch, nestled among rolling hills and mountain meadows. Through the fog, free range cattle were seen along the winding road and some contestants noticed snow on the mountain peaks.

Test 3 - Water Triple with Retired Gun and an Honor

Test 3 was a water triple with an honor and the centre gun retired. The order of the guns was right, centre, left. The long right gun was 145 yards and threw a drake mallard from left to right into some sparse marsh grass out in the lake. From line it appeared as an island bird The centre retired gun at 115 yards, threw a drake mallard from right to left and the go bird was also thrown right to left. The left go bird was 100 yards. The running line was on a hill overlooking the end of a small mountain lake and the test was through marsh grass with very little swimming water. Only the right hand bird was thrown into swimming water. A creek meandered across the middle of the test in front of the retired gun and behind the go bird. 

Test 3


Test 3

Female test dog Rory demonstrated the pitfalls of the test and needed to be handled on the retired gun. Dusty did a good job on all three birds and by the time the first dog was called to line the fog had pretty well dissipated.

Handlers working out their game plan for Test 3


Test 3 contestants

Test 3 Diagram


Test 3 diagram

As the test progressed, the wind swirled from all directions making it difficult for handlers to know which side of the bird to aim for. As a result, the judges got answers on all 3 birds with handles, switches, and some good work. With daylight fading, the test was called with 6 dogs yet to run.

Gallery trying to stay warm

Test 3 gallery
Judge and Handler waiting for decoys to return

Test 3 judge and contestant

 

Wednesday September 22

Test 3 - Continued

Contestants woke up to a heavy frost and ice on the puddles. There was no wind and as a result, a heavy fog delayed the test which finally got underway at 8:30 am. The last dog completed the test at 9:30 am. Work was similar to the day before with a few handles and some dogs doing it.

Test 3 in the fog


Test 3 fog

Callbacks: 51 dogs were called back to the 4th series. Dogs called back: 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 14, 15, 16, 17, 19, 21, 22, 23, 24, 27, 29, 30, 32, 33, 34, 38, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 56, 57, 59, 60, 62, 63, 65, 66, 68, 70, 71, 72.

Test 4 - Water Blind

Test 4 was a 200 yard water blind downhill, along a trail leading down to a small mountain lake. The trail broke to the left and the line to the blind diverged through some brush, into the water. The bird planters were located around a point out of sight in some cattails.

Test 4:


Test 4 water blind

Test 4 Drawing


Test 4 drawing

Test 4 was a 200 yard water blind downhill, along a trail leading down to a small mountain lake. The trail broke to the left and the line to the blind diverged through some brush, into the water. The bird planters were located around a point out of sight in some cattails.

Gallery enjoying the warmth of the sun


Test 4 gallery

Callbacks: 39 dogs were called back to the 5th series. Dogs called back: 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 10, 14, 15, 16, 17, 19, 21, 22, 23, 24, 30, 32, 33, 34, 38, 41, 42, 43, 45, 46, 48, 50, 52, 53, 54, 56, 59, 62, 63, 65, 66, 68, 70, 71. Dog 62 will start Test 5.

Workers’ Party

After a long day, the workers and contestants were treated to a hot beef dinner, done to perfection. Major sponsor Purina, provided numerous items that were bought at the Silent Auction, in addition to the workers' gifts. The Silent Auction provided the host club with greatly needed funds to put on a successful National. Thunder Equipment, Tritronics, Ducks Unlimited Canada, and local businesses, Hoiss Point Lodge and MTStudio all contributed to a successful event. A special thanks was given to Scott Robertson and Murray Motors for donating the Yukon XLT used by the judges to get around for the week. Judge, Richard Dresser spent the week trying to figure out how to get the SUV back to Ontario without anyone noticing.

Field Trial Chairman, Graham Tyler, thanked the many club members and field trialers who worked behind the scenes to ensure a successful event. Workers acknowledged were Rod and Marcie Spence, Jane Spearing, Karen and Nolan Nelkenbrecher, Daniel Schnitka and Birgit Juergensen, Jerome So, Debby and Ian Mongomery, Cheryl Young, Jim Swanson, Bruce Macdonald, Peter Brunold, Marlene and Gord Benn, Marcy Wright, Rick Regamble, Marg Murray, Elaine Gill, Todd Fournier, Doug and Brenda Richmond, and contestants that helped out gunning and throwing each test.

The raffle table was a big hit and wouldn't you know, judge John McBride held the first ticket drawn and shortly after had another winning ticket.

Checking out items on the Silent Auction table

Silent auction
Selling Raffle tickets

Selling raffle tickets
 
 
Enjoying the comraderie


Workers party conversation

 

Thursday September 23

Contestants woke up to a cool overcast day, but, in the mountains it was significantly colder.
 

Test 5 - Land Quad with 2 Retired Guns and an Honor

Test 5 was a Land Quad with the centre left and long centre right guns retired. Ducks were thrown at all stations with the long right retired gun throwing drakes. All other stations threw hens. The order was long right centre, left centre, outside left and then right. The 2 outside guns threw right to left. The 2 centre retired guns threw left to right. Distances varied from the long retired gun at 205 yards, the short retired gun at 125 yards, the left outside gun at 155 yards and the go bird at 60 yards.

Test 5 panorama


Test 5 - Land Quad

After Judge Richard knighted Judge John, sir knight of the paddle table so that he could officially signal the guns, the test was ready to get underway. Female test dog, Millpond's Mulligan, owned and handled by Jane Spearing had difficulty with the long right retired gun where she split the difference between the 2 retired guns, disappeared over the ridge and showed up in the fall area of the left visible gun. She was then handled over to the right retired. Willie Taylor and Dusty did a good job. He picked up the left retired gun second and the long right retired gun third, leaving the left visible to the last. It seemed to work so many handlers followed his example.

Sir John, Knight of the Paddle Table

Knighting Sir John
Judges surveying the test before the start

Judges setting up the test
 
 
Jane and Mulligan

Jane and Mulligan
Handlers looking on

Contestants watching the test dog
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Test 5 Drawing


Test 5 drawing

Later in the test, the wind switched, changing the test significantly and causing many dogs to hook the right retired gun. It also became very difficult to take out the left visible without winding the left centre retired. The sun was mostly behind clouds so no particular gun station stood out unless of course you counted the short go bird.

Free range cattle

Cattle
Ranch horses near the test site

Horses and scenery
 

Callbacks: All dogs were called back.

 

Test 6 - Land Blind with a Dry Shot

The 6th series was a 260 yard Land Blind with a dry shot. The dry shot and a bucket of birds were located to the right and up wind of the line to the blind, in a clearing between two patches of brush and could not be seen from line. The proper line to the blind started off with a side hill angle down along the bushes that obscured the dry gun station. The line crossed what appeared to be a short grass trail and then diverged out into a flat field with sparse marsh grass and various clumps of vegetation to entice the dogs off line. Up the hill to the left, about 3/4 of the way out was the location of the right hand retired gun station from the previous.

Test 6


Test 6

 
Test 6 Drawing


Test 6 drawing

Both test dogs had a lot of difficulty casting into the wind. A third test dog was called into action and completed the blind successfully, but not before the handlers were shown the pitfalls of the test.

Callbacks: 33 dogs were called back. Dogs called back: 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 10, 14, 15, 17, 19, 21, 22, 23, 24, 33, 34, 38, 41, 42, 46, 48, 50, 52, 53, 56, 59, 62, 63, 65, 66, 68, 70, 71.

Test 7 - Water Triple with Retired Gun ??

At the end of the day, a water triple with a retired gun was set up. However, the judges decided to call it a day when both test dogs were unsuccessful and there wasn't time enough to run another test dog and some competing dogs.

Friday September 24

Contestants woke up to a sunny day in Merritt at 7oC. Of course its colder in the mountains but there is no frost this morning. We are back up at Kane Lake and have moved to the Nicola Ranch for the 7th series. Estimates on water temperature are in the 40’s farenheit.

Test 7 - Water Triple with Retired Gun

The test wasn't changed from the night before, so Test 7 was a water triple with the centre gun retired. Estimates on water temperature were in the low 40's Fahrenheit. The centre retired gun fired twice. The centre gun was thrown angle back along the shoreline, right to left. The right hand gun fired second and threw right to left as well. The left go bird was thrown left to right from a boat onto a hard grassy point. The retired gun threw drakes, and the other stations threw hens. Distances were 335 yards to the retired gun, 160 yards to the right hand gun and 100 yards to the left go bird. The long retired gun was definitely a courage bird with the wind angling in and onshore from left to right. One of the judges was overheard saying that any dog that does the long retired gun deserved to win a National.

Test 7


Test 7

Test 7 Drawing


Test 7 drawing

As the test progressed, the wind switched, coming in from right to left. Many dogs didn't get in the water for the right hand bird and ran the road around the pond. That didn't bode well for the long swim on the retired gun. In fact on the way to the retired gun, many dogs beached early and hunted short resulting in a number of handles and huge hunts. The work didn't change through the test, only the degree at which the dog went to land and the amount of hunting on land thereafter. FINALLY, 2 dogs in a row demonstrated the courage needed to stay in the cold water for that long swim, and went out and hammered the test. The gallery was suitably impressed and a big cheer acknowledged the excellent effort.

Die hard gallery trying to stay warm and watch dog work

Test 7 gallery
A few empty seats vacated by those seeking refuge in a warm truck

More Test 7 gallery
Judges sheltered behind wind break

Test 7 judges
Waiting to go to line

Test 7 contestants

 

Callbacks: 18 dogs were called back. Dogs called back: 6, 7, 14, 15, 19, 22, 23, 24, 34, 41, 42, 46, 56, 62, 63, 65, 68, 70.

Test 8 - Water Blind ?

Two test dogs were run on the water blind. Neither test dog ran the blind successfully so the judges decided to wait until Saturday morning to set their test.

Saturday September 25

Breakfast was again provided compliments of Purina, The official dogfood sponsor of the National. We are fortunate to have sponsors such as Tritronics, official e-collar sponsor, Thunder Equipment, official shotgun simulator sponsor, Dogs Afield, official supplier of the ammunition used at the National and National Amateur, Entry Express, official online entry service for the National and National Amateur, Ducks Unlimited Canada, provides the finalist trophies, and Connie Swanson who will be providing an original painting of the winner of the National Amateur and the National.

Test 8 - Water Blind

Contestants were finally greeted to beautiful Fall weather for the final day of the 2010 Canadian National Retriever Championship.

The judges decided to run a different water blind from the night before and Test 8 ended up as a 215 yard water blind with a downhill land entry of 80 yards.

Test 8 - Water Blind


Test 8

 
Test 8 Drawing


Test 8 drawing

The first test dog ran with next to no wind. Ron Addlington With FTCH AFTCH RDC's Jazztime Trips Ink Spot did a good job on the blind and Nolan Nelkenbrecher with FTCH AFTCH Churn Creek Chaser also did a good job. Good enough that the judges decided to add the dry shot with a bucket of birds, to the right and upwind. A third test dog, Revilo's at Full Tilt owned and handled by Marcy Wright had a bit more trouble once the dry shot was added and the wind started to pick up. By the time the first dog came to line, there was a steady crosswind. As the wind came up so did the number of whistles.

Handlers and judges before the test


Test 8 contestants

 
Gallery watching the 8th series

Test 8 gallery

More gallery watching Test 8

 

Callbacks: 17 dogs were called back. Dogs called back: 6, 7, 14, 15, 19, 23, 24, 34, 41, 42, 46, 56, 62, 63, 65, 68, 70.

Test 9 - Land Quad with 2 Retired Guns

For the 9th series, the judges set up a land quad with the 2 centre guns retired. Both retired guns threw cock pheasants. The order of the guns was around the clock with the long left, boat bird thrown first. The dogs were run from a ridge that gave them a good vantage point to see all the birds thrown but changed their perspective once they got down to water level. The long left gun was thrown right to left into heavy cover, out in the water. The centre left gun was thrown right to left as well. Both right hand marks were thrown left to right. The short go bird was 140 yards and landed between some logs. The line to the right retired bird was very tight to the go bird gunners but was up hill and deep at 220 yards. The left centre retired was thrown along the cover at 210 yards and the boat bird was 260 yards.

Test 9


Test 9

Test 9 Drawing


Test 9 drawing

Initially, dogs were having difficulty picking out the boat bird in the glare on the pond. Later, the right retired gunners appeared to be backlit. The wind was quite gusty and the judges got answers on all four birds. Some dogs ended up at the right retired when they were sent for the left retired and then had problems when resent for the left retired. Very few dogs did the test without a handle or a big hunt.

Callbacks: The finalists called back to the 10th series were: 14, 19, 23, 24, 41, 42, 56, 62, 63, 68, 70.

Test 10 - Water Triple with a Retired gun

The 10th test was a water triple with the long centre gun retired. The short go bird was REALLY short. One dog broke. The order of the guns was, centre retired first, right and then the short left gun. The go bird was the left gun thrown left to right into some cattails. The right bird was thrown right to left behind a log, and the centre retired gun was thrown downhill, left to right. Most of the dogs did well.

Test 10


Test 10

Test 10 Drawing


Test 10 drawing

Handlers and Judges before 10th series


Test 10 judges and handlers

 

Awards Ceremony for Finalists

FTCH AFTCH Walk on the Wild Side, Owner/Handler Jim Swanson

Jim Swanson and Gord Benn
14 Mr. Oliver D Place, Owner Grady Peacock, Handler Kenny Trott
62 FC FTCH LKY’s Controlled Burn, Owners Brad and Diane Clow
Handler Kenny Trott

Kenny Trott and Gord Benn
19 FTCH Riveroak Turn Me Loose, Owner Norm Elder
Handler Colin McNichol

Colin McNichol and Gord Benn
23 Castile Creeks Rivers Ripple, Owners Daniel Shnitka & Birgit Juergensen
Handler Daniel Shnitka

Daniel Shnitka and Gord Benn
24 FC AFC Taylorlab Calumet’s Big Blue, Owners Sharon and Harold Gierman
Handler Sharon Gierman

Sharon Gierman and Gord Benn
41 Wingbusters Skys the Limit, Owner/Handler Todd Fournier

Todd Fournier and Gord Benn
42 After Five, Owner Jim Dorobek, Handler Ray Smith
68 FTCH Sloan of Sweetwater, Owner/Handler Ray Smith

Ray Smith and Gord Benn
56 FTCH Downtown Smacken Around, Owner Donna Woolham
Handler Dan DeVos

Dan DeVos and Gord Benn
63 FTCH AFTCH She’s Gonna Rip, Owner Bobby Lindsay
Handler Rick Regamble

Rick Regamble and Gord Benn
70 FTCH AFTCH Pilkington Casper of Mt Granite, Owner Gerry Burmaster
Handler Ray Smith

Handler Ray Smith, owner Gerry Burmaster and Gord Benn