Saturday September 28, 2013
September 23-28, 2013
Labrador Retriever Club of Central Ontario
Field Trial Chairman: Dave Thompson
Field Trial Secretary: Jennifer Ritchie
Eastern Zone: Barbara Younglove
Western Zone: Bob James
Central Zone: Chuck Lapensee
Winner 2013 Canadian National Retriever Championship
NFTCH FTCH AFTCH FC AFC L and L Just a Gigolo
Owned by Howard Simson & Lise Langlois
Handled by Kevin Cheff
From left to right: Judge Bob James, Owners Lise Langlois and Howard Simson, Handler Kevin Cheff, Judge Chuck Lapensee, Judge Barbara Younglove, NRCC President Bill Kennedy.
Limey's Maksim of Dogleg
Owner Karen Spencer
Handler Ray Smith
FTCH AFTCH Mjolnir's Dana of Long Point
Owner Vera Aherne
Handler Dan DeVos
FTCH Alexus-Pursuit of Perfection
Owner Robert & Madeline Kimball
Handler Ray Smith
Ooo Lala French Lady
Owner / Handler Leo Plourde
NAFTCH FTCH AFTCH Flatlands Sledgehammer
Owner Bill & Connie Swanson
Handler Connie Swanson
FTCH RPM Hard As A Rock
Owner William Hoyt
Handler Charles Dygos
FTCH AFTCH The Springwaters Rippin Reba
Owner Gary & Chris Mason
Handler Lorne Langevin
Bluegoose Lightning Rose
Owner Roy Vincent
Handler Charles Dygos
FTCH AFTCH Wynflat's G.P.S.
Owner Heather Stewart
Handler Lorne Langevin
FTCH AFTCH FC AFC Upon The Wings of an Answered Prayer
Owner Bill & Micki Petrovish
Handler Bill Petrovish
FTCH AFTCH FC AFC L And L Just A Gigolo
Owner Howard Simson & Lise Langlois
Handler Kevin Cheff
FTCH AFTCH Flatlands Locked N Loaded
Owner Bill & Connie Swanson
Handler Connie Swanson
Check back often for daily updates describing the tests, gallery reactions and dog work.
Festivities for the 2013 National Retriever Championship kicked off with the Opening Banquet, held in Brighton Ontario. Cocktail hour gave competitors a chance to get reacquainted with old friends and make a few new ones
Catching up with old friends
Planning Calcutta strategies
The formal part of the evening got underway with the head table being piped in. Master of ceremonies Jim Ling, called on Gerry Burmaster to lead the participants in singing the American and Canadian National Anthems. One of the American owners, Karen Spencer led the toast to the Office of the President and National Retriever Club of Canada (NRCC) Director, Dan Yeomans led the toast to the Queen. Jim Ling then introduced the head table, from left to right: Chris Bayles - Chief Marshal, David Thompson - Field Trial Chair, Jane Thompson - Social Chair, Bob James - Judge Western Zone Judge, Barbara Younglove - Eastern Zone Judge, Chuck Lapensee - Central Zone Judge, Marg Murray - NRCC Secretary/Treasurer, Jacqueline Kennedy and Bill Kennedy, NRCC President.
Next, Richard Deeds asked for a moment of silence for past handlers and dogs not with us, followed by grace
After dinner, contestants had time to make last minute purchases of tickets to enter the draw for a Tritronics Pro 500 electronic collar donated by Garmin Tri-Tronics, the official e-collar sponsor of the Canadian National Retriever Championship. Turned out that one of the tickets purchased in the closing moments won. It was Ray Smith’s lucky night.
What exactly is happening here, Lou?
Bill Kennedy, NRCC President
NRCC President, Bill Kennedy, thanked the Labrador Retriever Club of Central Ontario (LRCCO) for hosting the 2013 Canadian National Retriever Championship with a special thanks to Dave and Jane Thompson for their hard work and dedication to the success of the National. Bill thanked the private landowners who are critical to the success of the event by providing the grounds needed to test the dogs. Bill acknowledged and thanked the sponsors for their donations and support. Nestle-Purina - Official dog food sponsor, Garmin Tri-Tronics - Official e-collar sponsor and supplier of the numbered bibs, Avery Sporting Dog (ASD) supplier of both the handler jackets and hats, Winchester Ammunition - Official supplier of the poppers used for the Nationals, Ducks Unlimited Canada - Supplier of the Finalist gifts, Zinger Winger official remote launcher supplier, Connie Swanson - Supplier of the official portrait of the Winner of each National and National Amateur, Retrievers Online and The Retriever News that publish the coverage of the Nationals in their magazines and the local contributors to the Silent Auction. Many of the Official Sponsors donate items to the Silent Auction to help raise funds for the Host Clubs. A big thank you to all.
NRCC Directors present at the banquet were introduced. Representing the Western Zone, Bruce Macdonald and Bob James, Central Zone, Chuck Lapensee, Southern Ontario Zone, Dennis Voigt, Dona Martin and President Bill Kennedy, and Eastern Zone, Charles Dygos, Dan Yeomans, and Gerry Burmaster. Also present was NRCC Secretary/Treasurer of 17 years, Marg Murray.
Judges Bob, Chuck and Barb
Dennis Voigt came forward to present the Charlie Howard Award on behalf of Di Howard. The recipient of this award is recognized for their long term continuous commitment to field trialing in Ontario from the National level on down to the club level. The award is presented at the National or National Amateur when in Ontario. This year’s recipient is Gerry Burmaster. Over the years, Gerry has judged 2 Nationals had National Finalists, contributed to the Ontario Retriever Association, is a NRCC Director, and is the prime motivator behind the Algoma Retriever Association weekend trial.
Bob James spoke on behalf of the judges and thanked the host club, the Labrador Retriever Club of Central Ontario, Dave and Jane Thompson for their hard work and hospitality, and the hard work put in by the setup crew. The grounds are exceptional and Bob wished the contestants good luck over the week to come.
Chief Marshal, Chris Bayles, provided the official instructions from the judges and introduced the test dogs and handlers. Female Test Dog will be Playing with Dynamite, owned and handled by Greg MacInnis, male test dog will be Hgoldrocketts Teddy owned and handled by Connie Dresser, and honorary test dog FTCH AFTCH She:Kon Kawere Hontsi owned and handled by Jim Green.
The judges were then excused and auctioneer Dave Thompson got the Calcutta underway with the assistance of Jennifer Ritchie, FT Secretary.
At the end of the night, the starting dog number 22 FTCH Adirondack Tea For Two was drawn.
The 2013 Canadian National Retriever Championship would like to thank our sponsors, Nestle-Purina official dog food supplier to the Nationals, Avery Sporting Dog, Winchester Ammunition, official supplier of the popper load ammunition, Tritronics official e-collar supplier. Thank you as well to Ducks Unlimited Canada supplier of the finalist gifts, Zinger Winger official remote launcher supplier, and Connie Swanson artist supplying portrait to the winner.
Purina Rep Bill Kennedy with wife Jacqueline soaking in the rays while distributing bags of Purina dog food free to all dog owners/handlers.
There were NO scratches as a result of the vet check. All females passed the first test.
Veterinarian Dr Al Moroz signing off
Tests 1 & 2 - Land Triple with 2 Retired Guns and a Land Blind
A perfect day to start off the 2013 Canadian National Retriever Championship in Brighton Ontario. With the Fall days getting shorter, most contestants awoke in the dark to a crisp 2C and a heavy dew on the grass. The setup crew and gunners were in the field as the sun was coming up. There was not a cloud in the sky and to start the wind was very slight 4 km NW but picked up to 16 km NW later in the day. Tests 1 and 2 were combined and were run on rolling pasture land with a road crossing through. There were goose decoys to the left of the line to the right hand mark and three hay bales between the right hand and centre marks. The test was a land triple with the centre and left hand gunners retired. The centre guns retired behind some hay bales and the left hand gunners retired behind a group of short spruce trees. The centre gun threw first, angled back and to the left into cover. The left hand mark, thrown second was thrown to the right, angled back across a gap in the trees into cover. The right hand mark was thrown last, angled back and to the left across a road into cover. A drake mallard was thrown at the centre gun, a rooster pheasant was thrown at the left hand mark and a hen duck was thrown at the go bird. A hen duck was also planted at the blind. Distances to the marks were; centre 300 yards, left 160 yards and right 195 yards. The blind was 191 yards and was located between the left and centre marks, through the trees out into a separate field. The blind was not hot and was planted after the dog picked up the marks. The running mat for the blind was behind the running line for the marks by about 10 yards. For reference, a white dot indicates the location relative to the marks. A separate photo is taken from the running mat for the blind.
The 2013 Canadian National Retriever Championship got underway at 7:30 am with Honorary Test Dog FTCH AFTCH She:Kon Kawera Hontsi, owned and handled by Jim Green. Hontsi may be retired now, but he can still mark and did an excellent job on the right hand bird. Male test dog was Hgoldrockettes Teddy owned and handled by Connie Dresser. Teddy had excellent marks and made it look easy. For the blind, Teddy wanted to go right and Connie had a hard time getting him on line to the blind. Female test dog, Playing With Dynamite, owned and handled by Greg MacInnis had a good job on the go bird, but on the left retired bird she went through and hunted deep and had to be handled. On the centre retired bird, Dyna started off looking like she was going to go right but corrected to the holding blind and had a good mark. Dyna as well had trouble with the blind. For the running dogs, the left hand retired bird proved to be a tough bird to come up with. Dogs that went on through winded the drag back trail from the blind and generally didn’t recover without being handled.
Judges checking the throws
: 50 dogs were called back to Test 3.
Test 3 - Water Triple With a Retired Gun and an Honor
Another crisp cool morning. Skies were clear and the temperature was a little above freezing at 5C. A chilly start for the early dogs. By the afternoon the temperature climbed to 17C and remained sunny all day. The wind remained steady between 6-10km N but with a significant lull mid-afternoon. Simply spectacular weather to enjoy the outdoors and the changing Fall colours. Test 3 was a water triple with the right hand gun station retired. The gunners were instructed to retire immediately after throwing their bird. For Test 1, the retired guns were instructed to retire after the dog was sent for the first bird and a number of handlers primary selected the tough short retired while the gunners were still visible. That wasn’t going to happen again. Distances to the marks were, 68 yards to the left hand go bird, 205 yards to the stand out centre mark and 196 yards to the right hand retired. The left hand mark was an in throw to the right, along the cover, with a big splash into open water. The centre mark was a flat throw to the left along the face of a hill. The right hand retired bird was thrown to the right across a corner of the pond into cover on the backside of the dike. The pond curled around behind the point where the gun station was hidden and led the dog away from the bird. There was lots of room to run into no man’s land between the centre and right guns. A drake mallard was thrown for the retired mark and hen mallards were thrown for the other 2 marks. The order of the guns was centre then right retired and then left. The water on all of the marks was swimming.
The test dogs remained the same as for Tests 1 and 2. Female test dog, Dyna had an excellent go bird and for the centre mark, took a line at the gunners and had a small hunt on both sides of the gun station. For the right retired bird, Dyna stayed in the water the whole way down the pond but managed to slip through under the arc. From there she hunted up hill into no man’s land and had to be handled back down to the bird.
After a short delay while the judges checked the area where Dyna tumbled, male test dog Teddy was called to line. Teddy had an excellent go bird. He hugged the shore along the dike on his way to the centre bird and came up left of the mark but went right to it. For the retired mark, Teddy started off on a good line but squared across the water and landed half way along the left shore. He initiated his hunt short of the gun station and hunted up hill into no man’s land before being handled to the bird. The test took about 12 minutes per dog. As the sun got higher, the shadows disappeared and the wind switched to 14 km NW. Dogs that went under the arc or up the hill seemed to wind the bird and came up with the retired gun bird without too much difficulty. There were excellent examples of what these dogs are truly capable of. Laser guided retrieves! Later, the wind died down to barely a whisper and dogs were not winding the retired gun bird from under the arch and a harder time coming up with it.
Test 3 - Water Triple with a Retired Gun and an Honor
Handlers waiting for Dyna to return
Big hello from the judges
Contestants viewing the test from line
Gallery soaking in the warmth of the morning sun
Gallery perched on the hill in front of Thompson’s house
45 dogs were called back to the 4th series.
Test 4 - Water Blind With a Visible Bird Planter
Another bright sunning morning, cool at 7C with barely a breath of wind at 5 km N but warmed up quickly once the sun got a little higher. Test 4 was a water blind over the first point, thread the needle past another point on the right, an island on the left, and then onto the last point on the right. The bird planter was visible in white, uphill, on the right hand shore. Casting onto the last point was a cast towards the bird planter. From the last point to the dike where the bird was planted, a dog could parallel the shore out of sight to the end of the pond and still be in the water swimming. The blind was southwest 150 yards .
Male test dog was once again Teddy, owned and handled by Connie Dresser. He had an early whistle to put him over the first point and number of whistles to negotiate the factors and keep him on line. Connie kept him in sight for the entire blind with a good cast off the last point. Female test dog Dyna, owned and handled by Greg MacInnis also needed an early whistle to put her over the first point. She wanted to skim by on the right. Dyna had a few whistles after the point to get straightened out and was good to the last point. Greg used a number of whistles to get her onto the point and then she overcast towards the bird planter. Greg got her back into the water but she swam out of sight until she exited at the end of the pond. The handlers thanked Greg for showing them the hazzards of the test. Generally the work was similar for most dogs, with an early whistle to either put the dog over the first point or to straighten them out after and a few whistles to get them over the last point.
2 Management and 1 Worker
Handlers Viewing the Line
Judges Before Getting Down to Work
39 dogs were called back to the 5th.
Test 5 - Land Triple With 3 Retired Guns
Test 5 was a land triple with all guns retired. The order of the guns was centre, then left, then right. The centre and right hand marks were thrown sharp angle back to the right and the left hand mark was a flat throw to the left. All birds were thrown into cover. Distances to the marks were 250 yards to the centre, 220 yards to the left and 197 yards to the right hand mark. Drake mallards were thrown on the left and centre marks and a rooster pheasant was thrown for the right hand mark. The wind was variable sometimes downwind and sometimes coming into the test from the left gun station or from the centre gun station. The line to the left mark was a slight side angle along the bottom of the hill cutting across the corner of a bean field. The centre mark was also along the side hill with 2 slots on either side of an island of cover that appeared to be a key decision maker on how successful the dog came up with the bird. There was heavy cover to the left and under the arc of the throw for the right hand mark.
Male test dog Teddy, hunted in the cover out of sight on the right hand go bird, but came up with the bird. When sent for the left hand mark, second, which he didn‘t seem to have seen thrown, he took a wide line line to the right and then curled over to the centre bird. When resent for the left hand mark, Teddy took a line wide and to the left of the bird, disappeared into the woods and came out at the bird. Test dog Dyna took a good line out to the go bird but hooked in behind the gun station and hunted in the heavy cover before coming out to pick up the mark. Dyna picked up the left hand mark second. She took a line right of the gun station and corrected under the arc, disappeared briefly in the shadows and came up with the bird. Then, for the centre bird, Dyna took the slot to the right of the island of cover and hunted to the top of the hill before coming down to where the gunners stood and working it out. The judges got answers on all 3 birds. As the shadows got longer the left hand bird got harder and harder to see among the patches of sunlight. Many dogs split the difference between the left and centre gun stations, some when retrieving the left hand mark, some when sent on the centre mark. Similar to Dyna, some dogs took the right hand slot on the wrong side of the island of cover on the way to the centre bird and hunted the slot all the way up to the top of the ridge before coming down to the bird. The go bird proved to be a tough bird to dig out as well. Later as the shadows moved across the entire test, and there were no longer patches of sunlight, the gunners and birds seemed to stand out better against the dark background.
After a review of the callbacks, 31 dogs were called back to Test 6.
The Workers’ Party gives the NRCC and the host club a chance to thank everyone that contributed to the success of the National. An excellent dinner was catered at Headquarters and was packed with workers and contestants alike. Action was brisk at the Silent Auction tables before bidding closed. The Silent Auction items are a way for the host club to raise money to put on the National and are for the most part donated by sponsors of the National, local businesses and individuals.
Festivities were kicked off with master of ceremonies, Jim Ling announcing the callbacks. With that out of the way, contestants could relax and enjoy the evening. Many celebrated and a few drowned their sorrows.
Purina rep Bill Kennedy followed with a brief explanation of what the Purina Pro Plan Club is and the benefits of being a member, before handing out dog food and a Purina goodies bag to all of the Workers. NRCC Directors assisted with presentations of NRCC worker pins.
Western Contestant - Bruce Macdonald
Test 6 - Water Blind
Test 6 was a 45 minute jaunt north east of Headquarters to the property of Jim and Trish Green, on the Tyendinaga First Nation Territory, complete with a band police escort. Thank you to Jim and Trish for their hospitality. Test 6 was a 280 yard water blind. Another sunny day to start with a wisp of steam rising from the pond. By the time the first test dog ran, the temperature had already risen to 9C with a slight breeze 2 km varyng from NE to E. The bird planter was hidden deep and to the left of the bird. The line to the blind started off with a slight sidehill angle, crossed a mowed path with a brush pile across the path. The entry into the pond was relatively square across to a large hard point that the dogs had to go over. Dogs went out of sight briefly on the re-entry into the pond. The line was not over the second point to the right. There was a small dock on the far side of the pond, left of the exit point. Once the dog exited the water, they crossed a mowed dike into a grassy field that was bush hogged to create paths and patches of cover. The bird was planted just in front and to the left of a large bush in the field. There were a number of trees and bushes acting as goal posts along the way. The bush was on the upwind side and sheltered the bird, thus making it difficult to wind the bird at the end of the blind. The blind took about 3-4 minutes per dog.
Male test dog was once again Teddy, owned and handled by Connie Dresser. Teddy had lots of whistles but Connie kept him tight to line. Coming up with the bird at the end was tough because there was no wind. As a result, Teddy got deep and had trouble being handled back in to the bird. Female test dog Dyna, owned and handled by Greg MacInnis, got off to a good start over the brush pile, but faded left before the pond. At the point, Dyna just caught the right hand edge and headed for the second point before Greg cast her left. After a few more casts in the water to straighten her out, Dyna faded left on the land and Greg had difficulty casting right into the wind. A 3rd test dog, FTCH AFTCH Grousebuster's Rudy Rudy Rudy, owned and handled by Bruce Macdonald was asked to run the blind. Bruce used a number of whistles to negotiate the factors but stayed out of trouble and had a good blind. From the running line, dogs did not see much of the water. A little more detail of the pond and surrounding land can be seen in the drawing of the test.
26 Dogs were called back to the 7th series.
Test 7 - Water Triple With all Guns Retired
Test 7 used the same pond as the water blind from Test 6. The running line was moved forward to the shore and to the left so that the lines to the marks crossed the line to the blind. For male test dog, Teddy, Test 7 was a water quad with the 2 left hand marks retired. Teddy appeared to wind some of the marks significantly wide of the area of the fall, demonstrating his acute Golden nose. The test was changed for female test dog Dyna. It remained a quad with the left hand mark moved further to the left and the throw was changed, angled back into the edge of the hedgerow from right to left. The centre throw was changed to a sharper angle back to the right, into cover. The direction remained the same. The centre right hand mark was changed from a stand out gun station to retired. The throw became a left to right throw, arching across a gap in the hedgerow into shadows against the brush. The order of the guns was clockwise around the horn. Dyna had a short hunt on the right hand go bird. When sent for the right centre retired, she went deep and wide to the left and ended up getting the left centre retired. When resent for the right centre retired, Dyna started her hunt left of the gun station holding blind before coming across and hunting in the gap and deep. Her throw was a little longer than intended, landing in the bush. When sent to the left hand retired mark, Dyna ended up in the left centre retired mark before being handled back. She then ended up hunting the area where the first test dog picked up the left hand mark and had to be handled to the bird. Greg had a lot of trouble convincing Dyna there wasn’t a bird where she got into scent from the previous location of the mark. For the running dogs, the right hand 4th mark was removed.
So, in the end, Test 7 was a water triple with all gunners retired. The order of the guns was left, then right, then centre. The left and right gunners retired when the gun went off for the centre mark. The centre mark gunners were instructed to retire when the dog entered the water. Drake mallards were thrown for the 2 outside marks and a hen mallard was thrown for the centre mark. The left hand mark was thrown angled back to the left, into the edge of the hedgerow. The right hand mark was thrown from left to right across a gap in the hedgerow, up against a large bush. The centre bird was thrown sharp angled back from left to right into a strip of uncut cover. Distances to the marks were; left 178 yards, 125 yards to the centre and 150 yards to the right hand mark.
19 dogs are called back to the 8th series.
Test 8 - Land Quad With 3 Retired Guns and an Honor
What a spectacular drive through rolling hills to the grounds for the 8th series! The Fall colours were just starting. There were patches of fog in the low lying areas and then the caravan broke out into bright sunshine with hints of orange and yellow on the trees. Test 8 was in a large alfalfa field with round bales dotting the landscape. The terrain was very hilly with the line perched up on one ridge and the test being through a valley with marks at the bottom and up the far side. The test was a land quad with 3 retired gun stations. The 2 long centre gun stations were totally wrapped behind bales, the left hand gunners sat behind bales and could not be seen from line but were visible once the dog got to the area. The right hand mark was stand out. The left centre retired bird was thrown first, followed by the right centre retired second, then the left hand mark followed by the right hand mark, thrown last. Distances to the marks were, 160 yards to the left hand mark, 302 yards to the left centre, 292 yards to the right centre, and 100 yards to the go bird. Distances didn’t take into consideration the hills and how far the dog actually ran. For the go bird, a hen mallard was thrown angled back to the top of a knoll. The retired right centre mark threw a drake mallard angled back, uphill to the left. The retired left centre bird was a rooster pheasant thrown from right to left into a cluster of bales with the gunners standing to the right of all of the bales. The left hand bird was a hen pheasant thrown left to right, landing almost on the line to the long left retired. The 2 left marks converged, whereas the 2 right hand marks were both thrown out, relative to each other. The test was for the most part a downwind test, but the terrain, at times, caused it to swirl.
Female test dog was FTCH AFTCH Castil Creeks Rivers Ripple, owned and handled by Daniel Shnitka. Ripple had an excellent right hand go bird. For the left hand mark she took a line under the arc and hooked over to pick up the bird. When sent for the left retired bird, Ripple flared along the bales and initiated her hunt to the right of the bales, wrong side, before hunting behind the line of bales to the left and eventually coming in to the bird. For the right hand centre retired, Ripple had a good start but drove deep and to the left of the bird, almost to the treeline before hunting back in. The left hand mark was changed before the male test dog ran. The throw was made flatter so that the bird landed in line with the centre left retired bird. Male test dog Teddy had an excellent job on the go bird. For the left hand bird, he went under the arc, turned the wrong way, and had a wide hunt deep and on both sides of the gun station before coming up with the bird. Initially when sent for the long left retired, Teddy went way left and was recalled. On the resend, his line took him right of the gun station, before curling left behind the line of bales and then hunting in to the bird. For the long right retired, Teddy took a line wide left of the area of the fall and went deep to the treeline. He turned left at the treeline and then came back and hunted in and short in a gully before driving uphill to the bird. Work by the test dogs was indicative of things to come for the running dogs.
14 dogs are called back to the 9th series.
Test 9 - Land Blind
Test 9 was a 378 downwind land blind. The running mat for the blind was moved 15 yards back and to the right of the Test 8 running line. The line to the blind was through the area of the fall for the right hand mark. Initially the terrain sloped downhill to the left and then the dog had to drive uphill and thread the needle through 4 hay bales. There was a lone hay bale to the right of the bird that was very attractive as a destination and dogs tended to square up the hill to that bale and needed to be handled. A rooster pheasant was planted about 7 yards from the treeline making for a tricky end to the blind. Male test dog Teddy and female test dog Ripple had similar blinds, with a number of whistles to keep them on line and negotiate the hay bales. A third test dog, FTCH AFTCH Tealcreek High Tyde Coot, owned by Dona and Donald Martin and handled by Dona, showed the handlers how deceiving the end of the blind was, after having very few whistles to get there.
12 finalists were called back to the last series.
Brought to you by all of our sponsors
The 2013 Canadian National Retriever Championship and the National Retriever Club of Canada would like to once again thank our sponsors, Purina official dog food supplier to the Nationals, Avery Sporting Dog, Garmin Tri-Tronics official e-collar supplier, Winchester Ammunition official ammunition supplier. The quality of the poppers has been superb, with no misfires. Thank you as well to Ducks Unlimited Canada supplier of the finalist gifts, Zinger Winger official remote launcher supplier, and Connie Swanson artist supplying portrait to the winner.
Test 10 - Water Quad With 3 Retired Guns
Another spectacular sunny day with a variable breeze 13 km E. The contestants were given a bit of a break with a scheduled late start so that everyone could enjoy a complimentary breakfast hosted by Nestle-Purina. Test 10 was a Water Quad with 3 retired guns. The test was run back at Headquarters through 2 ponds that are split by a dike running across between them and with another dike at the far end of the larger pond. All birds were thrown right to left. The long left retired gun was up a steep hill at the end of the larger pond. Dogs had to negotiate 2 ponds, bushes, cross a road and drive uphill to the bird, which was thrown into cover near a large bush. Distance to the long gun station was 415 yards direct line of sight. The centre left retired at 268 yards, was thrown angled back along the shore of the 2nd pond into the edge of a line of cattails. The centre right retired was 258 yards. The gunners stood at the bush line and threw angled back into heavy cover. The go bird was off to the right thrown right to left. The order of the guns was clockwise around the horn, starting with the longest gun first. Drake mallards were thrown for the long left and centre right marks. Hen mallards were thrown for the centre left and right hand marks. The centre right mark was difficult to see with the background in shadows. The wind swirled around the bowl and pretty well came from all directions. Gunners were instructed to retire when the 4th gun fired.
Female test dog Ripple, owned and handled by Daniel Shnitka, had an excellent go bird. She was sent for the right centre retired second but ended up backside of the left centre gun station and hunted deep behind both sides of the gun station before being handled. When resent for the right centre retired, Ripple took a line way to the right of the gun station and needed to be handled. For the long left mark up the hill at the end of the 2nd pond, Ripple took a line along the left shore and came out on the dike at the far end. She started up the road and broke off towards the mark but ended up to the right and short before being handled back. Male test dog, Cooter, handled by Donald, also had an excellent go bird. When sent for the right centre retired, Cooter ran through the gap on the right side of the pond, hunted wrong side of the gun station but worked it out and came up with the bird. For the centre left mark, Cooter took a good line through the first and second pond, coming out under the arc and had a tight hunt on shore before coming back into the cattails to pick up the bird. There was no splash for that bird. For the long left retired, Cooter went way left of the test and was recalled. When resent he went through the left centre fall area and hunted out of sight, short, between the left and left centre gun stations and was called in. Both test dogs seemed to have difficulty picking out the gunners on the left gun station. Even with the friendly order of the guns, it wasn’t obvious that the test dogs saw all the throws. White ribbons were then placed on the long left and centre right birds to ensure dogs could see the birds thrown. For the last test, the judges really challenged the dogs, resulting in 5 dogs handling and big hunts for others. Nobody stepped on all 4 marks, but there were a few good jobs. A fitting end to the 2013 Canadian National Retriever Championship.
Judges Setting the Final Test
Waiting to Get the Show on the Road