Sunday September 21, 2014

September 14-21, 2014
Strathmore, AB

National logo


AFTC logo
 

Host Club

Alberta Field Trial Club
Field Trial Chairman: Daniel Danforth
Field Trial Secretary: Laura Jones

Judges

Eastern Zone: Jim Ling
Central Zone: Charlie Ross
Southern Ontario Zone: Heather Stewart

 

Winner
2014 National Retriever Championship



NFTCH FTCH The Wheeler Dealer

Owned by Richard & Connie Dresser
Handled by Ray Smith

 

Finalists

 



 
5
FC AFTCH Backwater's Boomer
Owners: Daryl Shmon & David Hare
Handler: Marcy Wright


12
FTCH Riveroak Turn Me Loose
Owners: Bob & Deidre Kozminski & July Wilson
Hnandler: Colin McNichol


18
FC Watermark's Power Punch
Owner: Glenda Brown
Handler: Eric Fangsrud


21
FC Baypoint's Westminister Abbey
Owners: Don & Kathy Fregelette
Handler: Kenny Trott


25
FTCH RPM Hard As A Rock
Owner: William Hoyt
Handler: Charles Dygo


28
FTCH AFTCH Bulrush Yellow Bud
Owner / Handler: Ron Bischke


33
FTCH AFTCH Churn Creek Chaser
Owners: Karen & Nolan Nelkenbrecher
Handler: Nolan Nelkenbrecher


39
FTCH Bluenorth's Get Er Done Belle
Owner: Roy Vincent
Handler: Charles Dygos


51
FTCH AFTCH Noremac's Undertaker
Owner / Handler: Brian Griffin


52
FTCH AFTCH Bluegoose's Huckleberry Hustle
Owner / Handler: David Fishley


53
Elmingo's Chasing A Whim
Owners: Roger & Donna Fangsrud
Handler: Eric Fangsrud


55
The Wheeler Dealer
Owner: Richard & Connie Dresser
Handler: Ray Smith


59
FC AFC NAFTCH FTCH Upon The Wings Of An Answered Prayer
Owner / Handler: Bill Petrovish


62
FC FTCH AFTCH NMH GMH Taylorlab's Sugar and Spice
Owners: Gary & Sue Taylor
Handler: Sue Taylor


 

Banquet

The 2014 Canadian National Retriever Championship kicked off with the opening banquet. The 2014 National was hosted by the Alberta Field Trial Club in Strathmore, Alberta. After a rainy day, the sun poked its head out just in time for dinner. A welcome change from the record breaking snow and rain earlier in the week. Festivities got underway with the head table being piped in, followed by the Master of Ceremonies, Bill Pogson, paying the piper with a shot of whiskey.
Paying the Piper



Piping in the Head Table


 
Head Table



 
From left to right: Bill Pogson Master of Ceremonies, Laura Jones Field Trial Secretary, Rob Littlemore Field Trial Marshal, Dan Danforth Field Trial Chair, Central Zone Judge Charlie Ross, Southern Ontario Zone Judge Heather Stewart, Eastern Zone Judge Jim Ling, and National Retriever Club of Canada President Bob James.
 
Debbie Pogson led the room in singing the Canadian and American national anthems. Our cross border husband and wife team, Marcy Wright, Canadian and Kenny Trott, American, followed with the toasts to the Queen and the Office of the President, and Gord Benn offered the blessing.
Gord Benn



Marcy & Kenny


 
After an excellent prime rib roast dinner, Master of Ceremonies Bill Pogson, introduced Jason Hale, member of Legislative Assembly for Strathmore, and Michael Ell, Mayor of Strathmore, who said a few words welcoming the contestants and thanking the volunteers whose support enables events like these to be held. Bill Pogson returned to thank the landowners John & Madonna Kalben and the Mountainview Hutterite Colony for there generosity in permitting the National to be held on their property. Bill acknowledged the three sponsors that were present for the dinner, Nestle Purina representative Bill Kennedy, Avery Sporting dog representative Kenny Trott & Marcy Wright, and Fibrenew representative Kelly Lamden.
Master of Ceremonies Bill Pogson



 
Bob James, President of the National Retriever Club of Canada, spoke next, thanking the Host Club, the Alberta Field Trial Club and the sponsors, critical to the success of the Nationals in Canada. Thank you Nestle Purina, official dog food supplier to the Nationals, Avery Sporting Dog, Garmin Tri-Tronics official e-collar supplier, Winchester Ammunition official supplier of the poppers used at the Nationals, DU Canada for donating the finalists gifts, Zinger Winger for donating products to the Silent Auction, Glenn & Ilham Norton for donating the handlers jackets, MNP LLP for their generous contribution to the Nationals and the NRCC.
 
Field Trial Chair, Dan Danforth welcomed the contestants and reminded them that the use of private land is a gift that should be respected. Thank you once again to the landowners for the generous use of their land. Dan reminded contestants to support our sponsors everyday through the use of their products. Dan thanked Laura Jones, Field Trial Secretary and his wife for her hard work and support. Laura and Dan then presented the judges with gifts from the Host Club.
 
Dan Danforth, Charlie Ross & Laura Jones


 
On behalf of the judges, Charlie Ross thanked the Host club, the setup crew and the sponsors for their support and hard work putting on the 2014 Canadian National Retriever Championship. To the contestants, Charlie wished them good luck and stated that he and his co-judges looked forward to judging these talented dogs. Next, Chief Marshal, Rob Littlemore gave judges’ instructions and reminded handlers to adhere to On Grounds Behaviour.
 
Before the judges excused themselves for the night, Purina rep Bill Kennedy presented them with gifts from Purina. As well, judges’ travel expenses are also paid by Purina, whose support of our game is invaluable.
 



 
After the judges left, auctioneer Cody Hayes and ringman Murray Adams from Wheatland Auctions got the Calcutta underway. In addition to being entertainers, they were great salesmen and raked in over $12,000 for the Calcutta. Bruce Macdonald, introduced the handlers and dogs and Cody and Murray worked their magic. As handlers came forward for their handlers’ packages donated by Purina which included a voucher for a large bag of Purina Pro Plan Sport, bibs donated by Garmin Tri-Tronics, hats donated by Avery Sporting Dog, and jackets donated by Glenn & Ilham Norton, NRCC directors presented them with NRCC pins. At the end of the night, John McDonald was the lucky winner of the Tri-Tronics Pro 550, donated by Garmin Tri-Tronics. The draw for the starting dog was done by retriever “Gibbs” who retrieved numbered stuffed toys. As a result dog number 64 was announced as starting dog for Test 1, and handler Debby Montgomery was presented with a “I Ran First” T-shirt.
Bob James & Marg Murray present NRCC pins



Auctioneer Cody Hayes & Bruce Macdonald


Debby showing off her T-shirt



 
Getting reaquainted



Friends with Friends


The 2014 Canadian National would like to thank our sponsors, Nestle-Purina official dog food supplier to the Nationals, Avery Sporting Dog, Garmin Tri-Tronics official e-collar supplier, Winchester Ammunition official ammunition supplier. Thank you as well to Ducks Unlimited Canada supplier of the finalist gifts, Zinger Winger official remote launcher supplier, Glenn & Ilham Norton for donating the handlers jackets, MNP LLP, and Animal Portraits by Connie Swanson for supplying portrait to the winner.
 

Brought to you by all of our sponsors

Purina logo  Avery Sporting Dog logo  Tri-tronics logo 
Zinger Winger logo Connie Swanson Animal Portraits Ducks Unlimited Canada logo

 
  Glenn & Ilham Norton Winchester Ammunition logo
 
 
 MNP LLP logo logo     
 
 

Test 1 Land Double with a Retired Gun & Test 2 Land Blind with Visible Bird Planter

Welcome to the 2014 Canadian National Retriever Championship, hosted by the Alberta Field Trial Club in Strathmore, Alberta. Contestants awoke to a chilly 5C with overcast skies and a light drizzle. At least it wasn’t snow. Earlier in the week Calgary received a record breaking 28 cm of snow. The wind was barely perceptible at 3kmh N. Test 1 and 2 were run together. and by the time the test dogs ran the sun had broken through the cloud cover and the weather was clearing.
 
Test 1 was a land double with the right hand gun retired. The right hand gun shot first and retired immediately. The longer left hand gun was thrown last. Both guns threw right to left. The short retired gun was 125 yards and the longer go bird was 168 yards. A hen mallard was thrown for the go bird and a rooster pheasant was thrown for the retired gun. The test was run in a cattle pasture with rolling hills and a creek meandering through the test. Heavy cover with tules and cattails flanked the creek. The line to the right hand bird was through the heaviest part of the cover but there was an inviting area to the right of the gun station where the cover was sparse. Dogs taking the easy route through the cover ended up backside of the gun station where the tendency was to then square up the hill. The right hand bird was thrown angled back and slightly uphill so that the dogs could watch the bird to the ground. The left hand go bird was thrown angled back, over the tops of 2 bushes to the edge of the heavy cover along the creek.
 
After the dog picked up the marks, the handler moved to the right to receive the bird on the Test 2 running mat. Test 2 was a land blind with a visible bird planter in white, to the left of the blind. A hen mallard was planted at 182 yards to the left of the heavy cover along the creek. The line to the blind was through a slot between 2 trees on the left and tules on the right flanking the creek.
 
Marlene Benn, one of the judges from the 2014 National Amateur, was on hand to continue the tradition of passing on the paddle to the next judges in line, Eastern zone judge Jim Ling, Southern Ontario zone judge Heather Stewart, and Central zone judge Charlie Ross.
 



Marlene then ran Honorary Test dog FTCH AFTCH Fifth Avenue’s Rockin’ Reba, a long time Alberta favorite. Reba is now retired after a successful career in both Canada and the US with 133 All Age Points.



 
Male Test dog, Barfly’s Deadly Aim (Sniper) owned by Brian Griffin and handled by Karen Nelkenbrecher was first up. Sniper had an excellent go bird and a clean hook around the retired gun station. For the blind, Sniper started out handling cleanly but had difficulty opposite the bird planter and was ping ponging on his casts before handling back to the bird. Female test dog Wingbusters Quiet Elegance (Jade) owned by Thomas and Marg Murray and handled by Laura Jones, was up next. Jade initiated her hunt on the wrong side of the gun station for the left hand go bird but eventually worked it out. For the retired gun, Jade took the easier route through the tules and then squared up the hill to hunt deep and to the right of the retired gun station. This was indicative of the work by many others. For the blind, Jade started off well but, similar to Sniper, had difficulty opposite the bird planter and required a number of whistles to drive through to the blind.





 
Dog #64, the first running dog was called to line at 8:20 am. The test took 4-5 minutes per dog.
 
Test 1



 



 
Test 2



 



 
Many dogs had similar work, with not a lot of answers on the go bird and many backsiding the right hand retired gun. Some had extensive hunts wrong side and deep. Generally the dogs did the blind without getting into the same problems as the test dogs, and a few have lined the blind. Although most dogs got through the tests successfully, the judges still got the answers they needed. Conditions changed slightly with temperatures warming to a pleasant 16C. The wind changed slightly to 8 kmh NW but didn’t seem to affect the dog work.
Gallery under the Purina tent amid sponsor signs





 
Callbacks: 72 dogs were called back. Dogs 27 and 56 were not called back.

Brought to you by Nestle-Purina, official dogfood sponsor of the National Retriever Club of Canada


Purina logo

 

Test 3 - Water Triple with 2 Retired Guns

As contestants drove up to the site for the third test, there was frost on the ground and a magnificent view of the snow capped mountains. The temperature was 1C with little to no breeze. Wind 4 kmh SW. The day before, the water temperature was 7C (46F) and that was before the below freezing night. Pretty cold for the early dogs. There was not a cloud in the sky, which meant the rising sun was directly behind the handler. Not good if you needed to handle.
 
Test 3 was a water triple with 2 retired guns. The right hand bird was thrown left to right, uphill into heavy cover. Both the centre and left marks were thrown right to left. The centre mark was a flat throw along the dike, landing on the shore with no splash. The short left hand mark was thrown from a boat that was on land. The go bird landed in the water amongst some grassy patches with a big splash. Drake mallards were thrown for all birds. The right and centre gunners retired as the last bird was thrown. Distances to the marks were right retired 168 yards, centre retired 182 yards and the go bird was 58 yards. The pond was a natural pothole with big water in the background and lots of local wildfowl, which left quickly when the guns were fired for the first test dog. There was a gradual slope along the side of the pond from right to left. For the right hand retired gun, the dogs had to hold a side slope line to the bird. Falling off the slope put them in no man’s land on the wrong side of the right hand retired gun station. The centre retired gun station was along the shoreline at the end of the pond. Easy for a dog that cheated the water to end up between the centre and right hand gun stations and hunt in no man’s land. Even from line the brushed in holding blinds looked very tight.
 
First test dog was male test dog Sniper, handled by Karen Nelkenbrecher. Sniper had an excellent go bird. It appeared that he was sent for the right hand retired bird second but fell off the hill into no man’s land and was handled to the centre retired mark. When sent for the right hand retired gun, Sniper took a wide line to the right of the bird and had to be handled in. With the sun rising behind the running line and the handlers viewing the test from behind, it was very difficult for the test dog to pick out the handler. Female test dog Jade, with Laura Jones handling was up next. Jade had an excellent go bird and an excellent right hand retired bird. For the centre mark, she flared the boat, cheated the shore and ended up hunting between the gun stations. Jade had to be handled away from the right hand holding blind to the centre bird.
 
After the 2 test dogs ran, the mat was moved to the right about 25 feet, which opened up the test and the sun was no longer directly behind the handler. A third test dog, Copper, handled by Brenda Richmond ran from the new location of the mat. Copper had an excellent go bird, hunted under the arc on the right hand retired gun, and for the centre retired mark, ran the shore, putting him on the wrong side of the centre gun station. He hunted wrong side briefly before working his way over to the proper side and the bird. Much of the dog work ended up being similar to Copper’s.
 



 



 
Gallery and judges surveying the test





 
Judges at the start of the day



 
As the test progressed, dogs got into trouble hunting between the long gun stations and were confused which bird they had picked up. There were a number of dogs that had to be handled. As the test progressed, the wind switched to 2kmh SE so that dogs were winding the right hand bird from the right where they were not earlier. With clear skies, the temperature rose steadily to 18C, making for a beautiful day.
 
Callbacks: 62 dogs were called back to the 4th series. Dogs not called back; 3, 6, 8, 16, 23, 34, 58, 71, 72, 73.
 

Alberta Nite BBQ

After a long day outdoors a BBQ at Headquarters was a welcome change. Contestants and workers had the opportunity to sit down and share experiences. Dinner was hosted by the Alberta ladies and was an excellent home cooked meal complete with Alberta beef burgers. Another Garmin Tri-Tronics Pro 550 collar, donated by Garmin, was won by Bruce Macdonald.
 
Bartenders



Special Cake


 

 

 \

 



A long way from Ontario


 
 
 
Relaxing with friends





Brought to you by Avery Sporting Dog, official sponsor of the National


Avery Sporting Dog logo

 

Test 4 - Water Blind

Another beautiful day, sunny, not a cloud in the sky. However, clear skies overnight meant for a chilly morning at 2C. Not quite frosty but definitely a heavy dew.
 
Test 4 was a water blind in the same pond that the Test 3 water triple was run. The blind was a shoreline blind along the right hand shore. The bird planter was on a quad out of sight deep and to the right. The duck was planted on a float board behind the grassy island where the go bird was thrown in Test 3. Distance to the bird was 195 yards. Decoys were located to the left of line at the water entry and to the right of line against the shore on the backside of a point about 2/3 of the way out. There was lots of natural occurring waterfowl scent and feathers along the shore so there is no need to add additional scent. After the dog passed a ribbon on the ground, the handler could move up to handle.
 
The start was delayed waiting for decoys and lighting conditions to improve. Male test dog was Tia’s Ebony Pirate Blade, owned and handled by Colette Prefontaine. Blade was a fairly large male and he encountered a few patches of romping water on the line to the blind. He however stayed in control and had a nice blind. The running mat was moved about 20 feet to the left for female test dog Trumarc’s Gymnast, owned by Stuart and Diana Mead, and handled by Diana. Rigby had quite a few whistles but Diana kept her tight on line. It was all swimming water on this new line to the blind. Generally work was similar to the test dogs with only a few dogs getting into trouble.
 



 



 
Callbacks: 57 dogs were called back to the 5th series. 5 dogs were not called back; 10 (scratched), 24, 38, 46,64.

Brought to you by MNP LLP sponsor of the National Retriever Club of Canada


MNP LLP logo

 

Test 5 - Land Quad with 2 Retired Guns & Honour

To start the temperature was 7C with a slight 7 kmh SW breeze. Test 5 was a land Quad with 2 retired guns and an honour. The test was run Northwest, in a bowl, flat wetland in the centre, surrounded by rolling hills. Cattle had to be moved out before the test began.The wetlands were heavy dead grass with a mud flat barely visible on the way to the long left retired gun. The short visible right hand bird was thrown into heavy grass. The sides of the hills were a mix of wild rose and low buck brush. The left hand visible mark was thrown into the sidehill brush. There were 2 bushes placed left of the line to the long centre left retired gun station. The long centre right retired gun was thrown from the sidehill up onto the flat. The long centre left retired was thrown across from one ridge to another. There appeared to be very little cover where the birds landed for the 2 long retired guns. Both short visible guns threw right to left, and both long retired guns threw left to right. The order of the guns was; long centre right, followed by the long centre left, then left, and the right hand bird was last. The retired guns were instructed to retire when the third gun fired. Distances to the marks were; 95 yards to the right go bird, 245 yards to the right centre mark, 377 yards to the left centre mark, and 115 yards to the left hand mark. Goose decoys were placed across the test at the edge of the cover change. One group of decoys was on line to the long centre right retired gun. A rooster pheasant was thrown for the left hand visible mark. Hen ducks were thrown for the 2 right hand marks and a drake mallard was thrown for the long centre left mark. A White ribbon was tied to the duck on the left centre mark to increase visibility.
 
Female test dog, Rigby run by Diana Mead was first up. She had a good go bird and chose to pick up the centre left retired gun second which was an excellent mark. For the left hand mark, Rigby took a wide line to the right of the gunners and had to be handled to the bird. For the long centre right retired gun, Rigby went back into the area of the fall for the go bird and had to be handled back. Male test dog Blade handled by Colette Prefontaine, had a better job. Blade picked up the go bird, then the left hand mark, followed by the centre right retired mark and then the centre left retired mark. He had very good marks for the first three and had a hunt wide to the right of the bird and then left of the holding blind for the long centre left hand retired mark, before working it out.
 



 



 
At noon, the temperature had risen to 20C in the shade. At least there was nice breeze which came around slightly to 9kmh S. To ensure the safety of the dogs, ice water was available on line, should any dog encounter difficulty with the heat. The safety of the dogs was always a priority. By 3:00 pm it was hot in the sun, 25C with a steady breeze 14 kmh S. Thanks to Purina for providing the only shade for the gallery and the judges. Not sure how hot it was down in the bowl, or out in the retired holding blinds. There was lots of variation on the dog work, ranging from excellent on all 4 marks to a few pickups and everything in between. The judges certainly had lots to work with. Gunners and throwers did an excellent job and there were no misfires with the poppers donated by Winchester Ammunition. Can’t stress enough how important it is not having to deal with “No Birds”.
 
Rogues Gallery



 


 
 
 



 


 
 
View from Gallery



Keeping Everything Running Smoothly



Lunch Line is Thinning


 
Callbacks: 43 dogs were called back to the 6th series. Dogs not called back; 2, 7, 20, 31, 37, 43, 48, 49, 54, 60, 65, 69, 76, 77.
 

Workers’ Party

Brought to you by Purina, official dog food sponsor of the National Retriever Club of Canada


Purina logo

 
To celebrate all the hard work that goes into hosting a National event of this calibre, the Alberta Field Trial Club hosted the Workers’ Party to thank all the workers and volunteers that gave their time to ensure the success of the National. Sadly, Field Trial Chair, Dan Danforth started the evening with news that long time Field Trialer, Doug Grant had passed away earlier in the day. Our condolences go out to family and friends.
 
Gun Captain, Marg Murray thanked the gunners who stepped up throughout the week to help out. Next Purina Rep, Bill Kennedy thanked all of the workers behind the scenes for their contributions towards putting on a great National. Dan Danforth indicated that when the Alberta Field Trial Club decided to host the National, he and Laura called in a lot of favours to get help and everyone said yes. Some are from outside the field trial community but offered their assistance, regardless. A year and a half spent planning and organizing. Congratulations, and well done.
 
To thank the workers, Purina provided each worker with a bag of dog food and a workers’ package filled with lots of samples and goodies. Purina continues to be a major sponsor of Nationals in Canada, and provides support to the Host club through donations of dog food, items for the silent auction, raffle items, judges’ travel expenses, breakfast and funding. A huge thank you to Purina for your support.
 
As each worker came forward to receive their Purina gifts, Alberta NRCC Director, Marg Murray presented them with a NRCC pin to acknowledge their contribution. The list of workers is long but important to share. Thank you to Field Trial Chair Dan Danforth, Chief Marshal Rob Littlemore, Field Trial Secretary Laura Jones, Lisa Williams, Don & Beth Pollock, Colette Prefontaine, Dick Curran, Marg Murray, Bill Pogson, Rick & Karon Regamble, Nolan & Karen Nelkenbrecher, Robin dean, David Danforth, Flo Giovannetti, Sherrill Elm, Sharon van der Lee, Doug & Brenda Richmond, Murray & Diana Murphy, Bob James, David Fishley, Stu & Diana Mead, Bruce Macdonald, ron Bischke, Jack & Peggy Gardiner, Elsie & Larry Baker, Jim Nichols, Tim Duhaime, Darcy Brunes, Dave Leibel, Mary Shillabeer, John McDonald, Gary Taylor. THANK YOU !!!
 
Scenes From the Party



 


 



 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 



 


 



 


 



 


 
 
 
 
 



 


 



 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 



 


 



 


 



 


Brought to you by Purina, official dog food sponsor of the National Retriever Club of Canada


Purina logo

 

Test 6 - Double Land Blinds with 2 Poison Birds

Contestants awoke to overcast skies and a light rain which stopped before the caravan even arrived at the test grounds. Breakfast for the contestants and the workers was hosted by Purina. Enough cannot be said about the generosity of our sponsors without which these National events could not be held. A huge thank you to Purina, Avery Sporting Dog, Garmin Tri-Tronics, MNP LLP, Zinger Winger, Winchester Ammunition, Glenn & Ilham Norton, and Portraits by Connie Swanson.
 
Test 6 was 2 land blinds between 2 poison birds. When the handler was ready they signaled for the guns and the long left gunners shot and threw a poison bird from left to right towards the line to the long left blind. The short right hand gunners fired next, threw and then fired a second shot. That poison bird was thrown into the test from right to left. The dog was then sent for the short right hand blind. The line to the blind started off to the left of a very conspicuous road, then angled down the road most of the way to the blind, before breaking off to the right to the bird just in front of a patch of cattails. Distance to the short blind was 165 yards. The gunners for the right hand poison bird sat 75 yards from line. The distance to the left hand gun station was 200 yards and the long blind was 280 yards. After the dog picked up the short blind, the handler moved to the right, to a second mat, to run the long blind. To start the test, the wind was angling in from left to right. The dogs could definitely smell the left hand poison bird, on the way to the long blind. When the first 2 test dogs ran, the left hand gunners shot a dry pop. It was changed to a poison bird for the 3rd test dog.
 



Male test dog, Blade was first to run. He had a number of whistles on the short blind but retrieved the blind under control. For the long blind, he was to the right of the line for most of the blind and would not cast into the wind. He eventually got deep enough to wind the bird from the right and took the cast. Female test dog Rigby, had a number of casts back and forth across the road as she didn’t appear to be comfortable running on the road. Rigby had a good long blind and was kept tight to line. The third test dog was Sniper, with Karen Nelkenbrecher handling. The judges added a second poison bird to the test. Sniper had a number of whistles for the short blind but picked up the bird under control. He REALLY wanted the right hand poison bird and took his casts under protest. For the long blind, Sniper was right of the line to the blind and would not cast into the wind until he winded the left hand poison bird. Then he overcast towards the bird but recovered well and cast back to the blind.
 
Short Blind



 
Long Blind



 



 
As the test progressed, the wind totally switched 180 to downwind angling right to left. The short right poison bird became a much bigger factor than previously and the left poison bird less so. However, a few dogs managed to pick up one or the other poison bird.
 
Callbacks: 37 dogs were called back to the 7th series. Dogs not called back; 13, 14, 17, 26, 36, 50.

Brought to you by Garmin Tri-Tronics, official E-collar sponsor of the National Retriever Club of Canada


Tri-tronics logo

 

Test 07 - Land Quad with 2 Retired Guns

Another beautiful sunny day. Temperature started around 8C with a very slight breeze 3kmh SW. Contestants were again treated to breakfast compliments of Purina, one of our major sponsors that does so much for the field trial game in Canada. The low muddy areas on the trail into the test site proved to be a problem for some vehicles. Breakfast was in jeopardy when the food truck got stuck a long way from the test, but eventually arrived and the contestants lined up for breakfast
 



Test 7 was a land quad with the 2 right hand gunners retired. The field was a dry pond surrounded by dikes with trees along the tops, and a basin with variable grasses. Once again everyone was vigilant about the risk of foxtail. A trail crossed the test from right to left, disappearing to the left side of the centre left mark. Order of the guns was right retired first, then centre right retired, followed by the short left and lastly the centre left mark. Both left hand gunners remained visible and both right hand gunners retired. Rooster pheasants were thrown for the 2 short marks, a hen duck was thrown on the long left mark and a drake mallard was thrown for the long right hand retired mark. The short left hand mark was thrown into the test, angled back from left to right into low brush. All other marks were thrown right to left. Distances to the marks were; left mark 45 yards, centre left mark 185 yards, centre right 150 yards and the right hand mark was 230 yards. Lines to the left, centre left and centre right marks were very tight.
 
The male test dog Nordic Warrior owned and handled by Armand Fangsrud was first up. For Odin, the centre right mark was a drake duck thrown from left to right. Stu primary selected the left hand mark first. Given how tight the line was to the go bird, this was indicative of what everyone opted to do. Next Odin was sent for the go bird but broke down opposite the centre right retired gun station and had to be handled back. Odin had a good centre right mark and had a substantial hunt on either side of the gun station on the right retired mark before working his way back to the bird which was thrown angled back into cover. For female test dog Abby, owned and handled by Murray Murphy, the judges changed the test slightly. The centre right retired gun threw a rooster pheasant right to left. Murray opted to primary select the left mark out first and did an excellent job. He then took out the centre right retired and again had an excellent job. Next Abby was sent for the right hand retired and went right to the bird. For the centre left visible gun, Abby hunted both sides of the gun station before working her way to the bird.
 



 



 
As the test progressed the wind picked up 11 kmh SW and came across from right to left, essentially coming from the right retired gun station. As predicted, most handlers opted to primary select out the left hand mark.
 
Callbacks: 32 dogs were called back to the 8th series. 5 dogs were not called back. Dogs 9, 42, 44, 61, 74 were not called back.

Test 8 - Water Quad with 3 Retired Guns & Honour

Test 8 was a tight water quad with an honour. The test was run across a corner of the pond that was used in Test 3, but in the opposite direction. The order of the guns was centre left, followed by centre right, then right and then the left hand mark. The left hand go bird was a wiper bird thrown from the near shore out into a grassy patch almost half way across the pond. A BIG throw. The gunners for the go bird sat in front of a boat that was on shore. The line to the centre left retired mark was under the arc of the go bird, very tight to the end of the boat. The line to the centre right retired mark was slightly right but through the same grassy patch where the go bird landed and crossed through a shallow ditch into heavy cover. The line to the right hand retired mark exited the pond tight to the line to the centre right retired mark. Both left hand marks appeared to be flat throws whereas the 2 right hand marks were angled back. The throws for the left hand marks converged as well as converging throws for the 2 right hand marks. That meant the left and centre right marks were thrown left to right and the right and centre left marks were thrown right to left. There was a strong cross wind 25 kmh W, from right to left making it difficult to get by the right hand retired gun without winding it on the way to the centre right retired. The test got more difficult as the test progressed and more birds were thrown. Drakes were thrown for the 2 outside marks and hen ducks were thrown for the 2 inside marks. Distances to the marks were; left hand mark 85 yards, centre left 175 yards, centre right 280 yards, and right hand mark 140 yards. It was warm, bright and sunny with good visibility.
 
When the male and female test dogs ran, the test was a water triple. A fourth mark was added for the 3rd test dog. First up was male test dog Odin, owned and handled by Armand Fangsrud. Odin had an excellent go bird. For the centre retired mark, he started out on a good line tight to the end of the boat but faded to the holding blind before hooking over to the bird. For the long right retired gun, Odin took a good line through the grassy patch and went under the arc and then went directly to the bird for an excellent mark. Female test dog Abby with Murray Murphy ran next. Abby had an excellent go bird, and very good centre retired. For the long right retired Abby started off with a good line through the grassy patch but broke down opposite the centre retired gun station and returned to the old fall before being handled back to the bird. Murray had difficulty getting Abby to cast into the wind. The test was changed for the 3rd test dog by adding a retired gun to the right of the test. This was the test the judges went with. The 3rd test dog was Nick, handled by Marg Murray. Nick had an excellent go bird, faded with the wind for the right hand mark before hooking over and going directly to the bird. For the centre left retired Nick had a good line under the arc of the go bird, faded slightly to the holding blind and had a short hunt under the arc for another excellent mark. Nick stepped on the centre right retired mark. Good job. The first dog number 25 was called to line at 4:05. It was a 12 minute test. As the test progressed, there were quite a few handles. The test was called while dog 52 was running when a herd of cattle stampeded through the test.
 



 



 

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Test 8 - Continued

What a difference a day makes. The morning temperature was 4C to begin with a 6kmh SW wind. The wind was reduced to a breeze still coming across the test from right to left but slightly angled in. Murray Murphy ran Abby as test dog again. When Abby ran as test dog the day before, she ran the test as a triple. Abby had an excellent go bird, had a hunt around the gun station of the right hand mark, and for the centre left retired gun, missed the bird by a few feet on the downwind side and kept going way deep towards a white roof top in the distance that was more prominent in the morning with the lighting change. Abby was handled to the centre left retired. When sent for the centre right retired, Abby went tight to the right hand gun station, under the arc and drove through to the centre right bird. Dog 51 started.
 
Once again Purina generously hosted breakfast for the contestants and workers. A hot breakfast was welcome on a chilly morning. Thank you Purina for your continued support to ensuring the success of our Nationals
 
Judges before the test



Marshals Dick Curran & Rob Littlemore



Get the show on the road


 
At 11:30 the temperature had risen to 16C and the wind has died down to 8 kmh SE. What breeze there was had switched to across the test from left to right. Although the conditions changed, the judges continued to get lots of answers.
 
Changing of the guard



 
Callbacks: 19 dogs were called back to the 9th series. Dogs called back: 5, 12, 18, 21, 25, 28, 30, 32, 33, 39, 51, 52, 53, 55, 59, 62, 63, 66, 75. Dogs not called back: 1, 11, 15, 19, 22, 35, 40, 41, 45, 47, 57, 68, 70.
 

Test 9 - Water Blind with Sluice Gun

Test 9 was a water blind with a sluice gun The line to the blind was over a dike, past a scented point, then over a second scented point, angle across the pond to the end of a point of cattails. The bird was planted on a float board. The bird planter was visible in white on a hill to the left and deep of the blind. Distance to the bird planter was 225 yards and distance to the blind was 215 yards. Two gunners sat on the first point at 95 yards and sluiced the water in front of the point. The wind angled into the test from right to left. Dogs that squared across the pond from the point needed a cast into the wind to stay on line.
 
Murray Murphy ran the first test dog, Abby. She needed a few whistles to get into the water, but stayed in control until she squared across the pond and got into romping water. There, she had lots of whistle refusals, diappeared into the cattails early and ran the shore out of sight to the blind. Next up was Marg Murray with Nick. Nick decided it was hunting season and Marg had a hard time convincing him otherwise. A 3rd test dog, Roy, handled by Field Trial Chair, Dan Danforth, ran the blind and successfully negotiated the hazards with a number of whistles but got the job done. Unfortunately, all of the test dogs could touch bottom for most of the blind. Pond levels are controlled and from the time the setup tests were run until test day, the water level dropped significantly.
 



 



 
The 2014 Canadian National would like to thank our sponsors, Nestle-Purina official dog food supplier to the Nationals, Avery Sporting Dog, Garmin Tri-Tronics official e-collar supplier, Winchester Ammunition official ammunition supplier. Thank you as well to Ducks Unlimited Canada supplier of the finalist gifts, Zinger Winger official remote launcher supplier, Glenn & Ilham Norton for donating the handlers jackets, MNP LLP, and Animal Portraits by Connie Swanson for supplying portrait to the winner.
 

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Test 10 - Water Quad with 3 Retired Guns

Judges With Test 10 Behind
 



 
The last day of the 2014 National Retriever Championship Stake was gorgeous, not a cloud in the sky. To begin, the temperature was 10C with the wind 14 kmh S. Test 10 was a water Quad with 3 retired guns. The long left mark was thrown first, followed by right hand mark, then the centre right, and the go bird was the centre left hand bird. The gun station for the long left hand mark was almost directly behind the gunners for the go bird. Order of the guns was, left, right, centre right and then centre left. The left, centre right and right hand gun gunners retired leaving the go bird the only station visible. The go bird was thrown from the scented point where the sluice gunners were for Test 9. The bird was thrown left to right, angled in to splash just on shore, sheltered by a point. The right hand retired gun was thrown flat along the far shore, from right to left, landing on the backside of a clump of cattails. The centre right retired mark was thrown left to right, angled back, uphill into buck brush. The long left hand retired mark was thrown downhill into swamp grass. There were hills flanking either side of the basin with a cattail creek down the middle. The proper line to the long left hand mark is very tight to the go bird station, over a dike and out into the basin of swamp grass and cattails. Distances to the marks were; right hand mark 165 yards, centre right 260 yards, centre left go bird 175 yards and the long left hand mark 430 yards. Drakes were thrown at the long left retired mark and the right hand retired mark. Hen ducks were thrown at the long centre right mark and the short centre left go bird. The test was downwind and from right to left.
 
Male test dog was Nordic Warrior owned and handled by Armand Fangsrud. When Odin ran, the right hand retired gun was way up on the crest of the hill. Odin did well on all 4 marks but had a very wide line left of the the long left hand retired mark and corrected into the bird. The test was changed for FTCH Glenelm’s’s Glowing Ember, owned and handled by Carey Petersen. Ember ran the test that the judges decided to go with. Ember had a bit of difficulty with the angled in throw on the go bird, had short hunts around the gun stations for the right and centre right retired marks, and went way left on the long left hand retired mark and had to be helped. As the test progressed, the wind picked up significantly to 25 kmh SE with gusts to 40 kmh. Very few dogs did the test without handling