2016 National Retriever Championship

September 18-24, 2016
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

National logo


SRC logo
 

Host Club

Saskatoon Retriever Club
Field Trial Chairman: John McDonald
Field Trial Secretary: Charlene Couch
Chief Marshal: Doug Hildebrand

Judges

Eastern Zone: A. Gerald Burmaster
Southern Ontario Zone: Jim Green
Western Zone: Graham Tyler

 

2016 Winner
National Retriever Championship

NFTCH FTCH AFTCH OCG's Equalizer



Owned and Handled by: Larry Baker

Finalists



 

5
FTCH Pilkingtons Chasing Liberty QFTR
Owned by: Gail Komadoski and Kevin Howarth
Handled by: Gail Komadoski



13
FTCH Baypoints My Girl
Owned by: Grady Hartzog
Handled by: Dan Devos



17
FTCH-AFTCH OCG's Equalizer
Owned and Handled by: Larry Baker



18
FTCH-AFTCH Wynflat Dark Side Of The Moon
Owned and Handled by: Debby Montgomery



20
Pekisko's Real Steel
Owned John & Sharon Van Der Lee
Handled by: John Van Der Lee



21
FTCH-AFTCH Noremac's Undertaker JFTR QFTR
Owned and Handled by: Brian Griffin



23
AFTCH Moonstone Kuro Tatsumaki
Owned and Handled by: David Fishley



24
FTCH-AFTCH Taylorlab's Sweet Cheeks
Owned by: Garry & Sue Taylor
Handled by: Sue Taylor



27
NFTCH FTCH Battle River Perro
Owned by: Bob & Deirdre Kozminski
Handled by: Colin McNicol



28
FTCH-AFTCH One More Round
Owned by: Jim & Sherrylyn Swanson
Handled by: Jim Swanson



31
FC-FTCH-AFTCH-NMH Taylorlabs Sugar And Spice MH
Owned by: Garry & Sue Taylor
Handled by: Sue Taylor



37
FTCH-AFTCH Pilkington's Joey's On Line
Owned by: Chuck Lapensee
Handled by: Charles Dygos



48
FC-AFC-FTCH-AFTCH Pekisko's Ironman
Owned by: John & Sharon Van Der Lee
Handled by: Sharon Van Der Lee



54
FTCH-AFTCH Grousebusters No Fear No Mercy
Owned and Handled by: Lois Aitken



57
FTCH Pilkington's Put'n On The Ritz QFTR
Owned by: Gail Komadoski And Kevin Howarth
Handled by: Kevin Howarth



 

Daily Results

Brought to you by the National Retriever Club of Canada. Daily reports, and photos by Dona Martin, drawings by Tim Fahl, and sponsored by Purina, Official Sponsor of the Canadian National Open and Canadian National Amateur Retriever Championships, and the Official Dog Food Sponsor and the Official Dog Food Supplier to the National Retriever Club of Canada

 

Saturday September 17, 2016

Opening Banquet

The 2016 National Retriever Championship festivities got off to a great start with the Opening Banquet held in Bradwell, Saskatchewan. The host club was the Saskatoon Retriever Club. Thank you to all of the volunteers for their hard work in hosting the 2016 National.



 
After an hour of visiting with old friends and catching up on a year’s worth of news, we were invited to take our seats.
 
Catching up





 

 





 

 





 
 
 
 
 
A new twist on piping in the head table, Master of Ceremonies, Jeff Morari performed a wicked duck call to usher in the head table. Once everyone took there places, judge Gerry Burmaster sang the Star Spangled Banner, followed by Oh Canada. Gail Komadoski offered grace.
 
Jeff Duck Caller Extraordinaire



Calling In the Head Table


 
Head Table



 
Left to right: John McDonald Field Trial Chair, Jeff Morari Master of Ceremonies, NRCC Central Zone Director Gail Komadoski, Kevin Howarth, Southern Ontario zone judge, Jim Green, Eastern zone judge Gerry Burmaster, Western zone judge Graham Tyler, Field Trial Marshal Doug Hildebrand, and Ann Hildebrand.
 
Gerry Singing National Anthems



Master of Ceremonies, Jeff Morari


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Master of Ceremonies, John Morari started off the evening by thanking our sponsors, Nestle-Purina Official Sponsor of the Canadian National Open and Canadian National Amateur Retriever Championships, Official Dog Food Sponsor and the Official Dog Food Supplier to the National Retriever Club of Canada, Avery Sporting Dog, Garmin Tri-Tronics official e-collar supplier, Winchester Ammunition official ammunition supplier, Petsecure, Canada’s Pet Insurance, Ducks Unlimited Canada supplier of the finalist gifts, Zinger Winger official remote launcher supplier, and Animal Portraits by Connie Swanson for supplying portrait to the winner. Thank you also to Potash Corp for sponsoring the banquet, Lane from Prairie Meats, and servers Wally & Sandra turk, Char Couch, Lynn Campbell, Louise Thorpe, Mark Antonini, David Greanyea, Paddy thompson. Without the hard work by an army of volunteers, events like the National would not be as successful.
 
Next, Gail Komadoski, Central Zone Director for the National Retriever Club of Canada, reiterated a huge thank you to our National sponsors, Nestle-Purina, Avery Sporting Dog, Garmin Tri-Tronics, Winchester Ammunition, Petsecure, Ducks Unlimited Canada, Zinger Winger, and Animal Portraits by Connie Swanson. NRCC pins were presented to Southern Ontario Zone Judge Jim Green, Eastern Zone Judge Gerry Burmaster, and Western Zone Judge Graham Tyler. Gail also recognized retiring Directors who have accepted another 3 year term, Jane Spearing, Connie Swanson, and Mike Zelman. Alberta Director Bob James was presented an NRCC pin as a thank you for his years of service. The Alberta Director replacing Bob will be Gord Benn. National Retriever Club of Canada pins were awarded to Field Trial Chair John McDonald, Field Trial Marshal Doug Hildebrand, and Field Trial Secretary Charlene Couch. A huge thank you for your hard work. The BC Amateur Field Trial Club was announced as host club for the 2017 National Amateur to be held in the Mission/Deroche area of the Fraser Valley, BC from July 17-23. As well, the Labrador Retriever Club of Central Ontario was announced as host club of the 2017 National Retriever Championship in Brighton, ON from September 11-16. Gail also announced the Field Trial Committee for this National; FT Committee Chair Doug Hildebrand, FT Chair John McDonald, representing the Eastern Zone Mike Zelman, Southern Ontario Zone Gail Komadoski, and Western Zone Daniel Danforth.
 
Field Trial Chair John McDonald took the opportunity to thank individuals that have worked hard behind the scenes to ensure the success of this National. Thank you to Chief marshal Doug Hildebrand, Social Committee Sandra Turk and Lynn Campbell, FT Secretary Charlene Couch, Treasurer Lynn Campbell, Game Steward and Gun Captain Garry Taylor, Equipment Daryl Shmon & Keith Althouse, Parking and Gallery control Mark Antonini, Wally Turk, Ross Campbell, Finance Committee Jim Couch & Shelly Campbell, Photography Jeff Morari and Drawings Tim Fahl. John also thanked the judges for offering their time and expertise and presented them with original oil paintings of the prairie landscape by Tim Fahl. Once the judges had adjourned for the night, Auctioneer Bob Burlitoff got the bidding underway for the Calcutta.
 
John & Jim



John & Gerry


 
 
John & Graham



Auctioneer Bob Burlitoff


 

Sunday September 18, 2016

 

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

   Winchester Ammunition logo            
 
 
      
 
The 2016 Canadian National would like to thank our sponsors, Nestle-Purina Official Sponsor of the Canadian National Open and Canadian National Amateur Retriever Championships, Official Dog Food Sponsor and the Official Dog Food Supplier to the National Retriever Club of Canada, Avery Sporting Dog, Garmin Tri-Tronics official e-collar supplier, Winchester Ammunition official ammunition supplier, Petsecure, Canada’s Pet Insurance. Thank you as well to Ducks Unlimited Canada supplier of the finalist gifts, Zinger Winger official remote launcher supplier, and Animal Portraits by Connie Swanson for supplying portrait to the winner.
 

Test 1 & 2 - Combination Land Double With a Retired Gun and a Blind

Welcome to the 2016 National Retriever Championship, hosted by the Saskatoon Retriever Club, in Bradwell Saskatchewan. It was harvest time in the prairies. The leaves were just starting to change colour. Grain fields were being cut. Round bales dotted the horizon and the sand hill cranes, ducks and geese were starting to congregate into larger flocks. The cooler temperatures were a welcome break from the long hot summer. After the rain the night before, the temperature was 13C, slightly overcast with sunny breaks. There was a slight breeze NE 7 km/h. For this National we had guest artist Tim Fahl doing the test drawings. Tim is a club member who provided drawings for 4 Nationals & Master Nationals hosted by the Saskatoon Retriever Club.
 
Before getting underway, as is tradition for our Nationals, one of the judges from the previous National Amateur, in this case Debby Montgomery from British Columbia, passed along the signalling paddle.



 
Test 1 & 2 was a combination land double with a retired gun and a blind. The order of the guns was short retired and then the longer right hand go bird. The gunners on the short mark retired immediately after they threw their bird, into a large clump of willow. The hen mallard was thrown in front of another clump of willow. The right hand visible gunners also threw a hen mallard, which landed behind a large clump of willow that was part way to the mark. The blind was hot, which means the bird was on the ground when the marks were being run. The dogs picked up the marks before being sent for the blind. The line to the blind was to the left of the short retired gun station, through the corner of a flock of goose decoys. A drake mallard was planted at the blind. Distances were; 146 yards to the short retired, 200 yards to the right hand long visible go bird, and 220 yards to the blind.



 



 
First test dog to line was female test dog Wyldfires Flames A Roaring, owned and handled by Charlene Couch. Flame took a wide line to the right of the right hand bird, right of the clump of willow, and then cut into the gun station before working her way over to the bird. For the short retired, Flame disappeared around the gun station but quickly recovered to pick up the bird. For the blind, Flame started out heading towards the marks but a few whistles and she was back on line and did a good job on the blind. Male test dog, Hard Road Jack, owned by Hope Roberts & Bob Sluggett and handled by Hope, was next up. Hope chose to primary select the short retired out first. Jack did an excellent job. Next he did a very good job on the right hand visible go bird and a controlled tight line to the blind. Well done.
Hope and Jack



Char & Flame


 
Handlers Watching Test Dogs



 
For the early dogs the wind was light but as the test progressed a band of rain moved across and the wind picked up W16 km/h gusting to 24 km/h. We dodged a bullet with a heavy band of thundershowers that passed just south of us. Later, the wind really picked up to 38 km/h with gusts to 57 km/h and the sun returned. With the strong wind, there were a number of pick-ups and handles. On the way to the blind, the dogs tended to curl right behind the willow clump where the retired gunners were hidden, thus requiring a left hand cast into the wind. Most dogs got through the blind OK but the ones that were picked up had difficulty with the marks. With the shift in wind direction it became difficult to get by the short retired on the way the the long visible.
 
Too Cold to Sit in the Gallery - Standing to Stay Warm



 
Callbacks: 51 dogs were called back to the 3rd series. Dogs not called back; 22, 41, 47.

Monday September 19, 2016

 
Brought to you by Purina, Official Sponsor of the Canadian National Open and Canadian National Amateur Retriever Championships, Official Dog Food Sponsor and the Official Dog Food Supplier to the National Retriever Club of Canada


Purina logo

 

Test 3 - Water Triple With a Retired Gun and an Honour

The skies cleared after the rain overnight with a brisk wind out of the West 24 km/h gusting to 37 km/h. The temperature to start was 7C, feeling like 4C with the wind. Test 3 was a water triple with the long right hand gun station retired. There was an honour on this test, but with the chill in the air and all the swimming it was not too enticing to go for the birds a second time. The order of the guns was counter clockwise with the long retired right hand bird thrown first, followed by the short centre bird and then the left hand go bird. The centre and left hand gunners remained visible. All birds were thrown left to right. Hen mallards were thrown on the 2 shorter marks and a drake mallard was thrown on the long right-hand mark. Hay bales dot the landscape and were used to hide the retired gun station on the right hand mark. There was a cluster of hay bales part way out and left of the long gun station. The pond was surrounded by medium height grass interspersed with running mounds. In the pond, there were numerous points and bays to divert the dogs on their way to the marks. Distances to the marks were: 280 yards to the long right-hand retired, 94 yards to the short middle bird and 156 yards to the left-hand go bird. The 2 outside marks were thrown on land and the centre bird was thrown in the water behind an island. A road ran along the right hand side of the pond and crossed the line to the bird.
 



 



 
A Different Perspective



 
Flame was once again female test dog with Char at the helm. Flame had an excellent go bird and had a very tight hunt in the area of the fall for the centre bird. For the long retired, she headed across to the closest spit and then worked her way back along the road, cut left at the bales and then hunted over to pick up the bird. Jack was up next with Hope. He also had no trouble with the left and centre marks. On the long right hand retired he broke down at the cluster of hay bales part way to the mark and was handled to the bird. After the test dogs ran, the test was changed slightly with the go bird thrown left to right to tighten up the marks,
 
Handlers Checking Out Test 3





 
Half way through the running order, the windy conditions remained constant but the long right-hand gunners became much more visible without the early morning glare. A number of dogs initiated their hunt for the long right-hand retired mark at the hay bales between the pond and the gun station. Some were able to work it out, some had to be handled.
 
Changing of the Guard





 



 
Callbacks: 46 dogs were called back. Dogs not called back: 1, 10, 11, 34, 52.
 

Prairie Night



 
What a great way to finish the day. The wind finally died down and it was a perfect evening for a BBQ. Dinner was sponsored by C&C Fire Extinguisher Services, Hill View Acres Tyler & Naomi Evans and the Field Trial Clubs from Alberta; Alberta Field Trial Club, Wild Rose Retriever Club, Rocky Mountain Sporting Dog Club, Red Deer Retriever Club and Stampede City Retriever Club.
 





 
 



Tuesday September 20, 2016

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


Avery Sporting Dog logo

 

Test 4 - Water Blind

After the wind from the previous day, a light breeze NE 7 km/h was welcome. The day started with fog in the low lying areas especially over the ponds, causing a delay in starting. With the blind run to the NorthEast the shadows at the end of the blind would have made it very difficult to see the dogs, so the blind was moved over more to the North and onto a sunny spot so the dogs could be seen more easily. The blind was run in the same area as Test 3. The mat was moved to the left about 35 yards and the line to the blind crossed the lines to all 3 marks from Test 3. The blind was pretty much a no see em blind. The dogs had to catch the right hand corner of a mound, and then run 50 yards down hill to the water. They had to catch a corner of the point on the left, re-enter, and then angle across land/road into a second pond. The dog was out of sight for a short period after they got into the second pond. The duck was placed at the left side at the base of a point. The blind was 235 yards long. It was essentially a downwind blind with a slight cross wind from left to right. For the first few dogs the wind was not really a factor. The Saskatoon Retriever Club grounds are awesome. A line of separate ponds follow the natural course of an original creek so despite the flat surrounding prairie there are hills and valleys along both sides of the ponds with clumps of bush that are scattered through the fields and small sloughs and changes in vegetation throughout.
 



 
Drawing by Tim Fahl.



 



 
Female test dog is FTCH AFTCH Biggun’s Over Tucquan, owned by Murray Murphy and handled by Charlene Couch. Abby was brought out of retirement to run as female test dog. Being unfamiliar with Char as handler, Abby had a rough start to the blind but once she got straightened out on line, she did a good job carrying her line and staying under control. Jack was once again male test dog with Hope handling. Jack seemed a little unsure about the no picture blind, but once he got going, he was good over the road into the second pond and required a few whistles to keep him on line.
Char and Abby



Handlers Viewing the Line


 
 
Callbacks: 41 dogs were called back to the 5th series. Dogs not called back; 7, 15, 29,45,55.
 

Workers’ Party

Fortunately the day finished up early to give the workers a chance to relax and get to the Workers’ Party in time for cocktails. So often the tests run late and it is the workers that arrive late for their own party. The Workers’ Party was hosted by Purina - Official Sponsor of the Canadian National Open and Canadian National Amateur Retriever Championships, Official Dog Food Sponsor and the Official Dog Food Supplier to the National Retriever Club of Canada. Through donations from Purina, the travel expenses for the judges are paid. Purina also generously provided goody bags full of Purina products and dog food to all of the workers.
 
Many of our sponsors donated items to the Silent Auction which is a major fund raiser for the event. Without the support from sponsors; Purina, Garmin Tri-tronics, Avery Sporting Dog, DU Canada, Petsecure, Zinger Winger, Winchester Ammunition, it would be difficult for host clubs to put on National quality events and in the case of the Saskatoon Retriever Club, maintain these world class grounds.
 
Jeff Morari, Master of Ceremonies started off the evening with a special thanks to the landowners; Quentin & Rose Senger, Don & John Mills, Ed Balion, Audrey Menzies, Alfred Epp & Gail Smith, and Lamont Knitty. So many additional properties are needed for pre-national training.
 
Next FT Chair, John McDonald stepped forward to thank the key members of host club team that work tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure everything runs smoothly. To this end, the Saskatoon Retriever Club has hosted a first class event. So much attention to detail and efficiency. Thank you to FT Chair John McDonald, FT Marshal Doug Hildebrand, FT Secretary Char Couch, Garry Taylor, Sue Taylor, Tim Fahl, Jeff Mohair, Paddy Thompson, Daryl Shmon, Mark Antonini, Shelly Campbell, Jeff Thorpe, Louise Thorpe, Lynn Campbell, Ross Campbell, Jack Smith, Reinhold Matteis, Don Ball, Sharon Ball, Keith Althouse, Joe Parker, Medie Robinson, Jim Couch, Wally Turk, Sandra Turk, Diana Murphy, Murray Murphy, Ian Montgomery, Hope Roberts, Hans Berin, Fred Benjaminson, Elsie Baker and Bruce MacDonald.
 
Alberta Director Daniel Danforth and Manitoba Director Gail Komadoski presented the NRCC worker pins and assisted John in presenting the Purina bags in appreciation of all their hard work.
 



 
Enjoying Good Company





 
 





 
 



 

Wednesday September 21, 2016

Test 5 - Land Quad With 2 Retired Guns and an Honour

Another fog delayed test. The area was blanketed in a heavy fog. Temperature was 1C with barely a breath of air. As the week progressed, more and more clouds of snow geese in the air and on the ground arrived. Simply awesome. The locals said it was just the beginning.
 
Early Morning Fog





 
 
Hurry Up and Wait





 
 
The fog finally lifted to reveal a land quad. The cover in the field varied from cut hay to heavy bulrushes in the dry sloughs. A few hay bales dotted the landscape. The centre right hand gun station retired behind a group of hay bales. There was a large clump of aspen and poplar behind the long centre left hand guns where the gunners retired to. A dry slough with heavy cover was in the centre of the test. The order of the guns was long centre right, then long centre left, then left and the go bird was to the right. Rooster pheasants were thrown for the 2 outside marks, and hen mallards were thrown for the 2 long centre retired marks. The 2 right hand marks were thrown into the test from right to left and the 2 left hand marks were thrown into the test from left to right. The test was run to the North and at least for the early dogs the wind came in from the centre right hand retired to the go bird which appeared to land behind the brow of a hill in heavy cover. The running mat was perched on top of a mound which made it very enticing for dogs to creep down the hill. Distance to the marks were; 120 yards to the right hand mark, 182 yards to the centre right hand mark, 290 yards to the centre left mark and 226 yards to the left hand mark.
 



 



 
Female test dog, Flame ran first. She crept a bit down the hill so Char wasn’t able to help her when the birds were being thrown. Flame had a very good right hand go bird, hunted wrong side of the left hand mark but sorted it out and hunted over to the bird. Char chose to take out the long centre left hand mark third. Flame took a wide line to the right but corrected in to front foot the bird. For the centre right hand retired mark, Flame cut between the 2 right hand marks but corrected across in front of the bales and went directly to the bird. A very good test. Next up were Jack and Hope. When the test dogs were being run, the retired gunners were instructed to retire after the next gun went off. This proved to be a problem for Jack because the gunners were still retiring when the 4th bird was being thrown. As a result, Jack was focused on the right hand retired station when he was sent for the go bird. He appeared to wind the centre right retired mark as he crested the hill at the go bird and went on through to pick up the centre right bird which was a duck. Keep in mind that the go bird is a rooster pheasant. Jack had an excellent left hand mark. Hope then tried for the go bird again with the same result. Jack wanted to go deep and had to be handled to the bird. For the long centre left retired mark, Jack seemed to be influenced by a single hay bale in the field to the right of the line to the mark. He hunted around the bale, and short of the mark but worked his way left and back to the bird. As the test progressed, the wind was variable, sometimes coming in from the centre right mark, and sometimes a cross wind where the dog couldn’t get by the go bird without winding it. There were lots of dogs that seemed to be infatuated with the single bale to the right of the centre left retired bird. The order of the guns appeared to influence the dogs with some not seeing the long centre left bird thrown.
 
Blast from the past. At the 1978 Canadian National in Red Deer Alberta, Kevin Howarth judged, Sharon Gierman was a competitor, and Don Pollock was the Chair and a competitor. All are competing here at the 2016 National in Saskatoon Saskatchewan. Left Kevin, centre Sharon, and right Don.
 



 
Callbacks: 36 dogs were called back to the 6th series. Dogs that were not called back; 25, 26, 36, 43, 46.
 

Test 6 - Double Land Blind

Test 6 was a double land blind run in the same field as the marks from Test 5, crossing the line to the centre left retired gun. Distances to the blinds were; 150 yards to the short right hand blind and 242 yards to the long left hand blind. A rooster pheasant was planted at the right hand blind approximately 10 yards directly in front of the 2 bird planters dressed in white. A duck was planted at the left blind in front of a small yellow bush on the left side of a large mound. The line to the right hand blind started to the right of the road, angled across for quite some distance and ended left of the road 10-15 yards. The grass was cut on either side of the road. There was a small hill at the end of the blind slightly off-line to the left where the dog went of sight briefly making it difficult for handlers to get a proper perspective on where the bird was planted. The line to the left hand blind crossed the line to the centre left mark, through heavier cover. There was a patch of cattails half way to the long left hand blind that was on line. There was a slight breeze 6 km/h coming in to the test from right to left.
 
Female test dog, Flame ran first. Flame started off left of the road and had to be handled to the right. She overcast to the right side of the road then back across to the left. For the left blind, Flame required a few early whistles left of line. She missed the cattails on the left and was difficult to see in the high grass. The end of her blind was under control. Jack started the right hand blind running down the right side of the road and was cast left onto the road. He had to be cast off the road and ended up left of the bird, before being cast to the bird. For the left hand blind, Jack went right of the cattails had a few casts to the left. Both handlers had a problem with depth perception on the left hand blind and thought they were at the bird when in fact they were short.
 



 



 
Callbacks: 30 dogs were called back to the 7th series. Dogs not called back; 14, 30, 32, 39, 44, 56.

Thursday September 22, 2016

 
Brought to you by Purina, Official Sponsor of the Canadian National Open and Canadian National Amateur Retriever Championships, Official Dog Food Sponsor and the Official Dog Food Supplier to the National Retriever Club of Canada


Purina logo

 

Test 7 - Water Quad With 2 Retired Guns

Contestants awoke for a frosty 0C morning. Thankfully, Purina hosted a hot breakfast for all of the contestants and workers. Purina is the Official Sponsor of the Canadian National Open and Canadian National Amateur Retriever Championships, Official Dog Food Sponsor and the Official Dog Food Supplier to the National Retriever Club of Canada. Their support is so appreciated and without the support of all of our sponsors the National events would not be the high calibre that is expected at a National. Thank you.
Getting the Day Started



 
To start, there was a slight breeze, NW6 km/h coming in and across the test from right to left.. The test was run NorthWest to NorthEast. Test 7 was a water quad with 2 retired guns, run at the end of a large pond with the lines to the birds across narrow channels. There were no big swims. The order of the guns was long left, then long right, then centre right with the short go bird centre left. Hen mallards were thrown on the 2 long outside marks and drake mallards are thrown on the 2 inside shorter marks. Distances to the marks were; 251 yards to the long left mark, 120 yards to the short centre left go bird, 150 yards to the centre right boat bird, and 219 yards to the long right hand mark. The long left and the centre right boat bird retired when the next guns went off. The gunners at the retired boat bird were only visible from the shoulders up and simply sat down after they threw their bird.
 
The long left retired gun threw left to right angled back into a green, cut portion of the field. The gunners retired into an aspen hedgerow. There were 2 prominent bushes on the near shore, with the line to the bird between the bushes, swimming along the left hand shore, through heavy marsh grass where you lost sight of the dog until it came out in the cut area. The long right hand bird was thrown into the test from right to left, angled back along the right hand shore, to land at the edge of the pond in high grass. The line to the right hand bird was a short swim across a narrow channel, and through a flock of full size goose decoys placed beside the shore of the pond. The retired centre right mark was thrown from a boat blind across a narrow channel into a cattail mass. You could not see the dog hunt or pick up the mark. The line to the bird was tight backside of the short centre left go bird gun station. The go bird was thrown from a point on the near shore across the channel from right to left into sparse high marsh grass with a big splash.
 



 



 



 
Female test dog Abby with owner handler Murray Murphy were up first. Abby front footed the go bird. Next, Murray chose to take the centre right retired bird second. Abby went tight backside of the boat holding blind, curled around deep and hunted back to the bird. Abby took an excellent line to the left retired bird and pinned the mark. For the right hand mark, Abby took an excellent line directly to the bird. Male test dog was Calumet’s Luck of the Irish, owned by Sharon Gierman and Charlene Chastain and handled by Charlene. For the go bird, Lucky cut across to the point where the gunners sit and then across the channel to the bird. Charlene chose to take the right mark second. Lucky passed the goose decoys on the right before fore cutting left in front of the gun station to the bird. For the centre right retired mark, Lucky went to the holding blind and then across into the cattails and the bird. For the long left retired mark, Lucky took the same line across the point where the go bird gunners sit, then wide right through the marsh grass and corrected to the bird. Except for the go bird, the order the handlers chose to pick up the birds was varied and seemed to depend on who was in control on the mat. Most of the dogs did well overall. The throw for the go bird was different with each change of gunners. To start the bird was landing in the high marsh grass with a splash, then the throw changed so it didn’t make the cover and was sitting in open water, then finally deep into the high grass. The wind came around so the test was more downwind, right to left and picked up speed 16 km/h.
Charlene & Lucky



Handlers Before the Test


 
Callbacks: 23 dogs were called back to the 8th series. Dogs called back 3, 4, 5, 8, 13, 17, 18, 20, 21, 23, 24, 27, 28, 31, 33, 37, 40, 42, 48, 50, 51, 54, 57. Dogs not called back: 6, 12, 16, 19, 35, 38, 49
 

Friday September 23, 2016

 

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


Tri-tronics logo

 

Test 8 - Water Blind

Rain moved in overnight and the temperature dropped to 8C. Two words, wet and miserable. Thankfully Purina once again hosted a hot breakfast for all of the contestants and workers.
 
Test 8 was a 222 yard water blind that crossed the lines to the marks from Test 7. The mat was moved left and back about 40 yards, behind the left corner of a large running mound. The grass is uncut on the mound making for a no picture blind. The line line cut across the corner of the mound, through a prominent bush on the near shore, across a small channel and to the right of the empty chairs left from the go bird, The dog re-entered the water and caught the left side of the cattail island where the holding blind and boat were hidden. They had been removed. The dog then paralleled the cattail shoreline to the back of a bay. The wind was 21-31 km/h coming from the East. The blind was run NNE so there was a significant crosswind that the dogs had to negotiate. Lots of casts into the wind.
 



 



 



 
Two of the test dogs ran Thursday afternoon before the judges determined they could not finish the test and called it a day. First up Friday, was female test dog Abby with owner/handler Murray Murphy. At first, Abby wanted to flare left and was recalled. On the resend she curled right around the mound and was handled into the water. Once she decided she was willing to do the blind she had an excellent blind. The boat and holding blind from Test 7 were left in the test for the test dogs yesterday. They were removed for the morning test dog and running dogs. Abby curled around the boat at the last second but then adjusted her line to go directly to the bird. An excellent blind. Charlene Chastain and Lucky were next. Lucky’s initial line was way left and he cut further left as soon as he went out of sight over the edge of the pond. Charlene gave numerous casts into the wind to get Lucky on line, only to cut left behind the chairs and into the old fall of the centre right retired bird. He then disappeared into the cattails and was picked up, but not before winding the bird and picking up the duck. A 3rd test dog was run this morning. Hope and Jack returned as male test dog. Jack was MIA yesterday because he was taken to the vet college to have a seed removed from his eye. He was much happier. Jack did not run the marks. For his initial line he was deflected left by the mound and required 1 cast to put him through the bush. As soon as he passed the chairs he cut left across the channel into the cattails. He wanted no part of casting into the wind. When Jack ran the bird planters were in a canoe upwind of the blind, to the right and deep, so they were moved in and to the left of line for the running dogs. Part way through the running order, the bird planters flipped their canoe and had to be replaced. It is far too cold to leave them out in the canoe until the end.
Paddy Thompson & Jeff Thorpe



Staying Dry Waiting for Callbacks


 
 
 
 
Callbacks: 18 dogs were called back to the 9th series. Dogs called back; 4, 5, 13, 17, 18, 20, 21, 23, 24, 27, 28, 31, 37, 42, 48, 51, 54, 57. Dogs not called back; 3, 8, 33, 40, 50.

Test 9 - Land Quad With 3 Retired Guns

Test 9 was a land quad with 3 retired guns. Only the short right hand go bird remained visible. The wind picked up to 27-40 km/h with a driving rain. The wind came across the test from right to left and down wind from the right hand bird to the left bird. Distances to the birds were: left 335 yards, centre left 295 yards, centre right 149 yards and right 108 yards. The test was run on the Saskatoon Retriever Club grounds in a typical prairie hay field dotted with hay bales. Both the left and centre left gunners retired behind hay bales. The centre right retired gunners retired behind a large choke cherry bush. At first glance the test appeared as a double momma/poppa. All that means was that the 2 left hand gunners appear close together and throw diverging birds as do the 2 right hand gunners. A fair distance separates the actual birds. Although the white port-a-potty appeared in the distance just to the left of the centre left gun station, with the poor visibility and white background it did not seem to factor into the test. The order of the guns was centre right retired, centre left retired, left retired and the go bird was to the right throwing left to right over a small mound. The centre right mark was thrown right to left from 1 choke cherry bush across a gap to another. The dog was out of sight when it picked up the bird. The centre left mark was thrown flat from left to right, to the left side base of a mound. The left mark was thrown angled back from right to left. The line to that bird was through heavy marsh grass along the side of a pond. There was a road that crossed the line to the right hand bird which was a rooster pheasant. The line to the left centre bird crossed a separate road 2 times. That road forked part way to the bird.
 



 



 
Female test dog Abby was up first. She had an excellent go bird, took a line directly to the centre right retired for another excellent bird. For the centre left retired, Abby started wide to the right of the line to the bird but cut abruptly left to the mound and bale about half way to the bird on the left side of the road, made a loop and then crossed back over the road on went straight to the bird. For the left retired mark, it appeared that Abby was going to split the difference between the 2 left hand mark, but corrected across in front of the gun station hay bale directly to the bird. Male test dog Jack ran second. On the go bird he had a tight hunt in the area of the fall. For the centre right retired mark, Jack ran to the bush where the gunners retired and then hooked over to the bird. For the centre left retired, Jack took the same initial line as Abby and made an abrupt left turn at the same location in the field and hunted short to the left and around the mound before hunting his way back and picking up the left retired mark. When he was resent for the centre left mark, Jack went over the top of the mound where the bird landed at the base to the left. He came back in sight behind the mark and popped before being whistled into the bird.
 
Fort Bradwell



 

Saturday September 24, 2016

 

Brought to you by all of our sponsors

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The 2016 Canadian National would like to thank our sponsors, Nestle-Purina Official Sponsor of the Canadian National Open and Canadian National Amateur Retriever Championships, Official Dog Food Sponsor and the Official Dog Food Supplier to the National Retriever Club of Canada, Avery Sporting Dog, Garmin Tri-Tronics official e-collar supplier, Winchester Ammunition official ammunition supplier, Petsecure, Canada’s Pet Insurance. Thank you as well to Ducks Unlimited Canada supplier of the finalist gifts, Zinger Winger official remote launcher supplier, and Animal Portraits by Connie Swanson for supplying portrait to the winner.

Test 10 - Water Quad With 3 Retired Guns

After a long fog delay the 10th and final series of the National got underway. Wind was coming into the test from right to left from the NW 10 km/h. The test was run North to South. Skies were overcast and everything was damp from the rain the previous day. Temperature was 10C, so the hot breakfast hosted by Purina was gratefully appreciated.
 
Test 10 was a water quad with the left, centre left and centre right gunners retired. Only the right hand wiper bird remained visible. Distances to the marks were; long left 282 yards, centre left 212 yards, centre right 242 yards, and the right hand go bird was 132 yards. Drake mallards were thrown on the 2 outside birds and hen mallards were throw for the 2 inside marks landing on the far shore. A long spit that looked like a dike separated a smaller bay from the main pond. A canoe was parked behind the spit at a small narrow channel between the spit and the far shore. There was a large patch of cutoff dead cattails in the middle of the pond which was surrounded by the centre left, centre right, and right hand marks. Only the line to the long left mark crossed the spit. The gunners for the 2 centre marks retired behind holding blinds on the dike at the far shore. The left centre bird was thrown flat along the back shore, from right to left into heavy marsh grass. The right centre bird was thrown angled back behind a large mound, under the arc of the go bird. The gunners stood in line with where the right hand go bird landed. The gunners for the right hand go bird stood quite a ways apart and threw from the right hand shore out into the pond to a patch of cut cattails, with a big splash. The long left retired bird was thrown from a boat tight angled back over the heads of the gunners, into heavy cattails along the shore from right to left. The gunners were very hard to pick out and were only visible from the chest up. There was a duck nest in the pond to the left of the line to the bird.
 



 



 



 
Female test dog for the finals series is FTCH-AFTCH Molly's Olympic Sofie, owned and handled by Rod Spence. Sophie went directly to the go bird for an excellent mark. Next, Sophie was ent for the centre left mark and was sucked into the point at the end of the long spit but went directly across the channel to the bird for a very good mark. For the long left hand mark, Sophie started wide to the left initially, made a loop on the spit and then swam along the cattails and corrected right to the bird. For the centre right hand bird, Sophie returned to the old fall of the go bird and had to be handled. Male test dog is FTCH-AFTCH-NMH Taylorlabs Liquor Is Quicker, owned and handled by John McDonald. Nash started with a hunt in the water between the gunners and the patch of cattails before working his way over to the patch of cattails and the bird for the go bird. For the centre left hand mark, Nash took a line wide to the left and ended up hunting at the canoe on the backside of the spit, before hunting deep into the cattails out of sight and showing up at the bird. Nash was then sent for the left hand mark but curled into the cattails after crossing the dike and showed up once again at the centre left mark. He wouldn’t be the last do to do that. There was no opportunity to handle when the dog was out of sight. He was brought back and sent for the centre right hand mark and was handled from the cattails in the middle of the pond. He was not resent for the long left hand mark. There was only one dog that did the test without a handle. The rest handled or picked up. So many of the dogs when sent for the left hand mark, went out of sight in the cattails and ended up at the left centre bird.