Tuesday September 12, 2017

Updated: 7:00 pm
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Test 3 - Water Blind

Updated: 11:05 am
What a great day to be running a National. Bright and sunny forecast for the entire day. The starting temperature is 7C and is anticipated to climb to 22C. Perfect for the dogs. There is a slight breeze 4 km/h N, which is barely perceptible. The test is being run on the Thompson property in the pond in front of the house. The line to the blind runs North East, and the handlers are very visible against the green foliage behind.
Distance to the blind is 146 yards. There are 3 points to negotiate on the line to the blind. The dog should be on the 1st and 2nd points and swim past the 3rd point. The running mat is set back from the water about 20 yards with the dog running past the judges tent on the way to the water. Handlers can move up and laterally as much as they require to keep the dog in sight. There is heavy cover on the first point so the handlers must move to the right down the dyke to see the dog. The danger with that is they can easily lose perspective of whether the dog is on line to the blind. Dogs can be easily seen approaching the 2nd point and for the rest of the blind.


An aerial view gives a very different perspective of the points


The male test dog was once again Teddy with Connie at the helm. Immediately upon entering the water, Teddy took an abrupt left hand turn towards the shore that parallels the test. It took numerous casts to get him thinking water and then he wanted to go around the first point. Connie then had to cast him towards shore, resulting in getting out of the water early on the point. He was cast back into the water and then onto the point on the correct line. Coming off the point, Connie had to move down the dyke to the right to keep him on line. Teddy was good over the 2nd point and past the last point to the bird. Next up was female test dog Astrid with Peter handling. Astrid had a good initial line which she carried almost the 1st point where she started to pull around and needed a cast to put her back on line and over the point. She carried that line over the 1st point to the 2nd point where Peter cast her left. Astrid faded right off the 2nd point and needed 2 whistles to tighten up her line to the bird. The blind took 5-8 minutes per dog. The first running dog is #33 Lock Five’s Sweet Bourbon Prize, owned and handled by Medie Robinson.
Handlers Planning Their Strategies

Callbacks: 44 dogs called back to the 4th. Dog 7 was not called back. Dog 42 will start the 4th series which is scheduled to be water marks, in the same pond and the Test 3 waterblind.

Test 4 - Water Triple With 2 Retired Guns and an Honor

Updated: 3:400 pm
Test 4 is a water triple being run across the pond where the waterblind was run. The right hand go bird is thrown along the dyke that the blind was run from, so there is lots of foot traffic in the area. The centre and left hand gunners retire. There is an honor to the left of the running dog, about 10 feet. The order of the guns is centre, then left and then a big swing to the right. Hen mallards are thrown on the 2 outside marks and a drake mallard is thrown for the long centre retired mark. None of the birds land in water. Distances to the marks are; 140 yards to the left hand mark, 202 yards to the centre mark and 115 yards to the right hand go bird. The 2 outside birds are thrown right to left and the centre mark is thrown left to right. The left hand retired bird is a flat throw into cover at the edge of a large willow tree. There is an inviting gap between the gun station and the willow where if a dog doesn’t check down, there is a tempting hill to drive up. The centre retired bird is a huge angle back throw into the edge of high cover. The right hand go bird is a flat throw along the dyke and lands in trampled grass from the 3rd test. The pond is surrounded by clover fields and bushes along the edge. There is an old log house that can be seen over the trees by the centre mark.

Another Perspective


First test dog to run was Astrid. She had no trouble with the right hand go bird. On the left retired, Astrid missed the bird by a few feet and drove deep under the arc and up the hill. She recovered quickly and looped down the hill behind the willow tree and came up with the bird. For the centre mark, she had larceny in her heart and took the highway along the dyke with out getting in the water. This put her off line way to the left of the gun station. Astrid hunted a considerable distance to the left out of the area of the fall before hunting over and deep into the cover where the duck landed. For the male test dog we had a change, Sean Colville with his dog Davadars Just Win Baby. As a point of interest both the male and female test dogs are littermates. Raider had no trouble with the right hand go bird. For the left retired, he hunted under the arc to the gun station and then in and to the bird for a good job. For the centre retired mark, Raider took a good line across the pond but then drove up the hill to the left of the gun station. Raider initiated his hunt on the wrong side of the gun station but recovered quickly and hunted his way into the cover and to the bird. Dog #42 FRR’s Ray of Sunshine is the first running dog.
A third of the way through the running order. The wind has come up and is now coming out of the South and giving away the centre retired bird. Dogs that are driving up the hill to the left of the holding blind appear to be winding the bird half way up the hill and making an abrupt correction to their line and going directly to the bird. The majority of dogs are not having difficult with the test.
Gallery Mug Shots

Callbacks: All dogs were called back to the 5th series. No dogs dropped. Dog 5 will start.