Tuesday September 11, 2018

Updated: 4:00 pm
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Test 3 - Water Triple With a Retired Gun & an Honor

The forecast for the day was for clouds. Unfortunately, it was wrong and the test was delayed an hour due to the sun behind the left gun station. Luckily the clouds moved in for the 2nd test dog and we were able to start. The first running dog, #21 was called to line at 9:10 am. Test 3 is a water triple with the right hand gunners retired. There is a serpentine pond winding through the test, with a small pond on the way to the right hand mark and one in front of the right hand mark as well. The cover is cut around the ponds but there are patches of higher cover that dot the field. The order of the guns is right retired, then left, and the middle bird is the go bird. The left hand gun station is 180 yards and is situated at the base of a big berm. A hen mallard is thrown left to right into the test along the berm. The go bird is also a hen mallard, thrown left to right onto a large peninsula. Distance to the go bird is 110 yards. The right hand gun station retires after the last gun is fired. A drake mallard is thrown into the test from right to left. With the trees in the background it is difficult to see the bird in the air so white ribbon is tied to the duck. Distance to the retired bird is 232 yards. There are goose decoys near the line off to the right side that do not appear to have any influence on the test. The wind is very light but changed numerous times while the test dogs were running. Very fickle. There are cattle grazing in the background behind the left mark.


The first test dog was Ziggy, handled by Sharon van der Lee. When Ziggy ran, the left gun station was backlit and barely visible in the shadows of the berm. The arc of the throw could be seen breaking the horizon. There was no wind. Ziggy had a good line to the go bird and had a tight hunt before picking up the bird. Sharon sent her for the left mark 2nd. Perhaps she could see the gunners, as she returned to the middle mark and had to be handled and then picked up. On the resend she had an excellent mark. For the right retired, Ziggy split the difference between the middle and left birds. Ziggy hunted short and to the left before having the gunners help. Next up were Laura and Zap. A cloud conveniently moved in and covered the sun so that Zap was able to pick out the left gun station and see the bird thrown. For the go bird Zap initially headed for the gunners and then squared across the last water under the arc to the bird. Laura chose the left mark 2nd. Zap took a little bit of the first water and cheated around the 2nd water which pushed him left. From there, he corrected his line all the way out to the bird. For the right hand retired, Zap split the difference between the middle and right birds, got even with the right mark and turned abruptly to go directly to the bird. Not sure if he got a whiff of the bird.
Before the first running dog ran, some high thistles were cut by Daniel Shnitka and Brian West using weaponry from Daniel’s box of horrors.

With some heavy rain and thunder storms moving in, the judges decided to call it a day after the water marks.
Callbacks: 34 dogs were called back to the 4th series. Dog 41 was not called back. Test 4 will be a water blind with dog 30 starting. The caravan leaves headquarters at 7:30 am.