2012 National Amateur Retriever Championship

July 16-21, 2012
Red Deer, Alberta

National Amateur Retriever Championship Logo

Red Deer Retriever Club Logo

Host Club

Red Deer Retriever Club
Field Trial Chair - Don Pollock
Field Trial Secretary - Marg Murray


Southern Ontario Zone: Bill Kennedy
Eastern Zone: Jerry Younglove
Central Zone: Rob McDougald


2012 Canadian National Amateur Winner


FC AFC Night Wings Marsh Leader
Owned and Handled by Sherwin Scott



5 MHR One In A Maximillion, Owner: Roberta Speer, Handler: Roberta Speer
16 FTCH AFTCH Maralan's Kids Wanna Rock, Owner: Ian & Debby Montgomery, Handler: Ian Montgomery
18 AFC Jazztime Bluegoose's Skatch, Owner: Larry & Anna Calvert, Handler: Larry Calvert
20 FTCH AFTCH RDC's Jazztime Trips Ink Spot, Owner: Ron Adlington, Handler: Ron Adlington
24 FTCH AFTCH Revilo's Cutting Edge, Owner: Tom & Marg Murray, Handler: Marg Murray
31 Noremac's Undertaker, Owner: Brian Griffin, Handler: Brian Griffin
33 Jazztime Bluegoose's Ruger, Owner: Larry & Anna Calvert, Handler: Anna Calvert
36 AFC Moonstones Sea Biscuit Run, Owner: William & Sarah McKnight, Handler: Bill McKnight
37 Mjolinir's There And Back Again, Owner: Harold & Sharon Gierman, Handler: Sharon Gierman
46 FTCH AFTCH Bulrush Yellow Bud, Owner: Ron Bischke, Handler: Ron Bischke
47 Spring Creek's 5-Star Adventure, Owner: Jeff & Judy Cornell, Handler: Judy Cornell
48 FC AFC Night Wings Marsh Leader, Owner: Sherwin Scott, Handler: Sherwin Scott



Saturday July 14, 2012

Judges Taking in the Calgary Stampede

No official events were scheduled for Saturday as competitors arrived and settled in. The judges finished setup early and decided to take in the sights at the Calgary Stampede, which is celebrating 100 years. Photo sent compliments of judge Bill Kennedy.
Hopefully the lynch mob is only at the Stampede.

Judges left to right: Bill Kennedy, Southern Ontario Zone, Jerry Younglove, Eastern Zone, and Rob McDougald, Central Zone.
Taking in the Brad Paisley Concert

Sunday July 15, 2012


The 2012 Canadian National Amateur Retriever Championship was held just outside of Red Deer, Alberta which is about an hour north of Calgary, home of the Calgary Stampede. Headquarters was nestled in cattle country with rolling hills interspersed with poplar groves and natural ponds. Lots of changes in cover and elevation made for a challenging National Amateur. It was a quiet day and most contestants took the opportunity to relax and prepare for the upcoming week.
Camping at Headquarters




Opening Banquet

The 2012 Canadian National Amateur Retriever Chmpionship, hosted by the Red Deer Retriever Club, got under way with the Opening Banquet held at Crossroads Ag Park in Pine Lake Alberta.
Alls Calm

Contestants Enjoying Themselves Before Getting Down to Business



Head Table were piped in and Field Trial Chair, Don Pollock “paid the piper”

Field Trial Chair Introduces the Head Table

Left to right: Marcella Spence, Judy Dreeshen, Rod spence, Marg Murray, Rob McDougald, Jerry Younglove, Bill Kennedy, Fred Benjaminson, Beth Pollock, Earl Dreeshen

President Len Pugh introduced and thanked the Olson Family for the generous use of their land as well as Beth and Don Pollock for their hard work and devotion to putting on the 2012 National Amateur Retriever Championship. Len expressed the Club’s gratitude to Earl Dreeshen (Member of Parliament - Red Deer) and his wife Judy for arranging use of the Crossroads Ag Park and their ongoing community support.

NRCC Director Bruce Macdonald, then took the stage to thank the sponsors and give them tokens of appreciation. First Bruce expressed appreciation to our major sponsor and official dogfood supplier to the National Amateur and National, Purina, represented by Les Oakes. Bruce expressed his gratitude on behalf of the NRCC to another sponsor, Ducks Unliimited Canada which donated all of the Finalist gifts. DU representative Jim Couch, was on hand was . Absent but very much appreciated were sponsors Avery Sporting Dogs which along with Purina supplied the handlers’ jackets, Thunder Equipment. official supplier of shotgun simulators, Zinger Winger, official Remote Launcher Supplier of the National and National Amateur Championship Stakes, and Winchester Ammunition which supplied the blank shotgun shells for the 2012 Canadian National Amateur. Bruce then thanked two sponsors that attended the banquet, Connie Swanson who will provide a portrait of the winner to the owner, and Glenn Norton who supplied many items for the Silent Auction table from Home Hardware. A special note and thanks to the US sponsors and competitors for supporting our National Amateur and National to the extent that they do. In appreciation Bruce suggested the we make the US an 11th province aptly named the United States of “Eh”.
Don Pollock returned to offer his deep appreciation to the Committee Members for their support and without whom this event could not be undertaken. Next, Sherwin Scott, one of the American competitors, asked to say a few words about the Canadian hospitality and friendships he has developed over the years. He remarked on how encouraging it is to see the competitors cheering on each others dogs, hoping that the tests bring forth the best, happy for the dog that wins and not wishing for dogs to fail to achieve a winner.
Special mention was given to long time field trialer Ray Koskinen, who is 90 years old and ran dog 27 FTCH AFTCH REVILO’S EASY PIC. Fred Benjaminson, President of the National Retriever Club and Marg Murray, Secretary/Treasurer, presented the judges with their gifts before they departed for the night and the Calcutta was started.

Judge Rob McDougald Receiving Gift (Note Red Tartan Kilt)

Rod Spence, Chief Marshall reads Judges Instructions

The 1st Test will be a Land Double with a Retired Gun and an Honour. Dead ducks will be used. Should a dog receive a “No” bird, It must wait 3 running dogs before returning to line. In the case where a dog receives a second “No” bird, it shall run at the end of the test. Two holding blinds should remain full at all times. A third holding blind will be used in the event of a “No” bird. Good luck to all!
Before the judges departed, we were entertained by Elvis impersonator, Claude Berube. Everyone really had a good time and enjoyed the show.


Calcutta Auctioneer - Glenn Norton

To change things up this year Glenn offered up 3 dogs for auction at one time. The names of the dogs were unknown. Bidding topped out at $250 dollars and the winner found out that he had just bought the 3 dogs that were scratches. Bidding started out a bit slow for the early dogs so Glenn ended up purchasing the first 4 dogs before bidding picked up and some of the handlers started bidding. It was great fun and Glenn kept us entertained the the evening flew by, At the end of the night dog #28 FTCH AFTCH PILKINGTON’S JOEY’S ON THE LINE was drawn as the first dog to run.

Monday July 16, 2012


Brought to you by Purina, official dogfood sponsor of the National Amateur

Purina logo


Test 1 - Land Double with Retired Gun and Honour

After an entertaining night at the Opening Banquet, contestants awoke to a light rain that tapered off to to a heavy drizzle by the time the test dogs were ready to run. The temperature was 15C with a 15 km N wind. The caravan left headquarters at 7:00 am sharp and travelled through the picturesque hills around Pine Lake, Alberta. The view from line overlooked rolling hills and a large pond off in the distance. The judges stated that it was beautiful in the sun. However, the morning was a different matter with the heavy mist and we could only take their word for it.

The test was a land double with both ducks thrown from left to right. The long left gun at 250 yards retired when the dog was sent for the shorter 150 yard right gun. The order was left first and then short right. The long throw appeared to be a flat throw that landed between the brushed in holding blind and the visible cattle path, whereas the right throw appeared to be more angled back and uphill.

The cover on the hills on either side of the sloughs was about 12-15” high, called buck brush which is native to the area. There was tall marsh grass in the sloughs and there didn’t appear to be any water. A cattle path was visible running through the test to the right. The wind blew in and slightly right to left. For both birds, the dogs had to carry a line along a sidehill and drive uphill to the bird. Some dogs initiated their hunts early and had to work their way uphill to retrieve the bird.

The first test dog was called to line at 7:40. Female test dog was Elmingo’s Prime Suspect, owned by Jill Chalmers and handled by Marcy Wright, did a good job on both marks. The Male test dog was Deano’s Don Juan, owned and handled by Robin Dean. On both marks, he initiated his hunt slightly short and to the left of the gun stations.
Male Test Dog

Female Test Dog

Handlers and Judges Viewing the Test

As the test progressed drag back started to affect the dog work. With so much drag back and foot scent in the field the judges got answers on both birds. Dogs were not driving up the hill as they approached the marks and hunted the wrong side and short on both marks. There were a number of handles. A few brave souls in the gallery tried to stay dry and warm under the tents. Not an easy feat with the wind blowing in.

Last dog number 27, FTCH AFTCH REVILO’S EASY PIC owned and handled by 90 year old Ray Koskinen, finished at 11:25 am.

Callbacks: All dogs were called back except for the pickup, dog #9.

Test 2- Land Blind

The weather conditions were cloudy with a 11km N wind that was forecast to switch to the NE. The temperature remained at 16C, but the heavy mist cleared off for Test 2.
The running line was been moved to the right of the Test 1 running line, so that the line to the blind crossed the lines to the marks. The blind was 244 yards long with the start on a knoll that broke to the left. The line bisected the grassy sloughs from the first test and it turned out that there was a small section of romping water in the second grassy slough before the dog reached the blind. The wind was a crosswind from right to left.
Once again the female test dog was Elmingo’s Prime Suspect, and the male test do is Deano’s Don Juan. Both test dogs fell off the initial sidehill line and required an early whistle. Neither dog had much difficulty with the remainder of the blind. Marcy was asked to blow her whistle when the dog was in the water and again near the end of the blind in the high grass to determine if the dog could hear the whistle. The dog indicated that all whistles could be heard, however the dog could not be seen in the high grass at the end of the slough, but took the cast and appeared to see the handler regardless.


The judges adopted a mascot as their Grounds Advisor. Herman can be seen front and centre sitting with the judges.

The test got underway with dog number 38, Maralan’s Man In Black. Most of the work was similar and acceptable, with a few exceptions. As the blind progressed the high grass in the slough tracked up and paths developed.
Callbacks: All dogs were called back to the third test.

Tuesday July 17, 2012


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

Avery Sporting Dog logo


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

Test 3 was a water triple with a retired gun. All birds were thrown relatively flat, left to right. The order of the guns was counterclockwise, right, centre, left. Distances to the guns were 125 yards to the right hand gun, the long centre retired gun was 195 yards and the short left hand gun was 75 yards. Once again the running line was perched on a hill so the distances were as the crow flies, not downhill and up like the dogs ran. The photos and drawings do not do justice to just how hilly these tests were. Test 3 was run through a bowl with a pond at the base and the gun stations on hills surrounding it. Both the outside visible birds were thrown flat about halfway up the hill into buck brush, whereas the long centre retired was thrown along the shore into high marsh grass. The skies were overcast when the day started with the temperature at 13C and wind from the SE at 13 km. The wind was coming across the test from right to left and the test was slightly downwind. Occasionally the sun would peek out from behind the clouds making it slightly more difficult to see the right hand gun.
The female and male test dogs remained the same. When the female test dog ran, the right hand gun was retired and down the hill to the left, and the centre gun threw angle back up the hill and was not retired. The female test dog did a good job on the marks but lined to the gun station on the centre bird and hugged the shoreline. For the male test dog the centre bird was changed to a flat throw into the high grass along the shore. There were some trees on the near shore that came into play when lining the dog up for the centre gun which was visible for the test dog. He did a good on the left go bird, and right hand mark which when he ran was retired. For the long centre bird, he hunted deep in the original fall but eventually came down to the high grass and found the bird.
After the male test dog ran, the right hand gunners were moved further up the hill and to the right, essentially sitting where their bird had landed. They were no longer retired. The centre gun station was brushed in and became the retired gun, staying with the flat throw along the shore. The order of the guns was not changed and remained, right, centre, left. A third test dog was run and she hunted in the woods to the left of the right hand gun before working her way out to the bird. She hunted significantly left and short of where the bird was thrown. For the long retired she ran the shore and ended up way left of the retired gun station. After an extensive hunt deep and on the wrong side she was eventually help by the gunners


Handlers and Judges Before Test 3

Herman Oversees the Test

The work was generally good despite the wind picking up, however the test still got answers. Throws were excellent and thanks to Winchester Ammunition the poppers were superb with consist loud shots and no misfires which as trialers know, aids in good mechanics and fair tests.
Callbacks: 1,2,4,5,6,7,11,12,13,15,16,18,19,20,22,23,24,25,26,27,30,31,33,34,35,36,37,38,40,42,43,44,45,46,47,48,49. Dogs not called back to the 4th series: 8,10,14,17,21,28,32,41. Ther were 37 dogs were called back to Test 4.

Test 4 - Water Blind

Test 4 was a 200 yard water blind with a crosswind from left to right. Once again the the test was run from the top of a hill. The line to the blind was down the hill, across a road through high grass, into the water. It appeared to be a relatively square entry. The dogs had to cut across the right corner of the pond and negotiate a slot between two clumps of cattails, to the bird on a grassy point on the far shore. Test 4 used the same test dogs as previous tests. The female test dog appeared to have difficulty picking out the handler so the judges changed the test slightly to permit the handlers to move forward and downhill to handle after the dog crossed the road. The intent was to have the hill as the backdrop to the handler instead of the white skyline. Both test dogs did the blind without getting into trouble. A few dogs didn’t want to get in the water and required multiple casts to get in or were picked up. The dogs that were prepared to do the blind generally had a good one.


Callbacks: 1,2,5,6,7,11,12,13,16,18,19,20,22,24,25,27,30,31,33,34,35,36,37,38,40,42,43,45,46,47,48. Dogs not called back to the fifth series are: 4,15,23,26,44,49. There were 31 dogs called back.

Wednesday July 18, 2012


Brought to you by Tritronics, official E-collar sponsor of the National Amateur

Tri-tronics logo


Test 5 - Land triple with Retired Gun

After an evening of socializing at the club sponsored Western Night, contestants awoke to a light rain and 15C. The rain stopped by the time the first test dog ran. Wind conditions were variable from almost nothing to 13 km SW. The rolling hills made it impossible to set a test that didn’t involve downhill, uphill and sidehill line to the birds. Test 5 was no exception. Perched on a hill, the dogs had a good view of all of the throws. The order of the birds was centre long retired, left then right. Distances were 240 yards to the long centre retired gun, 190 yards to the right hand mark and 105 yards to the left hand mark. The right hand mark mark threw a cock pheasant and both the left and long retired threw a drake mallard. The left hand mark was a long throw downhill into the test from left to right. The right hand mark threw uphill from left to right, and the centre retired gun threw across the valley on a hillside opposite the gun station, from right to left. There was a tree on the uphill side behind the retired gun station that proved to be attractive to many dogs. The retired gun station was brushed in to blend with the surrounding bushes on the horizon.
The female test dog was sent for the right hand go bird first and ended up retrieving the short left mark. When resent to the right hand mark, she did a good job. However, she had to be handled out of the left mark on her way to the centre retired. For the male test dog, the judges moved the running line about 10 ft to the right to open up the lines to the left and centre birds. The male test dog primary selected the left hand mark first and did a good job on the left and right marks. On the centre mark he hunted up the hill to the right of the retired gun station and then appeared to wind the mark and crossed over to the mark on the opposite hill. After the male test dog ran, the left gun station was moved left a few feet and the throw was shortened.


Judges Before the Test Begins

Handlers Before the Test

As the test progressed, the sun came out and the wind was less variable. Most handlers primary selected the short left mark and generally did similar work on the long retired gun by squaring up the hill to the right of the gun station. Some dogs had hunts on the right hand mark but didn’t seem to have difficulty with the left mark. Further into the test the wind switched making it a downwind test. Handlers no longer felt the need to primary select, however there were a few handles in close succession. The right and retired marks became more difficult. Dogs got all the way to the area of fall for the retired gun bird and had difficulty coming up with the bird, whereas earlier dogs seemed to wind the bird from the gun station.
Gallery Watching the Test

The last dog cam off line around noon.
Callbacks: 1,2,5,6,11,12,16,18,19,20,22,24,25,27,30,31,33,35,36,37,38,40,42,43,45,46,47,48. Dogs not called back to the sixth series; 7,13,34. There were 28 dogs were called back to the sixth series.

Test 6 - Land Blind with Silent Gun Station

Test 6 was a 315 yard land blind with a silent gun station. Keep in mind the distance does not indicate how far the dog runs. The running line was set at the top of a very high hill and the dogs needed to negotiate down the hill, up and over the hill where the silent gunner sat, down that hill and up another hill to the bird. There was a change in test dogs for this test. Bob James ran the female test dog, FTCH AFTCH Ram River Spring Fever. She did a very good job with no gunner in the test. The male test dog was AFTCH Flatlands Locked N Loaded, owned by Bill & Connie Swanson and handled by Connie. The silent gun station was added when Ready ran. At first try, he went way left of the gun station and was called back to start over. Connie kept him tight to line with quite a few whistles and he indicated that he could hear all of them. The wind came in from right to left, however with the hills it continually swirled and changed direction.
The first dog #33 was called to line at 1:55 pm. With the wind and terrain the way it was, getting a right hand cast to keep the dog in sight and on line was critical. A number of dogs disappeared over the hill behind the gunner and were not seen again until they came out of the woods at the blind. There was no room for error on the left side of the blind.


Callbacks: 1,2,5,6,11,12,16,18,19,20,22,24,25,30,31,33,35,36,37,42,45,46,47,48. Dogs not called back to the seventh series: 27,38,40,43. There were 24 dogs called back to Test 7.

Workers’ Party

The Workers’ Party is all about the workers without which we wouldn’t have Nationals. There are the those seen every day of the National, working tirelessly, and there are those working just as hard behind the scenes. So much preparation leading up to the National and every day with moving equipment and setting up the tests. The workers at this National Amateur have been outstanding. Not only does everything appear to be running smoothly, but everyone always has a smile and actually seem to be having a good time as well. Kudos to the Red Deer Retriever Club and associates. More and more it’s becoming impossible for one club to host a National without the help and support of friends, family, and fellow field trialers. This National Amateur is no exception. Field Trial Chairman Don Pollock put together a team of workers that have put everything into making this National Amateur a success.
Purina, our major sponsor and official dogfood supplier for the Nationals, hosted the Workers’ Party. Purina goody bags and dogfood were presented to all of the workers. Contestants were only too willing to step up to gun, throw and plant birds. Marlene Benn has done a superb job of lining up the workers for each shift. With experienced gunners and throwers, no birds have been practically non-existent.
Field Trial Chairman, Don Pollock presented his committee with their workers’ pins and Purina goody bags. Below are the key members of the team, many wearing multiple hats:
Don & Beth Pollock

Rod Spence, Chief Marshal

Assistant Marshals, Rob Littlemore & Tim Duhaime

Chief Gun Captain, Marlene & Gord Benn

Club President, Len Pugh and Bea Pugh

Field Trial Secretary, Marg Murray

Doug & Brenda Richmond

Glenn & Ilham Norton

Bruce & Gail Macdonald

Kerry & Dick Curran

Dan Danforth & Laura Jones

Lois Aiken

Ron Bischke

Lorne Lemay

Jerry Pugh & Brian West

Jim & Bim Nichol

Jean & Denny Brennen

Landowners, Jack & Gail Olson

For entertainment teams of two competed in a bumper toss for accuracy and a dokken toss for distance. The team of Jane Spearing and Brian Griffin won for accuracy and the team of Al Custers and Jim McFarland won for the distance toss although the dokken landed in the baseball diamond and had a huge bounce to carry it to victory. Here are some scenes from the events:








Thursday July 19, 2012


Brought to you by Purina, official dogfood sponsor of the National Amateur

Purina logo


Test 7 - Water Triple with a Retired Gun

For those of you wondering why such a late start, the judges announced at the Workers’ Party that the test wouldn’t start until 10:00 am to allow everyone to enjoy the party. Westerners sure know how to throw a party, right down to the Prairie Oysters compliments of the land owners.
Judges Showing Off Their New Cowboy Hats

Test 7 was a water triple with a retired gun. The weather conditions were bright and sunny with a steady crosswind breeze from right to left. The temperature started at 17C and rose to the mid 20s by the end of the day.
The order of the birds was clockwise from left to right and all birds were thrown left to right. The left gun station retired and was very well brushed in to blend perfectly with the hillside behind. The centre gun station was in a boat. Yes, a boat bird in the West. Both outside gunners threw drake mallards and a hen mallard was thrown in the centre. Distances to the marks were 170 to the right hand go bird, 190 to the left retired mark, and 220 the the centre boat bird. The left hand bird was thrown out into the marsh grass about halfway to the visible water, and the centre bird landed just inside the cover at the far end of the pond. The go bird landed on top of a hill with the line to the bird skirting along the side of a pond, not visible from the line. The going is very tough through the marsh grass. With the soft bottom the dogs really had to work hard and stay focussed. There were some very tired dogs at the end of this.
First to line at 10:30 was Male Test Dog, FTCH AFTCH Telgar’s Herbie Fully Loaded, owned by Gord & Marlene Benn and handled by Gord. Herbie had a good right hand mark, was sent for the centre visible boat bird second and hunted the wrong side of the boat before working his way over to the bird. Herbie had a good retired left hand bird and appeared to wind the bird from under the arch.
Female Test Dog was FTCH AFTCH Fifth Avenue’s Rockin Reba, owned by Gord & Marlene Benn and handled by Marlene. For Reba, the judges changed up the test and retired the left and centre guns. Reba did a good job on the right hand mark. She was sent for the left retired bird second and took the high road to avoid the heavy going in the grass marsh and pond. She ended up hunting the wrong side and deep of the gun station and at one point went over the hill and appeared to wind or see the centre gun. She had to be handled in to the left mark. The judges had the centre gun become visible for Reba to be sent. She took a wide line to the right, curled into the boat and then hunted over to the bird. The judges decided to retire only the left hand gunners. As the test progressed, there were a number of handles on the left retired bird with dogs wanting to keep in the water and swim by. A few dogs had excellent marks on all three birds.


Callbacks: 1,2,5,6,11,12,16,18,20,22,24,31,33,35,36,37,42,46,47,48. Dogs not called back to the 8th series: 19,25,30,45.

Friday July 20, 2012


Brought to you by Purina, official dogfood sponsor of the National Amateur

Purina logo


Test 8 - Land Quad with 2 Retired Guns

To start, contestants and workers were treated to breakfast compliments of Purina, official dogfood sponsor of the National and National Amateur. Purina generously provides breakfast on Thursday, Friday and Saturday for every National and speaking from experience, is gratefully appreciated.
The judges decided to take advantage of the cool morning and overcast skies to run a Land Quad for Test 8. Once again the terrain was extremely demanding with the running line on a very steep hill that required the dogs to negotiate up and down for every mark. Test 8 was a land Quad with the centre left and centre right guns retired. The 2 outside guns remained visible. Distances to the marks were 190 yards to the left visible mark, 170 yards to the left centre retired, 245 yards to the long right retired gun, and 175 yards to the right hand visible mark. The order of the guns was left centre retired thrown first, then long right retired thrown second, right hand visible mark thrown third and lastly the left hand mark thrown as the go bird. The 2 right hand marks threw cock pheasants, the left centre retired threw a hen mallard and the left hand visible threw a drake mallard. The outside marks were thrown left to right. The right hand throw appeared to be a flat throw along the ridge of mixed buck brush, grazed grass and thistles. The inside retired marks were thrown right to left. The centre left retired bird was thrown flat from the base of the ridge out into a puddle in the middle of a high grassy slough. The right hand bird was thrown straight up hill, and the right retired bird was thrown from across the slough to the base of the hill. The test was a downwind test with the wind gusting from the running line up between the 2 left marks.
Judges Before Test 8

At 7:40 am the male test dog, Maralan’s Man in Black, owned by Ian & Debby Montgomery, and handled by Debby, was called to line. When the male test dog ran, the order was long right retired, short left retired, right, then left. For the final test the order was reversed for the 2 retired guns and the order for the 2 outside guns remained the same. Debby primary selected on the short left retired gun and the dog hunted the ridge behind the gun station before working it’s way out into the slough. Debby chose to take out the right hand visible mark second and Sue held an excellent sidehill line to the bird. Next Debby sent her dog for the left gun and had a good job with a small hunt under the arch to the bird. For the the long right retired gun, Sue had a good line through the slough and at the end went right of the gun station, curled back down and hunted over to the bird.
The female test dog was FTCH AFTCH Fifth Avenue’s Rockin Reba, owned by Gord & Marlene Benn and handled by Marlene. The judges changed the order of the guns for the female test dog. The final order that the jusdges went with was left retired first, then right retired, then right hand visible and then left visible. Reba was sent for the left go bird first and did a good job. She was sent for the short retired second and skirted along the right side of the slough and hunted the ridge behind the gun station before leaving and ending up at the long retired gun. She hunted both sides of the gun station before finding the bird. Reba was sent for the right hand visible mark next and did not carry a good side hill line and fell off the hill. At the bottom she corrected and ended up at the gun station, put on a small hunt before working her way up to the bird. When resent for the short retired, Reba was going long, back to the long retired gun and needed to be handled to the bird.


To try and give you an idea of just how BIG these hills are, this photo was taken from the trucks looking up at the gallery and the judges’ tent.

Callbacks: 5,16,18,20,24,31,33,36,37,46,47,48. Dogs not called back to the 9th series:1,2,6,11,12,22,35,42. There were 12 dogs called back to Test 9.

Test 9 - Water Blind

The first test dog was called to line at 2:20 pm. Debby Mongomery with male test dog, Sue ran a downwind relatively square entry shoreline blind, across a grassy ridge about 180 yards out with a re-entry into another pond, across that pond and exited uphill about 30 yards to the bird. Handlers lost sight of the dog in the marsh grass on the re-entry into the second pond. Sue came out right on line and Debby did a good job of challenging the line to the blind and keeping her dog in control.
For the female test dog, Reba handled by Marlene Benn, the running line was moved to the right about 20 yards, across the road and higher up on the hill. The end of the blind was moved to the left about halfway across the hillside behind the second pond. This change made for an onshore wind. The line to the blind started out as a shoreline blind and then the dogs had to carry their line away from shore, across the corner of the first pond. The line crossed the grassy ridge and marsh grass at an angle and the dogs could disappear behind the bush on the ridge. The re-entry was an angle across the second pond and exit uphill to the blind on the hillside behind. Distance to the blind was 270 yards and distance to the grassy ridge was 180 yards. Reba had difficulty crossing the ridge between the two ponds and required multiple whistles. The second female test dog, Baby Ducks Voo Doo Thing, owned and handled by Al Custers, had a wide line through the first pond and had difficulty on the ridge and entering into the second pond.



Saturday July 21, 2012


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       Thunder Equipment logo
The 2012 Canadian National Amateur would like to once again thank our sponsors, Purina official dogfood supplier to the Nationals, Avery Sporting Dog, Tritronics official e-collar supplier, Winchester Ammunition official ammunition supplier. The quality of the poppers was superb. Thank you as well to Thunder Equipment official shot simulator sponsor, Ducks Unlimited Canada supplier of the finalist gifts, Zinger Winger official remote launcher supplier, and Connie Swanson artist supplying portrait to the winner.
Purina again generously supplied breakfast to all of the workers, competitors and spectators.

Test 10 - Delayed Water Quad with 2 Retired Guns & Double Shot

Finally the last day, last test. Lots of speculation over who ran the best trial so far, but all that can change with the last test. Overnight it rained and it restarted while the test was being set up. Temperature was 15C with a 28 km SW wind gusting to 37 kmh.
Gunners Before 10th Series                                   Glenn Norton & Lois Aitken After Getting Unstuck
Test 10 was a delayed quad with the centre left gun retired, the centre right gunners in a boat, and the right hand gunners high on a hill throwing down into the marshy grass, so that the gunners in the boat and their bird were under the arch. The order of the guns was centre left retired first, followed by the centre right boat bird, and then the right hand go bird. The right hand gun fired, then threw the bird and then fired again at the top of the arch. The 4th gun on the left was not visible when the initial 3 guns fired. They came out to throw when the dog was on its way back with the go bird. The handler signaled when ready for the bird to be thrown. Drake mallards were thrown for all birds. The centre left retired gun station threw right to left, angled back behind the ridge that the gunners stood on. The centre right boat bird was thrown flat along the shore from right to left, and the right hand gunners, high on the hill also threw right to left. The throw was straight out and downhill into the high marsh grass, far enough from shore that the gunners in the boat and their throw were under the arch. The left hand bird was thrown flat into the test from left to right, into the high marsh grass. After the dog picked up their bird, the gunners retired. There was a very strong crosswind coming from right to left across the test. Distances to the marks were 75 yards short left, 250 yards long centre left retired, 200 yards to the centre right boat bird, and 80 yards to the right hand mark. The dogs had a significant swim for both the boat bird and the long retired. Not for the feint of heart. Both the outside marks were thrown into the high marsh grass and the handler could only catch glimpses of the dog during its hunt. The line to the boat bird cut under the arch of the right hand mark, through the high grass with the dog out of sight for some time before it reappeared in the swimming water on the way to the boat bird. Handlers could see their dog all the way to the retired gun but depending on the hunt, the dog could go over the hill behind the gun station out of sight or down in the swale between ridges.
The female test dog was called to line at 9:55 am. A heavy rain was falling with a strong crosswind. Laurent LeBlanc with Baypoint’s Ms Frenchy had a quick handle on the right hand go bird because she was going deep to the boat bird. She had a good left hand mark. On the boat bird, she had a good initial line but faded right to the wrong side of the boat and hunted deep on the wrong side before recovering and working her way over to the bird. On the retired gun, Frenchy carried a good line across the pond, up to the holding blind, She then hunted down to the shore, back up the hill around the holding blind and then down the hill to the bird. A good hunt.
The male test dog AFTCH Tealcreek High Tyde Coot, owned by Dona & Donald Martin and handled by Donald, was called to line at 10:15. It took twenty minutes to run the first test dog. For the Male test dog, the judges moved the running line to the left about 15 feet. This opened up the backside of the boat bird to allow the dogs ample room to hunt the wrong side. Cooter did an excellent job on both outside birds, although he couldn’t be seen in the high grass all of the time. On the boat bird he carried an excellent line under the arch and faded right enough to get on to higher ground and see the boat. He then adjusted his line and went directly to the bird. It started to pour buckets while Cooter was on his way back with the bird. On the retired gun, Cooter fought the wind and rain across the pond and on the far shore corrected to initiate his hunt under the arch, halfway uphill. He had an intelligent hunt up then down the hill under the arch to come up with the bird.
The rain pretty well stopped when the first running dog was called to line. The wind on the other hand and remained constant and strong. Although, during the test the wind changed from a crosswind to more of a downwiind direction. The last dog was called to line at 2:55 pm. Generally work was similar with dogs squaring up the hill to the retired gun station and hunting the top of the hill before working their way down to the bird. A few dogs handled but nobody had difficulty with the left hand mark.