Monday July 16, 2012

Updated: Monday 6:35 pm
 
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Hosted by the National Retriever Club of Canada. Daily reports, photos and drawings by Dona Martin
 

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Test 1 - Land Double with Retired Gun and Honour

Welcome to the 2012 Canadian National Amateur Retriever Championship. 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 test dogs were ready to run. The temperature is 15C with 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 looks over rolling hills and a large pond off in the distance. Judges say it is beautiful in the sun. This morning is a different matter with the heavy mist.
 



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



 
The cover on the side hills is about 12-15” tall with tall grass in the slews at the bottom of the hills. A cattle path is visible running through the test to the right of the grassy slews. For now there doesn’t appear to be any water in the slews. The test is into the wind and coming slightly right to left. For both birds, the dogs have to carry a line along a side hill and drive uphill to the bird. Some dogs are initiating their hunts early and must work their way uphill to retrieve the bird.



 
The first test dog was called to line at 7:40. Female test dog is Elmingo’s Prime Suspect, owned by Jill Chalmers and handled by Marcy Wright. She did a good job on both marks. The Male test do is 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



 
The first bird change was completed at 9:15 am. As the test progresses more and more drag back is starting to affect the dog work, with dogs hunting short.
 
At 11:30 the work is definitely not getting any easier. There is so much drag back and foot scent in the field that the judges are getting answers on both birds. Dogs are not driving up the hill as they approach the marks and continue to hunt the wrong side and short on both marks. There have been a number of handles and pick-ups. There are a few brave souls in the gallery that are trying 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 are back except for the pickup, dog #9. Dog 38 will start Test 2.

Test 2- Land Blind

The current weather conditions are cloudy with a 11km N wind that is supposed to switch and come out of the NE. The temperature remains at 16C.The heavy mist has cleared off.
 
The running line has been moved to the right so that the line to the blind crosses the lines to the marks. The blind is 244 yards long with the start on a knoll that breaks to the left. The line bisects the grassy slews from the first test and there is a small section of romping water in the second grassy slew before the dog reaches the blind. The wind is a crosswind from right to left. The cover on either side of the slews is called buck brush which is native to the area.
 
Once again the female test dog is Elmingo’s Prime Suspect, owned by Jill Chalmers and handled by Marcy Wright, and the male test do is Deano’s Don Juan, owned and handled by Robin Dean. Both test dogs fell off their initial side hill 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 slew but took the cast and appeared to see the handler regardless.



 



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



 
The test got underway at 12:15 pm 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 slew tracked up and paths developed. The last dog came off line at 4:55 pm. Now we wait for callbacks.
 
Callbacks: All dogs are called back to the third test. Dog 48 starts Test 3 which will be a Water Triple.