We took part in the CVVC Walking Field Trial today and while I will say more about Mr. Enthusiasm in a later post, I want to salute a few other good dogs. This was also the first trial the CVVC had held since Patrick Cooke's recent passing and so he kept floating in and out of people's conversation -- which seemed only appropriate. (And as Michelle of Broad Run Vizslas was keen to point out in the comments to last week's post, he was the kind of guy you only needed to meet once or twice to know where his heart lay.)
(I should also say that I've seen some of Michelle's dogs handled by Bob Seelye and they looked really nice.)
Dennis, Jen + Sally had decided to check out trialing as well and managed to get a last-minute entry in Amateur Gun Dog (AGD) -- and Kim of ForestKing Vizslas had also decided to enter Kyler in AGD as well, having (I believe) trialed her once before when she was much younger and before she started having litters. So, it was nice to see even more familiar folks down there and having fun with their dogs.
The first pic is from Sally's run -- and shows her first bird in flight while she stands proud for her dad. I may be wrong, but I think Sally ended up with four finds in her brace and handled beautifully for Dennis (as she does). She certainly did well enough to be one of the top-4 dogs called back for a retrieve. I didn't get to see her retrieve because I was getting Mr. 200mph ready for his afternoon run -- but from what I gather, a dog couldn't have done more. Her bird took four shots to be hit, landed on a section of frozen pond, Sally went through the ice getting the bird and then clambered back to deliver it to hand without batting an eyelid. And WON Amateur Gun Dog! As numerous folks said this evening at the awards dinner, it just takes that first blue ribbon to get you addicted.
"How much is that dualie (with two-horse, three-dog trailer in tow) in the window?"
Sally beat out some great dogs, including both Kyler and Joan Heimbach's Octane. The second pic is of him boogeying through the grass on the way to his third or fourth find. He is a big, strong-running dog with a sweet, sweet disposition. During the majority of the trial season, he is also normally handled by Bob Seelye -- but did a really nice job with Joan in the driving seat this time around. Octane ended up being called back and finished second; Joan also ran her Geena who took fourth).
If Jozsi settles down in the bird-field and works as definitively as Octane, I will be really really pleased. Which would be fitting seeing as Ocky and Jozsi share a common pairing on their mothers' side: CH Obertakt Downeast Jacky Blue JH and CH Sippican Upwind Gold Batea JH VC ROM.
Good ancestors should produce good dogs -- and being a 1/2 sibling to Jozsi, Kim's Kyler shares that pairing, too. I wanted to write about Kyler because while she did not get a call-back, I can't imagine that there was a huge gap between fourth and Kyler. Octane was clearly the better dog of their brace, but Kyler ran big, had two great finds (including a point she held for at least four or five minutes because the judges couldn't get their horses in close enough to see her bird-work), and... and... spontaneously honored Ocky when she came across him on-point on the edge of a tree line. Looks like all that SH training wasn't in vain! The picture is of Kim handling Kyler away after her first find. And I guess that's one way that trialing is different -- Kyler ran great and just got beat. But she ran great nonetheless. Nice job, K+K.
Two other things are worthy of mention: for those in the northeast interested in checking out a hunt test or field-trial, I would strongly recommend a CVVC event. They are generally at Flaherty Field (which works well for both kinds of events) and they are generally very well organized. I joined the CVVC because of the string of their events we went to and just felt welcome and never had to worry about what was going on where. Their Field Trial committee managed to successfully pull off running 60 dogs in 5 different stakes on two courses in 9 hrs of daylight. And organize a great dinner.
In a fitting tribute, Patrick Cooke's Yogurt won the Open Gun Dog stake. (After some research, it turns out that Yogurt also has Batea back in her line, but her mother Upwind Shake 'N' Bake also produced Jozsi's father, Rebel Rouser Smokey.) Patrick would have been proud -- of her and all the dogs that came to compete.