Monday, February 23, 2009

weekend update #?

We apologize for the time-out in our normal transmission service. But we have a few updates.

This weekend we were down at the Eastern GSP Club Walking Field Trial at the historic English Setter Club grounds in Medford, NJ. Jozsi has his Amateur Derby points, but I wanted to see if he might be able to run against the pros and squeak out an Open win. Kim + Mike were taking their 6mos old puppy, Rogue, to run in the two puppy stakes and had hoped to run Kyler, but she just went into season -- and Jen + Dennis brought Sally to run in the Open and Amateur Limited Gun Dog stakes, and their monster, Tucker, to run in both puppy stakes as well.

The grounds are really nice... and completely fenced in, so while it is still possible to lose your dog at a trial there, the chances of it getting on to a road and into traffic are pretty slim. Mildly reassuring. There's a nice clubhouse there with what turned out to be an essential, efficient woodstove. Saturday's weather was great: cool, breezy, and dry and sunny. Sunday's weather was grey, blustery, with a midday patch of rain that turned to sleet.

Saturday, for us, was a day for watching braces, learning the course, and cheering on friends. I even managed to rent a horse to watch Sally's brace in
Open Gun Dog... and a slightly ornery horse means no free hands to take pictures, sadly. Sally runs great (and I love her), but dogs that have more experience and have been trialed from horseback will sometimes get the jump on her at the break-away. And she was braced with Greta, a firecracker vizsla bred by Michelle Dowd at Broad Run Vizslas, and handled by Bob Seelye... who immediately set out at a blistering pace and most likely found the first bird (although Sally was nicely honoring when everyone got to them). But, as ever, Sally excels on her bird manners... and while it might have been a close race till the bird-field, Sally stood perfectly for a weird flushing bird and then retrieved her subsequent bird directly to hand... and ended up taking 2nd over all. In Amateur Puppy, Tucker ran a good race getting out there, not playing at all as he is wont to do, and ended up with 4th. While the pic is from Sunday, here's Dennis and Tucker. Kim had a nice run with Rogue, as well -- who instinctively knew she wasn't there to play with the other dog either, but to get out there and hunt.

Sunday came around and braces kept getting pushed back -- and we finally got Mr. Enthusiasm out around 12noon just as the rain started. I couldn't have asked for anything more from him, or at least not reasonably. He made the first find and while he broke when the other dog ran through his bird and flushed it, he came back around and found his bird-manners. He ran huge and made four more finds, two of which he held point for at least one minute while I walked up to him, staying steady-to-shot on all four. He ran so hard that we, literally, ran out of course and had to loop back on ourselves to make up the allotted time. He got a big hug and lots of sweet nothings from me. He rocked. But as the picture with the red ribbon says, and even though they had very nice things to say about Mr. Enthusiasm, the judges saw something in another dog and he took second. Even good dogs get beat.

Tucker had another nice run with Dennis on Sunday, taking another 4th, this time in Open Puppy. Kim, too, had a great run with Rogue who is really looking like she could be a barn-burner, especially once she muscles up and gets some more birds under her nose. A little strangely it seemed, Rogue didn't place -- but these were her first trials, too, and is just barely six months old. This pic is of her breaking away for her Open Puppy stake. She looked awesome. Dennis had another great run with Sally on Sunday, which sadly I missed while trying to thaw out -- and took a very close second in Amateur Limited Gun Dog behind Yogurt, the #1 vizsla in the country in 2008, and a dog that has won more trials than all the stakes that me, Dennis, and Kim combined have even entered. The fact that the judges even told him it was close is a tremendous compliment to both Dennis and the lovely Miss Sally Pants.

Kim + Mike + Jaida, and the entire Team Vizsla -- Northern MA chapter, came to stay after the trial so we could go shoot some birds at TMT on Monday morning on their way home. It was cool and chilly, but the chukar were giving off some nice scent. We put Kyler and Momo down together to see if we could get some honoring practice... which we did, as the picture testifies to, but they were vacuuming the fields like pros. After Cedar's accident this fall, he hasn't had a chance to hunt this season -- and while he still has either a pellet or a bone fragment trying to work itself out that is causing him some pain, he was eager to go chase some chukar. And for giggles we put down Rogue so she got get some more bird time, too. She may not have found quail over the weekend, but she certainly found chukar... and actually got the first point of their brace. And once that bird was shot and went down, she was all eager to get it. The future is promising for that little girl.

I wanted Jozsi to get some exercise, but didn't want him to really find birds so we could keep his mind single-tracked on standing still through the gunshot, so I ran him once we'd cleared the fields of all the 'official' birds. He had also sustained a long shallow cut on one of his pads on Friday and so while he shows no signs of any problems when he's running on soft ground, the cut is now opening up a little and so he's being a little tender-footed at home. So, he's getting his foot cleaned regularly and is on prophylatic cephalexin till the end of the week.

7 comments:

Vigo said...

i wish we had a bit more country side around us here....but Hamish and Vigo will start something new soon: clicker gundog training - we are off to a large field two hours out of london with all sorts of birds etc on the 28th march, so we'll see how that goes.

Michelle said...

CONGRATS on Jozsi's placement! A second in an Open stake, at an all-breed trial, is something to be VERY proud of Andrew!!

Kim said...

We had a great weekend! Thanks for your hospitality! TMT was a fabulous place to spend a day! Looking forward to the next one!

Stephanie said...

Andrew,

Great job on the 2nd place! I see a horse in your future! Ha!

Stephanie

Shawn K. Wayment, DVM said...

Andrew...that's still a dang nice ribbon! Congrats!

I hope you're doing well!

Shawn

denise garro said...

Hi from the Garros.....Glad you are doing well....congrats...D

Walter Bruning said...

Andrew:

I just saw this post. Second place is surely better than 'no place'! That is a great ribbon and your dog had a good run. A toast to you!

Walter