Tuesday, March 31, 2009

catching up

"Octane started the action with a solid find in the left corner of the second field. He showed off his good style and training. At fourteen minutes he recorded a good back and then another find at forty minutes going into the long corn field. He ran well, finishing the hour much the same as he started."

This was how the AKC reporter described brace 35 of the Gun Dog Championship Non-Retrieving Stake. With a fair
number of dogs not completing their runs, and to have your own dog's conditioning and bird manners openly recognized, it's no wonder that his mother, Joan, has a smile on her face. Sadly, Ocky's performance did not get him into the ribbons for the non-retrieving championship -- but it sure sounds like he did well nonetheless.

Alan Davidson at DogsUnlimited was there running his own dog, Solo, in addition to being one of the events' significant sponsors. His report with a few more pictures is here.

I gather that this venue, Cloverdale Farm in Danville, VA, will be the venue for this coming fall's Vizsla Club of America's National Championships. We may need to take some time off work to go watch some fabulous red-dogs.

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In other news: we just got back from a cousin's wedding in Ireland. I will post some pictures at a later point, suffice to say we had a great time and the wedding was a wonderful excuse to catch up with family.

We did kennel the boys up at Grace Lane Kennels in Ossining, NY. Friends had recommended it to us and while I would have loved it to have had a large, fenced outdoor enclosure like our old kennel in Maine did for the monsters to run free, they had a nice double pen to themselves -- and all the staff seemed very attuned to meeting individual dogs' (and owners') needs.

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My first riding lesson seemed to go well -- well enough, anyways, that my instructor agreed to have me back this coming Sunday. And well enough that my kind wife decided to buy me a riding helmet. I know, not as cool as a beat-up blaze-orange baseball cap, but I feel like I came close enough to death riding bicycles and climbing ice and rocks while wearing helmets that it feels especially stupid not to wear one. It fits nicely -- and mine is black, by the way.

Assuming that I don't blow it this weekend, I'll put up details of where and how I've been getting lessons. And a couple of good books, too.

7 comments:

Chet said...

I have always wanted to hunt Chukars on horseback. Like my gramps used to say "a man can cover a lot of ground on one of those beasts". Good luck with the lessons.

Andrew Campbell said...

Chet: nice to hear from you. I'd love to have the same kind of opportunity, to take this HB trial experience and do some western HB hunting. Chasing chukar in the high country seems like a pretty fantastic opportunity.

all best
Andrew

redgirls-in-scotland said...

oh Andrew good luck with the riding lessons. Even before vizslas I had horses - lots of them (once upon a time they were my biggest ruling passion - but then kids and the red folk happened by) To watch vizslas work from the back of a horse must be the very closest thing to heaven(yes I guess better even than hounds) Keep us posted (here tonight your links on this post are broken) Big best Di

Redgirls say "whose blog is this anyway? Eh?"

Di says - you were in IRELAND! A stones throw away! XX

Andrew Campbell said...

Di + the Redgirls: so close and yet so far. And our boys were not with us, which would have made everything so lovely and exciting.

I'm excited about the whole horse thing. And field-trial horses are a genre unto themselves... any horse that can put up with manic dogs running around and handlers getting up and down and firing blank pistols is pretty remarkable.

Thanks for the cue on the links -- it seems to be a side-effect of using Blogger through Chrome as a web-browser. Which makes no sense. But they should be working now.

Incidentally, for some lovely shots of Glenshee, Arran, and some big, big birds, you might enjoy checking out the Aquiling blog on my blogroll. Awesome stuff.

all best
A+M+M+J

redgirls-in-scotland said...

Andrew - it had its detractors - but now banned(fox)hunting had no parallel in terms of watching "dogs" do the job they were bred for. Pure Magic.

Now this minute I guess that following a field trial - with vizslas - on horseback would top even that! ENVY! biggest best (will go to Aquiling blog!)XX

CHAZZ said...

Thanks for the comments over at Drahthaar Addiction. Funny how different breeds have similiar interests. by the way I'm Chazz, chet is wingshooters Journal.
That looks like a fun way to hunt Chukar as well

Andrew Campbell said...

Chazz: I'm an idiot. But I fixed my error over at Drahthaar Addiction. For those of us that have 'versatile' dogs, there's certainly always something to do.