Let's hear it for Team VCCNE! First, there was Fruska, then there was Baron, followed by Jozsi, and now, most recently, we have Widdershins Flyin Kyler as a trophy winner at the Connecticut Valley Vizsla Club Hunting Dog Championships! Bravo to Kyler, 2009 winner of the Hunting Dog Excellent (HDE) stake.
It was a hot, humid day at Flaherty this year. It was arguably hotter last year for Mr. Enthusiasm's moment of glory, but the air was thick, thick, thick and the breeze skinny, skinny, skinny! Belonging to the CVVC's field trial committee who organizes this event, I had to work the event and so didn't get to see Kyler's run. I know Mike enjoyed his run with Kyler... which is arguably all we should all ask for when we run our dogs.
But we had a bonus day because, in addition to Kyler's run in HDE, her daughter, Rogue, also earned a judges' Award of Merit in the Hunting Dog stake. The judges were clear that they loved her foot-speed and intensity... and that if she had maintained her points just a little longer, she would have done even better. Wooah, Nellie, this little girl is a hard-running 10mos old -- and I can hardly wait to run her from a horse again come fall.
It was actually a double bonus day because our own Widdershins Momchil, aka. The Mominator, was also awarded a judges' Award of Merit in Hunting Dog Excellent. I have said it before, I'm sure, that Momo will probably never make anyone gasp for breath in a competitive environment, but he is a good, good boy who will find you birds. He had a stop-to-flush, an honor, a nice back-course find, and then behaved beautifully in the bird-field proper. Both dogs went on their own points before the handlers could get there... and for safety reasons, the judges elected to work his bracemate's bird first. The bird didn't fly hard enough to be shot -- but as it was blanked on the ground, Momo's bird flushed. So in addition to behaving while all this silliness was going on, I had to send him on to find another bird. He found a chukar that also chose not to fly (probably a side-effect of thick air and/or moisture on the grass). It was shot on the ground and he performed a very nice retrieve. The ribbon was a nice validation for a good, good dog.
Tomorrow we have two rounds of versatility testing for each of the boys: two legs each of Obedience and Conformation. If Momo passes these, he will have earned his Versatility Certificate; if Jozsi does too, he may be able to complete his third legs of these two areas in August at our VCCNE test at Sharpe's Farm.
In the meantime, here's a quick salute to Wendy + Chris Russell at Widdershins for producing two great dogs, and making the the third possible.