It has been a busy six weeks -- as most of you who follow this blog could probably guess from the delay since the last posting. We had a great time up at Julie & Gordon's farm this summer and got a lot done with all the dogs.
But before summer camp ended, I hauled the entire crew down to Crane WMA for the VCCNE + Mayflower GSP Club double-header hunt test -- for Jackson and Rye to try their luck at their first two JH legs and for Capo to try her luck at her first two MH legs (and for me to judge a couple of stakes).
The short version is that I quickly remembered that Capo is really only 2.5yrs old and, relatively speaking, hasn't seen a ton of birds and so, while broke, getting her exposed and proofed to all the random scenarios that come with the hunt test format just hasn't happened yet. Julie ran her in her first leg and I don't have a clear picture of exactly how it came to pass, suffice to say there was a bird in the air and she was moving after it; I ran her in her second leg and when her bracemate stopped-to-flush on a covey of 6-8 birds, she didn't recognize the situation as a stop-to-flush situation and kept moving. (She did then go on to honor, stop-to-flush, and then point so it wasn't all wasted.) But what our little whizz-kid really needs is a season of having birds shot over her to really get her primed for the hunt test big-time.
I handled Jackson in his first JH leg so that he understood that even this was a new venue and he had already seen his father on the grounds the same rules applied. And he did a really nice job both for me -- and for Jeremy the next day. I gather he and Jeremy will try to complete the JH title next weekend at the CVVC + Nutmeg hunt test double-header.
Vizsla Club of Long Island hunt test out at the Sarnoff Preserve in far eastern Long Island. I had already agreed to judge and while it meant a lot of driving to pick her up and drop her off, I was eager to get her back out on birds and hopefully finish her title. Which she did. It was the first time I had been to the Sarnoff grounds, but it was a great place for an energetic, but still moderate ranging dog to do her stuff. And she looked as fabulous on point as she did in the previous post. And as can be seen, the VCLI has fabulous ribbons for those finishing titles at their test.
Momo also got to run as a bye-dog and I was able to run Jozsi and Jake on the grounds after the test. I have to admit that I am not sure how they run horseback trials at Sarnoff because it seems like your maximum vista is about 100yds and Jake, especially, was out of sight quickly and took some hollering to keep him on track and away from roads.
The rest of this fall is really about two things: trying to get plenty of horseback experience for Jake in trial settings and trying to finish up the final 2 points on Jozsi's Field Championship. My work schedule has gone a little funky so in order to do that, I've had to sacrifice our usual trip to western Maine to hunt the rumpled grouse. But hopefully, the additional experience will prove beneficial if not successful for both of them.
edition, "only dogs with flawless manners on game and good ground pattern were considered for the second series." 'Rocko,' as he is known, is our Jozsi's full brother from the last litter that Lisa DeForest bred; I happen to think he and Jozsi look very similar in terms of their profile. I am so pleased that, like Rye, after an initial hiccup or two, he is also performing at the very highest level. Thanks to Phil Stout of WindDance Vizslas for this photograph from this year's second series -- and congratulations to Phil, Tori, and Jamie Fountain for their selection to the second series as well. And heaven knows, all three of these dogs are just hitting their prime years and so hopefully all of them will have this opportunity again.