A HUGE BRAG for the Oak Ridge Pointing Dog Club up in Harrisville, PA. These folks did an awesome job on this Test, their very first Test on these new grounds. It would have been easy to assume that they have been testing on these grounds for years and years it went so well. The Test was as fluid and smooth moving as could be asked for and the grounds were absolutely fantastic. Both the Junior and the Senior/Master course could be seen almost entirely from viewing points on top of a small ridge, almost like sitting in a stadium looking down on the course and bird fields. The course was excellent with great cover throughout the entire course and LOTS of edges where broom sedge met fescue, and old Multiflora hedges had turned into small thin bands of cover, drainages ran through and tree lines provided breaks. Just absolutely nice cover and working area and they had water all along the course at key turns. They have an "off Test grounds" exercise area that you can take the pups too, to take the edge off. Great food, great raffle, great bunch of folks! For anyone that has the opportunity to test on these grounds and with the Clubs that use them, I highly recommend you give them a whirl and form your own opinions....I think you will find them positive! This place is just going to get better and better! Give them a look: http://www.oakridgepointers.com/
A brag on my "pup" Dalin. We knocked down 2 Senior Qualifiers this weekend.
On Saturday Dalin had 2 broke finds and a retrieve to hand. The Honor is where I, the Handler, gets chastised for not following my own advice and "trusting the dog" and "keeping my mouth shut".
We were running with a Brit and I think awesome, the honor will be a cinch as I use a Brit silhouette for backing...... only this Brit is like 15" tall and the cover is 10"! As Dalin approached the Brit on point, I panicked, thinking he could see the dog for sure and yelled Whoa..... guess what, He couldn't see the dog because of a rise! The Judges had us do it over and he honored completely of his own choice from about 40 yards on the redo..... ALWAYS trust your dog and your training! We passed, but I hurt his scores I'm sure.
Sunday, I decided to keep my mouth shut, trust his training and let HIM Pass or Fail. It was a VERY tough brace, running almost 50 minutes and he earned it! 10 in Hunting and 9's across the board on all other categories.
We had a broke find on the back course on a bird that fluttered 3', set down, fluttered 3', set down and I collared him the heck out of there. Had another 3 broke finds in the bird field where the birds played to their lives advantage by burying under a house sized Multi-flora, flying into a ditch before a Gunner could shoot and hooking and then flying right at the Judges. On the honor, he ran into position some 50-60 yards in front of me and completely out of my influence, jammed into an honor and stood as his bracemate blew up on it's bird in front of him. They had to place another bird for his retrieve, so I watered him and got his head back and down we went. He was hot by this time and was having a hard time scenting, but rather than pointing the bird they had placed, pointed another bird 5' away from it. Moment of truth.... he stood, I put the bird up, gunners did a great job on a clean kill, I let him stand for a moment before sending him and he gave an absolute to hand retrieve! SHEWWWW, that was a tough brace!
Lesson learned: If you've done the Training and know your dog is ready...... TRUST YOUR DOG AND SHUT UP!