Wow what a great weekend we had. I had been invited to Judge this weekend by the Connecticut Valley Vizsla club in Hartford CT this weekend and thought "what a great opportunity" a few months back.
Shortly after I got the invitation I thought, wouldn't it be great to bring a dog out with me and run it there just to "say I had" since I'd never run a dog east of the Miss before. Thought long and hard about who to bring between Moose and Bullett but thought in the end that I'd just grab one of the youngsters and let them have a go.
So in the end, I decided I'd just take Duke since he's pretty representative of the dogs we're producing today overall. Not the fastest, flashiest, or greatest trial dogs I've ever seen but a very good solid birddog with terrific calm personality.
Duke had the run of his life and I thought obviously had his bracemate beaten so I was pretty hopeful. His bracemate is one of the nicest GSP's I've seen in a very long time, but Sunday I guess was just "Duke's Day".
He went around big, bold, hard, fast and with great style, requiring almost no handling at all, along with one very honest stop to flush and a surprise "OH NO" find not three seconds after being released after his second find. He finished going hard at the end so I was very pleased.
He did an excellent job in the call back with a very long, and difficult retrieve as he'd been totally blocked to the bird by some trees. He did a great job of "hunting" dead and had the bird back in my hands within about 30 seconds.
As many of the same dogs I'd judged in the OGD the previous day were running in the stake I knew there would be some very tough competition so I just crossed my fingers and hung on. All of the dogs in the call back did a very nice job so I knew the judges probably had a lot to deliberate over just in case their minds weren't already made up prior.
When it was time for the placements and they'd announced the second place dog which was Duke's bracemate needless to say I got very excited.
Out of his last three trials, Duke has now won twice, and picked up a second in a 29 dog stake in MO.
Thanks again to all of the folks in Connecticut for showing me such a great time and so many nice dogs, and to the judges for taking the time to give Duke a good look.
Hopefully someone will email me some pictures and I'll post them.
My only disappointment was that I didn't get to meet any of you folks which frequent this board while I was up there but I know it was a very busy weekend for both trialing and showing in that area since there was a very big show just up the road a few miles.