After losing almost 3 months of Training time this year due to the deep snows between December and March, I was finally able to get some Client dogs out to do some Hunt Test this weekend at the Oak Ridge Pointing Dog Club's Test in Harrisville, PA.
1st: I have to say that I've been attending Test with the Oak Ridge bunch for 10 years give or take and these folks always put on a quality event, have some extremely nice grounds, always have good food and always have a good time with lots of good people to shoot the breeze about dogs with. For anyone that is not too far and have never attended their events, do yourself a favor some time and try one of their events, I'm certain you'll like it!
All in all, we had a pretty decent weekend and deciding to wait until we had clear ground to Train this year prior to Testing, ultimately paid off with the pups going 5 out of 6 Qualifiers.
Ruby, owned by Parry Tomlin, Qualified for her 1st Master Hunter leg yesterday doing an excellent job in all aspects with virtually no handling what-so-ever. She broke my heart and a clean sweep today with a bobble on the Honor through the Retrieve, begrudgingly Honoring the Brit Call Back dog from 30 yards and then sitting down, looking up at me during the Brits Retrieve. Usually the Honor is one of her strongest points, but I guess she just wasn't "feeling it" today and I think the whole contrived situation just irritated her...LOL! We'll be working on that this week a little bit! It was kind of a bummer after 1 perfect back course Honor, 3 clean Stop to Flushes and a difficult Retrieve where I had unwittingly blocked her mark of the downed bird.
Gunner, owned by Steve Broskey, did a really good job both days and earned his 1st 2 legs of his Senior Hunter Title. He was a little ragged yesterday after his long, impatient wait to run and broke after the shot on his back course birds; but stood Broke on his Retrieve bird until I sent him and made a nice, clean Retrieve to hand. He had 1 nice Stop to Flush and was a real champ on his Honors, Honoring his bracemate well ahead of me on his own and without any control. He was much better today after blowing some dust off yesterday and stood all of his birds Broke, Honored completely un-aided and Retrieved perfectly to hand with a nice finish from behind and presentation at the side. He was well to the front both days, perhaps more than I would have preferred in a Test, but he handled well and showed his capability to get'er done without a thumb on him. As a sidenote, I had the pleasure to meet and was braced with Dirtysailor and his VERY NICE Shorthair yesterday. We worked well together as a brace and it was a real pleasure, both in the field and shooting the breeze afterwards!
Not to be left out, young Lacie owned by Lawrence Knott, after having only 2 weeks to be worked with by me; showed she had learned how to Hunt, Find and Point a bird hard and long while I got to her; earning her 1st 2 legs of Junior Hunter with very high scores. There is only so much you can teach a completely inexperienced pup in a short 2 weeks time, so calling her off her birds was somewhat difficult but she showed she was more than willing to be trained by standing her birds while her bracemates came in to share in the finds and continuing to stand while I waited yesterday for her bracemates Handler to come in to collar his pup for a little training opportunity.
I also had the pleasure of meeting "List-House" on here, this weekend and his young son and can foresee many fun years ahead for them.
As always, it was a great event, a fun weekend and it's always a joy to follow some nice dogs in the field!