Shewwwww. What a looonnnggggg week!
The Test went well and everyone had a great time, Qualify or not. Great Dogs, great Bar-B-Q, lots of good friends sharing time with the dogs and of course, the required BS'ing about dogs, birds and hunting! Weather was not perfect and was rather hot Saturday with very high humidity and no wind, but Sunday, while still in the 80's, had a wonderful breeze all day with very low humidity. The grounds were in excellent condition and had been prepared to almost perfection, with the course being mowed carefully to provide some of the best edges and cover a person could dare ask for.
We had quite a few 1st time Owners/Handlers, including 3 Junior Handlers between 12 and 15 and all did well on showing their dogs and suceeded in racking up quite a few Qualifiers. Seeing the Junior Handlers run their dogs and succeed was an absolute pleasure and I took great joy in knowing the seed has been planted with them in what will likely be a long standing future hobby and thus will insure the future of our dogs and sport. All of our 1st time handlers will be back again, of that I'm confident!
The Phez were great and we had lots of compliments on the use of them. Of course you can't always please everyone, but none of the Master dogs that didn't Qualify were because of the Phez. I got to watch some of the Masters work on the Phez from the Gunners station and to say the dog work was excellent, would be an understatement. After speaking with my Judges, Gunners and some of the Handlers, I believe Pheasant will become a permanent fixture of the Fall Hunt Test with Mason-Dixon GSPC. One particular Master Shorthair took her Handler by the hand and just led him around the course in her 1st ever run in Master on Saturday, as though she had laid the course and planned the field. This gal was superb in her work and I don't believe the Handler ever spoke to her once. She scored 10, 9, 9, 9, 9, 9!!! On Sunday, she just got better and scored 10, 10, 10, 9, 9, 9!!!
All of the birds were excellent flyers and there was one particular Senior brace that will forever be etched in my memory. Though the Senior dog broke on the flush, the Chukar was lightly hit and flew a good 200 yards and yet, the Weim made an absolute, to hand retrieve, of an otherwise VERY alive Chukar. A 200 yard retrieve is not exactly a walk in the park in good cover and the dog made it look easy.
All in all, we had a great event and I hope I've whetted the appetites of those close enough to come to our events, to come check our events out and we will welcome you with good food, warm friendship, good dogs and a whole lot of BS'ing!