Trial Manager & Judges' Report on the "National&quo

Moderator: Peter Butterfield

Trial Manager & Judges' Report on the "National&quo

Postby Alan Donovan » Sat 23 Oct 2004 11:32 am

35th National and 2004 Queensland
Retrieving Championships
Hosted by Canine Control Council (Qld)
Major Sponsor – Masterfoods Petcare

The culmination of any year’s sport is ‘the Championship’. For the Queensland retrieving fraternity the year 2004 brought two championships, The State and National.

The ideal situation for a championship is where a new exciting ground is available to all competitors, both, local and interstate. This year each Championship trial was conducted on new ground.

The sport is a simulation of what breeds of Gundogs have been selected for centuries to perform efficiently – the retrieval of shot game. It follows therefore that the trial ground should present natural conditions that closely resemble what the dog would face in a real hunting situation. What better therefore than two trials based on two separate trial grounds centred on the Condamine River? This important water source for the Darling Downs, where farming pioneers and soldier-settlers’ historically harvested black ducks to supplement their basic rations, was brought to life again with two outstanding trials.

The headquarters for both trials was the village of Leyburn, where for a fortnight or so, triallers, villagers and farmers rubbed shoulders and talked dogs, politics and life. Many a new friendship was formed and people who are appreciative of the importance of the sheepdog or working cattle dog learned that Gundogs too have similar importance and the needs for selection for superiority of performance applies equally.

Both trials were organised and overseen by the Retrieving and Field Trial Committee of the CCC (Qld). A band of willing helpers from within the retrieving community, carried out the essential chores that such events demand,

The challenge to deliver a successful weekend, two weeks running put a lot of pressure on the stewards and helpers, all volunteers. That challenge was met and those involved were extremely pleased to receive the accolades from competitors on their professional performance, at the completion of the trial.

The judges for both events rose to the occasion setting appropriate runs to fully test the best dogs in the country.

The combination of great trial grounds, a friendly central setting for the trial headquarters, excellent judges, a wonderful team of supporters and a class entry of competitors from all over Australia led to two high points in the gundog calendar in 2004.

Don Nicol
Trial Manager, both events

Statistics Both Championships
Entries: State – 37 National – 42
State – 20 Queensland, 7 Victoria, 6 New South Wales, 2 Australian Capital Territory, 2 Western Australia.
National - 23 Queensland, 9 Victorian, 6 New South Wales, 2 Australian Capital Territory, 2 Western Australia.
Breed make-up:
State - 26 Labradors, 3 Flat Coated Retrievers, 3 Golden Retrievers, 2 English Springer Spaniels,
2 German Shorthaired Pointers, I Irish Setter
National – 29 Labradors, 5 German Shorhaired Pointers, 3 Golden Retrievers, 2 Flat Coated Retrievers,
1 Chesapeake Bay Retriever, 1 Weimaraner.

National Judges' Reports – by Amand and Georgina Gollé

Run 1 (Amand Gollé) DOUBLE RISE and a DOUBLE FALL: At approximately 110mtrs in a valley, a mark was cast from left to right, area of fall below a steep embankment at which two shots were fired. When the dog was approx 30mtrs from the firing point a second bird was cast from left to right, approx 20mtrs off line to the mark.
The order of pick up first bird cast followed by the “double rise”, which was placed in the general area of the first bird, and finally the “double fall” bird.
The quality field handled this test in various ways, some having difficulty in negotiating the depth of the mark, others being distracted by the “double fall”.

However some excellent dog work by a number of dogs was seen, and two competitors top scoring the run on 47 points, Jackie Price’s Weimaraner - BROMHUND MAJOR CDX RRD ET, and
Joe Vella’s Labrador - RTCH. KAEMAJAE ALL BLACK.

Run 2: (Georgina Gollé) TRIPLE MARK:
First bird was cast 50mtrs from the handler to the right into a deep basin, the flight of the bird seen by all dogs, but not the fall.
Second bird cast across the river onto the left bank approx 120mtrs from the firing point, up a gentle slope into light cover and on the count of 3 the third bird was cast falling away from the dog on the right hand side into the river.
Order of pick up was the long bird, the short to the right and finally the bird in the river.
The dog work on this run was very good with several dogs excelling in their marking ability.

The highest scoring dog on 54 points was John Palmer’s Labrador Dog - ASHLAKE BENNELONG
Their run was superb, marking ability, memory, style, action was the way I set the run and a great pleasure to judge this team.

Run 3 (Amand Gollé) BLIND and a MARK: diagonally across the river. The dog was left behind a large tree whilst the handler fired from an elevated firing point, shooting in the direction of the “blind” which was approximately 120mtrs on the far river bank, in cover. The handler to reload and call the dog, then fire at the mark on the opposite side of the river landing on a high plateau approx 80mtrs away. The dog and handler relocated to the river bed and retrieved the blind diagonally across the river, followed by the mark. The relocation to the control point became quite demanding for the dog, which was required to negotiate firstly the far river bank and then some very heavy cover and finally a third level to the plateau without assistance from the handler.
This run produced some excellent line work to the “blind” and tremendous sagacity and drive from very good marking dogs.

The top scoring dog on 47points was Joe Vella’s Labrador - RTCH. KAEMAJAE ALL BLACK. Excellent direct line to the Blind.

Run 4 (Georgina Gollé) MARK and a TWO BIRD: the handler and dog on a level above the river shot at a mark approx 110mtrs from the firing point, landing on a plateau into cover, the flight of the bird seen but not the fall. I was looking for the dog to mark and read the depth of the mark then to systematically hunt the area for the bird. There were a number of dogs that showed excellent marking ability and quite a number of dogs held the area well locating the bird quickly.
The “two bird” was set up as a test of marking and negotiation of terrain into the river.
The majority of dogs marked the bird, but disorientated when sent from the firing point, having to be directed into the river for the retrieve.
It was unfortunate that a number of dogs failed this test, the dogs being drawn into looking down the river away from where the mark was landing.

The highest scoring dog on 52 points was Gareth Tawton’s Labrador Dog - RTCH. KADNOOK THE PRIDE OV CORK. Accurate marking, reading the depth of the retrieve, marked the two-bird and negotiated the river bank for the retrieve positively. Both birds retrieved in great style, executing the run the way it was set.

Run 5 (Amand Gollé) BLIND, MARK and a TWO BIRD: This is the only run in the Championship which did not incorporate water. Set in a valley, which proved to be testing and deceptive, as it had two deep gullies and was well treed. The dog and handler proceeded together from the control point to the first firing point. The handler with the dog at heel fired in the direction of the blind approx 135mtrs. The bird lying in tussocks of grass, then relocating to a second firing point when the mark was cast from left to right out of the gully onto a heavily grassed plateau at approx 75mtrs. The dog was then directed to retrieve the blind. Most dogs finding difficulty with the deceptive terrain, and needing considerable assistance from the handler. When the dog picked up the blind and started to return the “two-bird” was cast from a gully approx 30-40mtrs from the thrower. The mark previously shot is the next bird to be retrieved. Several dogs found this too difficult due to the terrain, then finally the “two bird” was to be retrieved. Whilst the majority of dogs registered this bird in flight they needed some assistance from the handler.

Some excellent work was witnessed on individual legs of this run, and the top scoring dogs on 43points were Mal. Tyrie’s Labrador Bitch – KADNOOK COLOUR ME BLONDE and Noel Eltringham”s Labrador Dog – RTCH. REVEIRTER JET KITE (A).

Run 6 (Georgina Gollé) DOUBLE BLIND and a WALK UP MARK: the dog was left behind a large gum tree and the handler proceeded to a firing point, shooting at two blinds, reloading then calling the dog to heel, continuing to walk towards the second firing point when a bird was cast from left to right across the creek, landing on the opposite bank approx 70mtrs from the handler.
Order of pickup was the long blind across the creek 130 mtrs away (the dog having to go past the area of the walk up mark) the blind bird being placed amongst fallen timer.
The second blind was along the riverbank placed in sparse reeds 100 mtrs from the firing point.
A diversionary bird was placed on the bank, 20mtrs offline of the second blind, to encourage the handler to demonstrate good control of the dog and maintain a line to this blind.
The third bird to be retrieved was the walk-up mark, which proved difficult for some dogs.
At this point I would like to mention Joe Vella’s dog retrieving the first blind on a single cast to the area. The line was perfect and the dog used his nose at the right time to scent the bird for quick location and retrieve.

The highest scoring dog on 52points was Russell Whitechurch’s Labrador Bitch - ADDERSLOT CRACKERS TRIGA RRD. Excellent control to the blinds and perfect memory on the mark. A pleasure to judge this run.

Run 7 (Amand Gollé) DOUBLE MARK and WOUNDED RABBIT: This run was set in ideal terrain befitting a championship finale. From the first firing point, the dog and handler faced directly across the river where the banks were steep but accessible, requiring the dog to swim out of sight of the handler. On the repour of the first shot fired, a rabbit which was attached to a rope, was cast over a tree branch down the bank. The handler then reloaded whilst the rabbit was dragged in a tugging motion up the bank and over a branch for approx 6-8mtrs with the dog watching. A mark is then cast from right to left of the rabbit at approx 130mtrs in medium cover. The dog and handler then relocated at right angles to that scene approx 20mtrs away, and the second mark cast in cover at approx 45mtrs. This was the first bird to be retrieved in which time the steward dragged the rabbit up a slope approx. 35mtrs, where a fresh rabbit was left in behind tussocks of grass. The handler was required to nominate which of the two retrieves the dog will pick up next. The “wounded rabbit” or the “mark”. Because of this directive, handlers were required to stay in the hide with their dogs until they competed on this run.
The nature of terrain was such that dogs had the opportunity to divert left or right in the river out of sight of their handler, which bought several dogs with very good scores undone, and as a result demonstrated how certain aspects in our sport still prove to be difficult.
A number of dogs demonstrated championship qualities on this run, including individual legs. One dog in particular, stood out on the “wounded rabbit retrieve”, scoring maximum points, Amy Lodder’s Labrador Dog RTCH. TENARDA DOUBLE TAKE.

The top scoring dog on 43 points was Russell Whitechurch’s Labrador Bitch – ADDERSLOT CRACKERS TRIGA RRD, the eventual winner of this National Championship.
This team of dog and handler displayed tremendous teamwork and concentration over my 4 tests averaging 40.25points.

It was an absolute honour and a great thrill to judge this National with my soul mate and wife, and a great privilege to judge the best dogs and handlers in the land.

Run 8 (Georgina Gollé) BLIND and DOUBLE MARK - Finalists consisted of 11 dogs, with 8 dogs being Retrieving Trial Champions. Handlers and dogs that had excelled during the previous two days, this run was to decide the winner of the 35th National.
The 3 retrieves were set on very tight lines with angle entry into the river. I set this run to test the ability of the handler to work the dog past a short mark, to control the dog in the area of the blind, to remember the marks and to cross the river on 3 occasions maintaining directness to the birds.
A diversionary rabbit was placed on the lefthand bank to deter handlers from letting the dog run this bank.
The angle entry across the river was achieved by two dogs. The rest of the field squared off to the opposite bank and had to be handled away from the short mark onto the blind, and away from the short mark to the long mark.
The blind was between the marks, the bird being placed in small area of light cover. The handler had full view of the dog at all times and several handlers had difficulty in keeping their dog in the area of the blind.

The highest score on 49 points was Robert Tawton’s Labrador Dog - RTCH KADNOOK KING OF KANBERA CM, this team showed good control on the blind, excellent marking ability on the long mark and a creditable effort on the short mark. Very pleasing to judge and executed very efficiently.

We were honoured with this appointment from the CCC (Qld) and humbled by the quality of the field presented to us for adjudication. Our appreciation is extended to Don Nicol (trial manager), Jackie Duffy (trial secretary) and the dedicated stewards who assisted us, fulfilling their duties in a most courteous and professional manner.

Congratulations to the 7 handlers and their dogs who completed the course, the manner in which they tackled the tests before them and to all the competitors for their sportsmanship.

1st place and National Retrieving Trial Championship title awarded to -
R. Whitechurch’s Labrador - ADDERSLOT CRACKERS TRIGA RRD 350 points

2nd place - R & P. Tawton’s Labrador RTCH KADNOOK KING OF KANBERA CM 341 points
3rd place - S. & M. Hall’s Labrador RTCH BAMBILLAY BRAVE HEART 337 points
4th place - R. Johnson’s Labrador RTCH KADNOOK ALL STOKED UP 334 points
5th place - N & K. Eltringham’s Labrador RTCH RIVEIRTER JET KITE (A) 332 points
6th place - G. Tawton’s Labrador RTCH KADNOOK THE PRIDE OV CORK 325 point
7th place - Miss A. Lodder’s Labrador RTCH TENARDA DOUBLE TAKE 313 points
Alan Donovan
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Joined: Sun 27 Jul 2003 10:27 pm
Location: Qld Aust

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