Sunday, August 23, 2009

Field of Dreams?

Ok, now it is Sunday evening and we are home after the season's last field trial for Bailey.  One thing I learned.  You can come up with great excuses for not winning.  Just after Lyn snapped this picture, Bailey looked down and found a field mouse under the grass and then another and then another.  Now it became a field of mice and no longer a bird field.  The judges came up and said, "Go ahead handlers you can release your dogs." 
 Bailey shot out and twenty yards out he made his first mouse stop.  For five minutes he must have found forty mice and pointed each one out to me.
So at one point he realized that he needed to do what he came out to do - FIND BIRDS.
So run he did.  He covered the field very well and when he came across a bird he stopped and pointed.  Not his most graceful point ever, as he was almost standing on the bird.  He held as I bent down and flushed the bird.  Off he went and ran down the bird and brought it back almost all the way to me.  He qualified by finding and pointing a bird for a placement in Derby, but the dogs he was competing against were finding and pointing birds also.
There were some very good dogs out in the field for the Open Derby and many handled by professionals.  14 dogs total in this class and Bailey finished as an "Judges award of merit" which was just out of the four placements.  Scarlet, Janet Kuivenhoven's great young female Vizsla was awarded forth.  The highest Vizsla placement in Derby.
So on a afternoon that was hot and a field full of field mice with Bailey having a paw pad which had a two week-old cut re-open; he did all right against some of the best under two-year-old field dogs around. 
Now after our first season, I see what it will take to succeed in this sport.  It will take knowledge, determination, time and paitence. 
Now we start some hunt testing.  Junior Hunter will be the first tests.  From there to Senior Hunter and then Master Hunter.  Bailey can do it.  The question is: can I?
Stay tuned.

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