Thursday, November 5, 2009

Into the field trial

When you follow along behind during a field trial run, you are in the "gallery".

The rules to be in the gallery are simple. Stay out of the way and always stay behind the judges on horseback. Do not talk to the judges unless they ask you a question or ask you to do something.

With Bailey having run the first brace of the day, we were done by 9 am. So I had several hours to enjoy watching the other dogs run.
My goal for this field trial was two fold.
First was not to fall off of the horse.
Second was for Bailey to know where I was while I was up on the horse.
Mission Accomplished.

As far as Bailey finding any of the quail, that had been planted throughout the course (about 10 birds), was something else.
Not a bird found by Bailey in the twenty-five minute trial.
His brace mate, a smart little Brittney, had two nice bird points and was given forth place out of the ten dogs that ran in Open Derby.
Rules of a field trial allow handlers to walk and horseback is not required.
BUT, what a difference.
When Bailey and I went out in our brace, both the other handler and I were on horseback and our dogs ran hard and far. In twenty-five minutes we might have covered more than four miles of treeline.
When I went out and watched another brace that had one of the handlers on foot, they might have covered a mile and a half in that same time period and the dog has to slow down its search.
So this rookie keeps learning. We are off to the fields around Sonora, Califorinia (Sierra foothills) in a couple weeks for another trial. This is the German Wirehaired Pointer club of Northern California.
Hope to get Bailey "into a lot of birds" between now and then to sharpen his nose and tracking skills.
It was a great morning in the fields.

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