Saturday, February 6, 2010

Hardcore field trialers

Weather: Rain, heavy at times.
Temperature: 45 degrees.

Location: Little Panoche Wildlife Area Central California

Event: German Shorthair Pointer Club of Santa Clara Valley

Bailey's event: Open Derby (open to all pointing breeds. Amateur and professional handlers for dogs under two-years-old)

Horseback trial. Oh yeah, I don't own a horse yet. It is allowed by AKC rules to walk, but you really need to be on horseback to run against professionally handled dogs.

First challenge was getting a horse to ride.

I didn't know who would be there so I used my sign in the windshield. Sometimes a wrangler will be there and you can rent a horse, sometimes a friend will loan you one to ride.

So, with that problem solved and having a horse to ride, Bailey and I went out into the Little Panoche field trial area for the very first time. The rain had come down hard most of the morning, but by 11 am the weather had mellowed out and by after lunch rain had stopped.

It really is hard to explain a field trial on a horse. A very good field trial dog in a horseback trial will be out 200 to 400 yards ahead of the horses and hunt for birds in likely areas. The dog should not come back to check in with the rider but just stay out there and hunt.

So Bailey goes out and runs well but keeps coming back to me too often to win a field trial. He found his first planted bird 5 minutes in. Found his second bird 15 minutes in and his third bird 25 minutes into the run.

Nice points. He is such a joy to watch run.

The GSPC of Santa Clara Valley did a great job at making this field trial go off smoothly, even through rotten weather.

Placement: Little Mr. Sunshine came in fourth place in Open Derby.

Out of the four placements in Derby, second and fourth by Vizslas.

Congratulations to Jim Searles and Pearl for second.

1 comment:

Andrew Campbell said...

Congrats to you and Bailey! I know from experience how hard it is to compete against either pros or other amateurs who can train from horseback. As he gets used to you on a horse, he'll get more confident and check in less.