Since we are really hoping Tule & Powder are with puppies and only about 2-weeks in, we took our newly minted yearling, Ila, and Jenna's Fowler. Fowler has managed to place each time he has played in the friendly competition. This of course was Ila's debut, and she did great. The rules are simple: 10-minutes max in the field to get two birds to hand any way you can. Retrieve of the 2nd bird stops the clock, lowest time wins, all breeds are welcome. As you might imagine, retriever breeds do quite well in this, because many simply roll in and scoop up the released chukar. No need for shooting, hitting or actual retrieving - that all costs time. This year there were 40 dogs entered, the club's larget registration to date. Once Ila realized there were birds in the field she became all business, and did a great job by pointing her birds, all nice and steady, and retrieving them when sent to 'hunt dead'. Her time wasn't so impressive, but unlike more than half the dogs that ran, she got both of her birds before the horn sounded. Had she put her working hat on from the start, she would have made the finals. To give you some perspective, out of 40 dogs run on the day, 26 did not complete their round. A round consisted of getting two birds to hand in less than 10-minutes. Last bird to hand stopped the clock. Fowler of course knew what was up and acted accordingly from Jump Street. Some nice clean points and purposeful retrieves put him into the final round (top 8 fastest scores from the initial braces) where he remained in first place until the last heat when one of the retriever boys went out and merrily picked his birds up, and a retriever was gifted some fantastic luck - scooping one, and having his bracemate send a bird over to land perhaps ten feet in front of him! So we bagged third place with a great job and a solid performance less than one second behind second place!
I'm just a guy suffering with an infatuation with gundogs since childhood. Fourty some years later this is what you get.