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Nov 1, 2018
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I recently posted o' the thrashing that New England received by tropical storm Isaias. Crews o' electrical workers have descended upon us to restore power after many days gone without. For me own family, we got back online later in the day Saturday. I had called me wife to later in the day on Saturday to tell her I was on me way home from the first day o' a hunt test and she told me our power had been restored. Welcomed news to be sure.

Lots o' folks pulling together to clear the downed trees, building collapses, etc. to get the lives o' many back on some track resembling normalcy. Hat's off to those utility workers, tree services, public safety / first responders, the National Guard, and the neighbor to neighbor efforts made in clearing out from under the rubble. New Englanders are certainly a resilient lot.

As for our hunt test this weekend, t'was hosted by me home club, YANKEE WATERFOWLER'S HUNTING RETRIEVER CLYB (YWHRC). A concerted effort by the many members o' YWHRC in providing a hunt test opportunity for the retriever community from throughout the region, to come together in testing o' the dogs they work so diligently to train to high levels. For many o' us that would normally have attended numerous hunt tests by this time o' year, most found this being there first hunt test o' the year o' Covid-19. All o' the test went off like a well strategized operation because it in fact was just that. Carefully planned strategies carried out by every member o' the team working for the common good.

For me own personal retrievers, we had a tough run with TRAD going out in the first o' three series in the AKC Master Hunter stakes. Not to bore with the ugly details, we suffered a bad throw o' a live flyer having been shot way outside o' the fall zone, that having been the catalyst o' a downward spiral in performance during TRAD'S run. All said, we went out and are already regrouping for our next event.

I ran my younger dog SHR LAKES CHAFFEE'S AUTUMN LEGACY O' TRAD FINIAN MAC JH on Sunday, his first run in the AKC Senior Hunter stakes, that which is most often said to stretch the transitional ability o' the dog's ability to learn the many skills to be competent in making the jump to the next level o' performance. MAC had been 8 for 8 in his events entered up until this point and I had waited until I felt that he had developed the skills needed to maintain his pass rate at 100%. MAC did not disappoint .

~ SHR LAKE CHAFFEE'S AUTUMN LEGACY O' TRAD FINIAN MAC JH ~ 1ST Qualifying ribbon o' four needed to earn an AKC Senior Hunter title.

Our AKC Senior Hunter stakes this past weekend was touted by the judges to be a very challenging / "meaty" hunt test. The judges went on to say that any participating retrievers that qualified would in fact be amongst a group o' dogs that had truly earned their ribbon / qualifying score.

The test is divided into both a "land series" that was ran first thing in the morning, that to be followed by a "water series" in the afternoon, that comprised of dogs that had not washed out in the earlier land series.

The land series required the successful retriever to complete a double marked retrieve that included a launched dead bird and a live flyer. Steadiness at the line was expected as was delivery to hand of all birds retrieved. A diversion shot was fired as the retriever was bringing in the memory bird. Once both marked retrieves were completed, the retriever was required to complete a single blind retrieve on land. The bird for the blind retrieve was posted precariously tight to the area o' fall established for the live flyer, and that provided a demanding suction factor to keep handlers fighting to keep their retriever on line for the blind retrieve, and to prevent them from returning to the "old fall". Any retrievers completing the previously mentioned elements successfully were then expected to work their dog in honoring the next working dog on the line (preventing the dog from leaving its stationary position and interfering with the dog working off o' the line. The retrievers that successfully met or exceeded the standards established for the elements cited were called back to work in the "water series". MAC was amongst those retrievers called back.

The "water series" consisted o' multiple marks in the form o' double birds falling into water. One o' the birds was launched as the handler and their working dog did a walk up hunt that required the dog remain walking alongside the handler without breaking and to not leave the handler until sent to make the retrieve. The "Go Bird" (first bird sent on) required the dog to make an angle entry moving from land, into water, back onto land, and back into water to reach the "downed bird". The retriever was expected to take the same route back to the handler and deliver the bird to hand. The retriever was then sent to make retrieve o' the "memory bird" (that being the bird downed first during the walk-up hunt). After both marks were successfully retrieved, the dog was then. sent on a "blind retrieve" o' a bird it had not seen fall and had no knowledge with regard to its location / placement, requiring the handler to get the dog to the bird using gestural casting and whistle signals to get the retriever to the bird. A retriever locating the blind was then required to deliver the bird into the hand of its handler.

When all was said and done, the two very experienced judges stated that the flight o' retrievers in this particular hunt test was amongst the most well developed and skillfully trained retrievers they had ever judged. MAC was amongst those retrievers having received a qualifying score toward an AKC Senior Hunter title, this again having been MAC'S initial entry into the Senior Hunter stakes. I would love to see MAC continue his unbroken success rate and will work diligently to keep him on track in that regard.

~ MAC ~ An extraordinary gun dog trainee that I am truly honored to be working with. MAC was sired by my companion gun dog HRCH UH TTF CRAIGHORN KIFFIN TRAD SH, call name "TRAD".

After a most demanding week, our success with MAC o'er this weekend was most welcomed.

Enjoy each moments spent with ye beloved gun dogs.


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