Canadian Master National- Maître Nationale Canadien
Day 3 - Description of Tests 3 & 4
Series 3 - water Triple with Blind
Female - MONTAUK'S HIGH CALIBER MH - Cally - handled by Mike Cardinal
Male - HR TAMSU'S GOLDEN KEEPSAKE MH WCX CDX AGN - Keeper - handled by Lorraine Hare
Test dogs ran at 9:00 am
First working Dog at 9:35 am -Dog #25 GMH HRCH TIDEWATERS WEEKEND GLADIATOR CAN/AM CD WCX MH - Drake - handled by Mark Edwards
Day 3 began in teeming rain, cool and lots of fog. Due to the weather, the judges opted to run their 2nd water test although later on the day turned warm and sunny. Due to earlier wind conditions, this water test, originally slated to be the 1st water series couldn't be set-up until today. Set along a long dike at the edge of a pond with several islands and lots of reeds, a triple was shot into a slight crosswind, and a blind was run into the wind.
The first bird down was straight out from the line between 2 islands and under some brush and crisscrossed sticks. The bird was thrown left to right behind an island and landed at the far end of a small bay. The next bird down was from another small island to the left of the first gun and thrown what appeared to be from the line an almost straight back throw into cover at the edge of another small bay. The go bird was to the right of the first bird - thrown from left to right behind a large island to a clump of reeds. The wind was at a slight angle from right to left. The line to the 1st bird down and the 2nd bird was very tight. For the 1st bird, the shortest, dogs would either opt to go through the sticks or veer left and go around the island. This presented a problem though in that the line for the 2nd bird down was also to the left of the same island.
After the marks, a blind was run, to the right of the 3rd mark - a shoreline blind across a bay with running water at the last third of the blind to a clump of reeds on the far shore.
The judges had warned that there were several dogs who were somewhat weak coming into this series and who needed to improve their work. 15 dogs were called back to run the next series.
Series 4 - the upland test
After much testing and some skepticism as to the mechanics of this, the 4th series was begun late afternoon.
Test dog was EDDYSTONE TAKE A GANDER WCX CD MH - Gander - handled by Tim Marshal
While both judges and contestants were very worried as to whether their dogs would be steady, all 14 dogs who ran this series passed beautifully. Live pheasants were dizzied and placed in upright containers which were camouflaged with grass and hidden in deep cover. There were 3 of these stations. The handler quartered his dog through the field at the direction of the judge who knew the location of the live pheasant. Sharpshooters and judges walked behind. As the dog approached the live pheasant, he would scent the bird and approach the cage. At the dog's approach, the bird would flush up into the air where it was promptly shot by one of the 2 gunners. At the shot, the handler whistled his dog to sit and quickly brought the dog under control. Once the bird was down, the dog was sent for the retrieve. This was unutterably exciting for both dog and handler. Dog because he actually saw a live bird shot in front of him and handler who's heart was in his mouth wondering if the dog would stop. Some dogs actually caught their birds, in which case no shot was fired but as long as the dog was under control. and stopped on the whistle, he passed.
Our honorary test dog, Ping, also had a chance to flush and did a very respectable job. See pictures
This series was undoubtedly the highlight of the week. Everyone had a really good time and vowed to try to simulate this type of flush at their next Master Hunt Test. Special thanks to John Cavanaugh for making these cages.
see also www.oslachphoto.com for more photos