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Field Trial Placement and on to Maine

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AKC Field Trial

Today we ran Bluestem’s Prairie Fire “Fire” in her first formal dog event.  She participated in the German Shorthaired Pointer Club of Nebraska’s Fall Field Trial in the Amateur Walking Puppy and Amateur Walking Derby stakes at the Branched Oak Field Trial Grounds near Raymond, Nebraska.  These grounds are famous and I noticed a new sign hanging in the lodge as I was getting breakfast this morning.  It is notes made this spring by Delmar Smith.

Comments from Delmar Smith about Branched Oak Field Trial Grounds, April 2014

Comments from Delmar Smith about Branched Oak Field Trial Grounds, April 2014

We met Delmar in Kansas City at Pheasant Fest a few years back and he is definitely a sage of the sport.

Sunrise over Branched Oak Field Trial Grounds

Sunrise over Branched Oak Field Trial Grounds

Horse barn and clubhouse of Branched Oak Field Trial Grounds

Horse barn and clubhouse of Branched Oak Field Trial Grounds

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A standard setup at Branched Oak

It was entirely English Pointers and German Shorthaired Pointers, but we had fun and Fire had a great experience.  Of course she was shown up with range in the field because of her young age (6 1/2 months) and the close-working nature of the breed, but due to the fact that there were only 4 dogs entered in the Amateur Walking Derby, we did walk away with a ribbon.  Although it was a “gimme” (which none of BB’s field trial placements were), it was still cool to represent griffons and be the only 6 month old griff ever to have placed in an AKC Field Trial.

Walking to the line

Walking to the line

At the line

At the line

Starting in the field

Starting in the field

Escapee

Escapee

Running Fire

Running Fire

Charles and Fire with their 4th place ribbon in the Amateur Walking Derby

Charles and Fire with their 4th place ribbon in the Amateur Walking Derby

We also had visitors from Matt and Carter, who live around Lincoln and will be getting a Sam/BB pup next year.

Matt and Carter saying hi to Fire.

Matt and Carter saying hi to Fire.

Fire and Carter

Fire and Carter

I really hate to cut this short, as there’s more to say, but I am still not packed for the AWPGA National Specialty Dog Show, Hunt Tests and Annual Meeting this week in Maine, and I have a 6 AM flight to catch in the morning.  I’m taking all of my equipment with me, so maybe there will be a blog post part 2 if I get the time this week, but I will probably be busy seeing all of my long lost dog friends.  If I don’t get to it, I’ll catch up with y’all next weekend.

BB’s AKC Field Trial: Amateur Walking Derby Stakes

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On Saturday, August 25th, Charles handled our 17 month old female pup, Bourg-Royal’s CB Bluestem JH NA 1, more commonly known as “BB” to a 3rd place finish in the Amateur Walking Derby stakes of the German Shorthaired Pointer Club of Nebraska’s AKC Field Trial at the Branched Oak Trial Grounds near Raymond, Nebraska.  We were in total shock.  Charles stayed for the placement announcement, but somehow didn’t hear (a bad case of shotgunner ear) that BB won third.  I was at the house and got a phone call from the trial grounds letting me know about it.  We had been texting all day while he was waiting for his run and his phone was dead on the drive home, so he didn’t find out until an hour and a half later when he got to town.

The amateur walking stakes setup is nearly identical to a hunt test. The dog works planted quail for 30 minutes braced with another dog. No live fire though, the handler shoots a starter pistol on the flush. Places are awarded instead of pass/fail. I’m still learning the specifics about how it is judged, but in general it is based on covering ground/desire to search and bird finds/points. I think BB had a lot of individual finds/points and also backed her bracemate on another point.

As all of the fellow competitors were either Vizslas or German Shorthaired Pointers, we were quite excited to show them the potential of a good griffon who can run.  The griffon will never range as wide as the big running dogs and that isn’t the point (ha, ha).  BB was able to outscore her competitors with bird finds and tractability.  BB’s bracemate ran like a bat out of hell and the owner spent most of his time trying to chase it down.  It blew past a number of birds that BB was able to locate because of her attentive nose and appropriate pacing.  There were only 7 dogs in the stakes, so the placement did not count for FC title points, but it was still the highlight of our weekend.  I’ve only been able to find one other griffon within the last 10 years who has placed in an AKC field trial (in online research) and I haven’t had a chance to talk to the AKC about the rarity of the event.

I wasn’t there to take live photos and we have no rosette to pose with yet (it’s in the mail), so I’ll have to just post a past photo of BB.  This is from her perfect score of 112 NAVHDA Natural Ability test in April.

Bourg-Royal's CB Bluestem JH NA 1, Wirehaired Pointing Griffon

Bourg-Royal’s CB Bluestem JH NA 1, Wirehaired Pointing Griffon

So, for my birthday and Christmas this year I got myself the GoPro Hero2 camera to wear hunting.  I should have enough battery and memory card power to just let it run all day (as long as I switch out the battery every 2 hours and the 32 GB memory card every 4), so it should be fun to watch me cuss, lose my breath, fall in coyote holes, miss easy shots and get lucky every once in awhile.  It does get a little heavy on your head, so I’m not sure if I’ll be able to convince Charles to try it, but I’m going to work on him.  I took the camera out to the pond with us on Sunday, but I was pressing all of the wrong buttons and got nothing, but the videos of the week are two unedited GoPro videos of Caleb and I walking the dogs (first Sam and Sue, then Mae and BB) in the back yard.  I should have edited them, but just really don’t have the time this week, sorry.  Part I with Sam and Sue: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kbp7jhB2KCk  Part II with Mae and BB: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=znd2BiO–14

Susan and Tom in North Dakota are always sending me great pictures of TracHer from our “C” litter earlier this year.  She’s coming up on 6 months of age and is working good on pointing and retrieving!

TracHer on point, 6 month old Wirehaired Pointing Griffon

TracHer looking pretty in the sunflowers, 6 month old Wirehaired Pointing Griffon

TracHer after she retrieved the goose Dokken, 6 month old Wirehaired Pointing Griffon

I also received an update from Rick who just lives on the other side of town with 3 month old Dottie from our “D” litter (the family liked her litter name so much that they just decided to keep it).  She is the star of the neighborhood and is on track with her growth, as well as work in the yard and field.

Dottie pointing the pheasant wing, 3 month old Wirehaired Pointing Griffon

It’s time to move on to filling out more AKC event premiums and packing for the big weekend grouse/prairie chicken and dove hunting trip.  It is supposed to be extremely hot, so we only see ourselves in the field for a few hours every morning.  I hope we’re able to capture some cool moments on film to share with you and we’re always good for some long-winded tales.  Wish us luck!