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  • Results 1 to 8 of 8
    1. #1
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      barry581's Avatar
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      You'll always rememver your first.....

      Hunt Test! Brooks and I competed at the Shorline Retriever Club Junior Stakes is West Thompson, CT yesterday.

      As many of you know, Mike Enright (IRISHWHISTLER) has provided us with a great deal of guidance over the past year. I was struggling badly with Brooks this time last year, and Mike reached out with an offer to help. This was our third trip to Connecticut, visiting previously in September 2017 and May 2018. Mike's help was instrumental in helping us get ready for our first test.

      The land series was pretty straight forward. A live flyer station was to the left, parallel to the line, with the bird going left to right at a range of maybe 60-70 yards. The line was on the top of a small hill, with the bird landing on the uphill side of the hill opposite the line. This forced the dogs to run down and across the hill, through the bottom then up the other side. Brooks pretty much pinned this mark, straight out and back with no issue.

      The second mark was to the right of the line, about 30-40 yards out, dead bird thrown from a winger from right to left. It was straight downhill to the mark, with the bird landing on the backside of a small knoll at the bottom of the hill. Brooks overran this mark by a couple yards, then initiated a short hunt, finding the bird pretty quickly and returned presenting it to hand.

      The judges had some nice comments for me regarding Brooks performance.

      13 of the 21 dogs were called back for the water series.

      The first water mark was almost straight out from the line, launched by a winger on the bank which that ran at a 90 degree angle from the line, with the bird landing 25-30 yards out. The dogs had to swim about 15-20 yards then cross a small submerged sandbar to get to the bird. Brooks had no problem with this mark. Very straight forward.

      The second mark was a live flyer set up on the bank 30 yards out parallel to the line. The bird was supposed to land in a small channel, maybe 20 yards wide, between the bank and a small island. Our bird was wounded and swan for the shore of the island. This happened to one other dog, and that dog ended up going out as it was unable to find the bird. With this in mind I was really, really nervous when I sent Brooks. He started swimming toward where the bird hit the water, and I could see he was looking for it as he swam. He had to go through about 10 feet of lily pads on the line he was swimming, and went straight through. I could hear the judges talking behind me, sounding confident Brooks was "on the bird". Once through the lily pads Brook altered his line to the left, straight towards the spot where the duck went. I could tell he had scented to duck, and he found it while standing in about 6 inches of water. I saw his head go down to pick it up, but he stopped and turned and looked at me. My heart stopped. All I could think was "pick up that f'ng bird"! Several seconds later he turned back to the bird, picked it up and swam straight back!! I threw my arms up and yelled "GOOD JOB"!!!!!!!!!!!

      So we've got our first Hunt Test under our belts with a pass. The judges both said what a good job Brooks did with that final bird.


      The only bad part of the day was Mike was not able to watch Brooks run the test as he and TRAD were running the Master Test, which was being run at a different venue. I can honestly say that all of the help Mike gave us, and hosting us for training, were a key factor in our passing of this test.




    2. The Following 5 Users Say Thank You to barry581 For This Useful Post:

      Jollymolly (06-20-2018), Labradorks (06-18-2018), TuMicks (06-19-2018), windycanyon (06-20-2018), zd262 (06-18-2018)

    3. #2
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      Blackboy98's Avatar
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      Congrats Team Brooks!! Barry, why are you holding the ribbon when Brooks did all the work????
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      CRACKER-My Heart Dog FOREVER 6/10/2005-7/9/2011

      Mike and Gabe--GOTCHA 7/25/2011

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    5. #3
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      Yes, I think Brooks would look quite handsome in orange! Congratulations on such a great job! Gosh, he's a handsome lad.

    6. #4
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      Congratulations on your first ribbon. It is only the beginning I am sure Brook will accumulate quite a collection.

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      windycanyon (06-21-2018)

    8. #5
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      Quote Originally Posted by Blackboy98 View Post
      Congrats Team Brooks!! Barry, why are you holding the ribbon when Brooks did all the work????
      Yeah we tried to put the ribbon on him. He tried to eat it.

    9. #6
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      Good work. I agree with Smartrock. He's a handsome guy. I think you are proving how versatile and willing labs can be. It sounds like a very well designed test with some good judges. The cut from the first series was a lot for a junior and I'm glad they set the expectations high.

    10. #7
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      Quote Originally Posted by TuMicks View Post
      Good work. I agree with Smartrock. He's a handsome guy. I think you are proving how versatile and willing labs can be. It sounds like a very well designed test with some good judges. The cut from the first series was a lot for a junior and I'm glad they set the expectations high.
      The live flyer was the problem for every dog that went out. Either they failed to mark it, or weren't able to find it on a hunt. Serval found the bird, but would not pick it up because it was still moving. I credit IRISHWHISTLER for putting us on live flyers when we visited in May, as Brooks' bird was still moving when he got to it, and there was no hesitation in picking it up.

    11. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to barry581 For This Useful Post:

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    12. #8
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      Congrats!!
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