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Report of the 2011 National Retriever Championship, November 13-19, brought to you by the National Retriever Club and written by Tina Ebner and Gwen Jones. We hope you enjoy these daily updates on the National, held this year in Oakdale, CA.

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Thursday, November 17, 2011

Thursday, November 17, 2011

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Test 7 -- Land/Water Quad

We've arrived at the Boatright Ranch and we are perched on top of a hill overlooking a very technical pond. The workers are still assembling themselves and the equipment. The contestants have arrived and are ready as the sun is still rising. The test will most likely be a land/water quad. The temperature is 41 degrees, but on top of this hill with a small breeze it is pretty chilly. We are hoping the sun will rise quickly warming up to the expected 65 degrees.

The Seventh Series is a land/water quad. The Boatright property is spectacular. the high mounds are barren, steep and irregular. They were formed by glaciers. The pictures/video will say what words cannot describe. 

The mat sits at the top of a hill facing SE. At the base of the hill two technical ponds run north and south. the ponds are divided by a levee the width of a very small road. Bird # 1 is a dead drake thrown to the right at the far end of the second pond. The gunners throw and retire into a well-brushed holding blind. The line to this bird is between the short standout and the flyer station across a point and into the second pond for a swim at 270 yards. Bird #2 is a hen and is a short standout bird thrown to the left onto or just behind a very narrow island that is 20-30 feet offshore. This bird is directly in front of the mat at 80 yards. Bird #3 is to the left of the line on the far shore of pond one. This dead hen is thrown to the right and lands on the back side of a small peninsula. The line to this bird takes the dog down the steep hill and across two small islands before reaching the opposite shore at 130 yards. Bird #4 is a drake flyer to the right of the line shot to the right at 180 yards. There is no water involved in this bird. The test is taking 9 1/2 minutes per dog.

The first running dog, #60, was at 7:47 am. There had been a short delay while the Judges were waiting for the sun to rise sufficiently to reduce the glare on the water. The first dog took 12 minutes to run.This test should take all day to run.

The long right retired -- 270 yards
The middle left hand bird -- 80 yards

The left retired -- 130 yards

The right-hand flyer station -- 180 yards
The sun rises in the "West" also!!

Janis Olson and Test Dog Horns Or Halo

Don Graves and Test Dog "Poncho"

Lynn Moore and Tom Vaughn

ATVs work best in this extraordinary terrain

Ty Rorem, Dave Rorem and Paul Sletten

The Gallery is perched high on top of the hill with a fantastic view of the test
The test has been very challenging, we have 5 handles and have hunts that have been way out of the area, the dogs have found there way back to the bird but it has been challenging for these retrievers. They are winding down with 10 more dogs to run.

Lorna Kolstadt and Linda Erwin


The Judges

Arnie Erwin and Jim Gonia

Robin and Cal Cadmus

Test 8 -- Land/Water Quad with an Honor

Test 8 will be a land/water quad with two fliers and two retired and an honor.

The mat faces north. The terrain slopes down to another beautiful set of technical ponds. The first bird down is in front of the mat slightly to the left at 175 yards. The gunners stand on the edge of the second pond and throw a hen duck to the right out onto an island. They retire into a blind made of tule. For the second bird at 180 yards, the handler will line slightly to the left and find a V shaped patch of heavy tule cover. The gunners stand at the point of the V and throw to the left, down the left side of the tule cover. The gunners retire into a blind built right on the point of the V. This duck is a hen duck. The third gun station is slightly to the left of the second and maybe 60 yards closer to the line. This flyer station is shooting a hen pheasant to the left at 126 yards. This bird is very close to and runs parallel with bird number 2. The last bird down is a hen duck flyer, shot back away from the line in the second pond at 195 yards. The gunners are on the right side and shoot towards the back right of the blind. The line is through the first pond, over the levee and then the dog will swim the right side of the second pond, past the gunners and get out and go get the bird.

Test dog #1 was Ruby, she had to handle on the island bird and had problems with the other two left-hand birds. She took 12 1/2 minutes to run the test.

Test dog #2, Pitch, did the test without a handle in 8 1/2 minutes.

The judges just announced there will be no running today, the test will be beginning tomorrow morning. 

It was previously officially announced that dog #7 would start in the morning. This was because it was thought--at that time--that dogs 85 and 88 had each already started a series. As it turns out, only dog #85 had started a series, thus moving dog #88 into the starting number slot for the morning, and the announcement has been amended as such.

Here's a video of Test Dog "Pitch" to give you an idea of the test.


“This is a wonderful experience. Getting here. Being here. Going to the line in the First Series, hearing the announcer call your name and your dog’s name … I hope that everybody in this sport has an opportunity to qualify a dog and run it in a National!”

Ken Neil has had earned that opportunity and has risen to the top of the pack. Even though this was not to be at this year’s National, he maintains a bright outlook for all the dogs still in the running. As for others in his boat, “There are no losers here. You work all year to qualify with the dog, then you plan your vacation so you travel to wherever in the country the National is being held. These are opportunities that are available at a snapshot in time. It’s breath-taking. Once you’ve been here, you just want to come back and do it the next year.”

Ken has glowing scores for this year’s event. “This National is just marvelous. Fun. Tough. Hard. Exactly the type of National you want to compete in. The tests are difficult enough that the dogs do the judging. This has been a very tough National. The tests that the judges set up here will be legends in the future! It’s just superb. It’s bringing out the very best in the sport.”

A second handle put Ken's dog, #61 'Windy' (2007 NFC-AFC Candlewood's Something Royal), out of contention; but, this National is not over for Ken. “I will hang out the rest of the week, throwing birds and marshaling.” Ken and Brenda Little, co-owner and vendor of Lucky Lab Pins, won’t be heading home to Georgia until after spending Thanksgiving with part of Ken’s family in southern California. Then, it will be back to usual with Windy, Dreamer, who is qualified for the National Amateur and needs two points for the 2012 Open, and seven Windy pups, ages four, two (x2), one and a half (x2), and eight-and-a-half weeks. Yes, Windy ran this National barely two months after whelping her Grady pups at age ten. Ken thinks she is the third oldest dog at this year’s national. 

It’s time for younger dogs to “step up and be qualified,” says Ken, not sounding even a tad wistful. He says he will compete with Windy “as long as she’s able,” adding, though, that it is quite possible that she will be retiring this year, and that he probably will spay her. There have been twenty-eight pups out of four litters. Ken bred her “not to sell puppies; but, to have more Windys. I would for the next twenty-five years after she’s gone, if I could.”

Bill Kolstad and Dan Partington

Danny Farmer and Judy Rasmuson assess the test

Official Announcer, Dean Ellis and Official Photographer, Molly Schlachter

Rob Reuter and Lanse Brown

Charlene Koeth and Janis Olson

Wayne Curtis and Ray Voigt

Dave Rorem and Bill Eckett

Official Blogger, Vickie Lamb and Arnie Erwin

Lynn Troy and Sponsor Dean Reinke from Purina



2011 NRC
Running Order

1. FC Rocky Creek's Full Tilt Boogie, LF
2. NAFC-FC Cody Cut A Lean Grade, LM
3. FC Beadle LC's Three Ring Circus, LM
4. FC-AFC Robbers' Stray Bullet, LM
5. FC DoubleDuce, LM
6. AFC Windy City's Bent Tail, LM
7. FC-AFC Mercy Mercy Mercy Me, LF
8. FC-AFC Ragin Eye Of The Storm, LM
9. FC-AFC Wolf Creek CR Skeeter, LM
10. FC-AFC Citori's Accept No Substitute, LF
11. Leica II, LF
12. FC-AFC Hardscrabbles Powder My Buns, LM
13. FC-AFC Freeridin Smooth Operator, LF
14. FC-AFC Chatanika's High Water Haylee, LF
15. FC Drake's Bay Parting Of The Sea, LM
16. FC Abby's Little Cooper, LF
17. Bluegoose's Passion For Jazz, LM
18. FC Moonstones Ignites On Impact MH, LM
19. FC-AFC Wham Bam's Just A Little Bit, LF
20. FC-AFC Hardscrabble Carbunnation, LF
21. FC Counterpoint's Sidekick, LM
22. FC Shadow's Whiteshoes, LM
23. FC Seaside's Bullwinkle, LM
24. FC Peakebrook's Brawny Force, LM
25. FC-AFC Sureshot's Texas Hold'Em, LM
26. FC-AFC Jazztime Hanging Chad, LM
27. FC-AFC Riverrun's True North, LM
28. FC-AFC Hardscrabble Roxie McBunn, LF
29. NFC-AFC Hunter Runs BooBoo, LM
30. Citori's No Holds Barred, LF
31. FC Seaside's Pelican Pete, LM
32. FC-AFC Land Ahoy, LM
33. FC-AFC Lil Chin Music, LF
34. FC Seaside's Kingfish, LM
35. FC Maplecreek's Mini Chopper, LM
36. FC Watermark's BB Standing Ovation, LM
37. FC-AFC Dixie City Jam II, LM
38. FC-AFC Machthree's Edge, LF
39. FC-AFC Camino Weight Cutter, LM
40. FC-AFC Eva-Ethyl-Proby-Weber, LF
41. FC-AFC-CFC-CAFC Jazztime Last Chance V Pekisko, LM
42. FC-AFC Bayou-Star Beyond Independent, LF
43. FC Knollwood Sweet Lily, LF
44. FC Contempt Of Court, LM
45. FC-AFC Nebo's Grandma Ruby, LF
46. FC-AFC Shadows Sweet Something, LF
47. FC Me D Boss, LM
48. FC-AFC Lil Bit's Cote D'Or Pinot Noir, LM
49. NFC Two Rivers Lucky Willie, LM
50. FC Road Warrior's Duramax, LM
51. AFC Sara's Blue Streak, LM
52. FC Wingover's Pedro II, LM
53. FC-AFC Candlewood GoldenDaze Louie, LM
54. FC-AFC Lanes Lets Get Ready To Rumble, LM
55. FC-AFC Waterdogs Shock And Awe, LM
56. Vista's Case Of Purple, LM
57. FC-AFC Jet Black Bustin Thru The Brush MH, LM
58. FC Little Bit Dangerous, LF
59. FC Jazztime Empty Wallet, LM
60. FC-AFC Sureshot's TKO, LM
61. NFC-AFC Candlewood's Something Royal, LF
62. FC Westwoods Iron Man, LM
63. FC-AFC Wine Glass Lucky Strike, LM
64. FC By Golden's Pond's Legacy, LF
65. FC-AFC Landover's Right On Target, LM
66. FC-AFC Tealcreek Patton's Saber, LM
67. FC Adams Acres Water Lilly, LF
68. FC-AFC Nightwings Marsh Leader, LM
69. FC Fresh Squeezed Juice, LM
70. FC Wing Magic's Standpipe Moon, LF
71. FC Watermark's Running Back, LM
72. FC Premier's RSK Powerstroke, LM
73. FC-AFC Holy Cross's Moses, LM
74. FC-AFC-CFC-CAFC Runnin's Molly B, LF
75. FC Mitimat You Go Girl, LF
76. FC-AFC Premier's Iron Man Ozzy, LM
77. Candlewood's Skyrocket, LF
78. FC Merlyn IV, LM
79. FC-AFC-CNAFC-CFC-CAFC Moonstones Hug And Moochie, LF
80. CNFC Road Warriors Lady Hawk, LF
81. FC-AFC Castlebay's Night Robber, LM
82. FC-AFC Trulines Walla Walla Sweet, LF
83. FC Bayou Teche Tex, LM
84. FC-AFC Citori's Vista 40th Pres, LF
85. FC RSK's Oohs And Aahs, LM
86. FC Nobody Moves Nobody Gets Hurt, LM
87. FC-AFC Sanpitch River Shore Thing, LM
88. FC-AFC Seaside's Get the Party Started, LF
89. FC Maple Creek's Spirit Warrior, LM
90. FC Sorol Green River Indian Scout, LM