Saturday, 4 July 2009

John Nash Memorial P&S Field Trial 28/6/09

John Nash, after whom this trial is named, judged in Australia for the Pointer Club in 1988. John's impressive demeanor and the huge entry - over 30 dogs (the biggest P&S entry in living memory in Australia - possibly ever), stamped this event as one worthy of being commemorated.

The trial was conducted in a 750 acre paddock of directly drilled new crop, a testament to modern farming techniques with its huge size and GPS accurate drill rows. When the fog began to clear revealing the huge size of this paddock, things got serious and some excellent P&S work was produced. Dogs revelled in the cool, dampish conditions and the fresh northerly breeze.

The heat between Alan Willey's Abbey (PB) and Henry Foster's Major (PD) was the spectacle of the morning. Both dogs were really going for it, ranging and quartering as hard as they could go, covering their beats in correct pointer & setter style, two white flashes cutting through the remaining fog patches, turning into the wind, straining for a competitive advantage, slamming into point, backing without a moment's hesitation, steady to wing, shot and the fall of game, accurate retrieving ... this was the sort of work one always wants to see. Andrew Melisi's Conte (PD) was another stylish goer, with its high head and eye-catching productions. But for some unsteadiness at the fall of game this dog may well have been placed. The extra temptations in a shooting field trial (the shot, the fall of game, the retrieve/seek dead on a bird shot seconds before) are the criteria that separate the Closed Season non - shooting trial format from the Open Season shooting format, and a dog that can handle both formats well is indeed a tough & worthy competitor.

Such was the case today, with Alan Willey's Closed Season Field Champion Abbey coming through to win. No dog was going to be her match on this day as she produced 6 times in her two runs, retrieved flawlessly, backed in a flash and consistently took the front running - a tough competitor indeed. This was the first win ever by a Western Australian dog in a Victorian P&S field trial.

John Nash Memorial Field Trial 2009 placegetters. Judge: Barry Oliver

Winner: Alan Willey's F Ch (CS) Ywurrie Rani PB (Abbey)

Runner up: Henry Foster's F Ch (CS) Koram Kris at Innistona (Imp Ire) NFTW (CS) PD (Major)

Third: Taner Ozsehitoglu's Gamemaster Evans ISD (Brandy)

Click HERE to see photos of the John Nash Memorial Field Trial 2009

WGAA National P&S Field Trial 27/6/09

The SSAA Working Gundogs National Field Trial was conducted in the North West of the State under ideal field trialling conditions. 9 hard going dogs (8 pointers and 1 Irish setter) and handlers from three States vied for the title of National Field Trial Winner (NFTW). Trial entries have suffered a little this year as a result of the drought, with many dogs not being ready, but those that have entered have been battle hardened trial competitors and this event was no exception.

With a steady, cool breeze blowing throughout the event, dogs were given multiple opportunities to be tested on game, and throughout the day over 25 finds were registered, many of them demonstrating the best features of pointer & setter work. In WGAA events dogs must have at least 2 finds, 2 retrieves or seek deads and back when a clear opportunity is offered. With the amount of game on offer in the vast stubble paddocks these requirements were not a problem. What did cause problems were the fast running birds. In the thin stubble and direct drilled new crop the birds were able to cover big distances in a short time - a fact which tested many dogs.

When lunchtime arrived 4 dogs remained in contention for National honours - Taner Ozsehitoglu's Brandy (ISD), Henry Foster's Major (PD), Vince Pino's Diesel (PD) and Andrew Melisi's Conte (PD). The final two heats saw some excellent pointer & setter work from these 4 dogs - work one expects to see in a National event. The paddock we were now competing in was no cakewalk and birds were able to run and run, requiring a dog to be well up on its finds and to road and produce quickly and accurately.

The two top dogs on the Judge's card at this stage were the pointer, Major, and the Irish, Brandy. Both these dogs had done some breathtaking work, but in the end it was the more expreienced Major, the import from Northern Ireland, who produced two more smart finds, productions and retrieves that saw him take the honours on the day. Runner up went to the Irish, who was also awarded the Best Novice Dog award. No third place was awarded. (Diesel was credited with a total of 9 finds on the day but some poor shooting by Vince, normally an excellent shot, saw him unable to fill his card.)

Results 2009 SSAA P&S National: Judge Barry Oliver

Winner - H&L Foster's F Ch (CS) Koram Kris at Innistona (Imp Eire) NFTW (CS) PD (Major)

Runner up & Best Novice Dog - Taner Ozsehitoglu 's Gamemaster Evans ISD (Brandy)

Click here to see photos.