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Yesterday I had my first trial of the season. It was also the first time I had a run in a trial with my young dog Kelso (Ffynongain Lincon).

As you lot seem to like a get a taste of the day, I have written an overview of my day.

It was a novice trial on ducks on a terrain that has a bit of everything. We were around a pond and shot birds fell into open meadow, corn fields, bushes, a small stream and some rough cover. So, ideal for a novice trial.

The trial consists of only 1 drive which lasts for about a full hour.
I was lucky and drew starting number 1, we started with 10 dogs.

During the drive I thought my dog would fall asleep, after 5 mins he lay down and did not move anymore besides some switching of side he was laying on. He did manage to keep his head lifted and kept following what was going around him. (What a difference with my previous dog which was too hot to trial). Only one dog did not last until the end of the drive, a terrible whine was quickly followed by a lead around the dogs neck and a journey to the place outside the field.

My first retrieve was a duck in an open meadow which had landed in clear sight to us, around a 100 to 120 meters. When he got there it turned out she was still alive, but this seemed no problem. He came in as fast as he went out, no problem whatsoever.
My second retrieve was in the same field, a bit further than the first one. This time there were 2 ducks which had fallen almost on top of each other. As I had never had this with him, I was glad he did not switch, he did not even look at the 2nd duck.

We then went on to the second round with the 2nd judge. It was on the other side of the pond and since the entire pond was surrounded with trees and bushes everything there was blind.

My 3rd retrieve was down a small hill, on the other side of a stream I got a fairly big area where there were 2 ducks down in a meadow. I sent my dog and he hunted the left side of the area nicely, since he did not find anything I stopped him and directed him more to the right where he quickly found a duck. Still ok so far, 6 dogs were still remaining.

My 4th retrieve was back in our original position, but also blind as there where some ducks that had fallen on the edge of the pond in the bushes. Next to the bushes there was a corn field so I had to be careful not to let him go to the right as he would dissappear straight away.
I sent my dog and he quickly went into the bushes on the left, he hunted and quickly entered the pond. As I had been told the ducks might still be alive I let him go out of sight. When I felt he was too far away I whistled him back and let him hunt the bushes again, it took some time but he found a duck hidden in a large rough bush. I had feared to go out here as it took some time, but he found one before they called me up so I was still in. As he kept the area well (besides a short spurt in the pond) I did not think it was a bad retrieve.
My 5th retrieve was in the same area, a bit deeper. They had already sent 2 dogs on a wounded duck that was in rough cover. Both dogs had failed and I was the 3rd one to go. I sent my dog just a bit deeper than the first 2 dogs and got success quite quickly. Only those 2 dogs went out so 4 of us were still in.

My 6th retrieve may have been the easiest of all. On top of a hill there were a few ducks down, we stood at the bottom with the wind in our back. I sent my dog, when he got there he winded a duck he had passed, turned around and picked it.
For my 7th retrieve we went to a field on the next hill. At the bottom, near the pond there were a few ducks down. As I figured this would be our last retrieve of the day the nerves came rising to the top again. I sent my dog downhill, around a large heap of dead wood, branches,... At the bottom I let him go a bit too far and before I knew it he had gone into the cover at the bottom. I whistled him back and send him to the right. He quickly winded a duck and came straight back.

We ended the trial with 4 dogs and I knew I was very close to winning based on my dogs performance and the other dogs work I had seen.
All 4 dogs worked well, but I still had the feeling I had a bit of an edge over at least 2 of the other dogs.

At the pricegiving one of the judges mentioned it was very close and that the decision had been based on minor details. I turned out to get second place after a full sister of my older bitch (not litter sister but same combination).
One of the judges came to me after the trail and said that based on pure performance I would have won the trial, however as my dog was a bit hesitant giving up his retrieve on a few occasions he could not give me first place.

Anyway, for his first trial I was very pleased with his performance but also saw that with a bit more experience (it was his 4th shooting day and his first one this season) he can still get better, in the end this week is only his second birthday.
In Belgium the qualifiying for Open trials is a bit different as we only have 3 novice trials each season. You need to get a 'Very Good' to qualify to open. As I got an 'Excellent' I have my qualification and can now try and get some runs in Open trials.

Regards

Dave
 

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Dave thats fantastic, huge conghratulations and a very very promising start for your new kid on the block!

Di

(PS: Hope you got the sheet I emailed the other day to you)...
 

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An excellent performance Dave, particularly first time out, and a very good write up.

Look forward to hearing about your exploits in Open.

Andrew
 

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Hi Dave

Am I right in thinking that Ffynongain Lincon is the litter brother of my bitch Meg.

Just reading between the lines of your post, of his hunting ability, they just dont leave the area do they. excilent hunting lines.

Steve
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks all,

Although still very young I will try to get a few runs in open trials this season, so I'll let you know how this went.

Di,

I received your email with the sheet, I have forwarded it to a few people and we'll try and figure out how this can help us.

Steve,

You are right, Kelso (Kennel Club name is Ffynongain Lincon) is your Meg's litter brother. And you are right about their hunting skills. He is quite pale yellow and that is something that is not really liked a lot here, but I constantly get compliments on his style and hunting skills so the first requests for use as a stud dog are coming in.
It's a shame I already decided on another puppy for this year as I'm sure your pups from Monkey will be fantastic.

Evelyn,

I'm working on a website which I hope to finalize still this year. However I already have a page on Facebook which should be accessible by everyone. You'll get there if you click on the www button at the bottom of this message.

Regards

Dave
 

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Hi Dave

These lines are very excieting to watch, tremdous noses, hard hunting, with lots of pace and style, I had put in for a some trials with Meg, but hopefully she will be in pup, so next year for me with her.

Good luck with the opens

Steve
 

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Dave79 said:
I'm working on a website which I hope to finalize still this year. However I already have a page on Facebook which should be accessible by everyone. You'll get there if you click on the www button at the bottom of this message.
i did dave...
but than still a lot of work :wink:
to find out his pedigree.
so make it easier for the people :wink: :lol:
 
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