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the party's crashing us
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Well it's been a long week but we are back from the National with a lot of great memories and a handful of ribbons.
Fisher and I shared, without a doubt, one of the most wonderful experiences of our competitive career, at the National Specialty field trial.
Luckily I was so busy getting the booth ready that I honestly had no time to get nervous for the field trial. We trained a handful of times with Jim (marshmop). I had to run Slater in the CCA the first thing in the morning of the Qual (he passed) so didn't even get nervous the day of. Watched two dogs run the first series, then went to the line.
Weather was overcast and low 80s, great visibility. First series was on a large rolling hill with very short cover. Land triple, 1st left bird ~120 yards, gunner retired behind large clump of trees. Middle bird 2nd, about 250 yards bird thrown in cover behind trees. Last bird a flyer on the right about 160 yards bird thrown down the backside of a hill so you couldn't see the dog in the AOF. Fisher was like a pro at the line, focusing on each bird. He had a very small hunt on the flyer, front-footed the retired left bird, now for the real test, I lined him up for the middle long bird, he wouldn't even sit, his tail was wagging so hard. Sent him with the loudest FISHER! I could muster and he took a beautiful line directly to the long bird, actually went deep of it then worked his way back and found it. I WAS THRILLED!!!!! When he was coming back I took a big gulp of air and told the judges that all I wanted out of this was one bird, and they said "Well now you have three" :)
Back for 2nd series which was a DOUBLE land blind. First blind was a short 100 yard blind, the line was behind a mound so the dog had to go over the mound, through a slot of 2 trees, over a diagonal road and the bird was right next to a utility pole. Fisher sort of hacked the beginning of it but once he figured out the tree slot he took a beautiful cast to the bird. 2nd blind was a LONG open blind past the first blind, it was probably 250 yards and thankfully an orange stake at the end. Fisher wanted to pull left so I had I think 4 right angle back casts but finally he took a great cast, saw the stake and we were good.
This was an awkward series in that as a gallery member you could not see the working dog at all, just the handler. So while I thought Fisher could have done a lot better on the land blinds I had no idea how he was stacking up against the others, but apparently it was good enough because we got called back to the 3rd series!
3rd series was the water blind which started the next day, Tuesday morning. And what a whopper it was. The enormous technical pond is surely the envy of every trainer in the south, and the judges set up a blind that used about every inch of it. The water blind started with the line 40 yards off the shore up a steep hill behind many pine trees. Then the dog had to traverse the pond diagonally over FOUR large points for a total distance of 265 yards! OMG!!!! Fisher worked beautifully for me, he was a little squirrely lining up but once I kicked him off he handled pretty well, and to my amazement handled great to the LAST point, and was on-line to the blind. I casted him off the back side of that last point, and could see ripples in the water so I know he got in, but I couldn't see him for a few seconds. Well all that was left of the blind at that point was a 40 yard swim through open water, but rather than staying left out into the water Fisher headed right which was closer to shore, once I saw his head I stopped him, casted left, but either he didn't see me (he was over 200 yards away at this point) or wanted the shore too bad, he beached early and I never could get him back in the water. We were SOOO close! I was in tears by the time he came back, tail wagging and acting like that was the best thing ever. The judges were incredibly complimentary and friendly, and I was so happy to have many friends in the gallery cheering us on. It is amazing what this dog will do for me, I am so proud of him!

Here is a picture of us from the first series, getting ready to send for the 1st mark:



Fisher also competed in the Gun Dog Sweeps where he won the MH dogs class:



Our extended family also cleaned up at the national:

• Slater got his CCA and made the cut in AOH class
• Fetcher (Fisher x Aimy) got his CCA, FIRST place in Grad Novice with a 199 and lost a run-off for 1st in Novice B with a 197.5
• Flip (Fisher x Reny) had the fastest double-Q in agility which earned him the EXCELLENCE IN AGILITY trophy -- like HIT for agility, complete with huge trophy & ribbon. Flip also got 3rd in Novice B obedience with a 196.
• Pockets (Fisher x Reny) won 3rd place in Open A obedience for his 2nd CDX leg
• Logan (Fisher x Reny) earned ribbons in the CCA, obedience, agility and rally
• Pockets, Flip and Oriana competed on the first place Obedience Team. The team Fisher and I competed on took 2nd.
• Pockets, Flip, Oriana and Logan passed the WC
• My friend Kristin won Hunting Retriever Bitches and made the cut in BOB, as well as passed the WCX, with Sophie; earned the WC and made the cut in both 12-18 classes with Millie. Millie's brother Dash earned his WC and other brother Beacon finished his CD

My good friends Julie, Jackie and Jen won Bred-By Bitch AND Open Bitch and took Best of Winners with the open bitch, Avalanche!

Besides all that I had a fantastic week at the vendor booth and did some really great shopping myself :)

Overall a great and exhausting week!
 
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Welcome back!! I'm so proud of you guys, you did an awesome job. Heck, I'm proud of you for even going out there and giving it a try!! It sounds incredibly challenging, it's impressive that you got as far as you did. Way to go!
 

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They get it
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Phew, your week was so awesome, and we are so PROUD of what you and Fisher (and Slater) have accomplished. To stay in a field trial through the third series, in your first try is amazing. Super congratulations on a such a successful National! Also, congratulations to all your extended family. Welcome back, we missed you!
 
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Congratulations on a great National Anney!!!
 

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I shoot, they fetch.
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Sounds like you had a great time! Looking forward to next year in St. Louis now!
 

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Kimberley, Bella's Mum!
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How exciting! Thanks for sharing your experience ~ I loved reading about it!! Great photos too!
 

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Riot's mom
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Congrats Anney! It sounds like Fisher did a great job! Getting to the third series is quite an accomplishment. And from what you said, he almost made it through to the fourth.

When's your next field trial?? :)
 

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  1. Welcome back!
  2. Congratulations!!
EvanG
 
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Congratulations Anney!! Pictures are great.
You need to post of picture of the beautiful booth you set up. Great items at good prices. The geese will be in the field this weekend:)
 

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Barley & Mira's Mom
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Welcome back Anney!!! I really enjoyed reading about the field trial, that is impressive, I was so excited for you! The pictures are great! It sounds like that was the National of a lifetime for you!

Looking forward to seeing some more pictures!
 

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Hurray for you and hurray for Fisher and his get! Your description of the field trial gave me goosebumps!
 

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Welcome back Anney, yes the Q blind was very evil. Fisher did a great job and I was so happy for both of you. Remember it is not the lenght of the marks but the tricks they play on the way to the marks, and you and The Fish Boy have that figured out. I rememeber when Fish could not remember a long Master mark, now he can't forget a retired gunner at 320 yards. Go Fisher.You can do it!
Jim
 
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