September 28, 2010

Alberta Sunrise

Looks like Miikka's kids had a great time during an early season Alberta hunt.

On the left is Lili (Shaq x Miikka 2007) and on the right is Teah (Shaq x Miikka - 2009).

The sunrise was breath taking.

September 26, 2010


The "girls" enjoying their last night in BC before heading back to Colorado.

I would assume Darbi is a lot more tired than Miikka though, as Miikka didn't run the National.

September 24, 2010


Lost Darbs in the seventh series today.  It was a bummer as she was running so good.  After I got over my initial disappointment, I reflected on how good she was doing up until that point and the fact it was our first National.
Way to go Darb, ya done good.  It was an honor to stand beside you.

September 22, 2010

Fifth Tomorrow

Darbi is running great!

She is still "clean" through 4 series...and lots of dogs have handles.

We still have six series to go we're not even half way there yet.  My goal was to make it five series in my (and Darbi's) first National, so fingers crossed for tomorrow.

We started with 70 dogs are there are 39 left going to the fifth series.

September 20, 2010

National Starts

Had fun at the first day of the National today.  It was a tough, tough test.  Short, tight and tricky.

Here's a little video of the test as test dog ran...probably hard to see I'm sure.

Darbi did a great job!  We figure that 40% or more of the dogs handled on the first test and she was clean.
After the marks, the dog had to run a little land blind, so it was a combined 1st and 2nd series.  She two whistled the blind, but no dogs really had problems on this part of the test.
I'm glad to get that first series over with.  Now on to test #3 tomorrow!

September 19, 2010


I'm in Merritt, BC to run the Canadian National Retriever Championship.

A LONG drive to get here from Colorado, but well worth it.  Amazing scenery.
We have only been here to train for two days before the National starts tomorrow.  I am running Darbi myself, which was a tough decision.  I thought about asking Kenny to run her as she runs so well for him and he is obviously much better then me...but I really wanted to experience a National myself as a handler and chose to give Darbi a "handicap" by running her myself.  I sure hope I don't mess it up.  She is running well and training great.

Kenny is running 5 dogs; Arson, Ollie, Rosie, Sinner and Tea.

Here is a pic of where we trained two days ago.

And another pic of Saturday's training grounds.  If you click on the picture to enlarge it, you can see the two white coats we used as part of the test.

Me and Momma D (one of Darbi's many nicknames) running a land blind.

Below is a picture of the grounds from today's training.  You can see the holding blind we were using for the poison bird gunner.

And we were looking down upon Merritt from where we trained today.  Gorgeous.

Finally a pic of the line.  We had a good sized group today and had lots of fun.

Fun part of my day is that I got to meet "Eider".  Eider is Elmingo's Pacific Eider and I have not seen him since I put him on a plane at 8 weeks old.  He is from the 2007 Shaq x Miikka litter and he is here all week as one of the "set up" dogs for the judges.  Eider completed his Master Hunter last week-end and he looks just like mom.  Was so fun to see him.

September 12, 2010

Cheyenne Trial

Having a lazy Sunday morning.

The Open finished at the Cheyenne, Wyoming field trial yesterday, so it will be a nice day off.

Darbi finished with a JAM in the Open.  She ran a great trial!  It was actually a 5 series field trial more or less as the judges decided to run a second water blind before moving on to the water marks.  Darbi's water blinds were incredible, but she had a hunt on the last bird of the last test to finish out of the placements.  She sure is running good!

Miikka ran a very respectable first/second series.  It was a double and a blind.  After picking up the flyer, one had to run the blind and then go out and get the long retired.  She had a long hunt on the flyer, ran a great land blind and then went about 50 yards deep of the long retired before coming back and picking it up.  The two hunts weren't good enough to move on to the next series, but I was thrilled!  Miikka is training like a new dog and it's beginning to show at trials!

Leaving in a few days for the Canadian National.  It will be my first National and I am both excited and nervous.

Miss Libby is currently on the "T" in her yard work.  According to Kenny, she is "flying" through her Basics!  She still thinks it is all very funny.

And CONGRATS to Darbi's son Turq for getting a Derby third this week-end in Cheyenne!!

September 6, 2010


Had a good week-end with the dogs at a trial in Red Deer.

Darbi got a Reserve Certificate of Merit in the first open (5th place).  I thought she ran a great trial.  Her land blind was a little rough (it's our weakness right now), but she did great on the water blind and last series.  She also had a great set of opening marks on a HUGE test.  She was one placement away from a title...but we'll get there someday.  Entries were over 50 dogs, which is very large for an Alberta trial.

I scratched Miikka from the Opens as she is running weird.  But, I did run her as test dog on the water blind and water marks.  She had a very good blind (better than Darbi and Ollie I thought) and tried very hard on the marks!  She popped on the "go" bird (which is her thing now), but pinned the two retired marks!

Ollie got third in the Open the first day!  His water blind and water marks were not as good as Darbi's, but his first two series were amazing!  He was in great shape after the land blind in the second Open, but because of the big entries, the Open was being carried into I scratched him.  I'm hitting the road back to Colorado this afternoon and decided I didn't want to spend another day at a trial.

I'm a little trialed out.

We're running another trial this week-end in Cheyenne, Wyoming.  Kenny will be taking over Darbi the rest of the year in hopes of qualifying her for the US National.  She needs two more points to qualify now that she has the win.  And Ollie needs one more point to qualify as well.  It will be extremely difficult, but here's hoping!

September 1, 2010

Good Qualifying Week

I just got word that "Shadow" (Elmingo's Cedar's Shadow - Tiger x Darbi 2006) WON the qualifying in Manitoba this past week-end!

Shadow has not run in a field trial until this year and she is entirely Amateur trained and handled.  She has a few passes towards her Master Hunter title as well, running in only one or two tests a year.

Congrats to her and owner Alan!!

This comes on the heels of Matti's second and Meg's third in the qualifying.

Here is a picture of Meg and owner Jill running the Qual in Ontario.

Way to go Elmingo puppies!!