WELCOME to the Official Blog of the 2010 National Open, November 14-20, brought to you by the Retriever News, written by Vickie Lamb, and sponsored by Purina and Avery. We hope you enjoy these multi-daily updates on our prestigious championship event, held this year in Vicksburg, Mississippi. Enjoy your stay and come back often!

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Monday, November 15, 2010

Tomorrow's Instructions Follow Same Groove

Test dog (one) will be at 6:40 a.m.

First running dog will be at 7:00 a.m.

Due to deteriorating conditions of the grounds and more rain forecast for tonight, please keep traffic to a minimum in the morning unless otherwise announced. This could mean that non-competing dogs (vehicles) stay back at the barn until the fourth test is readied.

More details will be announced if and when they develop. Thank you. 


LAST DOG for the day is on line

That is #25, Ali, and Mark Smith


Shadows are Lengthening...

...We're all glad the rain has departed for most of the afternoon...


Bird Run...

... Out to the blind. Momentary delay in progress...


Tia Has Company...

... While Danny Farmer was running #19, Tia, on the water blind, some of the cattle that have been trying to reach the pond came into the picture on land behind her. Danny was intently watching his dog, of course, who was putting forth a beautiful effort. Once she swam under the log, she exited just a slice from the bird and Danny boxed her around the bird under control until she picked it up.

Many dogs have had trouble, and some considerable difficulty, in recovering this bird from its spot at the base of the "planted" evergreen.


Mexican Stand-Off

Several times this afternoon some cattle have tried to approach our running area. The Kubotas have been effective in altering their state of mind, but a stubborn few drifted back toward us.

Here we have a Mexican stand-off between Kubotas and cattle. The Kubotas eventually won.


Pink, #9, Tried To Start the Party on the Tree ...

... She kept trying to climb over the far fallen tree just in front of the blind, and then seemed to get hung up in submerged branches, before making it up the hill and there she had some trouble before she found her bird.


Lately... the far right shore has been attractive...

... as many dogs get over the point but then want to become too attached to the right-hand shoreline between the point and the bird. Some dogs never get back in once they get up and out on that inviting bank, and then eventually work to the bird by land from there.


Some Catch-up May Be Just Photos with Captions

... as this might work best to accomplish that.


Connection Problems

For the past hour and a half I've not been able to get on the internet... every time it would connect it would almost as immediately disconnect. I'm on now and typing fast to let y'all know. Not a power problem, or anything like that, but cell/internet connectivity.

Now if I can stay on I might be able to finally catch some posts back up--and pictures are getting backlogged on my camera and computer.

Here goes...


Regi and Rorem

...getting it done.


An Observation of Mine on this Water Blind

Many dogs are ending up well to the right and up the hill on this blind.

Part of the factors in this blind include an out-of-sight period of time once the dog crosses over the dike and drops toward the water. Now, the water on this side of the pond backs up way to the right like a finger of water. Some dogs seem to be breaking right when they get to the edge/into the water or not, and then have the opportunity to channel in that direction or parallel that shore. When this happens they are out of sight a long time and then end up coming out up on the hill. Others break right and cross that finger at some point and then climb the hill. But, either way, they get over there while being out of sight down in the water. Some handlers have told me that if the dog is dead on line, he/she is out of sight 20-30 seconds. If to the left of the line, maybe less than that. But to the right, it could be a while before they reappear to be further handled from there. 


Magic and Billy

... worked it out together and got the bird...

Magic still tastes the bird


Bo and Bill Eckett...

Now with bird in hand...


Tucker Came at the Bird From the Left ...

... Proximity of the log, going toward the submerged left edge of it. 


Viggi hung to the far shore...

... #75, and then went to the tapered side of the fallen tree, left, to approach the bird.


Sometimes Our Dogs Have Other Ideas...

... Than those the test require. Gracie, # 73, had her own route to the bird, just now. She wanted to save some time--Primarily land to the right.


Jerry Lee Goes At It From the Right...

... as she heads for the money right-handed yet still casts into the water and off the point.


First Pick-UP from High on the Hill

... That would be #71, with Bill Schrader.


Each Time...

... the rain begins to slack off, it then switches gears and pours down in earnest again.


Lateral Movement Is Fine and Dandy...

... as per the Judges. Alan Pleasant with #69 demonstrates the need to move in order to see the handle the dog past the point.


Defending Champ Flipper is Putting One Down...

...As she does a nice job on the test

Here, Dave Ward shares advice with Alan Pleasant as Flipper swims back with her bird


More trouble on the point...

...this for #67 with Miah and Steve Ritter. Now, she's back in the water and back out again further down the bank. Now she's got the bird...

Lester Langley from Game Stewards follows behind Steve Ritter and Miah as they leave the line


Dogs #65 and #66 have run...

... Drake, #65, had some trouble on the point and beyond it but got the bird, and Billie, #66 did a little better.

Keep in mind that weather affects photo opps...

Billie & Karl Gunzer leave the line


Matter of Mathematics... and Fate

By the clock and simple mathematics, the fact that we lost a good half hour in the move--due to complications delivered by the rain--translates into probably not finishing this test tonight.

Water blinds with long entries and scented points can be peculiar creatures, however. The possibility exists that certain variables could contribute to some "made up" time... and we'll just have to wait and see.


Quick had a respectable job :)

On this water blind. He's just run as the second dog, #64.


First Dog for this Test Having Trouble at the end...

... Dog #63 had difficulty with what appeared to me to perhaps be going under the log near the bird. This was after considerable interest shown the scented point.

Bill Sargenti & Cappy on line


The Scented Point was Scented Some More...

... In between test dogs. The second handler, Bobby Smith, is about to approach the line. Rain is slightly letting up at this moment--for how long is anyone's guess.


First Test Dog on this Water Blind...

Ran at 9:38 a.m. From my vantage point it looks like a very long entry into the water, over a scented point, back into the water and across a cove that angles left down the shore. There is a fallen tree that leans into the water from the bank, and the dog must go under its trunk area by swimming and then climb the bank to the bird which is planted at the base of another stubby evergreen.

He ran reasonably well on this blind. 


A New Scratch In Progress--Dog #94

I've just been notified by Mitch Patterson, Chief Marshal, that Dog #94 is en route to a nearby veterinarian and has been scratched. No other news is known at this time.


An Update For Your Viewing Pleasure...

There have been extreme difficulties in moving to the next test site due to the heavy rain. This stage (the move) is still very much in progress. Also, satellite cell signals are very sporadic. I've already gotten on and immediately been kicked off more times than I can count, so it remains to be seen how posting will go from this site.

More soon.



1, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 75, 77, 78, 80, 81, 82, 83, 84, 86, 87, 88, 89, 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97

Summary--89 dogs remain in contention. Six dogs were dropped from the first and second series, and there had been two scratches to go along with that, for a total of eight less dogs. 

Also, please note that the first setup concluded at 8:25 a.m. with the delivery of #38's last bird. 


Water & Mud Woes

The heavy rain has caused slick and muddy conditions... and water runs downhill (like it usually does) into the ponds we've been running near and in throughout the test.


Dog #30 has just run, #36 on line now...

... I've got other posts saved as drafts to get to as weather permits...

Rain attempts to sidetrack Hanna and Nick Elam

Ozzy shakes after delivery of his bird from the blind


Working Between the Raindrops...

... Rain drizzle is sifting under the tent. I'm slipping around with a camera under my jacket and taking some quick shots when possible. Am keeping the computer screen down and covered with various rugs and towels as much as possible right now. Please be patient. Thank you!


Now on line for last eve's no-bird...

is #27, Birdy with Yvonne Hays.

Birdy and Yvonne Hays after running the blind


Dog #30 was a no-bird...

Mark Edwards & Piper

Juice waits with Dave Smith

Peter Goodale sends Zeus on the 2nd series blind
Dogs #29, #31, and #32 have done okay...


As it Should Be...

... Dog #26, Pike, was bypassed in the rotation last evening by just a few dogs. He has an injury, and since the test was carrying over into a second day, and since it was questionable whether he would run Sunday night anyway, the request was made that perhaps he could run in the morning. It was evident that his foot might benefit from the extra rest. If he had to run Sunday night, he would be scratched.

A Field Trial Committee meeting was held and a veterinarian examined the injury. The extra time in recovery might benefit the dog, and the FTC determined that the right thing to do was to give this dog the respect he had earned throughout his lifetime... the request was granted, and this dog would be first dog to run on the new day.

He's on line now, and is bringing in his flyer as I type. And now, he's taking the water for his retired bird. Good luck, Pike... You're a grand old dog.

Just trying to grab a photo in pouring rain--this is a big, strapping, good looking dog


Test dog is in action...

... at 6:53 a..m. Just sayin'


No-Bird on Test Dog...

... The guns couldn't see the waving towel in the gloomy conditions and pouring rain.. Mark Medford is the lucky guy this morn, since Bobby Smith ran first yesterday.

Customarily, the way test dog duties work, when a test carries over, just one of the two dogs will run. The test dog handlers rotate this responsibility between them.


Mud Wrestling, Anyone?

The gunners are trying to organize some side entertainment... looking around, the mud will be the easy ingredient. Participants... well, we'll see ...


Relentless Rain...

... The field is slick as we pull into the grounds... rain is already making its mark. Even so, guns have been shuttled out to their stations and the test dog is about to be called to line. Standing water is everywhere and the status of my computer under this tent is iffy at best. Trying!


A Girl Can Hope....

... Conditions change... And that's part of the running of a National. Right now it looks like the remaining dogs will have to contend with rain, or pouring rain, to finish out the first and second series.

It began sprinkling near dark-thirty last night, and this light action toyed with us for several hours until the rain locked down in earnest. According to the weather channel we're in for more of the same all day long with thunderstorms added from time to time.

Once the first two series are completed, we're scheduled to make a short move on the same property for a water blind. With this kind of weather, that will be good from the standpoint of a minimum of help needed in the field to stage a blind.

My equipment doesn't like rain, so I'll do my best to send some kind of coverage throughout the day; photos may be severely limited. Right now I'm hoping that the night's rain has perhaps helped to speed along the precipitation and that maybe it will move out of the area earlier than expected.

A girl can hope, right?


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