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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Wednesday, November 17, 2010


1, 6, 7, 11, 12, 13, 15, 16, 18, 19, 22, 23, 24, 25, 27, 29, 32, 36, 39, 45, 46, 47, 49, 51, 52, 54, 56, 57, 58, 60, 61, 62, 64, 66, 69, 72, 75, 77, 78, 82, 83, 86, 88, 89, 90, 91, 96, 97

48 dogs are back. 

Reportedly, #52 will start. If that needs an adjustment, I will let you know. 

The dogs dropped from the last test are 9, 17, 35, 38, 53, 68.


Tomorrow's Test...

... Is slate to be a land quad with two flyers, including a rooster flyer and a hen duck flyer, and two hen pheasant dead birds.

It will be run near the new white house on the property.

Test dogs begin at 6:40 a.m.

The first running dog is scheduled for 7:00 a.m.

More later....


Most Workers...

... Will be in attendance at the Worker's Party, which begins at 6 p.m. at the Vicksburg Convention Center.


Last Dog on the Line...

... That would be #9 with Pink and Al Arthur. Pink is having quite a bit of trouble near the end from the right side. She's been wide and deep and now has the bird.

Sending for the blind


Work Lately has been good...

... I have been continually taking pictures since I'm on Jerry & Jane Patopea's computer since the move, to keep you with any sort of information, and so have been posting text until later.


I Believe...

... we have eight remaining dogs on this test.

Jim Pickering and Willie
Alan Pleasant gets ready to send Charlie

Bill Eckett casts Zoom on the blind
Jim Gonia gets ready for his next move with Chip

Al Arthur positions Tupper on the mat


#88 on Line Right Now...

... with Al Arthur. Danny Farmer just had a nice one with Marley.

Danny Farmer takes the bird from Marley

Al Arthur and Pow wait their turn. Pow hams it up for me.


Bo and Bill Fox Trot--Arson and Kenny Slide--

As you can see... as Kenny Trott and Arson leave the line from the blind, as do Bo and Bill Eckett

#78, Bo and Bill Eckett

Kenny Trott and Arson


These Dogs are Athletes...

... all-around athletes, and this bears remembrance throughout all activities and care. In this event, there was the situation with #26, Pike, and his injured foot, and there's also the case of #66, Billie, with his own taped foot. In Pike's case, there was a draining infection from an injury.

Billie managed to somehow slice the back portion of his pad clean off during training. Veterinary inspection recommended the area be wrapped during any strenuous exercise to allow it to granulate and heal back in.

Every time these dogs go into the field they risk bodily harm from factors we see and don't see, as well as things we recognize and others we perhaps should monitor quite closely.


Good Work After the Break...

... Now we are through #61... Dave Rorem kept Rosa tight to the end.


#56 Has Run--Here Comes the Break...

... And, it was a nice job. :)


Trouble at the end for #53.

... over on the right, for Pedro and Mark Mosher, now they have the bird


After Dog #56, Rebird and Line Viewing...

.... Just sayin'


Some Nice Work and Some Good Work...

... on this blind for the past several dogs. We just had #51 on line with a very nice job.


Rex has trouble, Rough does well...

Jack Vollstedt sends Rex

Gary Unger casts Rough...

And Rough works his way toward the blind


Workmanlike with Touchy Ending...

... Many blinds are workmanlike throughout the first 2/3 of the blind, but several dogs are boxing around the end of the blind, or more than that.

Photos for your viewing pleasure:

Dave Smith takes the bird from Juice, #32

Ty Rorem and #35, Yogi, on line

Al Arthur sends #36, Ozzy for the blind   


Birdy Comes Through Again for Yvonne...

... #27 has just completed the blind. Here, Yvonne and Birdy, #27, wait in the blind while #25, Ali and Mark Smith, come to the line and signal for the dry pop.

Yvonne and Birdy in the blind as Ali and Mark Smith run

Mark Edwards collects Piper


This Test Will Finish Today...

... and the Worker's Party is slated for tonight.


Instructions for the Blind...

... When the handler and dog come to the line, the handler signals for the dry pop. Once the dry pop is heard, the handler is on his own to run the blind.


Catch-UP Photos

Here we have Numbers 22, 23, and 24 at the blind...

Alan Pleasant signals for Lincoln's dry pop

Paul Sletten launches Boo on the blind

Scott Dewey collects Inca after the test


Chasing Cows...

.... That would be the blind planter, far out in the distance. Now, #19 comes to line.

Danny Farmer and Tia


You Signal, Dry Pop Goes Off, You Send

Here is #18, Jim Gonia and Peaches


Bull Got in a Draw...

... that travels left to right on the line to the blind. He disappeared from sight and when he reappeared he was way to the right of the test and had to be handled from there. He now has the bird.

Steve O'Connell waits for his dog, Bull, to reappear


The Third Dog is Coming to Line...

... After the Judges held a short private conference ... we are back running now. Steve O'Connell is on line with Bull, #17.


First Dog on Line at Straight Up 1:00 PM

That was #15, Skeeter and Robbie Bickley. Now, a second dog is in the books, #16, Angel and Jack Vollstedt.

Skeeter hurtles down the hill...


More Information on the Blind...

... The dry pop is hidden from the line, but the dog will see the gunner as he/she progresses toward the blind. The single gunner, dressed in white, is sitting on this side of the ditch that traverses through the field, and hence, the blind. The ditch has water in it.

This blind is a distance of 300 yards and the bird is a hen pheasant.

Bobby Smith has just run second and the first three dogs are being called to the holding blinds.

Mitch Patterson, Left, confers with Judges


First Test Dog 12:43 P.M.--Land Blind

Mark Medford leads out... I have just heard a dry pop that may be a hidden dry pop, will let you know more shortly.. the blind is through a sweeping draw with zig-zagging ravines and varying cover, including briers.



1, 6, 7, 9, 11, 12, 13, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 22, 23, 24, 25, 27, 29, 32, 35, 36, 38, 39, 45, 46, 47, 49, 51, 52, 53, 54, 56, 57, 58, 60, 61, 62, 64, 66, 68, 69, 72, 75, 77, 78, 82, 83, 86, 88, 89, 90, 91, 96, 97


We Are In the Process of Completing the Move...

... Back to the muddy water blind hill.

Callbacks are still in hiatus.


Arson has one...

...not the best flyer fall, in and short-- he has it! Am signing off to get ready to move...


Oh Arson--Yet Another No-Bird--No Dogs Left

He has no dogs to wait behind. He's had three no-birds. Oh my.

Judges say he works through blinds on his way back to the line. 


Ouch--Put that Fire Out--Another No-Bird for Arson

... #82 and handler Kenny Trott


Next Test Requires a Move--Land Blind

When this test concludes...


#78--Yes... #82--No (Bird that is)

#82 just had another no-bird... #69 is in the wings for a re-run


No-Bird on #77

... on the flyer


Two No-Birds in a Row...

First for #69, and then for #72...

and just an observation, if you're wondering... these are hen pheasants on the flyer and it's mighty tough when they're thrown into the wind, as is the case this morning...


Stella is Steady...

... On her re-run, #57, with handler David Didier... It was looking iffy when she left the line last time...


No-Bird Just Now...

... on the flyer for #64 and Mark Smith...


And--This Test Can Be Done Without Water Immersion

... as #60, Cash, just demonstrated. Thing is, his marks were okay when you boil it down ... he just did it his way.


Louie and Scott Dewey...

... #58, are running currently...


No-Bird for #57 First After Gun Change...

... on an out of area flyer.


Some Thoughts on this Test

... Just my humble observations.

When you shoot a flyer out of order, it generally tends to mess with some dogs. They want that flyer! And quite often they tend to expect to be able to retrieve it first.

In this case, the flyer is shot first and there remain two dead bird marks, a hen pheasant and a duck. Both of these birds are across a piece of water, while the flyer is a run on land. Both dead birds are also retired. The go-bird is the dead bird duck.

Many dogs are disenchanted with this scenario. "You want me to get that dead bird first?" With the guns retired, some dogs don't focus and concentrate on that right bird when sent, and they end up splitting the difference between the right and middle birds en route. Then they must make a decision on which bird they're actually after. When this happens, on this test thus far, most of them tend to wind up back  over at the right hand bird, but at least a few have wound up with the middle bird.

Also, some dogs, when sent for the middle bird last, end up hunting with temptation toward the flyer and this has produced some problems in dog work, also. Never mind it's already been retrieved except in the case of a dog confused on his/her first send. Another factor that pushes dogs toward the flyer on the middle bird is a rather large and nearly impenetrable sprawling brier patch basically on line to the middle bird on the far land deep of the pond.

Wind is also a factor depending which way it blows but that tends to go without saying. At times it's been tough to miss either dead bird. 

So, these factors have influenced a lot of dogs, in my opinion.


Sister Gets Middle Bird First...

...#46 with handler Jason Baker. She split the difference between the two retireds crossing the pond, got deep but right of the  middle holding blind, made a loop and a half and got the middle bird. Next she picked up the flyer and last got the right-hand bird.


Let There Be Light...

...The rising sun feels good to dogs, handlers, judges, workers, spectators... well--you get the picture!

The sun is a welcome addition to this event. 


Ozzy Power...

On the honor

Owner Benjy Griffith
... With Al Arthur... Benjy in the Wings...


Work Producing Some Varying Hunts This Morn...

... We have good work and some hunts on the right-hand bird, as well as some dogs splitting the difference between the two retired birds when going for the middle bird.


Yogi Growled...

... this morn, and got the birds.

Ty Rorem is beside him


Our Fearless Leaders...

... Pose for a cameo shot. Please give it up for our Chief Marshals.

From L to R, Loren Morehouse & Mitch Patterson, Co-Chairs


The Fog Lingers...

... as #34, Tyson and Alan Pleasant, come to line.

Alan signals for the birds


Headed to the Line...

... From a re-run generated last evening is Boo.

...and those would be Paul Sletten's legs...beside Boo


At 7:01 a.m. We're Off and Running...

... #32 with Dave Smith and Juice...

Sending for the go-bird


Test Dog at 6:53 a.m.

The fog has lifted somewhat and the sun is slanting our way... Mark Medford comes to line to demonstrate the test for early morning handlers.

Sunny backdrop :)


A Welcome Sight...

... The sun makes an appearance behind the silhouette of John Parrott...


A Comment on FF...

... No, it's not what you think.

Fog and Frost make for an interesting combination... :)


Today's Weather?

Right now it's a chilly 34 degrees with fog... could get up to the high sixties... could rain tonight...

It's anyone's guess!


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