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The Arctic Bird Dog Association
AKC Licensed Spaniel Hunting Test Held July 27-28, 2002
by Cheryl Sligar

Club Members
Arctic Bird Dog Association Club Members

The first time that I traveled to Alaska was in 1999. Sandi Henriques and I were asked to judge the initial AKC Licensed Hunting Test of the Artic Bird Dog Association. The Artic Bird Dog Association is a multi-breed club, founded in 1992 by a group of sportswomen who competed in dog shows with their setters and also were avid hunters. The club was open to all pointing breeds, but spaniels were added a few years later. In 1997, a sanctioned Hunting Test was held, judged by Janet Christensen and Jeff Miller.

The number of spaniel people is growing quickly, thanks to the enthusiasm and determination of people like Derek and Sherry Tomlinson. I donít want to take anything away from all the people who put their time into their dogs and to the sport, but it was obvious that this time around, the majority of the entries were either children or grandchildren of the Tomlinsonís black and white springer bitch, Rose Noel Tomlinson SH.
Sandy and E
Sandy Hutson and E
Earned 2 Junior Legs

In 1999, the first AKC Licensed Hunting Test was held with about seven entries, mostly Junior level. There were Welsh and English Springers, as well as English Cockers. They were very inexperienced, but thirsting to learn. Not one of the Juniors passed that day. However, all attended a seminar the next day - there to learn as much as they could. I was hoping to see them at the 2002 Hunting Test, but only one from that Junior group was entered in this yearís event. That dog passed both days. His name is "E".

This year, there were thirteen dogs entered both days - all English Springer Spaniels. Seven of those dogs were entered in Master Hunter. Rosie is 11 years old now and no longer running in hunting tests. But she was present in her sons Basil and Angus, her daughterís Saddie and Sky, and in her granddaughters Scout and Jewel. The legacy of Jeff Miller's CNFC/FC/AFC Pel Tan Roly, and FC/AFC/CFC Nant-Lais Sting (Glover) echoed in the beautiful landscape of Point Mackenzie, Alaska, not far from Wasilla, home of the Alaskan Iditarod.

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