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Cathy Lewis and Deb Schoene,
Novice Judges - photo by Pam Kadlec

exercise - both physically, and also to teach patience. However, the resulting runs of some of the dogs proved this to be a weak area. Curlee was so hyped-up by the time her turn came, that she trapped her first bird and was a little over anxious in her delivery. The bird was dispatched by Miss Curlee without any outside assistance. On her next two flushes, she was steady. She delivered one to hand and watched another bird fly away.

The Open class was given two land series, with three contacts in each. I think Curlee was even more excited for the second series, but the birds weren't cooperating. On the first flush, the bird only managed to jump up a few feet then land about five feet away. I sent Curlee after the bird. This time it flushed, she sat, and was steady for the missed shot fly away. The next bird did the same thing with a short, low flush. She was steady so I sent her in. She jumped the bird a second time and, once again, it only went a few feet. This was too much for Curlee as the third time she flushed it, the gunner shot and the bird landed only about five yards away. I got her to stop, but with a controlled break. The top dog for both of the upland series in the Open was Samson, who was flawless on his flushes and steadiness.
Novice dog, Just Ducky's First Edition
"Edy" bringing back a chukar
photo by Pam Kadlec

Overall, the dog work was good in the upper classes - with steady to the flush being the main issue needing work. The Novice dogs showed promise for next year's hunt test. Most of the dogs would quarter naturally, only needing some direction from their owners in order to figure out the game. A little control on the fly-aways wouldn't hurt, either.

Billy Moxley, one of the gunners for the weekend, used one of his Labrador retrievers on Sunday morning to break the ice in the pond for the water double. This enabled all of the dogs to run the same test without the first one or two being disadvantaged by having to break ice. The test for the Open class was a double with an honor. The memory bird was about 60 yards across the pond. A live flyer landed about 40 yards out. Most of the dogs were reluctant to return to the water on the double retrieve. Who could blame them? Curlee was the only Open dog who aced the water double without handling. Since the focus was on the upland work, if a dog completed the water test, he or she earned a ribbon. Unfortunately, some of the top dogs in each class were eliminated due to their refusal to complete the water test. Most of the dogs in the top two classes have UKC Hunting Retriever or Hunting Retriever Champion titles, so that icy water definitely was a factor.

Water Double - photo by Pam Kadlec

The feedback from the participants was all positive. They loved the seminar by Ray Cacchio and the Society is talking about having Ray back for a three-day seminar next year. Thirty-two dogs competed and while most were from South Carolina, North Carolina and Georgia, others came from as far as Florida, Wisconsin, Texas and Alabama. The grounds at H. Cooper Black Recreational Area were more than adequate and there are plans to cultivate some areas for better cover for upland testing. Two of the Hunt test committee members, Patty Labbe and Karen Solis, provided excellent hot meals for all three days. This was appreciated more than they will ever know. The cold days and biting wind was forgotten for awhile as hot chilli and hot cocoa warmed everyone from the inside out.

As this was the Society's first attempt at an upland test, there were mistakes made and amendments to the rules to be

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