Monday, March 30, 2015

A Good Day at the Georgia NSTRA Championships

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 This last weekend, on a farm in North Georgia, we held the Georgia Regional NSTRA Championships. As I've written before, NSTRA is my field trial of choice, mainly because it more replicates hunting and I can make the transition from hunting around the country to a NSTRA field trial easier than other venues (hunt tests, AKC, Walking Field Trials, American Field, UFTA, BDC, etc.) 


Amazingly, the weather turned cold the day prior to the trial and stayed there throughout.  Spring in the South can be warmish, but Thursday the rain hit and the temps plummeted to 28 degrees Saturday morning! It was absolutely perfect for my dogs.  To win this trial a dog must run 5 times, with the final run of one hour.  That's 3 hours of hard running, obedience and classy pointing and retrieving.  The heat is a tremendous obstacle on a normal day.  A cool weekend is a blessing. 

Ruby's High Point Female for 2014-2015 Award

BJ and me accepting the plaque for the High Point Female Dog (Ruby)

First and Third place For Cap and Ruby

Third and Fourth Place for Cap and Ruby

Cap on Point! 

 But the format made for a long day for me, running two dogs through the Final 6 and one dog in the Final Hour.  In order to qualify for the Finals, Cap had to make a cut, based on scores, from 38 dogs to 16.  Then, another cut to the Final 6.  After all that, another run was made to take the top two dogs, based on judge's scores and have them run a 1 hour brace with 10 birds hidden in the 80-100 ac. fields.  Cap, of course, made it to the Finals.  Ruby, my Brit female, made the first three cuts as well- to the final 16 and, then the Final 6.  Her scores had her finishing 6th overall.   
                              Jeff Keck and me in Blind for Final Hour

Final Hour Judges and Officials

Jeff and I  left the blind for a one hour brace in a double-sized field with twice the number of quail hidden.  I was beat and Cap was a little worn, as well.  I figured, if we were this tired, Jeff and Trim were tired, as well.  We gave it our best shot and didn't give up anything.  At the end of the day, Jeff Keck and Trim (Setter/Male) found 6 birds and had a back for the best overall score and the Championship!  Cap and I did the best we could and the better dog and handler won.

Final Hour Start

Final Four- Cap is the only Short Tail in the Bunch!

The Whole Crowd

Jeff/Brenda Keck and Trim (Setter/Male)
Georgia Region NSTRA Champions 2015!

An added bonus to the long weekend was that Cap gained his second Championship! It is well deserved for the little guy.  He rode home inside the truck and slept on the bed last night.  Only six months until bird season!