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ESS 2020 NAC


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On 12/19/2020 at 7:41 AM, Hal Standish said:

Wow! Talk about lack of Preparation. Goodness Gracious. With entry fees at $250.00 plus travel food and motel. To fail such a simple test and that's all it is it is not even judged it's pass/ fail. Cold weather be Darned, and for those that pass they get to go to most exciting series in the Spaniel game, the 5th series in the National Champs.

I had shared this information with My wife this morning and her reply adroitly was.."well it is the Amatures"!

 

Hal

 

Does one fail only if the dog is unsteady or doesn't complete the retrieves, or is it more nuanced where one could fail for "ugly" retrieves (due to poor marking, repositioning bird, being noisy, etc.)?

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On 12/19/2020 at 6:41 AM, Hal Standish said:

Wow! Talk about lack of Preparation. Goodness Gracious. With entry fees at $250.00 plus travel food and motel. To fail such a simple test and that's all it is it is not even judged it's pass/ fail. Cold weather be Darned, and for those that pass they get to go to most exciting series in the Spaniel game, the 5th series in the National Champs.

I had shared this information with My wife this morning and her reply adroitly was.."well it is the Amatures"!

 

Hal

 

This was the National Open in Utah!  NOT .....  the National Amateur

 

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13 hours ago, SpringerDude said:

 

This was the National Open in Utah!  NOT .....  the National Amateur

 

 

Worse yet! Now when will find out if the failing Handlers were Am's or Pro's.

 

21 hours ago, ESSNovice said:

 

Does one fail only if the dog is unsteady or doesn't complete the retrieves, or is it more nuanced where one could fail for "ugly" retrieves (due to poor marking, repositioning bird, being noisy, etc.)?

Lots of ways to fail this test but it only takes one infraction to bomb out. What part of a simple marked retrieve do we not understand. Must be line steady... No handling to the mark  deliver the bird to hand No fuss no muss get'er done! pass /fail. The dog has either been prepared to do the work or not. It is a test that should UNDERWHELM a trained dog

 

Hal

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Hello Folks,

 

Since I attended both Nationals I can share what happened at the water at both Nationals.

 

National Open 

The water was pretty straightforward.

The judges did what I call a rolling water callback. This means the 4th series was completed with enough time to go to water but not enough time to deliberate 5th series call backs. What this basically means is that they rolled into the water series/test with the dogs that had a good 4th, went back to the hotel and cut the dogs down to a reasonable number for the 5th and final series. Thats why the large cut from 29.

Only one dog did not complete the water series. 

 

National Amateur 

This was a bit more complicated. 

About 2-3 inch thick ice was broken up and scattered in a 15-20 yard area wide by 20-25 yards long. The balance of the small pond was 2-3 inches of ice.

The length of the retrieve was reduced to probably 15-20 yards in the water and 10 yards on land. 

The ice spooked a lot of dogs. A couple got spooked at the shore and built enough courage to work it out. A couple willingly went in and started getting into problems as they started swimming and hit the larger chunks of broken ice. 

As I remember 2 or 3 failed. 

The broken ice en route certainly affected the failures. 

It is important to note 2 of the dogs that failed went in very willingly and powerful however when they got on the larger chunks of ice it really bothered them a lot. 

 

All said the amateur committee did adjust the distance due to the ice.

 

A couple of comments on the amateur water series/test which by the way is easier to do in hind site.

 

Perhaps the ice chunks could have been raked out of the swim path to lessen the impact.

 

Many comments where made regarding eliminating the water test at nationals. I am not in favour of this. As a National judge pinned with the responsibility of crowning the National Champion I wish to witness all aspects of the dogs performance personally. 

 

I believe the adjustment of getting the ice removed from the swim lane would have eliminated the dogs that failed but still test the courage of the dogs to retrieve in water. 

 

That said It should be an option for the judges to have the discretion (given specific guidelines) to have the authority to not perform the water test. 

 

Just my humble opinion.

 

Jim

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Nice report Wildwind. Good to have eye witness commentary. As far as conditions go this would not be the first time in the History of National Champs that "hard water", Ice was an issue.

 

Hal

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2 hours ago, Hal Standish said:

 

What part of a simple marked retrieve do we not understand.

The "how is it evaluated?"/"how did so many dogs fail?" part (thanks to Wildwind for explaining the latter) in light of where the Blue Book says: "[T]he dog should in a water test be staunch to shot, be sent only on the instruction of the judge, mark well the fall of game, enter the water willingly, take direction when necessary and deliver promptly to hand as on land. A dog which repeatedly “runs the bank” in an effort to avoid entering the water should be severely penalized even if he eventually retrieves the bird." 

 

3 hours ago, Hal Standish said:

It is a test that should UNDERWHELM a trained dog

Understood!

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1 hour ago, Wildwind said:

Hello Folks,

 

Since I attended both Nationals I can share what happened at the water at both Nationals.

 

National Open 

The water was pretty straightforward.

The judges did what I call a rolling water callback. This means the 4th series was completed with enough time to go to water but not enough time to deliberate 5th series call backs. What this basically means is that they rolled into the water series/test with the dogs that had a good 4th, went back to the hotel and cut the dogs down to a reasonable number for the 5th and final series. Thats why the large cut from 29.

Only one dog did not complete the water series. 

 

National Amateur 

This was a bit more complicated. 

About 2-3 inch thick ice was broken up and scattered in a 15-20 yard area wide by 20-25 yards long. The balance of the small pond was 2-3 inches of ice.

The length of the retrieve was reduced to probably 15-20 yards in the water and 10 yards on land. 

The ice spooked a lot of dogs. A couple got spooked at the shore and built enough courage to work it out. A couple willingly went in and started getting into problems as they started swimming and hit the larger chunks of broken ice. 

As I remember 2 or 3 failed. 

The broken ice en route certainly affected the failures. 

It is important to note 2 of the dogs that failed went in very willingly and powerful however when they got on the larger chunks of ice it really bothered them a lot. 

 

All said the amateur committee did adjust the distance due to the ice.

 

A couple of comments on the amateur water series/test which by the way is easier to do in hind site.

 

Perhaps the ice chunks could have been raked out of the swim path to lessen the impact.

 

Many comments where made regarding eliminating the water test at nationals. I am not in favour of this. As a National judge pinned with the responsibility of crowning the National Champion I wish to witness all aspects of the dogs performance personally. 

 

I believe the adjustment of getting the ice removed from the swim lane would have eliminated the dogs that failed but still test the courage of the dogs to retrieve in water. 

 

That said It should be an option for the judges to have the discretion (given specific guidelines) to have the authority to not perform the water test. 

 

Just my humble opinion.

 

Jim

 

Thanks Jim for the details on the water tests at the Nationals.    I would like to believe that a high percentage of the trial dogs would have an easy go at the field trial water test.    There are circumstances that some dogs may not have ever experienced such as the ice issue as you described at the National Amateur.    

 

Seeing the callbacks only, I realized there was probably "more to the story" than the chart was going to provide.  

 

Hope all is well with you and your family. 

 

Tim 

 

 

 

 

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Well I guess I've been a little busy since I returned from the NAC-- just seeing this thread today.

 

My boys did what I asked of them, so I cannot complain. Keller looked fantastic in the 1st series, but I made a mortal and unforgivable handling mistake that put us out early. Griffin was very consistent and did some nice things to keep him him in the game. Even though Griff was dog #1, in the first series he made quick work of 2 downwind runners off the course... And then rolled on very consistently until the 5th series. In the 5th he just didn't look like his head was in the game from the first cast, and the whole affair was just not what we should expect from a dog in the 5th series of a national. Still, that's 2 NAC finishes in a row for him and he's still only 3 years old. Let's hope there's more to come. I wish I could simply be happy with the Certificate of Completion, but, well, welcome to me....

 

Regarding the water, I think Jim did a better job of explaining scenario than I ever could. I would add this: it was tough. In my opinion, the water series was not a test about marking, line-steadiness, delivery, etc. That should all be assumed at the water of a national championship. This was a test of a spaniel's courage. On the first bird, Griffin hit a big chunk of ice just before getting the bird, and the more he swam into the ice chunk, the farther the bird got pushed. He finally got it and returned. On the second bird, he plunged in the icy water and immediately ran into a flotilla of chunks and turned back. I raised my hand to send him and he did. He hit another wall of ice and turned to look at me again. I raised my hand again and he plowed through the ice to the bird. Because of the level of difficulty, I don't think the judges cared much about nuance. And as you might imagine, I was so damn proud of little Griffin. What a heart!

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16 hours ago, Pat Berry said:

Well I guess I've been a little busy since I returned from the NAC-- just seeing this thread today.

 

My boys did what I asked of them, so I cannot complain. Keller looked fantastic in the 1st series, but I made a mortal and unforgivable handling mistake that put us out early. Griffin was very consistent and did some nice things to keep him him in the game. Even though Griff was dog #1, in the first series he made quick work of 2 downwind runners off the course... And then rolled on very consistently until the 5th series. In the 5th he just didn't look like his head was in the game from the first cast, and the whole affair was just not what we should expect from a dog in the 5th series of a national. Still, that's 2 NAC finishes in a row for him and he's still only 3 years old. Let's hope there's more to come. I wish I could simply be happy with the Certificate of Completion, but, well, welcome to me....

 

Regarding the water, I think Jim did a better job of explaining scenario than I ever could. I would add this: it was tough. In my opinion, the water series was not a test about marking, line-steadiness, delivery, etc. That should all be assumed at the water of a national championship. This was a test of a spaniel's courage. On the first bird, Griffin hit a big chunk of ice just before getting the bird, and the more he swam into the ice chunk, the farther the bird got pushed. He finally got it and returned. On the second bird, he plunged in the icy water and immediately ran into a flotilla of chunks and turned back. I raised my hand to send him and he did. He hit another wall of ice and turned to look at me again. I raised my hand again and he plowed through the ice to the bird. Because of the level of difficulty, I don't think the judges cared much about nuance. And as you might imagine, I was so damn proud of little Griffin. What a heart!

 

from the Green Book:

 

"what makes a spaniel a spaniel"
 
1. Drive, strength of quest,quartering style
2. Nose, bird finding ability
3. courage in the face of heavy cover
4. Strength of flush,boldness
5. Retrieve, marking ability and mouth
6. The dogs acceptance of training
 
 

 

Hal

 

 

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