Friday, August 12, 2011

Laddie's fifth Qual

First series was a wide open land triple with the long mark retired and a flyer as the go-bird. Then you ran a blind, and then you honored.

Laddie, running #1, nailed the go-bird flyer and the middle bird, running both better than any other dog I watched. The retired bird was thrown from a runway of grass into a soybean patch, not too hard for the later dogs once the path thru the soybeans was worn down a little, but more of a challenge for the test dog, Laddie, and the other early dogs. Laddie took a great line, but veered onto the runway, then homed in on the bird with little difficulty, never getting behind the gun station despite the fact that the gunner was retired. Laddie also ran the blind well.

Then he broke on the honor, ending our day. Gaby, who was here because she lives nearby and knows several of the trainers, said that several people told her the flyer Laddie had to honor was extremely difficult: lots of feathers flying, lots of flapping on the way down, lots of white belly flashing. In addition, the honor position was difficult: on the flyer side, with the honoring dog closer to the flyer than the working dog. It was too hard for Laddie.

I guess all those practices with Dave aren't doing the job.  Not surprising perhaps.  We practice singles or flower-pot doubles instead of triples.  We practice with small birds -- chukars, pigeons -- but see only ducks in trials.  Since I don't have anyone to run Lumi for me, I have to remote-honor Laddie while I run Lumi.  We use short distances and lots of noise to try to create excitement, but it's hardly the same picture as an FT triple. Those practice setups might actually be more difficult than a Qual honor, but nonetheless, we're not practicing what we see in a trial.

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