|Lync shows off his ribbons, sadly there wasn't a rosette for his 1st place win|
My first Flatcoat National is now over and I have so much to report.....
Day 1 , first up was the National Sweepstakes, it was judged by Dinah Baggentos, a breeder of Flatcoats. There were 3 dogs in Lync's 12-18 month class and he placed 2nd.
Later the same day was the judging at the all breed, this was a Booster for Flatcoats and it was wonderful to see 50 Flatcoats entered from all over! The judge was Doug Windsor, also a breeder judge. He gave Lync 1st in the class, there were 2 of us entered, the other dog was the one that had beaten Lync in the morning in the Sweepstakes. Lync was acting up in the Winners Dog judging, he even laid down on the ground at one point and wouldn't stand still, he kept jumping up on me, silly boy!
Day 2, this day did not start out so well! I was unpacking and arranging my tent, looked over and saw Flatcoats in the ring! I quickly picked up my catologue and saw that they had started judging at 9 am, not 9:45 like I thought, eek! I grabbed Lync and ran. When I got there I asked if I had missed Lync's judging, the judge was wonderful, he said " you are lucky, I was just about to do Winners Male, come on in! He let me bring Lync in, we were the only 12-18 mo dog however. I had no bait & still had on my sweatshirt over my skirt! Then it was time for Winners, I asked people outside the ring for bait and got some , Lync showed beautifully, what a good boy he is and I am very thankful I have never done this with my collies, I never would have been able to just run to the ring as I would have needed to do hours of grooming!
At 1 in the afternoon our National began! 100 gorgeous Flatcoats were entered!!
There were 6 dogs in Lync's 12-18 month class. Lync placed 4th. The judge had him in 3rd, then gaited us around again and moved Lync's litter brother up to 2nd place, which bumped us back to 4th, still a fantastic placement in a National!!
The judge liked Lync, I watched as he looked at him, then back to another dog, then back to Lync, then to another dog, comparing them. He asked me how old Lync was, I told him he just turned a year. He looks it. He is going through a bit of a geeky stage right now, his legs are long, he is thin, and loosing coat, but he is a showman and the structure is there, however on this day the others were more put together, including his brother Higgs. The funny thing is that Higgs was the geeky one at the American National, now it's Lync's turn ! I am not worried, I see the potential, Lync is going to be awesome!
That night we had the National barbeque and silent auction. I bid and won a couple of Flatcoat books. The judge spoke too and gave his thoughts on what he saw that day.
The Flatcoat people were so friendly, many coming over to say hi, introduce themselves, and ask about Lync. I felt very welcome and not out of my element at all.
The day was tough, it poured rain, buckets of rain! When I was showing it was baking hot, but most of the Specialty was rained upon. It made take down difficult as everything was soaking wet, I didn't want to pack all this wet gear in my van! We all ended up taking the dogs down to the lake for a swim while there was a rain break, hoping it would all dry, most of it did.
I was very tired by the end of the night.
Day 3, today was the Working Certificate tests!!! My first Flatcoat, my first WC test and I wasn't at all nervous! I was very confident in Lync.
It was so much fun to learn the ins and outs of these tests.
Lync was about the 5th dog to run. Land retrieves were first. 1 mark was 50 yards away to our left and the other was 75 yards away straight ahead. The gunners do not yell "hey hey hey" like we do in training, rather they fire off a shot into the air with a gun and it is loud! The duck was then thrown by the gunner into some light cover.
The 50 yard mark was first. Lync shot off, found his duck and ran back, came over the line and dropped his duck, yikes! He should be delivering to hand, which he does in training, I did some encouraging and he picked it back up and brought it to me. The 75 yard mark was next, off Lync ran, sniffed around a bit , found his duck, and as he crossed the line he spotted Liz and Larkin coming down the hill, I think he was going to go show Liz his duck but I manged to retrieve it from his mouth before that happened, success on land!
|Area of the first land retrieves, you can see the gunner and the first mark to the left and the 2 judges sitting to the right, if you look you can see the 2nd gunner way off in front of the judges|
We climbed down a small embankment to the shore to send our dogs. The first mark was 60 yards I believe, off Lync went without hesitation, found his duck and turned to return to me but then veered off to his right even though I whistled and called out to him, there was no stopping him, he was going to check out that damn log!
I am serious when I say it was big, he gets to it and all I can think of is he is going to let go of his duck and then we are screwed, I was wrong, he climbs up on the log and crawls over it , never letting go of his duck omg!! he then heads straight for shore and returns to me, shore running is to be discouraged and is not tolerated in the higher levels, he brings his duck and drops it yet again, this time he feels it is necessary to dry it off by licking it, I had to repeatedly tell him to fetch, which he did, bringing me the duck but it slipped from my hands, I got him to pick it up again thankfully.
Mark 2 is 40 yards away, something else new to us both, a boat in the water with the gunner sitting in it and throwing the marks from there. Lync heads out, briefly looks at the boat, retrieves his duck then swims off to his left into the bull rushes and out of sight, geez Louise dog! Moments later he comes out from the cover up the road and the judges encourage me to call him, so I yell out, "Lync, come to momma!!" hahaha, I was having fun :) he brought me his duck to hand, what a feeling, my first retriever I have trained has gotten his WC, in his first trial, just 1 week after turning a year old, I was so proud!
The club then put on a lunch of hotdogs, chips, & watermelon, we all sat around and talked before it was time for the ribbons to be presented. My smile was soooooo big when they called out Lync's name, followed by whoops and applause by all the exhibitors, I am still thrilled by this accomplishment.
|Area where we all stopped for lunch and the ribbon presentation|
After an hour it was time for the 2nd Trial, if Lync had been ready he could have moved up to do his WCI, but there was no way!, so we did the WC again, why not, it was paid for, it was good practice , and it was fun!!!
I am glad I did do it, it was much tougher then the morning trial. The land test area was not nicely mowed like the first, it was a totally natural environment of tall grass, shrubs, and uneven terrain. The first mark was 75 yards and went down a hill, the dog really had to search the area for their mark. Also the WCI and WCX tests were there in the morning so there was duck scent there from the other ducks, even though we weren't in the exact spot.
It is my turn to step into the blind and Lync is wired, he was pulling me like an idiot, there is a hill, there is a rock, Lync pulls, my foot catches the rock, down I go with an earth shattering face plant! So hard my hat flys off my head, bad boy Lync! I recover, and carry on to the blind.
Lync is booting it down the hill to the first mark, he had to search, took him a few minutes but he found his duck and returned quickly but dropped it about 5 feet from me. He had brought it over the line thank goodness, if he hadn't that is a fail. I was still trying to get him to pick it up and deliver it to hand but there was no way, the judges finally just told me to pick it up. In WC this is still a pass as it was over the line. The 2nd retrieve was 50 yards and pretty much a copy of the first with Lync dropping his bird and refusing to pick it up, ugh, must fix that for sure!
On to water, there were just 3 of us! Lync, Larkin and Blue. Lync was second to go this time. I had Darren walk Lync down the embankment for me, I didn't want a face plant repeat in the water.
The 1st mark, which was 40 yards, is the one thrown by the gunner in the boat, it is close to the bull rushes so not in the open, the water is full of weeds. Lync had no trouble at all, finds his duck and swims back but heads to shore off to my left, no excuses this time, just inexperience, but it must be fixed, he needs to return to me. He has never never done this before. The only thing I can think of is the gallery was over there, is it possible he was heading toward them? I am not sure, but he needs to look for ME and return straight to me!
Moving on to the 2nd mark which is 60 yards, Lync gets it, swims mostly to me in the water, veers over to his left, finds a bit of shore, runs it, back into the water, then back to the shore to drop his duck. This time it is not even close to being over the line, I am trying everything I can think of to get him to bring me that damn duck. He would lick it, look at me, go back, lick it some more , pick it up, drop it, I was just beginning to think it was a fail when the dog that was due to run after us got away from his handler and ran over to us, Lync ran after him but came immediately when I called him, he has the best recall! I just ignored the other dog and his handler catching him and yelled to Lync, "fetch!!", he runs over picks up the bird brings it near me and I scoop it out of his mouth , the judges and gallery shout with joy hahaha! true story!
I am thinking that Lync , being the greedy guts that he is, was scared the other dog might steal his bird, that's why he picked it up :)
|Area of the 2nd trial water retrieves, we started in behind that truck, the 2nd mark was in the area where you see the reeds|
If you have read to here thank you!! I know this was the longest post I have ever ever written , but I wanted to remember everything single thing so needed to write it down.
|Lync with his WC ribbon !!!!!|