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2019 Top Field Dogs

2019 Top Pointing Dogs – Official Results

2019 Top Retrievers
 – CKC Official Results

2019 Top Field Spaniels – CKC Official Results
2019 Top Field Beagles – CKC Official Results
2019 Top Coursing Dogs – CKC Official Results
A great, big congratulations to all the Canadian Kennel Club’s Top Field competitors – Retrievers, Spaniels, Pointers, Lure Coursers and Beagles. Among the oldest of dog sports, enthusiasts spend endless hours in the field witnessing their dogs do exactly the job they were bred to do.

We caught up with the talented TOP DOGS in each field event, who shared how they got into their respective sports, if their Top Dog showed early signs of stardom, tips to remember and more.

#1 Lure Coursing Dog – FCh. Hyflyte Fleet Fox CGN 

Pointing-Open-Shooting-Dog.jpgCall name: Fleet
Owners/Handlers: Erin McCorkell and Mike Maybee
Breeder: Helen Ferguson

How drew you to become involved in lure coursing? We became involved in lure coursing at the suggestion of our breeder, Helen Ferguson of Hyflyte Performance Whippets. I had previously been involved with other dog sports such as agility, obedience and rally with my herding breeds, but Fleet was our first sighthound and our first dog to try lure coursing. Right from the outset, what I loved about the sport is that the dogs who participate are doing what sighthounds have been bred to do, chase things! The joy of watching your dog doing their very favourite thing is addictive. Other reasons to love lure coursing include, it is the least expensive dog sport I have ever participated in, it is family friendly and it is held outdoors. Finally, with the Chase Ability program, you don’t even need a sighthound to compete.

When did you start? Fleet didn’t start lure coursing until she was almost three. In fact, she ran her first course in May 2019 and ended the season as Top Dog!

Did Fleet show early potential? Fleet definitely showed early potential as she won Best of Breed at her very first trial.

Why did you choose this breed? What drew me to Whippets was the fact that they seemed to be the whole package. They are athletic, affectionate, healthy and smart. Also, after years of herding dogs, they aren’t double coated, and at around 14 kilograms for a female, they are a nice mid-sized dog. They are known to excel at a number of sports other than lure coursing, such as: agility, dock diving, flyball, disc and racing. Honestly though, what they are best at is cuddling, and yes they can apparently sleep for 23 hours a day.

What do you think is the most important thing to remember when training for lure coursing? When training for lure coursing you need to remember that your dog will be off lead in probably a five-acre field and in a state of high excitement. A reliable recall is a huge asset and in order to get one, you have to practise it. As well, for a dog to be fit enough to course, it needs to be able to run off lead, and it can’t do that without a recall. I have heard a number of people say, “You can’t let a Whippet off lead because sighthounds do not have a recall”. I say Malarkey! It might be a little harder to train with a Whippet than with a Malinois, but it is definitely doable. However, if your dog doesn’t have a reliable recall don’t let that stop you from trying the sport. If you are a little skeptical of your ability to catch your dog, let the course officials know and they will offer you some tried and true tips, as well as hands on help.

What was your most memorable moment in 2019? My most memorable lure coursing moment came in October 2019 when Fleet won the Championship Flight A Stake on the Sunday of the American Sighthound Field Association (ASFA) International Invitational. This event is considered by some enthusiasts to be the premier lure coursing event across all of North America.

Any tips for newcomers? For anyone interested in the sport, I would suggest doing a little bit of pedigree research, and looking for a kennel that has a history of breeding successful performance dogs. For Whippet lovers, Whippet: The Breed Archive is an invaluable resource. A supportive breeder is a great help to get you started. However, if sighthounds aren’t your thing, any breed, including mixed breeds, can compete under the CKC's Chase Ability Program. All you need is a dog that loves to run! Finally, go to a trial and see for yourself what it is all about, introduce yourself, ask questions, volunteer and just see how much darn fun it is!

#1 Combined & #1 Open All-Age Retriever – FTCh. AFTCh. Coolwater’s Black Line QFTR

Pointing-Amateur-Shooting-Dog-edited.jpgCall name: Georgia
Labrador Retriever
Owner/Handler: David Douglas
Breeder: Alex Washburn

When did you start in field trials and with which dog? Georgia is the first Lab I have owned, as I started in field trials with Golden Retrievers in 1990 with FTCh. AFTCh. Mist Elberta Sungold (“Ellie”) and my last Golden was AFTCh. Highroller’s Ocean Daze (“Dazja”). I started hunting with Goldens as I believed they were a great all-round hunting dog. Ellie my first trial dog was noticed by Bob Harman who talked me into going to a picnic trial where she placed first in the Puppy Stake. Well that Puppy Stake blue has cost me a lot of time and money. Now years later we have Georgia and very happy to own her.
Did Georgia show early potential? Georgia showed potential the first day I flew to Mississippi to pick her up. At 13 months old, Georgia won an AKC Derby Stake in Niland, California. She won two U.S. Derby Stakes, finished all five she attended in 2017 as well attended the National Derby Championship. Back in Canada, Georgia was the High Point Junior Dog that same year (2017) as well she was a double High Point Canadian field dog with the Qualifying High Point and Junior High Point title.

What do you think is the most important thing to remember when training for field trials? The field trial game has changed drastically since I have joined the game. Training dogs to compete today with the overall demands we put on dogs is extremely stressful for our best friend. I believe the most successful trainers have put aside the force to train and are teach to training with better results.

What was your most memorable moment in 2019? In 2019, Georgia was the High Point Open Stake and High Point All Age Combined in British Columbia and Canada. When we attended our first trial in 2019, we had no idea how it would go, but the thing I reflect on the most was Georgia won the first five All Age trials she competed in. To this day we are not sure how many times that feat has be replicated. That is something I will never forget.

Any tips for newcomers? I am sure this game will continue to evolve, but if you are just getting started and Field Trial is where you want to take your dog get a successful mentor, one that is successful and has changed with the evolving environment. Georgia has been a wonderful companion and a very good friend. I have been lucky to own very good companions that have loved to compete. Hopefully you all are as lucky as I am.

#1 Amateur All-Age Retriever – FTCh. AFTCh. Maxfly's Hanna Storm QFTR

Retrieving-1-Combined-edited.jpgCall name: Hanna
Labrador Retriever
Owner/Handler: Richard Cardinal
What drew you to become involved in field trials? The amazing these Retrievers can do.
Did Hanna show early potential? She showed at a young age to be fearless with a high desire to retrieve. 
Why did you choose this breed? The Labrador Retriever breed is very dominant in licensed Retriever Trials. 
What do you think is the most important thing to remember when training for field trials? To be consistent with all aspects of training and respect your dog

#1 Open All-Age Spaniel – FTCh. AFTCh. Bushbuster's Colt Forty Five

Spaniel-Open-All-Age-2-1.JPGCall name: Colt
English Springer Spaniel
Owner/Handler: Stan Pappas
Breeder: Wade Chipman

What drew you to become involved in field trials? I started trialing because I realized that through competitions you can showcase your dog and also see what everyone else is doing. In my mind it's very important to compete amongst friends; we have the same interests. I started field trialling in the '60s with Labrador Retrievers. I don't clearly remember the date, but the first dog's name was Sue.
Did Colt show early potential? All good dogs show early potential and they keep the potential and their competitiveness for their lifetime in field trials. A good dog starts early and stays with you long.
Why did you choose this breed? As I said I started out with Labrador Retrievers and moved on to English Setters and Pointers. In the late '80s I bought my first Springer Spaniel and the rest is history.
What do you think is the most important thing to remember when training for field trials? The most important thing while training any dog is to have fun, love your dog, and enjoy the sport. Field trials are a barometer on how you and your dog are doing.
What’s next for you? It is hard to say that I can find a better dog than the one I have now. Colt has been my best dog ever and I have trained and put championships on many. I am hopeful that the next dog maybe half as good as Colt is.

#1 Amateur All-Age Spaniel – Skaar's Asgard Freyja         

Spaniel-Amateur-All-Age.jpgCall name: Freyja
English Springer Spaniel
 Thomas Bratrud

What drew you to become involved in field trials? I was pushed into field trials by a fellow named Terry Pellow. I wanted a hunting dog only, but he had a pup for sale and pushed me into field trials so he could see how the pup turned out. I bought two pups and both of them got ribbons as puppies. This was early in 1989. The two dogs were FTCh. Breezy Point’s Wenceslas and Breezy Point A Brittany Belle.

These two dogs went on to produce more champions and double champions and High Point Dogs in Canada. Some of our dogs placed in Canada’s Nationals and the Nationals in the U.S. Skaar’s Whitlock’s Warlock was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2010. We have generated at least 20 champions ourselves from these dogs.
Why did you choose this breed?  I have had dogs in my life for 70 years and started out with Cocker Spaniels. I took a chance on the Springer category and found them just a bit more physically stronger and heavier than a Cocker. I made the switch and we have had Springers now for some time. I bought my first Springer in 1988. 

Did Freyja show early potential? She has five generations of champions in her background and to her credit. She was retrieving by the time she was 12 weeks old and much bolder than her littermates. She was a fast learner and as such showed a lot of promise.

What do you think is the most important thing to remember when training for field trials? Over the years, I have determined that these dogs are incredibly intelligent and very willing to partner up with their handler as a team. They certainly don’t have to have any rough handling to work with the handler. They just need to know what you want from them and then reward them for their efforts.

Any tips for newcomers? We try to work with younger people in the dog club and set up training programs so that they can also succeed with their dog and the effort they put in.

What’s next for you? We have some young dogs coming along for the future so hopefully we can carry on.

#1 Open Shooting & #1 Amateur Shooting Pointing Dog – FTCh. AFTCh. WindRip’s Turn It Loud FDJ

Beagle.PNGCall name: Maysa
German Shorthaired Pointer
 Arwen Dabb  

What drew you to become involved in Field trials?  I had an old video of Pointers and field trials, so it was something that I had always been interested in.  What could be more fun than horses and dogs! I started out in field tests and a few months later entered some Derby Stakes with my young dog. She won the second derby we entered and the following spring placed in an AKC retrieving stake, just before her second birthday, and I was hooked. I also found that I preferred the competitive aspect of trials over tests.
Did Maysa show early potential?  Yes, Maysa showed a lot of natural ability right from the time she was a puppy.  In 2017 she was the CKC Top Puppy of the Year and then the following year, at just two years of age she was the Top Amateur Shooting Dog, which is quite an accomplishment for a dog that young.
Why did you choose this breed?  I grew up with the breed; my family had German Shorthaired Pointers, which we hunted. I love their drive, intelligence, energy and loyalty, so once I was in a position to get my own dog I knew that a German Shorthaired Pointer was exactly what I wanted.
What do you think is the most important thing to remember when training for field trials? The most important thing is that you and your dog should both be having fun. Too much pressure can ruin a young dog.  Keep your training sessions short and be consistent. Try to set your dog up for success while training, rather than trying to get an opportunity for a correction. If you are having trouble with something, go back to the basics and make sure that your dog understands what you are asking it to do.

What’s next for you?  We will continue to compete in field trials, so hopefully things will start to open up and we will be able to travel again. She just finished her FDA title so we will be working on FDX next, and hopefully there will be a litter of puppies in the future.

#1 Field Beagle – FTCh. Searles Seal Cove Hooker Trail 

Lure-Coursing-1.jpgCall name: Hooker
Owner/Handler: Darrell Searle
Breeders: Darrell Searle & Rupert Searle
What drew you to become involved in field trials? Beagle field trials started up in N
ewfoundland in late '70s. My father was a beagler as well at the time. He had his own Beagles and he would organize and go around picking up all the supplies and donations that was need to host the Beagle trial. My mom and some of the beaglers’ wives would take care of cooking all the meals for the event. As a young boy they would take me with them, and I started to take a liking to the sport. As I got older, my father would take me to the woods with him to run hounds and from there, as I got older, I started doing some breeding and continued on field trialling. 
Did Hooker show early potential? Hooker and her other four littermates showed me that they had a lot of talent at five months old. I would spend days after days running these four pups trying to decide which two I was going to keep. The more I ran them, the decision was to keep all four; they were all equally good. I field trial them and all four became Field Trial Champions at a young age of two years old.

Why did you choose this breed? I was raised as a kid with Beagles and Setters. I would spend many days with my father training Beagles and Setters. I really enjoyed being outdoors running hounds and hiking over the hills, hunting with English Setters. To this day, I still enjoy doing it like it was my first time.

What do you think is the most important thing to remember when training for field trials? Your hound needs to be in top condition. They must receive the proper food for their bodies. You, as the owner, must get in the woods and look at your hounds to see if they are running the rabbit the way you want. And the most important thing for me is the hound must run the rabbit not the race.

What’s the next thing for you? If there was no Covid, I would have spent the time travelling to the U.S. to field trial her to become an International Champion. She has already won and placed in trials in the U.S., but she still need more points to finish, so that won’t happen now. The next thing is to breed her and produce some more good hounds.