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2020 Top Field Dogs

Top Coursing Dogs - Full Results PDF
Top Pointing Dogs - Full Results PDF
Top Field Beagles - Full Results PDF
Top Field Spaniels - Full Results PDF
Top Retrievers - Full Results PDF

From showing off their incredible speed to hunting feathered and furred game, field trials celebrate what some of our dog breeds were created for. From retrievers, pointers, and spaniels to lure coursing sighthounds and rabbit-hunting Beagles, field dogs spend countless hours in the field with their favourite people doing their favourite thing.

We got to meet some of Canada’s Top Field Dogs and learn how they got involved in their sport, what makes their breed so great for these competitions, and how they have kept their dogs in shape during an anything-but-normal year. 

#1 Lure Coursing Dog Tarakru's Rogue FChX

Call Name: Rogue
Handler: Bilinda Taras Krupa/Lynn Grant
Breeders/Owners: Bilinda Taras Krupa & Doug Krupa

Interview with Bilinda Taras

How did you get involved in this lure coursing? My first registered Whippet, Devonair's Matthew FChX got me interested in coursing at 2019! Thanks to all the members of OLCA, especially the Dansereau family, for helping me and Melissa to learn!

What was Rogue's most memorable win of 2020?  I work in dog behaviour so sometimes I am not able to travel far from home due to behaviour dogs being on site. My good friends, Kim and Shaun took Rogue to race for the weekend. It was her first time away from me and I wasn't sure how she would run. Shaun and Kim adore her, and they have known me for some time and promised to keep her happy. That September 2020 weekend, she won both Whippet stakes Saturday and Sunday, BIF and attained her FChX. She also won two memorial trophies: Highest Aggregate for the Year and Highest Points in one weekend.

How have you kept your dogs in shape during the pandemic? Rogue had a litter of 12 puppies on February 4, 2021. She has been getting in amazing shape being a mom of 12 and chasing squirrels. She also loves dog play, shaping and her flirt pole.

(Photo credit: Lisa Wysminity)

#1 Open Shooting & #1 Amateur Shooting Dog – AFTCh. FTCh. WindRip's Turn It Loud FDA

Call Name: Maysa
German Shorthaired Pointer
Breeder/Owner/Handler: Arwen Dabb

How did you get involved in field trials? I started out in AKC hunt tests and CKC field tests at the junior level. A few months later I 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 still participate in tests, but I prefer the competitive aspect of field trials over tests.

What drew you to 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 was Maysa's most memorable win of 2020? As there were limited events in 2020, it would have to be the double field trial we attended in the fall, where Maysa won two of the three stakes she was entered in and placed second (to her uncle) in the third stake.

How have you kept your dogs in shape during the pandemic? As far as their training and fitness goes, 2020 was really no different than any other year. German Shorthaired Pointers are a very energetic breed so giving them lots of exercise is a priority. We do a lot of bird work and training on our acreage. In addition to that, I run them off horseback fall through spring, and road them during the summer months. We also hunt birds in the fall, both on horseback and on foot.

#1 Field Beagle FTCh. Watermans Han Solo

Call Name:  Solo  
Breeders/Owners/ Handlers: Chris & Janice Waterman
Interview with Janice Waterman
How did you get involved in field trials? Chris has owned and hunted Beagles since the late 1970s. Shortly after moving back to Nova Scotia in 2006, Chris and I purchased a CKC-registered Beagle pup and we were introduced to the sport in the Maritimes. Our first field trial was in Prince Edward Island in a class that lasted nine hours, where our young 13-inch male placed third. We were hooked and our family continues to enjoy being involved with keeping the sport of Beagle field trials alive in Atlantic Canada.
What drew you to this breed? Chris' family has owned and hunted Beagles since childhood. I guess he was not so much drawn to Beagles rather than born into them. 

What was Solo’s most memorable win of 2020? Solo's most memorable win of 2020 was on August 1st at the Atlantic Beagle Club, Nova Scotia, finishing with a win in a class of 19 hounds.

How have you kept your dogs in shape during the pandemic? During the winter they have been hunted during the hare season. We also train them in the wild when permitted.

#1 (tie) Amateur All-Age SpanielFTCh. AFTCh. Belwind Razzmatazz

Call Name: Razz   
English Springer Spaniel    
Owner/Handler: Kevin Reinhart
Breeders: Susan & Blair Lanctot
How did you get involved in field trials?  I have been hunting with Springer Spaniels for 30 years. I got involved in this sport so that I could utilize the dogs all year long.
What drew you to this breed? I have a great passion for pheasant hunting. Through other hunting friends I learned of the Springer Spaniel breed.
What was Razz’s most memorable win of 2020? First place September 6th Sudbury District Spaniel Club (his half-brother Mojo placed second at this trial as well).
How have you kept your dogs in shape during the pandemic? Lots of swimming and training drills. In the winter, lots of snowshoeing with them running along.

(Photo credit: Cathy Carson)

#1 (tie) Amateur All-Age Spaniel FTCh. AFTCh. Belwind Carly's Masterpiece

Call name: Tia
English Springer Spaniel
Breeder/Owner: Blair Lanctot
Handler: Susan Lanctot

How did you get involved in field trials? I went on a pheasant hunt in Nova Scotia in the '90s with a friend. After watching the dogs work, I was hooked!

What drew you to this breed? They are exciting to watch in the field, but also make awesome housedogs  best of both worlds.

What was Tia’s most memorable win of 2020? Back-to-back wins in one weekend of limited trialling during the COVID-19 pandemic.

How have you kept your dogs in shape during the pandemic? We are fortunate to own 10-plus acres on a river in Nova Scotia. The dogs are allowed free runs down to the river four to five times a day, plus backyard drills to keep their training sharp and getting together in small groups for practice runs on birds.

#1 Open All-Age Spaniel – FTCh. Blackbrier's White Lightning

English Springer Spaniel
Owner: Clay Earl

FTCh. Blackbrier's White Lightning’s owners were not available for an interview at the time of publication.

#1 (tie) Amateur All-Age Retriever – AFTCh. Amarillo Diggin Up Bones JFTR

Call Name: Trouble
Labrador Retriever
Owner/Handler: Dave Wardle
Breeder: Ryan Markel

How did you get involved in retriever trials? I was introduced to retriever trials by a friend of a relative. He was an American professional in the '60s. Then later I attended the Canadian Sportsman Show in Toronto and decided to buy a Retriever.

What drew you to this breed? I live in the Long Point area of southern Ontario, which is famous for its duck hunting. Most of the hunters I knew used Labradors and I liked the way they acted and worked. I purchased a pup from good working stock and the rest is history. My wife and I have had Labrador Retrievers since 1980.

What was Trouble’s most memorable win of 2020?  Because of the pandemic Trouble and I only had one amateur trial to run in Ontario in 2020.We were able to win this trial, and this put us in a position to tie for first place in Canada. Trouble had a very successful year in 2018 and was the High Point Amateur Dog that year also.

How have you kept your dogs in shape during the pandemic? The pandemic has made working dogs very difficult. We are lucky enough to have access to a property where we can run the dogs with an ATV for physical conditioning and are able to do handling as well as marking drills with my wife to help me. We are hopeful things will open so we can get back to training in a group and possibly attend some trials in 2021.

#1 Combined All-Age Retriever & #1 (tie) Amateur All-Age Retriever – FTCh. AFTCh. Bigvalley MER Joesph Campbell QFTR 

Call Name: Joe
Labrador Retriever 
Owner/Handler: Mark Roberts
Breeder: Agneta Zastavnikovich
How did you get involved in retriever trialsIn 2014, I retired with my wife Debbie to an acreage on Vancouver Island. As a young girl, my mother, Mary Elizabeth Roberts, had a black Lab named "Joe".  I always liked the breed, so in spring 2015 I bought a puppy with a very good field-trial pedigree. Having no experience, and this being my first dog (first pet ever for that matter), I had to become a student of the game. It was hit and miss for a couple years, training with both amateurs and professionals, some excellent and some marginal  and a huge amount of solo training  learning the sport. The dog was clearly talented and carried me through many of the early qualifying wins. I sent Joe to Mike Taylor of Skyhigh Retrievers for three months in the winter of 2019. I figured if we were going to take it to the next level, we needed some 'top-shelf ' help. Mike polished the basics Joe and I had developed and built on his splendid natural ability. His sit became crisp. Poison birds and flyers became routine. His natural talent shone. And now he is in the record books. 
What was Joe's most memorable win of 2020? Without question, the Alberta Field Trial Club Open in August of 2020. This was our first Open win. It was a classic Brian Griffin test (Brian and Gord Petite judging on the Kalbhen West property). Early morning started with a big land triple, down the hill, across the valley and up the other side, with the memory bird across a small water inlet. Then all the tests progressed one upon another. Everything was run from the same line. Blinds and poison birds across falls and gunner stations from earlier in the day finishing with a monster water triple, the memory bird 350+ yards with multiple water entries. We pinned the birds the entire day.

How have you kept your dogs in shape during the pandemic? Debbie and I have a wonderful life on an acreage next to the Oyster River. Joe has been worked on these lands and the river since he was a pup and has always maintained good physical condition with our daily routines. I sent him to Mike again for a couple months this past winter, and we look forward to having a bit more fun this season.

#1 Open All-Age Retriever FTCh. AFTCh. Ram River Rainbow Royal

Call Name: Roy
Golden Retriever
Owner/Handler: Daniel Danforth
Breeders: Alison & Dwight Manning  
How did you get involved in this retriever trials? I wanted a Retriever for hunting. I got my first Golden Retriever in 1993 from a breeder who was and still is active in retriever field trials. He introduced me to the sport of retrievers.
What drew you to this breed? Golden Retrievers are great retrievers, for both hunting and field trials, as well as great family dogs.
What was Roy’s most memorable win of 2020?  All of them!  When running field trials against the top retrievers, it is difficult to win, so when you do, it is special. Roy’s win at the BC Labrador Retriever Club’s trials in Deroche, BC, was even more memorable because my Labrador Retriever, Pebbles, got second place. Getting first and second at a trial is a thrill.
How have you kept your dogs in shape during the pandemic? The pandemic has not affected our training program. I winter in Texas and have my own training grounds in Alberta, so I am able to train all year round keeping our dogs physically fit.

(Photo credit: Don Munro)