January often seems like the longest month of the year, but I’ve been fortunate to have had great weather for running dogs here in Kentucky this winter and January has pretty much zoomed by. I judged most of the NBHA trial here in Berea last weekend and got to see a lot of good dogs. I was a little surprised by how many setters were entered but am told that’s common among the walking field trials here but the horseback guys are much more likely to run pointers. There’s a couple of horseback trials in March and I hope to borrow a horse and be able to ride at least part of one of those trials.
I ran Spot and Dot in the Open Puppy stake last Sunday and was pleased that Spot did a great job to take first place. I don’t run in a lot of puppy stakes because I feel they are limited in what they can tell you about a dog’s future potential. Without birds, all you can judge is the race, and although important, I’ve seen enough puppy phenoms in my life that never made it as derbies to say nothing of finishing to shooting dog or all-age standards that I take puppy placements with grain of salt. That is not to say I don’t appreciate winning one once in a while. Dottie also did a nice job although she was a little flat due to her two week layoff because of her ear cut. I really didn’t think the derbies were ready for liberated quail. They have all been pointing wild birds here on a fairly regular basis but it’s just not the same. I got some pen raised birds and a little recall pen set up now so we can work on the kind of staunchness they’ll need to run in the February NBHA trial. If it was tomorrow I would put Brandy and Spot in the derby for sure and most likely Sam. Glow is a question mark. Brandy showed shooting dog level manners on quail both today and yesterday where birds that had been already flushed for the puppies were right in front of her when I kicked them up. Spot is a Bud Bro and as I said last summer, he and his two brothers were practically born broke.
Dillie won’t be ready for a trial for awhile yet, but, despite the fact that she escaped again, she is making progress. She really impressed me the last couple days in the bird field as she stuck the first quail I think she’s come across and looked even better today as she demonstrated that she has an exceptional nose. As she stood there sucking in scent from a planted group of four quail she seemed to increase in stature as she raised her head higher and seemed to almost get up on her toes to get more scent.