This past weekend was the end of the spring field trial season for the Wild Apple dogs. Our next trial will hopefully be on wild birds in late August. Over the weekend the Wild Apple dogs did quite well. Tim Kisieleski took his dogs Wild Apple Calvados and Wild Apple Polka Dot and headed to Southern New England where he ran in the Ocean State Bird Dog Club’s open walking stakes on Saturday. Dottie had a good day with a first place finish in the puppy stake and then followed that up with a second in the open derby. This was her first derby placement and Timmy passed on the check to get the amateur win certificate for Dottie which will qualify her to run in all the wild bird championships in the Northeast this fall if she’s ready. On Sunday the BAT was over in Connecticut for the amateur horseback stakes at Flaherty. Dottie stayed in the truck but Brandy took second place in the amateur horseback derby which was both hers and Timmy’s first horseback placements. I expect they’ll both be back playing horsey games next spring.
I headed over to the Mid Coast Maine club’s half hour single course trial in Prospect, ME that is run on Al Robbins’s training grounds. He has laid the course out so that we start way up on the side of a hill and then go mostly down hill for 30 minutes. You would think that would be a good thing, but after two days of going down the mountain the muscles around my shims were pretty sore. The Wild Apple dogs that went to Maine also had a pretty good weekend. Wild Apple Samantha placed second in the open derby both Saturday and Sunday. Both days she ran much more independent races than had been her pattern previously. She is fast and snappy with a lot of eye appeal and this weekend the folks that got to see her saw the potential I thought she had finally come out. It was a good end to her derby career and hopefully a harbinger that she will be competitive in the woods in the future although you always have to temper your expectations for a dog in its first shooting dog season.
Wild Apple Spot continued to find his way into the ribbons with a second in the Open Puppy on Saturday and a third in the Open Derby. Those placements made him 10 for 10 in field trial starts since the first of the year. His race on Saturday was the best I’d seen him go since his eye injury in Kentucky and he was placed based on his race as he went bridless in the afternoon heat. Sunday, I turned the handling duties over to Mike Flewelling as there was pressure from some quarters to get Spot an amateur placement. He did not place on Sunday but I learned some things about Spot that were very informative. Some dogs are very dependent on their handlers and don’t adjust easily to being run by someone else. Mike and I have similar handling styles but it was something different for the puppy to handle. He went around the course as most as nicely as he did on Saturday. Listening to Mike when he needed to and constantly driving to the front especially on the few occasion when his bracemate got ahead of him. He’s still got an entire derby season to get an amateur placement and I’m pretty sure we’ll be able to get that done. Mike did offer me two shotguns, a blank check from Tim for fixing his dog trailer, and a really nice canoe for Spot. It was a tempting offer but I think Spot’s going to stay right where he is.
A number of Sam’s littermates also placed in Maine. Wynot Whitney was third in the shooting dog on Saturday, Whynot Adam was first in Sunday’s derby, and Hank won the gun dog stake. Great weekend for the program as well as a good time as the folks at MidCoast always go out of their way to make everyone feel welcome. Their fall cover dog championship in late September is one worth attending. Sam, Spot, Brandy, maybe Dottie, and I will all be there. Hopefully Tim’s dogs Rigby and former winner of the event Annie will be up for another season on the wild bird circuit as well.