dog killed at Master Nat [Archive] - RetrieverTraining.Net - the RTF

: dog killed at Master Nat

09-02-2004, 11:45 PM
I just read in my new Retriever news that a dog number 115 was killed running MAster Nationals test. (ST LOUIS) Can anyone tell me who the dog and owner were,
How sad I agree 100% with the writer of that article

Kristie Wilder
09-03-2004, 06:54 AM
I wasn't there and I'm only going on what I heard, but I believe the dog died when it hit a ditch... Very sad...

Edit: Just found and read the letter. not sure how I missed it. Very very sad. Wish I hadn't read it. But now I'm wondering if it should be possible for handlers to walk the test before it runs. How could you do that without really screwing the test up? I've only run one test where I felt there was a danger. All of the handlers were concerned at setup with one portion of a ditch hidden by tall grass. We ribboned off the area so handlers would know it was there and could avoid it if necessary. It was up the middle of two falls and some dogs did occasionally veer in that direction, although I don't think anyone ever had to handle to avoid it. But, still, it's not worth the risk.

I agree with the author regarding judges responsibility. A friend had a similar incident last weekend at a hunt test up north. A dog he ran for a client suffered a concussion when it hit a hidden ditch. He doesn't feel either of the judges ever walked the test. That's a shame.

I'm glad for the letter, though. It will make me be even more judgmental in looking for dangers to our dogs.


Steve B.
09-03-2004, 08:04 AM
It's hard to believe the judges didn't do a walk through of the land prior to the test. Or did they think the ditch wouldn't be a issue?? Only they know.

Emily Faith
09-03-2004, 01:59 PM
I believe the dog that died belonged to Greg Mourges. That was several years ago, mid to late 90s.

Bob Gutermuth
09-03-2004, 07:22 PM
Yes, the year was 1996. The grounds were walked.

John Gassner
09-06-2004, 03:18 PM
The lines to the marks were walked. The washout was to the left of the mark and short, near the woods. The washout was NOT discovered because it was NOT walked. It was not way off line. The judges also eliminated any dog that moved on the line.


09-06-2004, 03:45 PM
Look only some of what happen scan be forseen. So Before all you righteous folks grab your stones remember when you trained in a new field and simply walked the straight line to your station and all the dogs ran somewhere else. But that said judges, chairmen, club members also have a responsibilty to think about the safety of our wonderful animals
who go because we ask/tell them to. It may take a little more time but
we should all remember to try and help judges. and we should all Knock on wood.
Sorry for the owner and of course the dog.

John Gassner
09-06-2004, 08:57 PM

I don't think righteous, or self-righteous accurately describes my feelings about this. I simply wanted to clarify that the judges didn't walk that part of the field where the dog died. The judges have stated when it happened that they didn't know that the ditch existed. I believe them and feel sorry for all that were involved.

It's always a judgement call on how far to look for dangers. Many dogs have been killed or injured by crossing roads while competing. If the Washout had been 150 yards in the woods and a dog ran into them out of sight... then what?

All I know is this incident has made me a better and safer judge, marshal, and trainer. The Amateur that I judged this weekend was on grounds with washouts and cattle ruts. I can only tell you that we changed and scrapped tests due to this as well as postponed the start of tests until we had reasonably filled in or covered with holding blinds, etc. any known hazards.

Handlers were informed of any known dangers. I was thanked by several handlers after the trial for this attention. I would want and expect no less from others who may judge my dog.

You cannot take away all the dangers in a field trial. We should all try to minimize them, however. This is what really rubbed me the wrong way with certain judges attitudes recently in Colorado. Their attitude was unforgiveable.

We learn from our mistakes (and others) only if we don't repeat them.