Congradulations Dave!!!!Hey, thanks everyone for the well wishes! This was my first all-age placement so I was pretty pumped. When I got into this game, I did not realize how extraordinarily GOOD the competition is, and how much hard work it took to get a dog trained to that level. Let alone the handling ability it took to compete. I have tremendous respect for anyone who can handle a dog through 4 series.
Raymond, I'll keep my play-by-play short.
1st series: Triple with a short retired right bird (about 60 yards) thrown first, middle flyer at maybe 150 yards shot second left to right. A long out gun left maybe 300 yards behind a couple of ponds was the go-bird. I am guessing that maybe 10 dogs could not get the out of order flyer. Raven drilled the left and right bird and did a couple of little loops in the fall area before coming up with the flyer.
2nd series: Straight forward land blind through a tight keyhole at the end of the blind. Very easy to lose your dog behind trees and brush either side of the keyhole. My blind was just OK.
3rd series: Water blind, in the water, out over a dyke, in the water, over a point, swim the left side of a long island that angles right to left into the line to the bird. The back end of the island was online, so angle exit onto island & out and back into the water for another 75 yards in water, and finally up and out about 50 yards to the bird. This turned out to be very challenging. I would have put our blind in one of the top 5 of 14 that were run. I hacked up the front just a little trying to get the first point, then the middle and end were great.
4th series: Triple, one retired. Right hand retired, middle island bird, left down the shore long go bird. Raven hammered the left and middle birds. Then she comes back, sits down and looks right into where the retired landed. I take the bird, let her settle in, and just as I was about to send, a duck in flyer crates sitting on a trailer about 10 yards off the mat let out a BIG QUACK QUACK QUACK!. Raven actually stood up and turned, probably looking for a flyer to be shot. I had a heck of a time settling her back into the mark & she ended up going just left of the bird, swam a little long, got out, drove deep, and hunted out of site for a bit before swinging back in right on the bird. I swear she was going to hammer it before the distraction, but who knows for sure. The 4th series work was pretty rough for most of the field but a couple dogs did it really well. I believe they took the top 3 spots...
Two weeks in a row we made the water marks and in 5 blinds I got exactly one cast refusal that we got perfectly on the second try. So I am very happy with that girl's work on blinds right now.
Sounds like you have a good year in store!
I'm sorry I didn't see this sooner. Since my dogs are not running any trials right now, I have not been paying attention.