There would have to be a serious crunch on time or resources for me to throw a single in a Derby.
I saw a retired single in the fourth series in the Spillway at Norco about 4 years ago. This pair of judges had already thrown a single in the first series. The word was that they might have to go a fifth series. When it was all said and done, they finished on the single. So...a four series derby with 6 marks. They had the resources to do doubles all the way through.
I just don't like singles in the Derby. Period.
However, if it must be done, the double following the single must be TOTALLY out of the test, i.e. downwind and not visible to the dog at any time prior to completing the single.
The primary negative connotation is that the only conflict you can throw into a single is terrain or cover, a retired gun (which I don't think even you would do in first series derby, Jerry!), or something of that ilk. Personally, in a derby first series, I think it's important to see if they can count to two...and then move on from there.
While we're at it, I don't like triples or retired guns in the Derby...but that belongs on another topic.
There have been two occasions where I have set up the single followed by a double. The last time was when you were judging here. But you know the circumstances of that trial. We had dogs blow it on the single (dead bird) but in my opinion, the single had no effect on the double.
I have run a Derby where all four series consisted of singles. Jay Walker judged and it was an a$$ kicker.
I feel that if the single has any sort of thought put into it, it's a valid test. Then look in some other direction and run the double while you have the handler on the line. Regardless of how simple the single might be, some dogs are gonna screw it up. How many National dogs blow the customary Double, followed by a blind?
I've never set up a retired gun in the Derby, only seen it three times, but I don't think the fact that the gun retired had too much negative effect on the performance of the dogs. The terrain was the factor, probably didn't need to retire it and might have gotten the same results.
Just have a problem with blanket statements about a single followed by a double in the Derby.
The problem with the single/double is that the location of the double gun stations frequently influence the single mark by being too tight. This is especially true when the single is retired and there is wind coming from the flyer crates of the double. Now instead of a true marking test, you begin introducing more all-age type factors into the test. I guess it depends on what type of training the judges are looking for in the dogs that ultimately determine the type of test they choose.
It can be DONE right, but MOST of the time it is used to get done with it. Open judges don't rush through their setups, most Am judge don't. So why should derby judges be in such a hurry to get through? More that just something that is mechanicly wrong, it the mental attitude of lets get this done.
If you been trusted to do a derby (and the weather is fine and entrys are reasonable), you should bring the dogs to the line 4 seperate time. You should as a judge put in the effort to find 4 legitimate Derby tests. Yes there are time when we have to take short cuts, but you as a Derby judge own just as much attention and time to a Derby field as you would to a Open field as a Open judge.
Question - Would you ever do a single and a double in an Open and call it two series?
C'mon G-man, in what lifetime is a Derby Judge given even remotely the same consideration as an Open . That's the most outrageous statement I've ever seen you make. "just show up about noon Sat, set something up and run the dogs". Does that statement ring a bell with you? It should.
We ran four series, a single and three doubles, so the dogs picked up seven birds instead of eight. The last series was "dictated" by the Gestapo, and the weather, due to the Open right next door and you know that.
Was I, and my co-judge, happy with it?? No way. Did the contestants have complaints? Probably, and also probably justified. Regardless of what we tried to do, we still lost the grounds, didn't we?
You do the best you can with the available resources. The Open screwed EVERYTHING up by blocking the ONLY entrance to the whole damn place, ALL weekend.
"This is where you will run your water and ALL vehicles must park off the grounds and the handlers will have to walk their dogs to the line so as not to interfere with the Open."
OK, now I'm through venting about that deal. Onward and upward.
Yes, it can be done correctly. More often than not it is done poorly.
I would rather see a tough, stand alone single than a single/double. But, this creates time management issues. Anytime there is time constraints, some judges panic and the test suffers. Too often this happens in the derby and amateur.
You have never seen judges get freaked with an 80+ dog amateur to do in 2 days. Although it may have a specific start time, shear numbers and time allotment become a problem. Test quality often suffer for "quick" answers.
When Jay sets up a single you can bet it is all you are gonna want to see. I think it is when a young judge does it, that doesn't yet have the experence to 'read' the factors, or it is done with a double over the top of it that people have a reason to be unhappy.
I have seen the large entries, ran a 70 dog Derby, Dr. Davey won it, "Pepper" got a jam. Drank "coffee" with a "head" on it on the prison grounds of Tennessee. Ate a "pig" in Kansas, killed a rattlesnake in NM, stood in awe as a drunk Judge awarded a Jam to a friend in OK that was dropped in the second series.
One doesn't have to be around FT's too many years to see the extremes.
BUT, those are the extremes, not the norm.
Unfortuantely, I have not been in Texas since I went snow goose hunting there 15 years ago. I try to get down to Georgia sometime during the winter to do some training.
If you are ever up in New England, you are more than welcome to train at my place. Right now we have a trial here in September, and I hope to hold a spring trial as well. I am just having fun "improving" the grounds. Gives me an excuse to play with the toys.
Yes Jerry, you will see weird things over the years - that does not mean you should emulate them. I don't know about anyone else - But when I am judging a Derby - I do my damn best to start on the time on the premium. I take as much care with each mark as I do with each mark in any Open I judge. I AM NOT LOOKING at my watch saying I want to be home by 2 pm Sunday afternoon. Try my best to have at least 4 legit derby DOUBLES. Have done a single on Saturday night just not to burn 2 hours of daylight and not to split test. But dogs in that derby got 9 BIRDS not 7 or 6.
When YOU judge a 70 dog derby, or it is pouring or could pour down rain - you have my permission to do a single and a double LOL - only make sense. Buy the way, now that the 3DQ is gone, looks like most derbys are going to around 25 dogs.
The name comes from the two birds I prefer to shoot: Canada geese and Canvasbacks. We have a whole lot of Canadas, but I only have one place on Cape Cod to shoot Canvasbacks. Unfortunately, they were closed again this year. Best shoot I ever had on Canvasbacks was on Lake Winnipegosis in Manitoba. The limit was 6 a day and they flew all day!
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