Well, I ran the WC today, it was my dogs first test, my first time running a dog, my first time being at a Retriever test or trial.... and I was up first! So the first dog I ever saw run was my own rookie dog, lol.. She's a 4.5 yrs old well bred BLF that up til now has been a meat dog. I dont have a HRC with in 2 hr drive so I train alone with my kids as bird throwers. I've read the reg's over and over again and watched youtube vids, but I wasnt sure of all the procedures by any means. I just happened to by standing beside a nice guy while we watched the test dog run and the word had already gone out that I was a COMPLETE rookie so he gave me a couple pointers about getting to the line so she'd focus on the first bird, turns out he was Judging the WCI and X too. I was called to the line and had the lead around Bailey's neck but she had already smelled bird and was keyed up, she backed out of the lead so i just walked to the line with her at heel. I settled her in on the bird thrower, signaled for the bird, had the shot, toss and waited a second after it landed then sent Bailey. She made an easy retrieve and came back to heel and delivered to hand, the judge reminded me that I was to wait for her to call "Dog", whoops I didnt know that.... Second bird was a longer retrieve, done well, with a slightly wide return loop, but very correct speed, heel and delivery. Woo hoo! very happy with it so far.... All 14 dogs in the test moved on to the water and I was up first yet again. My new friend Bruce showed me a better way to hold her on lead to release faster ( she's pretty steady but I wasnt going to take chances) First bird all went well, delivery to hand at heel ( slightly to wards the front of me, not excatly at heel.) Second bird she hesitated as the thrower/ shooter was in a canoe under some limbs and she took a couple seconds to clue in what was under those limbs. She then was off and made the retrieve to the shore line but dropped it at the waters edge but within my reach. I think she just realized the gallery was there and was confused, I forgot to give her a "hold" , then I called her to heel and sent her again, she bought it to hand and I was relieved. As I led her back through the gallery I got alot of good compliements for not panicking and grabbing it. I honestly felt sure I got it and was relieved. Alot of the dogs failed the water, some passed it but were repeatedly dropping both birds and had to really be encouraged to pick it up and bring back to the handlers area. While we waited for the judges a few of the other guys who`s dogs were sure to pass and the camera man asked if i was going to run her in WCI, I said I was if I had passed. The camera guy said no problem, the only thing he could recommend was I keep her back closer to my leg. Ribbon time came and of all the dogs who completed the test, I was the only one that got a fail..... I talked to the judges and the comments were, she `screwed around`too much on the entry on the second bird ( she paced within the limits of the handlers area for less then 15 seconds, and when I polite contested this the other judge claimed I smacked her on her nose, thus `intimidating` her... umm, no... I sure didnt, but what ever, I`m not the first handler to disagree with a call, but I am disappointed with the result, my dog acted better and made cleaner runs then most of the other passes, but it is what it is... I did learn alot today and do feel I was supported and well recieved. I`m not quiting the test game by any means but it was a let down.. Training continues in a couple hrs.