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redline said:
I think my husband's post was too cryptic!!

We live in the western suburbs of Chicago. There are NO good training areas around. We sneak in and out of factory complexes to train with bumpers only. Obviously, that is not enough. So, at some point we tend to send our dogs away to pros for training. And yes, like Howard, we love to train our dogs.

I will give you two personal examples of the money issue. Actually, I can give you more. I'll give you the success story first. As we have mentioned, we were very lucky and had a wonderful FC/AFC. For a few winters we sent her south with Mike Lardy. She also qualified and ran umteen National Amateurs. So, training was usually over $1,000 a month. pre-National training could be around $1,000, and then add up all the years of motels and meals and entry fees. Was it worth it? You bet.

Currently, we have a really nice male who probably won't get any further than what he has already accomplished. We've spent at least $12,000-15,000 on pro bills for him. He won a Q, got an Amateur 4th and JAMMed Opens while he was two. This past year he got his MH and was a finalist at the Master National. For three years he did nothing in trials. Quite frankly, I don't know if I can ever run another field trial with him.

We just spent about $6,000 on a young dog for basics training. She is a real puzzle and has decided she doesn't want to run for us. So as good as she supposedly looked at the trainer's, she has been dreadful in a couple of Derby's and certainly in training.

And we are not wealthy. We are average working people. We can't compete in field trials with those who have the money for a number of dogs in full-time training, who can also go out and buy the best if their current dogs are not competitive. It is SO tough. And the game is constantly changing and demanding such tough standards for tests and for dogs. An amateur dog has to be absolutely exceptional to compete. And the trainer has to have the resources - training places, training partners - time - and then money.

But ask any of us in this game - we still love it. It's addictive and serves our compulsiveness and perfectionist traits!

Peggy
I think Peggy summed most of it up with this post. Especially the money part. Like she said, a person may weed through alot of dogs to find the one dog that can and will do it. I think she gave some good examples of how quick the money can add up especially when you sink alot into a dog and it doesn't turn out. But like she said, we all still love it.
 

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RBP said:
From what I see most everyone is pointing out the negative to the jump to field trials. If your dog can do master work then going to the Qualifying should be no big jump. Depending on the judges, Qualiifying stakes are run with all gunners out and the blind is outside of the marks. Some judges will retire one mark.

If you train your dog on 100 yard marks and blinds you may have a problem. Learn to stretch your dog out on longer marks and blinds because if they can do the longer blinds and marks then there should be no problem doing the shorter ones.

I can only train on weekends, but still enjoy running the Open and
Amateur stakes. If I can make it to the blinds I feel I have acomplished something.

You pay your entry fees in field trials, which are similar to the entry fees in hunt tests. In the master, or any other stake, there is no guarantee you will be called back for the 2nd series or even qualify. Last hunt test I entered there were 44 dogs entered. 15 dogs were called back for the 2nd series.

In field trials they drop dogs to get to the last series to choose a winner. In hunt tests you still have to pass a standard. If you do not do the work you will get dropped no matter what game you are playing.
I agree with what you said about alot of master dogs being able to complete a Q but there probably aren't alot that could bring home the blue. Q blinds aren't always outside the marks either. The last Q I ran the blind was right between the flyer station and long bird. Not trying to stir the pot, just an observation. There are alot of nice Master dogs out there but competing against a standard and competing against a bunch of other nice dogs is a big difference. That is the hard part for me to swallow about FT's. I come home without a ribbon alot more than with a ribbon. It's all about competition though.
 

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RBP said:
There are several dogs that have done well coming from hunt tests. Don Wolf had Desert Storm. I know Lynn Yelton runs some of her dogs in hunt tests and Larry Wharton had FC/AFC Ko-z Acres McGyver MH (who is the sire of my older female).

I personally think that the master tests are more involved with walk-ups, diversion birds thrown in close to the dog returning with a bird, remote honors and every mark retired. Yes some qualifying blinds are through the marks but most master tests have the blinds through the marks.

In 2004 the field trial clubs will have the option to have an owner handler Qualifying stake where the amateurs will not have to go head to head with the pro's. Hopefully, this will get more hunt test people involved in field trials.
Don't forget Jerry Day's dog Sue. She's a good example of progressing to FT's. I agree 100% with you RBP about the trickiness in Master stakes, ie. remote honors, closely shot flyers, walk-ups. Those things can get pretty tough. A decent marking dog usually doesn't have trouble with HT marks, it's the other little things that will get you. Especially if you have a high-powered dog.
 

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Shayne Mehringer said:
I started in NAHRA. Got a wall full of ribbons and some titles... ran field trials, got a ribbon in everyone i ran my dawg in... now i'm looking for something more challenging!!!

Please do not ask me to apply actual numbers or colors to any of that... ruins the mood.

Shayne - Taught the macho dawg the Electric Slide last night... now all i need is some tricked up hair and we are ready to enter that freestyle stuff.
Hehehe :lol: :lol:
 
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