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Thread: US National Open

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2014

    US National Open

    I have been following the US national and am interested in other's opinion or thoughts.

    My biggest disappointment has been the lack of quality blinds ie. both water and land. It seems that something is missing ie. water on the water blind and terrain on the land blind. I find it interesting that on a double series ie. 5th and 6th that no dogs are dropped ie. 28 ran and 28 were back.

    It appears that "marking takes precident" is being carried to an extreme ie. very extreme technical and difficult marking set ups and very little challenge to the blinds.

    What are you thoughts?

  2. #2
    Sure looks like the blinds are throw-aways.

    Also interesting that with the huge investment of time & money on Judy`s part to improve already spectacular training grounds, the judges chose to run their 1st 3 series almost on top of one another (but scrapped the 1st blind).

    Running tight marks is clearly a decision on the judges` part, but doing it in every marking series would tend to favor a certain type of dog. I remember running a Canadian National where every marking series was very tight with marks as well being of similar distance: clearly some dogs understood & handled it well, but they were not tested on any other concepts. It`s interesting that these US judges have chosen to use these grounds in this way.

    Just as in Canada, US Nationals are required to run 10 series, evenly split between land & water. It will be interesting to see what they do tomorrow given what they have already run, and needing to get 2 series in.

    It will be enlightening to hear the perspective of folks who were there...

  3. #3
    I agree totally. The best grounds in the south were certainly not used to any extent.
    Leading up to the selection of a National site for this year it had been mentioned that since several Pros had access to the property it was not a good choice and perhaps better choices were available.
    Perhaps this thinking was carried through for test design as well....who knows

    I do know first hand how fantastic these grounds are.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Labber's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    I agree that marking is of primary importance in the overall assessment of natural ability.
    A wholly competent and exceptional retriever is one that has the ability to mark and remember falls, get to them directly, and take direction from it's handler when needed.
    The best hunting dogs, are the ones that get those birds that a lesser trained retriever would not. In my hunting conditions, more birds are retrieved through handling, than pure marking.(No mounds or mats in a marsh). Field trials and hunt tests challenge team work on many levels. It is not just about the dogs. It is about the team.
    A good quality blind, especially on land, where speed is a greater factor, is a very exciting part of any trial to watch, and take part in.

    It is tough to set up a land blind that gets answers in an all age stake, but the value of a well rounded and fully trained retriever needs to be respected.
    On another note, I could care less about honouring. haha
    You stay classy CHD.

  5. #5
    I was wondering whether there would be any breaks in the 2nd water series where they had that very short (47 yds) sluiced flyer with an honor....well disciplined dogs!

  6. #6
    The quality of grounds available to these judges was unsurpassed. Alas, the quality and number of dogs was an extreme challenge. As in other recent US Nationals, water has been almost taboo because of it's time factor. Instead we have seen very tight marks, killer hen pheasant check downs and some inconsequential blinds.
    I am a firm believer that a National winner should be an all around dog displaying great marking but also lining and blind control, obedience, style and courage! I happen to know that many AKC NFC NAFC have these traits but in reality they have not been required to display them.

    Often, rotation and luck have helped a lot. Nonetheless, Juice is a most worthy NFC Champion.

    We complain about our CKC National entries but for the most part we tend to test thoroughly on big land and water and on blinds and marks. We don't have the numbers and the competition and the flyers and the extremes but we have a good game. Our weekend trials are erratic. like those down south. Work is needed here! AND we need to support our Nationals!


    Last edited by RetrieversONLINE; 11-21-2017 at 12:41 AM.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2014

    I realize the size of the entries dictates what the judges have to do, but this does not make it fair to the competitors nor does it allow the best all around retriever to step forward. I also believe that the Canadian National gives the judges the best chance to test the dogs in multiple areas.
    Has the US National committee ever considered the possibility of increasing the number of days to hold their event. If time is an issue, why not give the judges an additional 3 days ie. start on Wednesday to fairly judges the dogs and handlers? I am quite sure that the increase in days would not effect the participation in their national.

    Regarding weekend trials.... when is the last time that we have had a judges seminar? And second question .... who would listen?

    Have a good winter.


  8. #8
    You're right about the Judges Seminar. It's difficult to get those who could benefit to attend. I think clubs should be very judicious when selecting people to judge.

    I train on the grounds selected for the US National, they do not come any better. This year's National certainly generates some questions.....

  9. #9
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    I think it was a travesty to utilize such a small amount of the available land that the judges had at their disposal. My view of every National(s) is that the very best tests should be constructed and utilized to test the field and as the field is diverse and so should the tests. My biggest pet peeve is that on the water tests no boats were used again. I love to use a field of hay bales but I think they were used too often in this National. That being said I think these were some of the best grounds for both tests and training. I love the drone overhead views as that added clarity to the ground views to give a more complete picture of what the tests looked like. I don't buy the time constraint issue when you have these quality grounds. I know of the time constraint issues with large entries but these grounds could have solved most if not all the time issues.
    I second that seminars are needed to educate the entire FT community, I would love to attend anything within a reasonable 6-8 hr driving distance.

    I concur with you Dennis Juice is a very deserving champion

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