Spring 2005 Field Trial Results
2005 Fall Field Trial Results
Most of the Georgia Brittany Club members showed up on November 11th, Friday, to get ready for the running of the 2005 Fall field trial. The grounds at the J.L. Lester WMA had been groomed before the event and the weather forecast was good for the weekend. A few members rode the fencelines and repaired any breaches and the birds were put in the holding pen as members and newcomers staked out their horses and dogs.
Saturday was a frosty 31 degrees with clear skies. The puppy stake started at the appointed time, 8:00AM, and even without birds released the a first brace pup got up a covey at about the half way mark. The rest of the stakes went smoothly and finished the puppy, open gun dog, and derby stakes. By mid-day everyone was stripping down to their tee-shirts as the temperatures reached into the upper 70's. That night everyone gathered in the clubhouse for placements and happy hour snacks, followed by a wonderful bar-b-q feast put on by the Paulks and Phillips.
Saturday night there was a light rain and a warm front moved in. There was a very light rain as the first braces went out and by mid-day the cloudy skies threatened but did not produce any more rain. The Open All Age and Amateur Gun Dog went on without a hitch and we finished up all of the stakes by 4:30PM.
Everyone at the trail pitched in to make this event a success and thanks goes to all of those who helped. A special thanks to Scott and Rhonda Ackerman who were always on hand doing whatever was needed to "get'r done" and stepped in to any job that was needed as well as act as the main hosts. You guys are the best. Thanks to the Paulks, the Phillips, and the Hudsons who's whole families got involved in everything from meal preparation to bird planting. Thanks to Rhonda's mom who made the home made lunches that everyone feasted on (and she even brought the hot sauce and Fritos to go with the chilie). A big thanks to the judges who did their best to "get it right". And thanks to all of those new, and old, that showed up to run their dogs, ride the braces, or just watch, which is why we have a trail.
The following are the judging results of the trial.
The grounds are a series of pivot irrigated cotton fields bordered by pine forests, feed patches, duck ponds, and planted cover.
The crops had been harvested and brush hogged so there were vast clear areas to show the dogs.
When Scott Ackerman and I looked over the grounds and laid out the courses the weekend before the trial we were a little concerned that the edges might be too far away. As it turned out most of the dogs amazed us with their performance.
THE WEEKEND STAKES
The trial started on what turned out to be a day most southerners will remember as the "ice day" of 2005 spring. A major weather front closed down I-85 / I-75 in Atlanta and freezing rain left several inches of ice over North and South Carolina. Fortunately Cordele, Georgia was just south of the ice line and the roads were clear and the ice formed only on the trees.
We had some light rain and near freezing temperatures but both courses were up and running. The open fields and distant edges brought out the "big run" in all of the dogs. By the end of the first day we had finished the puppy, derby, part of the amateur all age and much of the open gun dog.
Near the end of the first day someone mentioned that it was amazing that no dogs had been lost and so it would of course happen that the last brace of amateur all age lost a dog that took to 8:00 PM to locate.
On Sunday we had a fog delay but the weather was warmer and the sun came out and burned off the haze.
On Monday we had fog move in and the hour all-age stakes were delayed until about 10:00 AM. This day we got two braces completed in the morning and two in the afternoon and it was decided to run the event over until Wednesday. Everyone there was elated at the opportunity to take the time to run the stake at a leisurely pace.
On Tuesday running started on time and the weather cooperated with warmer temperatures and a clear day.
Since rain was on tap for Wednesday some of the folks who did not have dogs in the stake or had already run chose to get out while the mud was a little drier.
Wednesday the rain
started to move in. The last brace was completed early in the afternoon.
Those going to the Bama trial got word that the grounds there were open
for them to arrive early and so headed that way.
The Georgia Brittany Club wants to thank everyone that helped make this trial possible:
Our judges - for enduring extreme weather and riding conditions and taking the time to make this one of our most memorable trials.
Red Pebble Farms - for
extending us gracious hospitality and providing us every necessity that we
asked for. Please visit their web site and book a hunt with them. Tell
Frank that you came from the Georgia Brittany Club group.
Dave and Sara King - for suggesting this venue and helping us to set up using the grounds. Also thank you for helping setting up the courses.
The Dog Wagon Drivers - especially Scott Ackerman, Joel Paulk & Keith Phillips without whose help the trial would have come to a stand still. Getting dogs to where they needed was a huge task in the inclement weather and the muddy farm roads.
The bird planters - who took on the extra burden for their horses and themselves to make sure that every dog had his or her chance to show bird work (and there was plenty).
Rhonda Ackerman - for doing all of the paperwork, keeping up with the entries, and always being in a good mood despite difficulties.
The Pros - who not only filled the numbers of the open stakes but helped at every opportunity to make the trial a success.