ACC National Specialty Show
Sept 24-28, 2003 -  E. Lansing, Michigan


Tracking Test at the 2003 Specialty
by Sally Gervin, Tennessee

Trackers usually get to write about their track when they title and seldom do we get to write about our failing experience!   

      Chesavieda's Wimico, CGC   3/5/2001   (His first tracking test -  going for his TD title)
     The tracking day began with the draw for tracks in the ACC Hospitality Room at 7:30 a.m.  As is usual with tracking tests, someone had come up with a clever and cute way of hiding the track numbers and this day they were in baby shoes.  Being the first to draw, I naturally picked the one brown shoe.  It had a number 4 between two little biscuits in the toe of the shoe. After numbers were drawn, we all followed the test secretary to the first track.  A lovely alfalfa field that actually had the first three tracks.  When the first three dogs passed, the pressure turned up a bit.  While it is possible and even desirable for all the dogs to pass, it seldom happens.  Mico's track was in a different field but still alfalfa.  Mico was ready to track and headed for the first flag with purpose.  He moved through the legs and turns with relative ease, dragging me behind him.  Then we hit an area that I guessed to be near the end where he really started hunting for the track.  Knowing he was having difficulty, I tried backing up to where I knew we had been on the track, but in the wide open alfalfa field it was difficult to know exactly where we had been.  The whistle blew and I knew we had given it our best.  A surprise came when one of the judges told me that the track had a "problem" and we would be given another track. 

After the two TDX tracks were run (neither dog was able to complete their track) we got another try on another alfalfa field.  This time with a bit of a stiff breeze.  Mico didn't start like the ball of fire in the earlier track and kept lifting his head and sniffing the breeze--he was no fool, he knew that the glove was in that direction, but unfortunately he wasn't interested in following the track to get to the glove.  After all, isn't the shortest distance between two points usually a straight line.  Whistle again.  In spite of the problem track, it was a good day with good tracking dogs and handlers and we even got a little glass plate to remember the day.   

Note:   A l0 year old Shelty, a Labrador and a Cocker Spaniel did pass the TD.  

National Specialty TDX Test
by Doreen Palmer, MD

The Specialty Committee did a wonderful job of putting together the tracking test for both the TD and TDX levels. The fields and tracks were lovely. The Judges were friendly, helpful and obviously wanted to see all the dogs pass, as did the entire Tracking Committee, tracklayers and all involved in the tracking test. There were 2 TDX tests, with one being run by a Black Lab and the other was run by my Chessie Piper. (Eastern Waters Hornpipe VCD2, UDT, MX, MXJ).   I wish I could say that both entries had passed but it wasn't to be.  Piper and I were #1 for the draw and I pulled the 2nd track of the day.  The Lab ran the first track and appeared to have difficulty with the stiff wind that blew up over a ridge line and spilled down across the 2nd leg. I don't believe he was able to find the turn, but could be wrong as we couldn't see that portion of the test.  Piper started her track off strong but overshot the first corner. She eventually found it but wasn't really on the track for most of the 2nd leg.  She was distracted by the horses across the road, something she's never seen before and never really was able to focus after that. She cut the 2nd turn and came upon the cross track and took it, much to my dismay. Once we got her past the first set of cross-tracks she had no problems, but by then it was too late. I'd like to thank everyone who was involved in setting up the tracking test. Even though we didn't pass, we had a wonderful time.  Thanks again.                               Doreen & Gary Palmer and Piper, Maryland

Anyone who received awards in the competitions and would like pictures posted, send picture to Jane P for listing, preferably via email.  Thanks to Gail Ferguson, CA, for typing the results.

ACC Show Coverage and Pictures by Jane Pappler
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