Chesapeakes and their owners started arriving n Cheraw in
anticipation of the competition that starts on Tuesday. Some brown
dogs competed in trials this weekend. Success went to Linda
Harger with a JAM in the Amateur, Bruce Ahlers 4th in the
Qualifying, Michelle Dunn 3rd in Derby and Jane Pappler 3rd in
Qualifying in the VA trial. Others did some training with their dogs
8:30am found trucks and cars in a caravan off to Society Hill area
to the excellent training grounds. Thanks to Johnny Fogle, Mike
Coutu and Robert Post for their time spent setting up marks for all
of us to train on and supplying 70 live fliers to get our dogs "up"
for tomorrow's competition. 6 pm cocktails and dinner were a big hit
for about 90 people at El Shreif Restaurant. Introductions were made
by Mike Coutu, a short informal meeting by president Joanne Silver,
followed by dinner and the calcutta. Then it was off to air
dogs and our nice hotel rooms.
After a day of being with the dogs in the fields, everyone was very
hungry. Supper was pork bar-b-q, coleslaw, beans and yummie peach
cobbler with southern sweet tea.
Wednesday: a beautiful day in Cheraw, temps about 76 and a nice
breeze going. Supper was a sausage, potato, corn and shrimp boil.
Delicious and everyone wanted more. Marston Jones did his usual job
as auctioneer for donated items of various origins. Awards were
given out of the Open and Qualifying. A fun time was had by all.
Another late and enjoyable evening.
Barbara and Fred - On The Road Again
Little Color Commentary from the 2013 ACC National Field Trial
Wednesday Evening, October 30, 2013: Musings ..
It's been more than a few years since our last 'On The Road Again’
Color Commentary. We are so pleased and impressed with this year's
Specialty we have to comment.
The venue – the H. Cooper Black Jr.
Memorial Field Trial and Recreation Area– is a gem of the State of
South Carolina. We are fortunate the Field Trial Committee was able
to secure this site for the Specialty. The bar has been raised yet
again! We have seen phenomenal dogs and handlers running stakes that
were challenging but fair. As always, we are amazed what dedicated
owners, trainers, and handlers can achieve with our breed. That of
course is based on good foundation breed stock.
In our week in the Carolinas, we encountered dozens of people and
have consistently been impressed by not only the civility but the
downright friendliness and politeness of everyone we have
encountered. Three cheers for the Carolinians. Thanks to the
support of ACC members, the fundraising drawing was successful and
in a first (that I can remember), all 4 prizes were won by ACC
members, 2 of whom were present! The logo clothing store was
likewise successful and swamped with shoppers. Marston Jones picked
everyone's pockets at the Calcuttas and raised a boatload of money
with the auction. (Thank you to the donors of top notch items to
sell!) As we were told to expect GREAT BBQ on just about every
corner, in just about every gas station. Hog heaven for BBQ lovers
like us. Being from the Northeast we don't get to Waffle Houses
much and made a late night run for a snack. It was just what we
I will leave results reporting to others –those with more nimble
fingers– but want to mention just 1. The newly elected ACC-AKC
Representative, Dr. Tim Carrion (MD), won the Open All-Age Stake and
was awarded the ACC's oldest traveling trophy –in fact, the oldest
trophy in retrievers– The Skipper Bob Trophy. We saw Tim run his
dog and the accolades were richly deserved. All the competitors
deserve a hearty round of applause. We enjoyed seeing our old
Chesapeake friends from across the country and around the globe. We
saw friends from Idaho, Montana, California, Minnesota, Maryland,
Virginia, Germany, Canada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Missouri, Nebraska
and on and on and on. We were particularly pleased to see an
increasing gallery of spectators. In some years, the 2 of us have
just about been the gallery! This year there were people from
around the country and world, some visiting their first Field
Specialty, others, checking out our breed or looking to connect with
friends and breeders. Growth and increasing support of field events
is a good thing!
Johnny Fogle and Mike Coutu, this year's Co-Chairs, George
Marthinuss, Chris Locklear, and Robert Post are this year's Field
Trial Committee. They did the heavy lifting. THANK YOU,
gentlemen. Plenty of other people volunteered too, from marshals to
gunners. Thanks to you all. A grand time was had by this couple and
sooooo many others who were lucky enough to attend.
Saturday Afternoon, November 2, 2013: Afterthoughts
We spent all of Thursday at the Amateur All-Age. We've
generally roamed around, coupla’ hours here, hour there, so this was
different for us. This year we sat through the Open then Amateur,
from start to finish. We missed action and excitement at the other
stakes but experienced those 2 competitions –the dogs and handler
teams– from start to finish. While we've been going to Field Trial
Specialties for 15 years, every trip reinvigorates our attachment to
this breed and respect for these breeders/trainers/owner/handlers.
Even after watching the test dog, it's still hard to visualize the
marks/lines from the handlers' eyes. Handle now? Wait? Will she
drift right or left? Did he commit? Where's the wind? Should've
gotten the scent. Darn. From 25 yards behind the handler/line we
watch and wonder. But the handler has the best view and knows and
has trained with the dog. Got to trust the dog, … until you have to
step in. And once in a while, you have to pick up your dog.
Disappointment all around. By the very end, the crowd had thinned
down, even some of the winners had left. Besides awarding the
remaining stakes winners, the very impressive group of American
Chesapeake Club traveling field trophies were awarded. Tim Carrion
was awarded the Dual AFC Tiger's Cub CD Trophy (Best Amateur
Handler). The Sareks were awarded the Heller Trophy (Amateur
All-Age Stake Winner), Marlene Drag (and Bruce Ahlers), Michelle
Dunn, Ed Bahr and James Scroggins also took home traveling trophies.
Bravo. Bravo. Bravo!
With all the old friends we saw and new friends we made, we missed
others. Some have moved, some have moved on from field trials or
even moved on from dogs altogether. We take a moment to remember
those that were lost and those who can’t travel any longer. What
wonderful memories. Happy trails to all. Maybe we'll see you next
year in Washington.
Barbara and Fred, 'On The Road Again' - ACC Field Trial Specialty,
October 29 – 31, 2013, Cheraw, SC 29520