2 replies [Last post]
Location: Phoenix Arizona
Joined: 07/17/2009
Posts: 9

Hi all.
I found this site while looking around for places to show the litter we just had.
I've looked around a little and this seems like a good site. So now a little about myself, "Martin" my wife "Julie" and our dogs.
In December of 1999 I got my first hunting dog, a Brittany pup I named "Rusty".
In the process of making a ton of mistakes in her training I ended up joining a club "The Arizona Hunting Dog Club".
The club has about 180 members that facilitates finding training partners. The club also holds their own club trials (non sanctioned). I had no clue what competition was all about but I went to a trial with a 6 month old Rusty and watched. Towards the end of the event I asked if I could pay an entry fee and try it out. It went OK and Rusty actually beat a couple of dogs.
We kept at it learning the ropes and actually starting to win and became dominant in the club. At the encouragement of a lot of members I decided to try for a "real" title for Rusty. I figured that AKC Field Trials were out of my league as I didn't have a horse. So we went into AKC Hunt Tests. One year later Rusty was a Master Hunter.
Along the way Julie got interested in the dogs and Rusty had a litter and we kept 2 females, Talon and Deni.

As we were finishing up Master a lot of judges were encouraging us to give Field Trialing a try,,,,,without a horse.

Jan. 2005 was our first AKC horseback trial. We took 2nd with Talon and 4th with Rusty in Open Gundog. We were thrilled and it wasn't till months later that we learned that Julie and Talon's Bracemate Jimmy Berneathy and Rumor Too had taken the # 1 Gundog in the Nation title for 2004! Coming in second to that level of competition really excited us.

We kept at it working hard and discovered that a foot handler can definantly win in horseback stakes.
Probably one of our proudest achievements was in 2006 when Rusty and all 3 of her pups that were competed from her first litter qualified to run in the Brittany Gundog National Championships.

We are also into big game hunting and of course birdhunting.

Ther is a lot more info about us and our dogs on our website.


Don Fischer's picture
Location: Antelope, Ore
Joined: 03/24/2005
Posts: 3206

Welcome again Martin! The way you got going in trials sounds pretty close to how a lot of people get going. AKC foot handlers up here have not faired well. Not that they don't have some good dogs but the judges up here when I trialed just didn't want to fool with them. They would run a foot handler to death! I really wish that all handling was foot handling. The hores's get abused in my opinion. To much handling with the horse, to much double handling with scouts, to fast a pace set. Horse's were first used as a convience for pro's that had big strings of dogs, it got out of hand.

Dog's get pretty addictive don't they!!!

Location: Phoenix Arizona
Joined: 07/17/2009
Posts: 9

Don't get me wrong. There are two judges that will never see my dogs again.
They make it quite clear that no matter what the rules say, they don;t think a foot handler has any buisiness in a horseback stake.

Their loss.

You can't really blame the handlers, especially the pros (who are trying to make a living) for pushing the limits as far as the judges will let them.

On the other hand the interest in walking trials has seemed to increase the last couple of years. I expect this trend to continue as the economy struggles and people cut back where they can.

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