Saturday, June 21, 2008

Comments from the judges...

...........................Photo from left to right, Bruce Ahlers, DVM, Roger Fangsrud and Steve Kompf.

I was fortunate to visit with the judges and will pass along some of their thoughts regarding this National.

From Steve Kompf: "We've had such a great group to work with and all of the committees have worked hard to provide good mechanics. Look, we've not really had any late nights out here and that's saying something for this number of dogs. And regarding the dogs entered, overall as a group they are very nice dogs and watery dogs. It's good to see.

"We hope we've put marks out there and not just birds placed where you have to run forever to get to them. Each of us has had input for bird placement...we all have strong personalities but we've shown we can sit back and listen, too. Any time we've had differences we've been able to move on from them.

"The toughest thing is to get numbers down. It must be done. And we've found out it's very difficult to evaluate the work as a whole to do that."

Roger Fangsrud shared: "I can't say enough about the mechanics of this field trial. They've kept the timing right on and it's been impressive.

"And the throwers are the best I've ever worked with...they volunteer with enthusiasm and they can sure throw!" [Kudos to Co-Chairs of the Bird Throwers, Alan Pleasant and Hugh Arthur, and their committee.]

"My feeling on the type of dog we're looking for is one where marking is the most important quality of all. We may be looking at the blinds a little less but of course they still count. We want to see natural marking and how it overpowers training.

"And I just love the area and the people here.

"As far as my co-judges go, well, we are partners in crime, and we lucked out as a group...we really get along."

And Bruce Ahlers, DVM, contributed the following: "This has been just beautiful countryside for a National. We've wanted to have tests to bring out the flavor of the area and the characteristics specific to this area. That's why we've used these beautiful stick ponds and the things you've seen.

"I'm really pleased with my two co-judges, we've gotten along great and we've fed off each other to put up tests that we feel are quite challenging.

"Bird placement is key to bringing out the best marking ability in these dogs, and to showcase those with great style and desire. That's what we're looking for. We don't want to just keep eliminating dogs until there's one left that hasn't handled. We want a National Champion that is a stylish and wonderful marker that is a pleasure to watch."