Yes it's true. After years of focusing solely on raising and training the best German Shorthaired Pointer Family Gun dogs possible in March of 2005 I attended and ran dogs in my first ever field trial. I believed that great hunting companions could also be great dogs in competition as well so I set out to see if I was right. Just three short weeks later we came home with our first placements.
Since that time we have accumulated over 150 placements in fewer than 50 trials. It has been wonderful to see that the same great dogs and their offspring that have given their all to us for so many years of hunting are also proving themselves quite worthy under judgment as well.
In the spring of 2006 near Socorro NM at the CNMBC trial we took a big step forward on the road to field trial success when Moose took his first ever placement in winning a 20+ dog 4 point major gun dog stake. I was as proud as any father at his kids college graduation ever was because only a few short months earlier Moose was "Just a pretty darn good hunting dog"! That win began a long line of successes that continue with every trial. We don't always win, no one "always wins" but we are always competitive, and we always have a good time.
FC Rincon Slick Runner "Bullett"
On Sunday January 25th 2009 we achieved yet another goal. Bullett finished earning his Field Championship (FC title) in impressive style by winning back to back major retrieving stakes on consecutive weekends. Yes we are very proud of this dog and very fortunate to have not only he but many of his offspring anchoring our line today.
Here's a real short Bio on Bullett:
For his first five years Bullett was my number one “go to bird finder” when the chips were down, while guiding wild bird hunts, no matter what species we were after or state we were in. By the time he was four he'd mastered every species of upland bird from Texas to Washington State. I can't count the coveys and singles he pointed nor the retrieves to hand which were well over four thousand before I ever saw my first field trial.
He was nearly six before I broke him steady to wing and shot (always let him break on the rise) and he finished his FC in under four years with all of his placements coming in adult "major" stakes. He accumulated 12 championship points by winning four of 6 trials over a 10 month period from Feb 14 08-Jan 24 09.
He'll be 9 in May and gets better every time we put him on the ground. The good Lord blesses a man very rarely as he has me with such great friends, mentors, and such a fine dog.
Bullett also had the honor of being the Number One Gun Dog in the United States in the May Issue of the Shorthair Journal and GSP Chronicle for the string of 5 consecutive wins, along with other placements in 2008-2009.
2009 Continues to see our offspring Shine.
Our Newest FC "Jonah"
FC Rainbow's Gone Overboard
Perhaps the proudest moment of my short field trialing career occurred on the weekend of Nov 14, 2009.
Running in the very last brace, of a three day trial and running as a bye dog, Jonah laid down one of the best Gun Dog performances I can remember seeing. As usual he flowed around the course without need of direction or handling, and had 3 just dead broke finds, one of which (his last actually) was a huge potential wreck with an entire covey running around in front of, all around, and underneath him. I could not have been happier with his performance. He apparently also showed the judges just what they needed to see to end their long day in the saddle with a smile and secured yet another four point major win. I have been promising my wife I would get this done for her for a year and a half and it was a promise I absolutely meant to keep. She almost fainted when I called to give her the good news.
On this weekend I was able to finish our 3rd Field Champion of the year. Jonah is the reason we met. I was judging a field trial in NM in October of 2006 when this little blazing ball of fur made me say "WOW!" as he left the line. He proceeded to lay down one of the best Derby performances I'd ever seen or that I've seen since. I was utterly enthralled watching this little dog bounce around all over the course hitting every possible objective that might hold a bird without even being handled.
I was fortunate that a few months later his owner/trainer and I fell in love and married and Jonah just became one of the "WildRose Gang". Since that time my amazement in this little dog has not waned an ounce. He remains one of, if not the most impressive Brittany I've ever had the pleasure to hunt, handle, or observe in the field and is absolutely something very special in the Brittany Breed. He has so many outstanding qualities it will be a tragedy if he does not get the opportunity to be bred, and frequently to the best bitches in the breed.
Jonah may well also be the cheapest FC in history, since he won his first ever adult stake he was entered in, and finished his FC after running in only three more! He actually finished even faster than Duke, who blew me away by doing it in only five trials earlier this year!
Jonah was also named in the American Brittany Magazine's August 2009 issue as the Sky Line Brittany Club's "Juvenile Field Dog of the Year" for 2006, and continues to roll on.
Jonah has continued his string of amazing performances with his latest win in New Mexico with a scorching All Age Performance in blistering heat in the high desert on 10-02-10.
FC Rockyhill Duke Wood
The 2009 Spring Trial season has been very good to us. Even though we attended very few trials, fewer than in any of the previous spring seasons, our dogs just got better and proved themselves all the way from AZ to Connecticut. To finish the season we attended the Greater Phoenix Brittany Club trial near Flagstaff, AZ and took home a total of six placements. One of those placements was a first in the Open Limited Gun Dog with "Duke" which finished his Field Championship with his fourth placement, third win, in just five trials this spring.
Duke is an amazing young dog (just under four years old) who only began his FT career as an adult in January of 2009. Duke is of course the product of "Bullett" and we are proud to say is the first Field Champion we have produced exclusively from our own breeding program.
Duke is a wonderful young dog whom has just begun his career so it's going to be a lot of fun see what he grows into as he matures over the next few years.
FC/AFC WildRose Hemlock Heidi
Heidi, another daughter of Bullett at just 21 months of Age has already finished her AFC title. Not only that she's lacking just one more win to finish her FC as well! We could not be more proud either for her, her Owner John Sullivan of Oregon, nor her father Bullett who continues to prove he can produce greatness for both hunting companions, and dogs that earn respect competing at the highest levels. Of course Heidi was just supposed to be a "nice little hunting dog" but John made the mistake of entering her in a puppy stake, the rest is HISTORY!
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