The Dachshund Club of America National Field Trial took place at the Maryland Beagle Club grounds on April 13-14. The roll call was taken on Saturday, April 13, at 6:45 AM. All the stakes were run consecutively in this order: Open All-Age Dogs (judged by Julie Couch and Connie Fisher), Field Champion Dogs (Alan James and Julie Couch), Open All-Age Bitches (Janet M. Schwalbe and Alan James) and Field Champion Bitches (Janet Schwalbe and Connie Fisher). The picture below, which shows the judges was taken at the end of the trial. Julie Couch came to judge all the way from Oregon!
|From left: Connie Fisher (VA), Julie Couch (OR), Alan James (NC) and Janet Schwalbe (GA).|
The weather conditions were just right as this picture of the sunny and crisp morning shows. The rabbit situation was as described in my previous post: there were too many rabbits and the cover was very sparse. The entries were rather high with 20 OAADs, 31 OAABs, 31 FCDs and 38 FCBs.
At field trials you get to see all kinds of dachshunds as they come in two sizes and three coat varieties. I don't know the stats for the dachshunds participating in the national field trial, but my impression was that we had a lot of mini longs, standard longs and standard wires. I saw very few mini smooths. Many of standard longs were huge, close to 30 lbs. In the United States the AKC conformation standard does not impose the maximum limit on the dachshund size, and many standard dachshunds of the American show type are big dogs, above 25 lbs.The picture below shows an example of the large standard.
John Merriman points the start of the rabbit trail to Pete Mercier and Lorraine Simmons, the handlers of two mini longs Trooper and Itsy.
Sylvan von Lowenherz is an example of the wirehaired dachshund bred to the FCI standard. Sylvan is small and agile, with a good ground clearance. She was bred by Laurel Whistance-Smith, and she placed 4th in the OAAB stake.
|This is one of Diane Sennett's mini longs. This color is called dapple.|
One of the attractions of field trials is camaraderie. As you can see we know how to have fun. What is a better way to spend a weekend than to be outdoors with your friends and dogs. Somebody said that dachshunds are like potato chips, you can't have just one. And when you have more than one, who can better understand you than other "dachshund people"? Field trials provide an opportunity to come together, compete with your dogs and learn more about other dogs that one day you might want to breed to.
After a fierce competition the Absolute Winner of the field trial was a young standard wire Edelweiss owned and handled by Gail Binder from Webster, NY. What a great achievement for this team! Edelweiss von Lowenherz was bred by Laurel Whistance-Smith, and she is Sylvan's littermate. It was a great weekend for Laurel. On Friday her young Strolch won the trial, and on Sunday it was Edelweiss' turn (Edelweiss is Strolch's daughter). Congratulations!
Some dogs such as Michael Pitisci's Brooke, Susanne Hamilton's Buster and Alice Moyer's Lance placed in both trials, and this was an accomplishment in itself. It was not our weekend though. I took with me Billy, Paika and Tuesday, and we came back with only one placement. There is a lot of luck involved in field trialling, and so many things can have a negative impact on a dog's performance: a poor release, wrong bracemate, the lack of scent when a brace is put on a rabbit doe, start in the area saturated in rabbit scent, windy conditions etc, etc.
Gail Binder's Edelweiss received a special trophy from Lorraine and David Simmons in memory of "Littlest", who passed this year.
The final picture of the day shows Gail Binder's Edelweiss with all the judges of the Absolute run.
You can see more pics taken at the Nationals by clicking here. Prints and downloads are available for purchase.