On Thursday, April 11, Dachshund Fanciers Association of Berks County ran two stakes, 32 Field Champion Dogs and 36 Field Champion Bitches. FC Dogs were judged by Susan Fuller and Michael Pitisci, while FC Bitches were judged by Pat Warble and Susan Fuller. Susan flew all the way from California. On Friday Metropolitan Washington dachshund Club ran two open stakes, and the entry was 20 dogs (judged by Teddy Moritz and John Merriman) and 36 bitches (judged by Alice Moyer and Lorraine Simmons).
Maybe because this year we are having a late spring the grounds looked bare. The grass had just started to grow, but altogether the cover was sparse. In addition to insufficient cover there were way too many rabbits. While it is nice to have rabbits for the sake of expediency in the trial, too many rabbits are not a good thing. A brace is supposed to be put on one rabbit and to follow the scent trail of this one specific rabbit. This is hard to do it when a half dozen rabbits are flushed out of the same brush pile. In one section of the grounds there were so many rabbits that first beaters performed "rabbit cleansing" by flushing as many rabbits as they could and then tried to beat out single rabbits to be trailed by dogs. While grounds like this might be suitable for brace beagles they are not suitable for dachshunds, which run more like SPO beagles. They run much faster than brace beagles and range wider. They were bumping rabbits all over the place.
|This picture illustrates well how the grounds looked like.|
While the weather seemed ideal on Thursday, cool, partly sunny, with good moisture, Friday morning was tough. We had a heavy rain while Open Dogs were running, and perhaps this would explain their poor performance. Judges gave dogs many opportunities to work, but in the end they had to withhold two placements for the lack of merit.
Below are some pictures shot on Thursday and Friday. I took a camera to the field when it was not my turn to run our dogs and when the weather allowed it. I ran Billy, Paika and Tuesday. It was Tuesday's first trial, and my conclusion was that she is a mean rabbit hunting machine, and needs some serious obedience work. She placed 2nd in the stake of 36 bitches, and had some really good runs.
|Jill Blake with her mini long Rhett, who placed 2nd in the FC Dog stake.Unfortunately I don't get to see Jill too often -- her dogs are very impressive. Jill is very serious about working them; she also owns a beagle and is a beagle judge.|
|This must be Michael Nothstein's standard longhaired dachshund Reggie. What a great face!|
|Goodman and Rhett were braced together in the first series.|
|Susanne Hamilton's Buster and Barbie and Ed Wills' Bernie ran together in the first series in brace #6. Buster was called back and he placed 4th. It is great to see blood tracking dogs doing well at field trials.|
|In spite of being 11 years old Buster is in very good condition, and he placed well in both trials, on Thursday and Saturday.|
|Alice Moyer's black and tan longhaired mini Lance placed 3rd on Thursday, and he also won the FC Dog Stake at the National on Saturday.|
|Robert Schwalbe from Georgia with his mini wire Dizzy. What a handsome team!|
|Linda Snyder is trying to control Zuni before his run. Even though Zuni is the cutest dachshund I have ever seen, he is also a fierce competitor. He was NBQ on Thursday.|
|Brian Bradley, a master falconer from New Paltz, NY, ran several mini longs in Maryland. I think this is Belle, who placed first in the open bitch stake and beat our Tuesday, who placed second.|
|Michael Pitisci had a couple of open bitches, but it was his 11-year-old Brooke, who distinguished herself by winning the FC Bitch stake at both trials, April 11 and April 13.|
The Absolute Winner of the trial was a young male bred and owned by Laurel Whistance-Smith, Strolch von Lowenherz. He happens to be our Tommy's son. This was a great weekend for Laurel, and more about it later.
|FC Strolch von Lowenherz has a great heart and nose for running rabbits.|
Laurel Whistance-Smith from Pontypool, Ontario, with her FC Strolch von Lowenherz, who won the FC Dog stake. Michael Pitisci and Susan Fuller were judging.
|Michael Pitisci's Brooke (DC TownFarm Water Wings) was first in a highly competitive stake of FC bitches. Pat Warble and Susan Fuller were judging.|
|Susanne Hamilton with Meggie (FC Marguerite Vom Jagerhugel) who placed second in the FC Bitches.|
|Huge congratulations to Laurel Whistance-Smith and her Strolch, who was the Absolute Winner of the trial.|