Our 2015 Eukanuba Nationals Invitation - 705 points, #1 seed and #59 on the Top 100 All Breed list.
We didn't start the NOHS pursuit until May, did less than 20 shows, finished with 9 Group 1's and 3 Best in Shows. We also finished as #59 on the Top 100 All Breed point list, a first for any Sussex. Hoping 2016 brings even more success!
Congratulations to the four Hellfire bred field trial dogs that have earned placements this fall! I think this is the most we have ever had place in one season. Not bad for a tiny little GUNDOG kennel. :D
Macks (new FC!) and Montana are both from Navy X FC AFC CFC MH Toby, Cate is from Mia X FC AFC MH Mickey, and Brandy is from Zeeza X AFC MH Whitey. Pedigrees for all HERE.
LATE WINTER - We are hoping that both Tina and Storm will be bred for early spring puppies. Reservations are filling fast.
LATE SUMMER - Haley will be bred for the final time.
I only use Field Champion and/or Master Hunters (preferably both) with good or better OFA results and impeccable temperaments for baby daddys - check back often as the details will all be finalized soon.
I'll just get right too it. Our Montana season opener sucked - our CRP is gone, it's too hot for "fall" activities, and the birds are like, where? Field trial dogs are getting more birds than my gundogs - how pathetic is that?!!!!
We are now planning a trip to NE Montana because my crew of youngsters needs birds birds birds to give some reason for the season.
I love getting tales from the kids...this morning I got a great update on Gin and Zeta - without a doubt, Bob has the two best bred and best looking girls in South Dakota. Both are Zeeza daughters out of Ace (FC AFC CFC Fast Track Accelorator MH NA NAJ) and Toby (FC AFC CFC Abitt's Highlander Lord MH RE OAP OJP VCD1 WDX VS)
The Lebida girls Zeta and Gin in Pierre, SD
Tiki showing off her Zone 4 bounty
Havre Hank showing off his Zone 6 bounty
I was thrilled to hear that Jim Klix captained Cate to a fabulous second place in another strong group of 33 dogs at the Amateur Stake in New York. Cate is just two years old - they are doing great! Cate is out of Mia (FC AFC CFC Toby MH RE OAP OJP VCD1 VS X Maia MH) and FC AFC MH Mickey. He is far too modest to brag, and I am just more than happy to do it for him. :D
What a weekend for Team Hellfire! Maverick really shook his tail feathers and picked up his 9th Owner Handled Group 1 and his THIRD OH Best in Show at the Roundup Cluster in Helena. Heartfelt thanks to judges Roger and Paula Hartinger for his back to back Best in Shows and Pat and Charles Trotter for giving him his back to back Group 1s in a very competitive sporting group. He now has 700 points, which should get him onto the Top 100 All-Breed list.
Ice picked up more OM points from Open B and finished his VER title. I knew it wouldn't be easy, and I am really disappointed with how his UDX season has gone, but he did get his 3 OTCH wins, had a High in Trial and is halfway through his OM points. I was really busy this year, didn't get to train as much as I wanted to, and we will work out the training kinks over winter and hit the trials harder next year. Maverick will also be back in the obedience ring next year.
Mickey finished his Rally Novice title with respectable scores 95, 88 (my bad!) and 99 despite the small dogs he finds overly "fascinating". He is busy getting ready for his tracking test and his CD obedience debut.
Mav's third Best in Show!
Two Group 1's and a Group 2 - and TWO Best in Shows!
Meanwhile Hellfire East picked up a third place in the Amateur All-Age (with a 39 dog entry) at the Southern Tier trials in New York with Cate, a 2012 Mickey X Mia puppy. Handled by Jim Klix and co-owned with me. Cate is the third Hellfire bred dog to earn a trial placement this fall!
I am happy to announce that Macks is now a Field Champion! He did it with his second win over a huge trial entry in Utah this weekend. His brother Montana came up with a 4th in Connecticut.
Macks and Montana are both out of "Toby" FC AFC CFC Abitts Highlander Lord MH RE VCD1 OJP OAP WDX VS and "Navy" Hellfire's Highwater who was a twin littermate to FC AFC CFC Hellfire's Fast Track MH MXJ AX CD VS. Many Master Hunters and a US High Point Puppy have come from that two time breeding. It's too bad we had such small litters! Macks is Zephyr's papa with Singer in 2014.
Haley is a Macks/Montana full sister. (Puppies with FC AFC MH Mickey due in October.)
I'm glad (not really) that the 300 Hellfire pigeons I've lost this year to a pair of unusually lethal goshawks were not unwasted, as now their clumsy offspring have shown up as uninvited dinner guests.
It's all so delicious looking!
The pheasant and chukar are getting there....maybe by Christmas they will be shootable. I ordered chicks from a late May hatch that arrived in July. Next year I'll make sure I get an April hatch. Have always had good luck with MacFarlands birds in the past, but this year we had huge losses (over 1/3 dead on arrival) and got bumped to other hatches because of "overbooking issues", which really sucked. They are excellent about refunding and credits, but I didn't want the money back, I wanted the birds. The good news is that I still have over 100 pheasant and about 75 chukar, so at least we will have something to train with and shoot next spring.
August recap: Mav picked up his seventh Group 1 in North Dakota making him the #1 Owner Handled Sussex in the US with over 400 points! Disappointing results at the PNW Sussex shows in Enumclaw, but we did pick up 3 Grand Champion majors, which was our goal. I was horrified by the unsoundness I saw in some of the dogs (depressing really), but was pleased with a Best Opposite to #1 Sussex super star Clara, and over the #3 dog, both heavily campaigned and pro handled. Maverick is only 2.5, shown on a limited basis and handled exclusively by me. I think he has a bright future ahead of him!
Ice picked up a High in Trial and an Open B win with more OTCH pts in North Dakota, but continues to struggle in Utility. Not sure what's going on with him, he is just not himself this year. He did come up with a huge 197.5 in Washington, and went over some very tough OTCH dogs, but it still wasn't good enough for a placement or points. I didn't think the UDX would be easy, but holy crap, it's BRUTAL. This is my first UDX dog so we continue to train, learn, hope and push forward.
September will be a super busy month with dog shows and obedience trials in WA and MT to survive, then the SSCA show in South Carolina to try and finish off our GCH so we can get off this crazy conformation train. I am especially looking forward to Eukanuba Owner Handler NOHS and National Championship in Orlando, FL in December, as I have truly enjoyed the friendly but fierce competition and great camaraderie amongst my fellow NON PRO exhibitors!
After spending the last five years in obedience, rally, and dog show rings (not to mention the nightmare of countless pantyhose and dresses), I am really, REALLY looking forward to going back to field work and hunt tests next year!!!
I'll start by saying, I hate August! The smoke from the surrounding fires is keeping us all indoors with severe air quality warnings and it's really putting a damper on our outdoorsy way of life. The trees are already changing color so I hope flying snow is next... and comes soon.
Dog shows are going full swing and both Iceman and Maverick have had moments of glory in the obedience and show rings, albeit brief. It's just your typical up and down roller coaster ride that only crazy people enjoy. I'm hoping it will all be over by early October and we can take a well earned rest. Next year I will reduce or eliminate the dog shows (especially conformation) and will go back to field stuff. I can't believe how badly I miss it!
I am going to try and breed Chica one more time this week or weekend, and will know in a few weeks if it works or not. I'll probably (definitely) cry if it doesn't, but will try a specialist next year and will get one or two more shots at it. Spanky and Mia both had their first litters at age five, so I haven't lost all hope.
Haley has been bred for the final time and we are hoping for puppies around October 6th. If I waited until her next heat cycle, I would end up with summer puppies again, and I'm really trying to avoid a repeat of this year and having to travel so much whilst having puppies on the ground. It's now or never!