Border Terrier Club of America Holds 2005 National Earthdog Test at Purina Farms
by Karla Deithorn

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June 10/11, 2005 Purina Farms was the site of the Border Terrier Club of America 2005 Earthdog test in conjunction with their National events. The weather was hot and humid, which is typical for St. Louis in June, but pools and tubs of cool water to keep all the dogs comfortable complemented the shade provided by EZ-ups and numerous large trees.

Jo Ann Frier-Murza judged the Master class on Friday and there were five qualifiers. It was an uphill walk to the den but a gentle breeze downhill kept it from being too hot. Greg Francis judged Master on Saturday and he had the exhibitors shuttled further up hill to an open hay field for the walk up. It was interesting to watch the dogs work the hayfield, with its numerous natural dens, and then change working style to work in the woods as they approached the den. Greg had 13 dogs qualify on Saturday, including Maggie, owned by Bill Kasting who completed her Master Earthdog title. Maggie’s quartering in the hayfield and forays into the edge of the woods was a picture perfect hunt up. Her honoring was wonderful to see, as she calmly sat and waited for her bracemate to finish working.

The Junior Class on Friday was judged by Greg Francis and he had 7 qualifiers. One of those was Junior handler, Lauren Moore, with her bitch, Indy, who completed her Junior Earthdog title. Lauren went on to try Senior for the first time on Saturday and, while she didn’t qualify, Indy did perform the recall well within the required time limit. Since that is one of the hardest parts of Senior, I have no doubt this team will have their SE title in short order. The Junior class on Saturday was judged by Blue Sandrock and she had three qualifiers, including Hazel co-owned by Pam Dyer and Anna Robaczewski who completed her JE title that day.

The Senior class on Friday was judged by Russ Wischover and on Saturday by JoAnn Frier-Murza. This was the last class of the day both days and there were many dogs who just missed qualifying. Those who did qualify always came out of the woods with a big smile and a thumbs up sign for those waiting their turn.

Blue Sandrock, who did a wonderful job with the dogs and exhibitors, judged the IQ class on Friday. Junior handler, Emma Hecht, qualified with her mother’s dog, Alex on Friday. It is always nice to see Junior handlers entering the sport, as it lets us know that the sport will live on. Russ Wischover judged IQ on Saturday and he had five qualifiers that day.

I would be remiss if I did not comment on the beautiful dens at Purina that are maintained by the Missouri Earthdog club. The IQ den is landscaped to look like an old stone wall at the entrance and it is very inviting to the novice dogs. The Junior den is a split rail fence arrangement that is typical of hunting grounds at a farm. The Senior/Master den was placed in the woods and allowed judges to use a variety of walk ups to include varied terrain. If you are looking for a picturesque place to hold your Earthdog test, where the management is very accommodating, you might consider Purina Farms. The Border Terrier 2004 National Earthdog test proved that this site is, indeed, worthy of a National event.