Airedales Earn Their First Field Titles
by Tom Meyer, AKC Spaniel Field Representative
In just a little over two months from when Airedales were first allowed to participate in the Spaniel Hunting Test program, two dogs have become the first to earn AKC Hunting Test titles:
The first Senior Hunter (SH):
CH MACH5 Connemara's Tuff Act to Follow, CDX, RE, MXF, NJP "Kalaigh"
Owner/handler: Deanna L. Corboy-Lulik
Earned at the Wisconsin English Springer Spaniel Association event -- Sept 6, 2009
The first Junior Hunter (JH):
Regent Wasabi, CD, RN "Bob"
Owners: Scott Lichty & Anita Smits. Handler: Scott Lichty
Earned at the Minnesota Hunting Spaniel Club event -- Sept 6, 2009
July 1, 2009 marked the beginning of the Airedales involvement in the Spaniel Hunting Test program. The initially skeptical Spaniel community has within two months embraced its' newest participant with many of the Clubs having sent letters congratulating the Airedales in being admitted to the program, encouraging them to participate in the local tests and inviting those interested to attend training days. Many Spaniel folks are mindful of the exciting opportunity this has provided to Airedale owners and of the contribution the new breed can make to the success of the Hunt Test program.
Comments made at recent Spaniel Hunt Test seminars have been positive and inquisitive. "I have never seen an Airedale hunt, it should be interesting." After having judged a few Airedales, the judges comments have also been positive -- "we are favorably impressed", "these people are serious, it shows in the training", "Wow"
Comments from the owners of the first titled dogs reflect the appreciation and joy of being accepted into the sport:
Deanna Lulik (owner of first SH) -- "I can't tell you enough how appreciative I am. This opportunity really means the world to many, many Airedalers. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!"
Scott Lichty (owner of first JH) -- "Before last year I had no on-going reason to train my dog to be a consistent hunting dog. With the inclusion of the Airedales in the hunt test program, all that changed. I look forward to participating in as many training events and hunt test as I can, both as a participant and as a volunteer. I also hope to encourage other Airedalers to participate in this fun sport."
Congratulations to the Airedale owners who have taken up the challenge and to the Spaniel community who have been encouraging to a new breed entering the sport. The breed and the sport are better off for this development.
With the hope that many more will join in the fun and experience, this is...
AKC Spaniel Field Representative