Retriever Hunting Tests

Wasatch Hunting Club
Reported by Wayne Bleazard, AKC Executive Field Representative

The Wasatch Hunting Club held their hunt test trial on May 25-28, 2007 in Salt Lake City with great success. They hold a double header each Memorial Day weekend at the Lee Kay Center located in Salt Lake City, Utah.

The Lee Kay Center has become one of the best training and trial areas in the intermountain region. The land was donated to the state of Utah by the Remington Arms Company after WW II for upland game and dog training. Through the mid fifties and sixties the Great Salt Late Retriever Club built and developed ponds and dykes for training and later for retriever trials and hunt tests. In the nineties the landfill of Salt Lake City bought the property to the north and put in a land fill with the agreement that if the landfill could use part of the Lee Kay Center, the land fill company would build more ponds, dykes and terrain for the dogs.

 It took a long time to fill up the berms, but the result has been outstanding with more land and much more water. Anyone who has come to the many dog trials has commented on what great grounds the clubs have for training and trialing. Trialers in the state of Utah should give a big thanks to the property managers.  Herm Rackle is the current manager and Lenny Reese, his boss, at the Utah Fish and Game have done an exceptional job recently keeping the grounds cared for.

The trial started on Friday with the Master Judged by Blair Clark and KC Owens with a very nice triple and two blinds.  The tests were very well thought out and demanding. The stake started with thirty five dogs and by Saturday with the third and final series sixteen dogs finished. One of the dogs, run by Laura Nordberg and owned by Kevin Booth, passed and became a Master Hunter. Both Kevin and Laura were very pleased.

On Saturday the Senior and Junior were up and going with the Senior having a double and a nice blind off to the side {in the senior the blinds can’t be in between the marks}. Maggie Langhorne and Bill Winskowski were the judges. They finished the day and had fourteen pass. The Junior also had a very nice first test that was very demanding. It was two singles, 180 Degrees apart, but they had lots of cover that the dogs had to negotiate. They also finished on Saturday with thirty dogs passing.

In the Senior a junior handler, Ruthie Gordon, completed her first leg with Ecstasy’s True Delight owned by Barbara Young.  Ruthie started to train with Barbara whom I met years ago. Barbara had a dog called Levi that finished the 2005 Amateur National in Minnesota. She had to retire Levi, but still wanted to keep training. She met Ruthie and now both are training and traveling to and enjoying the hunting tests. That’s what going to the hunt tests and training is all about!

Also Lynn Morrison’s son, Keaton Morrison, ran Boo Bailey’s Rosie Ozzie Izzy in the Junior, Keaton is only seven years old. They did a nice job in the first series and got though the second series with a pass. He also got his second leg on Sunday with a pass, two more and he will have his Junior title. Way to go Keaton!!

It is very fortunate that Remington Arms Company had the foresight to put these 840 acres into a dog training area for without it there would not be any dog training in the Greater Salt Lake area. Great Salt Lake Retriever Club, Northern Utah Retriever Club, Wasatch Hunting Club, Pointer Clubs and Spaniels Clubs all benefit from their generosity and great foresight!!


Junior test with berms in the background.

One of many of the clutches of geese that hatch yearly at the Lee Kay Center.  This proves that year round dog training does not hurt the nesting of water fowl.  This spring biologists at the Lee Kay Center had to trap and relocate several hundred geese because of overload on the property.

Land test of the Senior Hunt test on Saturday, May 26, 2007.



Seven-year-old Keaton Morrison and Izzy on the Junior water test
Saturday, May 26, 2007.  Notice the hat is almost bigger than Keaton!

Kevin Booth and Cedar Hills High Flyer SH on left and Ruthie
Gordon and Ecstasy’s True Delight on right.  Hopp was run by
Laura Nordberg and finished his last leg to earn Master Hunter
Title.  True, owned by Barbara Young and handled by Ruthie,
Finished her first leg in the Senior.