Hunting Tests

Cocker Spaniel Specialty Club of Georgia Hunt Tests
Dec. 9-10, 2006

The Dunaway Ranch of Lincolnton, Ga., served as the backdrop and grounds for the fall 2006 Spaniel Hunt Test hosted by The Cocker Spaniel Specialty Club of Georgia. Event Chairman Richard Beaton assembled a great Hunt Test Committee to oversee the event and assure the event started promptly on both Saturday and Sunday mornings.

The club assembled two judging panels for the event. On Saturday Donald Kruger of Stoughton, Wis., and James Brueggermann of Stone Mountain, Ga., judged the Master and Senior tests. On Sunday this judging pair judged the Junior test. Paul Mommaerts of Green Bay, Wis., and Jeffery Zackow of Waukesha, Wis., judged the Junior test on Saturday and the Master and Senior tests Sunday. These fine judging pairs worked hard both days to assure each dog and handler had ample opportunity to display their abilities in the field and on water.

With a field of 38 spaniels and handlers entered both test days, the club worked very hard to assure that the event concluded before sunset each day. The various Spaniel groups were well-represented with Cocker Spaniels, English Cocker Spaniels, English Springer Spaniels, Boykin Spaniels, Welsh Springer Spaniels, Field Spaniels and American Water Spaniels entered.

At a Spaniel hunt test, dogs must complete tests on both land and water. Master dogs must complete a land series with two contacts and one retrieve. They must also complete a hunt dead, water blind and water retrieve. They must be steady on both land and water. Senior complete a land series, hunt dead, and water retrieve. Junior dogs also have to complete a land series and a water retrieve.

Of note at this event was 11-year-old junior handler George Willingham with his senior dog Mazie. On Saturday George and Mazie received a qualifying score and only needed to qualify on Sunday to complete Mazie's Senior Hunter title, but sadly on Sunday Mazie's zeal for the retrieve caused her to break before being sent, which caused her not to qualify. But George vowed that he and Mazie would return in the spring to complete the Senior Hunter title. And we look forward to that.

Click on image for larger view. Photos by Todd Shirey.