Sunday, May 23, 2010

Jam's Adventure at the WCA Nationals

Jam with just some of her ribbons and trophies!

I couldn't be prouder of my Jam, who showed off her versatility and competed in almost every venue offered at this year's WCA National Specialty week in Gettysburg, PA. Not even two years old, Jam began the week running in Senior Hunter at the WCA Hunt Test in York, PA. Under tough conditions with swirling winds and walking birds, Jam had a stunning point on the first bird she found in the backcourse. She held this point while I literally chased the Chukkar around a bush to get it to fly and shot my blank gun. I heeled Jam away and off she ran up the hill to immediately go on point about 40 yards away. I could tell from her point that the bird was probably walking and knew that she wouldn't hold. Off she went to chase the bird...thank you handler, please pick up your dog. But wait, it wasn't over. Even though Jam was out of the running for a leg, the judges were impressed with her steady point and trainability that we were asked to meet them to work in the bird field so that a previous Senior dog could attempt a back. We used this opportunity as a training session and Jam held to the shot and did a nice retrieve, a performance that would have passed in Senior. The gunners were extremely complimentary of my young, beautiful birdy bitch!

Then off we drove to Gettysburg to the host hotel to meet Debbie and Sky. We spent a lovely Sunday touring the battlefield and BBQing at the motorhome of friends. Monday and Tuesday were the WCA Agility trials and I have never seen such drive shown by Jam. She was definitely turned on by all the other Weims and I was along for the ride. Considering this was her first week of trialing and the weather conditions of cold rain were suboptimal, she was awesome, would have qualified on day one but missed the dog walk contact. Tuesday was another story and she qualified in Nov JWW with a 3rd place. This was in between running back and forth to the show ring. She literally finished her JWW run and up to the ring for the WCWDC Specialty where I handed her off to Steve Lane, her sire Parker's owner/breeder, and she placed 4th in a very competitive Open Bitch class. We attended the Breeder's Education seminar where Part One of their Whelp Help program was presented and then Dr. Noa Safra spoke about the updated on the HOD study as well as the discovery of the HUU gene in Weimaraners and the available test for it. The presentations were excellent but it was disappointing to see that the attendance for such important topics was not much greater with less than fifty people attending.

Wednesday, our busy schedule continued with Jam entered in Novice Obedience and the WCWDC Sweeps. I was reluctant to run Jam in obedience as I admit this is the one area where we have not focused our training on, surprised me with a passable individual run. She was close to qualifying but went down on her group sit, a no no in obedience. Then back up to the breed ring and received a 4th place in the 18-24 mo bitch Sweeps class.

Thursday, was the WCA Futurity and Maturity and due to the ring conflicts, I opted not to run Jam in obedience. I needed to see my pups in their Futurity and Maturity's and then showed Jam myself in her Maturity. Alongside Steve with Jam's half sister Katie, CH HiBourne's Foolish Pleasure, we both made the first cut but were then dismissed from the ring. Our other dogs did great and you can see their results on Trixie's blog page. Thursday night we attended the WCA membership meeting then were off to the banquet where we celebrated our successes over champagne for all the Grayhart dogs attending the Nationals and I introduced our Legislative Speaker from the AKC, Phil Guidry.

The National Specialty ended on Friday, and the bitches were judged in the morning. Jam showed well, getting better each time in the ring and got 3rd place in the large Open bitch class.

The week flew by so quickly and it seemed that we did not get to do everything we had hoped although accomplished much and met many friends. I took four dogs with me, Trixie, Jam, Trudy and Savi, and of course, caring for them is quite time consuming on top of all the competition and socializing. We had a wonderful time and look forward to next year's Nationals!

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