It's cutting them loose and having the pack run the rabbit until it gives up and goes in a hole or gets caught. And although the dogs usually don't catch it, they run like they want to. Just me and my pack of hounds, in any condition, on any day, in the roughest places I can find . . .

Sunday, March 1, 2015

A Weekend at Field Trials

I had a great weekend at Chillicothe's ARHA Little Pack hunts. The dogs didn't do as well as they could have, but they did OK considering the conditions. I got to see some friends, some that I hadn't seen in a while and had a good time on every cast. The judging was fair, especially considering the impossible task laid out by the weather.

I knew it was going to be horrible conditions for running cottontails and a field trial, but I went anyway. When it's all said and done though, you could question what was really proven. Some casts didn't have rabbits. Other casts just had jumps to a hole. In two days of trials, none of the casts or dogs ran great. 

When Saturday's first casts went to the field, temperatures were near zero with 10 inches of snow on the ground. It snowed some Saturday night, then rained, then freezing rain, then snowed, then rained. After all of that there was about a foot of sloppy, wet snow that rabbits couldn't even run through.

There were a few things about the dogs that I noticed.

Dennis hunted by himself in both of his casts and this helped him win the hunt. This independence and a jump 150 yards from the judge and the other dogs made my day.

Kurly was picked on hunting and handling because he hunted by himself. This helped him get third place in the hunt and qualified him for the ARHA World Hunt.

Dixie was second in her cast and fourth in the hunt because she had the good sense to keep her mouth shut when others in her cast barked a lot and minused out.

Cole was third today at his first hunt. Like most young dogs he was a little unsure of what was happening the first few minutes. He quickly got in the grove and had one really nice check that I saw, and he started a chase that went straight to a hole. 

Butcher and Bailey both hunted hard on Saturday, and Butcher again today, but they didn't jump a rabbit. On a weekend where almost every dog that won had a jump, they needed that 40 points. Both dogs hunted hard though.

This was a good weekend. Four open dogs qualified for the World. The dogs hunted hard, handled well, and had a shot at winning their casts. On a weekend of impossible running, I was pleased with them. Now we just need the weather to break and get some time on the ground under a little better conditions. The World Hunt is just around the corner.

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