Backpacking trials are a new dog sport being offered in Australia, as part of the sled dog range of sports. There has been one trial offered in Victoria so far this year, and this weekend saw two trials run in NSW by the Alaskan Malamute Club of NSW.
For the first level, and in order to earn the Working Pack Dog (WPD) title, dogs must hike with their handlers a total of 64 km over a minimum of two trips, which can be broken up over several hikes of at least 16 km in length. Hikes are over natural terrain (often including hills!), and dogs must carry 30% of their body weight in specially designed dog backpacks.
Shell and Squiggle (Ch & Neut Ch Armahani Diamond Dansut (AI) CCD RA JD HT ET JC FM) took part in this trial, with a still rather sick Shell hiking her on Saturday and (sensibly) friend Les taking the lead for Sunday's trial. Squiggle has been training up for the event, gradually increasing her distance and weight, to ensure she was in peak condition for the trial, and easily earned her first two qualifications for her WPD title.
She really is a very versatile Lappie!!
Back to do some more lure coursing today at the Hound Club of Victoria's first trial, held in Bendigo.
We had Tortik (Ch Armahani Heliodorr Halu (AI)), Nugget (Armahani Goldstone Gongagas (AI)), Freya (Armahani Goldstone Geassi (AI)) and Baby (Am Ch Ch Calaban's Dirty Dancing RN (Imp USA)) there today.
Tortik went first. It was his first time, and he started really well, getting almost a half way around the course before he seemed to run out of steam, and headed back to handler Kat - much to her surprise because she'd been more worried about him doing a runner and not coming back afterward!!
Freya decided it wasn't really for her today, turning back after the first leg.
Baby and Nugget both did a brilliant job, so they stayed for their second runs later in the day. Baby again blitzed it, but for whatever reason Nugget decided he'd done enough for one day.
That was Baby's second JC quallie, earning her JC title. She was also awarded Highest Working Dog (ie group 5 dogs) in Trial, so we got a lovely big ribbon to celebrate the occasion!
Photo credit: E Hoggard
After success in Victoria and NSW, it was time for the Tassie kids to shine today!
Benni (Ch Armahani Heliodorr Hulivili (AI)) and Fleur (Ch Armahani Iolite Ilo (AI)) were out with owner Rachael, at the Conformation Judges Training Committee Championship and Open Shows.
At both the championship show under Tasmanian judge Mr R Lowe, and the open show under trainee judge Ms K Ellis, Benni was Best in Group and Best Aus Bred in Group. While Fleur, also at both shows, was Best Junior in Group. At the open show, Benni made us extra proud, converting his win into Runner Up Best in Show and Best Aus Bred in Show.
There were quite the show wins today, both in Melbourne and Sydney, with Shell and I hitting the ring in our respective parts of the country.
For the first time in a long time, I brought our Louis (Sup Ch C'est Louis Armsrtrong des Chevaloupsgreg CD RAE RM HSAs) to take part in a 10+ Veteran's Sweepstakes. While he might have been showing his age, he certainly still reminded us all why he was always such a big winner, taking 1st place in the sweeps under NSW judge Mr D Sidebottom.
In the main show, under South Australian judge Mrs K Hutchings, Tortik (Ch Armahani Heliodorr Halu (AI)) was the Best of Breed winner, and his daughter Violet (Armahani Jade Jumalatar) took out the Reserve Bitch Challenge from the Junior class.
In the group ring, little Leevi (Armahani Kunzite Kuutamo (AI)) did me so incredibly proud, taking out his first fringie with a Best Baby in Group. Although he didn't manage to convert it to an in show award, he just blew me away with his performance in the general special ring. Despite his "different" colouring, I think I'm going to have a lot of fun with this handsome boy. Taija (Ch Armahani Crystal Cuovgat) was also out with us and took out Runner Up Best Neuter in Group.
Across in Sydney, Shell was competing in a FLCNSW pointscore show. Very happy with the brother and sister paid with Solo (Armahani Iolite Into (AI)) taking the Reserve Dog Challenge, and Slinky (Ch Armahani Iolite Ihana (AI)) taking the Bitch Challenge, and beating Solo for the first time for the Runner up Best of Breed. Mum Squiggle (Ch & Neut Ch Armahani Diamond Dansut (AI) CCD RA JD HT ET JC FM) taking out Runner Up Best Neuter in Group.
A brilliant day indeed!
Some more fantastic news from Canada, with Tahvo (Am Grand Ch & Can Grand Ch Armahani Diamond Davvenasti) earning the final of his Rally Novice legs, to earn his RN title.
This was the final achievement he needed, to gain his Grand Champion Excellent title! This is the highest conformation title available in Canada, and Tahvo is only the second Finnish Lapphund in history to earn it. As well as the points requirement, it also requires a Best in Show, and the achievement of a performance title.
It is an impressive achievement indeed, and our congratulations and sincere thanks go to Tahvo's owners in the USA; Linda Marden, Kathy Knapp and Gene Hayes, and to his handlers in Canada; Connie Crohn (conformation and rally), Trina O'Neil (conformation) and Jade Unrau (rally). You are an amazing team and have surpassed any expectations I might have possibly had when I said goodbye to Tahvo at the airport all those years ago. I am so very proud of my special boy!
Junior in Group for Solo
While owner Nik goes through the task of moving from here in Victoria, back to NSW, young Solo (Armahani Iolite Into (AI)) has headed over a little early, and has been learning how to be a show dog again, with Shell, under the supervision of his mother Squiggle.
Despite being unaccustomed to both Shell, and the show ring, he's quickly picking it up, and has had some nice wins, taking him a quarter of the way to his title in just a few shows. Today he also took a nice Junior in Group at the Penrith Kennel & Obedience Club - Red Show, under judge Mr G Dryburgh of NSW.
A nice return to the ring indeed!