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Midwest Epagneul Breton Gun Dog Club
Posted on 03/23/2012 in Notes From The Field.

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On Saturday and Sunday, March 10th and 11th, 2012, the Midwest Epagneul Breton Gun Dog Club held their first ever field trials and T.A.N. The AVAD Hunt Club,www.avadhuntclub.com, in Coon Rapids, Iowa graciously hosted the event on their rolling agriculture and pasture land.

Trialers and their dogs were treated to an unusually mild weekend for early March in the Midwest. On Saturday, the winds were constant out of the Southwest at 25 mph, gusting up to 40 without a cloud in the sky. Not only did the dogs have to contend with the difficult scenting conditions, the temperature reached a high of 68 degrees.

A field of seven dogs started the day in the Solo Open Class attempting to locate and handle a few wild Iowa pheasants. The field was overseen by Judge Anne Johnson of Minnesota. Only one dog was awarded; E’Calae Des Nosco, owned and handled by Gene Nosco, earned first place. On a distant field, twelve dogs and their handlers set out to test their training on liberated bobwhite quail in the Gun Class. Judge Robert Olson of Indiana monitored their runs. Placing first was De La Ferme Sur Le Delavan (Lucy) handled and owned by Clint LaFary, and reserve placement was awarded to Felix Sur Le Delavan and Ken Teppel.

Earning passes were Glen Gunderson and his dogs, Smith’s Falon Du Copper Spur and Gundy’s Gypsey Jo Du Hunrunr (Josie), Scott Faulkner and Doc’s French Des Grand Lacs, and Royce Stangl and Epic De Plum Creek. Once the Open Division finished, Judge Johnson took six dogs and their handlers into the field to test their natural hunting ability (T.A.N.). Earning their T.A.N. title were Gheisha Des Lutins Cobs, Fresca De Broughton and Gun Des Lutins Cobs, all owned by Steve Broughton. Also passing were Randy Meester’s dogs, Gifford Hites Mississippi and Farley Des La Savane Rouge.

That evening, everyone was welcomed back to the AVAD Hunt Club lodge for a fantastic home cooked meal and the presentation of honors.
The next morning, after losing an hour of sleep due to Daylight Savings Time, trialers awoke to a beautiful Iowa sunrise and considerably different weather conditions. The sky quickly turned grey and ominous with the threat of rain at any minute with light winds out of the South. The 50 degree temperatures caused the handlers to add layers, but was much easier on the dogs than the day before. Storms were forecast to hit the Coon Rapids’ area around noon, but broke apart just South of our location, leaving a few sprinkles to contend with.

Nine dogs were entered into the Open Solo Liberated Class under the watchful eye of Judge Olson. Earning first place was Topperlyn Gallant Bodacious (Leo) and Glen Gunderson. Reserve placement was awarded to Vigueur De L’Escarbot (Elsie), handled by Douglas Lodermeier. Topperlyn Fontay Azure Bo (Azure), also handled by Glen Gunderson, was awarded a pass with honor. Ten dogs trialed for Judge Johnson in the Gun Liberated Class. Felix Sur Le Delavan and Ken Teppel were awarded first placement. T. Jean-Luc Du Pure Point (Jean-Luc) and James Anders were awarded a pass.

Judges and handlers alike had nothing but praise and compliments about the AVAD Hunt Club facilities and the fantastic job Royce Stangl and his committee accomplished on their inaugural event. The gunners had their shooting skills tested with the wind, but made the shots when they had to, never compromising safety. The field transporters, bird planters and the on-site veterinary expertise ensured not only the safety of our epagneul bretons, but also the handlers.

At the conclusion of Sunday’s runs, handlers and helpers met back at the lodge for another great home cooked lunch and final presentation of honors. After thank-yous and good-byes, handlers and their epagneul bretons loaded up and headed back home across the country, only to meet again in Benson, Minnesota in April for the next trial.

Authored and photographed by Ken Teppel, kteppel@comcast.net.