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Obedience

OBEDIENCE SPRINGER OF THE YEAR:
OTCH FELICITY’S NATE FOR SHORT UDX OM1
Owned By: Jacqueline Keenan

In 2006 I started showing Nate for his UDX. After six shows, he had no UDX legs, but he had 3 OTCH points. I explained to him that we did not have the time to train and show for an OTCH, but if he would just qualify twice in one day, we could get a UDX. The next day he did get his first UDX leg, but he also got 24 OTCH points by winning utility.

Next, he lay dormant for seven months while I struggled to survive Lyme disease. Then with four weeks of practice we went to three shows, getting OTCH points at each and two more UDX legs. That got him into the National Invitational where he placed 38th out of 97 dogs.

Since he seemed to think that he was an OTCH, I took him to East Jesus to a small show to get our open win, because I thought we might not win at a big show. He got his open win and then won open 7 more times.

By Dec. 2009 he had his UDX, 10 wins and 88 OTCH points. He also needed 15 points from utility for his OM. On Dec. 13 we were supposed to be at the National Invitational again, but Nate had been ill, so I would not risk his health by flying him. Since he was doing better, we had gone to Durham instead. The day before, we had failed twice, and that day there was water on the floor in the utility ring. I had a sense that we needed to finish that day, but at that time, we had been struggling in utility. When he won open, I was so grateful, but we needed to win utility to finish. In the past he had not even done open well, when there was water on the floor. It seemed impossible. But Nate decided to turn in the performance of a lifetime. He even slid sideways on the water after both jumps, but his fronts were perfect. We also had to wait for the next ring to hand out prizes before doing the second jump, but he was not perturbed. When he was done, he had a 199, the OTCH, the OM, HIT, and High Combined. One of us always had vision and knew what we could do.

Two days before we would have started showing this spring, Nate chipped a bone in his hock. He may be sound again, or that may truly have been our last chance.

STATS: Top 3 Combined Avg: 393.5


UTILITY SPRINGER OF THE YEAR:
CH MACH TOPGUNS VINEWOOD MAKIN’ A SPLASH UD, RN, SH, XF, WDX
Owned By: Kathy Patregnani and Patty Salzwedel

What an honor it is to win ESSFTA Utility Springer of the year Award.

Splash started out 2009 with a huge plunge in the Open B ring, garnishing many 199’s, 32 unusable OTCH points, a huge regional qualifier win, and several HIT’s.

After a few months of hard core Utility training, by April, I felt Splash was ready for the ring.

Splash earned his UD in 4 tries, and he earned his first “countable” OTCH points on the day he got his UD.

With limited showing in 2009 SPlash earned 5 UDX legs, Several HIT’s, all his wins towards his OTCH, and 19 more useable OTCH points.

SPlash was also busy in other areas during the 2009 year. He earned his MACH, and has been awarded ESSFTA’S Excellent Agility Springer of the year award for 2009. SPlash also earned his RN, FX, and three legs towards his Master Hunter title. (Which he has since finished.)

Splash is a wonderful training partner; always ready, willing, and more than happy to work. SPlash and I are looking forward to making many more splashes in all venues in the future.

Once again, thank you so very much for this award.

Splash & Kathy

STATS: Top 3 Avg: 195.0


OPEN SPRINGER OF THE YEAR:
CH MACH TOPGUNS SINGING IN THE RAIN CDX SH XF
Owned By: Patty Salzwedel and Tracy Salzwedel

Kelly is my second generation of Springers to win this award. It was earned in 2006 by her Mother, Brooke, which makes winning this award extra special. In the obedience ring her average score was a 198.5, always with a happy tail and occasionally a loud and happy bark. Kelly still can not understand why she can bark away in the agility ring, but can not in obedience. She is tremendously fun to train and show as well as being a super member of our family. Her versatility, drive, and enthusiasm makes her a joy to be a partnered with. Now onto the Utility ring……

STATS: Top 3 Avg: 197.67


NOVICE SPRINGER OF THE YEAR:
MUDDY PAWS QUE CERA CERA VCD1 RA TDX JH OA AXJ NF
Owned By: Mindy Mymudes

Cera is the third generation on her mom’s side as well as her father’s side with some pretty impressive working dogs behind her.

She hasn’t found anyone or anything she doesn’t like. Except maybe lettuce without dressing. Her favorite thing is to wake me up in the morning by pushing all the pillows onto the floor. I am usually already ON the floor because she gets between me and the Tall Dude, places her back against his, and uses her paws to push me out.

However, she is way too cute to scold, particularly since my first little non tri, black and white dalmatian spotted girl likes to push thru my bright red sheets and looks wonderful.

Before she was 18 months she had titles in agility, tracking, hunting and rally. She didn’t get an obedience title until she was three.

If I can keep her attention, she is a wonderful working dog. However, like, like me, if something catches her eye…

OoooooOOOO shiny!

Mindy and the Muddy Paws Pack

STATS: Top 3 Avg: 198.17


NOVICE A SPRINGER OF THE YEAR:
CH POLESITTER’S RINGSIDE GOSSIP CD RN MX MXJ NAP NJP NF
Owned By: Pamela Brezger and Mike Bockhorn

Working with Gabby is fun and exciting and I couldn’t have asked for a better teammate. She’s always forgiving of my handler errors and willing to keep working until we get it right! Gabby is a once in a lifetime dog – she’s smart, consistent, hard working, and at the end of the day she is content to sit in your lap and just be loved!

At first, I wasn’t sure what obedience was all about – fronts, stays, finishes – they were all foreign terms for me since I had only run agility. After watching a few obedience shows, it looked like fun, so I thought let’s give it a try!

With a lot of patience, guidance, and encouragement from our friend and trainer, Kim Berkley, we embarked on our obedience career last year. After a few classes in Novice obedience, I realized that we were really becoming a team and this was a lot of fun, but we still had a lot of training ahead of us. A few months later, Gabby and I showed at a local fun match and everything we had been practicing finally came together in the ring – I knew we were ready for our first “real” show. Our first weekend showing we received a 1st and 2nd place! I was ecstatic – 2 CD legs, just one more to go!!! She looked great in the ring and all those months of our hard work were paying off. Our next show, we received our 3rd CD leg and our new CD title with a 3rd place, and I couldn’t have been more proud of our accomplishment!

Although our time in the Novice A ring was short, the experience was invaluable. The veteran handlers told me at our first show, “you only get one Novice A dog, so enjoy the experience!” I have taken those words to heart and we have truly enjoyed this journey together. Gabby and I have a long way to go in our obedience career, but we are up for the challenge! Look out CDX – here we come!

STATS: Top 3 Avg: 190.33


RALLY SPRINGER OF THE YEAR (2-WAY TIE):
MACH4 AUBREY’S JUMP FOR JOY UD RAE MXF
Owned By: Karen Schelling

Riley is a very versatile performer and a quick learner, having earned a total of eight AKC titles by the time he was two years of age, the CD, CDX, NA, NAJ, OA, OAJ, AX and AXJ. By age 3, he had completed his first MACH and earned his UD title as well.

Riley is best described as an agility dog that also competes in Obedience and Rally events. He holds the breed record for the Clean Run 60 Weave Pole Challenge, and won the High Combined award for Rally and Agility in both 2006 and 2008 at the All Star Obedience, Rally and Agility Tournament in York, PA. Additionally, he was an AKC Agility Invitational Finalist in 2008, placing 4th in the 20 inch jump height.

Riley initially began to compete in Rally in a rather incidental fashion. My aging Springer, Jake of Heatherfield, was enrolled in Rally classes so that he would have a sport that he could safely compete in as a senior. I entered the two dogs together and they began to title together, often placing together as well. Jake was retired after earning his RE but Riley continued to show to the RAE. Riley loves Rally and is a great example of what a Rally dog should be: he is biddable and willing, enjoys the connection with his handler and his performance feels effortless. His impeccable timing and engaging personality create a presence in the show ring, leaving the impression of true teamwork, a quality that is the very essence of Rally. He is a great show dog but first and foremost, my loving companion.

Sincerely,
Karen Schelling and Riley, MACH5 Aubrey’s Jump For Joy, UD, RAE. MXF

STATS: Top 3 Avg: 199.0


RALLY SPRINGER OF THE YEAR (2-WAY TIE):
STORMWYND SEQUOIA CDX RAE SH NJP
Owned By: Patty Hauer Valente and Robert Valente

First, a big ‘THANK YOU’ to ESSFTA for recognizing performance Springers- they’re so much fun! And what a surprise to be notified that Timber, our tail-wagging buddy was a Rally Springer of the Year for 2009! I began the RAE title in awe of the handlers and their retired OTCH obedience dogs that turned Rally into choreography. But when I tried, I circled right when the sign said left, orange cones caused me to spiral out of control and as an FYI, agility isn’t the only dog sport that gives off-courses! Just short of painting the word ‘LEFT’ on the top of my left hand, we continued on. So it was a thrill to find out that when we worked with the course map, it counted! Hugs to Tim and to husband Bob who said, “Let’s keep HIM!” But it all started with Allison Milne, Tim’s co-breeder, friend and vet extradonaire- thank you for three generations of parent club award winners!
Patty Valente & Timber October, 2010

STATS: Top 3 Avg: 199.0