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2015 Obedience and Rally

2015 OBEDIENCE SPRINGER OF THE YEAR
OTCH BIRCHROSE'S ROCKET MAN UDX3 OM7 VER RE
Gunner
Owned by Shannon Shepherd

Stats: Average 395.83 out of 400

Photo by Shannon Shepherd

There is nothing more difficult than maintaining high level obedience work, especially with a non-traditional breed. You have to continually think outside of the box, as well as work details to keep performances crisp and accurate. And, as with most Springers, you have to do this without drilling! I am thrilled Gunner was able to earn the award for Overall Obedience Springer of the Year for the second year in a row.

2015 brought new challenges to our training and we worked through these issues as a team, which is what the foundations of obedience are based on. Along the way, we added 15 High in Trials and 11 High Combined awards, including both awards at the 2015 ESSFTA National Specialty at Purina Farms. And, on July 18, Gunner met one of our 2015 goals, by earning more OTCH (Obedience Trial Championship) points than any other English Springer Spaniel in AKC history, finishing out the year with 627 total points.

I can not thank Yvonne Stickelman (Birchrose Kennels) and Rob Satoloe (Birchwood Kennels) enough for breeding such a wonderful little dog and getting me started in the world of Springers. And thank you to the English Springer Spaniel Field Trial Association for recognizing the hard work of all of the obedience and performance teams.


2015 UTILITY SPRINGER OF THE YEAR
SAND CREEK'S I'M RUDY UD OM2
Rudy
Owned by Jennee Stalzer

Stats: Average: 197.0 out of 200

Photo by Ryan Heard

Rudy is fun to train; He is enthusiastic and likes to be challenged. Rudy’s philosophy is the more he can retrieve the better, weather it is his dumbbell or toys. It is awesome to train a dog like Rudy, to see the excitement in his eyes and the fun he is having. Rudy is focused but yet silly. It is fun to show Rudy. No matter our performance that day we had a good time in the ring.

Thank you ESSFTA for these awards.


2015 OPEN SPRINGER OF THE YEAR
SAND CREEK'S I'M RUDY UD OM2
Rudy
Owned by Jennee Stalzer

Stats: Average: 198.5 out of 200

Photo by Ryan Heard

Everyone one of our dogs takes us on a uniquely different journey. My journey with Rudy has been and is amazing. Rudy’s love of life and always happy makes this journey a great one. Every day he makes me smile no matter how I feel or what mood I am in. No matter what life throws at me, Rudy is there. Our journey in obedience has been on and off again do to life. It has been amazing how Rudy has held it all together to keep going in obedience and how far we have gotten. Over all Rudy is a wonderful dog that loves life, energetic and always by my side. I am looking forward to the rest of your journey together.


2015 NOVICE SPRINGER OF THE YEAR
CH HILLCREST BETCHA A SHOT OF WHISKEY CD OA AXJ
Whiskey
Owned by Virginia McGrady and Henriette Schmidt

Stats: Average: 198.5 out of 200

Photo by Melody Carranza

When I got Whiskey, I really had no intentions of doing Obedience. My sister not only talked me into getting her (my first Springer after many Dobermans and mixed breeds), but she then proceeded to talk me into doing Obedience. To say the least, I have been thrilled with both decisions. Whiskey has been a dream to work with…. she is an extremely quick learner with wonderful drive and an incredible work ethic. And, in spite of my less than perfect footwork and shortage of cues, she makes me look good. What more could you ask of an Obedience Dog?

From the first run thru where I nibble heeled her around the ring like a “drunken sailor” to earning these two ESSFTA Novice Obedience awards, there have been three people that have been instrumental in getting us here. First, Henriette Schmidt, Whiskey’s breeder. She gave me an absolutely PHENOMENAL dog with just enough naughtiness to make me laugh!! As co-owner, Henriette entered Whiskey in the Breed ring where she finished her Championship this year as the #7 ESSFTA Group Competition Bitch. In addition to competing in Breed, Obedience, and Agility, Whiskey is just about ready to compete in Master Hunt tests. Secondly, Cheri Hayek, our Obedience Trainer who is a born teacher. She has taken us from Unconsciously Incompetent (*1) to somewhere between Consciously Incompetent (*2) and Consciously Competent (*3) with patience, humor, and friendship. And last, my “bestest sister in the whole world”, Linda McGrady. She has always been there for me and, in particular, has encouraged, critiqued, and accompanied me through this adventure!

Four Steps to Competency: (*1) Unconsciously Incompetent (Totally clueless); (*2) Consciously Incompetent (At least you realize you are Incompetent); (*3) Consciously Competent (Competent, but have to Consciously think about it); and Unconsciously Competent (You can perform Competently without even thinking about it)


2015 NOVICE A SPRINGER OF THE YEAR
CH HILLCREST BETCHA A SHOT OF WHISKEY CD OA AXJ
Owned by Virginia McGrady and Henriette Schmidt

Stats: Average: 197.83 out of 200


2015 RALLY SPRINGER OF THE YEAR
OTCH BIRCHROSE'S ROCKET MAN UDX3 OM7 VER RE
Gunner
Owned by Shannon Shepherd

Stats: Average 200 out of 200

Photo by Shannon Shepherd

At the beginning of 2015, I decided to give Gunner an opportunity to put some of his doodling skills to work in the Rally ring. In January, we started with Rally Novice and by the end of 2015, he had picked up his first five legs towards his RAE (Rally Advanced Excellent) title. This took a lot of juggling, as he earned all of his Rally legs while we were also competing in obedience. It was not uncommon to see me running out of an obedience ring, doing a whirlwind walk-through on a Rally course, then hurrying back to obedience for stays or another run.

Because we have always incorporated informal Rally exercises into our day to day obedience training, Gunner found the exercises easy…although I didn’t always uphold my end by reading the signs correctly! But, even with me holding him back, Gunner was able to earn three perfect RAE scores for the year, giving him a perfect 200 average.

Gunner is an exceptional dog, with heart and drive to work with me in my chosen sports. Even at seven years old, he needs to be trained at least once a day to make sure he stays out of trouble. I look forward to many more years of working with him and appreciate the ESSFTA for recognizing his accomplishments in both obedience and Rally.