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2016 Versatile Springer Awards

CH KayNDee’s Signature Series CD BN RA MH NAP NAJP CGCA WDX
Kiera
Owned by Deborah Kirk

2008:  Working Dog Excellent
2009:  Champion of Record, Rally Novice, Junior Hunter, Senior Hunter, ESSFTA Multi-Titlist Medallion
2011:  Master Hunter, Beginner Novice, Rally Advanced, ESSFTA Mutli-Titlist Medallion
2016:  Canine Good Citizen Advanced, Companion Dog, Agility Novice, Novice Agility Jumper, Senior Hunter Advanced, ESSFTA Multi-Titlist Medallion
2016:  ESSFTA Versatile Springer

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Since the first day I saw Kiera in the whelping box, I knew that she was “the one”… always a bit naughty, with tons of spirit and fire. Bred and born to be a field dog- at 7 months old she got her WDX. The next year she finished her final Major from the Bred By Class, Rally Novice and ran straight through her Junior Hunter and Senior Hunter titles for an ESSFTA Medallion. Then Kiera finished her Master Hunter with 7 qualifying runs, her BN and her RA, both with 1st Place wins. She even took a little time and produced Bench Show Champions, including “Lucy” with both her championship and Junior Hunter titles.

Then tragedy struck my health for 3 years, of course Kiera and Connor were always by my side. I am so grateful that I’ve spent the past decade with two of the most incredible dogs I have ever loved, owned and trained. Combined they had 26 titles, including 8 hunting titles, and 10 ESSFTA Awards. From # 1 Show Springer to Versatile Springer of the Year.

In 2016, it was time for me to shake off the 3 years and get back "into the game" with my dogs. So, I looked at Kiera, who was now age 9, with her constantly wagging tail she said ‘yeah’! Kiera and I trained for, and finished her CD in 6 weeks. She was so excited to be back “in the ring” her tail never stopped wagging in the 3 Novice classes, as everyone ringside laughed at her the entire time! So, in 2016 (making up for lost time!) she won another ESSFTA Medallion for 5 titles in one year! CD, CGCA, NAP, NAJ, SHA…. I’ve never seen a dog who loved ‘being trained’ and doing performance events as much as she has.

To Smokey J. Hiles. If I could dedicate one dog to you and your memory, it would be Kiera. Working my dogs in the field has given me, and them, the greatest pleasure of anything I have ever done with my dogs. I still hear your voice in my head every time I work my dogs in the field; “lay off the whistle, and trust your dog”. God, Bless you Smokey.

To “Dustin”, Kiera’s sire, who spent his first 2 years on my son’s bed and became Patrick’s first Therapy Dog and I had fun winning his 1st Specialty Major and doing his CD!

My heartfelt thanks to both Brent LeMaster for making “Kiera” the steady MH! and Kathy Patregnani… for doing Kiera’s agility work when my knees just couldn’t do it !!

I am humbled to say that Kiera and I did everything else on our own.

Kiera the epitome of beauty, balance and desire in the field… Love you baby girl!


CH OTCH MACH Polesitter’s Absolute Victory UDX8 OGM VER RAE JH MXG MJB MXP MJP
AJ
Owned by Kimberly Berkley and Mike Buckhorn

2012: Champion of Record
2013: Obedience Trial Champion
2014: Master Agility Champion
2015: Junior Hunter

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AJ (CH OTCH MACH Polesitter's Absolute Victory UDX8 OGM VER RAE JH MXG MJB MXP MJP) born 11/11/2010 is the very picture of a versatile Springer, with major achievements in obedience, agility, rally, and the show ring, and success in the field as well. In perhaps his crowning achievement within the breed, AJ won the prestigious Irondog award not just once but twice, at the 2014 and 2015 ESSFTA National Specialty shows. The Irondog award exists, the ESSFTA says, “to recognize the versatility of English Springer Spaniels.”

AJ earned his breed championship in March 2012, his OTCH in January 2013, his MACH in September 2014, his Obedience Grand Master (OGM) title in January 2015, and his Junior Hunter title in October 2015. He’s one of the youngest CH OTCH MACH dogs in AKC history.

AJ has 18 High in Trial and 18 High Combined awards earned by excelling all others in the obedience ring. He’s been honored before by the ESSFTA, as Open and Novice B Obedience Springer of the Year in 2012, as Obedience Springer of the Year and Utility Obedience Springer of the Year in 2013, and with numerous Multi-Titlist Certificates and Medallions and Special Recognition awards.

AJ’s first big competition was the AKC National Obedience Championship in 2013, when he was just 2. He finished ninth among all breeds and first among English Springer Spaniels. He qualified for the NOC that year by ranking in the prestigious Top 25 qualifying dogs of all breeds.

AJ also finished 9th in the 2013 Obedience Classic, with all clean runs. AJ is not only spectacular, but very consistent as well! He competed in the Obedience Classic for the last time in 2014 and won the breed medallion for top-scoring Springer by posting a near-perfect 199 in Utility.

And AJ accomplished all this before his fifth birthday! But it’s hardly all work and no play with this world-class Springer.

“AJ is my big lap dog,” says his owner/trainer/handler, Kim Berkley. “He loves to play with his jolly ball in the yard. Swimming is his very favorite activity, and if birds are involved, so much the better!”

AJ comes from the highly successful Polesitter line bred by Mike Bockhorn, as does AJ’s sister Dani (CH OTCH MACH4 PACH Polesitter’s Danica Dazzles VCD2 UDX9 OGM VER RAE MXB2 MJB2 MXP3 MXPB MJPB PAX OF). AJ and Dani’s mother, CH Polesitter’s Victory Party, has produced four CH OTCH dogs, three of whom are CH OTCH MACH dogs.


CH MACH Topgun’s Big Bang CD RN JH MXS MJS OF T2B
Rocket
Owned by Susan Schmidt

2010: Novice Agility, Novice Agility Jumper, Open Agility, Open Agility Jumper
2011: Companion Dog, Rally Novice, Excellent Agility, Excellent Agility Jumper
2012: Champion of Record
2013: Master Agility, Master Agility Jumper
2014: Novice FAST, Open FAST, Master Agility Bronze, Master Agility Jumper Bronze
2015: Master Agility Champion, Junior Hunter, Agility Time 2 Beat, Master Agility Silver, Master Agility Jumpers Silver

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Rocket was a dog of so many “firsts” for me. He was the first dog I got from a breeder. He was my first black and white Springer. He was a puppy that learned very quickly so training seemed easy. The next first was the conformation ring. Who would have thought I would do that? It is still the only time I will wear nylons! Although most often I watched from outside the ring. Loved to watch him float around the ring. Next I had a dog with a title before his name – first time for me. We were having fun in everything we tried. So off to a retrieving class. Another first. Started like most with gloves as I am not a fan of handling dead things. In the end, I was not phased. It warmed my heart to watch him do what he loved and was bred to do.

Rocket did not like to be wrong. He always wanted to be right. He always put a smile on my face. He brought me into new venues and we learned them together. How special is that.

Rocket was successful in each venue. His last weekend in agility he qualified in 3 of his 4 runs. In conformation it was his championship. In the field, he earned his JH on a Saturday and his first SH leg on Sunday. As the “move up” he was the only one to qualify in the senior field that day. I was so proud I think I smiled for months.

Unfortunately, seizures took him from me way to early. He taught me so much. I will be forever grateful. And because of him, I will continue to venture in to new venues. He worked hard for this award. I am proud of his accomplishments.


CH OTCH MACH8 Topgun’s VinEwood Makin’ A Splash UDX3 OM6 VER RAE2 MH MXB3 MJB3 XF T2B2
Splash
Owned by Kathy Patregnani

2006: Junior Hunter, Working Dog Excellent
2007: Novice Agility, Novice Agility Jumpers, Open Agility, Senior Hunter, Champion of Record, Agility Excellent, Open Agility Jumpers
2008: Agility Excellent Jumper, Companion Dog, Agility Novice FAST, Agility Open FAST, Master Agility Excellent, Companion Dog Excellent, Master Excellent Jumpers
2009: Master Agility Champion, Utility Dog, Agility Excellent FAST, Rally Novice
2010: Obedience Master 1, Master Hunter, Utility Dog Excellent, Obedience Master 2, Rally Advanced, Rally Excellent
2011: Obedience Trial Champion, Obedience Master 3, Utility Dog Excellent 2, Obedience Master 4, Obedience Master 5
2012: Master Agility Champion 2, Versatile Dog, Master Gold Jumpers, Agility Master Century, Obedience Master 6
2013: Master Century Jumper, Master Agility Champion 3, Master Bronze Agility 2, Agility Time 2 Beat, Utility Dog Excellent 3, Rally Advanced Excellent, Master Bronze Jumper 2, Master Agility Champion 4, Master Silver Agility 2, Master Gold Agility 2, Master Agility Champion 5, Working Dog
2014: Master Gold Jumper 2, Master Century Agility 2, Master Agility Champion 6, Master Bronze Agility 3, Master Century Jumper 2, Master Agility Champion 7, Agility Time 2 Beat 2
2015: Rally Advanced Excellent 2, Master Agility Champion 8

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How does one put into words 12+ years of love and devotion?????

Splash came to me at 7 weeks, January 1, 2005. From the day he came into my home we started our journey together, and what a journey it was. Everything we did and accomplished together was merely a testament to the relationship, connection, and devotion to each other.

Splash earned his very first title, his WDX when he was 7 months old. The Junior Hunter title came along shortly before he turned 10 month old. Followed by his Senior Hunter title the following spring, just over 17 months old. He accomplished all of this with 8 straight qualifying runs. Quite an achievement for such a young dog.

At the same time we were working on “growing & training coat”. This is a skill I have never really understood, nor acquired. Even with his small amount of coat, he still was able to earn his Breed Championship just before his 2nd birthday. Of Course during this time, we were training for the Master Hunter title, as well as many important skills needed to succeed in obedience and agility.
Master Agility Champion was added to Splash’s name early in December of 2009, and the rest of his 8 MACH’s followed through his remaining years of competing.

And then, came the hardest title I have ever earned in all my years in dogs. On a cold, wet day, May 29, 2010 my boy Splash earned his Master Hunter title. The work we put into achieving that title was crazy. I spent many hours looking for ponds needed for the blind water work. When you live in the city that is not always easy. I had plenty of police officers hassle me for having my dog off leash in the city limits, which forced me to get creative with our water training.

I still remember our last MH leg. I watched him swim across the pond and when I saw him climb on to the other bank, I started jumping up and down! I grabbed one of the judges and gave him a huge hug. (I actually picked him up) The other judge said, “Don’t celebrate yet, he still has to find that bird and deliver that to hand.” But I knew, without a doubt, that was the easy part for Splash. Getting all the way across was his challenge. In perfect Splash Style, he came flying out of the long grass, bird in mouth, entered the water with an impressive ‘splash’. He then swam straight back across the pond to me, never once taking his eyes off me. I was never so proud in all my life. Just thinking about it brings tears to my eyes.

After we had the MH, I was really able to focus on his obedience and devote my weekends to attending obedience trials. In December of 2011 we added the Obedience Trail Champion to his already long list of earned titles.

Upon earning the OTCH, Splash became the first, and to my knowledge, the ONLY ESS to hold these esteemed high level titles. CH OTCH MACH MH- still seems unreal to me.

At the ESSFTA National in 2015, Splash made his last runs around the agility ring. And bitter sweet runs they were. He ran beautifully, won most of his classes, but for me, I knew deep inside that he had done everything I asked of him, for me, for us. And my gift back to him now is to allow him to enjoy the last years getting spoiled rotten. And so as Splash approaches his 13th birthday, he spends every night hogging my bed. He is my ever present shadow, getting more treats than he needs and enjoying his retirement, by his mom’s side, where he is happiest.

Thank you Splash, for the best ride of my life.