Kurzhaar Club de la Republica Argentina
Report by Elio Colasimone (Australia)
Saturday 20th September, 2008
Sunday 21st September, 2008
Judges: Ruben Brusoz (Argentina) Carlos Finelli (Argentina)
Elio Colasimone (Australia)
Elio COLASIMONE and National Field Trial CH. Saetta del Piero RRD CM
A love of the outdoors - particularly fishing and hunting led to my involvement with the Kurzhaar breed (German Shorthaired Pointer) . The GSP– with its short hair, stamina and natural hunting drive and intensity is ideal for the sub-tropical conditions that I encounter while hunting in Queensland – Australia.
In the last 30 years I have been fortunate to breed dogs that generally finished up in the hands of hunter/trialers. About a dozen of these dogs with the right exposure and handling attained their Field Trial Championship titles and several became Retrieving Trial Champions.
In that time I have been more than lucky to have had the pleasure of finishing up with several dogs that in my own mind at least were outstanding hunting companions. These dogs which I’d bred and handled doubled up as fairly handy Trialing dogs winning a few Australian National Field Trial Championship and a number of State Field Championships.
During those years I’ve also had the opportunity to judge Field Trials and Retrieving Trials including State and National Championships.
The hunting, trialing and judging experiences have certainly helped me to get a good fix on what type of work you could reasonably expect from a well balanced, classy working GSP.
To me these dogs are superb athletes that are exhilarating to watch while hunting or Trialing and I never cease to be amazed by their natural talents and finesse as hunting companions.
In 2008 I was visiting my son in Buenos Aires and decided to contact the GSP Club of Argentina to see if they were running any Field Trials that coincided with my visit.
I was curious to see how the GSPs being used in Argentina compared to ours in Australia.
As Argentina has a strong hunting culture and a much wider variety of upland game birds than Australia I had an inkling that they would be breeding some very classy gundogs.
At the start all I was interested in was being a spectator but I was actually invited by the club to judge a couple of Field Trials during their last weekend of trialling for 2008. This was quite a bonus and I jumped at the opportunity.
This is the English version of an article I wrote for the club magazine of the Kurzhaar Club de la Republica Argentina.
Warm welcome for the Aussie visitor
TRIALING IN ARGENTINA: AN OVERVIEW
Generally flat, extensive area of grassland used for cattle rearing, interspersed with cropping fields.The area had drainage systems and the odd small waterhole. The cover was mostly low to light with the dogs completely visible at all times. The quarry was the highly valued and abundant Perdiz ( Supersized Quail !!)
GSP with Perdiz
The mornings started with temperatures below 10 degrees and stayed quite cool all day. The breeze was consistently one-directional remaining moderate to above throughout the weekend.
In all the conditions were perfect for a pointing breed such as the Kurzhaar.
It was an absolute pleasure to be given the opportunity to have a look at some of the leading Kurzhaars that are being campaigned in Field Trials in Argentina.
I must thank particularly Senor Marcos Giannone the President of the club for doing the main groundwork to provide me with the opportunity to judge. He was ably supported by committee members Alejandro Huerga, Juan Debenardi and Alberto Palmitesta. I thank them all for their warmth.
Clearly I would have been more than happy to go along just as a spectator. Being given the opportunity to judge was a fantastic.
Of course, I was particularly curious to see how dogs and handlers in Argentina worked as teams and of course the quality the dogs compared to ours in Australia showed in ground coverage, game location, intensity on contact and general finesse in remaining in touch with the game and producing it effectively for the gun.
This was a Non-Shooting trial with handlers carrying a handheld tool that was discharged after pointed game took flight.
In Argentina most Field Trials are non-shooting and can be held outside the game season and only a few are shooting trials.
When I asked one of the locals ‘Why so few shooting trials?’ the answer was simple and went to the core.
‘Well during the hunting season people actually prefer to go out hunting – and we wouldn’t get too many wanting to turn up for a trial.’
Simple but telling.
COMPETITORS and their German Shorthaired Pointers
Dogs are released individually directly into the breeze and given approx. 10 -15 mins to show their talents. If Birds are forced into flight accidently or lift behind the dog – it is clearly considered a major eliminating fault.
Obviously, dogs that point – indicating game but cannot produce the game for the handler to fire the primer – diminish their competiveness quickly.
Clearly, the dogs were presented with the best conditions to work with , but of course any mistakes were heavily penalised and generally were the cause for immediate elimination.
As distinct from Australian trials because the dogs worked individually and not in braces the requirement we have for our dogs to honour and acknowledge the point of other dogs was not tested.
The fact the dogs were not braced also did not allow for the opportunity to measure relative dominance in game finding and the adjustments some dogs make in their own work with another dog covering the same beat.
Experience has shown that some dogs maintain their own patterns, others become almost subservient to the dominant dog while others at times try desperately to outrun or outdistance their brace mate.
Several dogs and handlers
The dogs were fine looking specimens of the Kurzhaar breed - almost all impressing with their overall balance and movement. Ground coverage was generally very good and search patterns quite clean for the conditions and most dogs managed to locate and point birds with style and intensity.
The separation in quality came down to delicate variations in natural talent heightened probably by how much exposure and experience the dogs had in handling Perdiz – a game bird that would not generally allow itself to be pinned easily and once on the move covered ground quite quickly.
Some dogs clearly adjusted more effectively to Perdiz that moved once the first contact was made. These dogs exhibited higher order skills by either, roading or drawing effectively to stay in touch or by skilfully dissecting patterns of cover - away from the game -breaking away quickly and arcing below the breeze - at moderate speed to relocate the direct scent cone from the bird - using the breeze to re-establish contact . This was followed by more direct drawing in to cut off any escape route.
‘Tala’ an outstanding male was one dog that exhibited that level of skill particularly well.
‘TALA’ pointing a Perdiz with great intensity.
Several dogs exhibited the complete package:- a combination of good ground coverage, effective and delicate use of the breeze to locate and point game. This was then heightened by the skill of staying in touch with the game and effectively presenting it to the handler – followed by steadiness and composure to the shot.
From the Derby – Saturday through the Promocional – Sunday - dogs were showcased at different stages of their development.
Some dogs were clearly the finished product whilst others have their full development still to be achieved.
Saturday: 20th September
1st No. 02- Gr. Ch.Arg/Ct. TALA KA –NM De LA EIKE FCA 2801 – Santiago Debenardi
2nd No. 09 - KENIA von DESIL – DAN FCA 4073 – Carlos Morales
3rd No. 01 - MARITA VON FUBINE FCA 3829 - Enzo Ricaldone
4th No. 07 – WANDA VOM MOOSBACH FCA 3727 – Santiago Debenardi
5th No. 12 -YERICO DE DON YAYO FCA 2489 Catriel Taddey
6th No COREANO VOM FUBINE FCA 3825 Enzo Ricaldone
7th No. FIORE von FADER FCA 2817 Vicente Marciano
8th No. KIARA DE ANA MARIA FCA 3957 Diego Justo
Two outstanding dogs stood out in this event.
‘Tala’s’ strong drive with smooth but intense ground coverage was backed up by the high quality skill of pinning birds but not pressuring them and adjusting stylishly and effectively as the birds moved.
Overall a class act.
The second was ‘Kenia’ who showed an exquisite piece of high order and delicate nose work to stay in touch with a moving Perdiz.
SUNDAY: 21st September
1st No. 02- Gr. Ch.Arg/Ct. TALA KA –NM De LA EIKE FCA 2801 – Santiago Debenardi
2rd No. 05 – WANDA VOM MOOSBACH FCA 3727 – Santiago Debenardi
Tala and Wanda showed quality and effectiveness. Tala just outshone Wanda by a small margin by doing the job very effectively but with that extra style.
PROMOTIONAL: Sunday 21st September
1st KIARA DE ANA MARIA FCA 3957 Diego Justo
2nd- KENIA von DESIL – DAN FCA 4073 Carlos Morales
3rd CISSI von REBEL’S FCA 4178 Enzo Ricaldone
‘KENIA’ with handler Carlos Morales and owner Daniel Piccoli
These younger dogs are obviously the future of the sport and are beginning to exhibit the class that will make them seriously competitive in the future.
Kiara marginally pushed her nose in front by classy ground coverage but by also relocating a difficult bird that had wisely used the breeze to outmanouvre the dog in an attempt to escape. Kiara was not outwitted and managed to relocate effectively.
Kenia again showed her incredibly delicate nose – by staying in touch with a bird over a considerable distance -no doubt she is a force to be reckoned with in the future.
Cissi of course showed her all round class.
I must commend Enzo Ricaldone for handling 4 high order dogs in the course of the weekend trialing- no mean feat by any standards.
Congratulations go to all handlers – particularly so to handlers of dogs classified.
Praise must also be directed to the organising committee who put this event together and of course to the property owners who allow these events to take place on their land.
It was good to see the camaraderie and the good sportsmanship shown by the handlers even in cases where the dogs let the handlers down badly. Everyone seemed to retain a sense of humour.
The sport of Field Trialing in Argentina is certainly in good hands and future prospects are bright.
Personally, I enjoyed the experience very much and I must thank everyone for the warmth and hospitality I received – including the great food accommodation and the gift of a plaque.
Of course it was always going to be difficult because I do not speak any Spanish.
A special thank you goes to Santiago Debenardi who did most of the translating in the field and at various stages his father Juan Debenardi stepped in. Both speak very good English and I do not imagine anything was lost in translation.
Hopefully I can go back in the not too distant future to do some serious hunting and possibly judge again.
PROPERTY ownerand judge relaxing for lunch
Having been involved almost exclusively in shooting trials both as a judge and competitor throughout my life here in Australia I was curious to see if the dog I selected as the outstanding competitor in a non –shooting trial was also competitive in the shooting trials.
As it turned out “Tala” handled by Santiago Debenardi had actually been the dominant dog in all facets of Field Trialling in recent years.
In further discussions with local breeders and competitors I asked the obvious question – ‘Are you comfortable in giving wins to dogs that you have not seen retrieve i.e. hard mouth etc.?’
The answer was very down to earth – “We don’t put dogs into competition with major faults like hard mouth – there are too many good dogs around and anyway no one would breed from them.”
Again very practical and down to earth. Based on my own experiences it certainly gave me food for thought.
ASADO – Argentine BBQ