Thursday, May 2, 2013

R.I. Birddog Seminar

 GSP Rescue NE birddog seminar chairman and Region 1 secretary Janice Gregory, left, addresses the gathering. She was assisted by trainers Dave Marshall, seated on table, Sarah Conyngham and Richard Giuliano; and, with backs to camera,  Steve Susko, in orange hat, and Barbara Susko, in yellow vest. 



MAPLEVILLE, RI -- The dogs were pointing and chasing, the quail were flying, and there were ooohs and aaahs from the spectators as almost 100 novice handlers turned out with about 50 dogs for German Shorthaired Pointer Rescue of New England's first birddog seminar held at Addieville East Farm. The event was held Saturday, April 27, 2013, as a fundraiser for GSP Rescue NE.

While the event was hosted by GSP Rescue NE, with boardmember Michele Morris on hand to keep the ship on course, a number of Region 1 members turned out to help. The event was designed to test the scenting abilities of birddogs, specifically the shorthairs who come through GSP Rescue NE, who might never have an opportunity to get on quail. The Rescue also wanted to introduce adults and kids to the sport of hunting with dogs and field trialing so the opportunity to participate was opened to the public. The response was overwhelming with attendees coming from as far away as New Hampshire and New Jersey.

Waiting for the seminar to begin.

The morning started with a two-hour seminar by Dave Marshall and Sarah Conyngham of Centerville Farm and Kennels in Hope Valley, RI. Dave's seminars are always interesting and the two hours flew by as he and Sarah explained -- in layman's terms -- the intricacies of hunting and training birddogs. There were plenty of demonstrations and questions from the audience.

GSP Rescue NE member Jen Weston, her senior shorthair, Layla, and the Purina goodies!  

Following the seminar, lunch for a hundred people was cooked by Tad Dorry, and prize-giveaways were held featuring beautiful bells and release traps, all made and very kindly donated by Mike Flewelling. Purina rep Dean Reinke was most generous in his donation of dog food, frisbees and hats.

More fun Purina stuff!

Prizes were awarded to kids for Spottiest Dog, Dog with Longest Tail, Longest Ears and Shortest Dog.  The kids LOVED it! 

Chairman Janice Gregory and GSP Rescue NE boardmember Michele Morris pick the Spottiest Dog, right, ...

... And the Shortest Dog. :-)

After lunch, Tad took the kids in the group fishing at one of Addieville's gorgeous ponds. Did they catch anything? They sure did. Some of the kids even came equipped with their own poles and fishing gear.

Fishing ...

Fishing ... 

The rest of the group headed out to a field chosen specifically by Addieville managers Sally Hayter and Jack O'Brien in which to work birds. 

Ready to work.
It was perfect -- a bowl-type arrangement featuring switch grass in the middle with the edges being mature pine and hardwoods with enough blow-down in which to hide the birds. From one spot, a person could look around the circle and see all the other dogs and people working.
Trainer Dave Marshall addresses the group. 

Volunteering to train the group, along with Dave and Sarah, were Richard Giuliano, Region 1 first vice-president; and Steve and Barbara Susko, volunteers with GSP Rescue NE, who drove up from Cape Cod to help.

Trainer Richard Giuliano discusses a young dog with an owner.

 The five trainers each shepherded 10 dogs and their owners. 

Dogs and handlers of all shapes and sizes.

Trainers Dave Marshall and Sarah Conyngham work with a Brittany.

Birds were planted and the dogs were checkcorded up to them. 

Trainer Richard Giuliano works with a shorthair. 

Step by step, the process was explained: How to use the wind. How to guide the dog. How to let the dog figure things out for itself. How to get the dog to style up. What to do when the bird flew. 

Photo opportunity!
Camera clicked and people stood pleased and amazed as their dogs actually caught scent of the bird and stopped to investigate.

What's in the box?!

Trainer Sarah Conyngham works with her group. 

GSP puppy with a prize quail!

 Some dogs charged right in. Others stood back and actually pointed for a bit before they charged.

Richard Giuliano explains to the group what this Brittany is doing. One of Mike Flewelling's bird releaser, with a quail in it, is directly in front of the dog. 

 But by and large, each and every dog successfully pointed a bird.

Trainer Sarah Conyngham, left, flushes for the two dogs.

At the end of almost three hours, every dog had at least two opportunities to be worked on a bird. At the end of the day, every kid who wanted to had fished, and every owner got to take pictures home of his dog doing what they were meant to do: point a bird.

End of the day and it's time to head home. 

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