Pikes Peak Retriever Club Field Trial
Bud Linke Ranch near Granby, Colorado (July 21-23, 2006)
by Lyle Johnson, Sporting Breeds Executive Field Representative
The Pikes Peak Retriever Club held its summer trial in the majestic Rocky Mountains near Granby, Colo., July 21-23. The spacious Bud Linke Ranch, consisting mostly of open-range land, served as the test site. Ponds well-spaced throughout the property were a real treat for retriever folks.
The club welcomed a large entry of 248 dogs to run in just three days. Field Trial Chair Amy Hunt was everywhere, seeing to the running of all three stakes simultaneously while handling her own dogs. The marshals of the various stakes did an exceptional job. Don Starr had 108 dogs in the Open All Age to run and did a super job of doing so. The other marshals took four wheelers to the various stakes to "round up" handlers. (It seemed the radios were having some difficulty in this "big country.")
The club was also delighted to have two hall-of-fame handlers, Sig Vilagi and Eugene "Swede" Anderson, entered and running dogs.
This area is in a drought and has been for several years. The drought has put stress on the older pines, which are vulnerable to a bark beetle that is killing the timber. The amount of dead trees in the Rockies is hard to believe, and the fire danger is very high. The club had required there be no smoking anywhere on the Linke Ranch, even in the automobiles. The ponds are low, and some are dry but still adequate for retriever folks.
Nowhere in the country can you find such awesome views as there are in these mountains. Trainers come from Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Tennessee - all across the country -- to train, work and campaign dogs at various trials in this area during the summer. The temperatures, ranging from early morning lows in the 40s to afternoon highs in the mid-80s, allow for quality time to run dogs.
If you have never been to the Rockies in the summertime, you should try to attend a retriever trial in the area. People bring campers, fifth wheels and motor homes to these beautiful mountains of Colorado not only to participate in the trials but also to enjoy the breathtaking country.
Good luck and happy trialing!