Spotlight on Juniors in Performance Events
By Wayne Bleazard AKC Executive Field Representative
While attending the Wasatch Front Brittany and GSP Club of Utah duel hunt test trial in Faust, Utah, May 3-4, 2008, I had the pleasure of meeting a very nice young handler by the name of Lantz Hartley. He and his dad, Trent Hartley, were at their very first hunt test. It appeared after talking to them that Dad Trent was more nervous about running their two dogs than Lantz was!
I was interested in how a 13-year-old and his dad got into the pointing dog hunt test program. I was told by Trent that on a pheasant hunting trip at a private preserve, they could not find one last bird in the field with their older Labrador Retriever. They went to the owner of the preserve and got a pointer, they let him hunt the field. In no time, he had the bird pointed. Right then they thought they would get a pointer of their own to train.
After the hunting trip, Lantz got in touch with Cheryl Matthiesen from Shelley, Idaho, a professional in pointing dogs, to help find a well-bred German Shorthaired Pointer. And that’s how Lantz got his two dogs, Jessy and Sissy. Cheryl helped Lantz with training by giving tips on how to do the right things for his dogs. He also read a lot about pointing dogs in books and on the internet. (Lantz is very well versed on the computer.) Cheryl’s help, Lantz’s research and all the training he put into his dogs showed!
Lantz ran the Junior on the Brittany side of the hunt test first with Jessy. When he was called to the line, I was very impressed how calm he was. When they were done with the brace, he was very pleased with Jessy’s work. After looking at his scores Lantz should have been pleased. She passed with 8’s and 9’s—a very good job. His next dog to run, Sissy, passed with a score of 7.25.
The judge, Robert Wells, complimented Lantz on the way he handled both his dogs. Robert told me that both dogs worked with Lantz and that he did not have to hack on either one of them, he also was very impressed with Lantz as a handler.
In the afternoon, Lantz ran on the GSP Junior side of the dual trial with not as good results. Jessy had no finds while Sissy passed. Lantz was not upset with Jessy -- she got a 10 in hunting ability and an 8 in training ability; she just went birdless. It is impressive that Lantz could know and handle the situation. It just goes to show the maturity of this young man.
Lantz and his dad said that they are going to more hunt tests in May. I suspect it won’t be very long before he has titles on both dogs!