TAN (Natural Aptitude Test) – Barry Hill (New Zealand) and John Cottrell
The most significant factor of the 2018 TAN was the extremely hot weather. With virtually no wind or any cloud cover both handlers and dogs sweltered in 30 degree temperatures. Nevertheless we attracted a splendid entry of 22 dogs on the day, which were split into 2 heats for our judges to look at. Each TAN field had two cages of quail secreted in the undergrowth for the dogs to find and point. We started running earlier than scheduled to take advantage of the cooler conditions. Many thanks to both judges for their willingness to do this.
Barry’s field was a rough pasture, with plenty of nettle, thistle and dock cover, comprising a narrow strip between a high hedgerow on one side and a wood on the other. Dogs running in this field needed to face cover well. John had a much less favourable field which had been cut for hay only a few days before. This did still have two 10 foot wide strips of long growth on either side and widened into a very open space where extra cover was created with piles of branches. The key here was to get dogs that worked out well to the full width of the cut areas. Both judges were asked to nominate those dogs that they felt merited a second run – which took place in the better field but in the opposite direction this time.
Because of the heat, and lack of wind, scent was difficult and a lot of dogs struggled to find birds. This meant that 11 dogs did not earn their TAN diplomas this year, some being more motivated by butterflies than anything else! After the first run five dogs were selected to compete for the prestigious Stan Smith Cup, presented in memory of our founder member. Sadly, despite our efforts, one owner could not be located and only four dogs actually ran.
- Gefni Mile a Minute (2 year old by Sh Ch Curacao Tank Calzaghe at Sultair x Hawkwise Inayah over Gefni) owned and handled by Laura Winder. Senior judge Barry Hill commented that this dog would have been worthy of any level of HPR competition.
- Hawkwise Nugget (Rochus Huxley x Hawkise Fair Copy) handled Sue Connolly.
- = Hawkwise Nice ‘n Easy (sister to 2nd and both 13 months old) owned by Claire & Paul McEvoy
= Challowmoon Noah (14 months Tillybirloch Laskar at Challowmoon x Sh Ch Rochus Jorja at Challowmoon) owned by Debbie and Dave Mooney.
- Noelle of Peaclond (Sh Ch Daraydala Beaumont x Denandmeg Indian Skimmer) owned by Christine Ball.
It was very pleasant to see three novice handlers and such young dogs taking the glory on the day. The TAN truly showed the potential for work that these youngsters have. The following dogs also successfully achieved their TAN Diplomas:
Dave Anderton’s Rochus Hi Pippa, Gregory Barlow-Evans’ Rochus Luna, Brian & Gay Davies Rochus Lottie (litter sisters), Leslie & Mark Poole’s Sanboisier Naos at Laurremar, Guy Potter’s Nyra de Chez Maurice, Ian Swindlehurst’s Rochus Minstrel.
Gregory Barlow-Evans won the trophy for best Junior Handler in the TAN.
Deep Water Retrieve
This event is recognised as another test of a dog’s working potential and simply requires a dog to retrieve a dummy from water that requires it to swim. Our ‘water’ this year was troublesome in the extreme. Where an easy entry from the bank was available the water was thick with duck weed and lilies – and further complicated by a family of swans. Where the water was clear the entry was steep, so not conducive to encouraging young dogs. Fortunately this did not deter Fiona Cook’s 5 month old Toby, who was making his Brittany Club debut. He threw himself in and immediately showed a natural and confident style in the water, and retrieved well.
Others satisfying the criteria were Guy Potter’s Nyra de Chez Maurice, Mandy Boaz’s Jassendue Liana, Laura Winder’s Gefni Mile a Minute, Sarah Finch’s Jassendue Manet’s Medley am Cetgueli, John Marshall’s Molly, Norma Ansell’s Gefni Maybe Malik, litter sisters Hawkwise Nugget & Hawkwise Nice n’ Easy, Mark Jone’s Bob, Richard Perk’s Jassendue High Lander, Alison Lay’s Tara, Ian Swindlehurst’s Meg & Isla, Ann & Mick Samardzija’s “he won’t go in water” Patouche Lambert, Nick Hayes’ Sanboisier Nevis and finally two spaniels – Paul McEvot’s Harvey and Helena Jone’s Mungo and a Brittany x Setter – John Marshall’s Spot.
Competition was based on seen retrieves along a clear track.
- Hayley & Mike Johnson’s Jassendue Liquorish (Jassendue Inspiration at Sanboisier x Jassendue High Society)
This competition comprised 3 separate exercises, a split water retrieve (i.e 2 dummies each thrown out some 40 yards apart and the dog having to fetch them in the order required by the judge), a long blind retrieve along the lakeside, and a split retrieve with one dummy being thrown out about 100 yards along the lakeside, and the second thrown well out in the lake. The dog was expected to take the first dummy before looking for the more attractive water retrieve.
Although there were not many entries it was extremely keenly contested (there is a bit of friendly rivalry here) and the first three were separated by the smallest of margins.
- Sarah Finch’s Jassendue Manet’s Medley am Cetgueli (Ch/FT Ch Tournesol Heriot at Bryantscroft x Jassendue High Society)
- Maurice Cooke’s Hawkwise Inayah over Gefni (Ch Dag of Skinfaxi x Hawkwise Fair Copy)
- Steve Wright’s Hawkwise Land Agent (Pouilly Fume x Hawkwise Fair Copy)
It would be good to make these two competitions more visible as they make exciting and easily understood entertainment.
On a hot day there were not many entries and the course included longish grass which slowed times down. The first 2 were however separated by only one hundredth of a second.
- Richard Perks Jassendue High Lander retained his title from last year.
- Sue Connolly’s Hawkwise Nugget