THERE was a feeling of great excitement in the air in Bibbenluke last weekend, with tails wagging vigorously throughout the 2012 ACT State Gun Dog Retrieving Titles.
While it was clear to see that the dogs were in it for the thrill, the titles were seriously competitive and showcased incredible talent from handlers and retrievers alike.
Entrants travelled from as far away as Western Australia to take part in the State Titles, while the judge came from Queensland, with the district welcoming many visitors for the event.
It also attracted a number of spectators, who were held fascinated as they watched the handlers fire blanks into the air, before sending the dogs off to retrieve the thrown birds and rabbits.
The handlers gave signals from afar to guide the dogs, who eagerly crossed water and other obstacles to collect the animals and return them quickly to their owners undamaged.
One handler even had success with two dogs he was competing with on behalf of their female owner who had fallen ill, proving just how well trained these retrieving dogs are.
The titles were held on the Bibbenluke common and Vincent’s property,
‘Exeter’, with four runs on the Saturday and two runs on the Sunday.
While all competed very strongly in somewhat challenging conditions given the extra water around, it was Jack Lynch of Tallong with his Labrador who won the State Titles.
Of the six winning dogs, four were Labradors and two were German Short Haired Pointers, and all were clearly delighted to be competing.
The trials are of course a wonderful boon for the local area which has been lucky enough to host them several times, with the river – and we like to think the hospitality - being the main drawcard!