TRACS held its annual TD tracking dog test last month on Feb 21, under spring skies and mild dry conditions, it was glorious just to be out in the fresh air and see the snow-capped mountains like they were next door! The field conditions were PERFECT with light green coverage fresh but not too wet from rain earlier in the week. This test was limited to 6 entrants with the option of an additional alternate, and we got exactly 6 entrants vying for the tracks. I suspect we didn’t get more entrants than that because of the high pass rate at earlier TD tests this year, which is good news for our new TD dogs!
Our judges were the sainted Meg Azevedo and Julia Priest, who have been practically singlehandedly enabling tracking in Northern California this winter since we are not able to bring in out-of-area judges. Both of these judges were able to step in late due to judge cancellations, THANK YOU!!! Sharon Prassa was our chair and day-of secretary, and Sue Larson was our chief tracklayer.
The tireless tracklayers that Sue recruited were WONDERFUL, coming out Saturday to work with the judges on plotting, and returning early Sunday for laying. We couldn’t hold these tests without volunteerism like this from Cathy Beam, Kate Marie, Chris Fritsch, and first timer Erin Shaw.
Track #1 was ready to run right on schedule at 9:15am, Debbie Gross’s Weimaraner dog ROCKVILLE’S UNIVERSAL FORCE JH RI TKN starting the day off right away with a confidently and thoughtfully executed PASS. Debbie looked like she was just hanging on to the end of her tracking line for dear life as her dog nailed the track after they both spent the first leg getting into the swing of things. Time on track: 11 minutes. Dog age: a youthful year and a half old!
Track #2 was run by a Bearded Collie bitch who got onto the third leg of the track and then just wouldn’t commit to it for who knows what reason.
Track #3 was successfully run in 4 minutes flat by Deanna Hayden’s Dalmatian dog CH PROCTOR’S STARLIT NU EVOLUTION. Penciled in every step of the track, nose never off-track the entire 450 yards, PASS!
Track #4 was run by a young Weimaraner bitch who just couldn’t resist the siren call of all the squirrels and voles literally right at the start. Good lesson learned, and we’ll be seeing her soon at future trials!
Track #5 was successfully run by Jean Schafer’s poodle bitch TUDOROSE RIKKI TIKKI TAVI MX MXJ SWM CAX FCAT. Solid deliberate professional tracking, well done in 9 minutes.
Our sixth entrant wasn’t able to make the test, we were very sad to miss her, don’t you hate it when you get a flat tire? And we had no alternate dog even entered to be able to run the alternate track, so we put it (and the 6th unused track) to good use for training future outstanding tracking dogs. Overall, a super smooth test with a respectable pass rate of 3 out of 5 tracks. It was a day well spent for all who came, thank you so much to everyone! Lessons learned for next time – we’ll be moving up the Sunday start time for our next TD test to more like 8 or 830am instead of 9am. The 9am is more like a TDX start time; since TD tracks only need to age 30 minutes, there’s plenty of time to lay the first track at dawn and get an early start so that the day can end before it warms up later in the morning. We liked the time intervals were allowed between the tracks – each track ready to run promptly if the previous track was run quickly. Excellently managed, team! Excellently run, competitors!
Next on the TRACS tracking calendar is the Dec 19 VST-TDU combined test. This will be TRACS’ first time trying out a TDU. WE could use volunteers for day-of secretary and chief tracklayer! And worker-bee tracklayers!
Contact TRACS if you’re interested in working this test!
Thanks to TRACS photog-for-life Colton Meyer for taking pictures!