by George Pirman
Great Lakes Beagle Club held their Beagle Hunting Performance Test on August 21 & 22, 1999 with some great weather for running dogs but very dry grounds. The early morning conditions had a little dampness on the grounds but it soon left. Some hound work was better later in the day even though conditions were hot and dry. The test was ran in the singles format, that is each hound was run by its self. No help from a brace mate or no trading of checks with pack mates. Every hound tested was able to find and get a start on a rabbit as the club has been doing lots of cutting in the past few years. Our grounds chairman, Richard Dykes, and crew has put a lot of hours on the grounds both cutting and planting. Some hounds just needed one rabbit as they locked on to it and never let up. Other hounds would get half way into their run and then have a problem or loss and need to find another rabbit for another try. We gave every hound 45 minutes on the grounds so the score keepers could get a real good look at the work it good do. If a hound run his rabbit for 10 minutes we let it continue its run and marked down the total run time for a tie breaker. If a hound ran his rabbit for more then 10 minutes but then loss, or rabbit went to hole, the score keepers asked for the hound to try and find another rabbit so that they could evaluate the searching ability of the hound. We had a total of 32 hounds trying to pass the test with 14 being successful. We had three AKC Field Champions entered and all three done a great job of finding their own rabbit, locking on to it, and running it for well over the 10 minute requirement. The three AKC Field Champions were FC Nelsons Black Jack II, FC Choptalk Whistle Dick, and FC Wat T’s Bo Jack. Many of the other hounds had AKC Licensed Trial placements.
I want to thank the score keepers, Harold Everson, Jack Chambers, Jim Barr, Bill Noel, and John Charron for their hard work and time in scoring the hounds. Also a big Thank You to Dolores Collins for have a nice lunch waiting for us when we came out of the field.
This was a cash pay-back event and some owners were able to re-coup their entry fee with a little to the good. We did have a nice trophy and 50lb of Sportsmix High Engery dog food for the high scoring hound in each group. Watch for our ad next year and join us in this different way of testing the hounds. If your club needs something a little different to break-up the same old field trial schedule, maybe an AKC Hunting Performance Test for Beagles in the Singles format is worth a try.