|California Brittany Club||
In early 2017, about two years prior to my planned retirement, I decided I may want to do some bird hunting when I retired. My bird hunting experience was limited to some pheasant hunting as a kid with a bow and arrow (that didn’t work out all that well). We had one Brittany (black and white, so defiantly a mix with something) that was a family pet but she had no real interest in hunting birds. I told my wife that I had heard the Brittany was a good bird dog, so I want to get another to hunt with. That November I was off to Oregon to pick up Jazz. The contract said the registration was limited and the breeder was a co-owner until I “obtained a title”. I had no idea what a title was. The breeder told me an AKC Hunt Test Title (JH) was all that was needed and encouraged me to look into it. Jazz easily passed her first four and was quickly a Junior Hunter. While at the first hunt test I overheard others talking about upcoming “field trials”. Field Trials? What the heck was that? I got my hands on a premium and had no idea what I should enter her in. She was too old for puppy and I had no idea what a “derby” was. I decided it would be a good idea to enter her in this thing called “All Age” — it would be good to see younger and older dogs compete. At the last hunt test I was talking to other handlers about the upcoming Field Trial and told them I entered Jazz in All Age. They looked at me like I was crazy, after all, I did not have a horse and planned to never get a horse. I didn’t even know they used horses in this game. I quickly realized “All Age” had nothing to do with the age of the dog and I had screwed up. I called the trial secretary and explained what I had done. Her reply was “I know you are new to this honey, I already fixed it.” So Jazz and I were off to our first field trial where I quickly learned we should be in Derby.
After that experience I jumped in with both feet. Jazz is just a couple of points away from her AFC. My next puppy, Thunder, is a handful. In the 2021 Futurity he won it all. Best in Futurity Show (and had never been in the show ring prior to Futurity) and 1st Place Gun Dog which earned him the coveted Dual Dog Award. As of this writing, Thunder is only the 2nd dog, since 2008 (records prior to that are pretty murky) to win the Futurity Dual Award by winning Best in Show and 1st place in either Gun Dog or All Age. He has a very bright future.
Two horses (remember, I was never going to get a horse?) and one additional puppy later, I am the 1st VP for the California Brittany Club, I routinely secretary Field Trials for both CBC and SDBC. I am also both an AKC Field Trial and Hunt Test Judge. My wife, Rhonda, is running Journey (the puppy) and won 1st Money Female and Best Opposite in the 2022 Futurity. Gun dog didn’t work out so well. Journey took off like a bat-out-of-hell and we never saw her again until time was called. That’s actually a good problem to have — if we can get control of it. :)