October 19th – 21st, 2023
Submitted by the German Judges and Officials
The Deutsch-Kurzhaar-Verband (DKV) was pleased that the Deutsch-Kurzhaar Group North America (DKGNA) applied to host the NAKP 2023. It actually had been planned for an earlier date, but due to Covid, the testing schedule could not be maintained. The only positive aspect in this respect was that it granted plenty of time to make all the arrangements. For German clubs, the multitude of planning necessary in the USA is unimaginable.
Not only do testing grounds with sufficient game have to be available for the purpose, water with appropriate depth and cover must also be accessible. Apart from that, there is the geographical challenge of not only getting a commitment from enough experienced judges, but the whole logistics of getting them to the venue and providing them with accommodation. We are not speaking of taking a couple hours’ drive but of having flight and transit times of up to 22 hours, and for the members of the work force, being able to take time off from their regular business. A shuttle service also had to be set up on site, as very few people had travelled there with their own cars.
Thanks to the O’Leary’s family contacts bountiful testing grounds for the field and water work were at their disposal. Fortunately, the DKGNA President Frank O’Leary has extensive contact to judges from Germany, the USA and also to Deutsch-Drahthaar USA. Therefore, the judging groups were set up accordingly. All the requested judges were more than obliged to come to Walla Walla. The judges from Germany were Harald Beyer, Holger Hensel, Birgitta Hofstetter-Krause, Ursula Scriba; and from the USA Francois Aldrich, who was also the Test Director, Joe Kelly, Dan Myshin, Travis Sears and Lee Root. Each judging group was consensual in their scoring and reported very good testing conditions with wild game birds.
Francois Aldrich started the Education Seminar in a particular way. He made the participants think deeper about the different parts of the examining process and the following scoring. The seminar switched into an interesting and demanding time. He went into the rules of NAKP having a deeper look for difficult situations during the test and worked it out together with all the judges to get a common line of decisions and scoring for all judges. Being asked several times, the judges answered thoughtfully, and a general agreement could be worked out. In the following Ursula Scriba concentrated on the SOLMs. She discussed search, pointing and nose and the way these subjects are noticeable for the judges. She gave examples for difficult testing situations drawn out of real reports of the JGHV and own observations during the last two years. Harald Beyer worked out the VGP part of the fox subjects. The discussion of the assembly cleared up the pros and cons of difficult test situations, so that a general understanding could be worked out.
Christine Hammerer assisted Francois Aldrich with the office work.
On Thursday evening a “meet and greet” was hosted by the DKGNA at the LaQuinta Inn, the host hotel for the event. This gathering provided the opportunity for the attendees to meet and visit with old friends and make new acquaintances. The attendees found it advantageous to be accommodated together in one location.
In connection with the NAKP, the Annual General Meeting was held. President O’Leary gave a review of the past year and presented a short club history and the Club finances. All the other items on the agenda informed the members about the standing of the club. Randall Cherry informed about the breeding activity. Further speakers were Christine Hammerer, who took the podium on behalf of the DKV President Michael Hammerer (Click here to access Michael’s text); Gunsmith, Marc Stairet educated us about the proper care and cleaning of firearms and causes of malfunctions of shotguns; Dr Phil Kress, DVM led us through several scenarios that call for rescue measures and first aid when out hunting with our dogs. Needless to say, all the speeches were an enrichment.
Next was the JGHV Education Seminar, which started with Francois Aldrich, Harald Beyer, and Ursula Scriba presenting. The subjects covered included the rules for the NAKP, Derby, Solms, and VGP. The Continuing Education Seminar was attended by eleven JGHV Judges and three Apprentices. There were very interesting discussions that will take us forward.
The NAKP began with the Zuchtschau, which was judged by the four SZRs, who judged all the dogs together. Unfortunately, only nine of the originally 15 entered dogs showed up. The V1 female was Wildrose vom Trocken Bach, led by Marianne O’Leary, the V1 male Wren vom Trocken Bach was led by Frank O’Leary. Afterwards, we experienced the legendary American hospitality with a typical barbeque, which was also held at the O’Leary’s residence.
The Test Day with field and water work kicked off at its very best. The weather gods regaled us with a perfect Indian Summer Day. No need to mention that we deserved it. The dogs had multiple opportunities to show their potential in the field and water.
Not far from the hotel for the judges, President Frank O’Leary led the participants to the testing area. The weather was excellent for testing. A steady and light breeze was perceptible, a promising sunshine welcomed the people and the temperatures not high and raised only slowly, so that an uncomfortable dryness couldn’t come up. The chain of the Blue Mountains framed the fields in the distance. Still there was some dew on the leaves and enough humidity for fine noses. The fields presented themselves flat and roomy, the mostly dense coverings showed different hights, rich and promising conditions for high quality searches. The hunters eye loved the flushed pheasants in quite a distance when dog number one started his work. For pointing the working area was changed. In a higher and more concentrated covering surrounded of smoothly raising hills, the dogs and the handlers could work, the judges were able to oversee all. The nearby water, a pond in a challenging l-form, deep enough and with very good distance for the vis-à-vis and banks densely covered. This water offered many ways for the dogs to show up with pushing ducks out of the covering and retrieving them.
At the end of the day everyone was tuckered out but satisfied to have had this mutual day amongst our hunting dog friends. The German judges appreciated the equally high standards of judging and dogs’ education in both of our countries.
The awards ceremony and banquet were also held at the Walla Walla Country Club, where a luscious meal was served. The silent auction was a novelty for the German visitors.
The following awards were presented:
- Mark Wilson and his dog Ayla vom Wüstenbach were the recipient of the 2022 Francois Aldrich Best Dog for the Derby/Solms/Zuchtschau.
- Jörg Kaltenegger (unable to attend as he was on business trip out of the country) and Francois Aldrich received the DKV Golden Needle Award
- Frank O’Leary and Wren vom Trocken Bach the DKV sculpture for the NAKP Top Dog
- All the leaders were then asked to come forward and collect their score sheets, Certificates (Urkunde) and awards. In all there were five dogs that received a Prize 1 with perfect scores of 136 points and one dog that received a Prize 2. First time leader, Marianne O’Leary was relieved to have received a Prize 1 perfect score 136 points with her Wildrose vom Trocken Bach.
Please refer to the Judges’ Reports to read the description of each dog’s performance and results.
Congratulations to all people honoured at the events.
All the leaders that prepared their dogs for this higher-level test deserve our utmost respect.
The evening wrapped up with the drawing of the DKGNA Annual Raffle.
Special thanks go to Randall Cherry and Patrice Korteum, who seemed to be here and there at all times to keep things moving; to all the judges for their time and expertise; to Francois Aldrich as Test Director, to the generous landowners and all the helping hands.
An overwhelming THANK YOU goes to Frank and Marianne O’Leary for their tremendous commitment to Deutsch-Kurzhaar.