In late June, four members of “Team Riddle” invaded Alberta, Canada for the three day Calgary English Springer Spaniel Club’s spring field trial. Gary Riddle. Larry Zieman, Cindy Marsh, and I all made the trip north of the border. It was Gary’s first time back in Canada since being struck by a train five months earlier. To say the least, it was a very special U.S. / Canadian reunion!
The Calgary club is the only Spaniel club that I have ever been a member of and they put on an amazing event! Not only are the grounds excellent (thanks to owners Tom & Myra Bratrud) but the whole experience is just over-the-top. During the past almost 20 years I’ve watched this field trial grow from just a few local amateurs competing to this year where four pros (including Amelia Greene who drove all the way from Texas to run this one field trial) brought some of the finest Spaniels in North America to compete.
There were two Open and two Amateur All-Age events plus several Puppy, Limit, and Novice stakes. There were a total of 11 different judges who were privileged to watch some excellent dog work over the 3 day trial. My Canadian friend, Greg Royer, handled Keeper for me in the first Amateur on Friday and finished with three outstanding series. Gary ran Keeper in both Opens, one on Friday and another on Saturday, and then I handled him in the final Amateur on Sunday. Although he ran extremely well, the competition was tough and he did not place in any of his events. Nevertheless, we were all very pleased with his performances.
The photo above show’s Gary handling Keeper in the 3rd series of the Open on Friday. Gary actually chose this image for his new business cards, making me pretty darn happy! The video below shows Greg Royer handling Keeper for me on Friday…I really appreciate Greg’s willingness to help when my vertigo makes it very difficult for me to maintain my balance and mental focus in the field.