30th Annual Flat-Coated Retriever National Specialty
June 8 - 15, 2007
Rochester, MN




There is a fair amount of waiting at a Specialty.  Here is where the Conrads waited during the agility, obedience and breed portions of
the week.  The Specialty began with Field events on Friday, the weather was a bit cool.  But Saturday was warmer, Sunday hot and the heat stayed with us the rest of the week.  Daytime highs were approaching the 90's, and the humidity kept climbing all week.  This is not "average" Minnesota June weather, temperatures were 10-12 degrees higher than normal all week.  The heat took its toll on both dogs and people, but, it did not rain throughout the 8 days of the Specialty!


At times it seems that the "primping" never ends!


Field Events


The Field Events were Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the Kelley Land and Cattle Company in Marine on St. Croix, MN.  Mick did a great job representing the Flashback kids.  Mick won second place in Unsteady Singles - A on Saturday.  Les was throwing birds for Unsteady Singles and had a chance to watch Mick as he confidently ran to pick up all the marks!  On Sunday Mick earned his Working Certificate and also his second JH leg!  What a great start to the Specialty!!!  


Heather and Mick and Cindy and Murphy had
a very successful Specialty and participated in a field trail in Sauk Rapids, MN "on the way home"!  Not a bad collection of ribbons for a couple of weeks!!!


"Uncle Murphy" Tulpa


Monday the events moved from Kelley Farms to the Olmsted County Fairgrounds in Rochester, MN (home of the world famous Mayo Clinic).  Agility was the first event Monday morning.  Cindy ran Mick in Mick's very first agility trial runs.  Mick was pretty excited the first run, and had some trouble slowing down for the obstacles.  His second run was great, he knocked a bar on the last jump as he finished the course.  Meg and Snicker scratched.  Meg has had a bit of a sore back and Snicker has some soreness in her leg from an old agility injury.  With the heat and the upcoming activities of the rest of the week, we decided to pull Meg and Snicker from both their runs. 

Veteran Sweeps


Veteran Sweeps were Monday night inside Graham Arena.  Meg joined 30 other 7-9 year old Bitches.  Meg never "loved" the breed ring, but she seemed
to enjoy the evening and
the enthusiastic clapping of
the crowd.


Trying to keep the coat flat on a flat-coat!

Meg and Linda were "relaxing" waiting for Meg's turn.



Obedience was held on Tuesday.  This was Mick's and Heather's first time in the obedience ring.  Mick was focused on his job and earned his first CD leg in first place with a score of 191!

No pictures of Obedience. 
I had to help photograph 1000 kids
before the Twins game back in Minneapolis. 


American Bred Dogs


Wednesday was "boys" day.  Todd Farwell showed
Mick in the American Bred class.  There were
no "cuts" in this class.  Mick looked very good, and ended up in 5th place, just out of the ribbons!





Snicker and Patsy were entered into the Brace competition.  Linda had been working with both dogs for the last month or so, trying to get them
to walk beside each other without having
Patsy chewing on Snicker's ear, licking her
face or jumping on her back.  Linda was
convinced she could not show them together. 
She asked Jessica MacMillan to show them (Jessica finished Snicker) but Patsy wanted no part of that, she dove back into her crate and would not come out unless dragged.  Linda was still thinking that
Patsy would either do something inappropriate
to Snicker, or she would just bolt away and
break her show lead.  Linda was finally convinced that the only way to show the 2 brown girls was if she showed them.  They walked into the ring and both seemed to say to themselves, look, a show ring, a judge, a show lead, let's strut our stuff!  And, they looked great.  Check out the movement pictures below, these 2 dogs were completely in sync.  The crowd near the judge (under the tent in the shade) ohhh'd and ahhh'd (yes, there was a very small but vocal group of Flashback supporters) and I believe the judge even said something like "Wow, they look like 1 dog" as Snicker and Patsy did their final go 'round.  Snicker, Patsy and Linda took home the 1st place ribbon, it was exciting!!!


Snicker and Patsy did a great job of moving in sync!


Linda is smiling in the breed ring!!!


An unofficial show picture with the judge Pluis Davern holding the first place Brace ribbon, Snicker, Linda and Patsy!


Bred By Exhibitor Bitches


Thursday was "girls" day.  Linda showed Patsy
in the Bred by Exhibitor class.  There were
23 bitches in this class.  Patsy looked great, made the cut, but did not earn a ribbon!


It was very hot Thursday, check out Patsy's tongue in the picture on the left and notice
that she "slurped" it back into her mouth in the picture on the right.

Look again, Linda is smiling in the breed ring!!!

Brood Bitches


Friday was the last day of the Specialty and it began with Brood Bitch. Snicker went into the ring with Melody, Jessica handled Mick and Linda handled Patsy.  They all looked good, but the judge did not see them in the top 4. 


Best of Breed


Best of Breed followed Brood Bitch.  Following tradition, Melody showed Snicker in the BoB competition.  Just 1 week before the Specialty Melody found Snicker's Grandma Waylynn's lucky show collar and lead (which had been missing for years).  She brought them both to Minnesota and used them to show Snicker! 

There were 98 Specials in Best of Breed, 56 dogs and 42 bitches.  AKC rules state that all dogs within a class must start out in the ring at the same time.  The dogs entered first in a circle around the ring, and the bitches followed and stood around the ring in a slightly smaller circle.  Everyone was excited and clapped once all dogs were in the ring.  And, to everyone's surprise, the dogs were excused, and the judge began with bitches.  Snicker just understands what to do in the show ring.  She looked great when stacked, and moved great.  She made the 2 cuts to remain in contention.  It was then time for the boys, and Snicker had a chance to head back to the air-conditioned Motor Home to rest and cool down
a bit.  Following the cuts for the boys she went back in
and ended up with a JAM (Judges Award of Merit) and a beautiful yellow ribbon.  All the JAM winners circled the
ring to thunderous applause.  Thanks to Melody for showing Snicker to her 2nd National Specialty JAM!!!   

An unofficial show picture with the judge Pluis Davern, Melody, Snicker and her beautiful
JAM Ribbon!

We've kept our tradition alive this year in Rochester
by taking pictures of all our dogs as we get ready
to begin the drive home (only 84 miles this year).

 Thank you Minnesota!!!  



Ch Beacon's Dash of Nut-Meg


Ch Claymore's Live, Love, Laugh
2005 and 2007 National Specialty JAM



Flashback Crazy For Loving You CGC
"Made the Cut" - 2007 National Specialty



2007 National Specialty
1st Place Brace



See you in Portland in 2008!

FCRSA 2008