Potomac Valley Golden Retriever Club

The Potomac Valley Golden Retriever Club held its tracking test on the weekend of November 13-14. Test activities actually began on Friday, November 12 in beautiful Loudoun County around the town of Lovettsville. I met the judges, Michele Gillette and Tony Hinson, in the afternoon and we took a quick tour of the properties so that they could decide where to set each track.

Saturday was plotting day, with the tracklayers joining us early while the judges laid the three TDX tracks (two tracks plus an alternate track to be used if either of the main tracks should be contaminated). The two main tracks used several 10-acre residential properties and some adjacent farm fields, while the alternate track was set up at Long Stone Farm on the other side of town. The TD tracklayers joined us around lunchtime and we plotted the two TD tracks at One Family Brewing. It was a chilly, windy day with some passing showers that chilled us all to the bone.

Sunday dawned cold, but not as cloudy and windy as Saturday. The tracklayers walked their tracks starting at 7 AM. We drew for the TD running order at 7:30 and ran the TD tracks immediately afterward. The first dog to run was a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever, who methodically worked her way down the track. She was momentarily distracted by three interested horses staring over a fence but got back on track and successfully earned her Tracking Dog title! Unfortunately, she was the only dog to qualify. The second TD dog, a Golden Retriever, got off to a good start but lost the track about two-thirds of the way through.

We held the TDX draw at 9:30 and ran the first dog, a Golden Retriever, shortly after. She passed the first turn and picked up the out-track from the cross-tracklayers. The second TDX dog, another Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever, lost his track on the first leg. With both TDX tracks run, the alternate track was available for the first alternate TDX dog, and we crossed town for our final track. The Basset Hound got off to a good start and made the first two turns and through the first obstacle, but then lost the track.

After the last track, we cleaned up and shared some chili back at test headquarters. It was a great test, made possible by the hard work of our judges Michele and Tony, chairperson Mary Ann Massey, and our tracklayers Kelly Lease, Paul Gibson, Clayton Kilrain, Marge Paulding, and John and Cher Snyder. Thanks also to the landowners who generously gave us access to their properties for the test.

Finally, thanks to Rodger Armstrong, to whom this test was dedicated. Rodger supported club tracking events for many years, and introduced many of us to the sport of tracking.

See you next year!

Bob Kurtz, Tracking Test Secretary

Pictures from the test are available in the Photos Gallery or by clicking the button below:

Pictures from the Test