With the 2018 Canada Cup and season drawing to a close a couple weeks ago, now is a good time to write (and brag a bit… ok a lot) about how this season went for the SOAR dogs!
It was a season of high highs and low lows. We will break it down by dog, but I wanted to thank all of our members, friends, supporters and mentors here at the club but also who live abroad and mainly Andrew Steinkohl, Alexandre Boulanger, Romain Mallet, and Frederic Beyer. I’ve said it a million times, we are a small club and without help we would not be as successful as we have been.
What more can I saw about this dog. He’s my buddy and the reason we have had so much success this year. I’m pretty biased, but for a couple bad breaks (literally a line break) he would have pulled off what no other dog has done in North American French Ring history – winning both the Canadian and US Championships in Ring 3. We easily won the Canadian Championship and finished Vice-Champions of the US. He was consistently the top dog in the season standings and is easily a top contender to repeat both next year.
Unfortunately, a week before the Cup of the Americas, where he was the only Ring 3 dog representing Team Canada, he hurt himself and we decided to forego the trial to ensure he was 100% before competing with him. It was a very tough decision as he was in top form and likely would have been near or at the top of the podium. While we train to win, the health of the dogs is most important. So he will rest up and we will come back next year.
Here was Ionn’s accomplishments in 2018:
Alex and Ludo had an absolutely rocket of a year as they moved from Ring 1 at the beginning of the season to successfully completing Ring 3 by the time the Canadian Championships came. Next year all the work that has been put into Ludo over these last few years as we hope he is competitive to winning the Ring 3 crown in Canada.
Handled by our newest member Jeff, we could not be prouder of the strides this team has made. From a Ring newbie who contacted us out of the blue and trusted in our club to source him a dog and to stick with the training program week after week driving two hours each way, to a solid Brevet performance IN THE SNOW at the Canada Cup. At just 16 months of age, he is the fastest SOAR dog to obtain his brevet! Well done guys. We hope to have them into Ring 2 by the end of 2019!
Now to some of the lows. Unfortunately, we had to make the decision to officially retire Mako. After trialling in Ring 2 for the first time at our trial in July he suffered a heat illness and we came close to losing him. As Mako grows older he is becoming less and less tolerant of the heat. His spirit is strong and his mind and body are also strong, but just not when it heats up. So he will continue to help advance our decoys.
In a cruel twist of fate Pistol was diagnosed with a spinal injury, and as a result he was immediately retired. He had started off his very young life with so much hope and desire to work in Ring, but as a result of his diagnosis we cannot risk any injury. He comes by often for fun bites, but he will never compete beyond a CSAU. We thank Steve for continuing to give Pistol a great and happy home!
That’s a wrap for 2018 thank you to everybody who came out and supported us! Next trial is May 17-19, 2019!