Monday, October 6, 2014

Grayhart Pups at the WCA Eastern Futurity

On October 4, 2014, Weimaraners from all over the US and Canada descended on North Branch Park, in Bridgewater, NJ, for the Weimaraner Club of America Eastern Futurity and Maturity.  My club, the Garden State Weimaraner Club, hosted the event along with our Specialty show on October 5th.  As there are only three futurities offered nationwide, other than Mica, Grayhart Lightfoot River of Light, (Parker x Savi) who was able to attend the Central Futurity, we decided to enter all our other futurity dogs who were available in the Eastern Futurity.

It was truly a crazy weekend, with five pups from two different litters (Rockstars and Fast Times litters) eligible, and we entered dogs in shows leading up to the Futurity to get them trained and ready for the big event.  Ice, Grayhart's Grayhart's Going All the Way, was able to stay with us for almost a month to train and get ready for the shows. Two of our Rockstars (Summit x Jam), Ember, Grayhart's Light My Fire, CGC, with owners Aimee and Josh, and Ella, Grayhart's How High the Moon, came for the weekend as did Reagan, Grayhart's Wild Life, NSD, out of our Fast Times litter (Parker x Savi).  CeCe, Grayhart's Almost Famous, lives local and her owners KellyAnn and Chris brought her to the show and were a great help with all the dogs.  I could not have managed without the help of Aimee and Josh, staying at the house, helping with the six dogs we had here for the weekend!  Trixie and Jam went on a mini-holiday to stay with Reagan's owners.  I have to add what fun we had with all our Grayhart family at the show for a mini-reunion.

The day of the Futurity started out with a big rainstorm but shows are held rain or shine.  With raincoats and nonslip shoes, we showed the dogs and were proud of how they all did among such tough competition, with many dogs shown by professional handlers.  We are proud of how well our dogs showed and three of them received placements.
Ice, Grayhart's Going All the Way was 4th place Junior Dog Futurity class.
 Ella, Grayhart's How High the Moon, shown by Steve Lane, was 3rd place Senior Bitch Futurity class.
Ember, Grayhart's Light My Fire, CGC, was 4th place Senior Bitch Futurity class.

For those unfamiliar with what the WCA Futurity is, this info is from a previous blog post on the topic with information from the Weimaraner Club of America website.

WCA Futurity and what it means

The owners of the stud or dam of the WCA Best Dog/Bitch in Futurity/Maturity receive the coveted "Pewter Dog"

Dual Show and Field Futurity Program

The Futurity Program is a breeder’s classic for Weimaraners, comparable to the Kentucky Derby for breeders of top running horses. In 1954, the Weimaraner Club of America inaugurated the Futurity Program. This program has proven to be one of the most important ever undertaken by the Weimaraner fraternity. No other program has done, or can do, as much to advance the cause of the breed both on the Bench and in the Field.

The purpose of the program is to insure the future excellence of the Weimaraner. Much time and effort has been expended in the past toward the development of the breed as we know it today. The Futurity Program is the means for the continuation of this development and improvement.

The Futurity is also a challenge, or a gamble on the future. The breeder has picked a certain Bitch to be bred to a certain Stud. It is his opinion that this breeding will produce offspring of the desired conformation and ability that will win in competition over the offspring of other breedings that are enrolled in the Futurity Program. To back up his faith in his judgment, he pays moneys into a fund that will be divided among the winners of the Futurity. These moneys are correctly termed “Forfeits” as the breeder agrees to forfeit the money if his opinion of his breeding did not prove to be correct.

Proper conformation for a hunting dog is the basis for the Weimaraner Standard. This standard describes the perfect Weimaraner. While we cannot hope to achieve perfection, the standard sets a goal for the conscientious breeder to strive toward. The conscientious Weimaraner breeder chooses, as a potential brood bitch, a female that most nearly approaches the standard. She will, in many instances, be from proven stock, and hopefully, she has been proven herself, by competition on the bench and in the field. When the breeder feels sure that his chosen bitch is an outstanding example of the breed, he begins to look for a suitable stud dog that will complement his bitch. The stud will also usually be from proven stock, and has also been proven, and has a reputation for producing high quality offspring. The use of proven bitches and studs gives the breeder little better odds, but this should not preclude using quality bitches and studs that have not previously produced. Many fine young Weimaraners were produced in the past from just such breedings. Since the Weimaraner is a hunting dog, the natural instincts of nose, desire to hunt, boldness and independence, and trainability, should also be given equal consideration when planning a breeding for the Futurity.

Because of the date lines that govern the W.C.A. Show Futurity, there are three age groups at the final date of judging. Show Futurity pups vary in age from approximately 11 months old to a maximum of 27 months. These pups are judged in three different age groups. Prior to the judging, the judge is provided with a set of the rules, which define the method of judgment. This procedure is followed so that each Futurity Class winner has an equal chance to win Best Dog in Futurity or Best Bitch in Futurity.

The W.C.A. Sectional Field Futurities are held in conjunction with the various National Classics and Championship Field Trials. The datelines established forthe Field Futurities are such that the ages of the pups in contention range from approximately 10 months to 30 months old. Field Futurity puppies are judged according to the AKC Derby Dog Standard of Judgment.

The goal of all Futurity Breeders and owners is, of course, to record a win in the Futurity. The “Ultimate Goal” is to win both a Bench Futurity and a Field Futurity with the same dog. A breeder or owner can also take great pride in a placement in any of the Futurity Sectionals. It should be remembered that all of these pups are bred for excellence, and a placement in this type of competition is indeed a prestigious accomplishment.
There are also financial rewards for winning.

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