Central Kentucky Retriever Club, 10/24-25/2020

Kid earned his Master title in a very challenging Master test in which only 13 out of 38 passed. Kid was absolutely great! He had no handles for the entire test in which about 75% of dogs handled in the first series. The third series finale included a cold water blind with a diversion shot to begin the test and few dogs did it well. Kid ran the blind beautifully! I am extremely proud of Kid and have to give a lot of credit to Dakota Mealer for his fine training the past two winters.

Michigan Flyways Retriever Club, 10/10-11/2020

Kid earned his 3rd and 4th Master passes in this double master. He ran well overall handling on one mark due to a winger malfunction and a safety whistle on the final mark of the first Master earning a Thank You from the judges who had watched numerous dogs blow through that mark and go over a 100 yards beyond! He ran nice blinds and was solid on his honors but was a little loose on his walkups.  Kid now needs one master pass in order to earn the title, MH.

Backwater Retriever Club, 8/29-30/2020

Kid earned his second Master pass running a beautiful event with no handles on nine marks, lining a very challenging water blind and remaining under control on two very “up close and personal” tests!

Michigan Flyways Retriever Club, 8/15-16/2020

Kid finally got a chance to run an event and earned his first Master pass. Kid had no handles, one hunt on a mark and ran three excellent blinds. A good start to what we hope will be a stellar career for our boy, “The New Kid In Town”. Gosh, I love the way that sounds!

Dardenne Retriever Club, 9/28-29/ 2019

Blindfaith’s Goldhill Desperado SH, aka Kid! Kid earned his SH title this past weekend in grand style, being one of only two dogs to pass the Senior on both Saturday and Sunday. Making these two passes all the more meaningful was the fact that the pass rates were low, 9 of 24 on Saturday and 6 of 17 on Sunday.  Kid ran well the whole weekend but really distinguished himself on Sunday ending the day by pinning the two water marks, one of which was very challenging, and two whistling the tough blind. What I was most proud of was the fact that he overcame numerous difficulties including an honor dog breaking while he was running, the working dog breaking while he was honoring, a no bird on a walkup flyer  and no bird planted on his first blind!

When kid got back from his southern trip to Goldhill Kennels with Dakota Mealer in June we felt that he could jump right into Master level but decided to be conservative due to my medical problems and the hot weather limiting training. Now that he has his SH title we will train completely for Master and Qualifying and may run a Master later this month. Keep an eye out for “The New Kid In Town”!

Backwater Retriever Club, 9/14-15/2019

Kid passed the Senior each day earning gallery applause on both land and water on Sunday. On Saturday he made it through a very difficult honor situation that me working with him all the way! We are halfway to the Senior title and will probably run Dardenne in two weeks.

Ohio Valley Retriever Club, 9/23-24/2017

Kid passed the Junior each day to earn his JH title in four straight!

Bustin‘ lined the second land blind in the challenging third series to complete his MH title! It was a great day and especially nice for Bustin’ o complete his title under our good friend, Ray Weaver. Bustin’ handled on one mark and ran beautiful blinds in a very “hunty” Master.

Ten once again passed the Master in good shape all the way!

Zoey, our good friend Devon Myers’ black female, passed her first Master as well! Congrats to Devon and Zoey!

Backwater Retriever Club, 9/8-10/2017

Ten passed a very difficult Master which included a monster water blind as a fourth blind included in the third and final series. Ten handled the blind very well. He is a nice handling dog and one of the nicest dogs I have ever owned.

Kid made 8 beautiful marks in the Junior but starting playing some games as he neared the bank with each water retrieve. The 8 marks were not even close to be the kind he has run in training so he never got to show what he can do as far as marking goes. He is a fine dog and we will work on this problem which reared it’s ugly head!

Golden Retriever Club of Illinois, 5/ 6-7/2017

Bonnie passed the Junior handled by bill earned her JH title with flying colors. We are looking forward to the next step with Bonnie and her buddy T. Marcia handled AD to a master pass! It was Marcia’s first time passing a Master. She had ran AD in one other and although she and AD picked up all the birds they did not pass. Big congrats to Marcia who has never even ran a Senior! Bustin did not run well and failed. Tru on the other hand was perfect with maybe the best job of any dog going into the third series when I ( Bill) fell asleep at the wheel and did not handle Tru when he had trouble on the go bird of the third ending in a pick up! MY Bad! One of the pitfalls of running a dog who almost never needs to handle on a mark.

Backwater Retriever Club, 4/8-9/2017

Our good friend pro retriever trainer Ray Weaver handled Bonnie, aka Blindfaith’s Stoneridge Bandit ( HRCH “Morgan” MH, QAA x Stoneridge Rock N Roll Hoochie Koo MH) to Junior passes leaving her one short of the junior title. Bonnie had been down south with Ray for a couple of months to get some much needed water work!

Backwater Retriever Club, 9/9-11/2016

Marcia and I took AD, Tru, Ten and Bustin’ to run the Master and Bonnie to run the Junior. The Master was one of the toughest overall that I have ran. Tru and Ten passed the Master ( 27 out of 85 dogs passed). That qualifies Ten for the BRC HoF joining his dad Tru, Granddad Morgan and four of our other dogs ( Mindy, Haley, Linc and Sophie). Tru is now 17 out of 19 in AKC Masters! Marcia and AD made it through the entire three series but had a rough ending on the difficult water blind and did not pass. Bustin’ ran a poor first series and I picked him up. Bonnie passed the Junior on Saturday for her first ribbon but Marcia picked her up on Sunday at the water when some line manner problems developed! All in all a very good weekend.

Marshbanks, 8/27-28/2016

Ten passed a tough Master in spectacular fashion. One safety handle, the only dog to drive through 12″-18″ grass to pin a tough water memory bird in the Land-Water series, three beautiful blinds and a perfect job on the water series finale. He did a couple of “goofy” things as well but that pretty well is in keeping with who he is!

Wisconsin Amateur Retriever Club, 7/30-31/2016

Bustin’ earned his 4th Master pass in a very challenging series of tests in which only 19 of 60 dogs passed. Our good friend, pro trainer Ray Weaver, ran Bustin’ for us. Bustin’ now needs one pass to earn his title. We will run Bustin’ at Backwater and possibly sooner. Our Big Boy is now 4 out of 5 in AKC Masters.

Golden Retriever Club of Illinois, 5/7-8/2016

Bustin’ earned his third Master pass at GRCI in exemplary fashion handling on one bird that almost everyone handled on while running three very nice blinds and displaying impeccable line manners! Shelby ran great blinds and marks but failed due to some terrible line manners and Ten should have passed but a combination of a mechanics snaffu and my stupidity cost him! All in all a very nice weekend with some nice folks.

Backwater Retriever Club, 4/9-10/2016

T passed the junior tests both days to earn her JH title. She ran very well! She was a bit tuggy getting through the holding blinds but sat at the line “rock solid” and did all 8 retrieves perfectly. We are proud of our Slider girl.

Bustin’ earned his second Master pass nailing all the marks without a handle and he ran two very nice blinds and one less than what I wanted.

Ten had a short quick and understandable handle on one water bird but ran three absolutely beautiful blinds for a very nice performance!

Illinois River HRC, 5/16/2015

Ten passed the Finished on Saturday giving him the 7 passes he needed to earn his HRCH title. He handled on one duck which sunk when he ran as the very last dog of the day after a heavy rain. He ran a nice test once again displaying perfect line manners. He had a couple of very nice hunts. We are very proud of our boy from Paul Shoemaker via Mallard Lake in Washington! Once again, Paul would be proud of his boy Ten!

Backwater RC and Ohio Valley RC, 4/11-12/2015 & 4/24-26/2015

Ten passed one of the two Masters at Backwater, failing one due to my mistake of not handling on the one bird he missed by two feet! So that meant that we had to go to OVRC ( 380 miles) to try for the last pass he needed to complete the MH title. We also decided to run the Qualifying stake even though he has done almost no FT training in the past 8 months. The weekend was a huge success! Ten passed the Friday Master without a handle and three very nice blinds to complete his title and followed that up by passing the Saturday Master B with three nice blinds and only a safety handle on the very last retrieve, a long water bird in a strong wind. I was not going to make the same mistake that I made at BRC! I addition Ten made it to the third series ( water blind) of the Qual with no handles on land and a wonderful land blind! 21 marks with only one safety whistle! HR Blind Faith’s Ten Comandments MH !! We will now run Kalamazoo HRC hunt test on May 9-10 to try to complete the HRCH title.

Wisill/Badger State HRC Hunt Test, 8/23-24/2014

Tru and Ten both passed the Saturday Finished in very nice fashion thus earning Tru his HRCH title in 7 straight and putting Ten within one pass of his title. On Sunday Tru nailed the tough first land series but Ten ( or me) got confused and I picked him up! After taking a short break, I decided to end the year right then and there. It had been a lot of weekends away and a lot of money spent! We will work on finishing Ten’s two advanced titles in the spring. He has been a real joy to take to the line!

Michigan Flyways Hunt Test, 8/16-17/2014

Tru passed the Master in great fashion and Ten failed due to my inattention on the last bird of the crucial third series. My Bad!!!

Fort Detroit GRC Hunt Test, 7/19-20/2014

Ten passed the Master in very nice fashion, running nearly perfect first and third series, pinning the 6 marks and running three excellent blinds! Ten now needs two passes for his Master title.

Backwater RC HRC Hunt Test, 6/21-22/2014

Tru passed the Finished both days and now needs one pass for his hrch title. He was absolutely splendid! Ten passed the Sunday Finished but not the Saturday although he ran very well. Ten now needs 2 passes to get the hrch title. AD, handled by Marcia did not get a pass but Marcia handled well in her debut. She was failed on Saturday after running two series in good shape. On Sunday she was perfect until the land blind and then her inexperience and AD’s prime weakness came together in a bad way. Marcia did well and proved that she is capable of running the big dogs!

Madison Retriever Club Hunt Test, 6/07-08/2014

Dude, aka HRCH Blindfaith’s One Ruff Dude, passed the Master with flying colors to earn his first master pass in his first AKC event ever! By all accounts Dude ran a nearly perfect master and now will shoot for 5 more passes to earn the MH. His is a remarkable story of comebacks from injury and illness to succeed through the loving and talented hands of his young owners, Wynne and Eric Venard and The Grace of The Lord! The Blindfaith Brothers keep on keepin’ on!

Mississippi Flyway HRC Hunt Test, 5/31/2014 and 6/01/2014

Tru and Ten again each passed the Finished division on both Saturday and Sunday moving a step closer to the goal of becoming HRCH and getting their HR titles along the way. Tru was nearly perfect throughout the weekend with no handles and 4 very nice blinds. Ten had a handle on one bird that he did not see due to swinging too far and other than that flawless with 4 nearly perfect blinds!  That’s 4 down and 3 to go for the T-Boys.

Illinois River HRC Hunt Test, 5/17-18/2014

Tru and Ten, the T-Boys as Marcia calls, them each passed the Finished on both Saturday and Sunday. This was the boys first introduction to HRC stuff and they loved it! The boys did especially well on the tough water series on Sunday morning! That’s 2 down and 5 to go for the boys to earn the HRCH title. Should be a fun ride!

Michigan Flyways RC, 5/17-18/2014

Lumen passed the Junior on Sunday handled by Ray Weaver. She now needs one pass to earn her JH title!

Golden Retriever Club of Illinois, 5/03-04/2014

 Tru passed the Master and ran a wonderful stand alone water blind which was termed ” The Widowmaker” by one of the judges. It was an unusual master in many ways, fun at times and not so much at others. 34 dogs ran the second series and 34 passed…easy huh?….then came ” The Widowmaker”! AD ran poorly and went out on the aforementioned water blind. Ten ran superbly and was 15 feet from having one of the 2-3 best water blinds when “something” happened and he was failed. I hit a safety sit whistle to give a final cast and he ” raced” into the woods, finally coming out to pick up the bird. Received a phone call this morning from someone new to the game who was watching Ten run and I was asked ” why was someone walking around back there while Ten was running? ” I noticed it when I saw him and I mentioned it to the judges to no avail. Oh well…”_ _ _ _ happens” and if that is the worst that happens I will live..but the bad taste is still there! Now for a brewski!

Ohio Valley Retriever Club, 4/25-27/2014

Paul’s Dogs ( AD, Tru and Ten) ran very well at Ohio with Tru passing both Masters including a breathtaking performance on the last series ( water) of Saturday’s master, Ten passing both masters in almost as good a fashion as Tru and AD passing the first master nicely but succumbing to a challenging shoreline blind into a stiff wind in the second series of the other master. 5 passes out of 6 runs so we are happy!

The Qualifying was another story. It was a monster test with the money bird out about 350 in the rain wind and cold and one young man shooting a popper and throwing the bird. The terrain sloped up behind the bird with a treeline far off so the bird never came close to breaking the horizon. Many dogs, including Tru and AD,  did not see the bird. Three of the first 5 dogs to run took head over heels tumbles about halfway out to the flyer and middle bird! All in all 12-14 dogs or more fell. When Ten ran he was about the 26th dog and quickly became the first to nail the money bird! I felt like we were in good shape…then when I sent him for the middle bird about halfway out he tumbled end over end and landed facing me! I was angry and frustrated…I yelled “heel” and we left. Don’t know if it was the right decision but it felt right at the time! I was proud of Ten! He’s a very nice and good dog!

Ten is now halfway to his MH title!

Backwater Retriever Club, 4/12/2014

BFR had a very good weekend at BRC. Tru passed the master with a spectacular performance throughout the three series. Tru’s son, Ten, ran his first master ( or hunt test of any kind) and other than one poor mark in the first series was absolutely perfect with pinpoint marks and beautiful blinds. We look forward to running Ten in the years to come! Lumen passed her first two juniors in good fashion. Lu was handled by Ray Weaver. AD ran a very poor first series and was not brought back. Maybe Marcia should have handled her?!?

Ten’s Achievements!

Since we acquired Ten in late September from the estate of Paul Shoemaker we have focused on getting to know him and running basic stuff in order for him to get to know us! He has been doing that well. Before arriving here at BFR Ten acquitted himself nicely in field trial Derbies even though he was being run by numerous people due to Paul’s failing health. Ten ran his first licensed Derby at the age of 8 months! He picked up a second at Tacoma at the age of 12 months and then picked up 4 more points ( two 3rds and 4 JAM’s) for a total of 7,  all the while training for the Qualifying at Paul’s insistence as he was not really interested in the Derby! There were a lot of things happening in Ten’s training that Paul was very unhappy about. There were times when Ten would run an all age training test better than the FC’s on the truck but things were not clicking in many ways. Paul took Ten home and turned him over to a friend who is an amateur handler and within hours of BFR finalizing his purchase Ten took a Qualifying 4th at Oregon RC fall trial! We are very pleased and feel blessed to have Ten. He has cleared all the usual hurdles for breeding and is now available at stud. Ten is chocolate factored for those wanting to add some color to their breeding program.

Middle Tennessee Amateur Retriever Club ( MTARC), 10/12/2013..A.D. earns MH title!

A.D. earned her Master title by running a very challenging master test in grand fashion. The land series and the water blind were very difficult and A.D. rose to the occasion, pinning 7 of 8 marks with a small hook on the 8th, nearly lining the land blinds and running a commendable water blind! A fun, fun weekend!

Buckeye Retriever Club, 9/28/2013….A.D. passes 5th Master!

A.D. ran a very nice, challenging Master handling on no marks and running three very nice blinds including what may have been the best water blind! She needs one more pass for her MH and we will try to get that at MTARC the weekend of October 12-13.

Backwater Retriever Club, 9/13/2013…4 Master passes!

We ran our first test of the Fall and all four Master dogs passed! Bustin’ earned his first Master pass running decently the whole weekend. Morgan ran probably the best three blinds but his marking and behavior was less than spectacular. A.D. ran very well handling once and running nice blinds. Tru, on the other hand, was spectacular the entire weekend being one of only 10 – 15 dogs that did mot handle on the first land series! A great weekend!

GRCI Hunt Test, 5/05/2013…Bustin’ earns SH title!

After a very draining week and half due to a family medical problem coupled with bad weather which prevented any serious training, Bustin’ and Bill made the trip to the Golden Retriever Club of Illinois to run the senior on the morning of the 5th. Bustin’ did a very nice job and earned his SH title. Bustin’ passed 4 of the 5 seniors in which he was entered failing only the ” Senior National” at OVRC ( see below). We will now work Bustin’ into master setups and see how that goes and possibly run some HRC stuff.

Ohio Valley Retriever Club, 4/19-21/2013….Tru qualifies for BRC HoF!

For the second weekend in a row we were greeted with horrible weather on Friday ( my birthday, #66) but the dogs ran well. A.D. was one of six dogs to make it to the last series of the O/H Qual and had a chance to win it when the other 5 dogs failed to do the test cleanly but I messed up! Tru went out in the third series water blind. The Qual was, by far, the hardest I have seen and I’m really proud of A.D.! Both Tru and A.D. passed both Masters so Tru has now qualified for the BRC Hall of Fame and A.D. is halfway to a MH title. Bustin’ passed the first Senior and failed the second in what was the hardest Senior I have ever run so he needs one more pass to get a SH title. We’ll try again on May 5 at GRCI near Joliet.

Backwater Retriever Club, 4/12-14/2013…A rough start followed by a good showing!

At the Backwater spring test, which began in terribly inclement weather, Tru passed both Masters, Bustin’ passed two Seniors and A.D. passed one Master after failing the Friday master. Bustin‘ is now half way to his SH title and Tru needs two more passes to qualify for the Backwater RC Hall of Fame. A.D. is moving toward a MH title where she needs a total of six passes since she has no Senior title…5 more to go!

Ohio Hunting Retriever Club, 9/22,23/2012….Nash titles!

HRCH Blindfaith’s Burt Becker Magnum MH owned and handled by our good friend Chris Sausman passed the Finished both days in Ohio to complete the requirements for his HRCH title in great fashion. Nash has never ran a seasoned event so had to pass 7 Finisheds and he did so in seven straight. That makes Nash 7 for 7 in HRC Finished and 14 of 15 in AKC Masters! Quite an outstanding record for one of The Blindfaith Brothers, all sons of HRCH “Morgan” MH, QAA.

Whistling Wings HRC, 8/18-19/2012……Dude titles!

HRCH Blindfaith’s One Ruff Dude owned and handled by our good friend Eric Venard and cosponsored by Eric’s lovely fiance, Wynne Rodman, completed the requirements for his HRCH title this weekend out in the Great Northwest. From all accounts Dude and Eric ran outstanding marks and blinds the entire weekend to earn his title. Dude has overcome a serious injury and surgery as a young dog to become a serious competitive dog as well as a great gundog and wonderful companion for the ” Venmans”. Dude now joins his brothers Tru and Nash to complete the triumvirate known as The Blindfaith Brothers! Welcome Aboard Brotha!!!


American Amateur Retriever Club, 5/25/2012…..

Morgan won the Qualifying on Friday and now is Qualified All Age. I watched each dog run each series and Morgan had the best land blind after a decent but not spectacular set of land marks and then, by far, the best water blind and I knew we had a chance to win this small entry Qual. The judges set up the fourth series only to change it after the test dog ran. Then the replacement test was scrapped after four dogs, including Morgan,  were unable to complete the test. (Morgan started to get sick right before running and later in the night became ill with total diarhea and vomiting. I went ahead and ran the first series of the Am and he ran very poorly. I should have followed my gut instinct and scratched but I did not). In spite of the fact that I forgot the order of the falls, Morgan bailed me out and he nailed the marks. Not the hardest quakl by far but we will take the good with the bad…his blinds were excellent by any standard and even I was impressed by his water blind! The Good Lord smiled on each of us this fine day in May!

May 2012…..

LINC obtained two more master passes with new owner Joe Wilkens at Magnolia and East Tennessee. This is Joe’s first shot at running competition and he and Linc are proving to be a formidable team. They will run at Jayhawk RC on June 1-3. Joe is trying to get Linc qualified for this year’s Master National in Alabama. Marcia and I are very pleased with our decision to sell Linc to Joe and we’re very proud of both of them. Keep up the great work!

Midwest Field Trial Club, 5/11/2012…….

Morgan ran reasonably well in the Qualifying and earned the Reserve JAM. In both the land blind and water blind ( ran as adouble blind) I made one less than desirable handling decision and that probably kept Morgan out of the places. Overall he ran well and nailed each of the birds in the fourth series water triple although he did so in a less than usual method…you had to be there to see it…it was one of those moments where you shake your head and just go on….

Ohio Valley Retriever Club, 4/27-29/2012……

After much deliberation we decided to make the trip to Coshocton, Oh. to run Tru in a double master to attempt to get his MH title after his two passes at Backwated late in March. Since there was an owner/handler qualifying we decided to enter Morgan and, why not?, Tru. Unfortunately Morgan was lost in the last 30 yards of the third series water blind after running beautifully up tp that point. Tru on the other hand ran a beautiful end of the water blind and then pounded the monster water triple to take second place and become Qualified All Age! He then passed both Masters to earn the MH title and also become qualified for this year’s Master National in Alabama. A wonderful weekend in every way. When we arrived home Sunday evening Devon Myers of Zamm Retrievers showed up with his yellow female, Molly, for a breeding to Morgan…accomplished late in the evening for a nice ending to a long but wonderful weekend!

AKC Master National

You would think that if you went to any retriever competition and had 17 flyer shots while you and your trusted companion were on line it would be a great trial, hunt test, weekend or even month but, alas, it was not so for Chris and Nash. In the first series Ray Weaver ( handler ) and Nash walked to the line for the first series only to get a no-bird on the flyer with 9, count’em 9, shots fired from three gunners. After waiting three dogs Ray and an overly excited Nash returned to the line only to have the flyer killed far out of the area with 8, count’em 8, shots fired. After needing to be reheeled Nash had lost his marks and did not pass the test. A sad ending to an otherwise glorious year! BFR waits for great things next year with Nash and his littermate, Tru!

Midwest Field Trial Club, 9/24-25/2011….Grace Titles!!!!…Tru runs great until…..

Our Grace earned her JH title at the ripe old age of 10 m0nths 6 days at Midwest. She ran great marks, handling on one water bird Saturday that she missed by about 6 inches in cover and had to be called back to pick up. Her manners in the holding blinds and getting to the line were shakey at best but she was rock solid on the line and her retrieves were beautiful.  Hopefully senior in the spring…

Tru was nothing short of spectacular up until the ” last retrieve”. He had to be at the top of the leader board going into the challenging walkup land triple Sunday morning which took place in a flat alfalfa field with lots of room to overrun birds. We ran first with little wind after the test dog failed the test completely and Tru nailed all three of the nicest jobs I’ve ever had a dog do…then he turned me off on a relatively easy land blind…it was not pretty and I’m not sure why it happened but the judges were right in denying him a pass. We are very proud of the work that he has done in the short time he has been with us!

Washington State……Mercy Titles!!

Mercy, Blindfaith Over Troubled Water JH, earned her SH title and will soon be bred to FC-AFC Dare To Dream ( Cosmo ). Mercy is owned by our good friend Kay ( and TruMan) Ellis of Seattle. We are looking forward to her upcoming breeding to Cosmo and we hope that it is “on to Master” for Mercy and her handler Truman!

Backwater Retriever Club, 9/09-11/2011….Tru and Grace get’r done……Nash qualifies for the BRC H of F…..

Tru passed both the Friday master and the Saturday master in great style, needing only a “safety” whistle on the very last mark of the weekend. He was one of only three dogs to line the land blind on Friday ( Nash and Morgan{ test dog} were the other two!) and he was the only dog to line the land water blind in Saturday’s Master B land/water test ( he lined the through the arc land blind as well!). I had a feeling things were going to go well when he smacked the opening land walkup triple after 9 of the first 12 dogs handled. A very good start for our boy from Washington.

Grace ran two wonderful juniors especially the Saturday land marks which were very nice and very challenging. She ran with great style and was completely steady on line. She was a bit ” unruly” in the holding blinds on Saturday. The most exciting moment came when the bird boys called and threw the last water bird on Sunday as we were still walking to the line on lead! I was in a hurry to get somewhere else so I told the judges that she has seen the bird and they gave us the go ahead and Grace finished the weekend with a splash!! Another great start!

Chris Sausman’s wonderful young male out of Morgan and Ruff earned his 10th master pass, qualifying for induction into The Backwater Retriever Club Hall of Fame, joining his father and four other Blindfaith dogs, Mindy, Haley, Linc and Sophie. CONGRATULATIONS, CHRIS & NASH!

Midwest Field Trial Club, 9/02/2011….Qualifying……Scrapped and scratched….

We entered Morgan and Tru in the Friday Qual, Tru’s first with me. The judges moved the test to the refuge for a running water/shallow swimming water test that took 15 minutes per dog. After the test dog failed and 8 of the first 10 dogs failed, the judges scrapped the test! Tru was one of the two dogs who did the test ( without handling!) so it was a bummer for him. Morgan was the only dog who pinned the flyer and then had a perfect line on the memory bird. As he went into the water to get the duck the judges congratulated us on the fine job only to have him come out wo the bird. After 2 more entries into the water and then being handled into the water still wo picking up the bird things fell apart and the heat was miserable so I picked him up….when I yelled ” Heel” he jumped back into the water and found the bird! The judges then made their decision to scrap. At one o’clock the replacement test had not been set up so we scratched and went home as it was 100 degrees and we had a female in for breeding who needed an AI which could not wait until Saturday…Oh Well, _ _ it happens!

Sophie’s Pups…Goin’ Home!

Sophie’s pups began going to their new homes this morning, June 30. First pup to leave was RBCM, now known as ” Muddy”, who was picked up by his new owners, George and Jane Brown, of Summerville, SC. Muddy will be living near our friend Bobby Mead of The Wappaoolah Plantation. We look forward to seeing Muddy, George and Jane when we make the winter trip with Ray Weaver to train and hunt in South Carolina.

” Nash” Qualifies for the 2011 AKC Master National!

Nash, Blind Faith’s Burt Becker Magnum MH, passed the master at the Golden Retriever Club of Illinois hunt test the first weekend of May to qualify for this years Master National in Maryland. CONGRATS to Nash and owner, Chris Sausman.

Olympic Rain Shadow HRC, 6/04-05/2011……Dude titles!!!

HR Blindfaith’s One Ruff Dude, Morgan and Ruff’s  son and Ziva’s brother and littermate, earned his HR title in grand style out in Washington. Dude passed four straight seasoned events and was nearly perfect in all ways this weekend. Dude is owned by our good friend, Eric Venard, formerly of Westville, Il. Much of Dude’s success is probably attributable to the great throwing and moral support of  Wynne Rodman, Eric’s significant other and former student of Bill. We look forward to great things in the future from this trio. This is Eric’s first Lab! Good goin’.

American Amateur Retriever Club, 5/27/2011…Morgan JAM’s Qualifying!!!

Morgan and Bill jumped back into the field trial world after absences of 5 and 20 years respectively and the results were good. Both had a great time, renewed old acquaintances and made new ones and had success as well. Morgan earned a JAM ( Judges Award of Merit) in a very hard Qualifying ( one experienced field trialer said the water blind was the hardest he had ever ran in a Qual. Morgan ran an excellent set of land marks and a very nice 300 yard land blind and was at or near the top going into the water blind. In the first part of the water blind the hunt test dog reared it’s ugly head and we had some trouble but he pulled through and after a difficult water triple he was presented with the green JAM ribbon. I am very proud of him and will now train to run some more field trials in the Fall. He’s my Boy!!

Ohio Valley Retriever Club, 4/15-17/2011….Another great weekend!

Nash, Blind Faith’s Burt Becker Magnum SH, earned his MH title in grand fashion over this wet, windy and cold weekend. Nash was the third youngest dog entered ( don’t know yet if he was the youngest qualifier)  and other than some creeping at the line wowed the judges. Nash, like his father Morgan, now needs one pass to qualify for this year’s Master National in Maryland. Congratulations to Blind Faith’s Burt Becker Magnum MH !!!! and his proud owner Chris Sausman. Nash was handled by Ray Weaver of Bittersweet Kennels!!

Roscoe, Blindfaith Roscoe of Lacabreah, owned by Mike Daman and handled by Ray Weaver passed the Junior each day entering the hunt test world in fine fashion. Roscoe is a littermate of Dude ( see below) and our Ziva.

Whistling Wings HRC, 4/16-17/2011…..Dude rocks on!

Dude, Blindfaith’s One Ruff Dude, owned and handled by our good friend, Eric Venard, earned Seasoned passes each day in this, his first formal competition. By all accounts Dude’s work was splendid in all ways other than a little ” looseness” on the line. We are especially proud of Dude and Eric since Dude is Eric’s first retriever and Dude sustained a serious, nearly career ending injury that required major surgery and a lengthy and expensive recuperation. Congrats to Dude, Eric and Wynne who of course cheers, throws birds and offers moral support on a regular basis. Dude is also a full brother to Nash but is a about 8 months younger.


Kate,  HRCH  WL LA Dream Trip Kate SH, owned by Wayne LaBry and handled by Chuck McCall, passed her first Grand in fine fashion, enduring terrible weather of all sorts. Kate is only three years old and is out of Sophie ( HRCH Ten Bears Dream Catcher MH) and Tick (Ten Bears Road Trip, QAA).  We look forward to Kate becoming a GRHRCH soon. Wayne is especially deserving of God’s Blessings after the death of his young chocolate male, Roux.

Backwater Retriever Club, 4/8-10/2011…What A Weekend!!!

Captain Morgan and his offspring really had a great weekend at Backwater. Morgan qualified in both Master events qualifying him for the BRC Hall of Fame. Morgan’s work in each Master was exceptional prompting one judge to comment ( When I expressed some worry about his work at the moment) ” He’s been on autopilot all weekend, why worry?” . Morgan now needs one pass to qualify for this years Master National. Linc ran test dog in the Masters and also did a fine job earning an ovation from the gallery in the water series of the Saturday Master. All of Morgan’s entered sons and daughters passed their events over the weekend. Morgan’s pups and their events were as follows: 1. Blind Faith’s Burt Becker Magnum SH, age 2y4m ( youngest master dog entered), owner Chris Sausman..Master Friday…ineligible to run Saturday. 2. Grizzly’s Scooter Magee MH, age 2y10m, owner Dan Tyner…both Masters…earns MH title! 3. Abby’s Storm in the Night, age 2y11m, owner Abby Eash…Master Friday…did not run Saturday. 4. Sunshines Lil’ Spirit of Sunny Acre, age 2y10m, owner Renee Fites...Senior both days. 5. Top Knobs Willow Run Wrigley JH, age 2y4m, owner Steve Troyer…Senior both days. 6. Loving’s Token Tumbling Tumbleweed, age 1y6m, owner Isaac Loving…junior both days. A big CONGRATULATIONS!! from BFR to these Labs and their owners!! Good Luck in the coming year.


We are constantly getting reports indicating that Morgan’s puppies are doing very well but we have been negligent about keeping track of and reporting those results. As some of you know, most of Morgan’s  pups are just turning two years old and reports are glowing! We will make a better attempt to report those achievements so please let us know when your pup does something of which you are proud. Our young friend, Abby Esch of Trinity Oak Labs in northern Indiana, owns a beautiful yellow female named Raney ( HR Abby’s Storm In The Night) who is out of one of Morgan’s first breedings. Raney’s dam is Abby’s, Tory ( HRCH UH Wolf Creek’s Candlewood Victory). Raney has recently picked up her first Finished pass in Ohio, earning her qualifying score  in an event passed by only 9 of 27 retrievers. Good Going Abby and Raney!! Let’s get that title!


Midwest Field Field Trial Club Fall Hunt Test, 9/25-26/2010….. Morgan & Ziva Shine!!  Ziva Titles!! This was the first hunt test held by the Midwest Field Trial Club and it was very nice. The Master, Senior and Saturday’s Junior were held on Hal and Sharon Gierman’s beautiful property outside Morris, Il. This has to be one of the most beautiful properties in the country for working retrievers. Just magnificent in every way! Ziva earned her JH title by passing four straight juniors. The Juniors on both Saturday and Sunday were fun and challenging and Officer David ( Ziva) really did a nice job pinning all the marks except for the Saturday flyer on land. She hunted long but worked back in to pick up the bird in good fashion. The pups out of the two Morgan/Ruff litters continue to do very well. Morgan was nothing short of spectacular in the Master from start to finish. The first, land series was run off the left edge of a huge mound out into a hay bale field with an out of order flyer ( 1st down) , a dead bird tight to the right ( 2nd) and a dead bird far to the left ( 3rd) which all 60 dogs took first leaving the tight two birds to the right.  Each of the marks was out about 100 yards. The marks were followed by a land blind through the arc of the flyer fall at about 130 yards and a tough 120 yard water blind with a long land entry followed by a long swim tapering into a shoreline with the bird placed at the point where the shoreline turned away to the right. Only 26 dogs were called back for series two, a walkup water double with a diversion bird between the marks. The third series was a delayed triple with a water blind off too the side. Morgan nailed all of the marks and ran three beautiful blinds, each completed in his trademark all out style! His marks in the tough series one were particularly good. He knew where each mark was and slowed down just ahead of the fall area showing absolute memory of each. In the final two series I only blew the whistle one time and that was a ” safety” on the last blind just as he scented the bird. It was a really great performance, one that I will always be proud of and one that I will always cherish. Making the weekend even more memorable was the fact that Sharon Gierman was in Canada running, and WINNING, the Canadian National Open with FC-AFC Calumet’s Big Blue who is Morgan’s half brother ( each sired by Soupy). It was quite a weekend for Soupy and Morgan, Calumet Kennels and Blindfaith Retrievers! The only downside to the weekend was Linc’s failure in the first series of the Master. He pinned the first two birds, missed the third by about a few feet on the upwind side and got out too far where he failed to handle in. It was the first time in his life that he picked up on the marks. Had I known that 6 of the first 9 dogs would fail I would have hit him with a quick handle. That’s what can happen when you run first, into the sun and without the benefit of seeing a few other dogs work….Oh Well…live and learn! Backwater Retriever Club Fall Hunt Test, 9/10-12/2010….What A Weekend!!!!!! In this fall’s triple double hunt test the Blindfaith  dogs had what probably is the best single competitive weekend since we began running field trials in 1975, earning qualifying ribbons in ALL six events entered! In addition our good friend, Ray Weaver of Bittersweet kennels in Indiana earned ribbons in 5 of 6 events entered. All in all it was one heck of a nice weekend with great tests, great people and weather that turned out better than what was predicted ( We had clear weather on Friday, drizzle on Saturday and clear and beautiful on Sunday). The two Masters that we ran were very different from each other with Friday’s held in close quarters in a gravel pit and Saturday’s held on DOT grounds with rolling grass fields and many different size ponds. As you might expect Friday’s Master ( judges Dan and Peggy Ramsey) was ” in your face” with all marks close while Saturday’s ( judges Darrell and Rita Voight) was much longer but still very reasonable in every way. It was a pleasure to run each and dogs were tested in a variety of circumstances. Morgan passed each Master with only a safety handle on the very last bird in the first master and spectacular blinds on the tough technical first series of the second Master.  Linc passed each Master as well with no handles and exceptional blinds throughout except for the water blind ( second master, second series) in which he was within three feet of another exceptional blind and decided to quickly veer left into cover….. high, thick cover…After one friutless handle his head popped up over the cover looking for his handler ( Darrell said ” good thing that he is a tall dog”). One handle and we were home free! Ziva passed both Juniors in good fashion with the only real excitement being in the land series Sunday when, after a no-bird flyer, she went out and got a little deep of the actual flyer and picked up a bird that had been left out during setup!  Ziva, who is somewhat soft and sensitive, handled the crowds very well and did a very good job on the Saturday land marks. Ray, Jan Rusch and I marshalled the Friday Master and had a great time. Ray’s dogs ran very well with Ruger ( owned by Jan) earning a Master pass on Sunday putting him in the BRC Hall of Fame and Kyla ( a Flatcoat owned by Bobbee Bradley) passing both Juniors. In addition, Ray ran Ziva’s brother, Nash ( Blindfaith’s Burt Becker Magnum ) in his first Master events at the ripe old age of 21 months. Nash not only passed both but did so in splendid fashion running the last series of the weekend faster and cleaner than any other dog!  Ray says ” There is a new sheriff  in town” referring , I assume, to Nash’s sire, Morgan. I will say that that dog is talented and a force with which to be reckoned.

Morgan’s and Ruff’s Puppies Kickin’ It,…………. CONT’D

Two of the male puppies born to Morgan and Ruff on 12/07/08 have had a great summer and early fall. Tru, Blindfaith’s True Spirit, owned by Paul Shoemaker of Arlington, Wa., Jammed the Derby at the Northwest Retriever Club Field Trial in early August and Nash, Blindfaith’s Burt Becker Magnum SH, earned his Senior title in Michigan on Sunday, August 29. Nash has been running master setups for over a month and running exceptionally well. When Ray came to train with us in July Nash actually ran the master setups on the last day better than his daddy. During the Thursday- Sunday period of the Michigan hunt test Nash ran 27 marks without a handle and finished off the weekend by lining the water blind! Good Going Nash!! Now Nash has passed his first two masters again picking up 17 marks without a handle! This boy is on a fantastic streak and quickly making a name for himself. Ziva ( Officer David), Nash’s sister from a later litter has passed her first two juniors and will run again, along with Morgan and Linc, at the Midwest Field Trial Club Hunt Test the weekend of September 25th. Michigan Flyway Retriever Club, 5/22-23/2010 Bustin’ and Lily each completed their JH titles in four straight on Saturday in what was a challenging, both for the dogs and handlers, junior hunt test. Both dogs ran extremely well other than some manners problems getting to the line. I, aka Bill, walked 2800 yards just getting to the line and back to the truck with the two dogs…that’s almost 1 3/4 miles!! Linc passed another Master in splendid fashion. In the first two series he pinned six marks, lined one blind and one whistled the other. After he picked up the third bird in the second series one of the judges let out a ” Whoop!”….A rare moment and one that I will cherish forever! He is one nice dog! Backwater Retriever Club, 4/09-11/2010 This was an interesting weekend as I was pretty sick for most of the week before and it did not end until Sunday!  Bustin’ and Lily each qualified in what were very challenging  Juniors  each day. Highlight was when Lily encountered her first cripple on Saturday and had to be ” encouraged” to pick it up. Then in Sunday’s water test using dead birds Lily got a live bird and once again had to be ” encouraged” to fetch. All ended well. Morgan ran spectacularly in Friday’s two Master series including what was probably the best water blind of any dog. Then for the first time in his career he broke in the third series on Saturday about one hour after I failed him by not handling on a bird that many folks were handling on. I guess payback is a b_____ . GRCI, 5/08-09/2010 Bustin’ and Lily each passed their 3rd consecutive Junior on Sunday after scratching on Saturday due to Morgan’s surgery. Bustin’ was excellent and Lily was good showing good perseverance as the flyer station talked up a storm. They will each go for their Junior titles at Michigan Flyway on May 22/23.


MORGAN & LINC Morgan and Linc each passed the two HRC Finished Hunt Tests at Gun Creek HRC near Marion, Il. the weekend of March 28-29. Both dogs were very impressive. Linc handled on one mark out of 12( safety) and Morgan had no handles and no hunts of which to speak . Both dogs ran 4 exceptional blinds with Morgan needing only 3 whistles on his four blinds.  Morgan and Linc each passed both days at Mississippi Valley HRC the first weekend of  May and they each did so beautifully. Morgan then passed both days at Illinois River HRC ( Linc stayed home to save his owners some cash) on May 16 and 17.  Morgan is now 6  for 6 in HRC Finished while Linc is now 12 for 12!  Both boys are entered at Mississippi Flyway HRC the last weekend of May where Morgan will try to finish his HRCH. Morgan has not handled on a single mark in the 12 tests. Morgan and Linc each passed Mississippi Flyway in great fashion. This completes Morgan’s HRCH title with 7 for 7  finisheds  and no handles on any marks or diversions. Linc is now 13 for 13! Linc and Ruff each passed the Backwater master the first weekend of April. Morgan, who ran much better than Linc and Ruff, failed due to a somewhat controlled break during the second series honor when his handler became complacent as the flyer was shot. It was interesting to be sitting in the rickety boat watching Morgan’s head and then seeing his butt going over the side. It was stylish at least!


MORGAN Morgan passed the master at the spring trial of our home club, The Backwater Retriever Club, and thus earned his MH title exactly one year after beginning his Hunt Test career at Backwater in 2007. Each year the weather was the same, in a word Terrible. Snow, sleet, rain and wind assaulted handlers, judges and workers throughout the weekend but all held up. Linc, Sophie and Ruff Sophie had her litter for the year on March 7. Remarkably she had an all chocolate litter( 5 females and 3 males) sired by Ten Bears Road Trip***. Sophie will resume training about April 19 and plans are to run some FT Quals in the fall. Ruff is due to whelp a litter sired by FC Riparian Windfall on or about April 24 and then will resume hunt test training with the goal of joining her mother, Haley, and grandmother, Mindy, in the Backwater Retriever Club Hall of Fame.


MORGAN Our main focus for this year was to start Morgan on his hunt test career. While he absolutely had master level skills, he had never seen a hunt test concept until we acquired him in October 2006. With this in mind, we began to gradually introduce Morgan to the world of hunting and hunt tests. What with actual hunting and bad weather at this time of year, training time was hard to come by but Morgan caught on quickly. We decided to enter Morgan in back to back junior and senior doubleheaders rather than jump right in at the master level. We ran Morgan at Backwater Retriever Club ( April 13-15) and Ohio Valley Retriever Club( April 21-22). He sailed through 4 juniors and 4 seniors earning both his JH and SH titles in a nine day stretch. During this time Morgan turned many heads with his heart pounding intensity and spectacular style. Morgan will begin running master after a month or so of intro to a few more concepts while we get Ruff’s litter to their homes. Morgan ran and passed his first AKC Master at the Madison Retriever Club the weekend of June 9. He handled on one mark which he did not get a good look at and ran 4 beautiful blinds, three of which were very technical in nature. He was the fourth youngest of 106 entries and I believe the youngest dog not being handled by a pro. Morgan failed his second master at Ohio Valley when he did not see a fall and I failed to do my part, then passed his third at WisAm and fourth at Backwater where he was once again one of the four or five youngest dogs and I believe again the youngest not handled by a pro. Morgan failed the Master at MTARC although he was spectacular during 690 of 700 yards! Just got messed up the last 10 yards of one blind. Morgan passed his fourth master at Bootheel RC in Missouri the weekend of October 20 and will attempt to get his MH at Central Kentucky the weekend of October 27. That will finish our 2007 season. Morgan also has sired his first litter, whelped October 14. The female is Anne Weaver and Mike Judas’ Mae, a well bred yellow female. Reports are that the pups are beautiful and uniform. SOPHIE, LINC & RUFF Linc qualified in the master at  BRC, OVRC, Fort Detroit, WisAm and Backwater with no handles. Linc will now be inducted into the Backwater Retriever Club Hall of Fame in January. Sophie qualified in master at OVRC with 3 nearly perfect blinds and one ” safety” handle on the very last bird. Soph qualified at Madison as well. She was the only dog to pin all three marks and line both blinds in the long walkup triple in the first series. She followed up with passes at Fort Detroit , WisAm and MTARC and now will be inducted into the BWRC Hall of Fame along with her buddy, Linc, Haley and Mindy. Ruff is still with her pups and doing a fine job. She will resume her hunt test work after the puppies go to homes in late May. Ruff passed the master at Fort Detroit her only entry thus far in 2007.


We spent most of 2006 raising puppies, training and hunting. On May 19, 2006 Sophie ran her first hunt test of the year and quickly finished her MH title at Middle Tennessee. We also ran Backwater ( our home club) in September where Linc and Ruff passed the master but Sophie was the victim of ” handler error” in the first series and failed. Then she ran test dog for the remainder of the tests and nailed them. Oh, Well !! The test, judged by Ray Weaver and Sue Steffey, was one of the nicest I’ve ever run. No bird over 70 yards but challenging and a whole bunch of fun. It was what a hunt test is supposed to be!! In October we purchased a wonderful yellow male, named Morgan, from Mike Judas of Maquon, Il. After a few days to get to know Morgan he promptly lined his first land blind, a challenging hillside blind. The other three Bigs needed 1,2 or 3 whistles! Another good job of young dog training by Mike!!


On October 29, 2005, both HRCH Ten Bears Hot Rod Lincoln (Linc) and HRCH Blindfaith’s Ruffian (Ruff) earned their Master Hunter titles at Central Kentucky Retriever Club’s AKC fall hunt test in Madisonville, Kentucky. Their new titles are as follows:

  • HRCH Ten Bears Hot Rod Lincoln MH
  • HRCH Blindfaith’s Ruffian MH

HRCH Ten Bears Dreamcatcher SH (Sophie) ended the season with 4 AKC Master passes. Since we had missed tests due to gas prices/shortages we had planned to run her in Alabama on November 11-13 but ran out of energy and cancelled. Sophie ran exceptionally well all season failing twice due to me (HE, handler error), once because she didn’t see 2 of the 3 birds down and finally, after a perfect first series, just plain had trouble on a flyer. Twice she was the only dog to line a water blind and once she was one of two to do so (Linc was the other!). She will shoot for the MH title early this spring after being bred to GRHRCH Dakotas Cajun Roux (needs one pass for MH also).

Boomer - Delta Society

On September 10, 2005, Boomer Butikas JH became a certified Pet Partner through the Delta Society. Boomer is now qualified to go into nursing homes and schools to visit and play as a therapy dog, a role for which his friendly and gentle temperament is wonderfully suited. Therapy dogs work their magic through simple, unconditional acceptance. An elderly person in a nursing home or a sad child who is having problems at school may respond with sheer joy when a Delta Society dog shows up. Many schools that utilize these dogs find that children who struggle in the classroom enjoy sitting down with a dog like Boomer and reading to a completely uncritical (and affectionate) audience. Marcia is very excited at the prospect of being able to take her dog to work with her. For more information on becoming a Pet Partner with your dog, visit Linc and Sophie ran their first HRCH finished tests at the Tri-State HRC the weekend of March 5-6 near Madisonville, Kentucky. Both qualified each day. They were the second and third youngest dogs but they each ran very well. The tests were challenging and only 5 dogs out of 15 qualified on Sunday. It was Bill’s first HRCH event as well and he was the weak link, getting his hair sprayed as an initiation of sorts. Thanks to Cliff Romain for his attempts to give Bill credit for 30+ years of AKC stuff. Linc and Sophie will be running Finished and Master nearly every weekend this spring so wish us luck! Sophie completed her SH title at the Central Kentucky Retriever Club spring test with a flawless performance during which she was the only dog to line the water blind. Sophie and Linc each completed their HRCH titles by passing 7 straight HRC Finished tests while at the same time passing 2 straight AKC Master tests. Both dogs have run exceptionally well, lining numerous blinds and rarely having to handle on a mark. They have received many gallery ovations most notably Linc who retrieved 2 extra birds which were stuck in a tree and in the rocks of a shear cliff( “no birds” from previous dogs) to end Saturday’s event. It’s been quite a spring and we are thankful for the opportunity to own and run these magnificent dogs. Ruff passed her first and only AKC Master and 2 HRC Finisheds after getting back in shape after having her pups. She has been running with great style and handling well. All 3 dogs will continue work toward titles this spring and summer.

Bill getting 'doused'Bill with Linc's Senior Hunter title ribbon Bill hoping he has dry clothes in the truck

Ten Bears Hot Rod Lincoln earned his Senior Hunter title at the Middle Tennessee Retriever Club AKC hunt test on October 10, 2004. Handled by Bill Butikas, Linc displayed his phenomenal marking ability and wowed the gallery with his signature water entry-full-tilt and fearless. Back at headquarters, Bill had to endure the traditional celebratory “dousing” (with a full bucket of cold water) that accompanies a newly earned title. Luckily, he had plenty of dry clothes back in the truck…

Bill and Linc with his Senior Hunter title ribbons

Bill and Linc with his Senior Hunter title ribbons


story from local paper

This story ran in the local paper after Bill and Haley ran in the Master Hunt Test sponsored by Backwater Retriever Club. Haley, at 10 1/2 years old, was the oldest dog running and earned her 20th Master pass. She may retire next year, but meanwhile, Haley is still running strong. View Top Image View Bottom Image