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Breed: Chesapeake Bay Retriever
From: Julie Reardon
Posted: Jun 24, 2011
Usher, HR Hope Springs Hush Hush SH, earned his SH title last month almost by accident. His breeder/owner, Julie Reardon, kept him initially from a breeding of her outstanding bitch CH Puffin II JH CD WDX to Southern Md's Dances with Wolves MH**WDQ. His early training was done by top field trial pro Randy Bohn in PA.
Although he showed promise, Bohn told the owner that he was soft, and she should finish his training herself since Usher would respond better to the owner, so she did his transition work, but Usher was an escape artist, and when he dug out of his kennel and bred his half sister, she decided to sell him.
Usher was consigned to be sold but that experience was a disaster, so she ended up selling him to a hunter in Colorado, Jeff Roth. His 3rd home in his first two years was a good fit. "I can't thank Jeff Roth enough," Reardon said. "Jeff hunted him for 2 years, he got tons of birds, and Jeff put a JH on him. And when his circumstances changed, he did the right thing and called me and I took him back."
Next, Usher went south for 9 months to train and run in UKC events. Although he did eventually get his HR seasoned title, he had trained above that level long before then. And when he came back to Virginia in early spring of this year, he had a lot of baggage.
"Like a bad penny, he keeps turning up," joked Reardon. "The poor dog had 4 different homes in 4 years, 3 of which were not a good fit." Usher, however, fit right in with his Hope Springs pack. But when his mother and daughter came in season, Reardon was taking no chances so she sent him to board at her friend Neil Selby's Shady Grove Kennels nearby. She wasn't sure how Selby, a Lab guy, would get along with the sensitive but talented dog. But they clicked immediately.
Selby had trained Chesapeakes, but had never run one in hunt tests, and had been underwhelmed by most that he'd seen at hunt tests. He loved Usher's speed and style. Within a month, Selby had gotten Usher over most of his issues, and they titled by passing 4 straight tests in 2 weekends. Usher also has master passes and performed credibly at his first Qualifying field trial stakes this month. Look for this handsome big ash male to earn his Master title later this year. He is pictured above with his daughter from that first accidental breeding, Panda.