Riley is now a member of the prestigious 1500 Point Club!
It was through HRC that we came to have Riley. We had seen his dam, HRCH Honey Run Bonnie running in a number of finished tests and had always been impressed with how well she ran, and always thought that if her owner, John Martinelli ,(High Flyers HRC) ever bred her, we would be interested in a pup. That came to pass in May of 1999, just at the time we were looking for a puppy.
Riley came into our home acting like he owned the place, much to the dismay of Sundance, the real master of the house. A few weeks after he came home with us, he suffered a diaphragmatic hernia while chasing Sundance, nearly ending his career and life right then. With expert surgical care and recovery, we were finally able to begin his training and his hunt test career. Janet was his full time trainer and handler through seasoned, and prepared him to run finished tests as well. Riley showed a great love of the hunt test game on the first weekend that he ran a test. After his first series, he was either peeking under the holding blinds, or simply knocking them over to see what was going on. He usually went to the line in his started tests on two legs, dragging Janet behind him. He has always been a very happy worker, often thumping the bucket with his wagging tail waiting for the birds to be thrown.
Once Riley began running finished tests, he became a very steady performer, passing the majority of his tests, and not being that far off in the ones that he failed. A long campaign, running as many tests as he has, usually creates its share of test related problems, and Riley was no exception to that. The great thing about HRC, is that the more experienced trainers are always willing to share their knowledge to help all of us with those problems. It was with the help of many people scattered throughout the Midwest that we were able to deal with these problems as they arose, and to keep on running tests successfully. He earned his HRCH title in August of 2002, reached the 500 point club in April of 2005, and the 1000 point club in August of 2006. These are things that we never dreamed were possible when we started this game.
Riley hunts ducks and geese here and in Saskatchewan, and travels to Iowa every year for pheasant hunting. He also hunts grouse and woodcock at home, if there are any to be found. He brings the same enthusiasm to his hunting that he does to every hunt test. Riley’s success is the result of many things: His innate ability and desire; The training that Janet gave him from the start; the attitude he brings to the line and his training every day; the help that we have had from many Great Lakes members at the fun hunts, and the tips we have picked up from the best minds in HRC, both pro and amateur along the hunt test trail. There are many who have stood there at the line with us to dissect the tests, formulate strategy, commiserate when things didn’t go as planned, and provide the inspiration to pursue the goal of 1000 points. Without the help and support of the club and a lot of HRC people across the country, none of this would have been possible.