In the early 90‘s we used the slogan “Bridging the Gap Between Field and Show”. We did some combination litters using Torrey’s Kodiak Grizzly MH and Silverbrook’s Buckshot Baby MH with some success. The Slogan was later dropped when training took over as Buckshot Retrievers main business and the breeding program was put on the back burner.
Over the years of training , many water fowl hunters have described their dream Retriever in hopes of me finding one for them. Based on the breeding trends at the time the chances of acquiring this animal were as likely as a unicorn sighting. The description usually boiled down to finding a Dickendall Arnold that performs like Ebonstar Lean Mac in the lightest shade of yellow possible.
The description of this mythical beast is not the goal of our breeding program or the true meaning behind the “Bridging the Gap between Field and Show” slogan we once used. The Retriever found in this gap is the ultimate specimen. The actual Labrador Retriever described by the standard. Which at one time was competitive in the show ring as well as the field. In my humble opinion neither show or Field trial extremes fit the bill. The solution may be found in the middle.
Over the next couple years we will be doing several Field/ Show combination breedings. I don’t anticipate “The Shed of Arden” to pop out, but I would like to see small improvements that can be built upon and developed over time. We are working toward Improved coat density, improved angles, conformation, balanced temperament, strong physical, genetic clearances, maintaining enough leg, neck, muzzle and maintaining the all important desire to retrieve.
Debate as to where the Dual Champion caliber Labrador has gone, I’ll leave to the forums. Although it’s my belief they are alive and well. They are laying next to duck blinds and in front of fire places all over the world.