The Australian connection
The C litter has left the Otamarakau valley for their new lives. I am very happy to have 100% working home placements for this litter, and I look forward to hearing how they progress. I'm thinking of having some training days for the litter as they develop, and to bring them back here to introduce the puppies to live game before the next season. Open to all owners of Otamarakau dogs. Message me to register interest.
Equally pleasing, is to hear reports of older dogs out doing what they were bred to do. Nothing is more rewarding to us as a breeder than to hear of your successes with our dogs. Keep the reports and photos coming!
I had a work trip to Australia last year, that I managed to squeeze some dog time into. I first met With Joe Camilleri, owner of the successful Walteela kennel of pointers. I first met Joe in 2013, not long after he had taken out the Nationals in 2012, with a first and third place with two litter sisters, FTCH Walteela Awesome Assassin and FTCH Walteela Lite Field. Joe took me out with both champions and a third sister, and they all treated me to a display of incredible range, pace and birdwork - a joy to watch. In fact, I was enjoying it so much I was grinning like a fool observing it all. Joe was a true gentleman and didn't seem to mind this chuckling kiwi enjoying the moment. All three sisters are an outcross to some solid old Italian working blood, on top of the Australian 'Rocca' blood, which goes back to largely W. Marrs' "Blackfield' breeding.
Fast forward to last year, And I got to once again spend a day with Joe and his dogs. This time with two sons of those females I saw on the first trip, FTCH Walteela Golden Flash and FTCH Walteela Marvel. Flash is out of Assassin, a double of up the Italian outcross, and had a great day, find after find. Marvel is out of the other sister, and is a big hard going dog. His sire is another Italian import to Australia, Fernando Sorgiovanni's Aristanis Kjerez. More on Fernando and Kjerez later. Watching those two dogs really struck home the old saying - 'like begets like'. going by the way they performed, there was no mistaking where they came from. From their galloping action to their mannerisms on game, there was no denying their breeding. A credit to Joe's work, and I look forward to what the future holds for the Walteela dogs. I'm sure the next generation will be just like the previous ones.
I then met up with Fernando Sorgiovanni. Fernando and I had corresponded for a number of years but never met. This was our first meeting, which just so happened to fall in the middle of the shooting season. Fernando suggested a trip, I didn't need much convincing! Fernando had at the time two New Zealand imports, by British import Sparkfield Flash out of Arddun Daffofil, champion stake winner in NZ, from the successful Arddun D litter. Daffodil is litter sister to the sire of the Otamarakau B litter, Arddun Dagger, and to T. Conners FCH & FTCH Arddun Damask. Of the two imports, Fernando made the female, Dianna of Dawndale, up to FTCH. I got to watch her at 9 years of age, doing what she does best, followed up by her daughter to Aristanis Kjerez, who put down some nice work and had two stubble quail dropped for her. Aristanis Kjerez, through his sire Aristanis Kaster, is tightly bred on the proven combo of the Italian champion Ribot Della Noce and French champ Hardy Du Bois Des Perches, two dogs who need no introduction to pointer fans worldwide. I have solid memories ingrained in my mind, of a huge blue-grey storm brewing over the endless Victorian stubble fields, the air heavy with the promise of rain. Fernando ushering his dog on, myself losing track of the quail taking flight in the direction of the rainstorm. Before I could pick the shot, Fernando had them down, and his young charge returning the bird to hand at Fernandos' command. I remember thinking at the time, that the Pointer in Australia is in good hands. If only New Zealand could fare so well. I once again thank both of my hosts, both true sporting gentleman, passionate about great dogs.
I leave you with a photo of dog from the 2017 litter, Otamarakau Bob. Photo taken at 11 months of age. Photo courtesy of his owner, Mr. F. Renata of Northland.