Garmin Shows the Way in Grand Junction, Tennessee
If you're a fan of bird dogs, horses, and fine southern hospitality, then Grand Junction, Tennessee is the place to be. That's because for the next week or so, the nearby Ames Plantation is host to the 112th running of the National Championship for Field Trialing Bird Dogs. Steeped in tradition, it's widely considered the pinnacle of bird dog field trials.
For the uninitiated, bird dog field trials feature competition between dogs running on a "course," trying to locate as many gamebirds (typically quail) as they can during a specific period of time. When the dogs detect the birds through their amazing sense of smell, they freeze, or "point" the birds. The dog's handler follows on horseback. Once a dog goes on point, the handler dismounts and confirms the birds were located by making them fly.
Why does Garmin care? Because we're proud to say our Astro GPS Dog Tracking System is being used on all 42 dogs competing in this trial. These field trial dogs are big-running athletes, and quite often, they search for birds while out of their handler's view. Tracking devices aren't allowed during competition, but if a dog becomes lost (which happens somewhat regularly), then the handler can request an Astro from one of the judges to locate his canine contender. It's a real peace of mind for the handlers, who spend years and untold amounts of money for a shot at this esteemed field trial. You can follow the results at Ames here.
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