Sunday, March 13, 2011

Veteran Retriever Field Trialer

"Lanse" Alanson C. Brown III is the recent human inductee to the Retriever Field Trial Hall of Fame. Lanse's field trial sojourn spans almost half a century. A successful amateur handler trainer and regular National contender, Lanse also judges field trials. He learned to train under Rex Carr, the legendary retriever field trial trainer from Escalon, California known as the original ecollar man, even though he (Lanse) would never admit it. Caustic and contrarian, Lanse used to greet each newcomer to Rex's with these warm words: "And what's wrong with YOU?"  Between Lanse and Bill Sabbag the psychiatrist from Palo Alto, they tried to convince field trial enthusiasts training at Rex's to believe we were all mental cases, and that's why we were there, to get cured.

Those were the 'good old days', when Bill Sargenti, John Folsom, Warren Grimsby, Frank Baird and later, Jim Dobbs were working for Rex in the yard (not all at the same time, of course). And such illustrious names as Augie and Louise Belmont, Don and Marion Weiss, Judy Weikel Aycock and others, 'hung out' at the former CL-2, (Carr Lab 2) to train. CL-2 has since been renamed by Bill Sargenti (who now owns the grounds) as Billy's Place.  At that time I was training under Rex with Trumarc's A.W.O.L. and Reefer's Madness, tent camping and gigging frogs from the ponds that I BBQ'd for dinner (not gross, they were yummy)!

The portrait-award of Lanse held by his wife Jimmy in the photo below is an excellent depiction of Lanse as I know him.  Why it is that many field trialers grow leaner (and meaner?) as they age - and that includes myself and Jack Vollstedt (featured in the post below) - is a mystery to me.
Photo Credit To David Smith Of Bird Dog Foundation

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