Linda Horner from Blumenort and her dogs participate in field retriever trials. 

She has three dogs, Roxy, Morgan, and Ritz. 

Horner explains a field retriever trial tests a dog's ability to mark the location of a downed game bird and their skill in retrieving that bird over land and water. 

Rather than grading the dog based on speed alone, they're judged on their ability to quickly identify where the bird was thrown, retrieve it back to the handler, and gently hand it off.

“So mimicking hunting situations where you're water fowling and out in the field, that's what they're genetically programmed to do, so that's what we're testing on.” 

Horner says a field retriever trial is for any type of retriever. 

“So whether Golden, Labrador, Flat-coated, or Chesapeake. Standard Poodles can also compete.” 

@steinbach_online Linda Horner from Blumenort and her dogs love participating in Field retriever trials! #manitoba #dogs #outdoorlife #active ♬ Spring - Ningen

Horner has always owned labs, but Morgan and Ritz are the first competitive dogs that she has been able to enter the trials with. 

“Just based on their genetics, they are a higher caliber dog. They are more focused, just bigger athletes. Our old girl Roxy loves to retrieve, loves to swim, just didn't have quite the stamina and the endurance. She would rather hold the couch down.” 

Horner found interest in field retriever trials as it is a great way to build on their skills and spend quality time with her dogs. 

“At the end of the day, if they're challenged and worked physically and mentally, they're a much happier animal. And they can shut down at the end of the day and be cozy with you and it just brings more substance to that relationship with your dog." 

She adds she isn't a hunter, and wanted to be able to do something with her dog and compete without having to hunt. 

“But since that's what they're genetically bred for and what their skills are, I enjoy the competition of it and the training of it. But we also have members in our club that are just hunters, and they train their dog to be a steady hunting companion, and that's what their goals are, so it's definitely for all different kinds of levels of commitment and skills.” 

Horner says it's a great way to build the bond between you and your dog, work as a team, and watch them progress. 

“Sometimes you're struggling with the concept and then you just see that the light bulb comes on, and she finally got it and you can move the next step above. It's just that feeling of accomplishment that you're working together and progressing and being able to teach an animal some of these really complex concepts. It’s quite phenomenal what they can learn.” 


Horner submitted a photo of her and her dog Morgan in the previous round of Wendy’s Show Us Your Summer. 

This time around, show us a photo of you and your family in relaxation mode for a chance to win a patio package from Shoppers!

The package includes a bistro table and two chairs, a side table, two wicker planters, two lawn chairs, and a cooler. 

Submit your photo ASAP! The draw is on June 14. 


With files from Carly Koop