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Dual Ch. Pukemere Mura Kuri, QC

This is an article written by Gill Wise of Toakaha Kennels about the New Zealand FT. CH. and Show Champion Pukemere Mura Kuri. (New Zealand field trials are more like U.S. hunting tests than U.S. field trials. One major difference is New Zealand trials are competitive but U.S. hunt tests are not. I plan an article on what New Zealand trials are like soon.)


Heralding The Breed's Second (New Zealand) Dual Champion

by Gill Wise, New Zealand, published in 1989, New Zealand Kennel Club Supplement

New Zealand field trialists and Curly enthusiasts acknowledge and take great pride in the breed's second dual champion. He is Ch. and F.T. Ch. Pukemere Mura Kuri, QC, a black better known to his mates as Chip.

Owned and trained by Ron "Snapper" Kamo, Chip was bred by Stewart Bridges. His famous sire Ch. and G.F.T.Ch. Waitoki Tamatakapua, a liver, needs no introduction. With his Grand Field Trial Championship only two points away, Chip is set to follow in his sire's illustrious trialing footsteps. His dam, Avvier Black Tulip, was imported from Australia.

Chip has chalked up an impressive list of challenge points since his first win in the Wairoa All Breeds trial (range, find flush) in February 1987. Continuing on his winning way right through '87, he impressively equaled (tied for) first place in the South Island Retriever Championship, Easter 1988. In October of the same year, Chip tied for third in the New Zealand National Championships All Breeds trial. Cementing his place amongst the ream of New Zealand field trial dogs, Chip took out the North Island All Breed Championship in Easter 1989.

Three outright wins in all-breed championships, with the balance of his points being attained in retriever championships, have more than proven his all-round abilities, to even the harshest critic. Included in the list are some very prestigious wins and placing, most notable of which are the above mentioned.

Totaling up over 25 second places, losing first by only one or two points, means that Chip is all that most triallists dream of. He has top ability and he is consistent. Consistency that took him to fourth place in the North Island Retriever Championship the day after he won the all breeds. At present, Chip is being spoken of as the top trial dog in the country.

Records covering a span of 52 years, which were searched, give Chip the distinction of being the first field trial champion produced in his home province of Taranaki. Yet another honour for Chip, Ron, and the breed.

The epitome of a retriever, Chip marks well and runs straight and true to and from the game. He proved this attribute one practise day. The thrown bird was landing behind a fallen tree which was lying directly in the straight course from handler and dog to the bird. To make matters even more complicated, it had a hole in it, exactly where the dog running truly had to negotiate it. Chip not only ran out straight through the hole but even more amazingly, he also returned via the same hole. The ability to run, not deviating from course, is one of the hallmarks of a great retriever. Something Ron encouraged by training Chip to go straight in whatever direction he was given.

Another quality which has helped to place Chip in the forefront of the trialing scene is the ability not to be distracted from the job at hand. One more than one occasion he has performed stud duties and then gone on to win a trial the same day.

By the same token, Chip is an excellent rough shooting dog. He is a cracker on ducks and is not at all averse to stealing other shooters' retrieves. Ron told us that one night he retrieved 65 ducks. Ron didn't lay claim to shooting all those himself that trip.

Rabbit shooting is thoroughly enjoyed by nearly every retriever I have known, no matter what the breed and Chip is certainly no exception. However, Chip's rabbitting expeditions have one very notable difference to that of any other dog's. Chip employs a tool used solely by man. Chip just loves a "spot" of spotlighting. To accomplish this, he carried his own torch (Editor's note: flashlight). Turned on by Ron, of course. Now, this may sound just like one of those tall stories told generally by fishermen, but we can vouch for it. He carries the torch, light shining directly in front of him and away he goes for anything up to an hour or two, checking out all of the bushes and hedges, poking the torch in to light things up.

Ron related the story of the night Chip's penchant for spotlighting got him into bother. As was his usual habit, Chip was out rabbitting, covering his usual haunts of hedges, etc., including the neighbor's. Said neighbor had been becoming increasingly irate at the local kids' possum hunting on his place in the evening. On the night in question, he saw the light and set off to put a stop to it once and for all. Sneaking up, he really yelled at them. Later he told Ron that he ha never seen kids move so fast. What he wasn't aware of, of course, was that the "kids" had four legs and answered to the name of Chip. He was simply and innocently enjoying a favourite pastime.

Chip, a medium-sized curly, completed his show career before Ron began trialing him. In the ring, he distinguished himself with a Reserve of Group at Rotorua, as well as completing his title.

John and I were privileged to have Ron and Chip stay with us at Easter 1988 when they came down to compete in the South Island championships and took. full advantage of the opportunity to become much better acquainted with them both. An inseparable pair, wherever Ron goes Chip goes. Chip has a lovely and kind nature. His whole heart shines in his eyes. He is also a very steady, sensible and reliable dog. He has definitely inherited some of his sire's sense of fun though. Tan (Ed Note: Chip's sire) was ever the comedian and definitely passed the trait on. Chip just loves an audience. Fatal on a trial, because if someone speaks and Chip can hear, he stops just in case they might be talking to him. This can be a costly point of view. Please excuse the pun. By way of explanation, points are deducted for this type of misdemeanor.

When Chip is victorious, he always carries his own ribbons and cups into the house and is treated to steak, which is specially cooked for him. Ice cream for dessert.

Amongst the tributes to be paid must be a sincere thanks to the Hydatide Control Officer who, over a cup of tea, persuaded Ron to try trialing. Special tribute must, of course, be paid to Chip's owner/handler Ron. Also to his breeder and all the others who helped make Chip the dog he is.

Chip's contribution to the breed is undoubtedly of immense significance. Proof that New Zealand still produces top-quality curlies. We believe it is imperative that the breed's working abilities are not allowed to diminish and the improvement of curlies should include all facets of the breed we know and love. Here in New Zealand, it is those working qualities more than anything else which set the breed apart from other gundogs and have increased their popularity markedly over the few years. Because very few curlies here are just trialed or used solely for one purpose, they must possess all round qualities. Qualities, which embodied by Chip, are so vital to the breed's continued improvement and survival.

The legacy of Tan in the past, Chip in the present looks set to be continued into the future, as Chip's progeny are beginning to make their presence felt in the trials. What better mark in the history of its breed can any dog make than to pass on its highly desirable qualities.

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