Linnea Hadlock of Huntley, Illinois, has spent the last 35 years owning, training and handling German Shorthaired Pointers in Field Trials. And I’m still active in the sport today with 6 Shorthairs competing on the circuit and two more just retired in 2010.
Lynn Hadlock was born 77 years ago in Davenport, Iowa—the daughter of a farmer. I was a true outdoors kid from the very beginning. So I did all types of farm work from milking cows to feeding hogs to plowing, planting and harvesting corn, oats, hay, etc. After high school, I attended the University of Iowa and graduated with a Degree in Commerce, specializing in Marketing. Thereafter, I worked in advertising in Marketing Research in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, then in New Orleans, Louisiana, and finally in Chicago, Illinois. Then I met Bill Hadlock.
The Hadlocks purchased their first German Shorthaired Pointer (GSP), a six-week old pup, as soon as they could afford housing that allowed a dog. Cooper was a typical GSP—long legged, hard charging, and fun filled. When Cooper was 8 months old we took him to Iowa to hunt on my parents’ farm. Cooper loved hunting and was really very good at it. So we decided that we needed a second dog—Wampus—a German Wirehaired Pointer. Our two dogs made a great hunting pair—Wampus was short ranging, quartering, and expert retriever while Cooper was a line running, longer range type dog who would always go to a downed bird but would not retrieve.
We also became aware of dogs clubs—the local German Shorthaired Pointer club, the German Wirehaired Pointer Club, and local Hunt Clubs. Our dog friends talked us into going to a dog show. We became active show people for 5 years during which we finished 4 American Kennel Club (AKC) German Wirehaired Pointer Show Champions. On the evening after finishing our 4th show champion, Bill announced to me that he decided he didn’t like showing dogs anymore—he rather try to win a Field Championship. This statement caused me a feeling of mixed emotion. I had really enjoyed showing my dogs. Then Bill said he thought maybe we ought to buy a horse, if we were really going to field trial. The next day Bill left on a week’s fishing trip. When he returned, I proudly announced that the boys and I had located just the horse we wanted to buy—a 6 year old Appaloosa. Naturally the horse was the beginning of our field trial career which continues today.
We went to work trying to learn about field trial dogs by attending John Rabidou’s seminar on training; reading books on training, and I worked with Lee Sienkowski, Sr. on handling dogs. After a couple of unsuccessful years of trialing with our German Wirehaired Pointers, we decided to buy a German Shorthair Pointer male—Erdenreich’s Big E-Nuh. This purchase was followed by a second purchase of a German Shorthair Pointer female named Uodibar’s Rachel. Both dogs were talented, and they became our first two Field Trial Champions in 1980. Over the next 30 years the Hadlocks have finished 33 AKC Field Champions, 16 AKC Amateur Field Champions, 1 National German Shorthaired Pointer Association (American Field) Futurity Winner, 2 National German Pointing Dog Championships and a Runner-Up, and a couple of placements in German Shorthaired Pointer Club of America (AKC) Championships. We, of course, compete in Regional Championships such as the NGSPA Region IV and V, the Species Championships, and the area Championships such as the Hawkeye.
Bill and I both felt the need to support the various dog organizations over the years. My role was most frequently being the field trial secretary of various local clubs. I ran the National German Pointing Dog Championship field trials for over 12 years as its field trial secretary. When the GSP of Illinois decided to discontinue its field trials, Bill and I formed the Rock River Valley GSP club and offered field trials.
I will also add that Bill and I have used professional trainers over the years. We have gone on trips to North and South Dakota, to Texas, to Georgia, etc. with our trainers. Our own kennel was always filled with 24 dogs—some retired, some pups, our finished dogs that we personally enjoyed competing with and our dogs who were trying to achieve their Championships. As I look back at our Champions, maybe some could have achieved more titles if we would have left them with their professional handlers longer. But we were the Hadlocks, and what we did was our way to love and handle our own GSPs.