Labrador Retriever “Roxie” Wins 2015 National Amateur Retriever Championship
Bill Benson brought his 9-year-old Labrador Retriever “Roxie” to the National Amateur Retriever Championship in Ronan, Montana, with one goal in mind — to have fun.
NAFC-FC Hardscrabble Roxie McBunn outperformed 134 of the nation’s finest retrievers to win the 2015 National Amateur Championship, and Benson exceeded all his expectations on the fun meter.
“I decided to enjoy myself, and it took the pressure off,” Benson says of his approach coming into the weeklong competition, held June 14-21. “Dogs pick up on that. Roxie sure did, and I think it makes a big difference. We had a lot of fun out there.”
Benson says as good a field trial dog as Roxie is, she’s an even better family pet at home in Northfield, Illinois. That bond is evident when Benson tells a recent story involving his talented retriever.
“Five weeks ago, we were coming back from a field trial when I was petting her and noticed a little bump on her mammary,” Benson recalls. “I thought, ‘Oh no, this is not good.’”
Fearing the worst, Benson took Roxie to his veterinarian and fellow field trial enthusiast, Dr. Jeff Schuett, for a diagnosis and lumpectomy.
“For five nights I couldn’t sleep,” he says. “When the results came back, it was good news. It puts everything in perspective. Everybody wants to win a National. I decided we were going to this National to have fun.”
That set the stage for the trip to Montana and the National Championship, where Benson handled Roxie through 10 series of challenging land and water tests. She performed flawlessly and aced the 10th and final series to seal the win.
“She’s very intelligent,” Benson says. “She thinks like a person and knows what she should and shouldn’t do. That goes for the trial and in the house. She’s part of the family.”
Benson also gave credit to Mike Lardy’s Handjem Retrievers and Handjem professional trainer Ray Voigt, who attended the National. “Ray is a good coach and provided a lot of fine tips throughout the week.”
Roxie has qualified for nine Nationals, including four National Opens, in her stellar career. She is fueled by Purina® Pro Plan® SPORT Performance 30/20 Salmon and Rice Formula.
Visit proplan.com/dogs/platforms/sport to learn more about the Purina® Pro Plan®SPORT nutritional platform and how quality nutrition is vital to the success of hardworking sporting dogs like Roxie. Then, share how the Purina® Pro Plan® SPORT formulas have been vital to your own dog’s success by leaving a review at proplan.com/reviews.