Labrador Retriever Named ‘Foxx’ Is 2019 National Open Retriever Champion
Adopting a catchphrase philosophy of “OBAAT” – one bird at a time – helped steady the focus of owner-handler Lauren Hays Curtis of Round Rock, Texas, and drive the intensity of her 5-year-old male, “Foxx” (NFC-FC-AFC Bayou Teche Swing For The Fence), to his win at the 2019 National Open Retriever Championship. Tapping into his precision-marking skills, Foxx located a difficult bird in the eighth series overlooked by 14 dogs before him. "That was the moment I got lightheaded," Hays Curtis says. "After the 10th series, I felt we had done the absolute best we could do. The judges had seen the real Foxx at his best." Trained exclusively by Hays Curtis, an amateur who has competed in retriever trials since 2004, Foxx showed promise early, running in 11 derby trials and earning 23 points. As a 3-year-old, he was inducted into the Texas Retriever Hall of Fame for Double Header Winners after winning the Open and Amateur Tejas Retriever Club trials. The gentle-natured Labrador Retriever, who is named for baseball great Jimmie Foxx, made Hays Curtis the third woman in history to win the highly competitive National Open, following in the footsteps of Judy Aycock, the 1976 winner, and Laura Parrott, who won in 1997. Held in November at Corning, California, the National Open had 98 competitors. Hays Curtis has competed in five National Open Championships with two different dogs and had two Finalists – Foxx and his sire, FC-AFC Bayou Teche Eye On The Ball, a Finalist in 2012. Fifteen of the 18 Finalists at the 2019 National Open are fed Purina Pro Plan dog food. Foxx, the National Open Retriever Champion, is fueled by Purina Pro Plan SPORT Performance 30/20 Salmon & Rice Formula.