2018 Purina Outstanding Field Trial Retriever Award
After suffering a spinal injury and undergoing an extensive surgery in 2016, a consistent, focused 10-year-old Labrador Retriever named “Ford” (FC Sweetie’s Easy Rider) made a strong comeback to the sport of retriever field trials, capping his 2018 season as the winner of the 35th Annual Purina Outstanding Field Trial Retriever Award. Handled by pro Jim Gonia of McKenna, Washington, who has trained Ford since he was an 8-week-old puppy, Ford earned 31.5 points from four wins and nine placements in Open stakes, besting more than 1,400 dogs.
“Ford thrives on having a job to do and loves going to work. He has so much heart and desire,” breeder-owner Peter Panarites of Northport, New York, says. Among his other career accomplishments, Ford has qualified for seven consecutive National Open Retriever Championships since 2012 and came in second place for the 2015 Purina Outstanding Field Trial Retriever Award. “At home, Ford is laidback and often times a bed hog, but once he gets to the field, he’s lights on and all business,” says Gonia, a now 10-time Purina Award winner. “The old adage is that good dogs make good dog trainers, and that couldn’t be truer with Ford. I knew he was special from the get-go.”
Ford is fed Purina Pro Plan SPORT Performance 30/20 Formula.