Owner Sweeps National Open and National Amateur Cocker Championships with 'Cato' & 'Breeze'
It was a sweep for Jordan Horak of Fremont, Wisconsin, and his English Cocker Spaniels, “Cato” and “Breeze,” the winners, respectively, of the 2018 National Open and National Amateur Cocker Championships. Standouts through five field and one water series run over four days, both Cockers proved their keen problem-solving abilities and finesse of the fine line between working independently and as a team with Horak.
NFC Warrener’s Sky Lark, a 3-year-old lemon roan male, captured the National Cocker Championship in October at Southport, New York, out of 87 dogs competing. “In the fifth series, Cato kept it together,” says Horak. “At one point, he flipped over a stone wall and still made the retrieve. He is an excellent marker with a phenomenal nose and lots of flash. He works with me impeccably.”
In April at the inaugural National Amateur Cocker Championship in Mazomanie, Wisconsin, NAFC FC Juggernaut Cool Breeze JH, a 6-year-old black female, blended intelligence, bird-finding ability and love of retrieving to outperform 56 dogs. In addition to her National Amateur win, Breeze was awarded a Certificate of Merit at this year’s National Open, and she placed third at the 2015 National Open.
Horak also is the owner-handler of the second-place National Amateur finisher, FC Juggernaut Rockin’ The Field MH, an 8-year-old black-and-tan male. “Rocky” is a full brother to Breeze, having the same sire and dam, though he was born in a litter two years earlier. Horak considers Rocky, his first field-bred Cocker, the cornerstone of his Juggernaut program and “an incredible bird finder with great power and stamina.”
Having grown up hunting behind retrievers, Horak discovered English Cocker Spaniels 10 years ago when he needed a smaller hunting dog and became smitten with the breed’s biddable disposition, intelligence, ability to hunt all day, and companionship. A mostly self-taught trainer who says he also received lots of help along the way, Horak initially learned how to train and handle his dogs by poring over books and videos. Seven years ago he began entering hunt tests and then turned to field trials in the fall of 2014, falling in love with the competitiveness of the sport.
In reflecting on winning both Cocker National Championships, Horak says, “Cato and Breeze made the most of the opportunities they were given. In a trial, a dog has difficult opportunities to either set themselves apart or fall apart. Both dogs adapted well and responded quickly to the opportunities they were given.”
Cato, Breeze and Rocky were powered to their National Championship wins by Purina Pro Plan SPORT Performance 30/20 Chicken & Rice Formula.