Labrador Retriever Is National Open Finalist

8-year-old male Labrador Retriever named “Mickey” Is National Open Finalist & Wins Fifth Purina Outstanding Retriever Award

Labrador Retriever ‘Mickey’ Is National Open Finalist & Wins Fifth Purina Outstanding Retriever Award

Half a year spent rehabbing from an injury could not keep down a good retriever named “Mickey” (FC-AFC Hockley Creek’s Switch Hitter). After missing the Texas circuit in his home state in early 2021, the 8-year-old male picked up where he left off, winning and placing in all-age stakes.

Qualified for the 2021 National Open Retriever Championship, held in November in Cheraw, South Carolina, Mickey was No. 2 in the Purina High Point Open Retriever standings – an outcome that would play out at the National Open. When the talented retriever whose love of retrieving birds for owner-handler Robby Bickley was named a Finalist, Mickey earned 5 points, putting him on top as the 2021 Purina Outstanding Open Retriever. 

Now, a five-time Purina Retriever Award winner, Mickey won both the Amateur and Open Awards in 2019 with Bickley, the first time a retriever won both awards in the same year with the same handler. He won the Amateur Award in 2017 and 2020. 

“Mickey has been a pure blessing,” says Bickley, of Gainesville, Texas, the sole trainer of the superstar retriever, his third field trial dog since starting in the sport in 2006. “He’s been easy to train. He’s very smart and has an excellent memory.”

An early achiever, Mickey at 13 months of age took a Judges Award of Merit in a trial for derby-age retrievers and competed with older dogs in a qualifying stake. As a 3-year-old, he earned both the Field Champion and Amateur Field Champion titles. At 6 years of age, he was the Double Header winner of both the amateur and open stakes at Brazosport Retriever Club in Walden, Colorado. He repeated the amazing feat in 2020 taking a Double Header at the Centennial Retriever Club in Longmont, Colorado.

Whelped Aug. 29, 2013, Mickey was sired by NAFC-FC-AFC Texas Troubador out of FC-AFC Dance Hall Gal. When breeders Joe O’Brien and James Roberts, both of Tulsa, Oklahoma, traveled to Texas to breed their female to “Tubbs,” Bickley told them he wanted the pick male of the litter. That was Mickey.

Describing his special retriever buddy, who thus far has earned 256 career points, Bickley says, “The older Mickey gets, the better he works birds. I know him so well and his idiosyncrasies. He’s very good in the water, a true water dog.”

Mickey is fed Purina Pro Plan SPORT Performance 30/20 Chicken & Rice.