Last weekend marked the second annual North American Shed Hunting Dog Association World Championships held at Oak Ridge Kennels in Northfield, MN. The event drew participants from across the country in its sophomore year and once again attracted Outdoor Channel superstar Tiffany Lakosky, the better half of Lee & Tiffany's The Crush.
I approached Tiffany and was greeted with a big smile and some sloppy kisses. The smile was hers....the sloppy kisses were from her lab Tank.
Tank & Tiffany Lakosky
Tiffany's husband, last year's Junior and Amateur Champion, Lee Lakosky was back in Iowa licking his wounds from a recent fight with a corn planter (he fractured his wrist in 6 places). Have no fear Lee, your wife and mother in-law Linda Profant represented you well!
Tiffany was off with Tank on their first run of the day which gave me a chance to catch up with her mom Linda. You've probably seen Linda begrudgingly on The Crush. She explained to me she avoids the camera and has threatened to withhold food from any camera crew that gets too near her kitchen. She is generally first on the distribution of good-news texts from the field and if you're a fan of Lee & Tiffany, there's frequent texts talking about big bucks down! Linda was pretty reserved and had low expectations about her prospects for victory with 2 year old Kyah. "I was hoping for a top 10 finish and would have been happy if Kyah managed to find all the sheds".
Despite her camera shyness and low expectations Linda was kind enough to let me tag along with her on her first run of the day and what a run it was.
Kyah in Action Finding and Retrieving a Shed Antler
The course is set on a trail that cuts through trees, crosses bean fields and weaves its way through the Northfield countryside. Linda and a judge jogged down the trail behind Kyah as she ran nose to the ground hoping to "find the bone"-- the command Linda used to motivate her partner.
Linda Profant and a Judge Try to Keep Up with Kyah
5 minutes 36 seconds and six sheds later later, Lynda and Kyah had set the fastest time of the day. Lynda was greeted by smiles and high fives from Tiffany at the break between Lynda's first and second run.
Tiffany and Linda Celebrate Linda's Fantastic Run
It didn't end there. Linda went on to win the Junior division and place 4th overall, with Tiffany and Tank taking a respectable 2nd place overall.
Kyah and Linda Profant with their Junior Division 1st Place Trophy
The victory was a pleasant surprise for Tiffany and brought tears to her eyes. "I called Lee and he was hooting and hollering....we couldn't be more proud of my mom!".
One guy who was not surprised was Tom Dokken, owner of Oak Ridge Kennels, Dokken Training Products and founder of the competition.
"This is not a sport just for guys. It's a family event where women, men and kids can be competitive." There are judges-- it's just a man or woman and her dog against the clock."
This year's event drew competitors from across the country including Arizona and Georgia with a strong contingent from the upper Midwest. Regional qualifying events across the country in 2012 should lead to an even bigger and more diverse field in 2012.
Win Mitchell and his Lab Duchess
Northfield's Win Mitchell won both the Novice and Open categories.
Will the Lakosky's be back? "Absolutely!" says Ms. Tiffany. "Well, if they'll have us back" says Linda. Something tells me these first ladies of shed dog hunting will be welcomed back with open arms.
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