In 2010 we began a search for a yellow fellow to join our family. My early research led me to seek out a descendant of FC AFC Calumet’s Super Sonic. I was keeping my eyes peeled for a nice litter when I came across an ad for a nearly 2 year old by Soupy out of FTCH Arwen- couldn’t beat that pedigree. Unfortunately when I called, Sharon told me that Ace had just been sold.
She did tell me a bit about him- she owned his sire and he was her pick as a ‘stud fee’ puppy from this litter. She had run some juniors/derbies with him. He marked well but she didn’t feel he was suited to life on a truck and felt like he’d probably do better in a family situation. He had earned a 4th in one derby (he beat Ammo, who until this year held the record for the most derby points ever by a noticeable margin) – he is very proud of that and it speaks to the competition he faced during his derby career.
Well, I was able to track down the person who bought him from Sharon – and due to the fact that Ace didn’t point (as many from this line apparently do and it was a sticking factor for that buyer), I was able to get him! At first we co-owned Ace with Faster Gun kennels but due to the logistics of sharing a dog two provinces away, we ended up taking him over completely. Ace definitely was meant to be a family dog. He is a very sweet, affectionate guy with a high desire to please. He is also probably the fastest labrador on earth. No joke, I clocked him running 35 mph on the flat with his inital acceleration burst much higher than that. Though, perhaps looking at him it should not be a surprise that he is quick, as he definitely has a streamlined construction!
During his first summer with us, Ace and I attended our first (for both of us) hunt test as competitors. After making the 18 hour drive to Saskatchewan, we discovered that we had seriously under-trained in cover as it had been some sort of tropically hot and rainy year there and the hunt tests fields were unable to be cut. The first land test took place in a hay field so tall you could not see the dogs, just the ripple of their movement as they ran towards the mark. His first mark took 4 hours to find (okay, maybe it only felt like that because of the rookie handler stress!) but he finally came back with that bird, and then pinned the next one at warp speed. The rest of the weekend was smooth sailing and he came home with his junior title. We intended to pursue his SH the next season but found it hard to get to a test that year. Instead, Ace got to dabble a bit in agility, and by dabble, I mean that I ran him around the practice course enough to know that he’d do jumps and tunnels and then entered. Being a very smart, biddable boy, he earned Q’s in his first 2 jumpers runs.
Ace is also a really nice hunting dog and did hunt a lot of ducks and grouse here, and cleaned up on a fall trip to SK for a big goose hunt. Our Ace breedings produced amazing puppies. These include Skeet- fastest flyball Lab ever (by U-Fli singles times) and her twin sister Curie who is also in the top 5, as well as many impressive agility dogs including our Canadian Agility Champions Enzo and Mystic, our first AKC Master Agility Champion Carly (who is also the first Lab ever to hear the Agility Grand Master Champion title!), Shine, Chaos and Aspen who are all littermates who have appeared on the Breed Power 10 lists. He has produced puppies with hunt test and obedience titles, search and rescue dogs, and rally/nosework stars- and the most important job as family pals!
We kept a terrific Ace son (Victor) to take over his stud dog duties and Ace was retired to a great family in Prince George where he gets to be the primary hunting dog and bed hog. Unfortunately, Victor went sterile after siring only one litter, and so Ace’s legacy went forward through his daughters Missie & Jet, and his grand-daughter Avi (and now through Jet and Avi’s babies!). Ace made a terrific mark on our breeding program but also was a great teacher in retriever training. Many of the things we’ve learned about R+ retriever training are things that can be attributed to him as he patiently put up with (and enjoyed) our training experiments. Our ever-smiling buddy is much missed here but is enjoying his retirement and permanent family dog status with his new family in Prince George.