Hemi is a nine year old, chocolate, male lab owned and handled by Kevin Cordry of St Joseph, MO. When Hemi is not hunting or running tests and trials, he is home with Kevin and his wife Char-lane and often enjoys hunting with their two sons, Brandon (37) and Tyler (34). Hemi’ and Kevin’s journey has been quite an exciting one with trials, tribulations and some firsts along the way. This is their story.
Kevin got into the hunt test and field trial game with Kelcee, his now 13-year-old chocolate lab. Kevin wanted a hunting dog but one he could handle so he took Kelcee to a trainer in Cosby, MO and then to Greg Nelson of Kansas City Retrievers. Greg worked with both Kelcee and Kevin, and in his words, “I was the tougher one to train”. At two years of age, Kelcee was diagnosed with bad hips and had to retire to the life of a dog of leisure. Soon after, Greg found Kevin his next dog, a pup, which would become known as “Hemi’. Hemi went to train with Greg and has been working with him since.
Hemi ran some derby’s to begin with and then went on to get 2nd at Central Arkansas. It was at this point that Kevin decided to start AKC qualifiers. Hemi got a 1st and 3rd, three Jams and his 5th qualifier at only 26 months old. That fall, they tried their hand at Super Retriever Series and never looked back. Their first SRS event, as Kevin put it, “bombed in the 1st series”. Now, with even more determination, they travelled to Grand Island and won. Hemi, was the youngest amateur, at 30 months old, to win a SRS Classic event. Hemi went on to win TN and GA, being the only amateur to complete the final series in the latter. Kevin knew he had something special. Hemi and Kevin continued to enjoy such successes over the years. The 2015 Crown Championship was Hemi’s last run. He is now retired and living the life his buddy, Kelcee, has been enjoying.
The 5 Big Questions:
Where does your dog sleep? – “I work 11pm-7am, so, I go to sleep when Char-lane goes to work and that means Hemi gets to sleep in the bed with me.”
What are your strengths as a handler? – “I’d like to say experience but with SRS you never know what you are going to get which is what makes it fun and exciting.”
What are you weaknesses as a handler? – “Experience again. I’m not like the pros and other amateurs. I have one bullet and that is Hemi. They have four, five and six. That puts you on edge which makes being calm very difficult.”
If you had to describe Hemi in one word what would it be and why? – “Determined. His concentration was always on the long bird. He loved to go long. He is so determined to always finish.”
If Hemi could describe you in one word what would it be? – “Buddy. At least I hope so. Can I cheat and say Best Friend?”