Northern Kentucky Kennels is a hobby kennel operated at the residence of Rick Horn and his two adult sons, McKinley and Michael (Justin). While we have the kennel runs and the fenced yard, the dogs stay in the house with us. We believe that the best dogs are dogs that hunt and retrieve because they genuinely love their owners and want to please them. The owner and dog should work as a team of hunters that both enjoy the same thing, a great outdoor experience.
We started with a yellow Labrador Retriever named Rebel, twenty five years ago. Rebel was trained from a book to be a duck dog. My inexperience as a dog trainer was not evident because Rebel was able to do multiple blinds and was a great water dog. Most importantly Rebel loved running and playing with Mac and Justin. Sadly, we lost Rebel to an accident at age 5, long before he had reached his full potential. We mourned his loss for more than a year.
My versatile hunting dog adventure started with a German Wirehair Pointer (GWP) named Ren. I saw an advertisement for GWPs in Gun Dog Magazine. After negotiating with Clark Campbell of Country Kennels in Westgate, Iowa, my brother, Mark, and I took a trip west in November, 1991, to pick up the pup and hunt pheasants. Ren turned out to be the best hunting dog I have owned, and hunted with us for the next 12 years. Even after he retired, Ren had a spot by the TV and watched hunting shows with us for another three years. The hardest part of hunting during that period was getting ready in the morning and seeing him hobble to the door to go along.
When Ren looked like he might not be hunting much longer, I researched versatile hunting dogs. I rejoined the North America Versatile Hunting Dog Association (NAVHDA) and went to their annual meeting in October, 2001 in Columbus, Ohio. There I met some really nice dog people and joined the Canadian American Pudelpointer Association (CAPA). Bob Stitt, and his wife Sharon, ran BOSH Kennels just outside Albuquerque, New Mexico, and I really liked the way they had a family run kennel. Seven months later I flew to Albuquerque, to pick up BOSH's Buckshot, now Ky (pronounced K-eye and stands for Kentucky).
Ky is my primary hunting dog. He is a natural pointer and retriever. He works well on land and in water. While he is not fully trained in the true sense, he always brings back the bird. His house manners are impeccable and he creates a crowd wherever we go because of his unusual look and his good nature. When Ky was a pup living with Ren in his old age, I realized that the pup revitalized the older dog. It was almost as if Ren was trying to prove that the pup was not going to take his place. For that reason when we finally lost Ren, I only waited six months to get a new pup.
In my Fall 2006 NAVHDA magazine, I noticed an article about a Wire-haired Vizsla. I liked the red dog look and the wire hair so did some research and started calling around. Carolyn DeFiore and Bob Borowski with Vidor Kennels had an "A" litter ready to hit the ground in January, 2007, but it was already reserved . My money was sent for the "B" litter, but as luck would have it a reservation was canceled and I got an "A" litter pup. My son, Justin, and I drove five hours to Belleville, Michigan in late March, 2007 to pick up Vidor's Austin, now Turk.
Turk is named after the yellow Turkish dog that formed the ancient stock that eventually became Vizslas and later Hungarian Wire-haired Vizslas (HWV). He is also a tribute to my GWP, Ren, because GWPs were used to create the HWV breed in the 1930s in Hungary. Ironically is was the Pudelpointer (PP) that was used to create the GWP in Germany in the late 1800s. The legacy lives on at Northern Kentucky Kennels.
Ky and Turk are both NAVHDA and UKC registered. I was encouraged by Carolyn DeFiore with Vidor Kennels to show Turk in UKC shows and he is a UKC Show Champion. Both dogs have certifications for Natural Ability from the NAVHDA system, and Turk has his TAN or Natural Ability certification from the UKC Pointing Dog Club. We are members of the United Hungarian Wire-Haired Vizsla Association, Mid-Ohio Chapter of NAVHDA, CAPA, Central Kentucky Hunting Retriever Association (CKHRA), UKC Hunting Retriever Club, and Boone County Bowhunters of Kentucky.