AKC Walking Gun Dog Championship: Day 1

The third annual walking Gun Dog Championship began on April 15, 2015. The venue for this year's renewal is the Sportsman Association grounds Near Grove Spring, MO. The area offers 3 one hour courses. Event chair, Bonnie Hidalgo, had spent considerable time in the laying out of the courses to provide courses that were very equal to each other and which featured very few hills, hills are plentiful at this fine area. The courses consist of many large hay fields with well-defined edges of the dogs to run. Along with the hay meadows are areas of heavier grassy cover where a dog needs to go with it’s handler. Each course offers opportunities to show a dog’s ability to take an edge and also the dogs willingness to go with the handler. 

Judges for this year’s Championship were Bob Burchett and Gailen Cooper. Both of these men are well versed in the ways of high class bird dogs. Each is well acquainted with the grounds at Grove Spring. They are very attentive and very positive in their judgment.

The weather for the first day was a challenge. A moderate rain was falling at the scheduled break away time and a start of the event was delayed for 90 minutes to let the rain pass. This was a good decision as the rain subsided giving way to a cloudy sky, a light breeze from the south east, and moderate temperatures. The skies remained cloudy for most of the day with the sun making only a brief appearance. When the sun came out the temperature felt very warm but again this was only for a short time before the clouds again filled the sky and the temperatures moderated.

After the days running all were treated to a delicious fish fry sponsored by Purina. 

Brace 1

  • NFC NGDC FC Brillows Big Wild Western "Wiley" GWP, handler Rhonda Haukoos
  • NGDC DC AFC JB's Asker Bout Birds MH "Kinze" Vizsla, handler Joanne Beckley

Both of these dogs began their brace strongly. At 10 minutes Wiley was found pointing on the left side of the course. No birds were produced. Wiley was traveling fast and wide and was lost to judgement. Kinze had a good find. Kinze toured the country and was again pointing at 56 minutes. Judge Cooper observed a hawk leave the area as we approached.  No birds were produced at this stand. Kinze finished the hour.

Brace 2

  • Bck Joyful Lilee June Shoefly "Lilee June" GSP, handler Susan Oertel
  • FC AFC Crimson's Isidora Rizzini "Izzy" Vizsla, handler Mark Spergeon

Conditions were improving with the light rain stopping early during this brace. Lilee June put in a steady, consistent hour. She would have finds at 18, 46, and 50 minutes. All her bird work was good, displaying very nice manners. She finished the hour as she had started. Izzy also was pleasant to watch and hunted the covers well. Izzy had a nice find at 21 minutes, a second find at 30 minutes, and a natural back of his brace mate at 46. Izzy also finished the hour.

Brace 3

  • FC AFC I'm Maddie "Maddie" GSP, handler Rhonda Haukoos
  • FC AFC Trinity's Razzle Dazzle "Dazzle" English Setter, handler Wayne James

Maddie displayed a powerful race, covering considerable country in her search for game. She honored her brace mate’s find at 15 minutes. At 40 minutes she was found standing, she took a couple of steps and was put in on a rope. Dazzle hunted hard for her time. She pointed game at 15 minutes, recorded a non-productive at 25 minutes, and added a neat find at 52 minutes where she displayed good style and excellent manners. Dazzle would finish the hour.

Brace 4

  • NWGDC GFC JB's Double Action Ruger "Kota" Vizsla, handler Joanne Beckley
  • Odyssey's Boxa Rise'Ann Shine "Ruby" GSP, handler Caleb Bryson

The first brace of the afternoon began under clearing skies, with a muggy feel to the air. Ruby had a short day when she missed the opportunity to back her brace mate at 10 minutes.  This was unfortunate as Kota had stopped but n=moved on shortly after her brace mate missed her back. Kota ran a snappy race that stayed mainly forward. She had a good finds at 18 minutes, 32 minutes, and 50 minutes. All her bird work was good and her manners were unquestionable. She did record a non-productive at 59 minutes. She would finish the hour.

Brace 5

  • Crimson's Double Twenty Gauge "Gauge" Vizsla, handler mark Spurgeon
  • FC AFC Hot Shot's Auf Ziel SH "Zero" GSP, handler Peggy Sieve

Both dogs went to work at the first whistle. Gauge was found pointing at 10 minutes, Zero naturally coming in to back. Both displayed good manners. Both dogs toured the course well. At 25 minutes Gauge was again observed pointing with Zero again backing nicely. The bird flushed well before the approach of his handler, which proved to be too much temptation. Zero also was tempted by this and both were picked up.

Brace 6

  • Brillow's Sureshot Hardknock Doc "Doc" GWP, handler Rhonda Haukoos
  • FC AFC Red Oak's Dez "Dez" GSP, handler Andy Cooper

Both dogs broke away strongly. Dez was not to be returned to judgment. Doc settled in and was displaying a nice comfortable race. At 22 he pointed in the area of the old corn field. The bird flushed wild and he took a few steps which ended his day.