AKC Walking Gun Dog Championship: Day 2

The second day of the 2015 Championship got off to a rocky start. As a reminder of the previous night’s rain, a heavy fog enveloped the grounds. Event Chair, Bonnie Hidalgo, made the wise decision to delay the start for 30 minutes to allow the fog to lift. The temperatures were in the upper 50’s to start the day and would rise to around 70 by the last brace. The wind was light to begin the day and seemed to lose velocity as the day progressed. The skies remained cloudy throughout the running but cleared later in the day. The conditions could not have been much better to run dogs.

I would like to take a minute to thank the great sponsors for this event. As in the past this event has been blessed to have the support of several of the top companies in the canine business. Major sponsor for this event is Purina. Our friends at Purina provided their fine product for the contestants and winners and also hosted a wonderful judge’s banquet. SportDog once again provided the winners with products from their industry leading line of dog training/tracking collars. Dogs Unlimited sponsored the welcome party and provided gift certificates to the winners. Our friends at the Beretta Gallery in New York City supplied specially embroidered chaps to the winners and judges. As one can easily see these companies represent the best in their field. We appreciate their support.

Of note to your scribe was the number of ladies that were handling dogs in this event. 30 years ago one could count the number of female handlers on one hand. Today, with the number of female handlers growing, the ladies stand shoulder to shoulder with the male handlers. Anyone that might doubt that women handlers have a place in this sport would have seen different at this event.

Brace 7

  • FC Trinity's Million Dollar Baby "Baby" English Setter, handler Wayne James
  • FC AFC Crimson's Lord Rigby of Linden JH "Rigby" Vizsla, handler Mark Spurgeon

This brace broke away and both dogs were applying themselves to the available objectives very well. Rigby was observed running the lines far to the front, the day would end for him when at about 18 minutes he returned with a bird in his mouth. Baby was quick on her feet and was putting on a show of how to hunt every likely birdy area. She spent her time running hard and hunting intelligently. She put on a bird finding show. On her first find, at 10 minutes occurred as she was running at a great rate of speed and suddenly swapped ends. Her style was text book and her manners were first rate. From this point on she would speed to the front only to be found shortly after pointing with her high style. She recorded finds at 10, 15, 21, 26, 31, 38, and at 45 minutes. She would have a breach of manners on her final find drawing a collective groan from the gallery.

Brace 8

  • DC VC Gambles Sam Man MH "Sam" GSP, handler Brenda Roe
  • Crimson's Twenty Gauge Dakota "Dakota" Vizsla, handler Mark Spurgeon

Sam ran a nice race that showed hos ability to both hunt an edge and also quarter a field. He and his handler were in good sync. He had good finds at 12 minutes buried in a plum thicket, at 34 minutes standing nicely along a field edge. He also mannerly honored his brace mate at 27 minutes. He also would add a non-productive at 55. He finished the hour. Dakota was fast and forward from the first whistle. He pointed at 3 minutes with all in order. He added well-mannered and stylish finds at 27 minutes and 40 minutes. At 45 minutes he was working a running bird when it made an error to end his day.

Brace 9

  • DC Gamble's Benny The Jet SH "Benny" GSP, handler Rick Hopkins
  • Rollin Thunder Pocket Watch "Pip" GSP, handler Rhonda Haukoos

Benny went right to work, going to the cover and was rewarded with a very stylish find at 3 minutes. He added another find at 8 minutes were his near perfect manners and high style were on display. He hunted the covers hard. His ground race was fast and to the front. He was found to the front , on point at 53 minutes were his high style and good manners were again on display. He finished the hour with the same jump in his step as he had started. Pip race was forward and very fast. She did well in running the edges. She had a stop to flush at 14 minutes which she handled well. Shortly after this, Pip had a nice find. Her style was very nice and her manners, flawless. She added another find at 56 minutes, along a long fence line, all in order. Released she raced to the front, displaying a very strong finish.

Brace 10

  • FC Sageflyer Li'L Miss Whistlin' Dixie "Dixie" GSP, handler AnnaMaria Marchionne
  • Ricky Ticky's Foxy Lady "Babe" GSP, handler Rhonda Haukoos

Dixie and Babe made an attractive pair in the field. Both dogs were well gaited and attractive to watch as they toured the fields. Dixie hunted hard, covering the likely objectives. She had a mannerly backof her brace mate at 17 minutes where she displayed nice style. She would find game at 51 minutes. She had the bird well located and was mannerly for the flush and shot. She finished the hour. Babe had a short day. She pointed at 17 minutes with high style. She was mannerly for the flush and shot. She was shortly after picked up due to a direction problem.

Winners

  1. Rollin Thunder Pocket Watch "Pip" GSP, handler Rhonda Haukoos
  2. DC Gamble's Benny The Jet SH "Benny" GSP, handler Rick Hopkins
  3. NGDC DC AFC JB's Asker Bout Birds MH "Kinze" Vizsla, handler Joanne Beckley
  4. NWGDC GFC JB's Double Action Ruger "Kota" Vizsla, handler Joanne Beckley

Best of Breeds

  • German Short haired Pointer - Rollin Thunder Pocket Watch "Pip" GSP, handler Rhonda Haukoos
  • Vizsla - NGDC DC AFC JB's Asker Bout Birds MH "Kinze" Vizsla, handler Joanne Beckley
  • English Setter - FC AFC Trinity's Razzle Dazzle "Dazzle" English Setter, handler Wayne James