Pointing Breed Field Trials

The American Brittany Club National Gun Dog Championship
    & American Brittany Club National Amateur Gun Dog Championship
by Bonnie Hidalgo, Field Representative

Ionia, MI was the site of the 2006 National Gun Dog Field Trial of the American Brittany Club.  The three one hour courses were groomed to perfection and plenty of birds were found on all of them.  Both the National Open and the National Amateur were run on this beautiful venue.  The entire trial was supported generously by Purina and Tri-Tronics.

The Field Trial Chairman for the ABC National Gun Dog Championship, Les Casselberry organized the plans for that part of the event and kept it running with regimented rules.  Secretary Cheryl Orange managed the paperwork for the entire event.  Stake manager for both Open and Amateur Championships was Cindy Kropek who really kept things running on track.  Cindy took her job seriously and did a fantastic job with the aid of her husband, Al.  A good committee took charge of field marshalling and bird planting.  The bird planters had quite a job as their duties began in the dark, planting by flashlight.  Members of the committee for the National Open Gun Dog Championship were Dr. Brian Hendrickson, Judy Kirakofe, Kevin Remmers, Ed Lehosky and Burton Wice but countless others lent a hand where needed.  The committee for the National Amateur Gun Dog Championship was led by Ron Auten who did a great job.  Assisting Ron were Wayne Adams, Wayne Warner, Al and Cindy Kropek, Larry Bates and Delmar McCalistar.  The great food served during the week was due to the efforts of Kathy Bryne.  Chuck Langstaff did a great job as the much depended on dog wagon driver.  Jill Schafer made sure that coffee and donuts were on the dog wagon.  Bob Burchett gave valuable assistance to the Amateur Championship by planting birds and being helpful in general.  Dan Mar worked the Calcutta and auction with the assistance of Terri DeBarr and Les Casselberry.  Dan put the fun in fund raising.

Social events were organized for nearly every evening and were well attended.

The weather was alternately wet and dry with cool temperatures.

Competitors came from every region of the country as well as Canada.  It was a good following for a top National event.

The National Championship commenced on Tuesday October 24th.
Judges for the Open Championship were Bill Klenner of Belleville, MI, Warren Montgomery of Henderson, TN and Ed Tillson of Albuquerque, NM.  These three gentlemen are well qualified to judge a trial of this caliber.  There were 61 entries in the National Gun Dog Championship.

The winner of the 2006 title of was FC/AFC HIGH HOPES TAR'S DOT COM owned by Cynthia Cropek & Albert L. Cropek Jr. and handled by Cindy Cropek.  This dog’s performance was spectacular.  She scored nine flawless finds with an incredible run! After this dog performed there were no doubts as to who the winner would be. Second:
 FC/AFC PALE RIDER was second.  This dog was handled by his owner, John Sala.  He turned in a forward, nice handling race with excellent birdwork.

Third place went to FC WRIGLEY'S FIRST DANCE owned by: Jane and Gil Hopper and handled: Bob Burchett.

DC/AFC BEBOP N'AWLINS JAZZ placed fourth.  Owner Dr. Leslie Hunt handled Jazz to this placement.

The National Amateur Championship began on Sunday October 29th.  Judges for this Championship were Art Cohen of Glen Rock, PA; Bruce Conover of Marshall, VA and Don Whittington of Bellefontaine, Ohio.  Again the club had chosen a well qualified Judicial panel.  There were 42 entries in the National Amateur Gun Dog Championship.

The 2006 National Amateur Gun dog Champion emerged in FC/AFC HIGH HOPES FLY BY NITE.  Zoey is owned by Albert L Cropek Jr. & Cynthia Cropek and was handled by Al.  She appeared in the 11th brace.  Zoey ran a wide, independent race, hunting intelligently.  She carded six well spaced finds in her hour.  Her intensity, style and manners were beyond reproach on all of them.  Zoey was capably handled by her scout, Cindy, on the final find as Zoey was found on point by her brace mate’s following.

The Runner-up to the National Amateur Gun Dog Champion is FC/AFC TBF'S HOTRODDIN HOWSER, owned and handled by Raymond Gorman.  Howser ran in the second brace of the stake.  Howser scored four nice finds and a very mannerly back to win the Runner-up honor.  His race was strong and forward but with a bit less flow than that of the Champion.

The Third place dog, RIMARDAS REBEL JAKE appeared in the opening brace of the Championship.  He is owned by Sebastian Ventura and was handled by John Sala.  Jake started slowly, but picked up the pace early.  He scored three finds which occurred at 8, 13 and 25.  He had superb manners on all of his bird work.  His race was forward and kind handling.

Fourth place went to FC GAMBLERS EYE OF THE STORM JH, owned and handled by Mike Mikeoff.  This dog appeared on the third and final day of the Championship and was the only dog to be posted that day.  Stormy ran a predominantly forward race at good range.  He hunted smart and was attractive.  The race was marred only slightly by a brief deer chase.  Stormy had a stop to flush with good manners near the Orchard.  Later in the hour he pointed staunchly but relocation was necessary and ended with the work becoming a stop to flush.  Stormy finished the hour on a forward edge.

Day 1 posting named Rimardas Rebel Jake, Peter Gunn, and TBF’s Hotroddin Howser.  When the stake was over Peter was not able to hold on for placement but his performance was noteworthy none the less.  He was braced with the Runner-up, Howser.  Peter ran a beautiful forward race and scored one nice find and a polite back.  Peter was handled by his owner, Jim Carter.

The second day’s posting added Wrigley’s Chip Makin’ His Marc, and the eventual Champion, High Hopes Fly By Nite to the list.  Mike Poehler owns and handled Chip who ran in the seventh brace.  Chip went on a bird finding expedition with seven mannerly finds.  The start of his race was erratic but he soon settled in to a smooth hunting race with flowing forward moves.


*Writer’s Note: Special Thanks to Gil Hopper for information on the performances of the National Amateur winners and to Cheryl Orange for sending it to me along with win pictures taken by Julie Rommence

Click on image for caption and larger view.