Pointing Breed Field Trials

Gordon Setter Club of America 2008 National Championship
by Bonnie Hidalgo

The Anderson Ranch located just north of Sunnyside, WA was the venue for the fourteenth running of the Gordon Setter Club of America’s National Championship field trial, held October 15th - 18th 2008. Majestic vistas and wide open spaces coupled with good cover and objectives make this a great place for bird dogs and their human companions.  It was a quality event in spite of the fact that entries were down drastically from previous years.

The trial committee is to be commended for their work on this event.  Trial Chairman Janet Grunbok and secretary Bruce Ulness kept things flowing smoothly.  Hospitality Chair, Charlotte Roberts was aided by Christiane Ulness, Carolyn Gold and several others in putting out wonderful lunches and evening hors d’ouerves.  Sandy Churton was the line marshal.  She did a fine job of getting dogs to the line in a timely fashion and announcing each brace before it was cast off.  Various and sundry jobs from catching birds, to planting them, marshalling, both for judges and gallery and scribing the braces were handled by the committee members.  Sara Shumer was the Judges’ marshal in the National Open Championship while Cindy Findley filled the role in the National Amateur.  Additional kudos go out for the help given by Jack Cooper, Dan Voss, Becky Voss, Jerry Churton, Anne Boyd, Linda Sanders, Susan DeSilver, Pat Sanborn and Matt Czarnecki. Thanks to Trena Cardwell for planting birds during the majority of the Amateur stake. Stu Farnham was the official photographer.

The GSCA National Championship

This stake kicked off the event, commencing on Wednesday morning Oct. 15.  The length of heats was forty-five minutes.  Judges for this stake were Harry Beck from Madera, CA and Stan Noble of Cherry Valley, IL.  These two gentlemen know bird dogs and were looking for quality and class in the application as well as on game.  They selected five dogs to be recognized from the field of 18.

FC Tomar’s Renegade Crackerjack emerged victorious and that came as no surprise to those who witnessed his superb performance.  Crackers is owned and loved by Anne Boyd of Browns Valley, CA and was handled to the win by his trainer, Trena Cardwell.  Crackers scored a sparkling fine early, along the sage line on the hill.  Crackers race was outstanding from start to finish; being fast, forward and stylish.  As big as he ran he never failed to respond to his handlers wishes.  It was one of those truly great performances when you know early on that you are witnessing something special and rare.  In the eyes of the judges this performance was head and shoulders above the remainder of the field.

NFC/NAFC/FC/AFC Par’s Falcon on The Prowl turned in a consistent, class gun dog race to earn the runner-up position for owners Jerry and Sandy Churton of San Francisco, CA.  “Tiger” was expertly handled by Roy Smith. He scored a very nice find at 34. He pointed again with style at 38 but this was a fresh kill.  Tiger was very mannerly on his game and in his handle.  He finished nicely to the front.
Indian Sky Gordon Hill Scout was third with a good race that was mostly wide and forward.  He scored one clean find.  He is owned by Susan De Silver of Northford, CT and was handled by Matt Basilone.

FC Tomar’s Whistling Dixie was fourth with a three find performance.  She is owned by Charlotte Roberts of Seattle, WA and was handled by Trena Cardwell.  She scored on game at 10, 22, and 31.  Dixie ran a nice race but her bird work was not as stellar as that of the higher placing dogs.

Falcon’s Blind Sided owned and handled by Pat Sanborn of West Chester, PA received a Judges Award of Merit. “Strider” scored very classy finds at 12 and 32.  He remained high and tight for a lengthy flush and was impressive.  His race was marred on the front end by a trip up the lane before he broke off and went hunting.  Striders race continued nicely until late in the brace when he lost some of his vigor.

National Derby Classic

This stake was second on the roster and was officiated by Patti Van DeCouvering, DVM from Boring, OR and Brian Lybeck of Enumclaw, WA.  There were six entries.  Three dogs had quality derby style birdwork on course and were placed.

Whiskey River’s Wild Rose won this stake for her owner and handler Allen Bailey of Enterprise, UT.  She ran a nice race and hunted hard.  “Pinky” scored two finds with good derby manners and style.

Black Brook Bonny MacFarlane was second under the handling of Trena Cardwell for owner Lynn Barnett of Bandera, TX.  Bonny was quick and snappy and handled kindly.  She had three very acceptable Derby finds but could have been more confident on them.

Third place went to Whiskey River’s Call Me Ace owned and handled by Allen Bailey.  This young dog did a commendable job and scored one nice derby find.  His race lacked the maturity of the first two dogs.

Fourth place was withheld, that dog that places so often!

National Amateur Championship

This Championship began on Friday morning, October 17 and concluded at noon on Saturday.  There were nine forty-five minute braces with eighteen dogs vying for the title.  It was a good stake with many quality performances.  The Judges were Bill Gibbons of Phoenix, AZ and Brian Lybeck of Enumclaw, WA.  They paid close attention to the performances of all competitors.
The 2008 National Amateur Champion is FC Cobb’s Golden Kernel owned and handled by Linda Sanders of Las Vegas, NV.  Kernel carded three finds with exceptional style and grace. He hit the outer limits of the course but handled gently.  The judges commented that it was truly an outstanding performance.

NFC/NAFC/FC/AFC Par’s Falcon On The Prowl handled by George Lutz was second for owners Sandy and Jerry Churton of San Francisco.  Tiger was definitely on the prowl this week having also placed second in the open championship.  In the Amateur he carded three finds and one nonproductive.  Tiger turned in a great race and did everything with class.  His range was slightly shorter than the winner and that was what separated them.
FC Wynd Dancer Tenasscity owned by Dan and Becky Voss of St. Francis, MN and handled by Becky placed third.  “Pudgy” turned in a good race with three well mannered finds.

In fourth place was Rice Creek’s Jesse James, owned and handled by Linda Sanders.  He scored four finds.  On two of them he was backed by his bracemate; on those he lacked a bit of confidence and this kept him from placing higher.  He turned in a tremendous race. 

Next year’s renewal of this National Championship field trial will be held October 15- 20 at Branched Oaks near Lincoln, NE.  The fifteenth anniversary trial will boast one hour heats for this great bird dog breed.  Be sure to attend!

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