April 28 until completion - Reno, Nevada
By AKC Executive Field Representative Bonnie Hidalgo
Reno, Nevada’s Red Rock Area was the site of the 2008 AKC Gun Dog Championship field trial. This is big country where a Gun Dog must reach out to the objectives; it is also Chukar country, which means the dogs need to go up in the rocks to hunt. The sage brush dotted countryside made it deceptively tough to view a dog’s ground pattern; the dust in the air added another dimension of difficulty while it unpleasantly coated everyone from head to toe. The many dogs that ran the country correctly were a joy to behold despite the conditions.
A ‘Ride the Course’ was held on the Sunday afternoon prior to the event and was graciously guided by local field trialer, Doug Steinshauer. Dinner on the grounds followed; Co-Chairman Ellis Herz welcomed one and all to the event and explained how it would be conducted. The field trial commenced on Monday April 28 with the Non-Retrieving Championship.
This Championship drew an entry of 103 which was then reduced by scratches. A total of 100 dogs started. The plan was to run three days of this one hour stake with six braces per day before commencing the Retrieving Championship on Thursday morning. Unfortunately the weather was not conducive to dog work on Tuesday and the running was cancelled after two hours when the winds reached an unbearable velocity. The dirt in the air made visibility unacceptable, not to mention the effect on scenting and the dogs’ ability to hear their handlers.
The Retrieving Championship did start on schedule on May 1 with 100 entries. The first series braces ran for 30 minutes with the first bird killed on course. With the Non-Retrieving stake falling behind schedule and females in season, some juxtaposition became necessary since some dogs were then slated to run in both stakes on the same day. The best was made of the situation and the trial ran reasonably well. Sixteen dogs were called back for the second series in this stake. The second series is a 45 minute heat with the first bird killed on course. There were sixteen excellent dogs called back for the Second Series.
The Retrieving Championship concluded on Monday May 5 with the naming of VHK’s Leapin Lizzie as Champion and Top German Shorthair Pointer. Lizzie was handled by Randy Berry for her owners Mike and Judy Hewett. Named second and also Top Brittany was DC/AFC Redline’s Tequila Smoker owned by Bill and Cynthia Leffingwell and handled by Paul Doiron. In third was, FC/AFC Dunfur’s Dumazuri Rapscallion, a German Shorthair handled by Dan Hoke for owner Terry Quinn. Fourth place went to FC San-Dee’s Blazing Shane owned by Donald and Pat Ball and handled by Paul Doiron. JAM’s were awarded to: FC Dot’s Blue Diamond, German Shorthair, handled by Leroy Merrell for Jackie and Lee Holsinger. AFC Foxgloves Night On the Town, German Shorthair Pointer owned and handled by Brian Hill. Carbon Copy of Mom Dot Com owned by Jeff and Peggy Davis and handled by RJ Marquardt. CC was also named the Top English Setter in the Retrieving Championship.
The 2008 Retrieving Championship Winners
Left to Right: Ellis Herz; Mike Hewett with VHK Leapin Lizzie; Randy Berry; Howard Burbach, Judge; Paul Doiron with Tequila's Redline Smoker; Dan Hoke; Jeremy Stoltz with Dunfur's Dumazuri Rapscallion; Ken Ruff, Judge; Bill Landress; Peg Doiron with San-Dee's Blazing Shane.
The following dogs were given awards for being the Top Dogs in their breed: Par’s Falcon On The Prowl, Gordon Setter, owned by Gerald and Sandra Churton and handled by Roy Smith; DC Wildwings Shameless, German Wirehair Pointer, owned by Lynn Sandor and handled by Dave La Chance; CH Csarda’s Bugle Boy Boogie, Vizsla owned by Gayle and John Moynier and handled by Scott Azevedo.
Winning the Non-Retrieving Championship was FC San-Dee’s Blazing Shane owned by Donald and Pat Ball and handled by Paul Doiron. Shane also received recognition as the Top Brittany in the stake. NAFC/FC/AFC Miss Millennium von Griewe was named Runner-up to the Champion and top German Shorthair. Millie is owned by Don and Connie Fidler and was handled by Don. Third place went to Megasmoke Grand Finale, Brittany male, owned by Myra-Dawn Ellis handled by Paul Doiron. Fourth place went to FC/AFC MTB CaboRita de Scipio owned by Tom White and Margaret Horstmeyer and handled by Paul Doiron.
The 2008 Non-Retrieving Championship Winners
Left to Right: Ellis Herz; Paul Doiron with San-Dee's Blazing Shane; Chris Rider, Judge; Don Dalton with Miss Millennium Von Griewe; Don Fidler; Peggy Doiron with Megasmoke Grande Finale; Bill Landress; Tom White and Margaret Horstmeyer with MTB CaboRita De Scipio and Pennie Willis, Judge.
Judges Awards of Merit went to these dogs: FC/AFC Rex’s First Step, GSP owned and handled by Don Pool; FC/AFC Stirling’s What A Girl Wants also named Top English Setter; FC/AFC Tonelli’s Sky High, GSP owned by Lou Tonelli and handled by Terry Zygalinski. Additional top breed dogs named in the Non-Retrieving Championship included, Gordon Setter: NFC/FC/AFC Sierra Nevada Hot Wheels, owned by Janet Grunbok and Anne Boyd and handled by Janet; Vizsla: FC J&C’s Reba of Greased Litnin handled by Dan Hoke for owner Richard Miller; Pointer, Hunter’s Pride Hanna owned by Ed & Linda Dixon and handled by Ed. German Wirehair was DC Wildwing’s Shameless, owned by Lynn Sandor and handled by Dave La Chance.
The Judges for the Non-Retrieving Championship were Pennie Willis, Lincolnshire, IL and Chris Rider, Smithfield, PA. They rode hard and were very attentive to each and every dog. The dogs they chose were popular winners.
The Retrieving Championship was judged by Ken Ruff, Sycamore, IL and Howard Burbach, Pleasant Hill, MO. These gentlemen brought a wealth of knowledge and experience from which they drew to select the finest dogs in the stake. Their decision was well received.
The Field Trial Committee spearheaded by Co-Chairmen Ellis Herz and Bill Landress took on a huge task with this event. They chose a venue which was popular and convenient for the western region competitors. This no doubt was responsible for the large entry they received. There were numerous people working to pull off a successful event. Secretary, Sarah Herz took care of paperwork and no doubt many other behind the scenes details. The dog wagon drivers were essential to the Non-Retrieving Championship which was run on an out-and-back course. Harry Beck, John Derespini and Norm Nelson were the mainstays at the job. Tom White marshaled the entire Non-Retrieving Championship. His sharp eye and good humor were appreciated by all, especially the Judges. Bill Landress and Ellis Herz pitched in on numerous areas including serving as Marshal, bird planting and gunning. Ed Dixon is to be commended for his great job as head bird planter, he caught birds every morning and salted the courses before the start of each day’s running with the exception of the final morning. He also planted many additional braces. Nick Bresnick and Bill Landress were Ed’s right hand men as far as bagging birds for the remainder of the day. Gary Sadler and Tom Meyer planted a great deal of the time on the hour course. Nick Bresnick helped to plant the retrieving course. There were others that helped and I apologize to those that pitched in when I wasn’t looking!
Many people served as gallery Marshall’s, carrying the tracking receivers for the Judges. Often it was Bill Landress, Gary Sadler, Doug Ljungren, Mike Aldrich or Bonnie Hidalgo. At times when the two stakes were keeping things hopping it was often an available member of the gallery that filled in. Thanks to everyone including Vickie LaChance, Linda Azevedo, Linda Dixon, Karen Holmes and Tom White. Apologies to those who were inadvertently excluded from this list!
Serving as Gunners were Ellis Herz, Bill Landress, Phil Casdorph, Gary Sadler and Tom Meyer. Helping out as line Marshals were Stevie Casdorph, Margaret Horstmeyer and Susan Pasas.
Margaret Horstmeyer and Linda Azevedo set up the social hour before dinner each evening. It was very popular with everyone in attendance. A catered gourmet meal followed on nearly every night during the event as arranged for by Ellis Herz. On Wednesday night the meal was sponsored by Purina; AKC provided the meal on Thursday. Linda Azevedo with the aid of Gayle Moynier did a great job organizing the raffle. Linda was enthusiastic about selling raffle tickets and made many great sales. The drawing was held after Saturday’s dinner. The winner of the Tucker saddle was Terry Chandler of Las Cruces, NM.
With no running water on the grounds the water detail was a major job. Doug and Lori Steinshauer graciously allowed everyone to fill water tanks at their nearby home. There were several people who made trips to bring back water for everyone. These included, Terry Zygalinski, who also served as Wrangler, supplying horses for Judges and spectators. Additional water haulers were, Bill Landress, Harry Beck, John Derespini, Mike Aldrich, Tom Meyer and Gary Sadler.
Camp clean-up was attended to be all; but a few made pick up runs through the entire camp. Thanks for that go out to Terry Chandler, Dave & Vickie La Chance and Mike Aldrich.
Event sponsors were Purina and Tri-Tronics. These two fantastic companies are absolutely marvelous in their support of Field Trials across this Nation. Jim Morehouse of Tucson, AZ represents Tri-Tronics and in Roy Pelton’s absence also represented Purina.
Each dog that placed in the Championships won a pewter trophies, belt buckle, rosette and jacket. Additionally Tri-Tronics provided a training collar to each of the Champions. Purina generously supplied dog food for every dog entered. Rosettes were awarded for Judges Awards of Merit and to the top dog in each breed.
Dr. Mark Neff, PHD from UC-Davis and his team were out to promote their study regarding the search for the pointing gene. Mark spoke to the group during dinner on Thursday evening and collected blood samples for research on Friday and Saturday. The team rode a few braces of the Retrieving Championship and seemed to enjoy themselves.
This AKC Gun Dog Championship served as the final assignment for retiring AKC Executive Field Representative, Mike Aldrich. While Mike’s wit and wisdom will be missed at AKC; his return to the ranks of field trial participation will be welcomed by all.
AKC Gun Dog Non- Retrieving Championship Running:
1) Foxgloves Take It To The Limit (Hill) with DC Griffith’s Willie Be Mine (La Chance) Ace went to the right places but showed effects of the heat by 45. He had no birds but overall did a nice job. Willie started very nice; he did a good job of handling. He found no birds.
2) FC PJ’s It's A Bet (Azevedo) with Dunfur’s NDL Diver (Hoke) Booker was found pointing in the rocks following a good move. Booker reached nicely and finished well. Muff had one stop to flush and one find. She hunted well and finished nicely.
3) NFC/3xNAFC/DC/AFC Rudolph’s Blitzen Von Duffin (Berry) and PVR’s Rugerheim Smokin Liberty (Chandler) Blitz was consistent in the way she hunted the rocks. She scored one good find. She handled the hot day well and finished forward. Virgil hunted forward but suffered two barren stands and was picked up.
4) DC Quail Rock Tough Enough (Doiron) and FC J&C’s Reba of Greased Litnin (Hoke)
This pair started slow but soon warmed to the task. Reba went birdless but gave a commendable performance on the ground, always hunting nicely forward. She won the “Top Vizsla” award. King made his final move to the junipers and was found standing there. It was a nice find and he showed top manners to finish the hour.
5) FC/AFC Royal T’s Absolut Straight Shot (La Chance) and Drycreek Seein Is Believin (Azevedo) Abbie went wide right from the start, then hunted the rocks thoroughly. She scored one good find with Ripley backing. Abby finished high up and both were forward at time. Ripley went birdless.
6) FC/AFC Baron Von Griewe (Fidler) and Ridgeline’s Summer Storm, JH (Hoke)
This was the final brace on Monday. Neither dog had bird contact, although Baron was found on point. Baron ran a strong race, holding up extremely well in the heat. Both dogs finished nicely forward.
7) Rugerheim’s Its Only Money (Chandler) and DC Wildwing’s Shameless (La Chance)
Cash ran a strong race for the entire hour. He had a well mannered find on valley quail at time. Gus hunted hard for the entire hour. He always used the wind to his advantage and scored five clean finds during his hour. Gus handled kindly; he was later named as the “Top German Wirehair” in this stake.
8) Straightaway’s Castle Balmoral (Hoke) with FC JMA’s Mighty Heidi (Berry) This pair shared a find off of the breakaway with all in order. Dundee was lost early in the hour. Heidi ran to the front the entire hour and handled kindly. This brace was run under extremely bad conditions. The wind came up soon after they were released and was at gale force by hour’s end. This was the last of two braces run on Tuesday April 29.
9) FC/AFC JMA’s Pintail Comet (Absmeier) with Mr. Lucas Scalawag (Marquardt)
Both dogs were lost before the hour was up.
10) KO Kojack (Azevedo) and Windjammer’s Bustin Out (Zygalinski) Kojack was forward for the hour but had no game contact under judgment. Buster was lost.
11) FC/AFC Dunfur’s Charlie Bailey-Gates (Hoke) and FC Say Hey’s Georgia Peach (Azevedo) Hank, the top dog, ran beautiful, wide and forward. He carded a nice find in the open field. He pointed quail above the water tank. Ty was also wide and forward, attractively. He was lost at 30.
12) NAFC/FC/AFC Miss Millennium von Griewe (Fidler) and Windjammer’s Peanut (Zygalinski) Millie hunted intelligently at good range for the entire hour. She carded three mannerly finds and displayed good intensity on all of them. The “Peanut gallery” was out in force. She ran with a very attractive gait but went birdless.
13) FC Nacho Moon (Hoke) and FC Saddle Back Zak (Azevedo) Moon started well but shortened in the wind and was picked up. Zak also started well but shortened as the hour progressed. He scored a good find late in the hour.
14) VHK’s Leapin Lizzie (Berry) and Foxglove’s Key To The Mint (Hill)
Lizzie carded one nice find in a forward hour. Mickie ran a good race. She pointed nicely but the work on wild birds did not end well; she was relocating when the birds flushed. This concluded the third day of running.
15) FC/AFC Straightaway’s Georgia Peach (Berry) and FC Undercover Detective (La Chance) The former started nicely but shortened and her handler elected to pick up early. La Chance lost his dog at 15 and she was still not recovered by the end of the field trial.
16) Ch Csardas Bugle Boy Boogie (Azevedo) and FC Dunfur’s Too Sharp (Hoke) The former ran a good, hunting race. She had a stop to flush followed by a mannerly find at 58. Razor made some nice moves and hunted well. He pointed nicely with Echo backing but only feathers were found. He was picked up for retrieving a bird at 45.
17) AFC Foxglove’s Night On The Town (Hill) with PVR’s Smokin Morgan (Chandler)
The former was lost early in the hour. Morgan began nicely but shortened. Chandler opted to pick up at 45.
18) FC/AFC Dunfur’s Dumazuri Rapscallion (Hoke) and FC San-Dee’s Blazing Shane (Doiron) Scully was forward the entire hour, running strong. He finished nicely, reaching toward the junipers. Shane broke strong and forward, staying that way for the entire hour. He pointed well to the front in a rock pile, his style, intensity and manners were flawless. Shane then made a big swing to the bottom, pointing again but this time no birds were produced. Catching the front he pointed again, this time it was a dead bird. He hunted the objectives intelligently and thoroughly. Once through the gate he reached up high and hunted the ridge. He scored another find on the crest, displaying high fashioned style. Shane finished the hour forward, hunting the junipers with energy to spare. It was an excellent performance, making it easy to see how he gained the title of Champion.
19) FC/AFC JMA’s Image of D (Absmeier) and Déjà Blue (Fernandez) Both dogs made some nice moves but no birds were found this brace.
20) Mason’s Flame From The Rising Sun (Stocks) and FC Desert Ranger II (Halford)
This brace turned loose coming in on Thursday afternoon. Ranger scored one find.
21) JMA’s Queen Ann’s Revenge (Merrell) and Prairie Winds Teton Sage (Lee). This was the first brace on Friday morning. Ann ran a medium race with one find. Sage ran an attractive race with an excellent finish. She had one find just off the breakaway and hunted high and hard for the hour.
22) Blown Summer Molly’s Montana (Young) with Tonelli’s Sky High (Zygalinski) Montana carded two nice finds and ran a consistent, kind handling race. Sky started a bit wide but settled in to the front. This dog hunted smartly and was rewarded with six finds that were clean but with cautioning by the handler that detracted. His efforts gained him a Judge’s Award of Merit.
23) Oakridge’s Duke of Golden West (Pasas) and DC Zippity Do Dot (Doiron) Duke failed to back on Zip’s first find, just off the breakaway. Zip put on a bird finding exhibition with six well mannered finds tallied. Unfortunately he wasn’t so well behaved on his seventh bird.
24) FC Baron of Velvet Horn (Berry) and FC Three D’s Dixie Cloud Dancer (Dodge) Baron was a nice moving dog. He had two finds and ran well in the heat. Dancer scored one find, moving to mark the bird.
25) FC/AFC Megasmoke Grand Finale (Doiron) and FC/AFC RN’s Hitchen-A-Ride (Nelson) Hitch broke away to the right and did not return. Al went on to give a beautiful performance. His first find was in the breakaway field; his second was way up in the rocks. Al’s third find was high on a ridge to the left. His fourth and final find was up in the rocks on the right. He made a terrific move to get there. All four finds were of high intensity and style. This dog went to all the right places and finished strong to the front. He placed third in the Championship.
26) Ravishing Ruby von Griewe (Fidler) with FC/AFC Rex’s First Step (Pool) Ruby was picked up early. Step turned in a very commendable performance. She carded three finds; one of which she reached for and was found standing among the rocks. She received a Judges Award of merit for her effort.
27) FC JMA’s Long Ranger (Absmeier) and Double C’s Dynamite Kiddo (C. Smith) This brace was Saturday’s opener. Ranger scored two finds in a forward race. He finished nicely. The latter was not running to suit his handler and was picked up early.
28) Fly Boy (Burns) and DC/AFC Redline’s Tequila Smoker (Doiron) Fly was doing a nice job on the ground until he was lost at 30. Smokey showed great promise from the start; he had two beautiful finds before his range shortened. He continued to make the effort and scored a third nice find in the rocks.
29) Windjammer’s Bella (Zygalinski) with Par’s Falcon On The Prowl (R. Smith) Bella was big going and was lost at 25. Tiger had a non-productive shortly after breaking away and followed that with a point on a fresh kill. He ran well in the heat, holding up nicely. Tiger scored one nice find.
30) Oakridge’s Janie of Golden West (Pasas) and FC/AFC Stirling’s What A Girl Wants (Cardwell) Janie wasn’t suiting her handler and he elected to pick up at 30. Patch ran with cracking tail and plenty of speed. She hunted and handled well, scoring three good finds. Patch finished nicely forward, hunting through the junipers. She received a Judges Award of Merit and won the award for “Top English Setter”.
32) Oaks Outlaw Von Griewe (Pasas) and FC/AFC Dottie’s Mister Blue (Cardwell) Outlaw was picked up at 30. Sir was up early for an indiscretion on game.
33) Victoria’s Secret (La Chance) and FC Three D’s Dixie Mocha Jo (Dodge)
Sunday May 4’s running began with this pair. Lacy was picked up. Mocha made the hour with one find and a good finish.
34) FC/AFC Foxglove’s Fist Full Of Dollars (Hill) with FC Ive Been Sippin Brandy (Cox) Dollar had three finds in a good race. He hunted the rocks smartly, making some big moves but needing little scouting. Ivy pointed but left with the bird.
35) Ajax Driving Miss Daisy (Marquardt) with FC Tomar’s Whistling Dixie (Cardwell)
Daisy took herself out on birds at 10. Dixie did a tremendous job for 59 minutes. She ran beautifully and strong but needed a bird. Unfortunately she found and mishandled one in the junipers just before time was up.
36) FC Tomar’s Renegade Cracker Jack (Cardwell) with FC Radbach’s Herr Fritz (La Chance) Crackers started well but tired and was picked up early. Fritz performed nicely, hunting the rocks until 45 when he took out birds.
37) FC/AFC Goulds GRB’s Little Chular (Bosio) with FC/AFC/NFC Sierra Nevada Hot Wheels (Grunbok) Chular hunted forward with a kind handle. She scored two very well mannered finds at 20 and 40. Unfortunately she failed to stop to flush at 49. Jack started big, ran the entire hour and finished nicely forward. He scored one clean find and was named Top Gordon Setter for his effort.
38) FC/AFC Double C. Chip Shot (C. Smith) with FC Jaydog’s Wonder Boy (Marquardt)
Chip did a nice consistent job of hunting the rocks but vanished in them at 45. Rudy ran with cracking eye appeal. He pointed in the rocks but no birds were produced. He shortened after that and was picked up.
39) Foxglove’s Delta Vee (Hogan) and Double C.’s Just In Time (C. Smith)
Delta ran a forward, medium range race. She had one good find. Justine suffered two non-productives and was up early.
40) FC/AFC Roust About’s Frisco Rigg (Fernandez) with Tocalota’s Charley Girl (Mayhew) Frisco was doing well on the ground but moved at the flush and was picked up. Charley started out with a terrific race but shortened at 30. She scored one nice find.
41) Sherlock’s Jack O Hearts (V. Tompkins) with FC Chukar Hill Frost (Cardwell)
Jack ran a medium race and handled kindly. He scored two nice finds. Frosty showed plenty of class on the ground. She scored one nice find and a stop to flush.
42) Sherlock’s Thief O Hearts (D. Tompkins) with Chukar Hill Unleashed (Cardwell) It was extremely warm when this brace released just before noon on Monday. Bandit pointed but no birds were produced. Monte ran wide. He pointed a dead bird late in the hour.
43) FC/AFC Smitty’s Sherlock Star (Smith) with FC/AFC Spankin’s- Lil-Suzy Q (Nelson) Star carded three nice finds in a nice moving race. Suzy also put down a good race and scored three finds.
44) FC/AFC Bluewater Gun’s A Blazen (Down) with Hunter’s Pride Hanna (Dixon) Gunner started strong but slowed with the heat later in the hour. Hanna ran a hard driving race. Neither dog had bird contact.
45) JimKath’s Trophy (B. White) and Lane’s End Jess N Time (Down) This was theLast brace on Monday May 5. Buck was a very nice dog that never let up in the heat. He had one find early in the hour and later pointed feathers. Jess started nicely but gave in to the heat and was up at 30.
46) Lowery’s Eagle Ridge V Rugerheim (Chandler) with FC/AFC Megasmoke Limited Edition (Doiron) The final morning arrived and it was already warm at 8 am. Buster scored two finds and one non-productive. Ted found game off the breakaway, handling it nicely. He hunted high and hard and was lost in the rocks at 30.
47) FC Tomoka’s Tricky Magic (Marquardt) and FC/AFC CaboRita de Scipio (Doiron) Sunny pointed beautifully at 6. He went with the flush of valley quail and ended his chances. Rita started fast, reaching up to the right places. She found and pointed game with high intensity on three occasions. On her third find, relocation was necessary and she performed it very well. She quartered at good range through the grass toward the barn and finished nicely forward. This gained her fourth place.
48) Hideaway Ryegrass Jetsablazin (Hoke) and DTC’s Yonder Spekk (Bresnick) Jet was not having a good day and was up early. Spekk hunted handily. He suffered a barren stand and then scored a nice find on Chukar. Later in the hour he brought back a bird and was picked up.
49) FC/AFC Tekoa Mountain Trutome (Hoke) with AFC MTB Emme’s Cabo de Scipio (Doiron) Trudy did a nice job of covering the course. She had one stop to flush and scored one find in the rocks. Cabo found no birds.
50) Dunfur’s Tour Edition (Hoke) and DC/AFC Terra’s Cabo Wabo (T. White) No birds were pointed this brace.
AKC Gun Dog Retrieving Championship: Second Series
By Howard Burbach
Brace 1: Foxgloves Take it to the Limit (Brian Hill) with Carbon Copy of Mom Dot Com (RJ Marquardt)
Both dogs started with a steady cast toward the cedars. Ace made a move toward the top of the ridge and moved toward the plateau. He moved across the plateau to work cover at the cedars in the valley. He hunted several objectives with no luck. He had a find on top with good style but left on the flush and was picked up.
CC moved forward through the cedars and was brought back across the basin and sent to the ridge on the left. She was seen moving forward with a nice flow and found on the edge at 8 with good style. She had a good retrieve on a chukar and was sent on. She seemed to grow stronger and made some nice moves down to the valleys and the side ridges. She was seen standing at 21. RJ worked hard to produce game; after several minutes he relocated and CC scoured the area with no luck and was sent on. She was again found standing at 28 with good style. Running birds were flushed 75 feet away all in good order. CC had a little water break and was sent on. She made a nice flowing move through the valleys and was standing in the sage at 34 all in order. She went up a valley and struck point at 41. Wild quail were flushed with good style. She had another find at 43 on running chukar. She finished moving forward with a steady race. She received a Judges Award of Merit and the honor of Top English Setter.
Brace 2: DC Wildwings Shameless (Dave LaChance) and FC Dot’s Blue Diamond (Leroy Merrell)
At cast off, Gus made a strong move to the ridge on the left. He was seen striking through heavy cover. This Wirehair was an outstanding dog in the first series. He was found standing in high style at 5. A chukar was flushed as Gus left on the shot and was picked up.
Diamond made a strong cast to the cedars and flowed through heavy cover toward the top. At 24 she was found standing at the brush pile with superb style. A chukar was flushed and dropped 80 feet away. Diamond had a direct and snappy retrieve. This find was one you would remember for a lifetime. Diamond had dropped down into the far valley and worked the ridge with a strong flowing charge to be seen standing. We rode several minutes up the hillside to reach this picturesque find. She was sent on and was seen moving into heavy cover and found standing at 33. Merrell worked to produce game, relocated and Diamond hunted with great intensity. She was given a drink and sent on. She was running with a good forward race and found standing at 40. Chukar were flushed. Diamond slowed a little at the last 5 but was still a high quality dog. Diamond received a Judges Award of Merit. Gus was named Top German Wirehair in the stake.
Brace 3: FC/AFC Dunfur’s Dumazuri Rapscallion (Dan Hoke) and Windjammer’s Bustin Out (Roy Smith)
Scully made a strong cast to the left ridge. He was seen moving along the ridgeline and found standing in heavy cover by the scout at 11. A chukar was downed and Scully sent to the retrieve. A live chukar flushed and Scully stopped. He was then sent on to finish his retrieve all with excellent drive. Scully was sent on to be found standing at 16 high along the ridge. Cover was worked hard as Scully stood with excellent style. Running birds were flushed well in front of Scully. This was an outstanding piece of bird work by this classy dog. Again Scully was sent forward as he made excellent casts into the valleys and worked with great intensity. He showed great pattern and style with a good forward race. Hoke brought Scully up from the valley onto the plateau where he coursed the sage and cedars. He had another class find at 24. After a well-deserved water break, Scully was sent on; he grew stronger to finish the 45 well to the front with excellent pattern. Scully had raised the bar for this stake. He received third place in this Championship.
Buster started with a steady move into the cedars. He was seen periodically moving through heavy cover. He pointed at 14, game was acquired and Buster sent for the retrieve. Buster was sent across the top where he moved steady and had another find at 27. His style and staunchness were good. He was sent forward and found standing at 34. Running birds were flushed and put pressure on this dog. He was sent on and found chukar at 38. The heat of the day was upon us and Buster finished the course forward and steady.
Brace 4: FC/AFC Megasmoke Grande Finale (Paul Dorion) with FC Blue Dot of Nick’s Image (Leroy Merrell)
Al made a strong move to the ridge on the left. He was seen moving through heavy cover with excellent drive and pattern. This was a very snappy dog. He was found standing at 15. Chukar were encountered, flushed and retrieved all in great style. Al continued forward and checked the valleys with great intent. He came back to the top where chukar flushed well in front of him. Al had a good stop to flush at 20. His bracemate made an excellent back. Al was sent on. He slowed his drive some at the half but grew strong again. He made some nice moves through heavy sage and open valleys. He made a nice find at 37. As we rode toward Al, a pair of chukar flushed wild. Al stood sound as Dorian dismounted and blanked. Al was sent on and finished his course with a good forward pace.
Lucy made a nice move through the sage on the right. She was found standing at 7. Birds were flushed and flew right over her; she handled all with good style. Lucy was sent forward and made some nice moves along the ridge. She made a nice natural back at 20. At 31 she had another find. Lucy had a stop to flush at 37. She started to slow as the heat took its toll on this nice dog.
Brace 5: FC San-Dee’s Blazing Shane (Paul Dorion) with FC Dunfur’s Too Sharp (Dan Hoke)
This was our first brace after lunch. The temperature was in the 70’s for a hot and dry Nevada day. Shane and Razor received a nice bath in the tank. They were released and both dogs seemed to be making a bid for top honors. At 15 Shane had a find on chukar at the brush pile on the edge of the cedars. He made a good retrieve. This nice Brittany worked the cover in grand style. He was found standing at 33 in heavy cover all in good order on chukar. Shane made another forward move and was found standing again at 38. Birds were flushed and Shane was sent on. He had another find at 41. Shane maintained great style and finished his course with a strong forward range. It was evident this classy dog was making a bid for a placement. He garnered the fourth position.
Razor started the brace with some exciting moves. He backed his brace mate at 15. Birds were flushed and game procured. Razor stood in good style while Al retrieved right in front of Razor. After a quick drink, Razor was sent on. He made a nice drive over the top and through the large valley. He came back to the top and pointed at 22 next to the brush pile. Hoke worked hard to produce game. Razor never let down but no game was produced and Razor was sent forward. He was found standing at 30. Again no game was produced and Razor was picked up.
Brace 6: AFC Foxgloves Night on the Town (Brian Hill) and FC/AFC Baron Von Griewe (Don Fidler)
Abby made a quick dash to heavy cover. She was seen moving through heavy cover and found standing at the top next to the brush pile. Chukar were flushed all in good style. Again Abby raced forward and was seen standing at 16 in high style. Chukar were flushed and procured. Abby was sent for a direct and snappy retrieve. She continued to move forward with a very nice, intelligent gun dog race. She was seen at 33, standing as we rode toward her. Birds were flushed and she stood with great style. This was another class dog to run in the heat of the day. She received a Judges Award of merit for her effort.
Baron went right to work as he moved quickly through heavy cover. He was seen moving toward the top at 7. We continued forward but did not encounter Baron. The scout was sent and point was called at 12 in the area we had last seen Baron. We rode back to find Baron in heavy cover. Fidler flushed chukar; the gunner made his mark and Baron was sent for a long retrieve in heavy cover. Baron showed great style and made an excellent retrieve. He was sent on and found standing again at 20. Running chukar were flushed with all in good order. Baron slowed a little at 30 and got hung up in heavy cover. He finished moving forward but had slowed from his exciting first half.
Brace 7: VHK Leapin Lizzie (Randy Berry) with DC/AFC Redline’s Tequila Smoker (Paul Dorion)
The temperature had reached the mid 70’s and the hot dry wind had increased. It seemed as though these two dogs had things against them. They set out to prove the contrary. Lizzie made a strong move to the cover on the left ridge. Berry continued forward in a calm collective manner. Lizzie was found standing at 5 in heavy sage by the scout. She showed great style as we approached. Chukar were flushed as the gunner made his mark. Game was dropped in heavy cover; Lizzie was sent for the retrieve. She displayed exceptional bird dog sense on a very nice retrieve. Her bracemate Smokey also combed the cover with great exuberance. He was found standing in the cedars at 11. Chukar were flushed. Smokey displayed exceptional bird dog qualities on a great piece of bird work. These two exceptional bird dogs continued to encounter one another. It was as if they knew they were competing but yet keyed off of each ones moves. Both of these dogs grew stronger and made very exciting moves across the open and to the high ridges. Both handlers turned these dogs with a very calm and gentle handle. Lizzie and Smokey were turned and dropped into the valley where they charged forward. They displayed outstanding scent and terrain movement as they headed for high chukar country on the far ridge. It was certainly the highlight of the day as these two highly trained and skilled athletes covered the ridge with strong forward, exhilarating races. Both handlers turned their dogs back into the valley and brought them back to heavy cover on top. Both dogs went to work naturally coursing heavy cover and dropping into the valleys to check for game. Neither dog showed signs of fatigue at 30. They were called in for water and sent on. Again these dogs made moves that totally complimented one another. They continued to display outstanding use of the wind and terrain. Both handlers called their dogs in for a drink with minutes remaining. They both cast off with Lizzie moving left and Smokey moving right. These two dogs were going just as strong as they began. Lizzie had a find on chukar at 43. Berry flushed and Lizzie displayed outstanding style again. Smokey was found standing at 44 with high style. Chukar were flushed and Smokey stood high and proud. These two dogs and two gentlemen handlers had just given us a brace to talk about for a long, long time. The naturalness of this exceptional pair of dogs was outstanding and was matched only by the exceptional handling of Mr. Berry and Mr. Doiron. Lizzie was named Champion while Smokey was named Runner-up.
Brace 8: FC/AFC Sherlock’s Redline Tomboy (RJ Marquardt) with FC/AFC Foxgloves Key to the Mint (Brian Hill)
This was the last of 16 dogs called back for the second series. Jill started with a steady forward race. She was standing at 5 in good style. No retrieve was made on this flush. Jill was sent on as she made some nice steady moves through cover. She was found standing at 23. Running birds were flushed and Jill let down a little on this. She was sent on but slowed some in the desert heat. Mickey started with a good cast but never seemed to acquire a good forward flow and was picked up at 15.
This was an exceptional group of dogs in both the first and second series. What an honor to have judged such a First Class event.
Click on image for larger view.