Event Coverage

AKC Pointing Breed Gun Dog Championship
Day 1  |  Day 2  |  Day 3  |  Day 4  |  Day 5  |  Day 6  |  Day 7  |  Day 8
Day 9  |  Day 10  |  Day 11  |  Final Day  |  In Conclusion
Photo Coverage

Historically the sport of field trialing has its roots in southern quail hunting. The first pointing breed field trials in American were held near Memphis TN in 1874. The area is rich in bird dog history and a large part of the local way of life. This year the AKC was very fortunate to have been granted permission to hold our Gun Dog Championship on the hallowed grounds of the Ames Plantation near Grand Junction, TN. These grounds have been testing grounds for the nation's best All Age dogs beginning in 1904. Ames plantation was the creation of Hobart Ames, who acquired the ground and developed the area for field trials. His wife, Julia Colony Ames became the sole owner of the plantation when Mr. Ames passed away. It was Julia's love of the sport and her foresight, that on her death in 1950, she created the Hobart Ames Foundation to assure that the area was maintained in such a fashion so as to remain the place where one could show the abilities of the nation's great bird dogs. The University of Tennessee has been the caretaker of the plantation and has done a remarkable job of maintaining a world class set of field trial grounds while also in being able to generate income from wise use of the land to sustain itself, and serve as a location where much valuable research has been done in the fields of wildlife management, forestry, and in cattle genetics. It is a great honor to be able to host the AKC Gun Dog Championship on these grounds.

Our event began on Sunday February 26th 2012 with an opening night fish fry at the National Bird Dog Museum in Grand Junction. Before the dinner was served, all in attendance were treated to a wonderful presentation by Dr. Rick Carlisle. Dr. Carlisle is the Plantation Director, overseeing all operations on the plantation. He had a very nice presentation that covered the history of the plantation, and its ongoing operations. Needless to say his is a most challenging position as he oversees an excellent staff that takes care of everything that is needed for day to day operations of the plantation, the research projects, and of course the planning to assure a continuation of today's successful operations for the future.

Following Dr. Carlisle's presentation, Event Chairman, Ken Blackman took the floor and introduced the judging panel and members of the committee. Ken then introduced Mr. Doug Ljungren, the Assistant Vice President of Performance Events for the American Kennel Club. Doug welcomed all to the Championship and introduced the AKC staff on hand. He made note of the fact that 105 Field Champions were entered in this event with many of the dogs that had won their breed's National Championships. This number of FC is unprecedented and very likely will never happen again. Mr. Ljungren then noted and thanked the numerous sponsors of this event. He noted each sponsor and the specific donation(s) they had provided. Purina, Tri-tronics, Avery Outdoors, The Bank of Fayette Co, Christie Enterprises, Dogs Unlimited, Eukanuba, Fayette County Chamber of Commerce, Firefly Farms, Garmin, Gun Dog Supply, Hardeman County Chamber of Commerce, the Hobart Ames Foundation, and SportDOG. Sponsors pitched in on numerous levels providing dinners, happy hours, products and financial assistance. Everyone knows the importance of these fine individuals and organizations. We all need to thank and support them, as they support us.

Day 1

1A) FC Chesterfields Molly (Molly), Brittany, h Tom Tracy

1B) FC Ikes Eshod Delight (Dee), GSP, h Ray Dohse

The skies were cloudless; the temperature was in the mid 50's with a very light wind as the first brace was released. Both dogs were quickly to the front. Dee was to be lost to judgment early in the brace, Dee was not seen after the 13 minute mark and her handler called for the tracker at 28 minutes. Molly hunted diligently, using the wind and edges well. Her pattern took her into the heavy cover on several occasions. At 48 minutes, after she had not been seen for an extended time, her handler decided to call for the tracker.

2A) Jay-Mar's How Do You Like Me Now JH (Greivious), GWP, h Jim West

2B) FC Uncle Kracker (Kracker), Brittany, h Tom Tracy

This pair of dogs both took to hunting the edges and running hard. They were doing a nice job of covering the course, using the cover to good advantage. At 35 minutes Kracker swapped ends and pointed into the line he had been running along. A brief flushing attempt did not produce any birds and Kracker was asked to relocate. No birds could be located even with an extended relocation effort and he was taken on. Both dogs continued a strong forward application and finished the hour as strongly as they had started.

3A) Mo Kan Duramax ( Max), Brittany, h Mike Boydston

3B) 3X NGDC 2XNAFC DC AFC Crimson's Twenty Gauge Ruger SH CGC (Ruger), Vizsla, h Mark Spurgeon

With the temperatures rising and riders shedding jackets, the third brace of the day was released. This was a powerful pair of dogs that applied themselves well. Max tended to go a little deep into the cover in his quest for birds. His hunt was diligent but he was not rewarded with any bird work. Ruger spent his hour running the edges and displaying the reason so many judges have liked him in the past. At 40 minutes he was found pointing into a tree line. After a good flushing effort and a brief relocation he was taken on with no birds produced. He finished the hour still cruising the edges.

4A) FC PJ Wildfires Big-N-Juicy (Lucy), GSP, h Bob Erbe

4B) FC/AFC Hannah Remchester White MH, (Hanna), Brittany, Ben Garcia

The day had warmed into the mid 60's as the first brace of the afternoon was released. Both dogs were quickly forward. Both dogs were displaying a good forward hunting pattern, using the cover to good advantage. Just across the first road crossing, at 20 minutes, Lucy was found pointing into a hedgerow alongside the road. Hanna took the opportunity to back her brace mate nicely. Lucy's handler was unable to produce the birds and she was asked to relocate which proved unsuccessful. Both dogs displayed good gundog range and patterns but neither was able to locate game. Both competitors finished the hour with jump in their step.

5A) FC Roundabouts Call Me Bodacious JH (Bodie), English setter, Ben Garcia

5B) FC WW's Million Dollar Mollee (Mollee), Brittany, Burton Wice

This fine pair of dogs jumped to the front at the first whistle and impressed early with their speed and patterns. Mollie slowed by the 38 minute mark and her handler elected to pick her up. Bodie seemed to be oblivious to the temperature and continued to show her attractive gait to the judges. At 40 minutes Bodie was found pointing with very nice style. As her handler entered the stand of tall weeds were Bodie indicated the birds were a single flushed and her handler fired with all in order. At the sound of the blank gun the remainder of a nice sized covey erupted from the cover with all in order. Sent forward, she was again found on point on a hillside to the left side of the course at 48 minutes. Birds were produced for the dog and a couple of steps were taken before her handler stopped her. Sent on she would record a non-productive at 56 minutes. She finished the hour still hunting hard.

6A) DC AFC JB's Asker Bout Birds (Kinze), Vizsla, h Joanne Beckley

6B) FC/AFC Marjo's Here For the Party (Gretchen), Brittany, Joe Luisi

High clouds had begun to appear and the temperature began to feel a bit cooler as the last brace of the day was released. Gretchen went to work right away, taking the edges and running with a good, forward pattern. She displayed good speed and was well gaited in her quest for game. Kinze was wide and fast making her race harder to follow as she tended to go deeper into the heavy cover. She was impressive in her enthusiasm in her pursuit of game. Both dogs were hunting hard when at 40 minutes Kinze was found pointing in a group of trees on the right side of the course. Gretchen was passing the area as a single bird flushed wild from the covey that Kinze was pointing. Its flight path was directly over the fast running Gretchen. She was unable to stop in time and she was leashed. The remaining birds were flushed for Kinze with her displaying acceptable manners. Taken on she continued to apply herself and she finished the hour.

Posted Dogs Day One – No dogs posted.

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Day 2

Tuesday morning began with warm temperatures, in the low 50's. The skies were filled with high clouds and a light breeze was blowing out of the north east. As the day progressed the Clouds became heavier in advance of an expected weather front. The morning had the feeling of being a good day to go bird hunting.

7A) FC Augustus of Tiger (Gus), Brittany, h Tom Tracy

7B) FC Light-Em-Up Luke (Luke), Brittany, h Ben Garcia

The first brace of the morning broke away at 8 AM sharp. Both dogs displayed hard hunting patterns. Gus made several nice moves, some that took him deep into the heavier cover. His race was forward and hard charging but by 49 minutes the string had broken and his handler asked for the tracker. Luke hunted a nice forward race that did not take him to the extremes that his brace mate went, but none the less his effort was very nice. At 27 minutes, as Luke was entering a big field and starting down a line, a bird flushed wild and the dog stopped mannerly. His handler walked in front of the mannerly dog and put a small covey to air. Luke again was pointing at 47 minutes in a stand of tall grasses. His stance said "the birds are right here" but none could be flushed for the intensely standing little dog. Relocation was unsuccessful and the hour finished without further bird contact.

8A) FC AFC Blue Rock's Diamond Girl JH (Diamond), Brittany, John Perry

8B) FC jay Hawk's Georgia Girl (GiGi), Brittany, Tom Tracy

The birds were on the move during this brace. Temperatures were rising and the cloud cover began to have holes in it, reviling patches of bright blue sky. Away at 9:05 this pair both gave strong performances. Diamond hunted in a pleasing manner responding well to her handler. GiGi was the wider of the two, running a powerful race that on two occasions required some power handling, but was overall very pleasing. GiGi possesses a long smooth gait that easily takes her to far reaches of the course and makes her eye catching as she ran the lines. Diamond was the first to score on a single quail. She was stylish and mannerly on her game. Her diligent hunting led her to a nice second find at 44 minutes, deep in the bottom of a large draw. Here GiGi's handler was able to point out the birds on the ground, and fired for the mannerly dogs. At 49 minutes, GiGi swapped ends and pointed with great style into a bushy area. Diamond came into the area and nicely honored her brace mate's find. A small covey was flushed for the very well-mannered dog. Sent on, Diamond was again pointing at 58 minutes. This would prove a nonproductive. Both dogs finished the hour well.

9A) FC/AFC Da Capo by Bartalk (Topper), Vizsla, Marcia Schlesinger

9B) Spring Hill's Hot Wheels (Wheels), Brittany, Nick Mellon

The third brace of the morning provided a nice pair of hunting dogs for the judge's examination. Both dogs hunted the cover and both dogs ground race remained consistent throughout their hour. They scoured the ground for bird scent. Each dog responded well to their handler's commands, displaying great teamwork with their handler. Wheels was not to find birds today but showed well on the ground. Topper had a nice, stylish find at 48 minutes. Topper is well broke and displayed excellent style on this find. This was to be the only bird contact of the brace. Both dogs finished their time.

10A) NAFC FC Brody's Shenanigans (Shauna), Irish Setter, h Greg Dixon

10B) NGDC FC AFC Llano's Big Bad Betty (Betty), GSP, h Chad Inderman/Joe Inderman

The first brace of the afternoon was released at 1:15 PM. The day had continued to warm to its expected high of near 70 degrees, the cloudy condition continued with the clouds having thicken considerably, the wind had also increased and were out of the east. This well accomplished pair of dogs shot to the front at the whistle applying themselves to the edges. At 10 minutes, Shauna carded a mannerly stop to flush along the edge of the second field. Betty was found pointing into dense cover at 30 minutes. After the flushing attempt and relocation she was taken on, recording a non-productive. This was in the same area that a non-productive was recorded yesterday. After the dog had gone on, the gallery reported riding up a big covey of birds not far from the area of the non-productive. At 40 minutes Shauna was found by her scout, buried deep in very heavy cover, only her orange collar observable. A very through flushing effort that consumed about 5 to 6 minutes she was taken on without birds being flushed. She spent the remainder of her time hunting hard. Betty recorded no other bird contact but ran an impressive hour that was quite eye catching.

11A) FC Eshod's Revolution (Mason), GSP, h Ray Dohse

11B) FC Oakridge's Sport (Sport), GSP, h Jim West

This pair of dogs ran under less than ideal conditions. The day was warming and the east wind was making scenting conditions poor at best. Mason, who has placed in this event in the past, ran a vcery impressive race. He searched the likely bird holding covers, used the wind to his best advantage, and was very attractive to watch. His race had everyone's attention. Sport was also hunting hard. His race was wider and required more operator input than his brace mate but also was fun to watch. Neither of these dogs pointed game and both finished the hour.

12A) Eshod's Rosie o'Floin (Rosie), Irish Setter, h Ray Dohse

12B) FC/AFC JMA's Fire Tail Comet (Holly), GSP, h Jim West

This was a shortened brace. Rosie was a handful and at 25 minutes her handler threw in the towel. Holly ran a hunting pattern that was nice but was not what the dogs or her handler wanted and was leashed at 40 minutes when she was unable to find game.

Posted dogs:

Top Dog of the day; �8B, FC jay hawk's Georgia Girl. Also posted; 11A FC Eshod's Revolution

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Day 3

Day 3 began very warm, local weather stations reporting a temperature of 70 degrees at 6 AM. Heavy storms had affected areas north of the Ames Plantation but had so far missed us. Cloudy skies greeted us and there was a threat of rain in the afternoon. Strong winds were in the forecast as a cold front was predicted to pass through the area. Despite the warm temperatures, the cloudy skies prevented the temperature from feeling oppressive. During the last brace of the day the temperature actually fell somewhat, as the front passed through and the skies cleared.

13A) NFC FC Cherrystone La Reine de Pearls (Marie), Wiemaraner, h Greg Dixon

13B) Trinity's Pop'n the Clutch (Poppi), English Setter, h Ray Dohse

This brace was away at 8 AM. Both dogs had a very hard time getting going this morning. As we reached the first road crossing both handlers elected to pick up their dogs.

14A) FC Old School Attitude (Bella), Pointer, h Greg Dixon

14B) FC Loknlode Black Bitty (Bitty), Pointer, h Ray Dohse

When released, this pair of well gaited pointers wasted no time getting to work. Bella ran a very purposeful race. Her pattern was wide, to the front, and very strong. She hunted the covers well, applying herself to the objectives presented her. At 42 minutes she was pointing into a known covey haunt with arresting style. Her handler was unable to produce birds and she was taken on. She finished the hour with the same snap that she had started with. Bitty also put on a show. She hunted the front with purpose and applied herself well. She was unable to find birds but impressed everyone with her manner of going and her endurance. Both of these dogs were posted for the day.

15A) FC Windtuck The Rowdy One JH (Rudy), Brittany, h Ben Garcia

15B) FC/AFC Early Times (Earl), Brittany, h Tom Tracy

The final morning brace brought two attractive Brittanys to the line. Both dogs started well, going to the front and using the available cover well. Rudy was seen very little after the breakaway and at 25 minutes his handler called for the tracker. Earl settled into a moderate hunting pattern. He seemed to not be on his game today and having not been able to connect with game his handler elected to pick up at 48 minutes

16A) Royalerun Sam Adams (Sam), GSP, h David King

16B) FC/AFC Bill's Last Chance (Luke), English Setter, h Dave Pomfert

The skies had darkened considerably as we drove to the afternoon breakaway. We had no sooner arrived at the parking area then the rain began to fall. Rapidly moving heavy rain showers, followed by light rain, then more heavy rain was the story of this brace and most of the second brace. This pair of competitors broke away well, taking the first line and following it for its entire length.� Here Luke took a wrong turn and was not seen again under judgment. His handler called for the tracker at 25 minutes having not being seen by the judges for 21 minutes. Sam stayed forward hunting at a moderate gun dog pace. He was using the cover well. At 32 minutes he was observed pointing into one of the numerous grassy strips. Like had a covey well located. A small covey was flushed. Luke took a couple of steps to mark the flight of the birds but stopped on his own. Sent on, he became more handy and at 48 minutes his handler called it quits.

17A) FC/AFC Day Tripper (Tripper), English Setter, h Judith Hamilton

17B) Coffee's Codorna (Ce-Ce), GSP, h David King

Released at 1:15, both dogs settled into a comfortable gun dog range. Both had an easy handle and were pleasing to watch. At about the 30 minute mark a cold front finally moved through and the rain stopped. Tripper was very workman like in his application. Ce-Ce was somewhat shorter than her brace mate but went to the cover and appeared to have purpose to her race. At 48 minutes Ce-Ce was pointing into a strip of grasses. Her handler was unable to flush and relocation proved unsuccessful. Tripper pointed at 59 minutes with good style. This also proved to be a non-productive. Both dogs finished the hour with no further game contact.

18A) FC Remek Rozalia's Red Moon (Rose), Vizsla, h Jerry Jordan

18B) FC/ AFC Erbes Fire Skeeter (Skeeter), GSP, h Bob Erbe

The final brace of the day featured two very attractive representatives of their respective breeds. Well gaited and easy to watch this pair went to work from the opening whistle. The front that had passed through during the previous brace had the birds moving to feeding areas. At 5 minutes both dogs stood intensely pointing into a patch of heavy grassed. Rose's handler went into the cover to flush for the pair. A good sized covey was flushed and both dogs displayed polished manners. Skeeter was found pointing near the cemetery with very nice style. Rose took advantage of the find to display her good manners and high style by backing her brace mate. An extensive flushing effort ensued but the birds were not home today. Taken on both dogs hunted the tree lines and grassy patches with determination. As the hour progressed the toll that these grounds extracts began it have its effects. At 57 minutes, Rose was found pointing into a briar patch. A nice sized covey was flushed in front of the intense dog. Good manners were again on display and she was sent on. Both dogs would finish the hour.

Posted Dogs:
Top day dog, 14A, FC Old School Attitude
14B, FC Loknlode Black Bitty

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Day 4

Day 4 dawned with temperatures in the lower 50's, clear skies and little or no wind. As the day progressed the wind did increase as did the temperature. A forecast high of 70 degrees had everyone thinking this would be a hot day for the dogs and water bottles were on every scout and handler's horse.

I would like to add a little comment or two about this trial. All birds at this event are wild or pre-released. Releases are done early enough in the year such that they have become acclimated to the wild. This is not a throw down (planted) bird trial! Dogs that get birds pointed here are experienced enough that they have learned where birds naturally go to avoid the heat, the cold, rain, or predators (even humans on horseback). Past radio telemetry studies on these birds have shown that they have learned that they can avoid dogs and people bothering them by walking off into deeper cover. The noise of a large gallery of horses and loud handlers is likely to cause these birds to move to safety. A dog / handler team must work together to get these birds handled. It is strongly believed by your humble reporter that many of the non-productive that we have seen are caused by the birds that had originally caused the scent that the dog pointed, to have moved off. ��Several occasions where a dog ends up with a non-productive, people have seen birds on the ground in the area of the non-productive or ridden up by the gallery after the dog has been taken on. Wild bird trials show a level of training and development that is not able to be obtained by running the dog only on the pin raised birds that most week-end events are run on. The professional trainers that have come to this event normally spend their summers exposing their dogs to wild birds so as help the dogs develop into great bird dogs. Due to the nature of this trial and the fact that weather conditions are a big variable in this event, the unique format of this two series trial was developed. It takes a special kind of dog to excel at this level.

19A) NFC FC Erbebhoe SNS Boogie Woogie Bo (Bo), Wiemaraner, h Diane Vater

19B) NGDC FC/AFC Burr Oak's Old Number Seven (Jack), Vizsla, h Brian Gingrich

The first brace of the morning began at 7:55 AM after some announcements and safety messages from Chairman Blackman. The skies were cloudless and there was no wind to speak of. Jack never seemed to get with the program and after several attempts by his handler to encourage him, he was up at the second road crossing at 28 minutes. Bo had his running shoes on and made several nice moves. Occasionally he was confused by the numerous lines this course provides for a dog and his scout was kept busy assisting in bringing him forward. This big gray dog gave it his all for 60 minutes. He reached out to the edges of cover and looked impressive doing so. His effort was for naught as he would not get any game pointed.

20A) Grau Geist Hidden In Plain Sight (Seek), Wiemaraner, h Diane Vater

20B) FC/AFC Burr Oak's Quarterback (Rex), Vizsla, h Brian Gingrich

This pair of dogs broke away like they had a purpose. Both dogs were fast on their feet and very attractive to watch. Rex had a well-directed pattern that led him to numerous likely bird haunts. As we were passing to the left of a big field of bi-color and grasses, his scout called point at 18 minutes. Rex stood with good style along the edge of the cover on a bush hogged path. A through flushing attempt and a relocation proved fruitless and he was taken on. He continued his tour of the country and was again pointing at 47 minutes. He was in the bottom of a big draw, in the same place that a dog pointed a running covey on the first day. Again his handler could not produce birds. Rex was asked to relocate and he carefully worked his way up the bank of the draw and again pointed on the top of the hill. Once more no birds were produced. Taken on he had only gone about 75 yards when he again pointed into the same line of cover. This would be his third non-productive and his day was ended. Seek ran a powerful race that caused him to be rather f=difficult to follow. He made several good casts that caught everyone's eye. He was last seen by this reporter at about 40 minutes going away in the next field to the left. He was not seen again under judgment and his handler asked for the tracker at the 60 minute mark.

21A) FC/AFC Just Wait Bess (Bess), Pointer, h Tracy Haines

21B) FC Ana von Heidbrink (Annie), GSP, h David King

The temperature had risen to near 65 degrees as this brace was released. The breeze had picked up a bit but was still very light and out of the north-east. Both dogs took off and were running with purpose. Both dogs hunted forward and covered ground with eye appealing gaits. As we crossed he Ames road, just 50 yards from the crossing, Bess was fond on point with Annie backing nicely. A brief flushing effort produced nothing and the relocation was fruitless. Taken on this pair again scoured the country in their quest for birds. Bess again was pointing at 47 minutes and again Annie backed her stand very nicely. Again relocation was needed, Bess moved forward with her head high and her tail going higher with each step she took. She was unable to pin point the covey and was taken on. Just after the final road crossing Bess's scout called point for her along a strip of trees, grasses and weeds. Once more nothing was home. Both of these dogs ran a good race and hunted the likely objectives, they were just not able to get these elusive birds pointed.

22A) FC/AFC WFK Hilted Marshside Margarita (Sister), GSP, h Dave Walker

22B) FC/AFC Eshod's Arkansas Lady (Lady), GSP, h Ray Dohse

Released at 1:15 PM under blue skies, with continued rising temperatures, and a light south-west wind, this pair was quickly to the front. Sister ran a comfortable gun dog race. She hunted hard and tried her best to find birds. At 48 minutes she established point, facing into a grassy line. She looked good and everyone was thinking she had game pinpointed. Despite a good flushing effort, the streak of dogs being fooled continued. Lady ran a strong, forward race that was fast and attractive to watch, being very well gaited she seemed to float over the ground. She applied herself well to the objectives. She pointed with very good style at 44 minutes. A large covey was flushed right where she said they were. Her manners were above question. Both dogs were able to finish the hour well despite the warm conditions.

23A) FC/AFC Palm Glades Lee's Madeline (Maddie), GSP, h Dave Walker

23B) FC Sinbad's Lil Swami (Genie), Pointer, h Ray Dohse

Genie had a short day. She did not seem right today and her handler elected to pick up at 35 minutes. Maddie is a well gaited GSP that covered the ground well. She used the objectives to their best advantage. At 35 minutes she was found standing with great style. This turned out to be another non-productive. She spent the rest of her time touring the country but was unable to find game on this day.

24A) FC/AFC Tommy's Dixie Chick (Dixie), Vizsla, h Jerry Jordon

24B) Cedar Creek Ginger snap (Ginger), Irish Setter, h Ed Liermann

The final brace of the day was released at 3:30. The breeze had continued to increase which made the day feel somewhat cooler. Dixie hunted hard, displaying a good gun dog pattern. She is well gaited and seemed to remain consistent in her race throughout her hour. Her well-directed hunt lead to her being found pointing at 55 minutes. She stood her find with class and style. Her handler walked in front of her and a large covey of birds exploded from the grass. Taken on she finished the hour as she had started it. Ginger was very good at holding an edge. Her manner on the ground was somewhat further ranging that her brace mate. She was able to stay to the front through all the turns and twists on this course. Despite the quality of her application she was unable to find birds. She did not let down and finished the hour with as much gusto as when she had started.

Posted Dogs:
Day Dog - 22B) FC/AFC Eshod's Arkansas Lady, h ray Dohse
Posted - 24A) FC/AFC Tommy's Dixie Chick, h Jerry Jordon

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Day 5

Friday, the fifth day of this championship was to be a short day. Weather forecasts for the area warned of strong storms with high winds, hail, and possible tornados in the afternoon. After careful consideration the afternoon running was cancelled. The forecasts proved correct with a series of strong storms passing the area. Periods of heavy rain lasted until the cool front moved through. The scheduled afternoon dogs will run Saturday morning.

The morning felt very muggy. The temperature at 7 AM was 70 degrees under mostly cloudy skies. There was a moderate south-west wind. Air was heavy giving everyone the feeling that storms could very well happen at about any time. The gallery members were wearing or carrying rain gear as most were sure that rain gear would be needed before the morning braces were done. Throughout the morning temperatures rose somewhat and breaks in the clouds caused the "feel like" temperature to be uncomfortable. It seemed to your reporter that the warm temperatures did not affect the dogs on the ground as much as one might have expected. Their performances were a tribute to the conditioning and God given talent that these dogs displayed.

25A) Burr Oak's Kick Em Up Jake (Jake), Vizsla, h Brian Gingrich

25B) 2xNAFC FC/AFC Chukarhill Rimrock Ridge (Ridge), English Setter, Cynthia Findley

Released at 8 AM, both dogs went to the front and were displaying good ground speed. Jake took advantage of the edges and lines, displaying a gun dog race that at times was very good. He did not point game but did score a natural back of his brace mate. He slowed somewhat in the final minutes but not enough to distract from his effort. Ridge is a heavily mark dog that at times is difficult to see when he is in the cover but well worth looking for. He was fast and well gaited, appearing to float as he ran the edges. Ridge was not afraid to go into the cover, and many times he chose the harder path, looking for game in the heavy grasses and woods. His search took him to places on the course that other dogs have not reached. At 30 minutes, near the third road crossing, Ridge was found on point, at the end of a wide strip of tall, heavy grasses, with his brace mate honoring. He looked very confident that the birds were right in front of him. His handler was unable to flush game, he was asked to relocate and was unable to pin the birds. Taken on, Ridge continued his tour of the planation, going to all the right places. He was strong to the finish but would finish without game.

26A) Backwood's Oh Yeah (Earl), GSP, h Greg Dixon

26B) Trinity-Eshod's Streak (Streak), English Setter, h Ray Dohse

Earl was lost shortly after the break away. His handler asked for the tracker at 20 minutes. Streak put in a powerful hour. He is a well gaited Setter, very easy to watch. He ran hard and used the edges to his best advantage. He was mainly forward, only getting lateral because of the twists and turns that this course takes. He finished with gas in the tank but would not record any finds.

27A) GCH DC AFC Bitteroots Nicholaus Cazador CDX GN RAE2 MH CGC (Nick), Vizsla, h Roger Poole

27B) Eshod's Uprising (Ryder), GSP, h Ray Dohse

Nick was a scratch and Ryder ran alone. Ryder disappeared to the front at break away not to return. His handler asked for the tracker at 20 minutes.

Day 6

The storms that the area received had left the area during the night and today dawned with clear skies.  The temperature which has been much warmer than normal returned to more seasonally normal.  Winds were very light if any at all.  Early morning temperatures were in the mid-thirties with the high expected to reach only about 56.  As the day progressed the wind picked up to 10 to 15 MPH in the afternoon.  This day was some of the best conditions for bird hunting than we have experienced to this point of the trial.

Often times, people that play the field trial game forget the roots of our sport.  Field trial began as a method of determining the best bird dogs for breeding to help to assure the continuation of quality bird dogs.  Many of the qualities that are valued in a good bird dog are evaluated in a field trial.  Traits such as hunting style (application), bird finding ability, gait, willingness to hunt with you, and endurance are evaluated.  60 minute stakes, such as this one, are an especially good evaluation of a dog’s endurance but also give judges a better look at the dog’s strong points and also those that are not so strong.   The grounds at the Ames Plantation were developed to showcase the qualities that a hunter would value in a top flight bird dog.  The courses are laid out in a logical manner but they also present challenges.  The courses are not easy by any definition.  A dog that “takes the bit in his teeth” and is not a true partner in the hunt can be easily lost to judgment.  This is not to say any of the dogs that have been lost to judgment are bad dogs just that they might have had a bad day (we all do).  An hour is a long time to be under judgment.  A dogs strengths will come out during the brace as will weaknesses that are not as easy to evaluate in shorter brace times.  Each of the posted dogs and some that did not make the board have demonstrated that they are sound dogs that are fine examples of their breeds.

28A) Erbe’s Fire Powder (Powder), GSP, h Jim West

28B) NGDC DC AFC Up N’ Adams Super Sioux CDX MH (Sioux), GSP, h Dave Walker

This pair of GSPs began the day, released at 8 AM sharp.  Neither dog had their head in the game today.  After the first field both handlers picked up their dogs at 11 minutes, at the first road crossing.

29A) FC Brillows Big Wild Western (Wiley), GWP, h Jim West

29B) FC AFC Dakota Luke (Luke), Brittany, h Dick Mantler

Both dogs broke away strongly, going to the edge and following it to the next field.  Luke brought on line across the front and was found pointing at 3 minutes.  He looked good as we approached, but evidently lost the scent cone and moved up on his own.  This relocation was too much for the small group of birds the cover contained and they flushed back into Luke’s face.  This proved too great of a temptation and Luke’s day was done.  Wiley is a young dog just passed two years old.  He spent the hour running hard, making numerous showy casts.  He seemed to rarely choose the easy footing when there was better cover available.  He spent much of his time not on the edge but 10 to 20 yards inside the dense cover.  Despite the more difficult path he showed much power and drive in his application.  He spent the hour running hard and did not let up through-out the time allotted him.  At 55 minutes he was out of pocket and did not return under judgment.  This is a young dog, just turned two years old, legacy is yet to be written and his future is very bright.

30A) FC Wolf River’s Winning Ticket (Cash), Brittany, h Al Garrow

30B) FC AFC Spector (Spector), English Setter, h Dave Pomfret

The gallery had grown to about 50 people as the final brace of the morning was released.  Spector made a wrong turn early and was not returned to judgment.  His handler was given tha tracker at about 20 minutes.  Cash did an excellent job of filling up the country.  His race was forward, his gait smooth, and his application was excellent.  He seemed to be able to find the correct side of every objective he was presented.  He responded to his handler well, needing very little scouting.  Impressive as his hour was he was unable to get any birds pointed.  His hard charging effort lasted for the entire 60 minutes.

31A) FC Broad Runs Tornado at Wind Dance JH (Tori), Vizsla, h Jamie Fountain

31B) FC/AFC I’m Maddie (Maddie), GSP, h Jim West

Conditions were cool, and breezy but very good conditions for the first brace of the afternoon.  Both dogs began by racing to the front, displaying pleasing patterns.  Shortly after the first road crossing, Maddie was found pointing into an edge of grassy cover and trees.  This would ultimately be scored as a non-productive after a good flushing attempt and relocation.  Only about 150 yards from where Maddie had pointed, Tori also established point.  Again the handler was unable to flush and he took her on.  Both dogs continued on at a good pace, Maddie the more forward of the two.  Maddie again established point at 58 minutes with Tori coming in and backing nicely.  Unable to flush the birds, Maddie was asked to relocate and Tori was taken on.  This brace ended with the score, birds three, dogs zero.

32A) NAFC DC AFC Ariel’s Justa Gotta Go Now (Louie), GWP, h Jim West

32B) FC Stoney Hill Mr. Dixon (Dixon), GSP, h Jamie Fountain

Released at 2:00 PM, Dixon raced quickly to the front.  Louie seemed somewhat confused in the opening minutes.  At 5 minutes, Louie was credited with a good find to the left of the trail.  As the gallery approached several birds lifted and his handler was able to flush the remainder of the large covey.  This seemed to turn the key for him as he was very strong on the ground for the remained of his time.  At 6 minutes, Dixon pointed nicely but no birds could be produced and he was taken on.  Both dogs at this point were very powerful on the ground and impressed with their application.  At 30 minutes point was called for Dixon with his scout reporting that a bird had left as he approached.  His handler decided to try to flush and was able to produce a bird over the stylish Vizsla.  Both dogs finished the hour strongly.

33A) FC Suka Smooth (Jenny), Pointer, h Steve Bailey

33B) FC/AFC Ricochet’s Lightning Feather (Curlew), GSP, h Rebecca Jacobs

It was a little cooler, a bit breezier, and the shadows were growing longer as this brace was released.  Jenny had her running shoes on today.  This fine Colorado dog was not used to this much cover but showed often enough early to define her race.  At twenty minutes As looking for his charge, Jenny’s handler rode up a nice covey of birds.  Jenney was in and out for most of her time.  At 42 minutes her handler asked for the tracker and within minutes she had returned.  Curlew started very well, applying herself well to the cover.  She was found pointing, with good style at 34 minutes.  Unable to flush birds her handler took her on.  Curlew is a veteran campaigner and slowed some in the later portions of the brace.  At 48 minutes her handler threw in the towel.

On the seventh day the field trailers rested.  Running will resume on Monday morning.

Posted dogs
Saturday morning a dog was added to the board.
Friday top dog:
26B) Streak, h Ray Dohse
Saturday top dog:
32A) Louie, h Jim West
Also posted:
32B) Dixon, h Jamie Fountain

 

Day 7

Seasonal conditions greeted us to start the second week of this championship. Skies were cloudless, the wind was very light, and the temperature was 45 degrees as the first brace was cast away. Temperatures would rise to the low 60’s as the day progressed. Spring is coming to Southern Tennessee and the daffodils and pair trees are in bloom. The continued nice weather is providing some drying of the courses but numerous muddy areas remain.

Today I would like to talk about the dogs entered in this event. In the history of this event, never before has there been an entry of this quality. 95 of the dogs entered have earned the title of Field Champion. 43 dogs had gained an Amateur Field Championship title, 41 with both a FC and AFC title. There were 20 National Champions entered and 15 Dual Champions. 9 different breeds, coming from 31 states were represented. When you add the tradition rich Ames Plantation over which to show these animals, one can see that this was an historic event. This many good dogs may never be assembled to compete again. History is being written each day of this trial.

34A) NFC FC Durite’s Jet City Woman (Jetta), Vizsla, h Diane Vader

34B) FC Royalerun All Bets Are Off (Bet), GSP, h David King

Both Dogs impressed in the early minutes of the brace. Each dog was applying themselves well. At 35 minutes Bet was found pointing in a corner of cover, her head and tail high. When her handler walked in to flush a rabbit was observed leaving the area, and she was taken on. Jetta also was to record a non-productive in an area of the course that is known to hold birds. She did look good despite the inability of her handler to flush the birds. Jetta seemed to get a bit more cautious in her race after the NP. Bet put in a solid 60 minutes. She had a good race, displaying her power and conditioning. She was forward and going away at time.

35A) FC WFK Marshside Firefly (Fire Fly), GSP, h Dave Walker

35B) DC Chocolate Coffee’s Pixie JH (Pixie), GSP, h Chuck Cooper

Pixie was unable to get on track this morning and she was withdrawn at 12 minutes. Fire Fly started strong. He made several nice, showy casts early in the hour. As the minutes began to add up her pattern became more restrained. By 57 minutes, despite having put in a creditable race early in the hour, she was having difficulty maintaining a desirable pattern and was leased.

36A) Dakota Gun Runners Buckshot (Buck), Brittany, h Tom Tracy

36B) FC Shawnee’s Red Lioness (Sage), Vizsla, h Brian Gingrich

In their bid for the title, this pair impressed early with their speed and attractive gaits. Buck would record a non-productive at 40 minutes, most likely on running birds as his style was very nice when we found him. Both dogs ran well, using the edges well. The soft conditions of the ground can make a dog expend much energy. Both dogs slowed some as the hour progressed. Sage, who had been doing a nice gun dog race early had slowed sufficiently to cause her to be lifted at 52 minutes. Buck would finish the hour but the effects of the soft ground had taken a toll on him.

37A) FC/AFC Tjust Lucky Three Spot (Lucky), GSP, h Jim West

37B) Royalerun Back in the Saddle (Trooper), GSP, h David King

Away nicely, both dogs were showing nicely in the early going. Lucky requiring more user input to stay on course in his search for game. Lucky recorded a non-productive at the 32 minute mark, Trooper backing nicely. Sent on, both dogs would continue as they had been performing, Trooper continued a comfortable gun dog pace, and Lucky testing the limits. Both dogs finished the hour and both dogs seemed to have gas in the tank at time.

38A) NFC DC Doublerun Cole Bier (Cole), GSP, h David King

38B) FC Rugers Clown AKA Leo (Leo), GSP, h Jim West

The second brace of the afternoon featured the same handlers, different dogs. Cole ran a good race showing nicely and using the cover to his advantage. His gait is very pleasing and one can see why many previous judges have liked him. He was unable to get game pointed but did record a very nice back of his brace mate. Leo ran a race that was also very entertaining. He went to numerous good places, showing well on the edges and the open fields. His only reward for his searching race was two non-productives, one early in the brace and one in the latter minutes. He had nice style and did look like he had the pinned but for naught.

39A) NFC FC/AFC Berry’s Bad Boy (Gus), Vizsla, h Jerry Jordon

39A) NFC Brophy’s Sandcreek John Galt (Galt), Irish Setter, h Ken Ruff

The final brace of the day featured two dogs that have won their breeds National Championship. These well decorated dogs began their quest for game with somewhat different styles. Gus seemed to have a hard time adjusting to the course. He ran a moderate gun dog race that had several spots where he showed his drive and desire. Galt ran a very attractive race that took him to the places a bird dog should go. His search led him to point game at 30 minutes. His style was very nice, high on both ends. A small covey of birds was flushed for the mannerly setter. Both dogs began to show the effects of the soft ground by the 50 minute mark. As the clock ran down each dog would record a find. Gus had a bird pinned at time. He showed his good training for the flush and shot. Galt would have a find of his own as the time expired. He was mannerly for the shot.

Posted Dogs:

Monday Top Dog: 37A) Lucky, h Jim West

Also posted: 34b) Bet, h David King

Day 8

The sun was bright in the cloudless eastern sky as we began the 8th day of this Championship. Today was predicted to be a near duplicate of the day before as far as weather. With the temperature at 45 degrees at break away, predicted highs were in the mid 60’s. There was a nice south-eastern breeze blowing in the 10 to 15 MPH range. We have yet to have seen dew on the grass in the morning. The forecast is for a day or two more of this early spring weather before giving way to rain later in the week.

40A) NFC / NAFC / FC Flying Dutchman (Dutch), Pointer, h Steve Bailey

40B) DC Timberline Strait to the Point (Sawyer), Brittany, h Ben Garcia

This pair of well titled competitors broke away strongly to the front, both going to the east line of the first field. Dutch is a very consistent dog. He settled into a comfortable gun dog pattern that took him to many likely bird holding covers. He is well gaited and easy to watch as he cruised the edges in his quest for game. His handle was good, showing that he was in synch with his handler. He would go without game contact today. Sawyer was generally the wider of the two dogs. This little Britt showed everyone that he was not afraid to dig into the cover. Many times he was observed running 10 yards inside the edge of the cover. He also was well gaited and seemed to be able to cover the ground effortlessly. A stop to flush was recorded for him at 38 minutes with Dutch honoring the tall standing dog. Both finished the hour with a jump in their step, still hunting diligently.

41A) FC Trublu’s Feel the Fire (Reba), GSP, h Jamie Fountain

42B) DC Sure Shot’s Sonora Gone Heywire, (Sonora), GWP, h Jim West

This pair of dogs shot to the front at the first whistle. Reba looked to be the bigger running dog in the early minutes but soon settled into a comfortable gun dog pattern. She was consistent on the ground for the entire hour. Sonora ran a wide gun dog race that showcased her good application. At 38 minutes, as both dogs were running the same edge, we found both dogs standing in an area of dense cover. No birds were produced and one had to wonder if they were not backing each other. The first solid bird work of the morning came at 41 minutes when Sonora was found pointing into a small group of trees, brush, and bushes. A quick flushing effort produced two birds for the stylish, mannerly dog. Not to be out done Reba, who had been working the opposite edge of the same field, stood stylishly in a bunch of tall grasses. A successful flushing effort ensued, with Reba showing the results of her good training. Both dogs continued their forward, reaching search for game as they had demonstrated early in the hour. Time was called with Reba observed by the judges and Sonora around the corner.

43A) FC Sir Sunrise Winalot (Blue), Brittany, h Ben Lorenson

43B) FC Cedar Valley Bandit (Bandit), Brittany, h Tom Tracy

This attractive pair of Brittanys was released and was quickly forward. Both demonstrated good ground speed and headed to likely covers. At 11 minutes bandit was pointing into some heavy cover off to the left side of the course. The dog was in the center of a stand of warm season grasses, looking very nice. His handler put to air a nice covey of birds for the mannerly dog. At 15 minutes, as Blue was hunting along a strip of grass, a covey of birds left, flushing wild. Blue took to many steps and his handler put the harness on him. As these birds left, they also flew over the head of Bandit, who stopped to honor their flight. Bandit, having the field to himself, was making showy cast after cast, showing everyone his ability to hang on to an edge. At 35 minutes, after a particularly eye catching cast, his handler called point for this fine Britt. A long ride took us to where Bandit was standing pointing into a stand of trees. His posture indicated that the birds had left and he was asked to relocate. Working down the edge his relocation was eventually rewarded with a good covey of birds. Bandit would spend the remainder of his hour still hunting.

44A) FC Piney Run Hank (Hank), Brittany, h Ben Lorenson

44B) NFC / NAFC / FC Cobbs Golden Kernal (Kernal), Gordon Setter, h Greg Dixon

Kernal, who had many admirers among the gallery, just could not get his effort together on this day. After allowing him ample time to adjust, his handler elected to call it a day at 32 minutes. Hank displayed an attractive race. He had a nice pattern that was consistently forward, using the edges to his advantage. Hank would card two pieces of bird work. The first was at 44 minutes where he demonstrated his good style and manners. His second find would accurately be described as a limb find. This was a very nice piece of work, where again his high style and the results of his good training were on display. He would finish he hour with jump in his step.

45A) FC/AFC Special Edition (Spec), Brittany, h Dale Poole

45B) DC Fieldfire’s High Octane SH (Octane), Vizsla, h Jamie Fountain

The action started fast in this brace. At just 30 seconds, spec had a stop to flush, with all in order. At 4 minutes spec was pointing, not looking very sure of himself. Octane mannerly backed Spec. No birds could be flushed and Spec was charged with a non-productive. Both dogs applied themselves well for the remained of the hour but neither would find game.

46A) DC Gambles Sam Man MH (Sam), GSP, h Jim West

46B) NGDC FC/AFC Hit’s All Jack’d Up (Cruise), Brittany, h John Perry

Sam had an early encounter with off game and as a result his handler decided to call it a day. Cruise ran a workman like race. He used the cover well, searching the areas he needed to go to. He was to the front and responding well to his handlers requests. He was found on point at 37 minutes. Relocation was needed but he could not pinpoint the birds. The remainder of the hour was spent hunting with good purpose. He made several showy casts and finished the hour to the front.

Posted Dogs:

Tuesday top Dog: 43B) Bandit, h Tom Tracy

Also posted: 44B) Hank, h Ben Lorenson

Day 9

Once again we were greeted by warm, seasonal weather this morning. The temperature began the day at 45 degrees and would warm to near 70 before the day was done. Unlike yesterday, the skies were mostly cloudy today and that made the temperatures feel much nicer without the sun blazing down. The breeze was stronger than it had been for the previous days. Winds were in the 10 to 20 MPH range, enough to move the scent around but not so much as to blow hats from heads.

47A) FC Up n’Adams Sihouette (Shadow), GSP, h Dave Walker

47B) FC Hershey’s Mini Kiss (Ruby), GSP, h Dave King

Ruby was scratched and Shadow ran alone. Shadow showed well at times. She took edges and looked good going. As we entered a long field of green grass, shadow established point on the left side, pointing into the tree line. She looked very stylish. This would turn into a non-productive. Taken on she spent the remainder of her hour searching the country for game. She had all watching as she made numerous eye catching casts. She would finish the hour with no bird contacts.

48A) FC LeGrand Tank du Fayette (Tank), Brittany, h Ken Blackman

48B) NAFC Graugeist’s Texas City Slicker (Slick), Wiemaraner, h Diane Vater

The second brace of the morning was away with the dogs heading directly to birdy covers. In the early going Slick showed great drive and determination. Tank, a veteran campaigner, was a bit slower on the ground but he missed very little, searching the likely bird haunts. He ran an intelligent race that used the wind and cover to his best advantage. At 20 minutes tank pointed into a clump of heavy grasses and vines. The birds did not want to fly but would rather run. The birds were observed by the judges and the dog was mannerly for the shot. At 45 minutes, both dogs were found with Tank pointing into a clump of trees and Slick backing nicely. Relocation was required before the birds were able to be flushed. Manners were acceptable. Sent on, tank seemed to get stronger as the hour continued, showing well on the edges and applying himself well to the cover. Both dogs would finish the hour.

49A) Camo Cooper (Camo), Brittany, h Kyle Merrill

49B) Bravo Haulins Olympic Spirit (Cruisin), Vizsla, h Diane Vater

Cruisin never really had his heart into the game today. Unable to get going his handler picked him up at 22 minutes. Camo was strong from the start and required considerable operator input. His was a strong race that took him to many of the right places. He ran hard for the hour and showed well, but was unable to come up with birds. He finished very strongly.

50A) FC Fieldfire’s Spark O’ Genius (Geena), Vizsla, h Joan Heimbach

50B) FC Savannah’s Hot Shot (Bammer), Brittany Ben Lorenson

In standard fashion for this event the afternoon braces began at 1:15. The temperature was rising and the south wind was blowing strongly. The action started early in this brace. At 10 minutes Geena feathered into an area and established point in an area of a small grain field where feeding quail might be found. As her handler approached a number of birds lifted. Her handler decided to flush in front of the stylish dog and put flight to the remainder of the good sized covey. Geena stood mannerly for the flush and shot. 10 minutes later she again pointed. This time the birds were elusive and a non-productive was carded. Geena displayed a comfortable gun dog range. She handled well, and was very much part of the team. She was still hunting when time was called. Bammer ran an intelligent race that was powerful and reaching. He was able to remain to the front despite the numerous twists and turns that the course contains. Many times he was displayed on a long cover edge, seemingly flying as he sped around the course. He applied himself well but was unable to find game. He finished the hour as strongly as he started.

51A) FC/AFC Brownhaven Steel Magnolia (Rachel), Irish Setter, h Jim Baker

51B) FC/AFC Palm Glades Jenny Belle (Jenny Belle), GSP, h Tim Smelcer

As this brace was released one would have thought the world was on fire by the manner in which this pair raced away. At 10 minutes Jenny Belle came in limping noticeably. She appeared to have hurt her foot and her handler picked her up. Rachel ran a searching race. She was attractive to watch as she hunted the big fields and wooded areas. At 42 she pointed into a down cedar tree. A rabbit was observed leaving and she was taken on. This attractive Irish lady would finish the hour hunting hard but without further game contact.

52A) FC WFK Belle’s Georgia Peanut (Peanut), GSP, h Dave Walker

52B) FC Final Bet (Bet), Pointer, h Marc McKinley

The temperature had reached a high of 75 degrees as the final brace of the day was released. Bet had her running shoes. She ran a powerful race that eventually lead to her being lost to judgment by 40 minutes. Peanut also ran hard. Her race was more controlled than her brace mate and her application was well directed. She made several nice moves and was impressive in her way of going. She established a very attractive point near the 40 minute mark. Game would prove elusive and she was recorded a non-productive. She finished the hour cruising the edges but would remain birdless.

Posted Dogs:

50B) Bamma, h Ben Lorenson

Day 10

The group of intrepid field trailers seemed a bit slow to get moving today. This has been a long event and the crew has worked hard every day to be sure that all the details were covered. Of course, the normal break away times were adhered to, but everyone seemed a bit tired. Today was a shortened day with only four braces ran due to heavy rain and lightning in the afternoon. The morning forecast predicted 1 to 2 inches of rain as a cold front would pass through the area. The temperature was 67 degrees (the predicted high for the day) at 8 AM, under cloudy skies, with a stiff southerly wind. The morning braces were completed with only a brief shower encountered but during the latter minutes of the first brace of the afternoon, the skies opened, and the rain came down in earnest. Chairman, Ken Blackman, had arranged for horse trailers and vehicles to be on hand in case the storm got too bad to continue. Just as his preparations were spot on last week during the storms that had passed through the area, today again showed his foresight and all thoroughly soaked horses and handlers were safely transported back to camp.

53A) Glade Run Nutmeg (Meg), Brittany, h Tom Tracy

53B) DC AFC MTB Cabo Rita de Scpio (Rita), Brittany, h Tom White

This pleasingly gaited pair of dogs showed independence and proper range from the first whistle. Meg put in a good performance. She showed well on edges and applied herself to the objectives. Rita also spent her time running and hunting hard. She looks very attractive as she cruised the lines. Both dogs took opportunities to dig into the cover when the cover called for it. Both worked well for their handlers but were to go birdless today.

54A) DC AFC Terras Cabo Wabo (Sammy), Brittany, h Tom White

54B) FC/AFC High Roll-ns Proposition (Sonny), GSP, h Dave Walker

After a brief realignment of direction shortly after cast off, both dogs powered to the front. At 5 minutes, as she was regaining the front, Sammy spun on point at the tip of an island of trees. Coming forward at this time, Sonny swapped ends on the other edge of the field, about 100 yards south of Sammy as he was regaining the front. Sonny changed his mind and went on but Sammy stood solid. This would put a non-productive on Sammy’s score card. Sent forward and across the road we turned south into the strong head wind. Here both dogs did a good job of keeping forward and intelligently using the lines that run laterally through these fields. As we entered one of the big harvested fields, Sonny settled into a very picturesque point, at 23 minutes. The flushing effort and a very pretty relocation attempt led to a non-productive. Sonny was again pointing at 45 minutes in the trees, just behind an area that had produced birds on the last 2 days. Once more, no birds were produced. Both dogs were easy to watch with smooth gaits and well directed casts. Sammy treated us to a very showing cast in the large field just before the final road crossing. Entering this field, he gained the correct side of the edge and proceeded to take a ride. He showed his endurance, as this was in the final minutes of the hour, and also his courage to get on a line and go with it to the end. This was a fun brace to watch only missing birds flying away alone.

55A) FC Webb’s Mad Max (Max), GSP, h Jim West

55B) FC Slamming Point Dynamo (Sonny), English Setter, h Curtis Fry

Both dogs were fast out of the gate, Max being the more forward of the pair. Sonny, who is a grouse dog by trade, was first to get on the board at 5 minutes. As he passed through a chute that allows access to the next field, he snapped to point. During the flushing attempt, the judges reported seeing a rabbit. Sent on, He made a very bold and reaching cast that took him out of sight. Soon the call of point came from off to the right for the stylish setter. Despite a well-directed flushing effort and relocation no birds were found. Sonny’s day would end at 30 minutes, just after the third road crossing, he was leased due to a breach of manners. Max had continued his hard charging race through out. He seemed to be showing little fatigue when at 45 minutes he was lost to judgment.

56A) FC Borg’s Nightsky Eclipse (Eli), Pointer, h Jim West

56B) NGDC NAGDC FC/AFC Peter Gun (Pete), Brittany, h Jim Carter

The first brace of the afternoon began with heavy clouds and the threat of rain showers. The first clap of thunder was heard at 2 minutes. Both dogs were getting down to business with Pete stronger in the early moments. Pete would be the first to score, 14 minutes into the brace. He stood intensely as his handler tried to flush. Relocation was required and a nice sized covey of quail was produced. Eli was pointing at 27 minutes. He displayed good style and seemed to have the birds pinned but this stand was barren. As we passed into the agronomy field Pete was credited with a non- productive. A feeding covey of birds was found by Eli at 43 minutes. It was here that Pete missed the opportunity to honor his brace mate and was up. The clouds were getting heavier and light rain began to fall as eli was again found pointing as we exited the agronomy field. He looked good and had the birds accurately pinned. Shortly after this find the rain began in earnest and it took a courageous effort to finish the hour but Eli was up to the challenge, finishing well.

There were no dogs posted for today.

Day 11

We were greeted this morning by much cooler temperatures. The morning temperature was only 40 degrees with a forecast high of 60 degrees, making jackets the order of the day. The skies were cloudy as the first brace broke away but the skies cleared rapidly giving us clear blue skies for the remainder of the day. The wind was out of the south east, considerably stronger in the morning before relenting to a mild breeze by the afternoon. The heavy rain that had caused the running to be delayed yesterday afternoon had stopped during the night but had left the fields very soft and muddy.

After the days running a special moment ensued. Doug Ljungren, Vice President of Performance Events, American Kennel Club, presented Dr. Rick Carlisle, Director of the Ames Plantation with a check for a sizable donation. Present for the presentation was event chairman Ken Blackman, event secretary Trish James, and Ken Marden. Deep appreciation is felt by all in attendance for the hospitality that has been shown by Dr. Rick and his fine staff. One would be hard pressed to find a better group to work with.

57A) FC Grau Geist’s Artic Rush (Ice), Wiemaraner, h Diane Vater

57B) NAFC FC Shadowfax Field Agent (007), Gordon Setter, h Bill Holloway

This would be a short brace. When released, both dogs went strongly forward and took the edge on the right side of the field. Both disappeared within minutes and both handlers decided to call it a day at the first road crossing.

58A) FC/AFC Hybrittin’s BJ Betty (BJ Betty), Brittany, h Ben Lorenson

58B) FC Georgia’s Texas Two Step (Georgia), Brittany, h Tom Tracy

This pair ran a pleasing race. Both dogs are strong, well gaited dogs that ran a forward race. Intelligent races were displayed by both dogs. Neither was out of the pocket for long. Despite the searching race displayed by each dog, neither could find game and the brace ended uneventfully.

59A) FC Just A Puff of Smoke (Smoke), Brittany, h Ben Lorenson

59B) AFC Hit’s Showtime (Brandy), Brittany, h John Perry

This pair of competitors broke away strongly, impressing everyone with their speed and ability to hold an edge. Brandy made an exceptionally attractive move at 23 minutes that showcased her speed and smooth way of going. Smoke established a very pretty point at 29 minutes, among a thick group of trees. Her handler easily flushed a single bird from the intense and well-mannered dog. Shortly after that find, at 33 minutes, Smoke again established point. She again looked quite nice but this time the birds were elusive and a non-productive was scored. Both dogs continued to be very strong on the ground. Both would finish the hour with the same gusto with which they had begun.

60A) FC/AFC Palm Glades Mr. Spock (Mr. Spock), GSP, h Tim Smelcer

60B) FC Jake Acres in Disguish (Jake) Brittany, h Tom Tracy

Jake ran a wide race that kept his handler and scout busy. He was kept in contention and shown on several nice casts. He took a wrong turn around 40 minutes and at 58 minutes his handler asked for the tracker. Mr. Spock ran an intelligent race that used the objectives and wind to his best advantage. At 33 he was seen pointing among a thick group of trees. As has happened so often in this stake with the elusive birds at this location, this would result in a non-productive. At 48 minutes, he was again pointing into a stand of tall grasses. He looked sure but no birds could be flushed. He finished the hour hunting a controlled and attractive race but would end his time without bird contact.

61A) DC AFC Megasmoke’s Limited Edition (Ted), Brittany, h Tom White

61B) NAGDC FC/AFC Foster’s Buddy III (Buddy), Brittany, h Gordon Foster

Ted is an exciting and powerful dog. He was fast on the ground, pleasingly gaited, and treated the gallery to several casts that made the hair stand up on the back of your neck. Very strong on the ground for the entire hour, he managed to remain to the front during his intelligent search for game. He would finish the hour but without bird contact. Buddy was a bit easier to keep in contact with. He hunted from the first step to the last. The rapport between the dog and handler could not have been better. Point was called for Buddy at 22 minutes by Buddy’s scout. He was standing intensely, just off a strip of grasses and small bushes. No birds were flushed and he was allowed to relocate. His search was for naught and when no game was found and he was sent on. Buddy would record a second non-productive at the 35 minute mark. Again he stood stylishly but this would prove a barren stand. His race was consistent throughout the hour. He would finish as he had started, running a nice gun dog race.

Posted Dogs:

Friday morning a dog from Thursday was added to the posted dogs.

53A) Meg, h Tom Tracy

No dogs were added to the board from Friday’s running.

Call Backs for second series:

Listed in order of running:
1A) Hank, h Ben Lorenson from 45A
1B) Bet, h Dave King from 34B
2A) Lucky, h Jim West from 37A
2B) Dixon, h Jamie fountain from 32B
3A) Bama, h Ben Lorenson from 51B
3B) Bitty, h Ray Dohse from 14B
4A) Gi Gi, h Tom Tracy from 8B
4B) Bella, h Greg Dixon; from 14A
5A) Lady, h Ray Dohse; from 22B
5B) Bandit, h Tom Tracy; from 44B
6A) Mason, h ray Dohse; from 11A
6B) Louie, h Jim West; from 32A

Final Day

There was much excitement in the air on the final morning. Everyone was ready to watch the top dogs of the trial. The second series offers handlers the opportunity to accentuate a dogs strong performance in the first series which had earned the dog a chance to again show the judges their worth, and to hopefully leave the judges with a vivid mental picture of the great dog they were about to present. A National Champion was soon to be named, one that had faced the rigors of the historic Ames Plantation and had bested all comers. How can a dog person not relish these moments.

The morning dawned cool, with the temperature in the upper 30’s. The wind was light and out of the south east. Clear skies and a bright sun made one feel that birds might be out feeding and moving today. The afternoon was expected to warm to around 70 degrees with pleasant weather to prevail.

1A) FC Piney Run Hank, Brittany, h Ben Lorenson

1B) Royalrun All Bets Are Off, GSP, h David King

This brace was off with both dogs racing to the front. Both dogs were applying themselves well. Through the early sections of the course both dogs were fast on the ground and able to maintain the front despite the turns. Point was called for hank at 40 minutes. Bet came into the area and established a separate find, just 30 yards from the stylish Brittany. As Bet’s scout came up, his horse caused a large covey of bids. The judges asked both handlers to fire. As a result of this find bet was done for the day. Hank continued to run the course with reckless abandon. Hank would disappear late in the hour. He was not returned during the grace period.

2A) FC/AFC Tjust Lucky Three Spot, GSP, h Jim West

2B) FC Stoney Hill Mr. Dixon, GSP, h Jamie Fountain

At the first whistle this pair of GSPs jumped to the front. This was a powerful pair of contestants. Solid, far reaching races were displayed, with both dogs stretching the limits of gun dog range. At 37 minutes as the brace approached "No Man’s Land", Lucky was out of pocket. He would not return. Dixon continued to attack the course, hunting hard. Dixon would finish the hour, appearing to be fresh as when he began.

3A) FC Savannah’s Hot Shot, Brittany, h Ben Lorenson

3B) FC Loknlode Black Bitty, Pointer, h Ray Dohse

Powerful races defined this brace. This pair of well gaited dogs wasted no time in attacking the course. Bama (Brittany) held its lines well, taking advantage of the light wind. At 18 minutes Bitty’s scout called point for the pointer. Bitty stood high, very stylish, and intense. Relocation was needed but no birds could be produced. This would be the only attempt at pinning game in the hour. Both dogs continued a powerful race for the remainder of the hour and would finish birdless.

4A) FC Jay Hawk’s Georgia Girl, Brittany, h Tom Tracy

4B) FC Old School Attitude, Pointer, H Greg Dixon

The first brace of the afternoon broke away under a warm sun, with little or no breeze to assist in the scenting of game. The early minutes showed both dogs making big casts and showing well. At 6 minutes Bella swapped ends as she was finishing a long cast down an edge. She displayed great style as her handler flushed a single bird in front of the high headed pointer. Released, she joined her brace mate in making big, showy casts. Gi Gi at times got a little wide and at 28 she was out of pocket. The remainder of the hour this pair of dogs spent in rapid search for game, running the edges and staying forward. Both would finish the hour in the same manner in which they had begun.

5A) FC/AFC Eshod’s Arkansas Lady, GSP, h Ray Dohse

5B) FC Cedar Valley Bandit, Brittany, h Tom Tracy

Released at 2:25, both dogs raced to the front. Lady and bandit were putting donw a good race that led them to the birdy covers. At 10 minutes, as coming through a chute, lady established a nice high headed point and Bandit came in and backed with nice style. The gallery had seen birds lift as the Lady established this stand, but the judges had not seen the birds. Lady was allowed to relocate hoping to find a straggler to no avail. Sent on both dogs displayed reaching, forward patterns. At 53 minutes, Lady was once again pointing, this time she was pointing into the heavy cover next to a mowed strip. She looked quite intense and sure of the bird’s location. Her handler could not put any birds to flight and she would record another non-productive. Bandit and Lady finished the hour strongly with Lady perhaps having the edge in the ground race.

6A) FC Eshod’s Revolution, GSP, h Ray Dohse

6B) NAFC FC/AFC Ariel’s Justa Gotta Go Now, GWP, h Jim West

The GSP, Mason, had a short trip. He started strongly but was lifted early in the brace. Louie started his hour like his tail was set on fire. In the early minutes his race was very impressive, with good speed and intelligent direction. Point would be called at 32 minutes for Louie. He stood off to the left, twenty yards into the trees. After a good flushing attempt and relocation, he was sent on. Having the field to himself, Louie ran a forward race that was always to the front. His range became restrained as the final moments of his hour expired. He would finish the hour still hunting well.

Placements

1st) FC Old School Attitude, Pointer, H Greg Dixon
2nd) FC/AFC Eshod’s Arkansas Lady, GSP, h Ray Dohse
3rd) FC Stoney Hill Mr. Dixon, GSP, h Jamie Fountain
4th) FC Cedar Valley Bandit, Brittany, h Tom Tracy

Best of Breeds

Wiemaraner – NAFC Graugeist Texas City Slicker
Irish Setter – NAFC FC Brophy’s Shenanigans
Vizsla – FC Tommy’s Dixie Chick
Pointer – FC Old School Attitude
German Wirehaired Pointer – NAFC FC/AFC Ariel’s Justa Gotta Go Now
German Shorthaired Pointer – FC/AFC Eshod’s Arkansas Lady
Brittany – FC Cedar Valley Bandit
English Setter – Trinity / Eshod’s Streak

In Conclusion

As your scribe, I have felt an obligation to report the highlights of each dog. This Championship brought together many of the top dogs from all the major pointing breeds. With the historic Ames Plantation being the setting for showcasing these fine dogs, the obligation was felt even greater. I can tell you that many handlers freely expressed their profound experience of testing their dogs at this challenging location. I have not witnessed this kind of emotional experience, by so many, before. The event was a National Championship in every sense yet I believe it will have an even greater impact over time. For the hundreds that were there and the thousands more that followed it on the internet and through social media, I believe this event has challenged perceptions and provoked new thoughts. I feel sure the event will be discussed and debated at local field trials and summer camps for years to come.

This event had been in the planning stages for over a year. Doug Ljungren, AVP of Performance Events was the first to conceive of the possibility of running at Ames. Doug approached Rick Carlisle, Superintendent of the Plantation with the idea. A key step in getting Rick comfortable with hosting the event was Doug’s request of Ken Blackman to be the Chairman for the trial. Ken is a neighbor in the area and well known by the Plantation. With Ken’s enthusiastic acceptance, the deal was finalized. There is no doubt that this event would not have occurred if it were not for Doug and Ken.

When it became apparent that running at the Ames Plantation was going to become a reality, there was never a question who Doug would ask to be the event secretary. An event of this magnitude needed Trish James on board. Trish had demonstrated her organizational skills, work ethic, and charming personality when this event ran in Danville, VA. Trish was to say the least, instrumental. Her hard work led to a well-organized and smooth running trial.

With the key players in place, planning for the event started to pick up. With Doug and Ken taking the lead, the big decisions were made with the full involvement of the AKC field staff, Trish and Ken Marden, who had been recruited as Treasurer for the event. As the event grew closer, Doug handed the reins to Ken B as the issues became more local in nature. Ken’s enthusiasm and high standard of preparedness resulted in a well-coordinated and enjoyable event. We owe him a great deal of gratitude for his tireless efforts.

In putting together the potential list of judges for this event, the AKC is always on the lookout for the right type of judge to preside over this most important trial. I believe that this year’s panel was one of the best to date. Varying from the usual format of two judges, we added a third member to the panel. The addition was a positive move. David Taylor of Neola IA, Kevin Waide of Parker CO, and Tom Milam of El Mott, TX were very professional in their approach to their assignment. These gentlemen were very observant, positive and fair in their judgment. Theirs was a herculean job and they performed it well. Over and over, contestants commented on the friendly, helpful, and positive manner in which they conducted themselves. I can assure you that I would run a dog under them and expect an honest appraisal. It has been an honor and privilege to ride with these gentlemen.

The wide spread support from the local community was noted and welcomed by all. The Ames staff was there to marshal us around the course, which was much appreciated since even after two weeks I am not sure I could find my way home. Moses from the County Sherriff’s office was there to guard the road crossings even on Saturdays, one of his days off work. The Ladies of Hickory Valley were there every morning to keep the coffee fresh and serve us Big Al’s biscuits. They provided helpful information to the field trialers that needed local services. We received many comments from the local folks regarding the friendliness and good sportsmanship exhibited by the participants.

Local dog professional Nick Thompson was available to lend his knowledge of the courses and dog savvy to anyone that requested him to scout. Nick has scouted 4 of the last 6 American Field National Champions run at the plantation. To say he knows his way around the grounds is an understatement. Without the help of Nick many of the dogs would have been lost. Away from the dog game Nick lives his life in the good way. Hard working, Christian, family man, Nick and his wife have provided homes to several children that needed guidance in their life, as foster parents, adopting 2 of these young people. Without Nick and the other local dog people that helped out at this event it surely would not have been the successful trial it was. There is one charming lady that was on hand every day. Vera Courtney, owner of Cedar Oak Photography, was present at every brace taking pictures that captured the action and spirit of the event. Vera has been the field trial photographer at Ames for many years. She knows where to be to get photos that capture dogs and people in a beautiful manner. She has granted permission for me to post many of her photos that have been used online by the AKC to highlight this event. Possessing that wonderful southern charm, she is a delight to work with and we were fortunate to have her on hand. Vera has put together a DVD of her pictures from this event and is selling it at a nominal fee to anyone that would like to see inside this event. She can be contacted at Vera Courtney, PO Box 133, 840 Ames Road, Hickory Valley, TN 38042. Her home number is 731-764-2414 and her cell number is 731-433-9145. She can also be reached by email at veracourney@bellsouth.net. I encourage everyone to obtain one of these DVDs as she has hundreds of photos that I have not been able to post to the web.

Many sponsors added to the enjoyment of this trial. Their donations have run the gambit from monetary donations, product donations, hosting meals, and hosting happy hours. It would be impossible to hold an event of this quality without their generous support. Representatives from our great sponsors were on hand throughout. The Gun Dog Championship Association is pleased to receive the continued support of the organizations that have been with us for years but is also happy to welcome new sponsors to the group. These organizations come to the plate to help us in hosting our dog events and we need to support them with our business. Each sponsor offers products that are top line and are used by the long term participants in our sport. Sponsors for the 2012 AKC Gun Dog Championship, listed alphabetically, were Avery Outdoors, Bank of Fayette County, Christie Enterprises, Dogs Unlimited, Eukanuba, Fayette County Chamber of Commerce, Firefly Farms, Garmin, Gun Dog Supply, Hardeman County Chamber of Commerce, Hobart Ames Foundation, Purina, SportsDOG, and Tritronics. I am sure you recognize many of these sponsors as they represent the leading edge of the field dog industry. We all thank them for their support!

I would be remiss if I did not thank my co-workers and good friends on the AKC Staff. Gary Sadler and Bonnie Hidalgo assisted me each day in compiling the information that went into the daily reports. Mel Stewart and Jim Odle, Beagle field reps assisted in moving horses and people during the first week, while Tom Meyer, Spaniel field rep stepped into this role during the second week. Doug Ljungren was on hand the entire second week and it was good to spend this much time with him. They are all professional in their approach, hardworking, and just good people. I am very fortunate to be associated with these fine individuals.

On to next year! I hope to see you in March at Branched Oak in Nebraska.

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