2013 AKC Walking Gun Dog Championship

By Bonnie Hidalgo, AKC Executive Field Representative

Day 1  |  Day 2  |  Day 3  |  Day 4  |  Day 5  |  Photo Coverage

Day 1 – AKC Walking Gun Dog Championship

The inaugural running of the AKC Pointing Breed Walking Gun Dog Championship, held at the beautiful Mingo Sportsmen’s Club near Mingo Junction, Ohio commenced on Saturday morning, April 27. A pleasant morning soon gave way to a very warm afternoon making conditions tough.  This stake attracted a nice entry of 59 dogs; seven braces were run on the opening day.  The judges of this fine stake are Chris Ryder of Smithfield, PA and Jim D’Amico of Farmingdale, NJ.

Saturday, April 27

Brace 1: Rip-N-Razor’s Sundance Kid, “Dougie”, GSP male, owned by Tony Webb and handled by Brenda Roe was braced with FC Jaymar’s How Do You Like Me Now, “Gman”, GWP male owned by P. Hieber, N. Litwin & C. Hieber and handled by Rhonda Haukoos.  Both dogs broke nicely forward, Gman a bit wider in application.  Both dogs applied themselves well, hunting the cover nicely.  At 15, Gman having not been informed that this was a non-retrieving stake proudly brought a quail to Rhonda and was picked up.  Dougie was on point on a hillside at 18; all was completed in great order.  Dougie pointed stylishly at 24 but the bird could not be found.  At 28, he showed excellent manners when he pointed a bird that upon flush just popped up and down.  A third find was carded at 32 for Dougie in a thicket on the right.  Again he displayed nice style and super manners.  At 38, Dougie scored his fourth find; again all was as it should be.   At 47 Dougie pointed again with style, this was a woodcock and Dougie being unfamiliar with the species took a closer look thus ending his brace. Dougie had been consistently forward in his race.

Brace 2: Up N’Adam’s Motorin Scooter, “Scooter”, GSP male, owned by Katie & Tom Tazza and handled by Dave Walker ran with Tru Miss Grace “Gracie”, Vizsla female owned by George & Mary Haines and handled by George Haines.  Gracie was on a mission; she hunted the cover diligently, remaining predominantly forward.  She pointed at 14with the bird nicely located.   At 24 Gracie was pointed just before a bird flushed from the thicket in front of her.  Her third find at 42 was performed with perfect manners.  Gracie maintained a good rapport with her handler throughout her hour.  Scooter ran a steady forward race but went the hour without bird contact.

Brace 3: FC Palmglades WFK Sally’s Promise, “Promise”, GSP female, owned by C. Lane Hodges & Mark Brent and handled by C. Lane Hodges was paired with Wynfield’s Redneck Woman, “Greta”, GSP female, owned by Greg & Patti Nicholson and handled by Greg. Promise showed an excellent stop to flush on a woodcock at 5.  A beautiful find was carded for Greta at 16 where she displayed flawless manners.  Promise would not be deterred and came in for an honor. They scored a divided find at 20; both dogs were stylish and mannerly.  Promise and Greta were forward in application, hunted the likely places and handled kindly.  At 26, Promise was credited with a nice find.  The bird flew forward, coming down in front of Greta who pointed it on the hillside. A pretty find was notched by Promise at 32 for, all in order.  Not to be outdone Greta found game at 33 and pointed it with intensity.  Released heading up a long hill, Greta caught the front without her handler.  On the top of the hill she stopped to flush but released and went on, ending her exciting performance.  Promise had a find at 53 and another at time both of these were stylish and steady.  Promise was classy on the ground and on game.

Brace 4: Gambles Benny The Jet Set SH, “Benny”, GSP male, owned and handled by Richard Hopkins and  FC Palmglades Jameson SH, “Jameson”, GSP male owned Tim Molony & Laura Duvall Molony and handled by Tim were the final brace of Saturday morning.  Jameson scored nicely at 5.  Benny stopped to flush on that bird with all in order for both dogs.  A second find came at 8 for Jameson, he exuded style and manners.  Jameson at 15 pointed quail with Benny coming in for a back.  All was in order.  Jameson suffered a barren stand at 18 while Benny went up the hill to a good find at 19.   Jameson carded a stop to flush at 37.  A divided stand occurred at 44 but the situation ended up as a double nonproductive.  Benny pointed with fine style at 48 but only feathers were found.  Jameson was nicely forward at this time.  Benny was found on point by his scout at 54, the bird flopped around on the flush but the dog handled it politely.   Benny made a cast in the wrong direction and time expired as he returned to the front. Jameson ran a very nice, forward race.  Benny also hunted the majority of his hour in a kindly, forward pattern.

Brace 5: FC/AFC Lynturk’s Runnymeade Ranger, “Ranger”, Irish setter male, owned by Teresa Sanford & Kevin Culver, handled by Kevin was drawn to run with DC Up N’Adam’s Silhouette, “Shadow”, GSP female, owned by Katrin & Thomas Tazza and handled by Dave Walker.  It was 1 pm on a warm afternoon when this pair was released.  Shadow pointed on the hilltop at 4, Ranger backed but it was unproductive.  Shadow had second barren stand at 16; Ranger again honored nicely.  Shadow was picked up.  Ranger continued the hour hunting forward.  Ranger pointed at 40 but no birds were found.  He finished the hour without bird contact.

Brace 6: FC/AFC Wingfield’s Palmglade Dan, “Dan-D”, GSP male owned by Donald & Karen Coller and handled by Dave Walker ran with GCH DC Honey Run’s Spittin’ Image, “Alli”, GSP female owned & handled by Adam DeLude. These two were forward in pattern.  Alli was kind handling and pleasing to the eye.  Dan-D showed an independent streak now and then which disrupted the flow of his race. Dan-D pointed at 42, it was a nice find with the well mannered dog holding his head high.  Alli ran a consistent forward race but birds were hard to come by during this windless, hot hour.

Brace 7: FC/AFC WFK High Roll-N’s Money Pit A Blaze, “Blaze”, GSP male owned by Tim & Erica Zick and handled by Tim was paired with FC Brillow’s Wild West Ponder Rosa, “Fuzzy”, GWP female owned by John Sodoro and handled by Rhonda Haukoos.  Blaze looked good on point at 2 but nothing was home.  At 7, Blaze had nice find with Fuzzy backing.  At 10, the two shared a mannerly find.  At 14 a third nice find came for Blaze with Fuzzy backing reluctantly.  A fourth find was carded for Blaze at 21, Fuzzy backed politely here.  All was in good order through the flush and shot for both dogs.  They scored a good divided find at 47.  Blaze tallied an impressive sixth find at 49 with Fuzzy backing but moving up.  Shortly after they were released Fuzzy was seen under a bird and was up.  Blaze pointed unsuccessfully on the hill overlooking the lake and another unproductive at 52 ended her chance.  Blaze ran a forward pattern with snappy animation and pointed her birds with awesome style.

Day 2 – AKC Walking Gun Dog Championship

Sunday, April 28

The forecast was for rain, the temperature held steady in the mid 50’s throughout the day.  The rain began during the second brace of the morning and doused everyone until late afternoon.  Scenting conditions were excellent but wet birds were a hazard.  Even so there were good performances witnessed during this second day of running at the AKC Walking Gun Dog Championship.  Seven braces were completed on this day; Monday’s running will commence with Brace 15.

Brace 8: Gamble’s Midwest Abracadabra SH, “Abby”, GSP female owned by Richard J. Miller and handled by Rick Hopkins ran with DC/AFC Justeal’s Kytankerous Commander SH, “Captain”, Vizsla male owned by Justin & Stephanie Allen and handled by Justin. Both dogs began with smart forward moves.  Captain connected at 6, with a good stylish find that was mannerly.  Abby was absent by this time and was not recovered under judgment.  Captain’s second find came at 14 in the corner with all in order.  At 24 he was discovered on point in the heavy grass, again he was steady.  A fourth find was credited to Captain at 27, he was standing high. Captain moved with an attractive gait while seeking likely objectives. He pointed at 30 with fine style but moved up and pushed the bird out to end his bid.

Brace 9: NAGDC/FC/AFC Jazz’s Sweetest Little Secret, “Karo”, Brittany female owned by Jane & Gil Hopper and handled by Gil was braced with FC/AFC Specter, “Specter”, English Setter male, owned by Judith Hamilton and handled by Dave Pomfret. They had a divided find at 7; Karo was ahead in the grass while Specter was further back, with a bush in between them, pointing into the wind.  When the bird was flushed Karo went after it; Specter stood mannerly.  Specter carded a nice find at 9.  His third find was at 14, and was clean and crisp.  Specter was buried up in woods at 23 where he scored another high quality find.  His fifth find at 28 was impressive.  At 32 as course goes up the “turn-around” hill he notched another beautiful find.  At 34, he swapped ends to card a seventh good find.  Number 8 came at 49, again the setter displayed high style on both ends.  Pomfret took a few minutes for rehydration of the setter and himself and to reload his gun.  When he released the dog at 52, Specter didn’t get more than a step before a bird flushed and he slammed into a stop-to- flush.  Specter’s final find occurred at 56; his manners and class were flawless.  Specter hunted every step of his hour and covered a lot of ground at a steady forward pace.  He pointed all of his birds with finesse, never moving a muscle during flush or shot.  His stance was always lofty.

Brace 10: FC Fieldmans Journeyman Jake, “Jake”, GSP male owned by Lynn Fieldman and handled by Bruce Shaffer was drawn to run with FC/AFC/Crimson’s Lord Rigby of Linden JH, “Rigby”, Vizsla male owned by Mark & Pam Spurgeon and handled by Mark.  Jake pointed at 11 but it was not productive.  Jake pointed with excellent style and intensity at 24 but went with the flush.  Rigby was steadily forward from the breakaway.  He carded a find at 29 along the edge of the road, showing good manners on a bird that was walking in front of him.  Another good find was scored at 33 by Rigby.  Near the top of the “turn around” hill he pointed again at 37.  He stood attractively as his handler and the gallery climbed the hill; just before their arrival he relocated, circling the brush and reestablishing point a couple times.  When his handler flushed the bird Rigby took a couple steps.  He was ordered up for changing positions without an adequate reason.

Brace 11: DC Sureshot’s Sonora Gone Heywire, “Sonora”, GWP female, owned by Penny Ljungren and handled by Rhonda Haukoos ran with DC Gambles Sam Man MH, “Sam”, GSP male owned and handled by Brenda Roe.  A divided find was carded at 9; both dogs looked good.  Sam scored high marks with a dug up find at 19 with everything nicely done.  Sonora pointed game with fine style and manners at 21.  At 24 Sam was spotted on point at the edge of the woods but it proved unproductive. Sonora scored her second find at 26; all in great order.  At 44 Sonora again showed off her excellent manners and attractive pointing style.  A fourth nice find was notched by her at 45.  Sam pointed at 49; a lengthy flush in the deep grass finely produced his bird. Sam showed excellent style and manners on this.  He ran a nice race, searching the likely spots and moving in a pleasing manner.  He finished nicely forward.  Sonora’s race was excellent for the most part but her finish lacked the desired drive as she became overly intent on hunting.

Brace 12: FC/AFC Palm Glades Lee’s Madeline, “Maddie”, GSP female owned by Bradley Taylor and handled by Dave Walker released with FC Wynfield’s Windswept Jerz Devil, “Diva”, GSP female owned by Greg & Patti Nicholson and handled by Greg.  This was the first brace on Sunday afternoon.  Maddie was nicely forward from the start and soon her scout was sent out.  Maddie was found buried in the grass on point; displaying great intensity.  Her handler had to throw the bird and Maddie went for it.  Diva hunted forward for the most part.  She pointed on the top of the “turn around” hill at 34, looking good with all in order.  At 47, Diva came back with a bird and was picked up.

Brace 13: FC/AFC Wingfield’s High Cotton JH, “Cotton”, GWP male owned by Donald & Patricia Coller and handled by Tim Zick was braced with Palm Glades B&L’s Madd Maxx, “Maxx”, GSP male owned and handled by C. Lane Hodges.  Both of these dogs were big and strong on the ground; not much was seen of Maxx in the early moments.  Cotton showed more frequently but appeared to be searching for his owner who normally handles him. Cotton pointed in the corner at 14 with good style.  While Tim was flushing, the other dog was being called for and Cotton left in response and was picked up.  Maxx showed on the left at 16.   From that time on the dog made big forward moves but maintained better contact with his handler.  Maxx pointed quail at 33 on the “turn around” hill; he looked good on point. His second find came at 50 and he was handsome here as well.  Maxx finished the hour forward.

Brace 14: 3xNGDC/2xNAFC/DC/AFC Crimson’s Twenty Gauge Ruger SH CGC, “Ruger”, Vizsla male owned by Mark & Pam Spurgeon and handled by Mark released with FC Shaula, “Shaw”, Pointer female owned and handled by Judith Hamilton.  Both dogs broke forward eagerly.  Shaw was spied on point at 15 in the corner; she relocated into the cover before the handler arrived but was standing steady for the flush.  Shaw showed a happy animated gait.  Ruger put down a nice race covering the country thoroughly while keeping good rapport with his handler.  He had a nice find at 20.  A dug up find in the woods showed Ruger’s bird finding prowess at 30.  A non-productive was taken by Ruger at 41.  Shaw scored at 48, showing good manners on her game.  Ruger was absent at that time but was located on the hill at 51.  He was standing along a grass strip when his scout found him. This was a nice piece of work with the dog showing excellent intensity and manners.  Both dogs finished their hours moving easily forward.

Day 3 – AKC Walking Gun Dog Championship

Monday, April 29

There were a few scattered showers off and on throughout the day but in general it was dry and the temperature was ideal for the dogs.  Braces 15 through 18 were run during the morning, except that the female in season in brace 18 ran at the end of the day, creating two bye braces.  The afternoon saw the running of braces 19 & 20 and the completion of 18.  After the day’s running a pizza dinner was sponsored by a group of German Wirehair fanciers and it was very much appreciated by all in attendance.

Brace 15:  Palm Glades Sally’s Tip From Thai, “Tippy”, GSP female owned by Glen Fussell and handled by Dave Walker was braced with Emma Tayshon, “Emma”, Brittany female owned and handled by Jim Carter, DVM.  Point was called for Emma at 8 called by her scout; this was a very nice find.  Tippy was nicely forward at this time.  Emma caught the front at 18 and pointed in the corner with Tippy backing. These dogs stood a long time while waiting for Emma’s handler to catch the front.  They carded a good divided find at 19.  At 24 Emma pointed with Tippy backing.  Tippy scored a quail and duck find at 30.  At the top of “turn around” hill at 37, Tippy carded another good quail find, showing excellent intensity.  The pair was buried up in a thicket on the edge of the swamp at 50; point was called by a scout. It was a divided find with both dogs pointing independently.  All was in order for flush and shot.  Emma had a find with a back by Tippy at 53.  At 55, it was Tippy with the credit for the find and Emma took a back.  Both dogs were mannerly on both pieces of work.  Tippy did a nice job of covering the course while handling kindly throughout the hour.

Brace 16: FC/AFC Palm Glades Jenny Belle, “Jenny Belle” GSP female owned by Tim Smelcer & Mark Brent and handled by Tim was paired with FC B Doch’s Duke of Monroe MH “Duke”, GSP male owned and handled by Bob Felins.  Both dogs were birdy in the same area at 7; a bird was seen leaving just prior to Jenny Belle going on point.  Duke left the area and pointed the bird off to the right.  He was steady on this find.  Jenny’s handler opted to take her on when instructed that a bird had left; another bird lifted and Jenny stopped to flush with good manners.  The pair pointed in the corner at 13 but by 17 the handlers gave up the flush.  Duke crept up considerably on this and was ordered up.  A very good find was carded for Jenny Belle at 24, in the grass.  At 30, Jenny scored again.  She pointed a duck on the nest before the climb up “Turn Around “hill at 33.  At 38 she pointed a turkey, showing her versatility as a hunting dog.  A third find on quail find f came or Jenny at the top of the hill at 39.  At 53 she carded another nice quail find.  Jenny Belle ran a consistent race, hunted smartly and performed as a team member with her handler.  She was staunch and steady on her game even when under pressure.

Brace 17: CH Snips Cowboy Way SH, “Cowboy”, GSP male owned and handled by Richard Hopkins ran with NGDC/ NAGDC/ FC/AFC Peter Gunn, Brittany male owned and handled by Jim Carter, DVM.  At 6 Cowboy was on point with Peter backing.  Peter moved at the flush and his handler opted to pick him up.  Cowboy suffered a barren stand in the corner at 17.  A quail find was carded for him on “Turn Around” hill at 36, he was steady to wing & shot.  He was under a bird in the trees at 38 and was up.

Brace 18: FC/AFC Odyssey’s Boxa Rise’Ann Shine, “Ruby”, was drawn to run with GCH /DC /NAFC/AFC Ariel’s Justa Gotta Go Now, “Louie”, GWP male owned by M. Ezzo & B. Brawn and handled by Rhonda Haukoos.  Ruby was dropped to the end of the day while Louie ran in place as a bye.  Louie scored a find on the left at 5.  He notched finds at 8, 16, and24 with the birds well located.  At the start of “Turn Around” hill at 26 he pointed quail for the fifth time. Louie roaded into scent and struck an attractive stance along the wood edge at 30.  His birds were flushed with all as it should be.  Louie pointed again at 38 but lost his composure and his bid for the stake.

Brace 19: CH Razn The Bar, “Bart”, Vizsla male owned and handled by Darcy DuVal was drawn to run with FC/AFC High Roll-N’s Proposition “Sonny”, GSP male owned by Tim & Erica Zick and handled by Tim.  Bart drew first blood with a clean find at 5.  Sonny scored nicely at 6.  At 13 for Sonny pointed and handled game with high style.  Sonny pointed at 20 with Bart backing naturally.  No birds were produced.  Bart pointed a dead bird at 26.  Sonny suffered a mishap on game at 28 and both dogs were picked up.

Brace 20: Crimson’s Isidora Rizzini, “Izzy”, Vizsla female owned by Mark & Pam Spurgeon and handled by Mark ran with Miller’s Mischievous Maebyn VDHimmel JH, “Mae”, GSP female owned by Heather & Doug Miller and handled by Bruce Shaffer.  Both dogs stop to flush on turkey at 9.  Mae pointed quail at 13, she moved slightly to mark.  Mae was forward on point at 21 but corrected on.  Izzy was consistently forward in her pattern.  She had a stop to flush at 28 on a hilltop.  At 31, Mae got too close to a pair of quail and was up.  Izzy pointed at 48 along the grass strip; all was in order.

 Brace 18 continued:  FC/AFC Odyssey’s Boxa Rise’Ann Shine, “Ruby”, GSP female owned by Caleb & Grace Bryson and Chuck & Judy Parietti and handled by Caleb Bryson.  Point was called for Ruby at 7 but only feathers were found.  She notched a stylish find in the corner at 13; this was very nice.  Another find at 18 was also clean and stylish.  On the wood line on “Turnaround” hill at 28 she impressed again with her bird work.  Ruby proved to be an easy moving dog, showing an attractive gait and excellent handle.  She notched her fourth find at 32 at the top of the hill.  Ruby stopped to flush on the hillside below the power line at 37 but started to release on her own.  Bryson got her stopped and she was allowed to continue.  Nearing camp at 54 Ruby pointed once more but this was unproductive.  Ruby was picked up forward at time.

Day 4 – AKC Walking Gun Dog Championship

Tuesday, April 30

Dense fog blanketed the area this morning and necessitated a delayed start.  The first brace went off at 8:30.  It was a beautiful morning with the temperature very pleasant for the first few hours.  By afternoon everyone was too warm and the bugs were out.  Six braces were run, three in the morning and the rest following lunch break.

Brace 21: FC/AFC Bill’s Last Chance, “Luke”, English setter male, owned by Judith Hamilton and handled by Dave Pomfret was braced with FC/AFC Rsh Crk Smpr Fi Marine Raider , “Raider”, Vizsla male owned by Al & Terry Lucas and handled by Al.  Luke made a strong forward move off the breakaway; not much was seen of him in the first quarter. Raider pointed at 11 in the grass strip; it was a nice find with good style and manners.  Luke was found on point at 16 when the back corner of the course was reached.  The setter displayed phenomenal style and manners, remaining high and tight until he was collared.  Raider politely honored Luke.  Raider scored nicely at 24 with impeccable form. He hunted hard and smart, coming up with a third find at 37 on the backside of the woods at 37.  Again he was classy and well behaved.  Luke was last seen on “Turnaround” hill and the tracker came out.  Raider made a spectacular move up the power line hill and took the edge above the pond.  This is a well gaited dog that covered the ground with eye-appeal and at the same time paid attention to the location and desires of his handler.  Raider’s final find came at 54; he pointed stylishly and moved to mark.  Raider finished forward.

Brace 22: High Powers Jolt to the System, “Jolee”, GWP female owned by Belinda DeLaby and handled by Rhonda Haukoos ran with FC/AFC WFK One Day I Aint Scared of You, ”Sipsey”, GSP female owned by C. Lane Hodges & Darcy DuVal and handled by Lane.  Jolee was seen on point in the corner at 10, Sipsey came in for an excellent back.  The birds were flushed and shot fired with both dogs showing commendable style and decorum.  Jolee pointed in the grass at 18 but when relocation was asked for she went to the front.  Jolee and Rhonda were limping by the time the course reached Turnaround hill.  The Wirehair warmed out of it and went on her merry way.  She scored a find in the woods at 34, all in very fine order.  Jolee had a considerable handling lapse on the top of “Turnaround” hill but she eventually was persuaded to come along. Jolee pointed in the mowed strip at 50, she showed good intensity and superb manners as she watched the bird walk down the hill in front of her before it was put to flight. She pointed all her birds with a steady and appealing stance. Her race took her to likely spots and she got there easily.

Brace 23: Ricochet’s Tangled Up In Blue, “Sara”, Vizsla female owned by Grace Anne Lawson and handled by Dave Pomfret was drawn with Twist’n Tequila’s Shadow, “Lila”, Brittany female owned by Jim Carter DVM & Drew Carter.  Lila pointed and then picked up a dead bird, it was quite cold and she was permitted to continue.  Lila pointed at 10 but loosened during the flush attempt and was sent on.  Lila scored a good find at 22 with Sara backing nicely.  A nonproductive went into Lila’s page in the book at top of “Turnaround” hill. On power line hill, Lila carded another good find.  Sara pointed on the hill above the pond, the bird flushed before the handler arrived; the dog moved on and was picked up.  Lila suffered another lengthy nonproductive and was picked up at 45.

Brace 24: Snake Break’s No Quarter, “LZ”, Weimaraner male owned by Brian Wayson and handled by Dave Pomfret was paired with FC/AFC WFK Hilited Marshside Margarita, “Sister”, GSP female owned by Bradley Taylor and handled by Dave Walker.  A very pretty and clean find was performed by Sister at 8 with LZ backing naturally at great distance.  LZ was pointing with an attractive pose at 16; the bird was flushed with everything agreeable. Sister was on point just down the hill from LZ at 17 and carded a very good piece of bird work.  Manners were flawless for both dogs.  Sister scored another find at 30 on top of turnaround hill.  A very good find for Sister with Lila backing occurred at 42.  Both dogs showed fine style and intensity.  LZ scored a dug up find at 46 with all in excellent order.  At 51 he pointed again but no game was produced.  LZ finished at a range that was consistent with the rest of his hour. Sister covered a lot of ground but would come back to check in with her handler. She finished well.

Brace 25: Jac Holland MH, “Jac”, Vizsla male owned by Chris & Jessica Holland and handled by Chris released with WAK’s Tampa Orion, “Tampa”, GSP male owned and handled by William Kitts.  Tampa pointed on the line at 6, Jac honored with excellent manners.  The bird was flushed, shot fired and all was in order.  Jac was released from the honor position right into the scene of the birdwork where he ran over the bird before stopping.  Jac was picked up.  A good find came at 24 for Tampa but shortly afterward he was under a bird and the brace ended.

Brace 26: FC Palm Glades B&L’s Lovely Lady, “Lady”, GSP female owned and handled by C. Lane Hodges ran with Sweet Georgia Brown, “Charlie”, Brittany male owned and handled by Jim Carter DVM.  Lady pointed at 12, her handler had begun flushing when he jumped and began yelling at Lady.  A six foot black snake hustled its way out of the vicinity and Lane took some teasing regarding his reaction.  Charlie notched a find at 30 and another at 36.  Lady was picked up at 37 for being under a quail.  Charlie pointed near the pond at 41 with intensity; he was attractive and steady.  Charlie scored again at 54.  He suffered a barren stand at 59 just across from the clubhouse.  Charlie made some good moves during his hour, seeking likely objectives.

Day 5 – AKC Walking Gun Dog Championship

Wednesday, May 1

May Day dawned clear and pleasant with a 8 am starting time temperature of 54 degrees.  It promised to warm up quickly and it did.  By mid morning it was warm for the dogs but quite enjoyable for the people, at least for the ones that weren’t walking!

Brace 27 FC/AFC Hot Shot’s Auf Ziel SH, “Zero”, GSP male owned and handled by Peggy Sieve was braced with Erbe’s Fire Powder, “Powder”, GSP male owned by Robert Henderson and handled by Rhonda Haukoos.  Powder pointed intently at 10 and was backed nicely by Zero.  Both were mannerly.  Powder carded another good find in the corner at 14.  Powder’s third find came at 16.  At 20, Zero’s handler was not doing well so Rick Hopkins replaced her as handler.  Zero went on point during the change of handlers and Rick flushed over him at 22; this was very nice work with Powder honoring.  At 25, Powder stopped to flush but moved on after the shot and he was hooked. Zero pointed but took an unproductive at 40 on top of Turnaround hill.  On the hillside to the left of the pond at 48, Zero scored a stylish find.  At 56, on top of a rise, Zero pointed with good style, high intensity and perfect manners through flush and shot.  Just as the handler reached for his collar, Zero went in pursuit of the bird to the surprise of everyone in the gallery.

Brace 28 FC/AFC Gunnem Down Adolph, ‘Dolphy”, GSP male, owned and handled by Ron Schmieder ran with GCH/DC/AFC Grousebend’s Dago Red MH, “Ozzy”, Vizsla male owned and handled by Bill Fazio.  Ozzy scored a find at 7 with Dolphy backing.  Another nice find for Ozzy occurred at 11, he points with style.  At 13, Ozzy pointed again but this time he drew a blank.  He scored another nice find at 16 in a stand of trees.  In the corner at 19 Ozzy carded his fourth find.  The gallery became split with all of Ozzy’s early birdwork and it was not possible to view both dogs.  Judge Rider reported that Dolphy had carded three high quality finds during the time of separation (13 to 45).  At 48, it was a clean stop to flush for Dolphy.  A find for Dolphy at 51 was very pretty.  Both dogs hunted consistently throughout the hour.

Brace 29 FC/AFC Higby Ruby, “Ruby”, English setter female owned by Judith Hamilton and handled by Dave Pomfret released at 10:14 am with FC WFK Belle’s Georgia Peanut, “Peanut”, GSP female owned and handled by Dave Walker.  Peanut pointed at the top of the hill along the autumn olives at 5.  Ruby came along and honored her on sight.  Peanut was very stylish as was Ruby.  A second find for Peanut came at 11 in the trees; she had an awesome presence about her and was well mannered for the flush and shot.  On the Turnaround Hill at 28 a quail lifted in front of Ruby and she gave it a ride.  Peanut working down a grass strip came to the former location of the quail only a moment after it was gone.  She pointed staunchly but was moved on.  Peanut pointed again at 47, her style was eye candy for all in the gallery.  She pointed with her head high as is usually indicative of a bird being at some distance.  Her handler could not produce for her and opted to take her on without relocation.  Peanut made an excursion to the left when the course went right and it took a couple minutes to get her back on track.  When she returned she seemed to be running on heart, her energy depleted for the closing moments.  Peanut impressed for most of the hour with her attractive gait and reaching race, hunting and handling at full speed.  She was stunningly beautiful on all birdwork and it was truly unfortunate that she didn’t have that necessary finish.

Brace 30 Uodibar’s Freebee, “Freebee”, GWP female owned by Claire & Kelly Wisch and handled by Rhonda Haukoos was drawn as a bye.  Freebee scored a good find at 15 with all in order.  She pointed and then pushed out a bird at 20.

The Inaugural AKC Pointing Breed Walking Gun Dog Championship held at the beautiful Mingo Sportsman Club grounds at Bloomingdale, Ohio concluded just after noon on May 1, 2013.  This event enjoyed a tremendous turn-out with 59 entries representing eight pointing breeds.  The Mingo Sportsman Club ground is an incredibly fine area to showcase bird dogs and the AKC Performance Events department was thrilled to be able to use this venue.  The crew at the Mingo Sportsman Club bent over backwards to make it a pleasant experience for all of us.  They worked right up to the start of the trial to finish a nice shelter at the trial parking area.  Breakfast and lunch were served there by some of the Club’s members each day of the event.  Bill Monk led the effort to make our event special.  He helped set the course and taught us the route.  Bill planted birds on the opening morning and in general supervised his co-members in assisting us.  When it got hot on Monday water barrels miraculously appeared on course in strategic locations. Members that were instrumental in helping with this event were Bob Bickerstaff, Allen Bickerstaff, Jack Alexander, Ken Schmidt, Brian Biggio, Duane Taylor, Jr., Duane Taylor, Sr., Steve Boyer, Jimmy Oatny, Bo Rine, John Benko, Rick Marotta and Gale Marotta.  Bill Monk’s sons Wiley and Owen Monk were also a great help and very polite young men.

The facility includes a large Clubhouse just a mile from the trial area.  Sponsor hosted dinners were served there on Friday and Saturday nights.  The Mingo Sportsman Club opened their pool house so that campers from the field trial group could use the showers.

The AKC is grateful for its generous and dedicated sponsors, Purina, Sportdog, Dogs Unlimited and The Beretta Galleries of New York.  Purina gives both financial and product support to makes these events extra special and we all appreciate Purina’s contribution.  The Purina hosted dinner was popular with the entire field trial crowd.  We were honored to have Pat Lamantia on hand to represent Purina.  Pat is a pointing dog man and is a local member of the Mingo Sportsman Club.  Thank you to Purina from all in attendance.  Purina Pro Plan Performance Sport formula is the fuel of Champions!  If you haven’t tried it for your performance dog you are missing the boat.

Sportdog was represented by Jim Morehouse.  This company is making a name for itself in the training collar arena and their combination tracking and training unit is very popular.  This collar is approved for use in AKC trials once the training portion is removed.  Jim is very personable and knowledgeable about his company’s products and the art of training bird dogs, he is always happy to explain how the collars operate. Next time you are in the market for training or tracking collar please give Sportdog a try!

Dogs Unlimited generously supplied gift certificates for the winners.  This is a small town, family run business that does a very professional marketing job while providing a personal touch.  Alan Davison and his wife Marcia are field trial people so they understand the needs of the sport.  Check out their catalog or look them up on line.  They have a wide variety of training and dog supplies.

The Beretta Gallery on Madison Avenue in New York donated chaps for judges’ gifts and for the winners.  Andrew Campbell of The Beretta Gallery is a bird dog man and we appreciate his contribution to the AKC Walking Gun Dog Championship.  The Beretta Gallery is a fine custom gun shop which also has a few Beretta logo items available.

Individuals that funded one of the complimentary dinners at the Mingo Sportsman Clubhouse were Darcy DuVal, Judith Hamilton and Lane Hodges.  We all appreciate their generosity!

On Monday evening a pizza party was held at the trial area shelter.  This meal was donated by German Wirehaired supporters, many of whom were not in attendance at the event.  Thanks to all of the following donors:  Bernee Brawn, Judy Cheshire &Doug Ljungren, Angie & Mike Johnson, Bill & Deb Darby, Rick and Deanna Donahue, John & Margie Howard, Steve & Lisa Kreuser, William & Courtney Bastian/ Claddagh Kennel, Kay & Lamar Gunnerson, Adam & Amy Cunningham, Ann & Robert Karrick, Octavian & Lisa Popescu, Belinda Delaby.  A big “Thank-You” to all of you; the pizza was wonderful and the camaraderie it enabled was terrific!

A big “Thanks” to everyone who placed an ad in the event catalog; your support helped to guarantee the success of this field trial!

Judges Jim D’Amico, Farmingdale, NJ and Chris Rider, Smithfield, PA, served as Judges for this Championship.  Two finer, more qualified gentlemen could not have been found.  They both come with a wealth of bird dog knowledge.  Jim has owned and handled dogs from the three major setter breeds but the Gordon setter is his breed of choice.  Jim has finished several Field and Amateur Field Champions and has been a force to be reckoned with on a National level winning 10 National titles.  Chris Rider has been involved with the Brittany for many years, usually training and handling his own dogs with great success.  Jim and Chris have both judged an untold number of Championships and weekend trials for many breeds on varied venues.  They know bird dogs and they know what they like to see in a performance.  These gentlemen watched all dogs closely, kept fair and open minds and chose the dogs that came closest to their ideal walking gun dog.  It was an honor and a pleasure to serve as their Judges’ Marshal.

The field trial committee for this event was led by Chairman Tom Maneely.  Tom has been involved with field trials for better than 30 years, he has been an AKC Representative for 5 of those years.  Prior to becoming a Rep, Tom served as Chair of the AKC Pointing Breed Gun Dog Championships when it was held at Branched Oak in his home state of Nebraska.  He was a good choice for chairing this event.

Trish James is an awesome field trial secretary and the AKC Performance Events department feels extremely fortunate to have enlisted her help as Secretary for this inaugural AKC Walking Gun Dog Championship.  Trish has agreed to serve as Event Secretary for this event going forward.  We are honored to have her.  She does so much more than paperwork although she excels in that area with her fine organizational skills.  Trish builds the catalog including contacting potential sponsors and advertisers.  Perhaps the thing she does that ranks at the top as far as trial attendees are concerned is her ability to put together delicious social hours!  Trish’s work begins well before the event and extends beyond.  Thank you Trish for your unfaltering dedication.

Rounding out the committee were Gary Sadler, Ken Marden and myself, Bonnie Hidalgo.  Gary has been an AKC Field Representative for seven years.  Prior to joining the AKC staff Gary could be found at Pointing dog events in his home state of Tennessee.  He has served as past Chairman of the AKC Gun Dog Championships.  Gary is a soft spoken gentleman and is as hard a worker as you will find at a trial.  He will do any job that needs doing and always with a smile.  Gary planted birds for the entire trial excluding the initial salt of the course.  He was up early and late making sure things were complete.

Ken Marden serves as Treasurer of the AKC Gun Dog Championship Association which was created to ensure the future of the original Gun Dog Championships.  The umbrella of the association has been extended to cover the Walking Gun Dog event as well.  Ken was the man with the dream that saw the original Championships conceived.  We all have benefited from Ken’s foresight.

Wrangler horses were supplied by Will Langley.  His mounts for the Judges and scribe were surefooted and strong.  They carried us comfortably and safely through the five day trial.

At the completion of the event, Trial Chairman Tom Maneely read the Judges’ decisions which were well received.  Pictures were taken and another fine event went into the record book.  If you attended this trial Thanks for coming.  If you didn’t attend you missed a great event and a wonderful time.  Look for information on the 2014 renewal which will appear on the AKC website and the Walking Gun Dog Facebook page as soon as details are complete.  We hope to see you there next spring!

The Winners:

Champion: FC/AFC Specter, “Specter”, English setter male, owned by Judith Hamilton and handled by Dave Pomfret (Brace 9) Also Best English setter.

Second: FC/AFC Rsh Crk Smpr Fi Marine Raider , “Raider”, Vizsla male owned by Al & Terry Lucas and handled by Al (Brace 21) Also Best Vizsla.

Third: DC Gambles Sam Man MH, “Sam”, GSP male owned and handled by Brenda Roe (Brace 11) Also Best German shorthaired pointer.

Fourth: High Powers Jolt to the System, “Jolee”, GWP female owned by Belinda DeLaby and handled by Rhonda Haukoos (Brace 22) Also Best German wirehaired pointer.

Best of Breeds:

Brittany: Sweet Georgia Brown, “Charlie”, Brittany male owned and handled by Jim Carter, DVM. (Brace 26)

Irish setter: FC/AFC Lynturk’s Runnymeade Ranger, “Ranger”, Irish setter male, owned by Teresa Sanford & Kevin Culver, handled by Kevin (Brace 5)

Pointer: FC Shaula, “Shaw”, Pointer female owned and handled by Judith Hamilton. (Brace 14)

Weimaraner: Snake Break’s No Quarter, “LZ”, Weimaraner male owned by Brian Wayson and handled by Dave Pomfret (Brace 24)