The Irish Setter Club of America National Field Trial
by Bonnie Hidalgo, AKC Field Representative
The 2009 version of the Irish Setter Club of America’s National Championship field trial kicked off on Sunday Oct. 25 with the running of the Open Derby. It was evident that a great deal of planning and preparation went into making this event successful. Kudos are sent to the trial’s Chairman, Dave Tompkins and to its Secretary, Mary Ann Gustafson who were at the forefront of a tremendous field trial committee. The efforts of Vickie Tompkins, Stan and Susan Noble, Phil Ruff, Ken and Linda Ruff, Londa Warren, Bob Geddeis, Ed Meyer, Smokey Hiles, Georgia Brown, Karolynne McAteer and Spero Manson supported the Chairman’s plans perfectly.
To state the obvious, Dave Tompkins was busy everywhere, overseeing the running of the entire event. Mary Ann Gustafson spent many hours before, during and after the field trial in order to handle the avalanche of paperwork. The work done by the Chairman and Secretary is at a great sacrifice to personal time and is very much appreciated by all who benefit from the fruits of their labors. Susan Noble is the world’s best hospitality chair. No detail is left undone when Susan is involved. From the Hospitality night, in which she was assisted by her husband, Stan and by Dave and Vickie Tompkins to the refreshments on the dog wagon Susan dotted all the i’s and crossed all the t’s. Karolynne McAteer was the catalog chair and once again did an excellent job! Londa Warren is the Futurity Chair person and has kept the records straight for many years. Her work is invaluable to the breed. Linda Ruff serves as the National Field Trial Historian, keeping photo albums up to date from the inception of this great event. No future is ever secure without the ability to note what brought us here! Georgia Brown, Smokey Hiles and Linda Ruff were on the dog wagon making sure that all riders were well taken care of. Stan Noble, Bob Geddeis, Phil Ruff, Ed Meyer, Spero Manson and Ken Ruff helped out with various marshalling duties. Ken also serves the ISCA as Chairman of the Field Trial Executive Committee. Vickie Tompkins stepped up to the plate to lend a hand in many areas, including the chairing of the raffle but one of the biggest and most important was in the note taking she did for this report. Vickie took notes on the entire Futurity and National Amateur stakes. She wrote them up so well that very little was done to add them to the remainder of the trial report. Many thanks to Vickie for a great job!
Will Langley once again, brought a fine string of rental horses for participants, judges and spectators alike. Having good horses benefits the trial in so many ways. When a club can depend on a wrangler for judges’ horses it takes away the need to get judges who are local enough to bring their own mounts. This gives a better opportunity to have the best dog men in the country deciding our Champions and future breeding stock.
The National Championship was once again held on the Blue Mountain Wildlife Demonstration Area at Booneville, AR. The grounds at Blue Mountain were in excellent shape at the start of the event with coveys of quail found in satisfactory numbers on all three of the one hour courses. Manager Larry McAnally and assistant Red Bailey had done an excellent job in preparation for the fall trial season. Unfortunately a deluge during the later part of the trial rendered much of the grounds unusable and severely hampered the running of the National Amateur Championship. With nearly two thirds of the grounds underwater the trial was reduced to one course with sparse birds.
The ISCA wishes to thank its generous sponsors. Purina was represented by Terry Trzcinski; the club was glad to have him on hand! Purina is a major contributor to the ISCA in general and to this National in particular. Monetary and dog food donations from this great company keep the event going in fine style. Tri-tronics and Haggis Saddles provide product for distribution as prizes and they are coveted awards. Thanks again to all sponsors!
Many local businesses purchased ads in the catalog as did many member clubs of the ISCA and individual members. This is extremely valuable to the success of the event as are the generous donations made to the trophy fund. Thanks to all of you who gave so unselfishly!
The Open Derby
This stake drew a large entry of 20 dogs. The stake ran on Sunday Oct. 25 with Judges Will Langley and Steve Salt officiating. Will is an experienced dog person who owns some good looking English setters. He hails from Attica, MI and also serves this event as the wrangler. Steve is from Kenilworth, Ontario, Canada and has long been a member of ISCA. He owns and campaigns fine Irish Setters. These two gentlemen gave each brace their undivided attention and awarded the placements accordingly.
First place went to Brownhaven Ballistic, handled by Sherry Ebert and owned by Georgia Brown. “Billy” had a nice race and two stylish finds.
Brownhaven The Huntress, also owned by Georgia Brown and handled by Sherry Ebert placed second. She ran well and scored one good derby style find.
Third place went to Sand Creek’s Devil Girl, owned by Tim and Mary Hidalgo and handled by Mary. She pointed quail and hunted hard.
Fourth place was withheld.
The National Championship
Brownhaven Burning Bright stood out from the crowd to win the National Championship. Burnie, as he is called, is owned jointly by Georgia Brown of Canyon Lake, TX and Sherry Ebert of Mott, ND. Sherry handled him to the victory. This dog tore up the course, running a fast paced, attractive and forward race. His bird work was stylish and mannerly. Burnie ran in the third brace of the stake.
Second place went to Brownhaven Steel Magnolia, owned by Jim Baker of Del Valle, TX and handled by Sherry Ebert. Rachel appeared in the first brace of the stake.
Third place went to Ishkote Ani-Mosh from brace 4. He was handled by Steve Bailey for owner Spero Manson of Elbert, CO. Fred was the defending Champion having handily won this stake in 2008.
Fourth place went to Brophy’s Let’s Play Too, owned by Charlie and Lynn Blackbourn of Edgerton, WI and Ken Ruff of Sycamore, IL. “Ernie” was handled by Mark Johnson.
Brophy’s Lil Paprika received a Judges’ Award of Merit for her performance. Lily is owned and handled by 16 year old Corinne Ruff of Sycamore, IL. Lily ran on course two in the eleventh brace.
Judges for the National Championship were Frank Lallas of Brighton, CO and Howard Burbach from Pleasant Hills, MO. These two men brought a wealth of bird dog knowledge to the trial. They paid close attention, knew what they were looking for and made accurate decisions. Their pleasant, outgoing personalities were a delightful plus.
Brace 1 - AFC Brownhaven Steel Magnolia (Ebert) – Brophy’s Mariah 0f Ballycroy (K. Ruff)
Both dogs pointed in separate locations at 6. Mariah corrected and went on. Rachel stood just off the road with excellent manners while Sherry beat the bushes and came up with a single quail. Rachel remained high and tight through the shot. Rachel ran a good race, hunting the cover well. Both were gone briefly as the course approached 109, but showed before the creek at 22. Mariah got into a huge covey just beyond Lick Creek and made them fly to end her bid at 28. She put in a forward effort until that time. Rachel finished the hour to the front.
Brace 2- Vabril Zazil Bright Star, JH (Cardwell) – FC Aeries Strike It Rich (M. Hidalgo)
Zazil hunted hard but in her own direction and her handler eventually picked her up for the lack of handle. Richie carded an unproductive at 19; Zazil was forward at that time. Richie had a second nonproductive at 24. He handled reasonably well for Mary who substituted for her injured husband, Tim.
Birds were flushed by a handler just off the breakaway but no dogs were involved. They pointed simultaneously but separately at 10. Ebert put up the birds after wading thru deep water and Burnie was high and tight throughout. It was an excellent piece of work. Brie broke at the shot and was picked up. Burnie turned in a strong, forward race. He handled smoothly, although his range took him from view several times he always returned in plenty of time. He was absent briefly just prior to Mario’s Hill but came on to lead the way toward the creek. He stopped to flush at 33, where the course approaches the pavilion, all in order. He was still going strong and forward when the hour expired. Nice Job!
Brace 4 - Cedar Creek Karma (Liermann) – NFC/NAFC/FC/AFC Ishkote Ani Mosh (Bailey)
Karma turned in a steady, forward race, handling nicely but found no game. Fred was the opposite on the ground. He hunted fast and furious, leaving no stone unturned but he was a handful to maneuver. Fred pointed just before the big field at 27 and after relocation Bailey put his birds up for him. Fred was mannerly for flush and shot. His scout/owner called point for him at an island of trees on the left side of the course. He was standing high and stylish when we arrived at 38. Relocation was required, the birds flushed from the corner of the island while the dog was working and he stopped to flush. He continued the hour digging deep and made some nice moves, his handle getting a bit easier as time when on but his drive remained strong for the entire hour.
E.J. was attractive on the ground and pointed birds with top style. She remained high and mannerly for the shot but when the birds flew around into her view she went with them. This was at 22. Robin pointed on the far side of course two’s big field at 43, but it was not productive. She ran a steady forward race for the hour and handled nicely.
They had a divided find at 10 on the birds to the right along the ditch. Ritha was standing with superb style and manners. Inde appeared ready to move but both dogs stayed clean through the flush and shot. Shortly before Mario’s Hill at 19, Retha found more birds but didn’t handle them and was picked up. She did a nice job on the ground up to that time. Inde made some sweeping moves, hunting deep and was briefly absent a few times before disappearing late in the hour. Her handler threw in the towel at 53 and went to find her.
This was the first brace on Tuesday; light rain or mist fell all morning. Both dogs broke strong and forward. Deer were seen shortly after and the dogs disappeared. Ebert called for the tracker at 8. Doc was counted out at 13.
Journey hunted thoroughly but was picked up at 25 after a nonproductive and a couple sticky incidences. Erin finished his hour with no birds found but ran with an appealing gait and hunted hard.
Brace 9 - Rogan the Red (M. Hidalgo) – Brophy’s Shenanigans (Geddeis)
These two were fleet of foot and had a foot race at the start. They settled in and hunted well. Shauna stopped to flush at 43 with great manners. She pointed at 46; Rogan failed to back. Shauna moved in while her handler was attempting to flush and was also picked up.
Light rain continued to fall. Emmy was gone quite a bit, showing forward periodically before eventually being lost. Lily was hunting thoroughly and was tough to bring forward. She scored an eye popping find at 8 on a large covey of quail. Style and manners were impeccable. She pointed again at 40 but it was unproductive. She finished her hour, still digging in to the cover.
Brace 12- Cedar Creek Trixie (Liermann) – Brophy’s Let’s Play Two (Johnson)
The weather started clearing for this brace. A find was carded for Ernie at 25 near the pavilion with all in order. He pointed again at 37 with lofty style; his manners were correct for the flush of a large covey. Trixie was picked up at 37, after going through the vicinity of Ernie’s covey find in pursuit of deer. The pace was fast and Ernie’s race shortened drastically after this find. He pointed at 44, but a nonproductive was recorded following unsuccessful relocation.
The final brace of the stake was run on Wednesday morning. They weren’t changing the standings and both were on the wagon early.
The ISCA National Futurity
There were nine entries drawn for this stake but only five came to the line. Judges for the 2009 Futurity were Howard Burbach and John Hott. It ran on an overcast morning with heavy rains predicted for the afternoon and evening. It was noted that there were seventeen people on the dog wagon and only fourteen people on horseback.
The judges found it necessary to withhold placements due to lack of pointing skills and opportunities. First, Second and Fourth places were WITHHELD. Third place was awarded to Russell’N’Mythodical’s Hail Mary. Owned by Susan Russell-Matsumoto and Kiyoto Matsumoto and handled by Susan. Mary was sired by Can CH Saeterelva’s Russell and her dam was Can CH Mythodical Russell’s Reba. She was bred by Susan Russell Matsumoto and Cassie Allen. Mary was whelped June 18, 2007.
Brace 1 - Mythodical Russell Hailstorm (Russell- Matsumoto) - Brophy’s Cliffhanger (K. Ruff)
These two dogs started off on Course 1 with short to medium gun dog races. Cliff headed along the cover on the right side of the course with Goose taking the left side. Both dogs appeared to be hampered by the heavy cover. No birds were found this brace.
Brace 2 - Russell’N’Mythodical’s Hail Mary (Russell-Matsumoto) - Vabril Zazil Bright Star (Cardwell)
This pair cast off on the second half of Course 1 with good speed and drive. Both dogs were making nice casts and handling. Zazil headed into cover at 15 and scout was sent and brought her back around. Mary continued to hunt the cover and as we made the turn out of the meadow at 22 minutes, 8 to 10 birds were in the air and moments later Mary was seen under them. She continued to hunt until time was called. Zazil put down an acceptable performance and was called her back to demonstrate her point but she failed to do so.
Brace 3 - Russell’s Jack of All Trades (Russell-Matsumoto) - BYE
Jack ran a nice gun dog race and hunted the cover hard. Unfortunately, there were no birds to be found on his course. The Judges called him back and gave him a chance to point, but he bumped and chased instead.
ISCA National Amateur Championship
Due to the heavy rains late Thursday afternoon and evening, parts of Courses one, two and three were flooded beyond use. The Field Trial Committee met with Larry McAnnally and the judges to determine what could be done to hold the National Amateur Championship. It was decided to run a thirty minute qualifying series for all dogs entered, on a combination of the usable portions of Courses one and three. This series took place on Friday; then judges brought back the dogs they deemed most worthy to compete in a one hour, second series on Saturday. They called back eight dogs for the hour heat. The Champion emerged from the second series but it was necessary to hold a third series to determine the remaining placements. The final series was held at the viewing station on Saturday afternoon and placements were awarded there, immediately following the three dog series.
Judges for the National Amateur Championship were John Hott of Hoopeston, IL and Dan Long of Perryville, OH. They have been running and judging bird dogs for many years and have a wealth of knowledge. Both run their own pointers, Dan trains dogs for the public and has had great success with Vizslas and Weimaraners.
The Champion of the 2009 National Amateur is Brophy’s Unleashed, owned by Ken, Phil and Jennifer Ruff of Sycamore, IL. Lea was handled by Phil and scouted by Lucas Ruff.
Second place was withheld for lack of a performance worthy of Championship points.
Iskote Waagos placed third for his owner and handler, Spero Manson of Elbert, CO. Doc was scouted by Stan Noble.
Brophy’s Aretha Buckaroo, owned and handled by Lee Shoaf of Schaumberg, IL was placed fourth. She was scouted by Dave Tompkins.
Friday morning was overcast but spectators turned out in good numbers to watch from the dog wagon and the gallery.
Both dogs ran medium gun dog races. Richie pointed at 7 but even his thorough relocation could not produce the birds. Brie pointed a large covey of quail but broke on the shot to end her bid. Richie had no bird contact but ran a consistent race until time was called.
Lily cast off light footed and animated. Fred, the defending National Amateur Champion, displayed plenty of speed and drive. At 9 minutes, Fred pointed along the side of the road. Lily came in with no intention of backing and was picked up by her handler. Spero produced a single quail that Fred handled with perfect manners. Fred was sent on and was found standing with plenty of style at 23. A covey was produced with Fred showing perfect manners once again. Fred was still driving hard and making some big moves but Spero kept tabs on him for the duration. Fred’s performance earned him a spot in the second series.
Bailey headed into the cover at 7 and pointed with style. Steve flushed a covey of about 10 birds but unfortunately Bailey took several steps on the shot before Steve could get her stopped. Journey made game at 13 minutes and pointed. At least thirty birds flushed with Journey moving slightly to mark. Journey was standing again at 27, but started to relocate while her handler was flushing. She was stopped but appeared to be unsure of the situation, no birds were produced.
Brace 4 - Cedar Creek Karma (Liermann) - Brophy’s Hammerin Buckaroo (Shoaf)
These two dogs were off to the races. Hank pointed at the hedgerow at 17 but after several relocation attempts by handler, no birds were produced and he was sent on. Karma hunted far and wide, but there were no birds for this lady today. Karma’s hunt and race earned her a spot in the second series.
Both dogs started off well. Robin ran a good gun dog application but discovered no birds. Rachel ran at nice gun dog range and also went with no game contact. The Judges placed Rachel on a standby list for the second series but she was not called up.
Brace 6 - Brophy’s Mariah of Ballycroy (K. Ruff) - Highfeather Raise’n a Ruckus (Russell-Matsumoto)
Neither of these two dogs seemed to be on their game plan today. They ran the thirty minutes but found no birds.
There was a bit of a rough start with the dogs wanting to go the natural way of the course. Their handlers got them turned in the revised direction in short order. Both dogs were snappy moving but at times were directionally challenged. No birds were moved this brace. Shauna was placed on the standby list for the second series but was not needed.
Copper pointed at 15, by the road but it was not productive. Copper pointed again at 29 but it was a second non-productive. Ritha ran the course with a lot of snap and pop. Her effort turned up no game, but her race earned her a spot in the second series. Ritha completed the stake with a placement.
Both dogs were well away at the start, with Doc the wider ranging of the pair. Both were attractive and consistent in their type of application. No birds found by either dog but both earned spots in the second series by virtue of their quality races. Both eventually placed, with Lea being the winner of the stake.
Brace 11 - Rogan the Red (Boone) - Brophy’s Let’s Play Two (Johnson)
Both dogs cast off well but had some difficulty making the hard left turn. Ernie was lost at 19 and not recovered under judgment. Rogan ran a nice gun dog race and handled well for his owner, but birds were not to be found. Rogan’s performance earned him one of the spots in the second series.
Brace 12- Brophy’s Queen Buckaroo (Shoaf) - Cedar Creek Trixie (Liermann)
Both these dogs ran nice shooting dog races, hunting hard, digging into the cover with scouts sent multiple times. Unfortunately, both went birdless but their performances showed the judges enough to call them back to the second series.
Brace 1 - Iskote Ani-Mosh (Manson) - Cedar Creek Karma (Liermann)
Fred was going wide, showing from time to time before being lost late in the hour. Karma was handling kindly and running a big gun dog race. Karma had no luck finding quail.
Nice races were displayed by both dogs. Ritha pointed at 55 but no birds were produced. Doc showed some leg this day, going strong and big. As in the case of too many dogs in this series neither had bird contact.
Brace 3 - Brophy’s Unleashed (P. Ruff) - Rogan the Red (Boone)
Rogan pointed stylishly at 5 minutes but it turned out to be a non-productive. Lea put down an attractive, well applied race. She handled responsively. At 56, Lea pointed with Rogan backing. A portion of the covey was flushed by Phil before Rogan leaped in, putting the rest of them to flight. Lea handled Rogan’s leap past her in stride and the work was completed with all in order for her. Lea’s performance earned her the title.
Brace 4 - Brophy’s Queen Buckaroo (Shoaf) - Cedar Creek Trixie (Liermann)
Kate was found standing at 6 but it turned out to be a non-productive. Kate seemed to lose her enthusiasm after the non-productive and shortened up for the remainder of the hour. Trixie ran a really nice shooting dog race. She pointed birds at 11 with perfect manners and style. She continued running nice lines and pointed at 40 minutes but the only game seen was a rabbit. At 52, birds were in the air with the dog involved.
This series was held at the viewing station on what is typically course three. It was necessary to have the third series because of the extenuating circumstances which caused too much use of the same piece of ground to drive the pre-released coveys out of the area. Birds were planted on course for the dogs which were run one at a time as per the judges’ wishes. The eventual Champion had proven herself in the second series. The three dogs brought back were competing for second, third and fourth.
Cedar Creek Karma, owned and handled by Ed Liermann was the first to run. Karma pointed nicely, the bird was flushed, but Karma broke when the shot was fired, costing her a spot in the ribbons.
Iskote Waagos, owned and handled by Spero Manson was up next. He had a legitimate stop to flush on his first bird. He pointed the second one he encountered with fine style and manners.
Brophy’s Aretha Buckaroo, owned and handled by Lee Shoaf was the final dog to work. Ritha pointed her bird with moderate style and excellent manners.
The winners were announced putting an end to this stake. The National Amateur was not run in its typical or ideal fashion but the alternative was to cancel the entire stake. That would have been a far worse scenario for everyone who traveled so far and worked so hard all year to compete in Booneville.
Next year’s ISCA National Championship Field Trial is well along in its planning stages. The odds are against another flood, so mark your calendars for the 2010 week of the Irish, beginning Sunday, October 31. Y’all come now, ya hear?