By Bonnie Hidalgo
The Irish Setter Club of America National Field Trial returned to Booneville, Arkansas for the 34th running of this prestigious event. The dates were Sunday October 28th through Saturday November 3rd; a total of 66 Irish Setters competed in the four stakes that were offered.
The Blue Mountain Wildlife Demonstration Area has been the venue for the majority of the ISCA National Championship Field Trials. This year the grounds were in the best shape this scribe can remember. Grounds personnel have done a great deal of mowing and clearing. The courses are more open than they have been in recent history and it was easier in many places to put the birds to flight. There were several coveys moved on all three courses although not all of them were found every time through. Manager Brad Wells along with assistants Red Bailey and Adrian Lloyd are to be commended for their tremendous efforts on bringing these grounds back to order.
The Field Trial Committee secured an excellent panel of Judges for the event. Things went as planned for the first two stakes with Mike Cook of Gregory, MI and Terry Zygalinski from Watsonville, CA officiating the Open Derby Classic and Mike Aldrich of Nogal, NM with Mike Cook serving as the judges for the National Championship. Without regard to “the best laid plans”, Hurricane Sandy and the concluding German Shorthair Nationals threw a couple curve balls into the bullpen for the running of the National Futurity and the National Amateur Championship. Sandy prevented Jack Sanchez from leaving New York; he had been scheduled to Judge both the Futurity and the National Amateur Championship. Jack was replaced in both of these roles by Mike Cook who stayed beyond the conclusion of his scheduled assignments to help the club out of its debacle. Following the National Championship, Mike Aldrich had to return to the GSPCA Nationals to fulfill his commitment as Treasurer for that organization. Terry Zygalinski stepped up to the plate to replace Mr. Aldrich in judging the Futurity. Terry Chandler, Las Cruces, NM judged the National Amateur Championship as scheduled.
Trial Chairman Dave Tompkins had a terrific crew working with him to ensure that all aspects of the event were handled admirably. Mary Ann Gustafson again leant her time and expertise to the role of event secretary. Mary Ann is a stickler for the rules and always has her i’s dotted and her t’s crossed. She was well organized and it showed in the way things were handled in her “office”. Dave’s wife, Vickie gave him marvelous help including the reporting of the National Futurity and the National Amateur Championship. Royce Gustafson was on hand to lend support to Mary Ann. Stan Noble, Bob Geddeis and Ed Liermann covered the duties of the marshals. Ed Meyer, Ken Ruff and Steve Salt were available to assist wherever and whenever needed. Phil Ruff was official on-course photographer and videographer. His pictures and video were projected in the clubhouse during the evening gatherings and were a delightful addition to the event. The dog wagon and its refreshments and treats were under the guidance of Susan Noble and Linda Ruff with many helpers passing out the homemade cookies between braces. Helping deliver the goodies to the riding gallery in addition to Linda and Susan were Smokey Hiles, Vickie Tompkins, Becky Smith and Mary Pavelko.
The Open Derby Classic was run in its entirety on Sunday October 28, kicking off the 2012 National event. Officiating the Derby were Terry Zygalinski and Mike Cook. There were 14 starters in the hotly contested Derby Classic. They named, Brophy’s Sweet Darlin the winner. Eshod’s Firefly was second, Point to Dublin was third, Kennedy’s Missile Crisis was fourth and a Judge’s Award of Merit was given to Brophy’s Kingpin.
The main event, the ISCA National Championship commenced on Monday morning with Mike Aldrich and Mike Cook as judges. This stake drew a fine entry of 26 classy red dogs. Mary Ann Gustafson’s pride and joy won the NFC title; Flame’n Red Legacy was capably handled by Sherry Ebert. NAFC/FC/AFC Brophy’s Queen Buckaroo was second for owner and handler Lee Shoaf. FC/AFC Brownhaven’s Steel Magnolia, owned and handled by Jim Baker was third. No fourth place dog was named but a Judges Award of Merit went to Hey Lincoln Watch That Tail, owned by Mark Johnson and handled by Mark Smith.
The National Futurity was the next stake on the roster, a field of eight dogs came to the starting line for the viewing pleasure of Judges Mike Cook and Terry Zygalinski. They selected Hey Lincoln Watch That Tail as the winner. Lincoln is owned by Mark Johnson and was handled by Mark Smith. Brophy’s Let the Finn Begin was second for handler Bob Geddeis who co-owns him with Ken Ruff. Brophy’s Prairie Dawn placed third, handled by Phil Ruff for Ken & Linda Ruff. Brophy’s Pirates Gold was fourth for handler Greg Dixon and owners Mary Pavelko and Ken Ruff.
The ISCA National Amateur Championship with a field of 18 entries completed the trial. Judges Terry Chandler and Mike Cook picked FC/AFC Brownhaven’s Steel Magnolia as the new Champion. She was handled to the honor by her owner Jim Baker. Second in the Amateur Championship went to FC Brophy’s Rio Grande owned by Ed Meyer, Jay Zirkle and Sam McDonald. Rio was handled by Ed Meyer. NAFC/FC Brophy’s Shenanigans owned by Bob Geddeis and Ken Ruff was third under the guidance of Bob Geddeis. Fourth place was withheld.
The Irish Setter Club of America is extremely grateful for the generous support of its sponsors. Purina has been an excellent and loyal sponsor of this event. Purina was well represented by Roy Pelton who took the time to speak to the group about the success of the Purina Parent Club Partnership Program that has enabled Purina to aid the ISCA foundation with funds designated to canine health. This is a wonderful program in which dog people purchase Purina Pro-Plan, turn in the weight circles and receive not only monetary help for themselves but also for their breed. We thank Purina and all of its representatives for this awesome support. Sorely missed this year was Purina Rep Terry Trzcinski who was home with his lovely wife Kathy who is recovering from surgery. We wish them the best and a speedy recovery for Kathy!
The ISCA National is also sponsored by Sportdog; they provided product for the winners which were happily received. Sportdog is known for its combination E-collar/GPS Collar in which the training collar portion is detachable, making the collar field trial approved when it is removed. Thanks so much to Sportdog and to their personable Representative, Jim Morehouse.
The ISCA National Field Trial is a sociable gathering of red dog fanciers. Dinner parties are a tradition. Trial attendees were treated to a Saturday night pre-trial feast compliments of Chef Lee Shoaf. A scrumptious fajita feed was quickly devoured as field trial friends from across the nation renewed acquaintances. This has become an annual affair that is looked forward to by everyone that has ever tasted it! Many Thanks to Lee for his generosity and great cooking!
The ISCA National’s Official Welcome Party on Sunday evening, October 28 was in honor of the National Championship commencement the following morning. A delightful feast was created by Susan Noble, Vickie Tompkins and Stan Noble. The Championship judges, Mike Aldrich and Mike Cook were introduced and details pertinent to the start of the National Field Championship were announced by Trial Chairman Dave Tompkins.
Nightly dinners were served in the club house by Judi Buttons and crew from Monday through Friday. Judi and her staff also served breakfast and lunch in the clubhouse everyday during the event.
Open Derby Classic
Fourteen contenders came to the line in the Irish Setter Open Derby Classic beginning mid-morning on Sunday and completing with three braces after the lunch break. Judges Mike Cook and Terry Zygalinski selected four winners and named one Judges’ Award of Merit.
The Winner appeared in the last morning brace, Brophy’s Sweet Darlin’, AKA Zoey is owned and bred by Ken & Phil Ruff. Phil handled her to the win with the scouting help of his niece, Whitney Ostrom. Zoey had four contacts with quail, establishing point on two of them. She pointed her game with a high head and 12 O’ Clock tail. She showed an animated gait and tail carriage as she zipped across the course.
Coming in second was Eshod’s Firefly, owned by Ray Dohse and handled by Kim Trafton. Fly ran in the final brace of the stake. She was fast and exuberant on the ground. She hunted her edges with maturity and covered a great deal of ground. Fly had three contacts with quail, pointing twice with attractive style.
Point to Dublin was third for owner/handler Doug Boone. Dublin ran an attractive forward race and had undefined birdwork during his course work. He was called back to demonstrate his pointing ability and did so in impressive fashion
Fourth place went to Kennedy’s Missile Crisis owned and handled by Mark Johnson. Jack ran a nice race with bird contact. He was brought back to point and did so nicely.
The Judge’s Award of Merit went to Brophy’s Kingpin, owned and handled by Greg Dixon. “James” ran a nice race with undefined bird contact.
The National Championship Winners
Flame’n Red Legacy owned by Mary Ann Gustafson and handled by Sherry Ebert won this Championship with three nice finds in a steady, forward race. He appeared in the fourth brace; a detailed description of his winning performance can be found in the “Braces” section.
NAFC/FC/AFC Brophy’s Queen Buckaroo, owned and handled by Lee Shoaf placed second with an honest hunting effort that produced one nice find on quail. Her hour is described below; she appeared in the final brace of the stake.
FC/AFC Brownhaven’s Steel Magnolia, owned and handled by Jim Baker was third with one find. She performed in the third hour of this Championship.
4th place was withheld since there were no other dogs that combined suitable birdwork with desirable ground pattern.
Hey Lincoln Watch That Tail, owned by Mark Johnson and handled by Mark Smith received the Judges’ Award of Merit for an exceptional ground effort that went unrewarded by bird contact. Lincoln ran in the 8th brace.
NFC Flame’n Red Legacy
National Championship Braces
Eshod’s Rosie O’Floin (“Rosie”, Robert & Tracy Doran owners, Kim Trafton handler) with Brophy’s Need a Bentley (“Bentley”, Mary Pavelko & Ken Ruff owners, Greg Dixon handler) were turned loose on Monday morning. The temperature was 29 degrees, skies were clear and frost lay heavy on the grass. These two were a bit lateral and dug into the cover. Bentley was the more forward of the two. At 36 Bentley was not pleasing his handler and was picked up. Rosie was ordered up for being absent.
Brophy’s Miss Cedar Point (“Cedar”, Doug & Becca Boone owners, Tim Hidalgo handler) with Brownhaven the Huntress (“Honey”, Georgia Brown owner, and Ronnie Sale handler) drew course two, they were forward from the start. Cedar pointed on the right edge at 27 but no birds were produced. Honey hunted hard through the back loop, digging into the cover and going missing for a few moments. Cedar shortened in application as the hour progressed. Honey found herself in the middle of a huge covey at 55 and did not handle it correctly. Cedar crossed the road forward and was seen going into the cover at 59, birds came out but she was standing steady.
NFC/FC Brophy’s Sandcreek John Galt (“Galt”, Ken & Linda Ruff owners, Ken Ruff handler) and FC/AFC Brownhaven Steel Magnolia (“Rachel”) Jim Baker owner & handler) Rachel had a brief absence early. At 26 she scored a good find with all in order just prior to Mario’s Hill. Rachel and her entourage caught the front at 42. Galt ran nice from the start, staying forward all the way. He had an altercation with quail at 47 and was picked up. Rachel finished her hour forward.
Brophy’s Riding High (“Jerry Jeff”, owned by Dave & Vickie Tompkins, handled by Dave) with Flame’n Red Legacy (“EJ”, Mary Ann Gustafson owner, Sherry Ebert handler) were the first brace after lunch on Monday. Both dogs were strong and forward from the start. EJ pointed at 7 on the knoll to the right, all was in order. He pointed again at 14; relocation was necessary. After an attempt to locate the bird, Ebert called the dog in for water; as EJ came to her he flushed the bird and stopped. At 23, EJ pointed again, on the edge along 109 hwy. Sherry called flight of birds but they were not seen officially. EJ caught the front past Lick Creek at 30 and immediately pointed along the Egyptian wheat; this proved unproductive and he was taken on at 36. Around the corner into the big field, EJ pointed again with birds produced at 42 for the stylish and mannerly dog. Jerry Jeff came on this scene sans handler and failed to back. EJ pointed again at 47 but no birds were found. EJ’s third find came at 56 and it was a nice covey find, handled perfectly. Flame’n Red Legacy finished his hour to the front.
FC/AFC Brophy’s Butler Buckaroo (“Rhett”, Lee Shoaf owner, Greg Dixon handler) and Russell’s Jack of All Trades (“Jack”, Susan Russell owner, Trena Cardwell handler) Jack was forward but shortened by 30. Rhett ran a strong forward race. His only game contact was a mannerly stop to flush on quail at 39.
FC Cedar Creek Skyliner (“Skyliner”, owned & handled by Ed Liermann) with Firefly’s Solid Dollar (“Sol”, Carl Sutton owner, RJ Marquardt handler) both dogs were fast moving and far reaching. Point was called for Sol at 17, a coyote was observed leaving the scene and no birds were produced. Sol vanished for awhile after Mario’s Hill. Skyliner was nicely forward. Skyliner scored a nice covey find but unfortunately also carded two barren stands during his hour. Sol had an absence of several minutes before Scout Zygalinski was heard calling point at 39. The dog had let down and was relocated, eventually finding a single. Sol had a nonproductive on the way to the front at 45. Both dogs finished forward.
Russell’s Joseph’s Journey (“Joey”, Matt & Wendy Czarnecki & Susan Russell owners, Trena Cardwell handler) ran with NAFC/FC Brophy’s Shenanigans (“Shauna”, Bob Geddeis & Ken Ruff owners, Bob Geddeis handler). It was a frosty Tuesday morning but it warmed up quickly. Joey was not suiting and was up at 17. Shauna pointed stylishly at 44 but it was an unproductive. Her ground pattern was marred by a tendency to dig into the cover which caused her to come in from behind a few times.
Comanche Moon (“Gus”, James Baker owner & handler with Hey Lincoln Watch That Tail (“Lincoln”, Mark Johnson owner, Mark Smith handler) Gus made some strong forward moves and was lost early, the tracker was out by 22. Lincoln ran a very nice race, took his edges and stayed with them. He was cooperative in his handling. He took the edge of the big field by old 109 like a big dog but unfortunately the birds were not home. This was possibly the best race of the stake but he went without bird contact.
Brownhaven Ballistic (“Billy Boy”, Georgia Brown & Sherry Ebert owners, Sherry Ebert handler) with Pauncefoot Promises to Keep (“Sorrel”, Steve Salt & Ken Ruff owners, Greg Dixon handler) Billy pointed just before Mario’s Hill at 18 but released himself during the flush attempt and was done. Sorrel was forward all the way to Lick Creek where he suffered an absence of several minutes. He was returned to the front just beyond Gas Well Hill. At 38 he had a mishap with a small covey of birds and was picked up.
FC Brophy’s Rio Grande (“Rio”, Ed Meyer, Jay Zirkle & Sam McDonald owners, Ed Meyer handler) with Brophy’s Frequent Flyer (“Robin”, Stan & Susan Noble & Charles Blackbourn owners, Greg Dixon handler) Robin had a good find at the feed strip on the right at 14. She ran a forward pattern. Both Rio and Robin were in motion during the flush of a covey before the Bear Trap at 45 and were picked up.
Setter Downs Brown Sugar (“Sugar”, Bill Rhodes owner, Ronnie Sale handler) with Vabrill Esmeralda Bright Star (“Esme”, Matt & Wendy Czarnecki owners, and Matt Czarnecki handler) Esme ran a handy, forward race. She jumped into the cover at 20 and flushed a covey to end her bid. Sugar ran a fairly nice race but had a close encounter of the wrong kind with quail at 28.
Brophy’s Lil Paprika (“Lily”, Corinne & Phil Ruff owners, Whitney Ostrom handler) with Brownhaven the Tigress (“Tyge”, Georgia Brown & Bill Rhodes owners, and Ronnie Sale handler) Lily was handled by a youth who is the Runner-up Junior Handler of the Year in the State of Illinois. Tyge was independent and dug into the cover. Lily came up from behind a few times. Neither dog found game; they were both picked up before time was called.
Cedar Creek Gem (“Gem”, Ed Liermann owner & handler) and NAFC/FC/AFC Brophy’s Queen Buckaroo (“Kate”, owned & handled by Lee Shoaf) ran on Wednesday morning as the finale of the National Championship. This was a fast paced brace. Kate scored a find with perfect manners and high style at 28. At 55 both dogs were stopped and pointing into the cover. Gem corrected on and was picked up for leaving an apparent back. Kate was relocated and then sent on. Kate’s race was not wide but she hunted diligently for the hour and was always responsive to her handler’s wishes.
ISCA NFC Winners
ISCA Derby Winners
The ISCA National Field Futurity and National Amateur Championship
By Vickie Tompkins
2012 National Futurity Placements
1st – Hey Lincoln Watch That Tail, (Lincoln) owned by Mark Johnson and handled by Mark Smith
2nd – Brophy’s Let the Finn Begin, (Finn) owned by Bob Geddeis & Ken Ruff, handled by Bob Geddeis.
3rd – Brophy’s Prairie Dawn, (Dawn) owned by Ken & Linda Ruff, handled by Phil Ruff.
4th – Brophy’s Pirates Gold (Ragnar) owned by Mary Pavelko & Ken Ruff, handled by Greg Dixon.
The Futurity was a stake with many twists and turns this year. The Committee decided to do second series birdwork from horseback at the end of Course 3 where the dog wagon picks up at the end of the day. Four dogs were called back for the second series: Lincoln, Finn, Dawn and Ragnar. Following the second series, the Judges decided the performances were too close between Lincoln and Finn and opted for a third series in which Lincoln and Finn were put down together in a run-off third series.
Brophy’s I Love Paris (Paris) Handler Greg Dixon; Scout Dave Tompkins
Hey Lincoln Watch That Tail (Lincoln) Handler Mark Smith; Scout Mark Johnson
These two dogs were drawn to run on Course 1. They were cast off under clear skies around 9AM. Paris seemed somewhat intimidated by the grounds and had difficulty getting lined out. She finished the 30 minutes but came up empty in the bird department. Lincoln set off fast and was lost in left corner of course at 5; scout brought him back around and he ran a nice shooting dog race for the remainder of the brace but came up birdless. He was called back for a second series for birdwork and pointed his bird with style. Following the second series, it was determined there would be a run-off between Lincoln and Finn from Brace 3. In the run-off Lincoln started off front and fast making casts to the lines and flowing forward. His application earned him the Futurity winner’s crown for 2012.
Brophy’s Pirates Gold (Ragnar) Handler Greg Dixon; Scout Dave Tompkins
Brophy’s Prairie Dawn (Dawn) Handler Phil Ruff; Scout Whitney Ostrom
Both dogs started off with a fast gun dog pace on the second half of course 1. Ragnar hit edges and used the wind but came up birdless at the end of thirty. Dawn handled kindly for her handler, going to likely areas for birds but she, too, came up birdless at the end of thirty. Both dogs were called back for a second series for birdwork and pointed with style. Their performances earned them ribbons; Third for Dawn and Fourth for Ragnar.
Russell’s Make Mine Meg (Meg) Handler Trena Cardwell; Scout Sarah Jobe
Brophy’s Let the Finn Begin (Finn) Handler Bob Geddeis; Scout Phil Ruff
These dogs cast off at the start of Course 3. Meg ran a forward gun dog race getting a little flat in the middle but seeming to pick up her pace and finishing strong and front without birds. Finn ran a fast gun dog to shooting dog race diving into cover and hunting hard. Scout was sent many times and Finn was never lost. He finished the entire 30 minutes with great stamina and drive. Like others before him, no birds on course were found. His performance earned him a callback for birdwork in which he pointed with style and broke dog manners. Following the second series, Finn was called back for a run-off with Lincoln. In the run-off, Finn started off fast and strong but quickly went into the woods. His hard hunting had him coming up from behind and the judges decided to put him in second place.
Brophy’s Silver Lining (Silvia) Handler Greg Dixon; Scout Dave Tompkins
Brophy’s Tootsie Rolls (Tootsie) Handler Whitney Ostrom; Scout Phil Ruff
These dogs cast off from the viewing station with a fast gun dog to shooting dog race but the woods, heavy cover, and multiple turns quickly took its toll on them. Both handlers sent scouts multiple times and had difficulty getting the dogs front and forward. They both ended the 30 minutes birdless.
2012 National Amateur Championship Placements
1st – FC/AFC Brownhaven Steel Magnolia, (Rachel) owned and handled by Jim Baker.
2nd – FC Brophy’s Rio Grande, (Rio) handled by Ed Meyer for owners, Ed Meyer, Jay Zirkle and Sam McDonald.
3rd – NAFC/FC Brophy’s Shenanigans, (Shauna) owned by Bob Geddeis and Ken Ruff and handled by Bob Geddeis.
4th – WITHHELD
The Amateur Championship started on Friday, November 2nd; the hottest day of the week. We were used to seeing frost at breakaway early in the week, but not to be for the Amateur Championship. In fact, temperatures broke a 1916 record at 3:30 PM with a hot 92 degrees!
Brophy’s Let the Finn Begin (Finn) Handler Bob Geddeis; Scout Phil Ruff
Rogan the Red (Rogan) Handler Doug Boone; Scout Ed Liermann
Finn started off with a short to medium gun dog race but at the 10 minute mark, it seemed apparent to his handler that the three series of competition in the Futurity had taken a toll on Finn and he opted to pick up. Rogan ran a short gun dog race and ended his brace birdless.
Flame’n Red Legacy (EJ) Handler MaryAnn Gustafson; Scout Jim Baker
Russell’s Jack of All Trades (Jack) Handler Kelli Aiken; Scout Ed Liermann
EJ ran a solid fast shooting dog race requiring the scout to be sent many times. He continually popped out in front until 54 when he was out of pocket and not returned to judgment. Jack seemed to be a happy contender with a forward gun dog race. At 15 he pointed but had happy feet and took a few too many steps for his handler who opted to end his brace.
Brophy’s Rio Grande (Rio) Handler Ed Meyer; Scout Dave Tompkins
Comanche Moon (Gus) Handler Jim Baker; Scout Mary Ann Gustafson
Rio ran a good gun dog race following lines and handling kindly. He was rewarded with a find at 19 that he handled with perfect manners and style. He continued flowing around the course and finished his 60 minutes with a nice cast and strong follow-through along the lines of the last bowl on course 3. His performance earned him the number 2 spot in the Amateur Championship. Gus started out fast and strong digging into the woods and cover. Scout was already sent at 3 and Gus returned to the front at 8 but immediately dug back into the woods. Handler decided at 11 that was enough hunting in the woods and picked him up.
Cedar Creek Skyliner (Skyliner) Handler Ed Liermann; Scout Mark Johnson
Brophy’s Sandcreek John Galt (Galt) Handler Ken Ruff; Scout Phil Ruff
Both these dogs ran a fast championship quality race in spite of the extreme heat. They both hunted lines and flowed around the course. Skyliner had a non-productive at 49 and Galt had one at 52. Unfortunately, both dogs finished their brace without birds.
Pauncefoot Promises to Keep (Sorrel) Handler Steve Salt; Scout Mark Johnson
Brophy’s Shenanigans (Shauna) Handler Bob Geddeis; Scout Phil Ruff
Sorrel started off on the right side of course with a medium gun dog race. However, by 30 the extreme heat was taking its toll on him and his handler opted to pick up. Shauna started off the brace with a beautiful find at 3 minutes. She continued to hunt getting a little flat in the middle more than likely due to the heat. She continued along the course and had another find at 54 with perfect manners and style. Her performance earned her the number three spot in the Amateur Championship.
Brophy’s Miss Cedar Point (Cedar) Handler Doug Boone; Scout Ed Liermann
Brophy’s Riding High (Jerry Jeff) Handler Dave Tompkins; Scout Vickie Tompkins
These two dogs cast off in the heat of the day on Course 3. Cedar started on the left side of the course and Jerry Jeff on the right. Cedar seemed to settle into a gun dog hunting application and finished the brace birdless. Jerry Jeff was fast on the ground digging hard into the woods and cover with scout being sent many times. He would appear front only to disappear once again in the cover. At 53, handler opted to pick him up and end his time in the woods.
Vabrill Esmeralda Bright Star (Esme) Handler Matt Czarnecki; Scout Mark Johnson
Brophy’s Butler Buckaroo (Rhett) Handler Lee Shoaf; Scout Heather
Esme ran a gun dog race hitting lines and cover but bumped a huge bird covey at 15 to end her time on the ground. Rhett ran a fast gun dog race digging into cover with scout being sent multiple times. At 40, he had been out of pocket and tracker was called for by handler to end Rhett’s bid for a placement.
Brophy’s Lil’ Paprika (Lily) Handler Whitney Ostrom; Scout Phil Ruff
Brownhaven’s Steel Magnolia (Handler Jim Baker; Scout Mary Ann Gustafson
Lily started off on course 2 with a short gun dog race. She didn’t seem to be focused on her hunting today and her handler took her up at 15. Rachel ran a beautiful shooting dog race, following lines, digging into cover and continually popping out up front. Scout was sent at 10 but handler found her standing at 15. As her handler rode towards her, 2 to 3 birds lifted along the side of the road. As handler dismounted and started to his dog, 12 to 15 more birds lifted. When the Handler fired and continued towards her, another 12 to 15 birds lifted. Still not at his dog’s side, handler continued forward only to have another 12 to 15 more birds lift and go directly over Rachel’s head. Through all of this, Rachel held high and tight and was crowned this year’s National Amateur Champion.
Cedar Creek Gem (Gem) Handler Ed Liermann; Scout Mark Johnson
Brophy’s Frequent Flyer (Robin) Handler Ken Ruff; Scout Phil Ruff
Gem started out fast and forward continuing to dig in and hunt. Unfortunately she out ran her nose and bumped a covey at 25 to end her time on the ground. Robin started on Course 3 but just could not seem to get lined out. Could be she was looking for her usual professional handler, Greg Dixon. At 15, Ken decided she was not making any money in this race and opted to pick her up.