The Irish Setter Club of America National Field Trial

By Bonnie Hidalgo

The 35th renewal of the Irish Setter Club of America National Field Trial was held at Blue Mountain WDA near Booneville, Arkansas from Sunday October 27th through Saturday November 2nd.  A total of 66 Irish Setters competed in the four stakes that were offered, an identical number to the entry of 2012.

The Blue Mountain Wildlife Demonstration Area has been the venue for the majority of the ISCA National Championship Field Trials.  The grounds were in excellent condition; WDA personnel have done an awesome job of mowing and clearing, making the courses more open than ever before.  Manager Brad Wells along with assistants Red Bailey and Adrian Lloyd are to be commended for their work.  There were large coveys moved on all three courses although there were some braces that went without bird contact.  The National Field Trial Committee ordered a supplemental bird release for the Wednesday prior to the event and it obviously improved the numbers of birds located during the trial.

The Field Trial Committee, led by Chairman Ed Liermann, secured an excellent panel of Judges for the event.  Larry McAnally and Jerry Oswalt judged the Open Derby Classic.  Larry is from Booneville, AR and was formerly the manager of these Blue Mountain trial grounds.  Jerry is from nearby Magazine, AR.  Both gentlemen have been involved with bird dogs and hunting for most of their lives.  Serving as the judges for the National Championship were John Hott, Hoopeston, IL and Tim Schillereff of Portland, OR.  John campaigns his pointers in field trials when not working as manager of the Middle Fork Conservation area in Illinois.  Tim trains all breeds of bird dogs but owns and trials quite successfully with pointers.  These men have done a lot of judging over the years and know what it takes to win a class event like this one.  Their decision was well received.  The National Field Futurity judges were Gene Moseley of Waller, TX and John Hott.  Gene is a well known German Shorthaired pointer owner and handler and is a popular judge.  Dr. Robert Rankin from Oklahoma City, OK joined Gene in judging the National Amateur Championship.  Bob is highly respected in field trial circles as a competitor and judge.  He has enjoyed success with his Brittanys and his all age pointers.  These judges were attentive and rendered popular decisions.

Chairman Ed Liermann worked well with his crew to ensure that all aspects of the event were handled admirably.  Vickie Tompkins, thanks to her prior experience was a great help to Ed in her duties as event secretary.  She was well organized and it showed in the way things were handled.  Stan Noble, Phil Ruff and Dave Tompkins covered the duties of the marshals.  Missing from the ranks of marshals was Bob Geddeis who we hope to have back in that capacity next year.  Ed Meyer, Steve Salt, Royce Gustafson, Mary Ann Gustafson and Jim Baker 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 terrific addition to the event.  Ann and Bill Eichenberger were in charge of checking Coggins papers on all horses that came 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, Connie Vanacore, Karolynne McAteer, Mary Pavelko, Sam MacDonald and Terry Trzcinski.

The Open Derby Classic was run in its entirety on Sunday October 28, kicking off the 2012 National event.  Officiating the Derby were Larry McAnally and Jerry Oswalt.  There were ten entries with nine starters in the Derby Classic.  They named Cedar Creek Franklin’s Better Half the winner.  He was handled by his owner, Mark Johnson.  Oakleaf’s Quite Man placed second for owner Jim Baker.  He was handled by Sherry Ebert.  Brophy’s Danny of Ballycroy came in third for owners Ken Ruff and Connie Vanacore.  Danny was very capably handled by sixteen year old Whitney Ostrum.  Lachlanmoor’s Keliegh Green placed fourth.  She is owned by Kari and Justin Hefley and Dave Tompkins.  Dave handled her in this stake.

Judges Moseley and Hott

The premier stake, the ISCA National Championship commenced on Monday morning with Tim Schillereff and John Hott in the judges saddles.  This stake drew a fine entry of twenty-four red dogs.  Cedar Creek Talon, a male owned and handled by Ed Liermann captured the title.  Talon is very likely the youngest dog to ever win this Championship, being less than two years of age.  Last year’s Champion gave Talon a run for the money, NFC/AFC Flame’N Red Legacy placed second.  This male is owned by Mary Ann Gustafson and was handled by Sherry Ebert.  Cedar Creek Gem, a female, owned and handled by Ed Liermann was named third.  Brownhaven Ballistic, a male owned by Georgia Brown and Sherry Ebert was handled to fourth place by Sherry.

The National Futurity was the next stake on the roster, a field of twelve came to the starting line for the competition.  Judges John Hott and Gene Moseley selected Brophy’s Sweet Darlin’ to be the winner.  She is owned and bred by Ken and Phil Ruff with Phil as handler.  Coming in second in this hotly contended stake was Brophy’s Kingpin, a littermate to the winner, owned by Greg Dixon & Mary Pavelko.  Greg Dixon was the handler.  Russell’s New Day owned and bred by Susan Russell, Carrie Michael & Trena Cardwell, placed third.  Trena Cardwell handled her.  Jefferson’s Louisiana Purchase also a littermate to the winner was fourth.  He is owned by Mark Johnson and Greg Dixon, and was handled by Mark Johnson.

The ISCA National Amateur Championship with a field of twenty entries completed the trial.  Judges Gene Moseley and Dr. Robert Rankin picked Brophy’s Riding High as the Champion.  “Jerry Jeff” is owned by Dave and Vickie Tompkins and Ken Ruff.  He was handled to the honor by Dave.  Second in the Amateur Championship went to Setter Downs Brown Sugar owned and handled by Bill Rhodes.  NFC Cedar Creek Talon owned and handled by Ed Liermann was third.  Fourth place was Cedar Creek Skyliner, also owned and handled by Ed Liermann.

Halloween Fun

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 represented by their likeable Rep Terry Trzcinski.  Terry is very helpful to the club; he provides jackets for judges’ gifts as well as ensuring that the winners receive certificates for Pro Plan Performance Dog Food compliments of Purina.  We thank Purina and all of its representatives for this fantastic support.

Sportdog is also a sponsor of the ISCA National; 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 who was on hand for much of the trial.

The ISCA National Field Trial is a sociable gathering; dinner parties are a tradition.  Trial attendees were treated to a Saturday night fajita feast compliments of Mark Johnson, Ann Eichenberger and Mark Smith who stepped up to cover for Lee Shoaf who originated the tradition.  Lee was unable to attend this year due to a family emergency and was missed by all.  Ann also contributed the use of her grill. The ISCA National’s Official Welcome Party on Sunday evening 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, Tim Schillereff and John Hott were introduced and details pertinent to the start of the National Field Championship were announced by Trial Chairman Ed Liermann.

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

Sunday morning started with rain at 6 am which tapered off to overcast skies with occasional misting rain by the 9am start time.  The temperature was 61 degrees at the onset and remained fairly steady throughout the course of the stake.  Judges Larry McAnally and Jerry Oswalt were ready to observe the performances; the starting point was from the roadway just beyond the usual course 1 starting area.

Brace 1

Point To Dublin (Doug & Becca Boone owners; Tim Hidalgo handler) was braced with Brophy’s Fearless Ziva (Ken & Phil Ruff owners; Whitney Ostrum handler).  Ziva didn’t have her game face on today and was up early.  Dublin ran a nice forward race.  He pointed a loaded bird box that was forgotten on course.  Dublin was put on standby for a callback.

Brace 2

Lachlanmoor’s Keliegh Green (Kari & Justin Hefley and Dave Tompkins owners, Dave Tompkins handler) was paired with Oakleaf’s Quite Man (Jim Baker owner; Sherry Ebert handler).  Both dogs ran attractively.  Kelly was fast and fancy at medium range.  Murphy showed a mature forward pattern.  He pointed staunchly at 20, allowing his handler to flush and withstanding his bracemate going past him to help flush the birds.  Kelly pointed in the brush a couple times before the birds went up and this gained her a callback bid.

Brace 3

Russell’s Punchline (Susan Russell owner; Trena Cardwell handler) and Brophy’s Danny of Ballycroy (Ken Ruff and Connie Vanacore owners; Whitney Ostrum handler) made nice moves and showed good ground speed.  Danny was more consistent in his pattern.  Danny found and pointed birds with style.

Brace 4

Cedar Creek Franklin’s Better Half (Mark Johnson owner and handler) ran as a bye dog since Russell’s Occupy The Moment (Lisa Moore, owner) was scratched.  Ellie broke fast and forward.  She hunted the cover unhindered by the briars.  She was absent for a bit and came up from behind.  The next time she was absent for a few minutes she showed to the front.  Ellie showed great style in running but on point she was an absolute knockout.  Head and tail held high, she pointed with extreme intensity.  Her handle was a bit rough and she became hard to manage after her birdwork but she eventually came forward and finished going away.

Brace 5

Brophy’s Dream of Ballycroy (Ken Ruff and Connie Vanacore owners; Kathryn Ruff handler) ran with Russell’s Optimistic (Trena Cardwell) to complete the running of the Derby stake.  They were consistently forward but no birds were located this brace.  Junior handler, Kathryn Ruff did an excellent job of guiding her dog.

Upon completion of the running the judges announced a callback for fourth place.  They called back Lachlanmoor’s Keliegh Green (Dave Tompkins) and put Point To Dublin (Tim Hidalgo), on standby.  Kelly found and pointed her bird with style and intensity.  She displayed better than the Derby minimum pointing requirement and the judges said they did not to see Dublin.

Derby Placements:

1st – Cedar Creek Franklin’s Better Half, owned and handled by Mark Johnson

2nd – Oakleaf’s Quite Man, owned by Jim Baker and handled by Sherry Ebert)

3rd – Brophy’s Danny of Ballycroy, owned by Ken Ruff and Connie Vanacore and handled by Whitney Ostrum

4th – Lachlanmoor’s Keliegh Green, owned by Kari Hefley, Justin Hefley and Dave Tompkins and handled by Dave Tompkins

Derby winners

National Championship

The new Champion, Cedar Creek Talon is a stylish dog who will turn two in January 2014.  It is an incredible accomplishment for one so young to earn the title of National Field Champion.  The Runner-up Champion is a coming eight-year old who was last year’s winner of this coveted title, NFC/FC Flame’N Red Legacy.  Cedar Creek Gem is coming 4 and this was her first Championship placement.  While she didn’t show the spunk and range that the top two dogs did, she impressed with an easy flowing, kind handling performance which was very close to an ideal gun dog race.  Brownhaven Ballistic is coming 6; he had plenty of spunk and range but was at times directionally challenged; this likely kept him from placing higher than fourth.  All of these dogs were beyond reproach on their birds just as winners of this caliber stake must be.

Judges Tim Schillereff and John Hott had their work cut out for them.  There were a great number of dogs that had good things going for them but for various reasons things didn’t work out.  Some dogs ran well but found no birds.  Some dogs ran well and found more birds than they could properly handle.  Some dogs were winning the trial hard when they made unforgiveable errors late in the hour.  The course with the most birds found was Course 2.  Birds were pointed all four times that this course was covered in the National Championship.  Three of the four placements were dogs that competed on Course 2.  There were no birds successfully pointed on course 3 during this stake.  To be fair it was the course that was used the least due to dogs being lost or picked up early.  The dogs that placed turned in clean, attractive performances.  All performances are described in the order they were braced; the braces the winners appeared in are referenced.


1st – Cedar Creek Talon, male, owned and handled by Ed Liermann (Brace 11)

2nd – NFC/AFC Flame’N Red Legacy, male, owned by Mary Ann Gustafson and handled by Sherry Ebert (Brace 5)

3rd – Cedar Creek Gem, female, owned and handled by Ed Liermann (Brace 13)

4th – Brownhaven Ballistic, male, owned by Georgia Brown & Sherry Ebert and handled by Sherry Ebert (Brace 2)

National Championship winners

Brace 1

Vabril Esmeralda Bright Star (aka Esme; Matt& Wendy Czarnecki, owners; Trena Cardwell, handler) and Brophy’s Let the Finn Begin (aka Finn; Bob Geddeis & Ken Ruff, owners; Greg Dixon, handler) were braced together to start the premiere stake of the event.  Finn was lost ten minutes into the hour; his handler called for the tracker at 23.  Esme was handy but consistently forward from the start.  She was picked up at 29.

Brace 2

Kennedy’s Missile Crisis (aka Jack; Mark Johnson, owner & handler) ran with Brownhaven Ballistic (aka Billy; Georgia Brown & Sherry Ebert, owners; Sherry Ebert, handler).  Jack was lost shortly after the breakaway and not seen again under judgment.  Billy was also gone off the breakaway but returned to the front at 9.  Billy ran a reasonable race with one find which occurred just out of the back corner loop at 53.  He finished on the right edge; he hunted hard the entire hour.

Brace 3

Brophy’s Need A Bentley (aka Bentley; Mary Pavelko & Ken Ruff, owners; Greg Dixon, handler) with Chukarhill Burn Notice (aka Tate; Trena Cardwell, owner & handler) appeared in the third brace on Monday morning.  Bentley started well but the flow of his pattern diminished and he was picked up at 35.  Tate made some nice moves, staying predominantly forward but he wasn’t setting the world on fire so his handler took him up at 40.

Brace 4

Firefly’s Solid Dollar (aka Sol; Carl Sutton, owner; Roy Smith, handler) ran as a bye since his bracemate came in season and was dropped to the end of the stake.  Sol started well, hunted his edges and handled kindly but found no birds.

Brace 5

NFC/FC Brophy’s Sandcreek John Galt (aka Galt; Ken Ruff & Lucas Ruff, owners; Greg Dixon, handler) was braced with NFC/FC Flame’N Red legacy (aka E.J.; Mary Ann Gustafson, owner; Sherry Ebert, handler).  Galt ran a pretty, forward race making some quality moves but ended his bid at 20 when he got too close to a covey.  E.J. ran a good forward race, making some nice, smart hunting moves.  He scored a covey find at 30, showing excellent manners as the birds flew over his head.  EJ suffered an unproductive stand just before time was called.

Brace 6

Vabrill Cancion Bright Star (aka Song; Matt & Wendy Czarnecki, owners; Trena Cardwell, handler) and FC/AFC Cedar Creek Skyliner (aka Skyliner; Ed Liermann, owner & handler) completed the first day’s running.  Song was steadily forward and showed good ground speed.  By 38, she had found no birds and her handler opted to pick up.  Skyliner was strong ranging in a predominantly forward pattern.  Skyliner pointed without success at 47; a second barren stand at 55 ended his bid for the title.

Brace 7

Brophy’s Riding High (aka Jerry Jeff, Dave & Vickie Tompkins and Ken Ruff, owners; Dave Tompkins handler) and Setter Downs Brown Sugar (aka Sugar; Bill Rhodes, owner & handler) were the first brace on Tuesday morning.  The skies were threatening rain and a good breeze was up but the day was already warm.  A storm was predicted for the afternoon and perhaps that caused the birds to feed for they were out and about this morning.  Jerry Jeff ran a nice race, mainly forward and hunting independently.  Just past Lick Creek at 24, he made his way into the middle of a covey and was picked up.  Sugar scored a nice find at 26 and followed it up with another one at 38, showing intensity along with excellent style and manners.  She carded an unproductive at 43.  At 52 she had a close encounter of the wrong kind with “Texas Field Larks”, (aka Quail) and was picked up.

Brace 8

Pauncefoot Promises to Keep (aka Sorrel; Stephen Salt and Ken Ruff, owners; Greg Dixon, handler) with Hey Lincoln Watch That Tail (aka Lincoln; Mark Johnson, owner; Mark Smith, handler) turned loose across the bridge on course 2.  Sorrel broke fast forward while Lincoln took the edge on the right and followed it forward.  Point was called for him at 2 and he stood with majestic style until the birds flushed.  Lincoln went with the covey.  His owner Mark Johnson was scouting and never got to see any of it because his stirrup leather broke when he went to mount after releasing the dog.  Ed Liermann stopped to lend a hand and his horse took off, racing to the front with Phil Ruff riding to apprehend him.  Sorrel ran a good race, staying nicely forward and making good moves.  In the back loop of course two at 38, he seemed to fade and his handler opted to put him on the wagon.

Brace 9

Brophy’s Rio Grande (aka Rio; Ed Meyer, Jay Zirkle and Sam McDonald, owners; Ed Meyer, handler) and Brownhaven The Tigress (aka Tyge; Georgia Brown, owner; Bill Rhodes, handler) were the final brace on Tuesday morning.  Rio ran a very attractive race.  Although he got out of pocket at 44, Rio returned to the front at 51 where he remained until time. Tyge was fleet of foot and hunted the cover hard; at times this put her behind.  Both dogs completed the hour without bird contact.

Brace 10

Brownhaven The Huntress (aka Honey; Georgia Brown, owner; Bill Rhodes, handler) with FC/AFC Brophy’s Butler Buckaroo (aka Rhett; Lee Shoaf, owner; Greg Dixon, handler)started the afternoon’s running.  It was warm and humid; a few drops of rain fell as the brace began.  Honey hunted in the cover, digging into the woods.  She had a few absences during her hour and found no birds.  Rhett ran a fine, forward race, hunting and running smartly. At 46, he found a covey but failed to handle them properly.

Brace 11

Cedar Creek Talon (aka Talon; Ed Liermann, owner & handler) and Heiligsepp’s Blick (aka Blick; Rich Strumpf, owner; Roy Smith, handler) drew course #2.  Talon broke straight forward, Blick hunted the right edge all the way around to the front.  Talon scored a find at 13; he showed exceptional style on both ends.  The covey flushed with all in order for the young dog.  Both dogs were fast forward toward the river and Old 109.  Across Old 109, on the right line, they were found standing shoulder to shoulder in a divided find at 20, all in apparent good order as the birds were put up and their handlers fired.  Moments later on the edge to the left, Talon stopped to the flush of a pair of quail.  Blick coming along a moment later missed that action but slammed into a stylish point on the covey.  Liermann thinking both dogs had stopped to flush fired his gun, causing the covey in front of Blick to rise.  Blick stood mannerly.  Ed took his dog forward from there; Blick hunted the edges forward, working independently but heeding his handler’s commands.  This dog was impressive.  He made a terrific move through the cover in the far back corner and showed nicely to the front on the other side. Both dogs were exciting to watch; the gallery knew that the two of them were “getting something done”.  Blick showed interest in a turtle and had to be taken on at 49.  Ed was forward with Talon.  At 54, Blick encountered a covey at the road crossing and failed to handle them thus ending a very competitive bid for the title.  Ed took Talon forward where they remained until the judges called time.

Brace 12

Comanche Moon (aka Gus; Jim Baker, owner & handler) ran with Brophy’s Kingpin (aka James; Greg Dixon and Mary Pavelko, owners; Greg Dixon, handler) Gus was lost early.  James was picked up at 20 as he wasn’t turning in his expected performance.

Brace 13

Cedar Creek Gem (aka Gem; Ed Liermann, owner & handler) being in season ran as a bye at the end of the stake and was the only dog to run on Wednesday.  This was a warm and humid morning.  Gem ran a smooth gun dog type race with a kind handle.  Her handler would set her up to run an edge and when she completed it she asked him for direction before making her next move.  Just past Lick Creek at 20 she pointed on the edge of a thicket.  She indicated uncertainty and Ed waved it off, asking her to check it out.  She moved up a couple steps and locked up.  Her covey was successfully flushed with all in good order.  She ran the hour but was slower in the closing moments.

National Field Futurity

The Futurity is a breeders’ stake.  All entrants are from litters nominated for this futurity shortly after birth by their breeders who must be members of ISCA.  The individual dogs must then be nominated by their ISCA member owners.  The accumulated nomination fees are paid out to the winning dogs’ breeders and owners.  Londa Warren is the ISCA National Field Futurity Chairperson.  She has handled this position admirably for many years.  Londa made announcements before and after the stake and kept a sharp eye out for details during the running.  Londa’s dedication goes above and beyond the call of duty and her work is greatly appreciated.

The Futurity ran on Thursday October 31; it was an overcast morning.  Several of the riders in the gallery were cleverly decked out for Halloween and it’s a wonder that they didn’t scare all the horses! It was a fun crowd.  The Judges were Gene Moseley and John Hott.  There were twelve entries but two were forced to run as bye dogs since one handler had seven dogs in the stake.  Plans were to run the first six braces over the morning courses and then head immediately back to the Number 1 course to run brace 7.  With an early pick-up it turned out that there was adequate room to run the last brace on the last half of the number 3 course.  This shortened the ride and the time required dramatically.

Brace 1

Vabrill K’Amb’Al Bright Star (aka Buster, Matt & Wendy Czarnecki, owners; Trena Cardwell, handler) with Setter Downs Jiving Sister Fanny (aka Fanny, Bill Rhodes, owner and handler) Buster ducked under the gate near the breakaway and went Trick or Treating at the neighbors.  He came to the front but then went his own way again and was picked up at 12. Fanny was mostly forward at medium range.

Brace 2

Russell’s Natural Disaster (aka Twister, owned by Carrie Michael; handled by Trena Cardwell) and Jefferson’s Louisiana Purchase (aka Jeff, owned by Mark Johnson & Greg Dixon, handled by Mark Johnson) were forward and a bit hard to tell apart.  Jeff was somewhat bigger in range but both were fleet of foot and made some good moves.

Brace 3

Vabrill Mo’Nok K’Ab Top Bright Star (aka Posey, Matt & Wendy Czarnecki, owners; Trena Cardwell, handler) with Setter Downs Dangerous Beauty (aka Jezebel, Bill Rhodes, owner; Sherry Ebert, handler) were released at the start of the #2 hour course.  Posey, started well but shortened; she was picked up at 23.  Jezebel was fast and animated.  She pointed stylishly but nothing was flushed.  She showed a ton of promise but after crossing old 109 she vanished and the tracker was pulled at 29.

Brace 4

Vabrill 1X Tabay Bright Star (aka Tabay, Matt & Wendy Czarnecki, owners; Trena Cardwell, handler) and Brophy’s Kingpin (aka James; Greg Dixon & Mary Pavelko, owners; Greg Dixon, handler) began at Old 109.  Tabay was picked up early.  James ran an attractive race at excellent gun dog range.  He carried himself with class and made some nice moves.

Brace 5

Russell’s New Day (aka Sister; Susan Russell, Carrie Michael & Trena Cardwell, owners; Trena Cardwell, handler) with Brophy’s Sweet Darlin (aka Zoey, Ken Ruff & Phil Ruff, owners; Phil Ruff, handler) turned loose at the start of #3 Hour course. Sister pointed at 15 but no birds were found, she did a fine job on the ground, showing good range, speed and pattern.  Zoey ran a pretty, edge running race.  She showed animation in her easy moving gait.

Brace 6

Vabrill Kan Kan Bright Star (aka Kan Kan; Matt & Wendy Czarnecki, owners; Trena Cardwell, handler) ran as a bye. She was released at the junction just beyond the pavilion.  She broke forward but at 3 she became engrossed with something on the ground and would not leave it.  She went on the wagon and the next brace was set down.

Brace 7

Russell’s Nothing Runs Like A Deere (aka John; Susan Russell, owner; Trena Cardwell, handler) ran as a bye.  He was turned loose near Gas Well Hill at 12:20 pm.  John showed excellent ground speed and independence in hunting.  He slowed before time was called but he did a commendable job considering the heat and humidity.

Second Series:

At the conclusion of the first series course work, it was announced that a second series would be run immediately after lunch.  The location picked was a field near the end of course 3 that is not used in any of the hour braces.  This insured a level playing field for the Amateur Championship dogs.  The area was well salted with quail and more were put out when needed to give each second series dog a fair chance of finding game.  Jefferson’s Louisiana Purchase (Jeff), Brophy’s Kingpin (James), Russell’s New Day (Sister), and Brophy’s Sweet Darlin’ (Zoey) were announced as being on the “A” list for the second series.  On standby were Setter Downs Jiving Sister Fanny and Russell’s Natural Disaster.

Jeff went out and pointed his bird and stood mannerly for the flush and shot.  James pointed with high style and finished manners.  Sister ran over the first bird she encountered without having a chance to smell it.  In the next likely spot she pointed feathers.  In the third location Sister pointed staunchly, satisfying the requirement before going with the flush of the bird.  Zoey thinking it was time to run again took a tour and had to be brought back to the area of the call back.  She pointed feathers before finally locating and pointing a bird.  She did so with high style and intensity.  She moved at the flush but was stopped with a command.  The first four dogs satisfied the judges as to their ability to point a bird so that the standby dogs were not needed.  In placing the dogs the ground performances given in the first series were major considerations, as they should be.  The fact that the dogs display good pointing skills is a must for placement and that ability is the one thing the judges were most concerned with in the second series.

The Futurity Winners were as follows:

1st – Brophy’s Sweet Darlin’ (aka Zoey, Ken Ruff & Phil Ruff, breeders and owners; Phil Ruff, handler)

2nd – Brophy’s Kingpin (aka James; Ken Ruff & Phil Ruff breeders; Greg Dixon & Mary Pavelko, owners; Greg Dixon, handler)

3rd – Russell’s New Day (aka Sister; Susan Russell, Carrie Michael & Trena Cardwell, breeders and owners; Trena Cardwell, handler)

4th – Jefferson’s Louisiana Purchase (aka Jeff, Ken & Phil Ruff breeders; Mark Johnson & Greg Dixon, owners; Mark Johnson, handler)

As noted earlier, the First, Second and Fourth place winners are littermates.

Futurity winners

National Amateur Championship

There were 20 dogs entered and drawn in this stake but one was scratched due to its owner’s emergency issue at home.  This stake commenced on Friday morning and concluded early on Saturday afternoon.  Judges for the National Amateur Championship were Gene Moseley and Dr. Robert Rankin.  In a complete turnaround from the Open Championship, birds were plentiful on all courses and the winners appeared on courses one and three.

The Winners were placed as follows:

1st – Brophy’s Riding High (aka Jerry Jeff; Dave & Vickie Tompkins and Ken Ruff owners; Dave Tompkins, handler) (Brace 7)

2nd – Setter Downs Brown Sugar (aka Sugar; Bill Rhodes, owner & handler) (Brace 3)

3rd – NFC Cedar Creek Talon (aka Talon; Ed Liermann, owner and handler) (Brace 6)

4th – FC Cedar Creek Skyliner (aka Skyliner, Ed Liermann, owner & handler)(Brace 1)

Brophy’s Riding High proved the value of the Futurity; he won that stake in 2011.  He scored the most dug up find of the stake and coupled it with a fine race.  Sugar who was a strong contender until late in her hour of this year’s open Championship impressed judges and gallery for the entire hour this time.  Talon came back from his win earlier in the week to show he is a consistent and classy bird finder.  Skyliner held on for fourth with clean but not ideal work due to situations beyond his control.

National Amateur Championship winners

Brace 1

FC Mythodical Russell Hail Gandalf (aka Gandalf, Cassie Allen owner & handler) with FC Cedar Creek Skyliner (aka Skyliner, Ed Liermann, owner & handler) turned loose at 8 am on Friday.  Point was called for Skyliner at 6.  He stood with high head & tail, staunch in high grass facing into the bright sun.  Ed flushed thoroughly but couldn’t find the birds and sent him to relocate. Ed flushed them from their roost, surprising himself but the dog had stopped a split second before they arose.  At 16 Skyliner pointed again, Gandalf came through the area somehow without noticing the pointing dog.  Skyliner was not bothered by his presence; Skyliner had a lengthy relocation here before an unproductive was taken.  Gandalf scored a good find at 21.  Gandalf was consistent in his race.  Skyliner did a fine job on the ground but shortened late.  Both finished forward.

Brace 2

Vabrill Esmerala Bright Star (aka Esme; Matt & Wendy Czarnecki, owners; Kelly Aitken, handler) and Pauncefoot Promises to Keep (aka Sorrel; Stephen Salt and Ken Ruff, owners; Steve Salt, handler) turned loose beyond the bridge.  Sorrell started well but faded late and was up before the hour.  Esme hunted at short range and was picked up before the hour.  No birds were pointed this brace but some were ridden up by the gallery.

Brace 3

Setter Downs Brown Sugar (aka Sugar; Bill Rhodes, owner & handler) with Kennedy’s Missile Crisis (aka Jack; Mark Johnson owner & handler) Sugar ran a fast, forward race.  She scored one very nice find.  Jack dug into the cover and was a little rough handling at times.

Brace 4

FC Brophy’s Rio Grande (aka Rio; Ed Meyer, Jay Zirkle and Sam McDonald, owners; Ed Meyer, handler) and Vabrill Cancion Bright Star (aka Song; Matt & Wendy Czarnecki, owners; Matt Czarnecki, handler) were the first brace after lunch on Friday.  Rio ran a very nice race.  Song was forward and handled kindly.

Brace 5

Brophy’s Kingpin (aka James; Greg Dixon and Mary Pavelko, owners; Phil Ruff, handler) with Brownhaven The Huntress (aka Honey; Georgia Brown, owner; Bill Rhodes, handler) drew course 2.  These two were not getting the job done and were up early.

Brace 6

Brophy’s Need A Bentley (aka Bentley; Mary Pavelko and Ken Ruff, owners; Phil Ruff handler) and Cedar Creek Talon (aka Talon; Ed Liermann, owner and handler) were well away from the start.  Bentley hunted nicely forward.  Talon made some attractive moves.  At 18 point was called for Bentley, who stood proud.  All was in good order for the flush of his covey.  He continued attractively forward towards Lick Creek.  Talon pointed with high style just before the pavilion.  He indicated a desire to relocate so Ed moved him up.  He pinned a nice covey and stood with good manners through flush and shot.  Bentley found birds in the upper corner beyond the pavilion but failed to handle them and was up.  Talon continued a nice forward pattern until the hour elapsed.

Brace 7

Brophy’s Riding High (aka Jerry Jeff; Dave & Vickie Tompkins and Ken Ruff owners; Dave Tompkins, handler) and Brownhaven The Tigress (aka Tyge; Georgia Brown, owner; Bill Rhodes, handler) were first up on Saturday.  Jerry Jeff ran a strong race and hunted deep into the corners.  His hunting put him behind a couple times early in the hour but overall he was forward at good range.  Point was called for Jerry Jeff by Scout Ed Meyer at 51 in the trees near the red gates.  This was a dug up find and very impressive.  All was perfect through covey rise and shot.  Jerry Jeff continued forward until time was called.  Tyge was fleet of foot and made some very nice moves.  She went birdless.

Brace 8

Brophy’s Lil Paprika (aka Lily, Corinne Ruff & Phil Ruff, owners; Whitney Ostrom, handler) and Flame’N Red Legacy (aka EJ; Mary Ann Gustafson, owner & handler) started just beyond the bridge.  Lily broke forward, her junior handler, Whitney guiding her nicely.  Lily’s range shortened and Whitney opted to pick up early.  EJ ran a nice race, handling well for Mary Ann.  He stayed predominantly forward making smart moves but found no game.

Brace 9

Brophy’s Sandcreek John Galt (aka Galt; Ken Ruff & Lucas Ruff, owners; Phil Ruff handler) and Comanche Moon (aka Gus; Jim Baker, owner & handler) were strong and forward from the breakaway.  Gus showed nice; he was well forward until Mario’s Hill and then was lost.  Galt ran a pretty race all the way to the pavilion where he was seen under birds and the brace was over.

Brace 10

Cedar Creek Gem (aka Gem; Ed Liermann, owner & handler) ran as a bye dog. She turned in a very pleasing performance but was unable to locate game during her hour.

The 2013 Irish Setter Club of America National Championship Field Trial is now in the record books.  It was another wonderful event thanks to all the people who worked so hard to put it on.  From the opening parties, to scanning the dogs on the wagon, the actual running of the dogs and on to the wrapping up details and paperwork this event took a village.  Team work was evident and awesome.

The 2014 National Field Trial will be back in Booneville beginning Sunday October 26.  Don’t miss out on the fun!