Pointing Breed Field Trials

Vizsla Club of America Pointing Breed Field Trials
Vizsla Club of America National Gun Dog Championship
April 16-19, 2007 - Pine Island FT Grounds
Hosted by the Central Wisconsin Vizsla Club
By Diana Boggs, Vizsla enthusiast
National Gun Dog Championship (33 entries)
Judges- Robert Creany/Charlie Blackbourn
1. Rolling Rock- O/H/B Mike Dalby
2. NGDC DC AFC Onpoint's Tuff Stuff FD- O/H John Reid
3. FC AFC Semper Fi Colonel's Pride-O/H- Dave Pomfret
4. Ch Fieldfire's High Octane-O- Joan Heimbach, H- Bobby Seelye
AOM- FC AFC Oakleaf's Runnin Down A Dream- O/H Mark Smith
AOM- DC Everedi-N-Melto's Hey Toots- O/H/B- Lin Kozlowski
Open Puppy (19 entries)
Judges- Dennis Sullivan/Jim Couris
1. Bravo Haulin's Olympic Speed-O/H/B- Julie Larue
2. Wegler Garnet's Samantha-O/H/B- Greg Wegler
3. Crimson's Lord Rigby of Linden-O/H- Mark Spurgeon
4. Bravo Haulin's Olympic Flame- O/H/B- Julie Larue
AOM- Winddance Tidal Wave- O-Carol Stout,H-Bob Seelye
AOM- Bravo Haulin's Olympic Gold- O/H/B- Julie Larue
AOM- Bravo Haulin's Olympic Spirit- O/H/B- Julie Larue
AOM- Little Bit of Zeke- O-Cindy Rosbrough, H-Bob Seelye
Field Trial Committee
FT Chair- Mark Smith, FT Sec- Michel Berner, Mark Johnson, David Kayser, Ginger Tierney, Rodney Albin, Jim Gingrich and Julie Larue

Qualifying On Line Judge
Linda Kelly

The Vizsla Club of America and the Central Wisconsin Vizsla Club who hosted the sixth hour-long walking AKC Vizsla Championship deserves a toast. It was a high quality trial on wide-open grounds that encouraged the footback Gun Dogs who competed to reach beyond their normal walking application with style and class.

The Pine Island Field Trial Grounds is named not for its pine trees, which are primarily Cedar, but for a tiny island nearby. A tornado the previous year wiped out many of the area objectives. The grounds themselves are nestled between an escarpment formed by glaciers, two rivers and the town of Portage. The previous week there was a large multi-inch snow storm that would have damaged foot handlers in almost any environment not composed of sand/granite like these trial grounds. The tangled vines of the dewberry were the only potential earth-made problem. Judges, handlers and scouts had to be on their top mettle, despite the falsely lulling level appearance of the grounds. There are many depressions, depending on the wind direction, that allowed dogs unique opportunities to smell game and, when needed, provided unfettered opportunities to traverse non-bird areas across the front to game on the opposite side of the course, several times without being seen.

Noteworthy were the youth of the handlers of winners and many placements. The addition to the NGDC of the covered gallery wagon was greatly welcomed. The catalog, done by Martha Lacko with graphics created by Diana Boggs was top-notch in color and lauded the best ever by many. Competitors came from as far north as Canada, as far east as Massachusetts, as far south as Florida and as far west as California. There were many who sacrificed a week of vacation to help run the trial and could not run a dog themselves. Without those folks, many AKC National Field Trials could not take place.

Out of the 13 placements/AOMs, seven were Breeder/Owner/Handler. Four were Owner/Handler, and the rest of placements were professionally handled. Out of the placements and Award of Merits, five were handled by professionals with the rest handled by amateurs.

The National Gun Dog Championship was judged by Charlie Blackbourn and Robert Creany, both from Wisconsin. Blackbourn is a retired veterinarian long involved in bird dogs, specializing in GSPs. Charlie's judging companion, Creany, is a long-time bird dog man in GSPs and has garnered much national glory in competition and judging assignments. Both well-qualified men did an excellent and unbiased job of judging.

The winner of the NGDC had 7 open Championship points entering this Championship and by winning is believed by the owner to have completed requirements for the AKC FC, making the dog officially NGDC FC (pending) Rolling Rock. Rock is amateur trained, handled and bred by Mike Dalby who has been involved with Vizslas for more than 10 years. Rock completed the MH requirements at approximately age 2 and by age 3 has a NGDC win to his credit. Look for more great things from this team.

The level grounds with stretched out objectives parlayed well into the theory that the Vizsla, regardless of being handled on horseback or on foot handled, will go as far and completely as the cover to be hunted dictates. A high number of NGDC competitors averaged clean 7-9 finds. Several others found themselves with one too many birds after the 45-minute mark. Out of the six NGDC events the VCA has presented, this one by far had the highest average number and quality of performances. While this course is not indicative of the historically true Gun Dog course, which has objectives and cover placed closer and deeper, it did excel in the AKC Gun Dog description of effectively hunting the cover and terrain present and allowed for many competitors in both stakes to reach beyond their previous FT performances, which caused elation for many non-placing NGDC competitors.

The NGDC Puppy Stake was judged by Dennis Sullivan and Jim Couris of Illinois. Like the two NGDC judges, both judges have decades of bird dog experience in breeding, competition and judging. Like the NGDC, the course allowed for puppies to extend their normal application, and many had the best course of their young lives. There was also a good amount of mature birdwork, and the placements from first place to Award of Merits were hotly contested. Of note was the Julie Larue/Medda Rauhut combination where all four of their puppies garnered national glory.

The 2007 rendition of the VCA National Gun Dog Championship was an event to take great pride in and indicative of breeding and education programs/mentors providing great direction and goals.

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For more information on the club, please visit their website.