AMERICAN BRITTANY CLUB NATIONAL OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP
Blue Mountain - J. Perry Mikles WDA
by Bonnie Hidalgo
Diamond Hill Dan is the 2004 National Champion. He turned in an exceptional performance to best a field of 46 of the finest Brittanys in the land. Dan is an eight year old, owned by Paul Pollock of Medford, NJ and handled by John Kline. This was Dan’s second win of this prestigious event; the previous win being in 2000.
Bourbon XIII was named Runner-up. He appeared in the final brace after being dropped from brace two. “Al” made it worth the wait, making the hour exciting to witness. Bourbon XIII, a coming eight year old, is owned by Joe Jung of W. Frankfurt, IL and was handled by Al Gorrow.
In third place was Smarteyes Joker handled by Jim John. “Jordan” is owned by Steve Ralph of Forest Lake, MN. Jordan is a 6 year old male.
Just Call Me Roy was fourth under the guidance of Ben Lorenson for owner Tom Ettinger of Londonderry,VT. Roy is 5 ½ years old and fresh off his win of the National Amateur Championship.
Booneville, Arkansas’ J. Perry Mikles Blue Mountain Wildlife Demonstration Area was the venue for this Championship. The grounds were groomed to perfection. Everything humanly possible was done to make this a beautiful place to show a running bird dog. Large coveys of quail were in evidence on all courses. Area manager Larry McAnally and his staff, Red Bailey and Brad Wells are to be commended for turning around the failing bird population in such an outstanding way. Twenty-eight dogs or approximately 61% had bird contact; forty-three coveys were moved. In a trial run on wild-like birds that is a terrific number.
The weather played havoc with this renewal. Heavy rains began shortly before it was to commence. A steady rain fell all day Monday and into Tuesday morning. The good lord must not have been willing for this Championship to start on time because the creeks sure did rise! The downpour resulted in flooded grounds. By Tuesday afternoon the creek crossings were deemed safe, though the water was still running high and fast. In hind sight, Ed Tillson might disagree that they were safe but luckily he came through his dunking without injury. Much of the grounds were unusable. Tom Milam and Ed Tillson designed a new course which took in parts of original courses one and three as well as some land not usually used. The best was made of a bad situation and the trial commenced. The course turned out quite well and ample birds were found. Tom and Ed are to be commended. To add insult to injury, fog delayed the running on Thursday by over two hours. Lunch was eaten in the saddle and one of those hours was regained.
The Drawing was conducted at the offices of the American Field. Entries were accepted by Field Trial Secretary Mary Crawford until closing on November 9th. The drawing took place on Friday November 15th. It was unfortunate that some entries were sent but not received. Club officials felt bad that this happened but drawings and deadlines cannot be changed even when the Post office fails to deliver. Some old faces were missed because of this but no one in the club was at fault. Forty-nine dogs were drawn; forty-six actually competed.
The Field Trial Committee is to be applauded for its brilliant effort. Trial Chairman and Stake Manager Ed Tillson, along with Field Trial Secretary Mary Crawford took care of the details that turn an ordinary trial into a great field trial. Rounding out the committee were Ron Zook, who serves as ABC’s President; Tom Milam, who served as head course marshal; Tom White, Jerry McGee, and Bill Landress who assisted with the marshaling duties. All of these dedicated people were readily available and stepped up to the plate whenever needed.
The dog wagon was supplied by Arkansas Fish and Game. It was driven either by Red Bailey or Larry McAnally. These guys are great at being in the right place at the right time.
Dog Wagon coordinator Darlene Dow kept the dog wagon stocked daily with drinks and sweets. She made sure that the judges were well cared for. Darlene was assisted by Linda Milam, Ruth McGee and Nancy Clendenen. There were numerous other volunteers; my apologies for omitting your names. Dog wagon fare ranged from cookies to muffins to cinnamon rolls and to pigs in blankets, all homemade and fresh. It was a wonder that the horses could carry us by the end of the week!
Hospitality Coordinator, Marilynne Little tirelessly coordinated activities and food all week for everyone in attendance. She also chaired the Auction and Calcutta committees. Marilynn credits several people for assisting her with those duties. These great volunteers included Sue D’Arcy, Linda Milam, Darlene Dow, Bill Landress and Mary Karbiner. Thanks to all who contributed items to the auction; it was a tremendous success.
Sponsors of this year’s event were Purina, Tracker, Tri-Tronics and Christie Enterprises. These companies offer the finest products available to field trial contestants. Their corporate support of the sport is significant; without that aid this trial would not be so prestigious. Everyone in the American Brittany Club sends a big Thank-You to Purina; Christie; Tri-Tronics and Tracker
PURINA provided dog food for participants and financial support. Roy Pelton was present for the annual Purina Dog of the Year Award, coordinated by Dr. Robert Rankin. Roy is very knowledgeable about nutrition and the Pro Plan products. He passed out samples and explained the values of the newest line, the Performance Bar. The ABC Coordinator for Purina, Ray Trimble has served the club well in maintaining good communication with Purina.
TRACKER provided product for winners. On Monday night a seminar was conducted by Larry Garner and Ken Barber on use of the Tracker collar and tips for locating dogs easily in different situations. It was very informative and was one of the few times that the whole audience was attentive. Tina Johnson of Tracker was on hand the following day to do repair work.
TRI TRONICS generously provided fine E-Collars to the winners. Tri Tronics has done this for the American Brittany Club Championships for many seasons.
CHRISTIE ENTERPRISES provided the beautiful saddle for Champion. Judges gifts were also supplied by Christie. Fine items of tack and other horse gear were very popular with all three judges.
Judges for this renewal had all served here in past years. Bob Bonner and Bonnie Hidalgo judged last year’s National Amateur. Gary Cowell judged the National Open in 2001. They really enjoyed the entire trial and worked well together.
Bob Bonner, Atmore,AL, has been involved with bird dogs and field trials for forty years. He campaigns fine English Pointers. Bob has done duty as Club officer and trial chairman for numerous trials. He has judged some of the top shooting dog and all age championships in the nation. Bob has also judged three other major Brittany championships. His credentials are excellent. The attention he devoted to the dogs and his great sense of humor made it a pleasure to judge with him. His out going personality and his gift of gab earned him the nickname, “Social Butterfly”.
Gary Cowell of Lancaster, MO trains and trials his own pointers. He has many years of experience in this sport. Gary has judged important American Field open championships and AKC breed championships around the country. His positive attitude coupled with his bird-hunting knowledge make him an excellent judge. Gary’s quiet sense of humor and his dedication to the job at hand made him easy to Judge with.
Your scribe, Bonnie Hidalgo, Brighton, CO, has had a lifelong involvement with field trials. She currently campaigns Irish and English Setters as an amateur with her husband Dennis. Her judging assignments have included open shooting dog championships in addition to breed championships for German Shorthairs, Irish Setters, Brittanys and Pointers on various species of game birds. It was an honor not taken lightly, to Judge this fine trial.
There were many evening social events and even when there wasn’t an “occasion” the Brittany fraternity gathered in the clubhouse for meals. Meals were served by The Bearcat Restaurant Staff. The clubhouse kitchen has been dubbed “Bearcat Too”. Jake Tabler and his entire staff worked long hours serving three square to the crowd. They were always cheerful and quick to oblige any and all requests.
On Saturday presentation of the Ross Young painting of Lea’s Running Jayhawk to Bo and Renee Ackerman for the 2003 Purina Pro Plan Brittany of the year preceded the announcement of the 2004 award winner.
Buddy Jac was named the 2004 Purina Pro Plan Brittany of the Year. Buddy Jac won numerous Championships for his handler, Chad Holman and his owners Ed and Lucille Sawicki. Buddy was brought into the Clubhouse for the presentation and to say adieu to the National group. Buddy Jac was drawn to run in the second brace but was scratched due to failing health. He succumbed to his illness before the trial commenced and was buried at the breakaway to course number one.
Sunday night’s dinner was followed by an introduction of the Judges and the Calcutta for the Open Championship. Excellent funds were raised through this auction.
Tuesday nights dinner was hosted by Dave and Kathy Capstick the owners of Farther Out Ace, the 2003 National Open All Age Champion. It was a great feast on pork tenderloin with all the fixings.
Wednesday night’s dinner was followed by a dance. The music was good and dancers were plentiful. A few people were a little worse for the wear on Thursday morning.
Friday night a delicious steak dinner was fixed by Jake Tabler and the Bearcat Staff. A large crowd was in attendance. Participants had definitely slowed down as the week wore on but were still enjoying the fellowship as they anticipated Saturday’s conclusion.
WINNERS AND HIGHLIGHT
Diamond Hill Dan ran a true all age race to capture the title of Champion. He appeared in the 11th brace of the stake which was the second brace on Thursday. Dan took his edges and stayed with them. His gait was attractive and ground covering; His pattern kept him forward most of the hour. Dan scored a good find just beyond the 217/109 corner at 25. Point was called for him after most of the gallery had come through the area. He was well behaved and showed great intensity. Dan’s second find came at 37, beyond the pavilion. There was a big covey walking off in front of him; he was stylish and perfectly mannered. He finished the hour with plenty of run remaining. It was a very impressive performance.
Bourbon XIII hit the edges and was fast forward. He pointed at 17; birds were put up by the scout but luckily in view of his judge. The dog stood tight. At 22 he had jammed to a stop just before covey rise. Al did not move a muscle. At 26 he pointed a third time. This was along the ditch in the cotton field. Al stood high and tight as his handler flushed a large covey. He ran an appealing all age race. At 58 a quail came out of the tree line; a moment later the dog came through to his handler. Involvement was undetermined but the benefit of the doubt was given. A second bird flushed unnoticed by handler and dog as they headed to the front. Time was called as he was going away. Al was on point when picked up.
Smarteyes Joker ran on Thursday, immediately following a short break for fresh horses. Jordan turned in a nice race of all age range for the majority. He was found pointing along the edge near Mario’s hill by his scout at 17. Jordan looked great and his manners were top notch. He made a real nice, strong move down the river, to the woods and around the back side of it. He finished forward at medium range. He backed his brace mate at 41 just beyond the bear trap. Smarteyes Joker was posted to the board and carried in the Runner-up spot until the final brace.
Just Call Me Roy ran just after Thursday’s fog lifted. He began with great promise. Roy put down a nice course at good range and was predominantly forward. He pointed just beyond Lick Creek but the birds were never officially seen. Roy pointed again near the big woods in the river bottom at 41. Birds were put up by the other handler’s horse; Roy stood staunchly. He finished forward but not quite as wide as he had begun.
Billy’s Random Task ran on a cold, gray Tuesday afternoon. He was handled by Chad Holman. Billy made nice moves early but slowed as the hour went on; conditions were difficult. He had a non-productive not far from the bridge at 33. He scored a very nice covey find at 40. Billy finished forward and was the first dog to be posted to the board.
Shambo’s Dark Shadow handled by Jim John was posted to the board on Wednesday. Shadow pointed at 7, but soon took steps to indicate that relocation was necessary. Shadow correctly located the covey pointing them stylishly. When Shadow caught the front his brace mate was standing and Shadow was cautioned to a reluctant back. At 48 Shadow pointed a covey which lifted all around him. He displayed intensity and manners. Shadow made some great moves and ran an acceptable race.
T.J.’s Single Shot of Scipio handled by Paul Doiron was braced with Shadow. Emme backed nicely at 7. She was taken on and scored for herself at 9. Emme was on pointing again at 14. Birds were produced with Emme behaving perfectly. She scored again near the old corral. This was an excellent find, called by the scout at 32. At 48 Emme backed with intensity and manners. She finished the hour forward and was posted to the board; wider races moved her down.
Traveler’s Reign of Terra (Doiron) - Harlan County Cowboy (Lorenson)
This brace ran on Tuesday afternoon. It was overcast and temperatures were dropping. The heavy rains had the grounds saturated; the footing was tough for dogs and horses. They turned loose near the big oak tree above the pavilion and headed toward Lick Creek. Terra was handy at the start. Her range improved some in the middle of the hour. She scored one very nice find a10. Her manners and intensity were excellent. She had a nonproductive at 53. Cowboy was difficult to manage and was eventually lost.
Dakota Shakedown (Rohner) – The Prairie Tornado (Tillson)
Rufus was forward and went without contact. Twister made some big moves but went birdless. His handler took a dunk in Lick Creek while trying to help him across the swift current. Twister had a lengthy absence after that but came back to finish the hour to the front.
Ramblin Man (Gorrow) – Billy’s Random Task (Holman)
Randy had a nonproductive prior to the bear trap at 20. He was not running strong and was picked up at 45. Billy made it on the board and his actions were described earlier.
Shambo’s Dark Shadow (John) – T.J.’s Single Shot of Scipio (Doiron)
Both dogs were posted to the board and their hour was related above.
Keystone’s Double Shot (Lorenson) – Clyde’s Micro Breeze (Kline)
Shooter scored one nice find in a medium race. The find came near the 217/109 corner at 26 minutes. Mike was in the vicinity and stopped in the tree line beyond Shooter’s work. He was cautioned and shot over. Mike’s pattern was not always forward.
Harling’s Breton Smith (Holman) – T&W’s Diamond Jim (Wild)
Bret carded a find at 34. He had a nonproductive at 40; at 43 he was taken on after pointing deer. Bret pointed birds at 59 in the 217/109 corner. He finished while catching the front. Jim was absent several times; he went birdless.
Terra’s Cabo Wabo (Doiron) – Kid’s Kid Lone River Moose (Burchett)
This was Wednesday afternoon’s first brace. Sammy ran a nice race with one well broke find at 44. Moose ran a good, edge running race. He stopped to flush at 43.
Ajax Diamond Dyna-Mite (Holman) – Wichita (Wild)
Jake pointed on a tree line at 10. He moved up before his handler arrived but was steady through flush and shot. Dyna pointed staunchly near the creek below the pavilion. The birds had run off and she was moved up. Dyna stopped as a few birds lifted; more birds were flushed in front of her.
Make My Day Dude ( Tillson) – Redline’s Tequila Smoker(Doiron)
Smokey did a good job on the ground. He was absent before the course reached the bear trap; the scout found him standing. Smokey lost composure and was picked up. Dude ran well but was not suiting his handler and was picked up at 37.
Fade To Black II (Holman) – Just Call Me Roy (Lorenson)
Thursday’s start was delayed by fog for over 2 hours. This pair was released at 9:45. They began with much promise. Mack used his edges and ran nicely forward. His one piece of bird work ended in a stop to flush. Roy’s placing performance was given previously.
Diamond Hill Dan (Kline) – T.J.’s Thunder (John)
Dan’s Championship winning hour is listed above. Point was called for Thunder near the barking dog house at 14. A lengthy flush and relocation produced rabbits. He pointed no birds in an average race.
J&M Ace High Jax (Crawford) – The Time Machine ( Holman)
This pair turned loose north of the road and headed for the bear trap. These two made some great moves in the first half. Jack pointed in the bear trap at 7. Birds were flushed with all looking good. He pointed again at 54 near the 217/109 corner but no birds were produced. Jack finished forward but had shortened in range. Trip made some nice moves. Trip went without bird contact; he had a nonproductive at 55.
Blueridge Major Adventure (Downing) – Smarteyes Joker (John)
Lunch break was skipped in an effort to make up time lost to fog. This brace was released about 2 pm on Thursday after horses were changed out. Major made some really nice moves and handled responsively from the start. He got behind briefly at the corner near the bridge. Major pointed and moved up; he was cautioned and pointed again. Birds lifted as he stopped. Young Laura Wilder did an excellent job of scouting him. Major styled up at 41 but it was determined that the dogs were backing each other. Jordan’s performance was recited earlier.
Tequila Dynamite (Burchett) – Ajax or Better (Holman)
Mike had a non productive at 26. He pointed near the pavilion at 34, birds were running but he stood politely for flush and shot. At 39 while catching the front he ran over a covey and was picked up. Jax carded a nonproductive at the 217/109 corner at 24. He was lost before the hour was over.
Poki-Dot (Johnson) – Dakota Alley Cat (Rohner)
This brace was the first on Friday morning, the fifteenth brace to run. This pair was lost from the breakaway.
Ru-Jem’s Field of Feathers ( McGee)- Farther Out Ace (Holman)
Feathers ran a forward race with a gentle handle. She pointed in the river bottom at 32. A large covey flushed from the grass in front of her with all in order. She slowed as the clock advanced but kept forward. At 59 she was standing in the Egyptian wheat; she maintained her intensity as a huge covey was put up. Ace took a nonproductive at 19 following a lengthy relocation. He caught the front at 35 and was on point at the woods at 39. Birds were flushed but his manners were lacking and he was picked up.
Kolicko’s Cuervo Joker (Berneathy) – Roustabout’s Kid Parker (Burchett)
These two were released prior to Lick Creek on the return trip. Parker pointed at 49 but it was a blank. They were both forward and showed appropriately until 24. CJ was last seen at that time. Parker also had a lengthy absence but returned under judgement and finished forward. No birds were pointed this hour.
Keystone’s White Label (Lorenson) – Tequila Jack II (John)
Hank pointed a covey on the right between the pavilion and the creek at 6. This was a nice piece of work with style and intensity. He had a second covey find at 17 but all was not well and he was picked up. Jack ran a beautiful race, rimming the edges. He pointed at 32 but it was not productive.
Rowdy Mt. Rio Blanco (Burchett) – Lane’s End Bowtie Annie (Holman)
Near Mario’s hill birds were in the air with both dogs and handlers present. Annie was stopped but Rio kept going and was picked up. Birds were in the air again at 11 in the Egyptian wheat; Annie was standing. More birds lifted around her at the shot. She was forward but not getting it done and was picked up at 33.
Lobo’s Legend (Johnson) – Choc Talk’s Diamond (Winnen)
This brace was released at the pavilion; Bill Tate was riding to watch his Diamond. She pointed with nice style and high intensity at 8. Raliegh was cautioned to a back. Raliegh was mostly forward but was not suiting his handler and was picked up early. Diamond had a lengthy absence but returned under judgement. Diamond made some excellent moves around the bigger fields. Her ground speed was terrific. At 49 she came across the road into a covey and did not stop soon enough.
Lea’s Running Jayhawk (Ackerman) – Lane’s End We-Be-Clean (Holman)
This was Saturday’s opening hour. Jake was scratched. We-Be ran a consistent, forward race but went birdless. He was on point at time but relocation was not successful.
Shady’s Tia Maria (Berneathy) – Ricoche-t (Walker)
This pair was released at the Egyptian wheat. Tia was forward from the start. Rico dug into the cover and was a handful early. Birds were ridden up in the 217/109 corner at 15. Berneathy called point for Tia on the hilltop but no birds were produced in front of her. Tia ran a nice, forward race. She pointed at 55 but it was not productive. Rico went into hunting mode and was picked up before the hour was up.
Sadie Fair Lady (Johnson) –Mokan Razzle Dazzle (Rohner)
Razzie was a no show; Sadie was released in the river bottom. She found game at 3; they were nicely pinned and her style was perfect. Sadie pointed next at 13, once more she had her birds well located and she looked great. She was absent before Lick Creek; her scout found her buried in the cover on its bank. Birds were ridden up in the process of finding her; she was unable to relocate them. Sadie finished forward.
Gun Runner’s Lady’s Man (Berneathy) – Bourbon XIII (Gorrow/McGee)
The final brace was released above the pavilion. Bourbon XIII’s Runner-up winning performance is listed above. Lutie was away quickly. At 6 he pointed a covey; he looked sharp and all was in order. He pointed again at 18 but it was barren. Lutie took the hard way around, going through the deep water in the road. This took its toll on him. Lutie was on point at time. His bird work was flawless.
2004 American Brittany Club National Open All Age Championship: (46 dogs)
1 - NFC/FC/AFC Diamond Hill Dan
by FC Delta Dash PQ x Top Gun Anna Belle
owner Paul Pollock; handler John Kline
2 - DC/AFC Bourbon XIII
by DC/AFC Masked Shoshoni War Chief x FC/AFC Candy's Lucky Penny
owner Joe Jung; handler Al Gorrow
3 - FC Smarteyes-Joker
by NFC/DC/AFC Tequila's Joker x Smarteyes Microbeans
owner Steve Ralph; handler Jim John
4 - NAFC/FC Just Call Me Roy
by NAFC/FC/AFC Piney Run Sam x FC Mark's Pride of Savannah
owner Tom Ettinger; handler Ben Lorenson