2018 NBHA Northeast Regional CH

The 2018 NBHA Northeast Regional Championship was held April 5th thru the 7th and contested at the Pine Island Wildlife Refuge in Portage, WI. These grounds are nice and flat with plenty of objectives for dogs to reach out and hunt, although this year the cover was a bit taller than normal which made for finding dogs a little more challenging. To ALL of the owners and handlers who entered dogs, thank you for sticking with us through 5" of snow, frozen ponds, 30 mph winds and wind chills in the single digits.

We would like to thank our sponsors Purina, Garmin, Gun Dog Supply, Gun Dog Central and Trophy Athletic. Without their support our trials would not be as successful as they are…thank you!

This year we were proud to have two new judges who gave their undivided attention to our dogs. Jeff Wallace came from Knoxville, IA and Ed Liermann joined us from Palmyra, WI. Both Jeff and Ed are accomplished field trailers, and have competed or judged championships throughout the greater Midwest and beyond. We appreciated their time in the saddle and attentiveness to our dogs.

Due to some nasty weather and overlapping trials, the total number of dogs was slightly down this year, 33 dogs were drawn for the week’s running. The Championship drew 19 shooting dogs and the accompanying derby stake drew 14. It was brought to our attention that close to half the dogs entered in the championship were champions. Great group of dogs and handlers. Professionals Tom Waite (Burlington, WI), Rod Lein (Chippewa Falls, WI) and numerous successful amateurs were well represented. Our entries included owners and handlers from WI, IL, MN, and MO! We cannot thank them all enough for entering their dogs. The Friday evening handler’s dinner was sponsored by the 12 O’clock Field Trial Club. The grill was under the watchful eyes of club member David Hourihan and the steaks were cooked to perfection. The camaraderie for the evening was enjoyable!

The Champions: The 2018 NBHA Northeast Regional Champion is a six year old, black and white setter named CH Blair’s Witch Project - “Guy”. Guy was handled by Professional Tom Waite of Dale Creek Gundogs and owned by Greg Blair of Menomonee Falls, WI. Guy ran in the second brace on the first day of the trial. There was still 2-3 inches of wet clumpy snow covering the course which made it a challenge to work through. After crossing the dike, Guy was located far to the east and going to the front (crossing south to north). As the course turned and headed west he was found pointed at 28, in the grove of hardwoods. All was in order and he was sent on. At approximately 33 the stylish setter was pointed at the north end of the firing line. As Waite flushed, the birds flew out the front side and again all was in order. Guy carried the brushy draw to the front and at 42 was pointed across the road on the northwest side of the course. Waite flushed the single quail from the downfall and sent Guy to the front. After taking the long treeline on the left side of the course, Guy was found standing at 50 outside the last island of hardwoods, with his body facing southwest and his head looking back to the east. The bird was to his side and as Waite neared him he tightened up and stood proudly for his last find. Guy was sent to the front, taking the right edge that carried him back to the dike crossing. Prior to the crossing, time was called. After a short scouting search he was found running to the front and was brought back to show the judges. This secured Guy’s second Championship in as many weeks. Judges commented that Guy was always forward, hitting the edges. All of his finds were to the front, with high style on point and handled well. He had a strong finish and never came from behind.

CH Tim’s Setter Rosie was named Runner-up Champion of this stake. Rosie is an eight year old, female orange and white setter that has 3 CH titles to her name - before this CH stake. She is bred, owned and handled by Tim Callahan of Wales, WI. Rosie is very stylish setter that is a pleasure to watch! As Rosie started out, just after crossing the dike, she was found standing at the 16 minute mark. Her style was evident for all to see. Tim sent her on and was found backing her bracemate Hidden Hollow Sammy (Waite) at 32. Both handlers sent the dogs on to the front and were again found together – Sammy pointing and Rosie backing - at the 47 minute mark. As Waite flushed all was in order for both dogs and were driven forward. Rosie was found standing at 50 on the southwest side of the course. Callahan flushed with ease and Rosie held her composure through it all. As she was sent on, Sammy was pointed to the front and as Rosie came upon his stand, she again backed with style. Judges commented that Rosie had good style, intense on point, moved forward along the course hitting the edges and flowed with the course on her own.

Side note - both the Champion and Runner up Champion are sired by Dr. Allen Dunbar’s champion stud dogs, CH G F Witch Doctor (Blair’s Witch Project) and CH Grouse Feather Mark (Tim’s Setter Rosie).

The accompanying derby stake began Saturday morning with single digit wind chills and sunny skies. This year we had a good group of 14 entries. Thank you goes out to many owners and handlers who came to support us from the Cover Dog venue. Rod Lein, Tim Callahan, Ben McKean, Brent Sittlow and Dave Moore entered derbies and we greatly appreciated them! First place, went to Brushville Burton Spencer (Waite). This was Spencer’s first trial for him and his owner Ken Millikin of Richfield, WI. Spencer handled extremely well and his ground application was consistently at “10 and 2”. He finished with three finds – all being handled with adult manners. Second place went to Northwood’s Sir Gordon. Gordy is owned and handled by Minnesotan Ben McKean. Gordy had multiple finds with his second being far to the front and held for the long walk to him. After a very nice relocation he securely pointed the bird. He was sent on and found the front and was pointed again. Gordy is a stylish young setter with a bright future. Rounding out the placements was Dale Creek Roxi (Waite) Roxi is an orange and white pointer that runs with nice application, handles kindly and had four bird contacts. She is owned by Tony Drake of Oconomowoc, WI.

Thank you so much to ALL the club members who helped put this championship on and get through Mother Nature. A deserving thank you should be given to club board members Tom Waite, Brian Toutant, Adam Delude, John "Pops" Dlobik and Greg Blair who were scrambling this spring to get this of the ground.

Thanks to our judges Jeff Wallace, Ed Liermann, Jake Olszewski and Greg Blair. A special thank you to the bird planters/dog wagon drivers. Ken Millikin, Scott Kaufman and Pops Dlobik, also to Mike Luebke for picking up the birds. To those who offered to scout for handlers without help, Pops and Deb Dlobik – thank you, and to our derby dog van driver John Jungbluth. A hearty thank you to the providers of food/lunch help, Andrea Wood Ward, Catherine Lewis, Deb, Maddie Blair, Carolyn Black, Deb Callahan, and David Hourihan.

We could NEVER have pulled this off without ALL your help. Thank you and we look forward to next year – make plans to join us!

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