2018 NBHA Western Regional CH

The NBHA Western Regional was held for the second time at the McFarlin-Ingersoll Ranch in Inola, Oklahoma open March 9th and 10th, 2018. The Tulsa Bird Dog Association hosted the championship with help from property owner Winn Ingersoll and of course the horseback guys over at Oil Capital Field Trial club.

Tulsa Bird Dog Association would like to thank our sponsors, Purina, Garmin, Gun Dog Supply, and Christie’s for their support. Special thanks go to Steve Heenan, owner of CH Big Trouble Duke who won the Western last year, for sponsoring the handlers dinner on Friday night. We would also like to thank as always the Ingersoll Family for their support and of course our own members for their tireless efforts to bring walking trials back to Oklahoma. Our effort has paid off and we are looking forward to a fantastic 2018-2019 NBHA season.

Being the only prairie championship course in the NBHA, the 1 hour walking. 2.75 mile course at Mcfarlin-Ingersoll ranch is always a tough place to find birds with cover galore and tons of acre-age to cover. Dogs that wander aimlessly or do not run an impressive race have nowhere to hide and are quickly found out. The course runs through the cattle operations of the ranch and dogs need to adjust quickly to the presence of cattle. Atop the first hill, handlers must mind their dogs as the course takes a hard right through one of many gates on the property. After that, the course is open with good cover to hunt on the left and right. As the gallery approaches the top of the second hill after working tree lines along the banks, the scenery cannot be beat with miles-long views back the north and the west including the field trial headquarters and ranch headquarters as well as several ponds and a large lake with the hills in fading off into the horizon. After cresting the hill, the gallery descends again through the native tall grass prairie to a creek line below where dogs are met with rows and rows of cover to check. A dog driven to cover can make an impressive move down this hill. Then a quick crossing of the often muddy creek bot-tom and it’s back uphill again to the top of the third rise where we swing to the right of the hay barn, the dogs grab a quick drink from a pond and we are off again up the final gradual hill. The long, steady climb up the open field is flanked on both sides with cover and to the right are large hills with tree motts that stand out against the blue horizon. To see a dog with enough power re-maining to check those motts far at the top of the hill is truly a thing to behold and it rarely goes unrewarded.

It was exactly this that allowed Hi Five’s Passin’ Time, pointer female, to stand out in the crowd of 16 excellent dogs from all over the region. After two well spaced finds and a pleasing race, she stood long and tall at the end of the course, awaiting patiently the arrival of her handler Garry Malzone of Franklin, NJ. She ended with all in order and took home her championship.

The runner up Indian Creek Bocephus, pointer male, also handled by Malzone, also had an ex-cellent race and four nice finds, but could not match the performance or appeal of his kennel mate at the end of the day.

Congratulations to all those who placed this year and we hope to see all of you back in Inola in the fall.

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