Northern Regional Championship

NBHA Northern Regional CH. Dale Creek Gypsy Queen O/H Deb Dlobik
RUCH Scannons Stella O:Scott Kaufmann H:Tom Waiteby

The 2019 NBHA Northern Regional Championship was held April 3rd thru the 6th and contested at the Sauk Prairie Recreational Area (SPRA). Thanks to the cooperative work with the Wisconsin DNR, Andy Lewandowski, Ed Liermann and many club members, the 12 O’clock FTC was able to run the very first field trial on these grounds. The SPRA is located on the former site of the Badger Army Ammunition Plant, a 10,500 acre United States Army facility located near Baraboo, WI. From 1941-1977 (officially closed in 1997), it employed over 23,000 workers and manufactured nitrocellulose-based propellants during World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. It was the largest munitions factory in the world during World War II. This area originally consisted of oak savanna and prairie habitat. After settlers populated the area, agriculture became predominant and few prairie and oak savanna remnants remained. Under Army management, the open spaces at Badger consisted of a few prairie remnants, some agricultural lands, and open grassy spaces around buildings maintained by grazing. Prairie restoration began in the 1970s and these areas were maintained by fire. Grazing ended in 2003 when demolition started, and the open areas are now growing up into shrubs such as autumn olive and honeysuckle. Source: Wikipedia. One of the goals of the current DNR management is to return most of the acreage back to the prairie habitat. As a club we are dedicated to walk alongside the DNR and work to achieve that goal! Many of the building sites, roads and foundations are still visible, and the onsite museum tells of stories from long ago.

We would like to thank our sponsors Purina, Garmin, Mule Clothing, 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 judges who are familiar with the NBHA and have sat in the judicial saddle for us in the past. Aaron McAfee came from Edinburg, IL and Ed Liermann joined us from Palmyra, WI. Both Aaron 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.

The drawing for this year’s championship included numerous dogs with multiple champion or runner-up championship titles to their names. Some of those included Crow Creek Sugarbaby, Blair’s Witch Project, Winkleman’s Sugar, Zansett Simply Red, and Hidden Hollow Sammy. In attendance were a GREAT group of owners 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, MO and OK! We cannot thank them all enough for entering their dogs. Friday evening the group headed to the Vintage Brewery in Sauk Prairie and enjoyed a traditional Wisconsin fish fry – purchased by the owner of last year’s champion Blair’s Witch Project. It would be safe to say our bellies were full and also splitting from laughter!

The Champions: The 2019 NBHA Northern Regional Champion is a three year old, orange and white, female setter named Dale Creek’s Gypsy Queen - “Bling”. Bling was handled and is owned by Deb Dlobik of Eagle, WI. Bling ran in the first brace on the second day of the trial. Bling started her hour with a find a 5, under a lone cedar tree. During the flush attempt, the birds managed to run right alongside of her, but she maintained her composure and all was in order. She carried the course to the south and was found standing near a dead fall. After a lengthy flush, Dlobik relocated and Bling cautiously relocated and pointed the birds. Dlobik took her down into the bottoms and headed east. Bling made some nice casts and was found pointed 3 more times. The last stand was after the 50 minute mark, spreading her finds throughout the entire hour. Judges commented that her well-spaced finds and classy carriage on the ground separated her above all others.

Scannon’s Stella was named Runner-up Champion of this stake. Stella is a four year old, orange and white, female setter. Stella is owned by Scott Kaufmann of Dousman, WI and handled by professional Tom Waite of Burlington, WI. Stella is very stylish and snappy setter that is a pleasure to watch! She took to the course (on the second day in the fifth brace) with power and handled extremely well for Waite. Stella was credited with four finds and one unproductive. The birds, on her finds, were well located and she was found standing tall and tight. This scribe apologizes for not having all the specifics for each of her finds because he was scouting for her brace mate. At the approx. 55 minute mark, Stella was pointed in the middle of the prairie and encountered interference from her brace mate. She never flinched. Handling that pressure helped advance her above and beyond the rest of the contestants and secured the runner-up championship title.

The accompanying derby stake began Saturday morning with overcast skies. We greatly appreciate all the owners and handlers who came to support us! First place, went to Dale Creek to the Max (Waite). Max’s owner – John Dlobik – was in attendance to watch his bold orange and white male Setter secure this win. After his start, Max had two nice broke finds and a classy, front running application. Second place went to Over the Hill Merry (Lein). Merry is an orange and white female Pointer that is owned and handled by Rod Lein of Chippewa Falls, WI. Merry was braced with Max and added to the excitement of the first brace with three finds and a nice ground application. Rounding out the placements was Raintree Blue Moon (Waite). Friday is a Red Setter that is only a puppy and has a bright future ahead of him. He had multiple contacts, showed good tendency to run, handle and find birds. Friday is owned by Cathy Lewis and Dean Reinke of Elkhorn, WI.

Thank you to ALL the club members who helped put this championship on and get the first trial at SPRA off the ground. A well-deserved thank you should be given to club members Tom Waite, Brian Toutant, Dave Hourihan, Deb and John "Pops" Dlobik as well as Greg Blair who worked with the DNR through all the paperwork and manual labor of clearing of brush, setting the course, etc.
Thanks to our judges Aaron McAfee, Ed Liermann, Bill Osborne and Greg Blair. A special thank you to the dog wagon driver, Ken Millikin, the bird planter Pops Dlobik, and to those who scouted for handlers without help. A hearty thank you to the providers of food/lunch help, Deb Dlobik, Ken Millikin, and Carolyn/Ken Black. 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!

Side note: This club is currently holding a raffle for a Garmin Pro 550 Plus - with collar ($650 retail value) to support the promotion and development of grounds like SPRA. PLEASE contact Greg Blair ([email protected]) to get your tickets – only $10 each - and support our efforts.

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