Bluegrass Walking Shooting Dog Club Results

The Bluegrass Walking Shooting Dog Club held its first trial of the 2020-2021 season at the grounds and home base of Outcast Kennels in Paris, Ky., owned by James and Kelsey Kleve.

With the looming uncertainties of potential cancellations and heavy restrictions of state grounds nationwide due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, James and Kelsey Kleve generously volunteered the use of their grounds greatly reducing the likelihood of abandoning or moving the trial date.

To say that the venue was immaculately groomed would be an understatement. The Outcast Kennel grounds feature beautiful rolling hills with an abundance of milo, sorghum, and weed strips offering plenty of birdy cover and many places to show dogs effectively.

Included with the grounds was the abundance of infrastructure from multiple Johnny houses, pigeon lofts, and kennels James and Kelsey live in, “bird dog training paradise” (as one spectator put it), and their hospitality cannot be appreciated sufficient to their efforts.

With the mercury pushing 90° and the humidity beating down, bird finding opportunities and the endurance of some of the competitors did wane. However, competition stayed fierce all day despite the conditions with judges finding their task of sorting through the performances rather difficult throughout the trial.

On the docket for the event were five stakes, two of which were qualifier stakes or restricted stakes. Qualifier or restricted stakes allow competitors lacking recognized placements to compete against like competition with the intent of qualification for championship stakes entry.

Given the current climate of the field trial world and the effects of COVID-19 cancelling a large portion of the latter part of the 2019-2020 season, qualifier or restricted stakes can help mitigate the shortened previous season and provide ample numbers of qualified dogs for championships for this season. The August 11, 2020 article posted by the American Field also explains this stake in great detail.

The Open Derby saw the unofficial 2019-2020 Kentucky Field Trial Association (KFTA) Walking Puppy of the Year and very precocious Vitali’s Grouseringer Pappy, owned by longtime field trial personality Gary Vitali, take the blue. Placed twice as a puppy in last season’s puppy stakes offered by this club, Pappy enters Derby company this season proving with a mature ground effort and superb handling that the prospects for this setter male will reach well into the future.

Terry Boatright’s heavily ticked and tri-color setter female Boatright’s American Pride garnered second place laurels after laying down one of her patented fast far reaching ground races. Terry’s current string of well-bred female setters all feature that patented agile, lighting-like run that always keeps judges’ attention and this run was no different.

Rounding out third place was Andrew Ruby and his pointer male Appalachian Elhew Tank from Gallipolis, Ohio. Andrew and Tank’s first ever field trial run was with this club back in the spring of the following field trial season in Berea, Ky., and although the duo didn’t procure a placement in that maiden run, the bug had clearly bit the handler with Ruby and his handsome black and white pointer coming back and earning third place in the Open Derby with their off-season work clearly paying off.

The next three braces of dogs competed for qualifying rights in the Open Derby Qualifier. Grady Howard of Mooresville, Ind., and his pointer female Step Back Nonbelievers mandated first place honors requiring little handling from her handler running a smooth articulated race down and around the various pieces of cover and field lines in elegant fashion. Second and littermate to the Open Derby second, was again Boatright’s Mazikeen, owned and handled by Terry Boatright, marking two of his three placements. Mazi’s run displayed persistent forward motion and handling with the light framed white and black ticked setter female knifing in and out of cover effortlessly.

The yellow ribbon was awarded to newcomer Mark Wegford of Butler, Ky., who navigated his brawny white setter male around the course methodically with birds always on his mind, finishing with two finds.

By the midpoint of the day, the seasoned competitors of the Open Shooting Dog stake were called to the line with heat and humidity at its apex. It’s always a very large asking and dangerous task to cut loose hard-charging bird dogs in oppressive heat and to the handlers’ credit, a good portion of the dogs in the stake were voluntarily and responsibly picked up as to avoid any dangerous or potentially harmful situations with their animals in the heat. A reminder to all that the health and ability of the dogs to fight again another day should always takes precedence over “finishing”.

Regardless, the judges awarded two placements in the Open Shooting Dog Stake with Joseph and Brittany Hopkins’ first year shooting dog and unofficial 2019-2020 KFTA Walking Derby of the Year achieving his first shooting dog win. Perseverance was at the forefront of the white and liver setter’s agenda as the sun beat down on his back in his quest to find birds. Always showing to the front and briefly disappearing in and out of the terrain like a ghost, Seven of Diamonds ended his brave run at 28 with a broke find.

Second was earned by the “dual threat” handler Mike Fox and his Red setter Foxy’s Lil Red Missy. Although birdless in her efforts, Missy bladed through the course as if she had no idea the thermometer was about to go through roof and was seemingly ready to go around again at pickup.

Mike Fox’s participation and success in both Field Dog Stud Book (American Field) and NSTRA sanctioned events with his Red setters (hence the “dual threat” moniker) is always an interesting topic of discussion and proves that with hard work and good stock, a good dog can get it done anywhere.

The trial moved onward with the qualifying hopefuls of the Open Shooting Dog Qualifier Stake next on the bill.

Bull’s Creek Rib, pointer male owned and handled by Eddie “Dean” Powell of Mars Hill, N. C., showed the judges his worth of shooting dog qualification relentlessly hunting the course requiring little guidance as if the dog knew exactly where to look and go to collect his two finds towards the win. Second place dog also showed the judges two finds as Josh Griggs of Elkton, Ky., and his brawny white and orange pointer Pond River’s Pressure On finished the half hour on a bird-finding assignment rendering worthy of placement.

Filling out the placements was Outcast Apollo handled by Outcast Kennels professional James Kleve owned by John Edstrom of St. Paul, Minn. In his bid, Apollo exhibited a performance worthy of future consideration in larger stakes with an untiring race taking all the edges afforded to him earning him qualifying rights in his reputable effort.

And after a long, arduous, and hot day’s running; the puppies injected a final spark of excitement showing their potential and as future field trial stars.

Out of the five entries (and rounding out Terry Boatright’s stellar day of running) setter female Boatright’s Texas Tornado took first place running to her name with a fury of excitement hunting every step with her handler. Second place once again was one of Mike Fox’s “red dogs” Sadie. The very young red setter pup revealed a myriad of potential going on with meaning and purpose similar to the traits of her older comrades in her owner’s string despite her very young age.

At any successful field trial, there is always a plethora of people to thank all the way up to the grounds host, all the way down to those who drove the dog wagons, and everyone in between.

The Bluegrass Walking Shooting Dog Club in its early inception has prided itself on the compatriots of its events proven through their returning entries no matter the distance, and in this case, weather conditions. A level of gratitude to adequately thank or repay those volunteers and participants does not exist but their dedication and hard work does in no way go unnoticed.

Good people, make good field trials, no matter the results.

Paris, Ky., September 12

Judges: Joseph Hopkins and James Kleve

NBHA OPEN DERBY — 1 Pointer and 7 Setters

1st—VITALI GROUSERINGER PAPPY, 16843688, setter male, by Vitali’s Grouseringer Tony—Vitali Grouseringer Purdy. Gary Vitali, owner and handler.

2d—BOATRIGHT’S AMERICAN PRIDE, 1687449, setter female, by Vitali’s Grouseringer Tony—Boatright’s Zena Re Call. Terry Boatright, owner and handler.

3d—APPALACHIAN ELHEW TANK, 1687317, pointer male, by Cross Timber Elhew Explorer—Primetime Elhew Lacey. Andrew Ruby, owner and handler.

NBHA OPEN DERBY QUALIFIER — 2 Pointers and 5 Setters

1st—STEP BACK NONBELIEVERS, 1687533, pointer female, by Joho’s Full Moon—Crossroads Elhew Dot. Grady Howard, Jr., owner and handler.

2d—BOATRIGHT’S MAZIKEEN, 1690002, setter female, by Vitali’s Grouseringer Tony—Boatright’s Zena Re Call. Terry Boatright, owner and handler.

3d—COLONEL ROBERT SHAW, 1684487, setter male, by Ponderosa Mac—Trigger McGoo. Mark Wegford, owner and handler.

Judges: Brian French and Gary Vitali

NBHA OPEN SHOOTING DOG — 6 Pointers, 4 Setters and
2 Irish Setters

1st—SEVEN OF DIAMONDS, 1682461, setter male, by Erin’s Hidden Shamrock—Diamond’s Blue Girl. Joseph & Brittany Hopkins, owners; Joseph Hopkins, handler.

2d—FOXY’S LIL RED MISSY, 1643777, Irish setter female, by Red N Ready—Matter of Perspective. Mike Fox, owner and handler.

NBHA OPEN SHOOTING DOG — 3 Pointers and 3 Setters

1st—BULL’S CREEK RIB, 1670306, pointer male, by Stoney Run’s Buddy—Bull Creek Nail. Eddie Powell, owner and handler.

2d—POND RIVER’S PRESSURES ON, 1680453, pointer male, by Lester’s Sunny Hill Jo—Crouse’s Pine Landy. Joshua Griggs, owner and handler.

3rd-OUTCAST APOLLO, 1684400, setter male. John Edstrom, owner; James Kleve, handler

Judges: Scott Luther and Gary Vitali

NBHA OPEN PUPPY — 1 Pointer, 3 Setters and 1 Irish Setter

1st—BOATRIGHT’S TEXAS TORNADO, 1690003, setter female, by T’s Nickleback—Wynona’s Island Marigold. Terry Boatright, owner and handler.

2d—SADIE, unreg., Irish setter female, breeding not given. Mike Fox, owner and handler.

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