National Amateur Champion Crowned in Kentucky

The NBHA National Amateur Championship hosted by Bluegrass Walking Shooting Dog Club was run on the Miller-Welch Central Kentucky Wildlife Management Area on December 9th and 10th. While the weather both days started out rather difficult with dense fog requiring a 2 ½ hour delay, both Friday and Saturday the trial was able to be completed by days end on Saturday.

Judges Matt Hadley and Sam Ridings presided over a field of nineteen very talented bird dogs that traveled from as far away as New York and Florida. The field was made up of eleven English Setters, six English Pointers, one Red Setter, and one Brittany. Plenty of birds were on the course and all braces of dogs had bird contacts.

The Running:
After a delayed start because of fog the trial got underway with cloudy, wet conditions. A light breeze, which made for excellent scenting conditions for the dogs. The Champion Chippewa’s Dog of War, owned and handled by Geoff Johnson, ran in the third brace of the day and the nice looking male pointer appeared determined to set the bar as high as possible, and set it high he did. With only six minutes into his run he was found high and tight. At the flush and shot the dog remained steady as a rock. He repeated this again at the 18 minute mark and once again at the 41 minute mark and finished his hour ranging wide and fancy while still staying to the front and handling well for Geoff. This turned out to be the race that was not to be beaten although many tried and came close.

The Runner Up, Tenace Shelby, pointer male, owned and handled by Greg Isenberg came from the sixth brace which was the first brace to run on Saturday morning. With scenting conditions almost identical as the day before it would be an even test for all contestants. Once again we were faced with the two hour fog delay but this didn’t seem to dampen the spirts of this big running pointer. He broke away and at the 10 minute mark was found standing, and a single quail was flushed and shot fired with perfect manners. This scenario was repeated at the 25 minute mark and the 32 minute mark and he never failed to deliver with perfect manners and making the judges’ decision all the more difficult. In the end he was awarded the well-deserved runner up ribbon.

The Derby field consisted of six young birddogs made up of four English Pointers and two English Setters. The running took place immediately after the conclusion of the Shooting Dog Stakes and finished just ahead of darkness with all braces having bird contacts. Judges for the derby were Jonathan Dunn and Gerry Addison.

In the end first place was awarded to Vitali’s Grouseringer Rush, owned and handled by Gary Vitali. Rush had a nice find that required an extended flushing attempt by Gary who finally was able to locate the quail buried under leaves. This young dog showed great restraint holding during this flushing attempt. While not running as far ranging as some of the other dogs he hit the objectives, stayed to the front, and handled well for Mr. Vitali.

Second place was awarded to Boomer, pointer male, owned and handled by Travis Patterson. Boomer had his first find at the 12 minute mark and was found with beautiful style and kept his composure while a quail ran on the ground in front of him and also after the shot. This seemed to put the dog into another gear and he took a trip, being gone from judgement for 9 minutes. When he was found he was to the front and had slowed down making him much easier to handle. He ended his half hour with another find but was unable to keep his cool this time and ended flushing the bird. All in all these derbies show great potential.

We would like to thank the state of Kentucky for allowing us to utilize these very nice trial grounds, the judges Matt Hadley, Sam Ridings, Jonathan Dunn, for their hard work, Mike Fox for running the trial and Bob Kester for planting birds. And a huge thanks to all that participated.

Field Trial Reporter: Gerry Addison

National Amateur Championship, Berea KY, December 11-12
Judges Matt Hadley and Sam Ridings
Champion - Chippewa’s Dog of War, Sire Ch Miller’s Speed Dial, Dam Bonner’s Snow Angel
Runner Up - Tenacee Shelby, Sire Elhew Moneymaker, Dam Cantor’s coco

Amateur Derby
Judges Jonathan Dunn and Gerry Addison
1st place Vitali’s Grouseringer Rush - Sire Woodville’s Yukon Cornelius, Dam Outcast Stardust
2nd place Sonic Boom Vom Huber Haus -Sire Mac Rhoads, Dam - Lacee Jane Elhew Blackhawk

Pictured above (L:R)
Judge Sam Ridings, Greg Isenberg with RUCH Tenace Shelby, Judge Matt Hadley, Geoff Johnson with CH Chippewa’s Dog of War, Craig Hiatt, and Don Heisner.

Pictured below (L:R)
Gary Vitali with Vitali's Grouseringer Rush, Judge Gerry Addison, Judge John Dunn, and Travis Patterson with Sonic Boom Vom Huber Haus

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