2022-2023 Northern Regional Championship

Championship Winners (l to r) Chris Fields, Garry Malzone, Jillian Stuhr with CH Pure Confidence, Deb Dlobik, John Dlobik, judge Mike Vicari, Greg Blair with RUCH Brook’s White Hot Blaze James Woods, judge, Frank Vicari, Brian Lick, Tom Waite and Ken Millikin.

The 2023 NBHA Northern Regional Championship was held again this year at the Yellowstone Wildlife Management Area, near Argyle WI. The grounds are very rolling with plenty of acreage to allow a dog to stretch their legs yet be in touch with their handler. Mowing was done this past summer and provided objectives and cover. The 12 O'clock FTC hosts a very welcoming, warm event and this year was no different. The field consisted of American Field/UKC and AKC Champions as well as major futurity winners. Thank you to each owner and handler who joined this Championship.

Our judges this year were Frank and Mike Vicari of Hampshire, IL. The Vicari’s operate Wildfire Kennels, a nationally known kennel that raises and produces national champion German Shorthaired Pointers. Frank’s father was Joe Vicari – who started the winning Wildfire lines. Frank, Mike and other family members currently have dogs in the top 10 standings on the AKC GSPCA national rankings. They did a great job and were welcomed kindly by all participants. Thank you Frank and Mike!

This year drew a reputable entry from across the country. We began the running at 11:30am on Friday because heavy thunderstorms were predicted. We were able to get three braces in before the thunderstorm and tornado warnings came into effect. Overnight dropped heavy rain, wind and hail, on the grounds. That front rolling through brought a dusty of snow, cooler temperatures and a strong wind out of the northwest. Numerous dogs finished the hour and the Champion – Pure Confidence (Tango) came out of the fifth brace (second on Saturday morning) and the Runner Up Champion – Brook’s White Hot Blaze (Blaze) arose from the sixth overall brace.

CH Pure Confidence, is owned by Black Meadow Kennel, handled by Garry Malzone and scouted by Jillian Stuhr both from Indian Creek Kennels out of Franklin, NJ. Tango started his brace with a bold cast and was found pointed to the front on the east side of the course. After catching the front, the powerful male Pointer went on to card three more finds - all well-spaced throughout the hour, and one unproductive. Pure Confidence is a consistent bird finder and finished well to the front as time was called.

RUCH Brook’s White Hot Blaze is an exciting, bold, young (three year old) Red Setter. Blaze is owned by Luke Tewes of Palmyra, NE, handled by Tom Waite of Dale Creek Gundogs in Burlington, WI and scouted by Greg Blair. Blaze is a son of National CH and recent Hall of Fame inductee Zansett’s Simply Red. He definitely has his dad’s bird finding capabilities and style to burn. Tom and Blaze were in the sixth brace and laid down a strong and forward ground application. On Blaze’s first find, he was able to withstand pressure from his bracemate, which did not deter his composure. He went on to have two more well-spaced finds and finished strong.

Sunday morning brought the best weather for the weekend – although windy, it was more comfortable than the previous two days and many dogs showed great promise. The derby stake drew 17 highly competitive youngsters! Derby placements were secured by three very nice, up and comers. Hackberry's Amos Moses (Amos), a white and liver male Pointer, owned and handled by Ben Brettingen of Waconia, MN, took first and showed great range and handling with a forward application Amos had a beautiful woodcock find, and finished strongly. Indian Creek Pineapple (Pineapple), a white and orange female Pointer, owned by Stuhr and handled by Malzone of Franklin, NJ, gave Amos a run for his money. Her smooth gait and ability to hit the right spots earned her a second place finish. Rounding out the placements was The Need for Speed (Maverick), a white and black ticked male English Setter, owned by Chris Kobs of Cudahy, WI and handled by Waite of Burlington, WI. Maverick ran a race that was always in tune with the handler and stayed to the front and applied himself well. He had a nice broke find to start the brace and went on to have two more finds. All three placements showed application and desire for the entire 30 minutes.

The 12 O'clock FTC would like to thank our national sponsors, Purina, Garmin, Mule Clothing, Onx Hunt, Gun Dog Supply and Gun Dog Central. We also would like to thank our dedicated dog wagon drivers Ken Millikin and Chris Fields, bird planter John Dlobik and scouts, who helped everyone who needed assistance, for their time and hard work. It is greatly appreciated!

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