International Endurance Open Shooting Dog Championship
Conway, Ark. — The International Endurance Open Shooting Dog Championship was conceived by Delmar Smith in 1971 as a breeders’ stake. Delmar’s intent was to promote dogs capable of a three hour endurance type contest. Delmar was the motor and the inspiration for the event until the late 1970s when Chuck Taylor took the reins. Chuck changed the trial to a ninety-minute stake because of simple economics. You can’t charge enough of an entry fee to cover expenses when you only run four dogs per day.
The Endurance has resided in Ardmore, Okla., since inception. Chuck decided to move the trial to Conway, Ark., under the new leadership of John Van Horn, Jeffery Hale, Gordon Hazlewood and Ronnie Miller due to the recent improvements in grounds and facilities.
Many of you are aware of the horrible storm on April 27, 2014 that leveled the old clubhouse, upper barn and kennels. You can still see the occasional piece of metal high in a tree wrapped around a branch. When the storm hit the AG&F took the opportunity to reassess some of their obligations the field trial community had taken for granted. The AG&F no longer buys and feeds birds. They no longer provide a dog wagon and employee to pull it for trials. Fortunately they did allow the local user groups a chance to step up and fill the void. The CRCA (Camp Robinson Conservation Association), a 501c nonprofit corporation, was formed. The AG&F made the CRCA the liaison for all the user groups and allowed them the right to purchase birds and feed them. Going from a publicly funded government organization to privately funded volunteer labor has not been without bumps in the road. The underlying desire to keep the amazingly wonderful facilities alive and available to all is the only thing that has kept things together. With fundraisers, voluntary user fees, bird fees and just plain sweat equity the CRCA, Arkansas Amateur Field Trial Association, the trail riders, bow hunters and the beagle enthusiasts stepped up and kept the ship from sinking.
This fall the CRCA and AAFTA released a total of 4,500 birds in September-October. They installed 102 feeders and bought the feed for them. There are the people who are talking about what happened to quail and there are the people trying to do something to keep the dream of having a bird dog and finding quail alive. These people are the latter. If you can join the CRCA (Camp Robinson Conservation Association) or the Arkansas Amateur Field Trial Association and lend them your support. This is one of the few areas in the country where the public can train bird dogs and expect to find quail.
The improvements to grounds and facilities were the major reasons Chuck Taylor chose to move the trial to Conway. All dogs need a fair chance on birds to demonstrate their talents.
The winner ran in the 11th brace starting just after lunch on the last day of the trial. Tangled Sheets, white and liver pointer female handled by Shawn Kinkelaar and scouted by Johnny Ornsby of Greenbrier, Ark., co-owner with wife Rita, was turned loose just after lunch. Bracemate was Waymaker Dandy Man (Stacy Perkins). Both dogs went over the hill south of breakaway, both reaching for the front. The weather had warmed to the high 50s a day after our rain delay. Both dogs pounded the front with Dandy Man being scouted occasionally to be kept on track. “Hottsie” held the front in moderate to extreme range, always showing, never being brought in by scouts. Both dogs crossed the mountain at 30, Man to the left along the woodsedge, Hottsie to the right. Both dogs hunted hard in the heat of the early afternoon. The birds have been hunted hard this season and at times are hard to find. Perkins picked up Man at 50. Hottsie continued around Dead Horse Curve and faded to the front crossing the gravel road and hunting to the front on the south edge of the creek. Kinkelaar dispatched his scout when she didn’t show at the end of the cast. Ornsby called point. Hottsie was rewarded with a nice covey find at 1:20, manners in perfect order. Turned loose Hottsie finished to the front as well as most dogs started their heat, with tremendous heart hunting every jump.
Runner-up Denton, white and liver pointer male owned by Dr. Bob Canada from the Kansas City, Mo., area, ran in the 10th brace. Denton carded his first find just after the road crossing past Dead Horse Corner. He exhibited shooting dog manners at flush and shot. He was next found backing his bracemate at the road crossing heading into the Nursery Pond field. Denton’s next find was at the hour mark where the morning and afternoon courses join. Once again all was in order. Denton finished to the front.
Wild Covey Shockwave (Jerry Hailey) made the first field at breakaway and down the woodsedge. When the course took a hard left Shockwave made a huge cast to the right, never to return to judgment. Outback Elhew Jake (Van Horn) made good casts and hunted to the front. Handler dispatched scout Hazlewood at 28. Point was called near a feed strip on the eastern edge of the grounds. Jake corrected as we rode up and the birds lifted before he was stopped ending his bid.
World Class Cash (Perkins) and Stormin Steely Dan (Herriage) were away after a short coffee break. Both dogs hunted hard and to the front. Dan slowed at 50 and Herriage terminated his efforts. Cash finished the 90 minutes birdless.
Ben (Perkins) and Cadet (Messick) were away at 1:00. Perkins’ dog had a well located covey at 28 by the old cemetery, all in order. Both dogs hunted and maintained the front. Ben was making game at 1:05 after just crossing the mountain but couldn’t quite get stopped before the covey left to end his bid. Cadet hunted and stayed in front making solid casts as time was running out; he styled to a point at 1:28. Everything was in order for the flush. Cadet had a solid effort, especially considering the temperatures were in the low 60s.
Joho Full Moon (Perkins) and Southern Renegade (Newcomb) were away after a short break. Point was called at 20 for Moon but Perkins couldn’t move any birds. Perkins called point again at 35. This time the quail were home, all in order. Continuing on Moon had another unproductive at 1:18 finishing his bid. Renegade had his first find at 15 in the lake pocket past the nursery pond. Next he had a back at 20. His next find was at the one hour mark just after the morning course and afternoon courses joined and headed north, all in order. Renegade had an unproductive at 1:10 just after Darnel’s crossing. Renegade finished but had shortened in the last 20 minutes, the heat taking its toll.
First brace day No. 2 after a one day rain delay. World Class Cliff (Perkins) and Zorra (Kinkelaar) were off at 8:00 a. m. to crisp clear conditions. Both dogs ran hard forward races, both being scouted but showing up on course. Both dogs went birdless and finished their time.
Supernatural (Herriage) and Miller’s Shoot’em Up Liz (Ronnie Miller) were off at 9:45 after a short break. Super-natural ran a pleasing forward race but after being birdless for 45 minutes Herriage elected to discontinue. At 15 Miller was returning to the gallery when his horse was bogged down in the ditch trying to make the gallery path. Both horse and rider went to the ground.
Fortunately neither was hurt except for their pride. Miller brushed off his horse and pride to ride around the corner and found his charge standing high and tight on the other side of the thicket. Liz had manners throughout the moment, though she may have had a slight grin on her face. Liz continued hunting and to the front, having her second find at 1:08 with shooting dog manners, the heat costing her some style. Liz finished her hour strong to the front.
Kate’s Magic (Perkins) and R J’s Deicer (Kinkelaar) were off at 1:00. Deicer scored first at 28, all in order. Magic pointed on top of the hill at the afternoon mountain crossing with Deicer backing. Turned loose on the top of the mountain both dogs established point at the bottom of the hill with Deicer establishing point seconds before and slightly ahead of Magic. Deicer was credited with a find and Magic a back. Somehow both dogs survived it and were released. In 200 yards Magic established point with Deicer 20 yards to the north pointing after Deicer had stopped. Both handlers flushed. Perkins moved birds, Kinkelaar did not. Both dogs continued. Kinkelaar called point at 1:28. Magic was backing. No birds could be moved. A total of four coveys were moved in the 90 minutes.
Chelsea’s Thunder Bolt (Kinkelaar) and Marksman (Messick) were off after break. Point was called for Marksman after the nursery pond crossing on the west side of the gravel road. Marksman was a little aggressive handling his birds and was put in the harness. Thunder Bolt had an unproductive at 20 then continued to run a good forward race finishing with a stop to flush at 1:26.
Dynomike (Herriage) and Sinbad’s Bear (Kinkelaar) were off at 8:00 to clear skies and a heavy frost. Both dogs put down great ground efforts. Herriage ended his bid 1:20. Bear finished his 90 minutes but was birdless.
Sugarknoll Sledge Hammer (Kinkelaar) had a nice piece work on a covey at 10, followed by a back on the runner- up Denton, whose effort was reported earlier. When we crossed the gravel road heading to the nursery pond Hammer was standing near a briar patch with Denton backing. No birds were produced.
Waymaker Dandy Man (Perkins) and Tangled Sheets’ (Kinkelaar) efforts were reported earlier.
In Swami’s Shadow (Kinkelaar) was the bye dog, off at 2:45. Birds were starting to walk. Shadow carded finds at 15, 1:00 and at 1:15, all in order. At 1:28 as she was finishing to the front she slammed on point in a place you really would hate to get off and flush but she was so convincing you would have to give her the benefit of the doubt. Unfortunately nothing was at home and there wasn’t anything cover to relocate to. This probably cost her consideration with the winners.
As a side note on day No. 1 of the running when we stopped for our morning coffee break to change dogs, Delmar Smith, the Hall of Fame founder of the Endurance, was standing at the dog wagon. He decided to make an unannounced stop on his way home from the National Championship to check on the trial he started. After the day’s running he was in the parking lot giving demonstrations drawing a crowd in the process. Mr. Smith stayed long enough to have supper with us and share stories. What a special moment and treat for our trial!
Conway, Ark., February 13
Judges: Gailen Cooper and Larry Meek
INTERNATIONAL ENDURANCE OPEN SHOOTING DOG CHAMPIONSHIP [Ninety-Minute Heats] — 22 Pointers and 1 Setter
Winner—TANGLED SHEETS, 1650848, pointer female, by Miller’s Happy Jack—Tina’s Tear Drop. Johnny & Rita Ornsby, owners; Shawn Kinkelaar, handler.
Runner-Up—DENTON, 1641618, pointer male, by Elhew Fibber McGee—Elhew Miss T. Dr. Bob Canada, owner; Stacy Perkins, handler.