American Field

Field Trial Report

All-America Open Shooting Dog Championship

By Debbie Ozner | Oct 15, 2020
Grand Prairie Thrill, Winner of the All-America Open Shooting Dog Championship

CARSON, N.D. — The 2020 running of the All-America Open Shooting Dog Championship and Derby in Carson, N. D., started September 8 and concluded mid-afternoon, September 12.

Labor Day greeted us with moderate rainfall the day before the start, making the landowners grateful after a long period without precipitation. The area has had several years of lower precipitation and this year we noticed a small improvement in local rainfall.

According to recent data from, upland bird numbers are improving, citing “good residual cover to start the year, and good weather for nesting and brood-rearing”. Biologists also noted “some areas that experienced abnormally dry periods throughout the summer, but nesting appeared successful”.

According to the extrapolated data from this source: total pheasants are up 38% from last year but 14% lower than the ten-year average. They also noted sharptails were up 54% and partridge up 45%, all based on roadside surveys.

As always, we are grateful and remain indebted to all the landowners for the support they show, allowing us access to their land.

The All-America Shooting Dog Association and North Dakota Pointing Dog Club as well as the handlers, owners, and field trial enthusiasts also wish to especially thank Purina for their continued loyal support of the sport.

This year's Derby judging assignment brought John Hicks, who traveled from Amelia Island, Fla., and Tom Oswald from South Carolina. John brings astute knowledge and love of bird dogs.

Tom Oswald has his camp close by in Elgin, N. D. He's been coming to the prairies for many years and brings a wealth of knowledge to the community. Unfortunately, Tom sustained a horse accident after the first brace of the Derby. Although he was determined to get back up and finish his duties, he reluctantly agreed to go to the local ED for further evaluation. He has since had surgery for a complicated clavicular fracture and we wish him a speedy recovery.

Riding in the gallery was Minnesotan Scott Jordan, who agreed to fulfill the judicial duties for the remaining braces of the Derby. We are grateful to Scott as he stepped up bringing his vast knowledge of bird dogs and undivided attention to the trial.

Official field marshals were Billy Stewart and Curtis Teare, both of Albany, Ga., and had the gallery in the right place, at the right time. We also thank John Roswech, a dedicated supporter and owner, who provided the use of his dog trailer.

The first morning of the Derby began at 6:30 a.m. with handlers, judges and gallery saddled up, awaiting the start. Temperatures were in the high 20s and later warmed to mid-60s. There were 32 dogs entered, 28 pointers, and 4 setters.

Dr. Pat McInteer, Tommy Rice III, Virgil Moore, Eddy Taylor, Shawn Kinkelaar, Justin Martin, Lance Schulz, Jason Blake, Brad Passione and I all entered dogs in the Open Derby.

In the gallery, either scouting or spectating, were George Hickox and Dr. Tom Jackson, who co-own Chelsea’s Thunder Bolt. George has his camp twenty miles from the field trial grounds while Tom makes yearly trips to the prairie from Indiana.

Accompanying Tom to the trial was family friend and college senior, Brooke Bannister. Brooke intends to compete in Amateur stakes with her young Derby dog.

Jason Loper came to the Derby to scout for Tommy Rice and was accompanied by Lane Quick, who works with Jason at Osceola Plantation, and thirteen- year-old Noah Popiel, both of Thomasville, Ga. Noah and his family have several bragging rights German shorthaired pointers in training and may start his handling career this season with the Youth Field Trial Alliance.


This year's trial had outstanding competition, and spectators enjoyed watching the Derbies show off their productive summers. The dogs appeared ready for the challenge, exhibiting their flashy front-running and ability to locate birds.

At the conclusion of the Derby, the winners were announced:

Chelsea’s Fancy Free,  white and liver pointer female handled by Shawn Kinkelaar, owned by Brad Sadler and Zach Hilton, and scouted by Billy Stewart, had an exciting forward race with a broke find at 13 with two chickens put up. At 19 Fancy showed incredible maturity when she had a stop to flush under twenty 20 chickens. At 28 she was on point in the bushes next to the alfalfa. Again we enjoyed a chicken find of over twenty birds.

Great Nation, white and liver pointer male handled and owned by first-time competitor Jason Blake of Moorhead, Minn., had a great first outing as well. "Joe" and Jason worked together and had a pair of exciting broke Derby finds all within 200 yards. Both judges were pleased with Joe's performance giving him a well earned  second place.

Jason is no stranger to competition as a fourteen-year former NHL veteran player who was on the 2006 Olympic team and 2007 All-Star team. Jason has been an avid hunter most of his life. He divides his summer months in Minnesota and South Dakota and will be spend winters at his Sasser, Ga., home.

Third place finisher was Thunder Bolt’s Storm, white and orange pointer female handled by Shawn Kinkelaar scouted by Billy Stewart and owned by Dr. Tom Jackson.

Storm, was braced with Bull (Eddy Taylor) and both had a flashy front running race. At 25 Bull was standing solid on the side of a ridge when Storm came up the side and also stopped and pointed. Bull then came up and around and again stopped while Storm continued to stand. Kinkelaar was able to flush, with birds seen by the handler and marshal. Both dogs showed promising futures as they finished the half-hour

Carson, N. D., September 8
Judges: John Hicks, Scott Jordan and Tom Oswald

OPEN DERBY — 28 Pointers and 4 Setters

1st—CHELSEA’S FANCY FREE, 1688490, pointer female, by Chelsea’s Thunder Bolt—Stoney’s Wild Rose. Brad Sadler, owner; Shawn Kinkelaar, handler.

2d—GREAT NATION, 1691161, pointer male, by Strut Nation—Frontline Dita. Jason Blake, owner and handler.

3d—THUNDER BOLT’S STORM, 1684304, pointer female, by Chelsea’s Thunder Bolt—Lacey Underall. Dr. Thomas L. Jackson, owner; Shawn Kinkelaar, handler.


The  Championship started at the end of the morning of the second day of the Derby.

A strong field of forty dogs was entered, 37 pointers and 3 setters. The weather was crisp and clear at the start. Temperatures ranged during the trial from 28° to 78°.

Judging the Open Shooting Dog was John Hicks, who again gave his complete attention to the officiating duties, and Dr. Pat McInteer of Falls City, Neb. Pat is well known competitive amateur field trial handler and is a retired veterinarian. He was honored by election to the Field Trial Hall of Fame in 2014. Unfortunately, after the second day of judging, Pat experienced severe back spasms, necessitating he sit out the rest of the trial.

Billy Stewart stepped in to fill his shoes and brought his professional demeanor to judge the final days of the trial. We are grateful to all these gentleman for their time and giving back to the sport.

The trial was well represented with handlers making the trip North. Tommy Rice, III, Jason Loper, Eddy Taylor, Virgil Moore, Shawn Kinkelaar, Jim Tande, Scott Jordan, and Gordy Jones.

In the gallery were spectators eager to watch the dogs including Lance Schulz, Dr. Tom Jackson, John Roswech, George Hickox and myself.

Local Carson resident, thirteen-year-old Christian Stewart, was also among the riding spectators. Although Christian has plenty of chores on his family's ranch to tend to, he finds time to accompany Shawn while training dogs and horses. He even had the chance to help scout during this year's trial.


At the end of the trial, Grand Prairie Thrill was named champion. "Sadie" is a white and liver pointer female, owned by Mac Stidham of Columbia, S. C., and handled by Tommy Rice III, scouted by Jason Loper.

"Sadie" has had a winning summer on the prairies, having previously won the Montana Open Shooting Dog Championship. She was last year's runner-up All America Open Shooting Dog champion.

She shows up and delivers a performance. This Championship was no exception.

On the first afternoon course, at 25, after running a forward race over the prairies and down into draws, point was called by Taylor, who was scouting for Virgil Moore. As we rode to the find, we were able to witness Sadie standing with chickens flying. At 50 Sadie was again on point in the prairie grass next to the cut alfalfa field. After relocation, Tommy was unable to produce the birds. At 59 just before the finish, Sadie was working the last hill in the prairie grass and had a final stop to flush standing against the backdrop of the hill, finishing out the hour.

Runner-up champion was Chelseas’s Thunder Bolt, eight-year-old white and liver pointer male co-owned by George Hickox and Dr. Tom Jackson of Carson, N. D., and Columbus, Ind., respectively. “Bolt” was handled by Shawn Kinkelaar and scouted by Curtis Teare.

Bolt is no stranger to the All-America, having won it in 2016. Bolt seems to know when to shine and it is always a thrill to watch.

Running on the last course of the day, Bolt started with large casts out front. After crossing the road back into the next native grass field, at 27, Bolt was pointing on the hillside. After relocating, Shawn was unable to produce birds.

As he covered largely terrain of grass fields, Bolt was spotted standing at 35 approximately 800 yards ahead up on a hill. A chicken was flushed and all in order. At 56 Bolt appeared to be on point again in a draw; however, this was waved off. At the finish, Bolt was found by the scout in a shelter belt again on point. Multiple birds were called and seen as he finished out the hour.


Hale's Kickstarter (Taylor) started with a handsome stand at 8 when birds were called by the scout, but unfortunately due to position over the hill not seen by the judge. As we rode up, however, a final flush with two more birds sealed his find. Braced with "Bud" was Osceola's Rebel Chief (Loper) which also ran and hunted the course well, unfortunately had no bird contact. Both dogs finished the hour.

Both Just Thrillin (Rice) and Storm Warning (Kinkelaar) had a short race, neither dog finishing the hour. The handlers requested their retrieval units.

Beckworth's Firecracker (Rice) and World Class Chief (Moore) had multiple back-to-back bird contacts with credit for numerous stops to flush and points with both producing chickens in close proximity to each other on the second course of the afternoon. Both dogs showed manners as the pressure mounted of numerous birds in the prairie grass and cut alfalfa field. Both finished the hour. Firecracker scored points at 5 and 9, with a stops to flush at 25 and 31. Chief was credited with stops to flush at 5, 25, 31, 37, with a point at 33 in the bushes. At 37 point again called by Moore; however, the judge spotted a coyote coming out of the side of the draw. Moore attempted to flush and a porcupine was seen and the dog moved on. Both dogs finished the hour.

Thrill Me (Rice) and Princess Di ( Kinkelaar) both had an initial fast and flashy run. Di eventually was picked up at 40. Thrill Me continued on, finishing the hour back near camp, hunting hard but unable to find game.

Northwoods Sir Gordon (Rice) and Hale’s High Flyer (Taylor) were the first brace of the next day in cool, clear conditions. At 15 Sir Gordon was found standing on a hillside overlooking a far away farmstead and where Rice flushed multiple birds in the prairie grass. At 33 Taylor requested his retrieval device. At 38, after crossing the road into the cut field, Rice picked up his dog.

Tangled Sheets (Taylor) and Rock’s Bird Colonel (Rice) both ran a fast and forward race. At 38 Colonel carded a point with Tangled Sheets also stopped. Tangled Sheets had a slight indiscretion and the handler elected to pick her up. At 42 Colonel was again on point, a bird seen in flight. Rice elected to move his dog on prior to seeing another bird take flight after leaving. At 44 Colonel had another pheasant find off the edge of the road. All was in order. At 59 point called; however, no bird could be produced. He finished the hour.

At 15 point was called by Kinkelaar for Shagtime Scout but the bird was not seen by the judge. After a relocation, no further birds were produced. At 31 Scout was on point in the prairie grass. The judge gave the handler the option to move on due to a deer spotted in the road. At 38 Scout again was on point; after a relocation, a rooster was observed by the handler.  Eddy Taylor electively called for his retrieval device for Icebereaker.

Due Respect (Tande) and In Swami's Shadow (Kinkelaar) both had big forward runs. At 15 Dot pointed from the other side of the section line fence into the thick native cover but the handler was unable to flush game. At 58,Due Respect pointed with Dot backing and chickens were produced. At 59 Dot was found pointing in the bushes on a small rise into the prairie grasses where a rooster flushed. All in order, with both dogs finishing the hour.

Both Silver W Jill Z and Big Hurt started the hour running a big race. Jill Z disappeared to the left over the hill and the tracking device was secured. Big Hurt, although initially fast and forward, was also eventually picked up by his handler.

Two Fingers Neat (Moore) and Oak Ridge Thor (Kinkelaar). At 10 Thor was picked up due to a pad injury. At almost halfway, Two Fingers Neat was picked up electively.

Friday morning. Great River Gunsmoke (Kinkelaar) and Chippewa Warrior (Rice) started their hour in 36° weather under partly cloudy skies. At 12 Rice called point with Chippewa Warrior pointing down hill. He was relocated but unable to produce game. At 25 Rice again called point in the shelter belt again unable to produce a bird for a second unproductive. Kinkelaar picked up his retrieval device early in the brace.

Upfront's Southern Star (Kinkelaar) and Cheyenne Nation (Jordan) started out the second brace of the day with a big forward run. At 12 "Roo" was standing on point; relocated, but Kinkelaar was unable to produce game. Both dogs stretched out through the alfalfa fields and prairie grasses, handling to the front. At 54 Cheyenne Nation was found on point in the downhill shelter belt, but Jordan elected to move on without a relocation. Both dogs finished strong without bird contact.

Strut Nation (Jordan) pointed early, exhibiting great manners; after a relocation,  handler was unable to produce birds. After Scott released the dog, we noted birds took to flight. At 25 Nation was found on point next to a section line leading to alfalfa, but birds were unable to be flushed, concluding his day. At 25 Nella Belgian Brew, several hundred yards away, was on point, scoring a find on chickens. At 40 she had an unproductive. At 52 Rice found Brew standing over the small rise and elected to move on. At 56 she was again on point; after sent for a relocation, a stop to flush eventuated, finishing out the hour.

No. 14: Jacked Up Jasper (Moore) was paired with this year's champion, Grand Prairie Thrill. At 23 Jasper was found pointing in the prairie grass with a relocation but the handler unable produce game. At 46 Jasper carded a find in the alfalfa with multiple chickens. At 59 Jasper has a stop to flush to finish out his hour.

Miller's Miss Kitty (Taylor) and True Choice (Kinkelaar) both had a nice race and at 5 True Choice was found pointing on a hillside with Miss Kitty backing. After a relocation, multiple birds  were produced. At 22 both dogs were simultaneously on point, unable to see each other due to the topography near the quonset, and both were credited for a beautiful find. At 35 both dogs were seen cresting a far hillside past the section line both handlers asked for their retrieval devices.

Wild Ridge Sugarplum (Taylor), a fast and flashy female, was braced with this year's runner-up, Chelsea’s Thunder Bolt. Both dogs were running big and handled to the front. At 16 and 17, Sugar Plum carded two separate points, single chickens produced with all in order. At 30 she was pointing in the grass with Taylor crossing over the section line but was unable to produce any game. At 56 Sugar Plum pointed at the edge of a heavy draw but the handler was unable to flush a bird, ending the afternoon.

Jayhawk Jailbreak (Moore) and S S Lightning (Kinkelaar) started the final morning, temperature at 48° with a ground fog. Off the start, at 1 minute, Lightning was found on point in the thick cover where two pheasants were produced. At 25 Lightning was again on point, without game produced. At 45 both handlers asked for retrieval devices.

Hawthorn Pearl (Rice) and Searching for a Rainbow (Jones) started out after the fog had mostly cleared. At 12 Jones attempted to flush in the pasture grass without success. At 16 Pearl was pointing by the trees in the draw with Rainbow backing nicely. No birds were produced. At 38 Pearl had a limb find, pointing a pheasant in the draw. At 50 both handlers elected to pick up their dogs.

Touch's Two Step (Rice) and Edelman (Jones) started  at 1minute with Edelman pointing and Two Step backing. However, no birds flushed. At 22 Jones’ scout called point far to the left but this was waved off. At 28 Edelman was on point, with Two Step backing, resulting in a second unproductive. At 35 Two Step was on point on the far side of the hill; the relocation resulted in an unproductive. At 40, Rice elected to pick up.

The stake's final brace, Trip My Trigger (Rice) and Tug of War (Kinkelaar), started out running solidly on the first afternoon course. Prior to the end of the hour, both handlers made the decision to pick up their dogs.

Judges: John Hicks, Dr. Pat McInteer and Billy Stewart

[One-Hour Heats] — 37 Poinaters and 3 Setters

Winner—GRAND PRAIRIE THRILL, 1676501, pointer female, by Seekin A Thrill—York’s Hollywood. Mac Stidham, owner; Thomas Rice III, handler.

Runner-Up—CHELSEA’S THUNDER BOLT, 1649213 pointer male, by Whippoorwill Wild Agin—Butler’s Jill. Dr. Tom Jackson & George Hickox, owners; Shawn Kinkelaar, handler.







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