American Field

Field Trial Report

American Brittany Club Chicken Championship

By Claudia Truksa | Dec 06, 2018
Championship Winners. From left: Judge Cindy Findley, Stan Truksa, Tom Tracy with Rev’n Gunrunner’s Tilly, Ross Tracy, Tom Milam, Joey Rodgers with Maxwell’s Prickly Pete and Judge Howard Burbach.

Bassett, Neb. — The 2018 ABC Brittany Chicken Championship returned to the Ted Morton Ranch and other Rock Creek landowners, outside of Bassett, Neb.

This wild bird trial is a genuine test of skill, talent, and endurance as the dogs course through pasture ground, hay fields, sand hills, and tall grass prairie.

With temperatures starting in the high 80s and cooling throughout the week, the 54 starters and their handlers had their work cut out for them as the wet spring and summer had curtailed the population of prairie chickens throughout the region.

Under the direction of dedicated Brit fanciers Claudia and Stan Truksa, the committee members Mary Karbiner, Ed Tillson, Jerry McGee, and the unstoppable Ray Trimble coordinated with Ted Morton to insure a good course despite the sloppy conditions.

The John Deere dog wagon was available through the courtesy of Chris Raymond of Plains Equipment of Ainsworth. Claudia’s dog wagon driving skills, hospitality, and a congenial atmosphere made for a well-run trial.

Sponsorship by Purina and Garmin was greatly appreciated. AKC rep Tom Maneely was also on hand, and Jeanna Harmon of the Corral Bar and Restaurant was also supportive.

Respected judges for this event had adjudicated the event in the past and were pleased to be invited again. Howard Burbach (Mo.) and Cindy Findley (Ia.) were collegial and attentive.


Winning the Championship was Rev’n Gunrunner’s Tilly, owned by Weldon Eberhart of Las Vegas, Nev., and handled by Tom Tracy. Tilly, diminutive white and liver female, attacked the course with spirited drive for her hour. Runner-up was Maxwell’s Prickly Pete, owned by Bo Ackerman of Clermont, Ga., and also handled by Tracy. He ran a wide-ranging powerful course and was rewarded with a covey find.

Tracy also handled third and fourth place Ru Jem’s Last Penny and Castaway Wilson, respectively.

The Running

Maxwell’s Quick Silver (Tracy) and A Trace of Bourbon with Diamonds (Johnson) were away cleanly and into the first cattle pasture. At 11 Diamond was credited with a stop to flush. Nearly to the ranch home, “Chick” pointed and Diamond was credited with a back. No bird was produced and following a barren relocation both dogs were taken on. By 35 handler collared Chick. At 40 Diamond pointed. Upon careful relocation a bird was produced with all in order. Diamond finished the hour at shooting dog range.

Crossed the Line (Tillson) and Roustabout’s Eustace (Tracy) were wide-ranging as we entered the 1,000-bale hay field and had to be rounded up and moved forward by their handlers. At the western edge of the hay field, just across the fence, Eustace busted in on the game and was collared. Line ran a moderate race without bird contact.

Jagoub’s Buzz’n Bayou (Tracy) and Tequila Scorcher (Tillson). Early in the brace Bayou pointed near a sandy dune but it was unproductive. Scorcher was more self-contained but upon entering the western prairie pasture was credited with a stylish covey find. Bayou continued forward but without bird contact. Scorcher finished the hour close in.

Sparky’s Prairie Wind Gypsy (Johnson) and Roustabout’s White Knight (Tracy). Heading northeast out of camp for the afternoon, Knight headed far north and handler had to round him up. At 8 Gypsy was pointing but birds could not be produced. As he rode nearby Mr. Tracy’s horse flushed two birds. About 200 yards farther on Knight was credited with a point on four birds. This brace was moving quickly and into the third pasture Knight had a stop to flush behind his handler. At 38 Johnson elected to pick up Gypsy. Knight continued to run a very lateral course, with no further bird contact.

Coco Mo Josie Mo (Gorrow) and Lambach’s Blew By You (Tracy) started by running way wide and both handlers had trouble gathering them up. Both were collared early.

Alar’s Dirty Dancer (Tillson) and Touch of Bourbon Little Chug (Johnson). This brace became an exercise in futility for both handlers as the dogs struggled with sand burrs, lack of forward application and no game contact.

Arrow’s Tequila Rustler (Beaver) and Driving Miss Daisy (Tracy) started the second day. There was a nice gallery of nearly twenty under cloudy skies and 60°. These two speedsters engaged in some head racing, and eventually separated allowing Daisy to make a powerful cast along the complete edge of the first hay field. She followed the edges quite nicely and was biddable. At 48 Daisy was credited with a lovely covey flush and she stood stylishly. Rustler had not been seen for some time and had no bird contact. Daisy finished the hour with another long edge cast.

At 2 Holman called point for Dan’s Maker’s Mark in thick prairie cover but it was unproductive. At 19 Glade Run Irish was not pleasing Tracy and was picked up. Mark was picked up at 28 with no bird contact.

Piney Run Jake (Patterson) and High Hope’s Jac’s Original Spice (Holman) were lateral early, getting stronger as the hour progressed. Showing good range Jake was very biddable and intelligent as he hunted. He suffered an unproductive at 20. Spice was also opening up and had a successful find in the pasture south of camp. Both dogs showed strong bottom as time expired, Jake on a huge move, and Spice going away briskly.

J J’s Diablo with Rusty Tears (Williams) and T L M’s Tall Tale (Tracy) struggled with applying themselves to the course, requiring handlers to be very involved. Rusty covered many directions, and Sam needed strong direction. He suffered an unproductive at 29. Sam was credited with a stop to flush at 48. Rusty had no game contact.

Kinwashkly Tempo (Tillson) and Jagoub’s Spell Caster (Tracy) broke away cleanly. Spell Caster disappeared for some time along the west edge of the 1,000-bale field. He showed up back in the field to the front. At 19 Tempo was on point but his stature was not pleasing  his handler and he was collared. About 200 yards farther, Spell Caster was on point but it was a barren stand. He ended the hour without bird contact.

Early on Rousabout’s Blew By (Tracy) was not applying himself and was collared. Remchester’s Premium White Lightning (Johnson) went on to run one of the best races thus far, with several bold casts along fencelines and to the front. He showed tremendous application, but in disappointment to all was unable to pinpoint a bird.

Jac’s Ray of Sunshine (Holman) and J J’s Levi the Lionheart (Williams). Day No. 3 began cloudy and misty with an easterly wind and 55°. These dogs were both strong, wide-ranging and powerful in the run. In the first pasture Levi tangled briefly with a skunk and was quite odorous for the remainder of the brace but it certainly did not slow the dog down as he continued with bold casts, rounding field edges far to the front. Sunshine was nearly as powerful, taking long forward casts across the first hay field and hunting away. Levi was credited with a stop to flush with a strong caution and with 17 seconds left in the brace Sunshine was called on point, but it was not fruitful. A strong race performance by both dogs.

Crosscreek Argus Early Xmas (Holman) and S S Rig’s Colorado Gun Runner (Milam). At 2 “Gus” pointed where we had recently ridden up birds; it was unproductive and he was moved on. Runner was well to the front and into the 1,000-bale field, made a huge move forward south following the corn field edge and along to the trees. At 39 Runner was standing clearly in the field and Gus failed to back. When released, Runner took a backward cast of over half a mile. His scout rode hard to gather him up. He finished the hour with no game contact.

Castaway Wilson (Tracy) and J R’s Cool Hand Luke (Johnson) were snappy at the start and well-forward. At 25 Luke was credited with a solid back on a single bird find by Wilson. Wilson hunted the course with speed and made several appropriate casts. As we broke into the big uncut prairie field Wilson slammed on point just past the water tank for a successful two-bird find. He finished his hour with a strong forward move around the field edge several hundred yards away. Luke finished the hour with no bird contact.

M K’s My Lil Ammo (Johnson) and Wichita Wild Woman (Tracy). At 10 Johnson called point for his charge but it was barren. Both dogs ran a more moderate race and neither was inspiring in application. At 40 Tracy picked up his tired pup. Ammo experienced another unproductive at 46 but was taken toward camp to finish his hour.

In an unfortunate turn, C V K’s Spartan King (Tracy) pointed a bittern in the wetland, then left it and in the process bumped up a single chicken and failed to stop. Almaden’s Under Lock and Key had a moderate run but had unproductives at 14 and 30, despite an admirable flushing effort by Mr. Tillson.

J J’s Fearless Sam (Gorrow) and Maxwell’s Prickly Pete (Tracy). Beginning in the uncut prairie grass field, both dogs got away well and rimmed the field. At 30 Pete made a stunning cast traversing the entire line of sand hills paralleling the middle hay field. Coming down he crossed the field and pinned a large covey in the middle, with staunch style. Sam had no game contact. Pete finished his hour independently to the front with speed and intensity.

Day No. 4 dawned cloudy following a hard rain and wind in the night.

In sloppy conditions, Brendi Brooks Cowboy Up (Trimble) and Highpoint Blazin High Noon (Kuykendall) played a bit of “catch me if you can”, before settling down to hunt. They ran moderately but neither dog had bird contact.

Rammer Jammer Jax (Kuykendall) and Ru Jem’s Last Penny (Tracy) were off into the 1,000-bale field. They tag-teamed each other forward along the southeastern edge. Jax was gone for an extended time and the retrieval unit was called for. Penny was snappy, forward and took several nice edges. Following an unproductive just outside the hay field, she pointed and as the handler dismounted one bird flushed and as he approached several more birds took flight as Penny stood stylishly. Nice bird work.

Rev’n Gunrunner’s Tilly (Tracy) and M K’s Magnificent Bandito (Johnson). As a misty fog settled in, we broke into the small middle field and Tilly had a successful find near the windmill tank, standing as tall as she was able. Bandito was lost for several minutes but finally tracked down by a scout and brought forward. Bandito continued forward and was not seen again. Tilly showed a great deal of zip and had a lovely covey find in the far corner of the uncut prairie grass field. She was self-directed yet flowed with her handler and hunted the entire hour with snap. She finished zipping over the hills in a bold finishing move.

Gun Creek Gangster and Bella Rose (Tracy). It was apparent early that Gangster had not healed completely from a foot injury and Mr. Holman picked him up. Soon after, Bella had a breach of manners and was picked up.

Roustabout’s All In appeared to be on point at 10 but loosened quite a bit as Tracy approached and it was unproductive. Soon after All was picked up. Ace’s One Eyed Jack continued on but as the course turned into the wind he couldn’t fight it to suit Holman and was up at 27.

Sniksoh Little Diamond (Johnson) and Kashmir (Tracy). Heading back toward camp around Adams Lake, Diamond pointed in the grassy flat and Kashmir came in for a back. It was unproductive despite a bird being flushed by the judge’s horse about 100 yards away. Neither dog was performing well and both were up early.

Crescent City Girl (Tillson) and Kinwashkly Fat Bastard (Tracy). Day No. 5 brought partly cloudy skies with a strong north wind. For the first half of this brace both dogs moved forward at the urging of their handlers. By 42 Tracy had collared his dog. Girl was running a moderate shooting dog course with moderate speed. She was credited with a find in the uncut field to finish the hour.

Chief’s Cross Plains Copper Breeze (Kuykendall) and Shady Way’s Joker’s Hill Country Express (Tracy) seemed to be less focused in the hard north wind and required strong direction from handlers. Express was a bit out of pocket from time to time and ran an average race, no bird contact. Breeze was also more moderate in application and was being brought along the west edge of the 1,000-bale field when she had a single bird find just over the electric fence.

Blackcreek Whiskey Skip (Holman) and Upland Trail Blazer (Tracy). Early, Skip had a breach of manners and was picked up. “Scout” was credited with one find before his performance did not please his handler and he was picked up.

Bassett, Neb., September 17

Judges: Howard Burbach and Cynthia Findley


[One-Hour Heats] — 54 Brittanys

Winner—REV’N GUNRUNNER’S TILLY, 1671904, female, by Felter’s Rev’n Lobo—Gunrunner’s Diamond Forever. Weldon Eberhart, owner; Tom Tracy, handler.

Runner-Up—MAXWELL’S PRICKLY PETE, 1667741, male, by Maxwell’s Blew By You—Maxwell’s Quick Silver. Bo Ackerman, owner; Tom Tracy, handler.

Comments (1)
Posted by: weldon l eberhart | Dec 10, 2018 18:58

I want to thank Tommy Tracy and scout Joey Rogers for take Tilly to the finish line.  I want to Thank the ranch and the judges for their participation in make the event sucessful.


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