American Field

Field Trial Report

American Brittany Club Chukar Championship

By As seen by Cindy Findley, Joe Gower and Margaret Horstmeyer | Jun 11, 2018
The Winners. From left: Cindy Findley, judge; Paul Doiron with Spanish Corral’s Sundance Kid, Joe Gower with Blew Me Away and Larry McConnell, judge.

Marsing, Ida. — The 41st annual American Brittany Club Chukar Championship was hosted by the Idaho Brittany Club and held May 1-2 in true chukar country — home to some rugged terrain characterized by lava cropped buttes that reach around 4,500 feet in elevation and open rolling sage lands below.

Two one-hour courses are laid out on the sprawling grounds at Mile Post 9/Squaw Creek Recreation Area in the BLM Owyhee Resource Area, one heading out directly from camp and sweeping the top edge of the normal gun dog course before turning left and continuing to skirt the base of the buttes and ending near a fenceline and road coming off Mile Post 7. The return course follows the same path but in reverse.

The courses provide a true opportunity for all-age dogs to demonstrate their strength, stamina and skills!

The 2016 “Soda” fire torched the area but the grasses which were planted are showing regrowth along with the sage. Mother Nature cooperated by blessing us with clear blue skies and moderate temperatures, great weather for running dogs!

Several dog distractions are also present on the grounds: pronghorn antelope provide an exciting chase as well as a small rodent known as a whistle pig which drive the dogs crazy as they pop in and out of their burrows.

Our most generous sponsors were Purina and Garmin. Many of the participating dogs are great fans of Pro Plan Performance and their owners feed it to awaken “the greatness within”. Purina’s sponsorship allowed this event to be the successful one that it was. Purina is able to support us only because we in turn support them through the purchase of Pro Plan Performance food that helps our dogs perform to a higher degree.

A Garmin Pro 550 collar was graciously provided to the championship winner by Garmin. Several of the participants were found with the help of their Garmin  tracking collars — an invaluable piece of equipment for use in our trial dogs in this big country. In addition to the Pro Plan Performance and Garmin collar, the winner received a specially designed silver belt buckle and the honor of keeping the traveling trophy, a spectacular Gatley rendering of a Brittany holding a chukar, for a year.

Special thanks to our judges: Cindy Findley of Ventura, Ia., and Larry McConnell of Meridian, Ida. They remained punctual, professional and pleasant the whole trial. Their focused attention on every dog that ran was very much appreciated. Larry has a long history and much experience on these grounds but they provided a sharp contrast to Cindy’s home prairies.

Hardworking Idaho Brittany Club members made the trial run smoothly with dog wagon driving, water hauling, bird bagging and planting, meal planning, preparation and clean-up. A big thank you to Frank Bright, Sandy Bright, Ron Dunnagan, Sharon Millspaugh, Steve Ball, Wayne Hale, Larry Sandusky, Brent Stanger and Chairman  Tom White and Secretary Margaret Horstmeyer.

The Running

M T B Zipnson Veni Vidi Vici (Vinny/ Joe Gower) and Rusty Ridge Where U Been (Paul Doiron) broke away cleanly with vigor. Been moved up to the rocks on the first hill. The judges were suspicious when a chukar was seen rocketing down the hill and Been was in the general area, but no definite misstep could be attributed to the dog. He moved smartly forward along the base of the mountains. At Chukar Rock Vinny joined the front coming down from elevation and Been moved up higher along the course. Then they exchanged courses again. Been made a powerful move forward on the flats, and Vinny was in a draw above. At 41 Been pointed about halfway up the slope in order, followed by stop to flush with caution at 46. Been scored again at 56 and finished with moderate range. Vinny finished strongly but without bird contact.

M T B Scipios Hotshot Whizki (Cali/Tom White) scored a find just after the castoff on a chukar in the grass field. She stood nicely for the shot. Spanish Corral’s Sundance Kid (Sonny/Doiron) was well forward. At 10 Sonny had climbed very high on the upper rock edge and was seen hunting forward with purpose. Cali worked through the lower valley while Sonny had come down, and moved forward on the flat. He then ascended to the top of the mountain in a breathtaking climb, and worked smartly among the rocks. At 27 Cali was seen standing at June’s rock; only a rabbit was flushed. At 40 Sonny showed far to the front coming out of the deep draw to the west, and then climbed the mountain again, working the rock outcroppings effectively for several minutes. Cali worked the mid-level area along the high side. At 52 Cali was hunting the rock piles on the end of the all-age course, but had no other bird contact. Point was called for Sonny on top of the first mountain at 55. After a long climb, Sonny was seen pointing with great style. Bird was flushed, shot fired, all in order. Both dogs finished the hour well.

Christie’s IM A Jakester (Ball) and Zip’s Count Me In (Tally/Patti Van De Covering). Following the breakaway, Tally went over the first rise and heading west toward the draw. She was not seen for several minutes and the retrieval device was called for at 19. Jake went about his work at a more moderate range. He would occasionally circle and backcast, but his handler was able to keep him ahead and mid-level on the slope. He had a stylish find at 51 in the open field, and finished the hour.

S R’s Blew By Typhoon (Ty/Doiron) and Spanish Corral’s Coopers Hawk (Gower) tagged each other at the breakaway, running in a big circle to start. They separated and each dog made a big move forward along the fenceline and up toward the mid-level rocks. At 10 Hawk had a find and at shot danced a few steps. Casting forward he covered the lower portion of the course but did not seem inclined to stretch out and up. He suffered an unproductive at 45. Ty was very aggressive moving toward the higher elevations and made several strong climbs. He stayed on top for much of the hour, dropping down toward the all-age course at 54. He ran an excellent course  but finished without bird contact. Hawk found himself among many birds and had an unsatisfactory stop to flush at time.

J T Copper Buckaroo (Doiron) and Tequila’s Tyler on Fire (Rutherford) were away cleanly. Tyler moved up the first mountain and made a couple of nice casts near the top of the rocks. Buck applied himself with shorter range, hunted the flats and about halfway up the mountains. By 40 neither dog had had bird contact and Tyler was seen going over the top ridge. He was gone for several minutes and the retrieval unit was called for. Buck continued a shooting dog race but by the end of the hour did not have any bird contact.

K Nine’s On the Loose (Lucy/Doiron) and Cedar Creek Hawkeye (Hank/Joe Waitman) were well forward. Hank appeared to be interested in the whistle pigs and made several early investigative stops. At 7 Lucy was on point on a small knoll. The flush and shot were in order as she turned to mark the bird. Both dogs were moderate in range and speed while heading into the wind, working the flats and mid-level areas. Toward the end of the hour Lucy had her second find in the rock piles east of the camp area. Hank had a successful late find in the rocks and was moved on as time was called.

High Lonesome Sage (Jim Hammett) opened his run with a move up and over the first mountain. Staley Orange Outlaw Mr. Coop (Jason Staley) cast far forward on the flats to the southwest, came back and moved up into the mid-level rocks. At 18 Sage had not been seen since the breakaway and Mr. Hammett elected to call it a day. Cooper was seen rocketing forward on the two-track path then broke off and extended his race up from the big rock spring, moving with good speed and range. At 52 Cooper made the best move of his hour as we crossed the road and he raced up the steep mountain slope and forward with great energy. Despite his fine effort, Cooper had no bird contact.

Moonshine Nell (Larry Sandusky) and Spanish Corral’s Sonny Patch (Doiron)  moved out smartly, Patch being a bit more forward. Nell headed  up into the rocks and point was called at 14. Nell followed  with another successful point at 20, but her third point proved too much; she went with the birds to end her day. Patch varied his approach by moving along the rocks, then dropping down into the flats, then moving up again. By 25 Patch showed some interest in the whistle pigs but was urged up the hill and was gone for several minutes. At 44 Patch returned from deep down in the flats and his race slowed considerably. He was credited with a find in the rock piles east of camp at the end of his hour.

Shane’s Zippity Zoe (Waitman) and Sonny’s Hot Summer Breeze (Doiron). At the breakaway Zoe zipped up the first mountain and she was not seen again. Mr. Waitman called for his retrieval unit at 18. Breezy made one long cast out to the flats and ran the rest of her hour at a moderate pace, with no bird contact.

M T B Louree’s Let’s Have a Fee Esta  (White) and Blew Me Away (Bud/Doiron) were two speedsters, both making impressive opening moves. Bud headed directly to the higher elevations, and Esta made a bold cast traversing the reddish slag on the side mountain. Bud showed great hunting desire by going up to the rocks, coming down the draws, then going back up to hunt the next rock pile. Bud was called on point at one of the highest rock piles on the mountain. It took considerable time for his handler to reach him but the dog held steady throughout and was rewarded with a fine three bird flush in order. Ahead, Esta made a big lateral move to the southwest across the road but excellent scouting insured the dog’s safety despite the truck traffic, and she was brought to the front. She continued hunting high around the breakaway mountain onto the all-age course. Despite a strong effort, her hour ended with no bird contact. Bud continued his gallant effort searching all the high rock piles, but had no further bird contact. He ended his hour running on heart and sore paws.

Marsing, Ida., May 1

Judges: Cindy Findley and Larry McConnell


Winner—SPANISH CORRAL’S SUNDANCE KID, 1614050, male, by San Dee’s Blazing Shane—Stevix Bulletproof Jill. Joe Gower, owner; Paul Doiron, handler.

Runner-Up—BLEW ME AWAY, 1661514, male, by Spanish Corral’s Sundance Kid—Blew By Yet. Norman & Terry Ahl, owners; Paul Doiron, handler.

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