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Field Trial Report

American Brittany Club Shooting Dog Championship

By Ken Windom | Nov 19, 2020
The Winners. From left: Judge Justin Hess, Tommy Thomas with Hope's Chief Of Crosscreek, Bob Burchett with Atos, and Judge Ken Windom.

Thayer, Ia. — Hope’s Chief Of Crosscreek, owners Wayne and Barbara Pepin and Bob and Polly West of Floyds Knob, Ind., was named the winner of the 2020 edition of the American Brittany Club’s Shooting Dog Championship.

No stranger to the winners' circle, Chief put down a strong race, consistently to the front and requiring little direction from his handler throughout the hour. He scored seven very stylish finds, a back, with only a single unproductive to mar an otherwise immaculate race.

Runner-up was Atos, owned by John Hutwagner of Jonesboro, Ga., which also ran a strong race, with four solid finds and two stops to flush on a very windy day.

Both the winner and runner-up were ably handled by Bob Burchett.

Almaden’s Under Lock And Key, owned by Emmy and Noah Wollenburg, handled by Ed Tillson, took third. Fourth place went to Starlight’s Callisto Moon, owned by Teresa Richmond, also handled by Bob Burchett.

Since its inception in 1974, this stake has been hosted by regional clubs from all over the country. The only stake not to be based on a single game bird, it is intended to showcase shooting dog/gun dogs on quarry native to a given region, be it quail, pheasant, chukar, grouse, prairie chicken, etc. A dog is not required to point a specific game bird to qualify for the championship, but must handle whatever game bird it encounters.

Venue for this year’s event returned to the Midwest, being held at Bird Dog Ranch near Thayer, Ia. Owned by Linda and Tommy Thomas, these grounds have undergone constant improvement over the years toward making this a quality place to showcase bird dogs. Native quail and pheasant were augmented with released quail to ensure sufficient opportunities for bird contact.

Host was the Hawkeye Brittany Club whose members Bruce Heiter and Bill Cockrum handled most of the duties of putting on the trial, assisted by Steve Ralph, Linda Thomas, and Val and Hyatt Burchett.

Judicial duties were handled by Justin Hess, well known Vizsla handler from Exira, Ia., and this scribe.

Field trial aficionados are well aware that events of this magnitude do not simply happen, but are dependent on financial support from corporate sponsors. The American Brittany Club is very grateful to Purina for its long-standing sponsorship of the classics and championships, as well as other events.

THE RUNNING

Brace No. 1: Starlight’s Callisto Moon (Burchett) and St. Clair’s Prince Rocco Vulcano (Leo/Johnson) broke away north of camp under clear skies, temperature in the high 40s, and a steady wind of 10-12 mph from the south. Both dogs broke away at good range, Cal being the bigger runner. Both were found standing at 10 past the double crossing. Birds were flushed, with all in order. At 12 Rocco was credited with a find, Cal backing. At 15 Cal was very intense on point at the second finger feeder, turning his head only to mark flight. Meanwhile, Rocco scored a separate find about thirty yards away, all in order. Cal scored in the feed strip east of the old barn site at 18, exhibiting very intense style throughout the flush and shot. Rocco had a find at 19 on west side of old barn site. After crossing onto the south course, Cal made a very nice cast along feed strip, ending at the crossing into the next field. At 49 Rocco had a find by the feeder north of the hedgerow, with Cal backing. Cal pointed at 51 along a mowed strip a few hundred yards farther on. A bird was produced with all in order. Rocco pointed at 57, with Cal backing, on pond dam at old horse corral, but no bird was produced and both dogs were sent on. They finished the hour before reaching the east-west fenceline. Cal made some very nice casts during his hour, whereas Rocco was handier.

Detroit Rascal’s Son Of A Gun (Burchett) and Hoochie Coochie Man (Tillson) were loosed from the west gate by the corn field, heading south into a steady wind. Karl had a mannerly find at 2 along the east-west fenceline. He pointed again at 8 at the feeder southwest of the hedgerow. A small covey was produced, again handled with good manners. At 10 a pair of quail lifted in front of Karl from the mowed strip along the hedgerow and he went with the birds. Meanwhile, Cobo was pointing at the east end of the hedgerow. A bird was flushed, with all in order. After crossing over to north course, Cobo pointed at 30 in horse path north of Ed’s Motte. A lengthy flushing attempt and relocation resulted in no bird being produced. He was credited with a find at 36 east of the old barn site and again at 41 on south edge of alfalfa field, but his run was not consistent and handler elected to pick up at 57 when we got to the road crossing to the south course.

Sniksoh Evolution (Hoskins) and Over Under’s Kick It Out (Johnson) broke away south of the road crossing, heading southeast. Eve made a big move in the east field before the crossing. Upon exiting the crossing, she headed to the hedgerow and scout was dispatched. He called point at 7. Handler rode to dog and attempted to flush before asking Eve to relocate. She worked along the hedge row about seventy yards, then locked up on point again showing excellent style. Handler produced a pair of quail, with all in order. Eve pointed at 14 near dogwood bushes. Handler reported finding the remains of a hawk kill and dog was taken on. Handler attempted to catch the front, but scout found Eve locked up on point again at 19 at end of feed strip east of the horse corral. A bird was produced, with all in order. Meanwhile, Holly had pointed along the east-west fence line, but self released and was picked up at 16. Eve suffered an unproductive at 26 along the south property line prior to the creek crossing. After the creek crossing, Eve made a big cast around the field, but disappeared, not to be returned to judgment. Handler called for the retrieval unit at 42.

No. 4: Hope’s Chief Of Crosscreek (Burchett) and A Trace Of Bourbon With Diamonds (Hastings) were the last brace of the morning left from the hedgerow heading north. Both dogs broke away well to the front. Chief pointed intensely at 2 by the feeder north of the hedgerow. Birds were produced with all in order. He scored again at 4 just prior to the road crossing. After crossing onto the north course, Trace shortened considerably, whereas Chief maintained a strong, forward race. Chief carded another find at 17 along the feed strip past the double crossing, looking very intense and with great style on point. He had a covey find at 18 near the feeder in the first finger. Trace was credited with a stop to flush at 20. Chief pointed again at 21 at the feeder in the second finger and handled the flushing birds with excellent manners. He was found on point at 24 east of the old barn site. Birds were flushed with all in order. Trace’s run had shortened considerably, but he did score on a pair of quail at 26, with Chief backing, at the old barn site. Chief suffered an unproductive at 30 in a heavy weed patch west of the old barn site. Trace pointed at 32 in the corner of the alfalfa field, but handler found only a pile of feathers. During the latter half of his race, Chief made several huge casts at the edges of the course, always to the front. He was finishing his hour going away when he scored yet another impeccable find at 59 by the lone tree north of the willows.

Lightem Up Louie (Chang) and Hurricane Banjo (Friorito) were the first brace of the afternoon and left from camp at 1:30 p.m. Temperatures had climbed into the low 70s, and the wind had intensified. At 12 at first finger past Ed’s Motte, both dogs stopped. Banjo was loose and Louie looked more intense. Friorito dismounted and fired, claiming a stop to flush. Chang then flushed a bird in front of Louie and fired. Both dogs were taken on and scored a divided find at 14 on a large covey by the second feeder. Banjo pointed at 17 at end of feed strip on east side of barn. He exhibited good style and manners as a bird was flushed. At 25 Banjo pointed along feed strip by johnny house. Bird flew and dog turned to mark at the flush and shot. On the south course, at 41, Louie had a stop to flush on a wild pheasant in feed strip. At 47 Louie was found by scout along mowed strip in heavy cover. Bird was produced with all in order. Louie pointed at 53 along corn field edge. A single quail was flushed as dog stood mannerly through the shot. Birds lifted in front of Louie at 59 as we approached the south creek crossing. Both dogs were stopped and a shot fired as time expired.

Sundance Kid’s Rocky Mountain Renegade (Burchett) and Scout Upland Trailblazer (Tillson) were loosed at the bottom of the hill east of the creek crossing. Scout had a mannerly find at 3 in the hedgerow. After being sent on, Scout exhibited great ground speed. Both dogs crossed onto the north course, and through the fields north of camp. Scout had disappeared to the front, but was found at 20 standing along the treeline past Ed’s Motte. Rocky came in and backed, whereupon Scout scooped up the bird and was up. At 22 Rocky stopped at first feeder, then released himself before relieving himself, then pointed again. Handler flushed a small covey, but dog suffered a breach of style and was picked up.

No. 7, the final brace of the day, had the runner-up Atos (Burchett) and Dan De Tyghten Up (Chang) and left from the old barn site headed west. Cinch scored a find in the field south of the johnny house at 7. Atos made a big move around the field to the west crossing. He continued running to the front past the road crossing onto the south field and pointed at 25 by the lone hedge tree north of the willows. An extensive flushing attempt ensued, handler asking dog to relocate several times, but Atos barely moved from where he originally stopped. After multiple attempts to try to get the dog to move, handler finally found the bird buried in the grass and flushed it. Atos handled all this with great style. He was found standing by scout at 30 along draw north of the hedge. Bird was produced with all in order. As handler was attempting to regain the front, Atos had a stop to flush at 34, then pointed at 36 along east-west fenceline. He was mannerly during the flight of a small covey and subsequent shot. Meanwhile, Cinch pointed a pair of quail by the covert near the south creek crossing at 35. Atos was credited with another stop to flush by the hedgerow at 43, then scored again on a find at 45. He finished strong to the front north of camp. Cinch finished his hour with no further bird contact.

Sniksoh Little Diamond (Johnson) and Pretty Boy Floyd (Chang), the first brace Tuesday morning was away under cloudless skies, temperature in the low 50s and a calm wind. "Kate" made a big opening cast, but apparently did not make the turn into the north field. Floyd had an unfortunate encounter with a bird in a mowed strip past the double crossing at 12. Kate was not seen. Handler called for the retrieval unit at 20.

Windsong’s Honky Tonkin Hank (Johnson) and Blaze Away Bonita (Burchett) were loosed from the old barn site, heading west. Hank went through the crossing and rimmed the south side of the alfalfa field. Boo was snappy and quick, but ran a much closer race than Hank. Hank was found standing at 7 near the feeder south of the johnny house. He had good manners as a small covey was flushed, only turning his head to mark the flight. Unfortunately, he was seen under a bird at 13 at the south side of the orchard. Boo continued on to south course, but came out after a bird by the feeder north of the hedge row at 27.

Brace  No.10: Kid’s Royal Casey (Heiter) and Turning Points Shenanigan (Burchett) started where the last brace finished. Casey had a quality find at 4 along feed strip east of the old horse corral. Shandy suffered a bump and chase at 9, along the fenceline near the creek crossing. Casey made a nice forward move along the hedge row. Birds were seen leaving from the keyhole as we approached. Dog was found standing on the other side of the hedge, so handler dismounted and fired, then took the dog on. Casey pointed at 17 by feeder north of hedge row. He moved up slightly before reestablishing point, then locked on the birds. Handler flushed and fired, as dog stood mannerly. After crossing onto north course, Casey pointed at 34 at first feeder past Ed’s Motte. He crept forward several feet before settling in on point. Initial flushing attempt was not successful and dog was asked to relocate, after which a pair of quail was produced. Sent on, he had an absence for several minutes, but was returned to judgment within the allotted time. He pointed at 42 along the feed strip by the old barn, but took too many steps toward the birds at the flush, ending his bid.

Sovereign’s Legendary Cowboy (Burchett) and Simon’s Standing Stone (Tillson) were the final brace of the morning, turned loose at the old barn. Temperatures had warmed noticeably, but the wind was calm. Both dogs went through the alfalfa field, Duke being the wider of the two, and through the next fields to the west crossing. Duke suffered a bump and chase on a covey along the south end of the orchard at 14. Gus continued on, at short range, and handler elected to pick up at 20 as we rode past camp.

Brace 12: Godfather F N Rockstar (Chang) was scratched. Starlight’s Mercury Out Ryder (Burchett) left from camp at 1:30 p.m. Temperature was in the mid-70s, and wind remained very light. He had a covey find at 13 in feed strip near feeder east of old barn site. He was found standing at 22 in the dead-ash motte and birds were flushed, with all in order. He made several good moves as he traversed the fields, but would double back and return many times. He was credited with a stop to flush at 45 near the feeder north of the hedge row. At 50 he spun around as he was running up the hill to the old horse corral and locked onpoint. A bird was flushed about two feet in front of the dog, who handled the flush and shot in a very mannerly fashion. He pointed again at 56 along the feed strip near the south creek crossing, exhibiting good style and manners at the flush and shot.

D P’s Little Bit Of Mayhem (Burchett) and Godfather Redfeather Gunslinger (Chang) left from the hedgerow, heading north. A breeze was blowing from the WSW about 5-8 mph, with temperatures in the low 80s. Mila made nice opening cast and pointed at 2 by the feeder north of the hedgerow, with all in order. Both dogs continued onto the north course, with Gunner being absent for a time after handlers went through the double crossing. Mila was seen under a bird at 20 near the old barn site. Gunner was eventually returned to judgment by scout and pointed at 24 in feed strip west of the old barn. A good-sized covey was flushed, which was handled in a mannerly fashion. After a dip in the water tank, Gunner was sent on and pointed at 31 in multiflora rose bushes along the south side of the alfalfa. Handler attempted to flush, but the thorn bushes were too thick and he elected to take an unproductive. Gunner was found standing at 42 in the dead-ash motte. Birds were produced, with all in order. Gunner finished his hour shortly after crossing onto the south course.

Romence’s Life Of Riley (Burchett) and My Little Touch Of Diamond (Johnson) broke away into the east field, heading southeast. Bling pointed at 6 at a hedge tree far north of the hedgerow. All was in order as a pair of quail flushed. At 10 both dogs were standing in the crossing leading to the horse corral. No bird was produced, but Bling had a lapse in style and was picked up. Riley continued alone and pointed at 15 along edge of the corn field. Handler was unable to produce a bird, and picked up the dog after her second unproductive.

No. 15: Cross Creek Sovereign Pop A Top (Burchett) and J B’s Hankering For A Bird (Johnson) were the first brace Wednesday morning, temperature in the high 50s, low 60s, no wind and no clouds. At 13 Jackson scooped a bird at first feeder and was up. Hank had an orderly find at 15 east of old barn. After being released, Hank disappeared and was not seen again until he was returned by scout as handler approached the west creek crossing. He shortened considerably and handler elected to pick up at 36 as we approached camp.

Almaden’s Under Lock And Key (Tillson) and Sniksoh Hank’s Hatch (Burchett) broke away on the south course. Oudi found standing at 15 along feed strip near south creek crossing. He maintained good style as a small covey was flushed. Hatch had an unfortunate encounter at 20 with a bird in the hedge row. Oudi pointed at 21 along a mowed strip north of hedge row. No bird was produced, although they could be heard calling a short distance away. Oudi crossed to the north course and disappeared to the front, but was found standing at 40 at first feeder past Ed’s Motte. A single bird was produced, with all in order. Oudi pointed at 41 near old barn site. Handler found recent roosts where dog had pointed and elected to go on.

J'n M Rodeo Romeo (Tillson) and Stellar Fifty One (Burchett). Breakaway was south of road crossing. Stella was found standing at 14 at cut in east-west fenceline. Birds produced, with all in order. Tuff disappeared south of the old horse corral and handler called for the tracker at 22. Stella also suffered an absence, but was returned to the front by scout at the hedgerow. She scored a find at 42 at Ed’s Motte, with all in order. She pointed at 44 by the finger feeder, taking a small hop as the bird was flushed. She pointed at 58 at feeder south of the johnny house, with all in order. She finished at short range.

Thayer, Ia., October 5

Judges: Justin Hess and Kenneth Windom

AMERICAN BRITTANY CLUB OPEN SHOOTING DOG

CHAMPIONSHIP [One-Hour Heats] — 33 Brittanys

Winner—HOPE’S CHIEF OF CROSSCREEK, 1663163, male, by Hope’s Ranger Rick—Sanbar Crosscreek Play By Play. Barbara J. & Ewayne Pepin, Bob & Polly West, owners; Bob Burchett, handler.

Runner-Up—ATOS, 1685378, male, by Gatsby Du Mas D’Eyraud—Lara Del Cecchetto. John Hutwagner, owner; Bob Burcchett, handler.

HAWKEYE BRITTANY CLUB

Judges: Steve Ralph and Charles Schaefer

OPEN PUPPY — 10 Brittanys

1st—MY LIL CLASSIC MERCEDEZ, 1688362, female, by Willie Make It—M K’s My Lil Ammo. Mary & Richard Beaver, owners; Richard A. Beaver, handler.

2d—HEHI RAMBLING ROSCOE, unreg., male, by Purgason Ozark Timmy—Kirby Mountain Rosie. Thomas Healey, owner; Bob Burchett, handler.

3d—URBAN AMERICAN LEGEND, unreg., male, by Janee’s I’ll Make You Famous—American Honey. Maggie Kitley, owner; Steve Chang, handler.

Judges: Jeff Hoskins and Charles Schaefer

OPEN DERBY — 25 Brittanys

1st—DOGWOOD’S FIREBALL WHISKI, 1691784, male, by Whiskey’s Little Tip—Dogwood’s Top Shelf Tequila. Todd Parmenter, owner; Bob Burchett, handler.

2d—FROSTY MEADOW’S RAMBLING MAN, 1691905, male, by Frosty Meadows Sundance Casanova—Lamont’s Cotton Candy. Amy & Nathan Hopper, owners; Nathan Hopper, handler.

3d—WILLY’S WHITE LIGHTN’N. [Placement Voided]

Judges: Matt Harris and Scott Thielen

OPEN SHOOTING DOG — 43 Brittanys

1st—ATOS, 1685378, male, by Gatsby Du Mas D’Eyraud—Lara Del Cecchetto. John Hutwagner, owner; Bob Burcchett, handler.

2d—KID’S ROYAL CASEY, 1679011, male, by Renegade’s Kansas Kid—Kid’s Little Ann. Bruce Heiter, owner and handler.

3d—STARLIGHTS MERCURY OUT RYDER, 1664405, male, by Strait To The Point—Rubyridge’s Babe. Teresa Richmond, owner; Bob Burchett, handler.

Judges: Barry Steinmetz and Jeff Wallace

OPEN ALL-AGE — 32 Brittanys

1st—SIGBRIT’S NOT IN KANSAS ANYMORE, unreg., female, by Sniksoh Spank’s Hank—M K’s Lil My Ammo. Bobbie L. Sigmund, owner; Scott Johnson, handler.

2d—HEHI’S SLIM CHIPLEY, 1671528, male, by Biebel’s Huckleberry Huck—Rebel Jac’s Kentucky Flyer. Matt Healey, owner; Bob Burchett, handler.

3d—WOODSONG’S HONKY TONKIN HANK, 1652405, male, by Joker’s Jackpot—Swans Smooth Action Be Nelli. Ninon & James C. Woodall, owners; Scott Johnson handler.

Judges: Jeff Hoskins and Jon St. Clair

AMATEUR ALL-AGE — 19 Brittanys

1st—SNIKSOH LITTLE DIAMOND, 1648952, female, by Shady’s Count Kid—Diamond Hill’s Magical Mollie. Tom & Jane Wonderling, owner; Bruce Heiter, handler.

2d—FARM GIRL PEARL, unreg., female, by Touch of Bourbon Little Chug—Sniksoh Little Diamond. Bruce Heiter, owner and handler.

3d—A’INT FAULT, 1678761, female, by Black Creek Deacon—Kinwashkly Stolen Diamond. Lisa Pollock, owner and handler.

Judges: Trasa Fowler and Mike Poehler

AMATEUR SHOOTING DOG — 24 Brittanys

1st—ROMENCE’S LIFE OF RILEY, 1670851, male, by Legacy’s Pine Bandit—McDuffee’s Creekside Girl. Julie Romence, owner and handler.

2d—GEORGIA DRIVE BY, 1644938, male, by Peter Gunn—Gambler’s Blazin Chick. W. Burton & Michelle McCandless, owners; Burton McCandless, handler.

3d—STARLIGHTS CALLISTO MOON, unreg., male, by Roustabout’s Flat Out—Starlight Lola Borealis. Teresa Richmond, owner and handler.

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