American Field

Silver W Jill Z Named Winner; Shag Time Scout is Runner-Up

International Endurance Open Shooting Dog Championship

By John Van Horn | May 19, 2020
The Winners. From left: Gordon Hazlewood, Judge Gary Young, Virgil Moore with Silver W Jill Z, Shawn Kinkelaar, Travis Gellhaus with Shag Time Scout, John Van Horn and Judge Jim Lawless.

Conway, Ark. — The International Endurance Shooting Dog Championship was conceived by Delmar Smith in 1971 as a three-hour breeders’ stake to reward endurance in breeding programs.

When Chuck Taylor took the reins, it was changed to an hour and a half to make trial economics work. At 1.5 hours it is still a substantial test for a dog accustomed to one-hour heats. Everything goes well for sixty minutes, then gravity sets in.

A special thanks to Purina for their support, without which none of this would be possible. Both of the winning dogs were on a Pro Plan feeding program. One of the most important aspects of endurance is a well balanced diet full of proper nutritional supplements. A dog has to be exquisitely fit to make ninety minutes and that begins with diet.

In addition to Purina, thank you to Gordon Hazlewood who is always available and willing to do any task. This year Gordon acquired a silver belt buckle to be presented to the winner. Men like Gordon Hazlewood and companies like Purina are the concrete that keeps the sport alive. Thank you both; your support and work is greatly appreciated.

This is the third year the trial has been run at Camp Robinson Wildlife Management Area, just northeast of Conway, Ark. Conway is centrally located in the United States, making the venue easily available to most parties.

Approximately 4,000 acres of rolling hills with open sedge grass field punctuated by hard woods create a venue that is one of the country’s finest.

Furthermore the quantity and quality of the wild birds make this location an ideal place to showcase a dog. Camp Robinson SUV has public dog kennels, a horse barn and round pens, RV hook-ups, and a newly constructed clubhouse, all free and/or included with entry fees.

This year the judicial saddles were occupied by Gary Young of Lawton, Okla., and Jim Lawless of Sparta, Ill. Gary has been campaigning dogs for many years and is currently involved in the Ardmore, Okla., grounds and is a trustee in Region 8. Jim has several years of campaigning under his belt as well, recently winning runner-up in the Region 6 Amateur Shooting Dog Championship held in January at Camp Robinson. Both gentlemen know bird dogs, know the grounds and are well aware of the type of efforts required to become champion of The Endurance.

The winner emerged in the 7th brace of the stake, which was the second brace of the second day. Silver W Jill Z was turned loose on the gravel road heading to Dead Horse Curve. Both dogs made the corridor along the mountain edge. Jill Z was found on point southeast of Dead Horse Curve. Kinkelaar flushed a large covey, all things in order. Her next find came on the lake edge just past the Nursery Pond. Once again a nice covey was flushed, all in order. Jill Z took the left edge of the field heading to the front.

Travis Gellhaus had picked up Knight’s White Lady at the gravel road, her efforts not suiting him. Kinkelaar rode to the next gravel road calling for his dog to no avail. At the road crossing Kinkelaar rode back to the lake edge where Jill was last seen. Point was called and a lengthy ride back to where she was last seen resulted. Find No. 3 was in the books. With three finds in 50 minutes it was time to see what Jill had left in the tank. A lot of dogs can make an hour, but the last thirty minutes is where the heart, drive and stamina manifest themselves. Jill dug in with strong front looping casts always showing up when and where she should. With her time near complete she had been gone to the front for five minutes. Handler was noticeably concerned and riding hard to the front. Time and point were called simultaneously. Jill’s fourth find on course with perfect shooting dog manners. Quite a remarkable performance for a young dog. It was unanimous that her efforts were of championship caliber.

Shag Time Scout, eight-year-old white and black setter handled by Shawn Kinkelaar, ran on the first course, the brace before Jill Z’s performance. Scout navigated the early twists and turns of the course well, with the handler keeping him to front. It is only fair to note that early in the morning, especially a frosty morning, birds will not move until nearly 9:00 a. m. when the frost burns off. Scout scored his first find at 50 on a large covey, dog staunch for flush and shot. Scout drove to the front making strong casts, hunting and going with us. We crossed the mountain at 1:28 with Scout melting to the front, still running and hunting strong. Once again “point’ and “pick ’em up” were called in one breath.

Scout delivered a strong two-find effort when the birds were not moving well. Scout definitely ended his ninety minutes with fuel still in the tank.

Other strong performances were made by L F Dyno Mike (Virgil Moore) and Levi Express Visa (John Van Horn). Dyno Mike had five finds. Levi had four finds and a back. The winners’ stronger finishes separated their efforts.

We are fortunate in the bird dog world to have Camp Robinson as a venue. “Camp” is one of the few places the public can have real wild bird experiences. The facilities are top of the line in every way. The grounds are convenient to local motels and eateries.

The quail part of the experience is courtesy of the local field trial group. Steve Messick heads the grounds committee with the help of the Taylors, Ornsbys, Rowells, Woodards, Hales, Moores, Martins and Van Horns. We bought the birds, put out the feeders, filled them, and bought the feed for them. This is quite an effort for a non-profit strictly volunteer group. I assure you the quail would not be here without the effort.

A special thanks goes to Sandy Van Horn. Because of Sandy, coffee and treats were on the dog wagon, and hot lunches were ready every day when we arrived. Also Roger Martin is an indispensable part of the trial. As a dog wagon driver he is second to none. He was always on the spot on time. If lunch and the dog wagon are in order, the rest is up to the dogs and trainers. This year’s Endurance was a smooth trial with two well deserving winners.

Conway, Ark., February 18

Judges: Jim Lawless and Gary Young


Winner—SILVER W JILL Z, 1682062, pointer female, by Ransom—Double Wild. Debbie Ozner, owner; Shawn Kinkelaar, handler.

Runner-Up—SHAG TIME SCOUT, 1649458, setter male, by Ridge Creek Cody—Erin’s Skydancer. Ron Prewitt, owner; Shawn Kinkelaar, handler.

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