American Field

Kansas Field Trial Clubs Association

By Janice E. Merritt | Aug 07, 2017
From left: Stan Wint, Dave Merritt and Greg Gibson, winner of numerous awards.

The AFTCA Region 17 and the Kansas Field Trial Clubs Association (KFTCA) held their 2017 summer meetings June 10 at Cabela’s in Kansas City. This is the second year we have combined our meetings and it seems to be working well. With fewer clubs and trialers, we can get our business done and still have time for socializing. We seasoned (really old) trialers can remember the time when the Midwest Field Trial Association was also combined with this annual event.

Attendess at the KFTCA meeting were: Frank Schoenborn, Greg Gibson, Robert Lais and Chuck Maxson for the Wichita Bird Dog Club; Don Beauchamp, Kansas Red Setter Club and as Region 17 Trustee; Josh Palmer and Jim and Wendy Corpening, Rock Springs FTC; Clayton Buche and Dave and Janice Merritt, Kansas Hunting Dog Club; Rodney Shoemaker, Holler Point FTC; Stan Wint, Sunflower State FTC; Eddie Berendzen, Pony Express FTC; Joe Worsham, Northeast Kansas FTC; Doug Meyer, Gyp Hills FTC; Luke Topp, Southeast Nebraska FTC; Todd and Trisha Babbel, Husker Bird Dog Club; Dr. Pat McInteer as Region 17 Trustee; C. W. “Bud” Moore, Kansas Championship Association; Mike Griffin, Tulsa Bird Dog Club, Stillwater, Oil Capital and Northeast Oklahoma Field Trial Clubs.

The Kansas Association has a total of 23 members clubs, 12-Kansas, 2-Nebraska, 1-Missouri, 4-Oklahoma and some just needing our insurance. Clubs we have lost in the last eight years are Greypointe Field Trial Club/Doug Meyer, Tonganoxie, Kan.; Brown County Field Trial Club/Chris Kroll, Fairview, Kan.; Bluestem Bird Dog Club/L. G. Barnard, Olpe, Kan.;

Eastern Kansas Field Trial Club/Jeff Fraser, Lasign, Kan.; Wheat State Field Trial Club; Mid-Kansas Field Trial Club, Drew Zink. The only one added is the Gyp Hills Field Trial Club.

Since I am walking down memory lane, I want to mention some deceased trialers who have graced our Kansas prairies with their presence. This is from about 1968-70, almost fifty years. Maybe you are too young to remember, but when you get around some of us old trialers ask us and just sit down and listen to the tall tales we can tell.

Bill Alford, Lansing, Kan., owner of Wayside Patrol; Jim Barnes, professional trainer, Whiting, Kan.; Manuel Casado, Wichita, Kan., owner of Easy Mark; Cecil Corn, Topeka, Kan., AFTCA Region 8 Trustee; Bud Daugherty and sons, professional trainer from Chapman, Kan.; Ben B. Parr, professional trainer from Pratt, Kan.; J. R. “Bob” Dry, Wichita, Kan., owner of Satilla Wayriel Sue; Jim Shanks, Lyndon, Kan., U S Marshal; L. A. Gay, Junction City, Kan., owner of The Kansas Wind and active in organizing trialers; Arlo Nordstedt, Sedgwick, Kan.; Hank Oldham, Pittsburg, Kan.; Don Powell, Wichita, Kan.; Charles Fisher, Topeka Kan.; Marvin McDowell, Basehor, Kan., professional trainer; Howard McVey, McPherson, Kan.; J. W. “Bill” Jeffries, Silver Lake, Kan., owner of Rex’s Windup and Red Water Jupiter, handled by David Grubb.

Next year I will add more to this list.

Now back to business. The minutes  of the 2016 meeting and the financial report were both approved.

The updated 2016 KFTCA By-Laws were passed out. The revised 2016 KFTCA Hall of Fame By-Laws were distributed with a few corrections.

Dr. Pat McInteer updated us on what was coming up for the annual AFTCA meeting in Lexington, Ky.

Webmaster Joshua Palmer said we are doing away with the KFTCA website and to let everyone know to join us on Facebook. Wichita Bird Dog Club, Rock Springs FTC are already using Facebook.

We older-than-dirt trialers are dragging our feet; really we never even looked at the website. Some of us don’t even know how to open a computer, we would rather be outside enjoying real life or what is left of it.

Secretary Merritt thanks Barry Ward, Doug Meyer and Rodney Shoemaker for nominating our Youth Handler of the Year. It is appreciated when you make the effort to let us know of individuals who deserve to be recognized.

We have received a letter from the Amateur Field Trial Clubs of America, which was forwarded by our Trustees, wanting some input on how to increase trials and trialers. We hope their effort is successful, as trialing had been a wonderful family evolved pastime for us in the Region 17 area. Different clubs have held fun trials, seminars on how to train bird dogs, had professional bird dog men speak on trials and their importance to the average bird hunter, etc.

With so few birds in Kansas anymore, it is expensive for a young family to keep a pointing dog and not reap any benefit. Many men and women have taken up deer hunting for their weekend outdoors escape. The list goes on and on; social media and the HD big screen TVs have replaced the desire to go outside and enjoy Mother Nature.

On a brighter side, some farmers are trying to “farm with quail habitat.” Many ground nesting species of birds are affected by the farming practices of no weeds and use of no-till spraying and mowing of cattle pastures. Twenty-five states have implemented the National Bobwhite Conservation Initiative (NBCI), whose technical direction is provided by the National Bobwhite Technical Committee. For more information, or on Facebook, YouTube, and Slideshare.

If we can get the quail back in the picture, things will probably look up for the future of bird hunting and field trialing.

Fall dates and the Hall of Fame feature will appear in a later issue.

KFTCA Awards Banquet Individuals added to our list of trialers are Jim Fry and Gene Stormann, KHDC; Ross Wagner and daughter, Wakeeney, Kan. (wife Diane got to stay at home and take care of their week old setter puppies); John and Judy George, Meriden, Kan; Jeremy Glick, Miller, Mo., and John Ruetschi; Eddie Berendzen’s children, Higbee, Mo.; Ethan Kelley and family; Charles and Audrey Kenney, Wellington, Kan.; Ria and Zeke Topp, Crab Orchard, Neb.; Linda Beauchamp and Mrs. Kent Radcliff and daughter; Grace Meyer; last but not least, Greg Morgan, Paola, Kan. We are truly grateful for the wonderful turn out for this year’s banquet. The meal was not the best we have been served, so hopefully the camaraderie was worth the trip. As usual we are so thankful being able to see our old and new friends to share stories of our trialing family.

President Dave Merritt presented to Luke Topp of Crab Orchard, Neb., the President’s Award. Luke and his family have been trialing all over the Region 17 area and beyond for nearly twenty years. He judges, runs his dogs and contributes his time, money and energy to several clubs. He is president of the Southeast Nebraska Field Trial Club, on the board of Kansas Hunting Dog Club, Husker Bird Dog Club, and Region 17 director. Luke always steps up whenever a club needs help. This year Luke, Ria and son Zeke came down to the Greenwood Community Center, home of the KHDC, near Soldier, Kan., and hung the sheetrock for the remodeling of the center. A great help for some tired, overworked club members. Thank you very much to the Topp family!

The Junior Handler Award was presented by Doug Meyer and Barry Ward to Ethan Kelley. Doug Meyer and Larry Smith presented the following letter nominating Ethan:

“This Junior Handler Award is presented to Ethan Kelley for his enthusiastic efforts in running his bird dogs during the 2016-17 field trial season here in Kansas and the Midwest. Ethan developed and trained his pointer male Ace with the help of his grandfather Bruce Huffman and turned him loose in both walking and horseback stakes. Recently, ten-year-old Ethan received the gift of his first horse from Rodney Shoemaker and is rapidly bonding with Tyler and getting ready for the new season. He has been invited to go north to the prairie as well and we hope this works out for his dogs and himself.”

Ethan did not know he had won this award, but his whole family was there to watch him receive it. Good luck in the future, Ethan!

Outstanding Support Award was presented by Frank Schoenborn to Richard Steckley and Gerald Graham for their work with the trials in the southern part of Kansas. They have been running their dogs, working trials and judging to the delight of all of us, as we haven’t seen them much in recent years.

Dog of the Year Awards

KFTCA Hall-of-Famer Dr. Stan Wint presented the horseback dog of the year awards. Stan is fun and a joy to be around. It was nice to have a good turnout to receive these awards.

KFTCA Hall-of-Famer Dave Merritt had a great time with the walking awards, as he was nowhere near able to receive an award. His dogs were not up to par and that left plenty of room for other trialers to step in and show him how to do it.

KFTCA Hall-of-Famer Charles Maxson, who started the Kansas Setter of the Year in 1995, presented the Horseback Setter Winner to Traveler’s Blackthorn. Greg Sand, owner, was not present to receive the award. Greg Gibson, owner of Willow Creek Minute, received the Horseback runner-up and Walking winner award. Kenney’s Aces Wild, owned by Charles Kenney, was the runner-up.

The Kansas Field Trial Clubs Association Hall of Fame article will appear in a later issue.



All-Age Winner: R R CRAFTSMAN, pointer female; Eddie Berendzen, Higbee, Mo.

Runner-Up: H P WIGGINS EXPRESS, pointer male; Rodney Shoemaker,

Kearney, Mo.

All-Age Derby Winner: BOCOMO HAWK, pointer male; Richard Lewis,

Ashland, Mo.

Runner-Up: STYLISH GO BOY, pointer male; Tom Curtsinger, Collinsville, Okla.

Shooting Dog Winner: BITTERARK’S WUWU SUE, pointer female; Frank Schoenborn, Wichita, Kan.

Runner-Up: NEMAHA WHITE COLLAR, pointer female; Barry Ward, Leavenworth, Kan.

Shooting Dog Derby Winner: BYE BYE G G, pointer female; Bob Lais, Wichita, Kan.

Runner-Up: GRIFF’S BIG RANSOM, pointer male; Mike Griffin, Stilwell, Okla.



Shooting Dog Winner: DOC’S TOUCH OF GOLD, pointer female; John Ruetschi, Cassville, Mo.

Runner-Up: WILLOW CREEK MINUTE, setter female; Greg Gibson, Goddard, Kan.

Derby Winner: BYE BYE G G, pointer female; Bob Lais, Wichita, Kan.

Runner-Up: KENNEY’S ACES WILD, setter male; Charles Kenney,

Wellington, Kan.

Puppy Winner: NITRO ELHEW GENTLEMAN JACK, pointer male; Bill Osborne,

Broken Arrow, Okla.

Runner-Up: SKYHAWK’S DIAMOND DUKE, setter male; Dan Bridgewater, Tulsa, Okla.

Amateur Shooting Dog Winner: BUGS N DIRT, setter male; Ross Wagner, Wakeeney, Kan.

Runner-Up: JETSET KID, pointer male; Bert Benshoof, Roseville, Minn.

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