American Field

Field Trial Report

Kentucky Open Shooting Dog Championship

By Matt Pendergest | Feb 07, 2020
Chelsea's Thunder Bolt Runner-Up in the Kentucky Open Shooting Dog Championship

Berea, Ky. — The 40th running of the Kentucky Open Shooting Dog Championship was hosted at the Miller Welch-Central Kentucky Wildlife Management Area  starting on November 6.

Foremost, we would like to thank Purina for all of the support for this Championship. Handlers, spectators and neighbors all gathered Friday night for the Purina sponsored catered dinner. We were fortunate to have Jim Smith, Purina rep, in attendance for the majority of the trial and look forward to his return in the future.

The success and longevity of our sport relies on support, integrity and wisdom in competition, spectating and especially within judging these coveted events.

The Kentucky Field Trial Association selected two gentlemen, avid hunters and experienced trialers, to judge the  Championship. The senior judge, B. J. Wright of Robards, Ky., hails from the tutelage of the late Jim Crouse from West Kentucky. B. J. brings a charisma and composure to the judicial saddle that exemplifies a true sportsman. We are grateful for his time and knowledge.

Riding the accompanying judicial saddle was Michael Kennedy of Opelika, Ala. Michael is an experienced outdoorsman and trialer with several pointers and other hunting breeds that he trains, hunts and competes with regularly. We are thankful for both men, their time and judgment of these competitors.

The 2019 renewal proved to be a tough trial for the competitors, dogs and handlers alike. Just a few dogs  finished the hour with finds on game throughout the three days of competition.


Providing a fantastic performance, Casey Creek Crystal Ice, white and orange pointer female, was given Honorary Top Dog for owners Buster and Pam Tucker of Berea, Ky.

In the third brace, Crystal Ice intensely scored a find at one minute just off breakaway from the old house.

Tucker released the pointer female with a whistle and soon she was reaching the edges of the old house bottoms with impeccable speed and class.

Crystal scored another find at 10 with style and manners perfect while handler flushed and shot. The pointer displayed a beautiful forward race through the Agee fields, with a short absence past the Drive-In Theater field. Handler and dog crossed Muddy Creek Road, scoring another find at 52 near the round woods with all in order and a nice finish.

Chelsea’s Thunder Bolt, seven-year-old white and liver pointer male owned by Dr. Tom Jackson of Columbus, Ind., and George Hickox of Bismarck, N. D., and handled by Shawn Kinkelaar, was named runner-up of the 40th Kentucky Shooting Dog Championship.

Bolt is well known in the shooting dog and trial circuit for his prominent success, winning a multitude of championships and the coveted Purina Dog of the Year Award.

Starting the 7th brace, Kinkelaar and Bolt were once again up for the task at hand. The pointer male took the first course of the Central Kentucky WMA with ease. His style and gait proved to be attractive as he showed to the front effortlessly.

He scored his first game at 12 with quail at the ditch line running to Muddy Creek Road. Bolt powered on past the round woods to have a covey find at 17, his style and intensity holding strong for Shawn to flush and shoot. Bolt’s final find came at 37 with Kinkelaar calling point in the power line field with Tennessee Reds nailed in the treeline on the right. Chelsea’s Thunder Bolt showed why he is a top competitor at every event with great bird work and a beautiful race.

The 2019 champion was Steel City Alabama, six-year-old white and black pointer male owned by Bob and Karen Reed of Gettysburg, Pa., and handled by Matt Basilone. Alabama broke away from the clubhouse after lunch and exhibited exemplary handling and pattern. With a fast start, Alabama scored birds at 5 in the Dewey Bottoms with all in order. Then again at 11 with an intelligent relocation deep into the round woods to pin his game. Basilone easily guided the pointer around the back section of course No. 1, scoring a find at 24, a covey of Tennessee Red Quail, and another at 38 for his fourth good find.

Steel City Alabama finished the hour with birds at 54 and a smooth forward race to end in the Agee bottoms. His pattern, handling and superior nose set Alabama above his competitors. We look forward to his success in the future.

Berea, Ky., November 6

Judges: Michael Kennedy and B. J. Wright

KENTUCKY OPEN SHOOTING DOG CHAMPIONSHIP [One-Hour Heats] — 21 Pointers, 5 Setters and 2 Irish Setters

Winner—STEEL CITY ALABAMA, 1656990, pointer male, by Jayhawk—Raisin Hell. Karen & Bob Reed, owners; Matt Basilone, handler.

Runner-Up—CHELSEA’S THUNDER BOLT, 1649213, pointer male, by Whippoorwill Wild Agin—Butler’s Jill. Dr. Tom Jackson & George Hickox, owners; Shawn Kinkelaar, handler.

OPEN DERBY — 6 Pointers

1st—MORGAN’S MOUNTAIN MAGGIE, 1687028, male, by Miller’s Speed Dial—Bryson’s Dialing In. Phil Morgan, owner; Phil Stephenson, handler.

2d—SOUTH POINT’S TRANQULIZER, 1682550, male, by Wiggins Lightning—Wiggins Nada Trace. Whitley Stephenson, owner; Phil Stephenson, handler.

3d—SOUTHPOINT’S HOG WILD, 1686800, male, by Broken Halo—Backwoods Tennessee Honey. Whitley Stephenson, owner; Phil Stephenson, handler.

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