American Field

Zorra Wins 2018 Running; World Class Cliff is Runner-Up

Midwest Open Shooting Dog Championship

By David Taylor | Apr 11, 2018
Championship Winners. From left: Garvin Collins, Shawn Kinkelaar, Virgil Moore with Zorra, Judge Kent Patterson, Harold Gearhart with World Class Cliff, Judge William Smith, Stacy Perkins and Bob Reynolds.

Elk City, Kan. — The Midwest Open Shooting Dog Championship began March 12 and was completed March 15.

The Championship and accompanying Derby were contested over courses on the Bill Westfall Ranch near Elk City, Kan.

Seasonal temperatures prevailed for the entire trial. The creeks were dry and scenting conditions were impacted by the lack of rain. Ponds were much lower than usual but were available throughout the ranch, making water available to the dogs.

In the Derby preceding the Championship, eleven juveniles were drawn for this stake. Three outstanding performances were selected for placement by the judges.

The winner was Tug O’War, pointer male owned by Adam Hart and the Mike McClanahan family. With emotion showing in his face and in his voice as he spoke, handler Shawn Kinkelaar expressed what this win would have meant to Mike and his family. Tug’s record at this point in his career is exceptional. He covers the country with speed and grace, always forward. Tug reaches into the country with great confidence but responds positively to Kinkelaar’s call. Near the end of his half hour Tug handled a wild covey with style and championship manners.

Tug, handler Kinkelaar and scout Virgil Moore made a formidable team.

Smuggler’s Society Buck and Hack-berry’s Elhew Cosmo were braced together and were placed on the basis of strong forward races. Buck placed second, handled by Shawn Kinkelaar and scouted by Virgil Moore. Buck is owned by Dr. Tom Jackson and Brian Hannasch.

Third placed Cosmo was handled by Harold Gearhart for owner Robert Konz of Shelby, Ia.

Elk City, Kan., March 12

Judges: Kent Patterson and William Smith

OPEN DERBY — 9 Pointers and 2 Setters

1st—TUG O’WAR, 1668963, pointer male, by Sugarknoll War Paint—Nehawka Amazin Sue. Adam Hart & Mike McClanahan, owners; Shawn Kinkelaar, handler.

2d—SMUGGLER’S SOCIETY BUCK, 1673372, pointer male, by Touch’s Knight Rider—Whippoorwill Wild Music. Dr. Tom Jackson & Brian Hannasch, owners; Shawn Kinkelaar, handler.

3d—HACKBERRY’S ELHEW COSMO, 1670315, pointer male, by Elhew Sinbad—Hackberry Numark Piper. Robert Konz, owner; Harold Gearhart, handler.

Championship Winners and Contenders

Zorra was named 2018 Midwest Open Shooting Dog Champion, handled by Shawn Kinkelaar and scouted by Virgil Moore. The white and black pointer female is owned by Ron Prewitt of Hudson, Ill.

World Class Cliff, white and liver pointer male handled by Stacy Perkins for owners Brian Hamilton, Mick Marietta and Bill Cignetti  of Pittsburg, Kan., was named runner-up.

Zorra ran in the third morning brace on the second day of running. She was turned loose at the rock gate and reached to all the logical objectives. She hunted the dry creek bed leading to the oil well crossing. At 23, near the end of the draw, Zorra had a wild covey accurately located. The pretty female showed off her style, intensity and polished manners as Kinkelaar quickly put birds in the air. Zorra went to the front and showed her strength in the pastures beyond the flat pond. She finished the hour reaching for more country.

Owner Ron Prewitt also owned the 2013 Midwest Champion, Nemaha Free Way, which was handled by Kinkelaar and pointed a covey on the same creek line to win the 2013 title.

Jamie Daniels was responsible for the new champion’s early development. Zorra was one of Shawn’s most successful Derbies. She previously won the Fleetwood Classic and was a contender for this year’s National Shooting Dog Championship title with five finds.

Runner-up World Class Cliff, pointer male handled by Stacy Perkins and scouted by Harold Gearhart, has had an outstanding career and was champion in this stake in 2016 and also won the Purina Top Shooting Dog Award that year.

Cliff came to the line in the twelfth brace and was on the same course and at the same time of day as the champion. Cliff pointed liberated birds at 27 along the creek bed leading to the flat pond area. Everything was in order at flush and shot. Cliff continued his search for the remainder of the hour, maintaining a well applied effort.

True Choice and Hollow Creek Lilly ran in the second brace and set an early standard. Choice (Kinkelaar) and Lilly (Stacy Perkins) each had two finds and honored each other.

In the first brace on Tuesday, Purpleline Casper (Chuck Stretz) had a stylish find at 27 in a small grove of trees above the half hour gate. Casper displayed excellent style and manners. He ran a pleasing race for the remainder of the hour. Casper’s bracemate Super Natural’s (Virgil Moore) race was outstanding and had she been able to point game she might have changed the placements.

A stellar judicial panel of William Smith of Moscow, Tenn., and Kent Patterson of Franklin, Tenn., was in place for this renewal. Mr. Smith has judged in excess of 70 championships from the Canadian prairie to Florida and from California to the East Coast. Mr. Smith was accompanied to the trial by his wife Tommie. Mr. Patterson, recent inductee into the Brittany Hall of Fame, has been very successful with his dogs in top level competition. Newly retired Kent has become a much sought after judge. Their placements were well received.


In brace No. 1,  Hackberry’s Dannicha (Gearhart) and Ridge Creek Kate (Kinkelaar) had multiple armadillo contacts and were taken up early.

Brace No. 2 set an early standard as reported.

Dynomike (Kinkelaar) had a mannerly find at 22 and honored Penny’s All In’s stand at 28 while Perkins flushed birds.

Purpleline Casper and Super Natural were reported as contenders.

Kinkelaar was not satisfied with Swami’s Shadow and put him in the harness early. Stretz picked up Pure Gossip after a second unproductive.

The champion ran in the sixth brace  with Dance Kate. Gearhart picked up when Kate aggravated an old injury at 23.

Jacked Up Jasper didn’t contact game for Moore. Perkins ask for the retrieval unit to locate Denton at 15.

Gearhart picked up Hackberry’s Cesar Ice at 50. Kinkelaar asked for the retrieval unit  at 51 to locate Skyhawk.

The last brace on Tuesday, Chelsea’s Thunder Bolt and White Knight’s Prophecy. Bolt stood mannerly at 43 for Kinkelaar to flush birds. Prophecy suffered an unproductive at 31 and Stretz took the retrieval device at 54.

No. 10 was released Wednesday morning. Cedar Hill Lucy (Gearhart) ran with Kate’s Magic (Perkins). Lucy didn’t make contact with game and Magic stood three times, credited with a find, feathers, and a dead bird.

Joho’s Full Moon ran a pleasing race for handler Perkins but didn’t point game. Stretz put the harness on Lancelot’s Tall Knight at 44 when he had not produced game.

In the last brace before lunch on Wednesday, World Class Cliff was reported as runner-up. Ridge Creek Lou was taken up at 42 when she had not made game contact.

Neither Dixie Delight nor Hackberry’s Ice Patch mounted a challenge to the top dogs and were up just past the half hour gate.

Ninnescah Trumpeter was up at 50. Shagtime Scout was in the harness at 43.

In the last brace of the day, the armadillos were out and World Class Cash and R J’s Deicer were done early.

In the first brace Thursday  morning,  neither Southern Star nor Mississippi Dan had game contact in the first 45 minutes and both Stretz and Kinkelaar took their respective charges to the dog wagon.

Waymaker Dandy Man ran as a bye. At 25 Perkins decided that Man was not challenging earlier performances and put him in the harness.

Judges: Kent Patterson and William Smith

MIDWEST OPEN SHOOTING DOG CHAMPIONSHIP [One-Hour Heats] — 27 Pointers and 6 Setters

Winner—ZORRA, 1655814, pointer female, by Elhew Sinbad—Shotgun Kitty Hawk. Ron Prewitt, owner; Shawn Kinkelaar, handler.

Runner-Up—WORLD CLASS CLIFF, 1645791, pointer male, by Lester’s Snowatch—Buche’s Elhew Cassie. Brian Hamilton, Michael Marietta & Bill Cignetti, owners; Stacy Perkins, handler.

A Postscript

Courses for this Championship

utilized a small portion of the Westfall Brothers Ranch, which is a working cattle ranch. The over 700 head of Angus cows were nearly through calving and the pastures were filled with baby calves.

Quail continue to make a significant comeback in this part of the country. Four championships and one National Championship qualifier are contested on these grounds each year. Mr. Westfall and son Ryan are actively involved in all-age competition at the national level. A second cattle ranch near Browning, Mo., served as the home of the Midwest Championship for a number of years. Mr. Westfall has been a successful breeder, competitor, and patron of field trials for many years. The Midwest Field Trial Association committee appreciates the Westfalls providing this nationally recognized venue for the Championship.


Greg Blair, representing Purina, has been very supportive to the Midwest Open Shooting Dog Championship. The championship committee is very appreciative of the continued support by Purina and Mr. Blair.

The championship dinner was provided by Mr. Bob Angen of Tom’s River, N. J., owner of last year’s champion Sugarknoll Sledgehammer. The steak dinner has become a tradition and the committee extends its thanks to Mr. Angen.

Ranch manager Chuck Campfield is a gracious host, always ready to assist in any way to make the trial run smoothly. Chuck was a former field trial participant scouting for his father-in-law years ago. Chuck sees that there is hay in the horse lots, provides a mule to plant birds with, provides a ranch truck and trailer to transport judges, trial officials, and handlers to the breakaway point and to pick them up when the running is completed. All these things are done with a smile.


Trial chairman Bob Reynolds provides leadership for the championship committee in a way that makes it work like a fine tuned machine. In addition to Bob this group includes Catherine Reynolds, Garvin Collins, David and Marilyn Taylor, Harold Gearhart, and Ivan Breckenridge who with Harold put on the Jayhawk Championship.

Responsibilities include advance planning, advertising, securing judges, marshalling, opening gates, releasing birds, transporting participants and the official party to and from the starting line, running the dog wagon, and providing meals for everyone attending the trial courtesy of the championship association.

Kevin Western joined this group this year. Kevin is a young man who wears several different hats. He is president of the Midwest Field Trial Association and is CEO of Western Smokehouse Meat Company. In this capacity he oversees 85 employees. Kevin did much of the advance preparation of meals making Catherine and Marilyn’s role of providing two meals a day for everyone attending the trial much easier. In his spare time he helped Bob with the dog wagon. D. T.

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