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Field Trial Report

Midwestern States Shooting Dog Futurity

Walden's Ridge Wicked Dreams Wins 33rd Running
By Tony King | Jul 19, 2021
Futurity Winners. Front row, from left: Jeremy Gulick with Walden’s Ridge Wicked Dreams, Bill Stapleton with Ramblin Rivers Natural, Sherry Ray Ebert with Hard Truth and Sean Patrick Derrig with Erin’s Country Rebel. Standing: Doug Ray, Alyssa Ruggles, Brian Gingrich, Johnny and Joyce Taylor, Mick Marietta, Judges Jeff Wallace and Dr. Brent Hoehns; and Futurity Director Tony King.

Grovespring, Mo. — The combination of what could be termed “post pandemic enthusiasm” and a quality Derby crop yielded a banner entry for this year’s running of the Thirty-Third MWSD Futurity.

This 33rd renewal was highlighted by the nomination of fourteen pointer litters and three English setter litters resulting in 23 of the country’s best young Derbies competing at this year’s event.

Chelsea’s Thunderbolt was this year’s leading sire having six entries from 4 nominated litters. Other notable sires with multiple entries were Erin’s Red Rum, Dominator’s Rebel Heir, and the setter Blacktop.

Almost mirroring the Missouri Shooting Dog Championship, pleasing weather conditions and plentiful bird work provided an engaging and appealing event for everyone in attendance.

As always, the Midwestern States Shooting Dog Futurity team of Adam Delude, Jerry Hailey, and Tony King worked hard to create a wonderful and successful stake. This year’s event was not only highlighted by class Derby performances but also a relaxed attitude of quality sportsmanship for all to enjoy.

The MWSD Futurity has been successful not only due to the great team of board members who help run the trial each year but also due to the challenging format the Futurity design provides. The Futurity is an endurance stake with a 30-minute qualifying series and a one-hour callback to win. In the one-hour callback, the judges have the ability to brace the dogs that they choose and to place them in the running order they deem necessary.

The integrity of this stake and the type of dog that takes to win it, sets it apart from many of the country’s other shooting dog derby stakes. The original concept for this trial was created as a derby stake that focuses on showcasing young dogs that potentially could be the future for the sport of field trialing and breed improvement. This trial gives breeders, judges, handlers and participants the opportunity to evaluate young dogs during the peak of the Derby development stage. One can evaluate such aspects as biddability, nose, trainability, style, stamina, presence around game and competiveness at this trial. It is quite interesting to see the changes from the qualifying series to the one-hour callbacks. Endurance Futurities are unique in the fact that this format is conducive to giving the breeder, the owner and the handler an opportunity to witness their respective programs in action.

The MWSD Board of Directors wishes to maintain the format and holds this field trial in high regard as one of the countries premier shooting dog Derby stakes.

I would be remiss if I did not take the time to mention and thank the individual breeders and/or kennels that provide the quality derby dogs that make this event possible. Similar to other Futurity programs, the many breeders pay either forfeit fees and/or litter nomination fees that are used to facilitate the various Futurity programs. Over the last several years, the MWSD Futurity has been fortunate to have earned the support of the country’s finest bird dog breeders. Breeders such as Brad Sadler, Erin Kennels, Wild Covey Kennel, Ross Callaway, Daniels Kennels, David Steele, Lance Schulz, Dr. Jeff Hale, Wright Kennels, Dr. Pat McInteer, Dr. Tom Jackson, Paul Ott, Jeff Hampshire, Doug Hinton, Bill Bonnetti and Bill Coddington to name but a few. These folks provide the backbone year in and year out that makes the program flow and the MWSD Futurity greatly appreciates their support.

The Midwestern States Shooting Dog Futurity would not be possible without its two primary sponsors. Purina and SportDog have been with the program since its rebirth and continue to be a mainstay for supporting and promoting the Futurity program. As with so many trials, Purina provides dog food for the winners. Also SportDog provided two E Collars for the  first and secod place winners. One cannot express the gratitude we have for these gracious sponsors. The Midwestern States Futurity Board would like to thank them for their continued support and stalwart presence in the field trial world.

Another custom the Futurity Board believes in is giving back to its owners, breeders and handlers. In addition to the monetary payout for the winning handlers, each the winning owner and handler received custom engraved plaques unique to the MWSD trial. Varying other prizes are presented to the callback dogs named to the final series.

After judging the Missouri Open Shooting Dog Championship, Dr. Brent Hoehns and Jeff Wallace agreed to remain in the saddle to judge this year’s Futurity. Even though neither gentleman had ever run in the MWSD Futurity or judged the stake, I believe they were equally pleased with the quality of Derby performances they witnessed. Both Brent and Jeff understood that the goal of judging Futurity Derbies is to judge potential. After judging the 30-minute qualifying series and sorting through the 23 Derbies in varying stages of development, these gentlemen did a commendable job in selecting the final one-hour contestants. The Futurity Board can’t thank them enough for their time in the saddle and attention to detail while judging Midwestern States Shooting Dog Futurity.

THE WINNERS

First place honors in this year’s running went to the handsome liver and white pointer male, Walden’s Ridge Wicked Dreams, for owner David Steele of Signal Mountain, Tenn., and professional handler Doug Ray. Wicked Dreams is a product of David’s breeding program and is one of two male pups out of an eight-pup litter whelped on January 22, 2019 sired by Walden’s Ridge Chatter Box bred to Walden’s Ridge Shadow Dancer.

This athletically built young contender, with a noticeable left side liver rump patch, demonstrated why the 30-minute qualifier with a one-hour callback series really allows the judges to evaluate and differentiate these young competitors. Wicked Dreams ran in the sixth brace of the qualifying series with Flint Ridge Blue for the team of Neria and Ott. He was strong throughout with one stylish find demonstrating a mature presence throughout earning a definite call back invitation.

In the second brace of the one-hour callback series, Wicked Dreams was braced with Upfront McQuade for owner Lance Schulz and handler Kinkelaar on course No. 2. Breaking away in Lil Vine Loop both dogs were away with Dreams reaching more throughout. The fancy moving McQuade had a nice find at 34 and an unproductive at 40. Wicked Dreams tallied three beautiful, well-spaced, pieces of bird work at 10, 21 and 41 with a solid finish, dead to the front to complete his hour. In both series, Wicked Dreams exhibited refined, sometimes powerful, mature performances. He showed the necessary class, speed, biddability, and mature bird work throughout both portions of this endurance stake. His applications were thorough yet appropriate for the varying courses. In the final series, he demonstrated not only youthful vigor but maturity both around game and in application to solidify the top spot in the winners' circle. Walden’s Ridge Wicked Dreams' tremendous final hour allowed the judges to validate and further agree upon the flashes of talent and potential they witnessed during the initial qualifying series and thus earning  first place honors.

A pair of a handsomely built, orange and white pointer males were paired in Brace 3 of the Call Back series and earned the second and third place honors respectively. Ramblin Rivers Natural, handled by Brian Gingrich for owner Bill Stapleton of Franksville, Wis., and Hard Truth handled by Doug Ray for owner Dr. Bob Canada of New Palestine, Ind., put on quite a show during their final hour. Ramblin River’s Natural, a son of Chelsea Thunderbolt by Upfront’s Southern Star, had an impressive initial series, carding two nice finds, a big showy application on the first half of course No. 1 in the heat of the afternoon. In the final series, Natural again showed his ability to find birds. He was credited with three pieces of bird work, with one divided and an additional contact where the flight of birds not being seen by the judges. Again, Natural was smooth, yet powerful and biddable throughout. His bird work stylish and mature.

Hard Truth, for Ray, was also dazzling in his own regard in the initial series and was an easy call back for the judges. In Truth’s 30-minute qualifier he ran a reaching, impressive race with a mannerly find at 19 and displayed a good finish. In the hour call back, he got started a little later than Ramblin Rivers Natural but came alive the last 20 minutes of his brace. Truth was credited with a divided find at 40 and really nice pieces of bird work at 48 and 55. Hard Truth’s application was less consistent at times throughout the hour but got better as the brace progressed. After multiple finds late in the brace, he went on to finish well and provide a quality hour.

Sean Patrick Derrig’s handsome primarily all white pointer male, Erin’s Country Rebel, was up to the task in the qualifier series displaying his talents in a workman’s like manner to earn a spot in the call back series. In 30-minute qualifier, Country Rebel recorded one piece of bird work and an unproductive while applying himself diligently throughout. His manners impeccable and application was smooth and consistent throughout the 30 minutes.

For the final series, Country Rebel was loosed in the first brace of the call back series with Bench Mark for Doug Ray. Bench Mark was eventually lost allowing Country Rebel the course to himself. Throughout the hour, Rebel was again consistent and smooth but not as reaching. He recorded 3 beautiful finds at 41, 49 and was found standing after time at 1:05. Reb’s find at 49 required a successful relocation in which the dog handled impeccably. The find after time was noted by the judges as a “great find with a great finish” thus earning himself a spot in the winners' circle.

In conclusion, this year’s Midwestern States Futurity was tremendous success. All of the winners, the callback dogs and many of the other participants demonstrated the sound efforts of well-planned breedings. The Midwestern States Shooting Dog Futurity thanks all of the breeders, owners and handlers who continually support this program. The Futurity Board of Directors would like to thank each and everyone involved in raising litters, developing puppies and bringing capable derbies to this event. Over the last several years, this program has maintained a steady course and the future looks bright.

Grovespring, Mo., March 4

Judges: Dr. Brent Hoehns and Jeff Wallace

THIRTY-THIRD MIDWESTERN STATES SHOOTING DOG FUTURITY

[Thirty-Minute Qualifying Series; One-Hour Finals] — 18 Pointers and 6 Setters

1st—WALDEN’S RIDGE WICKED DREAMS, 1684787, pointer male, by Walden’s Ridge Shadow Dancer—Walden’s Ridge Chatter Box. David Steele, owner; Doug Ray, handler.

2d—RAMBLIN RIVERS NATURAL, 1688693, pointer male, by Chelsea’s Thunder Bolt—Upfront’s Southern Star. Bill Stapleton, owner; Brian Gingrich, handler.

3d—HARD TRUTH, 1685784, pointer male, by Erin’s Redrum—Pearl Again. Dr. Bob Canada, owner; Doug Ray, handler.

4th—ERIN’S COUNTRY REBEL, 1684352, pointer male, by Dominator’s Rebel Heir—Erin’s Miss Faye. Sean Patrick Derrig, owner and handler.

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