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Westfall’s True Grit Steals the Show in Both All-Age Stakes

Missouri Open Trials

By Bonnie Hidalgo | Apr 12, 2018
Missouri Open All-Age Stake Winners. In foreground, from left: Ryan Westfall with Westfall’s True Grit, Andy Daugherty with Westfall’s Black Ace and Tiffany Genre with Touch’s Blackout. Standing: Bill Westfall, Judges Eddy Taylor and Ronnie Miller; Ken Schmidt, Bonnie Hidalgo, George Hill, Tom McPhail, Hank Jansen and Randy Anderson.

Grovespring, Mo. — Westfall’s True Grit captured the title of Missouri Open Champion for 2018 with an outstanding all-age performance that included two excellent finds. The three-year-old white and liver pointer male is proudly owned by Ryan Westfall of Liberty, Mo., and was expertly guided to this great win by Andy Daugherty.

Runner-up honors were well earned by Whippoorwill Justified, pointer male owned by Ronnie Spears of Jacksonville, Ark., and was handled by Larry Huffman when Justified won the 2016 National Championship. Justified ran a great race and scored five perfect finds.

Westfall’s True Grit ran away with the win in the Missouri Open All-Age Stake. Ryan Westfall’s impressive pointer ran the limits of the course and pointed birds three times in his hour. Andy Daugherty and Grit appeared to have a special rapport; the dog was very responsive at great distance.

Westfall’s Black Ace was second with three finds for owner Bill Westfall and handler Andy Daugherty. Third went to Touch’s Blackout, pointer male handled by Randy Anderson for owner Richard Petersen of Gilbert, Ariz.

Winner of the Don Fox Memorial Derby was Hailey’s Wild Again, pointer male handled by Randy Anderson. Miss Stylin Sue placed second; this pointer female, owned by Dr. Jim Mills and Steve Lightle of Searcy, Ark., was handled by Allen Vincent. Westfall’s Castaway was third; he is owned and handled by Ryan Westfall.

The six-day trial commenced on Monday, March 19, with the Southwest Missouri Sportsmen’s Club’s Missouri Open All-Age which attracted a field of 31 pointers. The Don Fox Memorial Derby drew eight entries. The Missouri State Field Trial Association’s Missouri Open Championship followed the Derby beginning the afternoon of March 22 with an entry of 30 dogs.

The Field Trial Sportsmen’s grounds at Grovespring, Mo., is home to these National Championship qualifying all-age stakes. The grounds were in good shape this spring. The three one-hour courses offer a helpful flow to encourage forward patterns. Several coveys were located during the trial in addition to the birds which were released twice daily throughout the event.

The Sportsmen’s Association ensures that the venue is first class. Crossings are kept in good repair; feed strip planting and brush hogging are done each spring and summer. The clubhouse, kennels and corrals are maintained for the use of trial participants throughout the year.

Association directors are Don Arnold, Andy Daugherty, and Ken Schmidt.

The drawing for all stakes was held at the home of Andy and Sharleen Daugherty on Saturday, March 17. Sharleen conducted the drawing and provided copies of the running order for all three stakes.

Judges for the Open All-Age and Derby were as advertised, Ronnie Miller of Van Buren, Ark., and Eddy Taylor of Red Banks, Miss. Ronnie Miller competes with dogs he owns and trains in shooting dog competition and has done so for many years. He has long been associated with the Fleetwood Classic trial which he hosts at Booneville, Ark., each year. Eddy Taylor is a well-known shooting dog trainer and handler with many championship wins to his credit. These gentlemen set a good, consistent pace throughout the trial. They watched all dogs closely, often pointing them out to the handlers.

The judges for the Missouri Open Championship were Keith Wright of Covington, Ind., and Reid Hankley of Thomasville, Ga. Keith Wright is an amateur who handles his dogs in some tough all-age competition. Keith raises many well-bred pointers under the kennel name of “Touch”, including 2011 National Champion Touch’s White Out. He is very much aware of what it takes to be an all-age champion.

Reid Hankley grew up in a field trial family. He has spent summers on the prairies and has worked for the past fifteen years on southern quail plantations such as the Foss Hailey Plantation training bird dogs. He has judged several important trials, the most recent was the Masters Open Championship. Keith and Reid worked well together, set a good pace, and knew what they were looking for. Their decision was well received.

Purina sponsored this event and generously supplied dog food. This trial is a Purina Points trial and a Purina Handler of the Year points program member.

Purina is a very generous sponsor of the entire Missouri Open trials. Purina was represented by Jim Smith who spent a few days riding the trial and visiting with all of us. Purina Pro Plan Sport/Performance is the food of choice for most professional handlers and amateurs too. This great dog food supplies a high energy sporting dog with everything nutritionally needed for peak performance. Purina donated Pro Plan dog food which was distributed among the winning handlers.

The Missouri State Field Trial Association and the Southwest Missouri Sportsmen’s Club are very grateful to Purina for the support it has received through the years.

George Hill, Ken Schmidt, Hank Jansen, Jim Jackman, Dennis Hidalgo, Tim Self, and Sharleen Daugherty were instrumental in conducting this great trial. George Hill was trial chair; Sharleen handled secretarial and social hour duties.

Dennis, Hank and George took turns planting birds from horseback and marshalling. Ken Schmidt salted the courses each morning from an ATV. Jim Jackman pitched in with dog wagon driving as did Hank Jansen, Tim Self, and George Hill. Dennis took notes on the championship running for your scribe who managed to break an ankle during the Derby.

Sharleen Daugherty was the hardest working crew member. In addition to conducting the drawing, she fed us on four of the six nights. She put out a spread of appetizers that would put a five-star restaurant to shame. There were so many choices and so much of each that none of us had any need or desire for anything else on those nights.

On Wednesday evening the Southwest Missouri Club sponsored dinner. Ken Schmidt prepared a delicious meal of smoked pork chops and all the trimmings. He even baked a chocolate cake for dessert! Hank Jansen and Jim Jackman assisted with clean up.

Friday night’s fish fry, sponsored by the Missouri State Field Trial Association, was done to perfection by Ken Schmidt with help from Jim and Hank. This is a yearly tradition that is highly anticipated by hungry trialers.

MISSOURI OPEN ALL-AGE

Winners and Others

The winner, Westfall’s True Grit, appeared in the eighth brace. This young pointer has several good wins to his credit. Even though he will not be three until mid-April, he has qualified and competed in the National Championship. He is owned by Ryan Westfall, but the dog has a deep affection for Andy, his handler and trainer. Mutual affection is evident in the way they work as a team.

Grit was released into little vine loop, the second brace on Tuesday afternoon. Bill Westfall was on hand to watch Grit, and it proved to be worth the ride! Grit was forward through sycamore bottom, ranging far; he was absent as the course climbed the hill. At 27 the distant call of “Point” was heard from Grit’s scout. The dog was pointing along a feed strip in the valley below, a perfect limb find, with birds well located. Heading west from the barns, Grit grabbed the right edge and pointed loftily at 34. Birds were flushed for the motionless dog. In the bull pasture at 42, Grit was pointing in the first draw. Once again he showed tremendous style and flawless manners. He showed forward through the pasture and on to the Clymer property where he was a speck in the distance. As the course came out the east end of Clymer’s, Judge Taylor spotted the pointer going away on the next hill. From there Grit dropped into horse corral bottom where he finished at great distance with plenty of gas left in the tank. His was one of those special performances that will linger in the minds of those who witnessed it.

Westfall’s Black Ace was second to his younger kennelmate. Andy Daugherty trains and handles Ace for Bill Westfall who was on hand for Ace’s performance. Ace went rapidly to the front up the little vine loop and was found standing in the far-left corner at 5. Birds were flushed with everything in excellent order. As the gallery entered the top of sycamore at 20 his bracemate was seen pointing far to the front. Ace honored nicely. He headed up the hill showing forward from time to time on the way to the barns. He honored bracemate again at 34 and handled the pressure of her taking the birds out in front of him. Near the blue house at 39, Ace notched a second find, showing perfect style and manners. No. 3 came at 47 in the northwest corner of the bull pasture; he was stylish and steady through it all. Ace showed in Clymer’s fields, always forward. He was far to the front on the edge in horse corral bottom at time.

Touch’s Blackout (Anderson) placed third in this prestigious National qualifier. Blackout was released first thing Wednesday morning and forward just before the rocky creek crossing. Blackout faded out of sight heading toward Davis bottom and was next seen pointing at 25, on the far-right end of Davis bottom. His bracemate came up and then both dogs went on. Just past the creek, Blackout pointed in the timber at 34; a woodcock was flushed with all in order. Into the island field, he took the left edge. Point was called at 41. Something apparently transpired under cover of a rise in the field. No birds were seen from the vantage point of judges and gallery, but the bracemate’s handler picked her up. Blackout continued. On top of apple tree hill, Blackout pointed in the grass at 51, Randy wiped out, the bird flew, Blackout turned slightly to mark but was steady for the shot. Below the hill at 56 Blackout scored No. 3. He was stylish and mannerly. He finished going away.

THE RUNNING

Barshoe Five’N Dimer (Vincent) and Lester’s Jazz Man (Anderson) were released on Monday afternoon, the morning running having been cancelled by rain and hail. Both dogs were fast and forward, showing nicely before the rocky crossing; both went up the hill there at 8. Jazz was returned by his scout; Dimer was lost. Jazz scored a pretty find just into Davis bottom at 23. He made short work of the right line through Davis, scoring a forward limb find near the far end at 31. He covered the island field quickly, then was next seen before horse killer hill. He powered up it and showed on apple tree before disappearing ahead. Point was called at 59; he was on the crossrow beyond apple tree hill. Jazz had birds well located, all was in order as time was called.

Westfall’s Black Ace’s effort was detailed earlier. Whippoorwill Foto Op (Huffman) showed forward on the right edge in little vine loop. As the gallery entered the top of sycamore at 20, “Jill” could be seen pointing far to the front, she was mannerly, but birds were not officially seen. She motored up the hill and out of sight. Just past the barns, she was found pointing. Jill helped put the birds to flight to end her bid.

Touch’s Adams County (Anderson) and S F Mapleleaf (Vincent) turned loose in horse corral bottom, heading into the clubhouse loop. County was lost in the loop. Mapleleaf carded a nice find on the west fenceline at 14 with all in perfect order. She was forward out of the loop and beyond the barns, then was out of pocket for a time in the alley and picked up upon her return.

Salem’s Annie Oakley (Daugherty) and Touch’s Spaceman (Anderson) were released at 8:00 a. m. Tuesday. They raced off to the front, showing a time or two before the rocky crossing. Annie had a hearing problem and was up early. Spaceman was absent for several minutes but returned just prior to the road crossing. He took the edges through Davis bottom with youthful exuberance. His bid was ended at 34.

Oakspring Big Time Warrior (Vincent) and Whippoorwill Blue Blood (Huffman) started at the end of Davis bottom. They were fast and powerful, making short work of island field. Point was called for Blue Blood at 14. As the riders approached he pushed the birds out. Warrior continued up horse killer, scoring a stylish find on apple tree’s fenceline at 23, all in order. Warrior stayed forward through little vine loop. He pointed but corrected on at 50. He took the right edge far forward through sycamore bottom and showed beautifully on the cross row at 57. He was forward near the double gates at time.

Valiant (Anderson) and Fraser’s John Henry (Daugherty) headed up the hill out of sycamore. They scored a divided find at 5, with both dogs mannerly. Before the twin barns, Valiant went on point, head held high. John backed him; the judges did not see birds. Beyond the barns Valiant pointed, then corrected on. He pointed again further down the right line at 18; this time he had birds located and tallied a nice find. John Henry was not suiting his handler and was taken up at that time. Valiant continued into the bull pasture where he scored a third find at 30 on a covey. In the far corner he got birdy but went on. He showed in Clymer’s pasture and then through the clubhouse loop where he pointed again at 55. No birds were produced, and he was sent on at 57 to finish forward into horse corral bottom.

Washita River A T (Cochran) and Lowrider Frank (Vincent). Frank’s owner Dr. Jim Mills was riding. A T started well but shortened before the road crossing and was picked up. Frank was off to a strong start and showed at intervals on the way to Davis bottom. He carded a steady and stylish find on the left edge at 26. Just minutes later a second find  occurred on the right edge, near the end of Davis. He had made a nice move to get there and was high and tight through flush and shot. Frank ran a solid forward race for the hour.

Aberdeen’s Paid In Full (Anderson) and Westfall’s True Grit (Daugherty) headed away into little vine loop. Grit’s winning hour was described above. Paid struck paydirt at 14 near the ditch crossing, all in order. He was forward through sycamore bottom. At 31 Paid scored a nice find on the ridge, then headed left toward the pond beyond the barns where he pointed at 35. The judge was not able to see birds and the dog was taken on only to be picked up a short while later.

Miss Stylin Sue (Vincent) and Touch’s Blackout (Anderson) were released first thing Wednesday. Dr. Jim Mills was mounted to watch Sue perform. Blackout’s performance was described earlier. Sue was seen forward just before the rocky creek crossing. She made a great forward move on the right past the second ditch crossing. In Davis, Sue took the right edge, looking fantastic. She came upon her bracemate pointing and both dogs went on. Sue took the left edge in island field where she failed to back her bracemate and was picked up.

Westfall’s Black Thunder (Daugherty) and White Dollar (Anderson) were released into the little vine loop. Thunder became hard of hearing in the back corner and Andy opted to pick up at 8. Dollar was forward; he pointed game on top of the hill behind Daugherty’s place at 33. He changed position and was picked up.

Hackberry’s Chris Kyle (Vincent) and Las Animas Fancy (Huffman) headed west from the twin barns. They were forward to the bull pasture where Fancy vanished. Chris pointed along the wooded draw, corrected, then hunted it so thoroughly that Andy Daugherty stated, “He was relentless in his pursuit of game”. Unfortunately, there was none to be found. He continued forward for awhile but was picked up early. The retrieval unit was pulled for Fancy.

Manteo’s Ace of Spades (Anderson) and Whippoorwill Red Rage (Daugherty) kicked off Wednesday afternoon’s running. They showed a few times before coming into Davis. Rage came back from the front in Davis at 25 and was picked up. Ace pointed along the left edge in the island field but only feathers were found. He finished the hour forward near little vine.

Hush Money (Anderson) was forward through little vine. He was pointing at 10 across the creek; his birds were well located, all was in good order. Whippoorwill Forever Wild (Cochran) was forward through the loop and into sycamore. He was picked up at the double gates at 27. Hush pointed birds on the pond dam at 40 with style and manners.

Samstorm (Vincent) and S F Bandwagon (Huffman). Larry Smith was on hand to scout Bandwagon. They headed west from the blue house, both covering the ground rapidly. Both handlers called point, but the dogs moved on. A few minutes later, Huffman called point again. Bandwagon was pointing beside the bull pasture pond. Samstorm failed to back and was up. Bandwagon stood through it all. He was strong and forward across the Clymer property, but was absent at the clubhouse loop. He returned after a lengthy absence only to be picked up.

Grovespring, Mo., March 19

Judges: Ronnie Miller and Eddy Taylor

MISSOURI OPEN ALL-AGE [One-Hour Heats] — 31 Pointers

1st—WESTFALL’S TRUE GRIT, 1663635, male, by Erin’s Brave Heart—Westfall’s Irish Bell. Ryan Westfall, owner; Andy Daugherty, handler.

2d—WESTFALL’S BLACK ACE, 1641946, male, by Westfall’s Black Ice—Black Bama. Bill Westfall, owner; Andy Daugherty, handler.

3d—TOUCH’S BLACKOUT, 1652345, male, by Touch’s White Out—B C Angelina. Richard Peterson, owner; Randy Anderson, handler.

DON FOX MEMORIAL DERBY

This stake ran in its entirety on Thursday morning. All placements were chosen on merits of the dogs’ races; those juveniles that encountered birds did not handle them properly.

Hailey’s Wild Again won the stake with a hard running, fast and far reaching race. He was consistently forward for handler Randy Anderson.

Pointer female Miss Stylin Sue placed second. She was beautiful running on far and forward lines. Sue showed class in movement and was predominantly forward. Owned by Dr. Jim Mills and Steve Lightle, she is handled by Allen Vincent. Sue is among the top Derbies in the country and was invited to the American Derby Invitational.

Westfall’s Castaway,  pointer male owned and handled by Ryan Westfall,  was braced with the winner. He ran just as big as the winner but stayed less forward in pattern. Castaway had also received an invitation to the upcoming Derby Invitational.

DON FOX MEMORIAL OPEN DERBY — 8 Pointers

1st—HAILEY’S WILD AGAIN, 1672545, male, by Whippoorwill Forever Wild—C K Lucy. Jerry & Sharon Hailey, owners; Randy Anderson, handler.

2d—MISS STYLIN SUE, 1674906, female, by Ransom—Coldwater Snow. Dr. Jim Mills & Steve Lightle, owners; Allen Vincent, handler.

3d—WESTFALL’S CASTAWAY, 1668789, male, by Westfall’s Non Typical—Black Bama. Ryan Westfall, owner and handler.

MISSOURI OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP

Westfall’s True Grit had a great week. Fresh off his win of the Missouri Open All-Age Stake, he put down another stellar performance to the Missouri Championship title. His performance began at the second creek crossing. Grit took the left in Davis, showing above the cemetery and then again at the far end of Davis. He faded to the front in the island field and showed again below horse killer. He took the east fence on apple tree where he pointed a single at 31. Just off apple tree, he pointed with majestic style at 37, exhibiting perfect manners for flush and shot. He continued his huge race through little vine, showing on its north fenceline. Out of the loop he was absent for a short time but showed far to the front in sycamore bottom as time expired. Ryan Westfall was on hand to witness his special dog’s win.

Runner-up Whippoorwill Justified, handled by Larry Huffman for owner Ronnie Spears, was turned loose at the twin barns. Justified made a long cast from the breakaway, ending it just before the blue house where he pointed. Birds were put up at 7, the work stellar in all aspects. Patch was forward through the bull pasture and into clubhouse loop. At 31 he pointed on the ridge beyond the parking lot, a great move that was rewarded with a covey. Justified was high and tight on both ends. He was taken to the pond for water and swapped ends in the water pointing a single at 34. Justified’s fourth find came in the alley; relocation was required and accomplished with expertise. Larry flushed and shot for the stylish, mannerly pointer. Into sycamore bottom he hit the east fenceline where he pointed quail at 55. He finished the hour well to the front. It was a terrific performance that was carried for the title until Grit ran a bigger race.

CHAMPIONSHIP RUNNING

Manteo’s Ace of Spades (Anderson) and Lowrider Frank (Vincent) showed forward off and on. They crossed the road together, entering Davis bottom. That was the last that was seen of Ace;  the retrieval unit was out at 34. Frank ran a nice, forward race but no bird contact.

Phillips Field Line (Anderson) and S F Bandwagon (Huffman) were released up the hill into little vine. Don Stroble was riding to watch his Field Line. Larry Smith scouted for his Bandwagon. At 3 Tiffany found the pointers buried up on point. A good divided find went in the books for them. Bandwagon had a pretty find at the end of sycamore, along the fenceline at 24. Field Line came in for a mannerly back. On the hill behind Daugherty’s they contacted game once more, but it did not end well for either and they were up at 32.

Westfall’s Black Thunder (Anderson) and Whippoorwill Justified (Huffman) broke away at the twin barns. Justified’s performance was given above. Thunder pointed on the right edge at 3 but after a lengthy relocation he was taken on with an unproductive. He caught the front in the bull pasture and continued mostly forward from there on. Thunder pointed below the barns at 42, carding a nice find. He honored Justified in the alley at 48. He pointed on the left before sycamore at 52;  a very nice find on a large covey. Thunder finished forward heading toward the cemetery.

Whippoorwill Forever Wild (Cochran) and Touch’s Blackout (Anderson) drew Friday’s opening hour and they went out of sight to the front. Wild pointed on the left beyond the rocky creek crossing at 12; he had an indiscretion and was picked up. Blackout pointed on the right edge below double gates at 13, all in good order. Into Davis bottom he grabbed the first cross row, pointing there at 22. He stood with fine style and excellent manners. Blackout powered through the island field and pointed on Don Fox hill at 42. He was good for the flush and shot. He was missing at the top of horse killer. Randy wanted Tiffany to go six directions at once, but Judge Wright informed he could only send her one place at a time. Meanwhile, Blackout came back on his own. He crossed apple tree hill and was found pointing below at 59; only feathers were found as time expired.

Westfall’s Black Ace (Daugherty) and Las Animas Fancy (Huffman) were loosed into little vine, making short work of it, showing in the bottom. Ace  flying away to the front and the retrieval unit out at 35. Fancy showed nicely on the edges and made fast time through sycamore. Up the hill and past the barns she remained forward. She pointed stylishly at 39 near the blue house but took steps to end her performance.

Touch’s Adams County (Anderson) and Barshoe Five’N’ Dimer (Vincent) were off into the bull pasture where they both showed well and forward. Dimer made some big moves through Clymer’s. County was steadily forward. County pointed at 14 in horse corral valley. Dimer failed to back. The work proved unproductive for County. He shortened late in the hour and was picked up.

Whippoorwill Red Rage (Daugherty) and Washita River A T (Cochran) were drawn in the seventh brace, but A T was scratched. Rage ran hard and predominantly forward. In Davis bottom he took the right edge and tallied a very nice find at 29. When released, a quail popped up in front of him and he failed to stop.

White Dollar (Anderson) and Oakspring Big Time Warrior (Vincent) were away near the end of Davis. Dollar was lost on apple tree hill and not recovered in judgment. Warrior was forward at great range while responsive to his handler. He notched a lofty find at 39 in the back corner of little vine loop. He finished the hour forward in sycamore bottom; his was a wonderful all-age race.

Fraser’s John Henry (Daugherty) and Valiant (Anderson) headed up the hill from sycamore. Both were pointing at 14 near the blue house; no birds were found. John was picked up. Valiant was asked to relocate. While the dog was in the process of relocating a bird flushed wild, no involvement by the dog. Valiant pointed again at 21 in the bull pasture with good style and manners. Point was called at 55 but waved off. He was strong with some big moves in the clubhouse loop and finished his hour beyond the twin barns.

Hackberry’s Chris Kyle (Vincent) and Hush Money (Anderson) down on course No. 1 Saturday morning. Money pointed on the left at 5. He had a small covey nicely located but took a hop at the flush and was up. Chris Kyle continued forward but wasn’t showing his usual race and he was up early.

Westfall’s True Grit and Whippoorwill Wild Assault (Huffman) were released at the second creek crossing. Grit’s hour was detailed earlier. Assault ran a big, forward race for the hour but had no game contact.

Lester’s Jazz Man (Anderson) and Samstorm (Vincent) were headed up the hill out of sycamore. Jazz’s owner Dan Hensley was mounted. They were nicely forward all the way to the bull pasture and were on point at 14. Samstorm moved up and was done. Jazz handled the pressure and stood perfectly. He continued big and forward. In the far corner at 23, he could be seen pointing stylishly. Before his handler could get to him, he pushed them out and the morning running was over.

Salem’s Annie Oakley (Daugherty)  was lost early. Touch’s Mega Mike (McLean) was scratched.

Whippoorwill Foto Op (Huffman) and Westfall’s River Ice (Daugherty) broke away into Davis bottom. “Jill” was strong and forward, showing well through Davis bottom and the island field. She was found pointing on apple tree’s east line at 27. Jill stood with pretty style while awaiting her handler’s arrival but moved on the flush. Ice was strong and mostly forward albeit with a difficult handle. He found no game.

Aberdeen’s Paid In Full (Anderson) and S F Mapleleaf (Vincent) were forward through the little vine loop. They were up early when they weren’t challenging the leaders.

Judges: Reid Hankley and Keith Wright

MISSOURI OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP [One-Hour Heats] — 30 Pointers

Winner—WESTFALL’S TRUE GRIT, 1663635, male, by Erin’s Brave Heart—Westfall’s Irish Bell. Ryan Westfall, owner; Andy Daugherty, handler.

Runner-Up—WHIPPOORWILL JUSTIFIED, 1656011, male, by Whippoorwill Wild Agin—Sparkles. Ronnie Spears, owner; Larry Huffman, handler.

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