American Field

Rebellita Wins 2017 Running; C K Touchdown Guy is Runner-Up

Montana Open Shooting Dog Championship

By Shawn Abbott-Conover | Sep 11, 2017
Championship Winners. From front left: Austin Turley with Rebellita and Brian Gingrich with C K Touchdown Guy. Standing: Glenn Conover, Judge Shawn Abbott-Conover, Judge Glenn Johnson, Shannon Nygard, Nard Bailey and John Junnila.

Circle, Mont., — The Big Sky Field Trial Club hosted its annual Montana Open Shooting Dog Championship following the National Amateur Pheasant Shooting Dog Championship and the Montana Open Shooting Dog Derby.

On the eve of the event Scott Brown, who used to own parts of the land that we are able to run these trials on, stopped by to visit. He grew up in the house where the banquet dinners were held, and farmed some of the surrounding land. He stated that the area is experiencing the third worst drought on record, the worst being 1988 and then 1934.

In mid-July, approximately 90 miles west of the Circle field trial grounds a wildfire was ignited. At its peak it covered over 270,000 acres. Homes, outbuildings, and fences were destroyed. Over 8,000 head of cattle were displaced and no longer had range or feed for the upcoming months.

The spectre of that fire and the realization that there was a potential for this, and other trials to be cancelled, due to the severe drought and concerns for future fires, prompted the members of the Big Sky Club to actively seek a solution and allay fears from landowners who graciously allow the club to utilize their property. As a result the club purchased a fire suppression pump and had it mounted on the dog wagon, which also carried a water tank cistern of over 300 gallons of water, which was kept full at all times. In addition, multiple fire extinguishers were kept at the ready, several riders carrying them while on courses, several in the dog wagon, and there were several kept in camp.

A second truck with a 450 gallon water tank was kept full and available in camp. The good news is that none of this was needed. At the time of submission of this report, nearly 900,000 acres of Montana land have burned!

Glenn Johnson of San Dimas, Cal., has a lengthy history in field trialing, both with handling dogs to championships, as well as a judging numerous championships. Shawn Abbott-Conover, a Montana native and member of the Big Sky Club, has been involved in field trialing for twenty years and has reported and judged numerous championships. Both judges contributed a wealth of knowledge and dedication to looking each dog over and making their determinations. They worked well together.

The Big Sky Field Trial Club is a small, mostly Montana based club with a few folks from outlying areas who have joined. In that club we have about 8-10 active members who are the blood and guts that get things done. With two Championships back-to-back and a Derby in between, six hardworking club members made it all happen. With great appreciation, it is important to recognize those who dedicated their time, energy, and passion.

Austin Turley, trial chairman, built the braces that held the fire suppression pump, hauled and filled water tanks, marshalled, drove the dog wagon,

and generally made sure things ran smoothly. Glenn Conover researched the best fire suppression pump and made sure we had it ready for the trial, hauled and filled water tanks, drove the dog wagon and marshalled. Dave Noell drove the dog wagon and marshalled. Michelle Turley and her nine-year-old sidekick, Sophie Robbins, drove the dog wagon. Shannon Nygard tirelessly made sure the dog wagon was stocked with cold water, snacks and coffee, and then organized and arranged lunches, and then was the pivotal backdrop for the two banquet dinners. Her job starts well before the trial began. Shawn Conover drove the dog wagon, filled water tanks and trucks. John Junnila drove the dog wagon and Nard Bailey, honorary club member, helped out in any fashion, doing whatever was asked, to include driving the dog wagon, with a cheerful disposition.

John Roswech of Chester, N. J., owner of last year’s champion, Sinbad’s Bear, contributed to the barbecue so that attendees could enjoy a great meal, great camaraderie, and some interesting stories. Dave Noell “took over the tongs” and cooked up a delicious dinner while Shannon Nygard again worked tirelessly in preparing side dishes for all to enjoy.

The attendees recognize and appreciate the hospitality of the landowners who allow trials to be held on their lands. The wide open prairie with planted treerows made for innumerable opportunities for bird work on each of the six one-hour courses. Pheasants, sharptail grouse, and Huns were found on each course, and while there were concerns that the difficult winter and current drought conditions would result in a decline in birds, there was no evidence of that.

The Winners

Rebellita was named Montana Open Shooting Dog Champion, 2017. Owned and handled by Austin Turley of Molt, Mont., this fine running and mannerly bitch hit the course on the first brace of day No. 2. She exhibited a true shooting dog distance in her pattern and responded willingly to the handler, without being scouted.

Jane, as she is called, had a stop to flush in the first quarter and a point at 45 to set a standard on looks and poise. She finished running strongly to the front.

Jane is the fourth generation of crossing the Delmar Smith bred female Jillita on the Rebel lines of Guard Rail and Faraway Kennels. Jane contains three lines of the proven producing female Jillita to the Rebel female Rambling Away.

She won Region 14 Amateur Shooting Dog Derby of the Year, took a first in the Derby at the Northeast Arkansas Pointer and Setter Club in Conway, Ark., earlier this year, and had two broke shooting dog wins as a Derby. This was Jane’s first championship win in her first year.

Runner-up was C K Touchdown Guy, Vizsla male handled by Brian Gingrich and owned by Ron and Denise Chenoweth of Port Byron, Ill. This was Gingrich’s first visit to these grounds and he is definitely a fan.

Touchdown’s smooth, ground-eating stride impressed both judges. He stayed to the front, obviously working hard for scent. He had a find at 27 with good stature and steadiness to the flush. At 52 he had another point; however, this resulted in no birds being located. Touchdown finished the hour with stamina, moving away.

Touchdown has numerous accolades preceding his name. NCH NFC 8x CH 2x RUCH DC C K Touchdown Guy, which translates to Vizsla AF National Champion, Vizsla AKC National Champion, winner of nine AF one-hour championships, and runner-up championship in two AF hour long championship. The DC stands for dual champion, an AKC title that indicates a dog that has earned both field championship and show champion titles. Certainly he is a dog with presence.

The Running

American Pharaoh (Jason Williams) and Just Thrillin (Tommy Rice) set off on the first course at 7:00 a. m. Both dogs started with big moves and at 12 Just Thrillin made a huge move on course, far out to the front. He ran the rim of the furthest ridge. American Pharaoh was hunting the wheat field to the west, and just kept going. Handler and scout eventually had to run him down, bringing him back in harness at 16. Just Thrillin kept hitting the next hill, prompting Rice to go looking for him, also bringing him back in harness at 20.

Outlaw Mr. Cooper (Jason Staley) and Shirley (Glenn Conover) started with good forward movements and were handling well with no need of scouting. At 14 the dogs hit the treerows west of camp, hunting hard. At 16 Shirley pointed just as she crossed a gate into another field. Shirley stood with style while Conover flushed the bird and shot. While that was happening, Staley called point for Cooper. As he was off and flushing, Shirley ran right next to him, failing to back. Cooper stood steady and Staley flushed the bird. The assigned judge, Johnson, didn’t see the infraction; however, when the judges made contact, Judge Conover reported the situation and ordered her husband’s dog up. Cooper pointed in the treerows, stood staunchly while Staley flushed and shot. He had another point at 26 which resulted in an unproductive. At 30 he pointed again. Staley shot with Cooper taking a small movement forward. Cooper had another point at 33; however, Staley was unable to produce a bird. He asked Cooper to relocate; the dog moved approximately 100 yards into the wind before styling up. Unfortunately there were no birds produced so he was picked up.

True Choice (Shawn Kinkelaar) and Tucalota Blew (Ed Mayhew). Kinkelaar called point at 11 near the airstrip. It turned out to be an unproductive. Blew was headed up the hill, working the ground. True Choice pointed at 15, and Mayhew’s dog was headed that way but was called off. Kinkelaar flushed a bird, with his dog holding steady. After watering dogs at the dog tank they were sent on a southerly course. Kinkelaar’s dog seemed to want to hunt in a westerly fashion, with Blew out in front. It was noted that when the dogs converged toward the front, Blew began tailing Choice. Judge Johnson advised that Mayhew should stop that but he made the decision to pick up the dog. At 47 Choice had a good find in a ditch, with him reporting that a young grouse nearly hit his dog in the head. The pup held strong and had a good find. At 54 Kinkelaar picked up his dog after it busted and chased several birds.

Ridge Creek Lou (Kinkelaar) and Circle Masquerade (Shannon Nygard) started off the afternoon braces. The heat was just beginning to climb giving a hint at what was to come. Shortly after the sendoff, Kinkelaar’s dog chased some birds and was picked up. Nygard’s “Rosie” continued forward. She hunted hard and had good range. She didn’t seem to be bothered by the heat. At 54 Nygard called point but it turned out unproductive. At 55 Rosie had a strong and stylish point, resulting in good bird work. Circle Masquerade finished strong to the front.

Dyno Mike (Kinkelaar) and Miller’s Unfinished Business (Joe Norman) were off to a good start, hunting areas that seemingly would hold birds. The heat of the day was around the mid-90s. Both dogs seemed to do some tailing. At 30 Kinkelaar opted to pick up his dog. Business had a point at 37, looking remarkable, but no birds were flushed. He was moved on and finished the hour.

Touch’s Diamante (Sam/Turley) and Walden’s Belle (Williams) took on the heat of the day. Temperature was 97°. The dogs were set loose at the northernmost field and off they went. Sam took the ridge line at the end of a long field, dropped out of sight and came out to the front. Belle rimmed the ridge, stark white against the cover. The dogs hit the treerows and at 26 Turley called point. It was a white tail-like looking stick at 12 o’clock position. No birds were flushed and Sam was working in another area! Both dogs continued to run hard with good range. At the four corner’s water tank they took water and both were set on a path to some treerows a short distance away. Turley called point for Sam, climbed two fences to get to his dog, while judges moved around for good vantage points. Judge Johnson was in the right spot to see Sam and watched Turley attempt to flush birds. Turley asked Sam to relocate and time was called. Belle had continued beyond the treerows to the north and the scout was sent to find her. She was brought back after time and considered finishing the brace.

Rebellita (Turley) and I’ll Have Another (Williams) set off on the first course on the second day of running. Both dogs had a good breakaway, with lots of range. At 9 both were in shooting dog range. At 14 Rebellita had a stop to flush and looked good. She held firm, with tail high. Rebellita handled quite nicely throughout the brace, as did Another. The latter dog, a very stylish running setter, was fun to watch. At 36 Rebellita was called on point but her tail had let down a bit. She was asked to relocate but was unable to produce a bird. Another backed and was very mannerly. Turley’s dog had another point at 45, standing for quite some time. She held beautifully while Turley flushed the bird and shot. The dogs finished strongly to the front.

Bogart’s Baron, a Vizsla handled by Brian Gingrich, and Touch’s Two Step (Williams). At 14 the dogs were moving well, with Baron making some good shooting dog casts. At 31 Gingrich called point. Baron held strong and stylish. Birds flushed on their own accord. Two Step seemed to gain a second wind which powered her forward with strength and determination. At 42 Gingrich called point and worked the area for a bird. After a relocation it was deemed an unproductive. On the hill above the water tank at 48 both dogs were stopped, on point. Williams had dismounted and fired but hadn’t called point. Gingrich did call point, confirmed by Judge Johnson, and birds were flushed. Two Step was crouched, while Baron had a stylish point. At the end of the brace both dogs were still running strong.

Miller’s Stray Bullet (Norman) and Kid (Staley). At 4 Staley called point; however, Kid continued to move and a pickup order was given. At the same time Bullet had a point on the course, looked fine, and birds were flushed. At 21 Norman’s dog was working the treerows south of camp and was working scent. Unfortunately he was working it so hard he bumped the birds and had to be picked up.

Gin’N Tonic Live Wire (Noell) and Go Johnny Go (Jim Tande) took the first afternoon course on day No. 2. They headed perpendicular to the course and with the wind blowing perhaps couldn’t hear their handlers’ calls. Noell called for the retrieval unit a short time later. Johnny had to be scouted to the front. At 35 Johnny was working right to left in the treerows, past the first waterer, there was a call to point, but no birds were flushed. Tande dismounted and fired his gun; however, the other judge didn’t observe birds either. At 44 Tande called point but there were no birds. However, a couple of deer were seen vacating the premises. Johnny appeared to be working their scent for some time until Tande collected him and set him loose on course. After gaining water at Nelson’s pond, Johnny veered off to the right of the course and spent some time hunting. When he eventually made it back to the front he hit the treerows. A deer was seen bolting from the trees, with Johnny coming after him. Tande got his dog on course and shortly after time was called.

I B Anxious (Turley) and Seekin A Thrill (Rice) showed big moves from the breakaway, Anxious a bit too big, and the scout was sent to collect her. Unfortunately, this didn’t work so Turley called for the retrieval unit. At 33 Rice was calling for his dog, and the scout was positioned on a high spot. The dog could be heard giving several barks, but not seen, until it arrived at Tande’s side. The dog then went down a little gully, when Tande called point for Rice. Rice arrived to attempt to flush a bird but it was unproductive. At 55 Seekin A Thrill was moving to the left of the course and may have spied the dog truck. The dog arrived at the dog wagon, despite calls from his handler. At 58 the dog moved toward the end of course No. 5, and then time was called.

Zorra (Kinkelaar) made a big move, rimming the course along a ridgeline. Hawthorne Melody (Tande) was also running well. Tande moved his dog to the south, when the course was running west, and was not seen for approximately five minutes, when the dog was spied in the water tank. Zorra was out of sight for a time, returning at 17 and moving up into the treerows. At 22 Tande called point. Upon arrival both dogs were locked tight and stylish. Kinkelaar was called and because the beginning of this double point was not observed by either judge, the position that it might be a divided find was taken. The scout stated that two birds had flushed before anyone got there; however, no other birds were produced. Kinkelaar called point at 27, his dog looking fine. From a distance it looked like Zorra was moving and possibly busted the bird; however, it was reported that she tangled with a porcupine, came out the loser and was picked up. Tande’s dog showed up in the front. At 31 Tande’s dog was in the treerows and two birds flew out, with Melody following. The dog was picked up.

The third day started with a small sprinkle of rain and overcast. The temperature was around the high 60s, making it very comfortable for the riders. The overcast lasted until after the morning braces, when the heat ratcheted up in the afternoon to over 90°.

Jetwood (Tande) and Touchdown (Gingrich) started the third day of running. After the first 10 minutes both dogs were running and handling well. Touchdown was a pleasure to watch with a ground-eating stride. At 27 Touchdown had a point, looking mighty fine. The birds flushed wild and the dog stood steady. Jetwood eventually moved in for a back, after being slowed by his handler. Touchdown continued to handle well and stayed to the front, after cruising the treerows. Jetwood needed some assistance from the scout to manage a gradual turn. He remained off to the side, despite the callings of the handler. Touchdown had a point at 52 but ended up being an unproductive.

Erin’s Ramblin Rice (Gingrich) and Sky Hawk (Kinkelaar). Approaching the second water tank on the second course, and it was somewhat uneventful. Kinkelaar was consistently calling to his dog in order to keep forward movement. Sky Hawk had a point at 34, with the dog working a scent and moving forward, until Kinkelaar whoaed the dog. The birds flushed ahead of the dog a ways; the dog stood steady and pointed. Kinkelaar held his dog for a bit to allow the other handler to make the next course turn and released his dog. Unfortunately the dog headed off course and to the back. At 41 Kinkelaar got off his horse and fired a shot but did not signal to the judge a point. Kinkelaar heeled his dog to the front and it was noted that Gingrich had his dog on a check cord. Judge Johnson indicated that the dog was not getting it done and the handler decided to pick him up. Overall a nice dog, but not running enough at this time. At 48 Kinkelaar’s dog was off to the left. Birds were reported lifting off from the direction of where the dog was seen headed. Kinkelaar called point. Upon arrival the dog was moving and Kinkelaar dismounted and proceeded to harshly discipline the dog with a whip-like object six or seven times. At that point the dog was picked up. Gingrich had picked up his dog at 36. The dog had a great run, but not a shooting dog run.

Gates Road Mike (Williams) and Desoto Springs Jake (Tande) were up first in the afternoon with the temperature starting to rise. There was a bit of a breeze at times but it was getting hot. The dogs started off with a hard running start, with big casts. The dogs came back on their own and Williams’ dog ran back for a bit but came out way to the front and both dogs settled into a shooting dog race. The dogs were watered at 16 and sent off east. At 25 Williams called point, looking remarkable, but no birds were flushed after a relocation. His dog held steady for a long time, looking good. At 42 Mike bumped a pheasant and was picked up. Judge Johnson made the suggestion that Tande pick up his dog as it was not in contention at 42 after not showing to the front enough.

Ridge Creek Pied Piper (Kinkelaar) and Charitable Deed (Rice) ran the 16th brace. At 3 Deed went on point, with Piper eventually backing. This point ended up unproductive but the dog worked the situation very intently. Deed went on point; however, Rice didn’t call point and the dog let down. Piper failed to back at 20. Deed was moved on. At 21 Deed had a point that resulted in the second unproductive and was picked up.

Southern Star (Kinkelaar) and Thrill Me (Rice). At 10 Kinkelaar was off his horse and shot his gun. This was at the end of the treerows. Neither judge saw birds. At 13 both handlers called point a short distance apart. While neither handler was able to produce birds, Thrill Me maintained a stylish point and Southern Star relaxed a bit. After this both dogs made big moves, running strongly before circling to Nelson’s pond for water. Kinkelaar called point at 29, halfway between Nelson’s pond and the treerows. Thrill Me circled around, not seeing Star, but when he espied the dog locked on a good looking back. Kinkelaar was unable to produce a bird and this was his second unproductive, hence the dog was up. Thrill Me stood with style and poise until released by his handler. At 37 Thrill Me had a stop to flush and all was in order. At 40 another point was called for this nice dog and a sharptail was flushed. The dog stood steady and quiet. At 46 another point was called for Thrill Me. Rice flushed for an extended period of time but was unable to move a bird. He asked his dog for a relocation and the dog worked the area for some time as well. The dog moved into the treerows, and the judges moved forward to better be able to see the dog, when what was believed to be the initial pointed bird flushed at the movement of the riders, from the location that the dog was facing. Moments later Thrill Me had a stop to flush, but was deemed ineligible as the previous point produced a second unproductive for the dog. The dog was ordered up by the judges.

Little General (Tande) and Chelsea’s Thunder Bolt (Kinkelaar). The heat had hit near 90°. Both dogs set off with vigor. Tande’s dog had a failure on a stop to flush and was picked up. At 19 Bolt was running very hard, covering the ground with ease. He was not always to the front. Judges and gallery saw birds leaving and upon arriving at the dog’s location he was standing very nicely on point. Kinkelaar stepped off his horse to fire his gun. Point called at 31 but no birds were produced. Bolt acted very birdy at 50 and point was called. No birds were produced, despite exerted effort by Kinkelaar, resulting in a second unproductive and the dog was up.

The final morning of the stake broke with a cool temperature and no breeze. The dust was hanging in the air.

Tallokas Storm Bandit (Loper) and Touch’s Katrina (Turley) set off at a good ground covering pace. At 12 Loper called point on an intense looking Bandit and “Kate” pulled in for a stylish back. Loper attempted to flush but was unable to locate a bird. Kate ran the rim of the low lying hills on the course while Bandit continued to work directly ahead. The dogs made it to the treerows. Kate made the course bend, while Bandit headed straight for the hills, having to be scouted to be brought around. Turley called point at 42, with Kate looking fine. Turley dismounted to flush, Kate self-released and was picked up. Bandit continued forward making some big casts. The dog finished the brace with strength and style.

Miller’s Bushwacker (Norman) and Gone With The Wind (Williams) made initial all-age casts from the breakaway. They headed on course, across the airstrip and into a slight dip in the mountain, looking like little specks. Bushwacker disappeared from sight and Norman sent his scout to the west. Eventually he returned to the front after the course turned east. At 38 Norman called point, which resulted in an unproductive. Williams’ dog circled around, beyond Norman’s dog on point and it wasn’t evident that the dog had seen the point. Then the dog did appear to back the pointed dog. Williams dismounted to stand by his dog and after a moment the dog moved on. The dog was ordered up. Bushwacker was released to run and headed in the opposite direction of the course. Norman said he needed to go round him up as he wasn’t responding to his voice. Judge ordered the pickup as the dog was running too big without enough handle.

Gin’N Tonic Hot Wire (Noell) and Deicer (Kinkelaar). At 1 Noell signaled point and while he was riding up the dog relocated on her own and bumped the birds. Kinkelaar’s dog saw the birds fly and gave chase. Brace was over at 1.5.

The afternoon braces started at 11:00. It was slightly overcast with a bit of a breeze but the underlying heat was showing up.

Burr Oaks Taza (Gingrich) and Someday’s Showdown (George Lutz). At 20 Lutz chose to pick up his dog due to running so short. After the first 10 minutes the dog pretty much shadowed the horse. Taza had a little bit more distance to his run but not shooting dog range and was also picked up.

In Swami’s Shadow (Kinkelaar) and Osceola’s Gunsmoke Man (Loper). At the water tank, just about 400 yards from breakaway, Loper’s dog pointed near the first water tank. The dog moved forward on a relocation and busted the birds. Shadow didn’t appear to like running into the wind and had to be handled a bit more, verbally. At 17 Kinkelaar called point and flushed for a time but unfortunately was unable to produce any birds. Point was called at 33. Kinkelaar was unable to flush a bird so the dog was sent to relocate. The dog worked the trees and the hillside for about five minutes, with several points and relocations, but no birds were produced. The dog was picked up.

Ramblin Rivers Rolling Stone (Gingrich) and Sam Ellis (Williams). Temperatures were in the high 80s and at times the air was very still. At 6 Sam had a point and Gingrich’s Visla pulled into a nice back. Sam was asked to relocate but no bird was produced. Stone was released to move and that dog can move. The dog made a cast far to the front to one lone objective, a solo tree, where he circled it and then continued on course at the turn. Sam also had a smooth, ground eating stride that covered a lot of territory. From the four corner’s water tank, the dogs got slightly off course, headed due north, when the course was northeast. Both had to be scouted but eventually returned to the front. Stone continued northeast, right down into another field, into a pond that was surrounded by cattle. Sam continued to work vigorously for Williams. At 46 Sam went on point but this ended in an unproductive, which meant he was up. Gingrich’s dog continued to run his powerful run, keeping to the front until time was called.

Circle, Mont., August 22

Judges: Glenn Johnson and Shawn Abbott-Conover


[One-Hour Heats] — 35 Pointers, 7 Setters, 4 Vizslas and 2 Brittanys

Winner—REBELLITA, 1662907, pointer female, by Busterado—Carbonado Triple Play. Austin Turley, owner and handler.

Runner-Up—C K TOUCHDOWN GUY, 1628014, Vizsla male, by Touchdown Kid— Shiloh’s Happy Go Lucky. Ron Chenoweth, owner; Brian Gingrich, handler.


The Open Derby was won by Touch’s Malcolm Story which had a strong well directed race and two broke finds, the second being an exceptional piece of bird work.

Second was Emmalita also had two finds, though not as polished of bird work as the winner, and a good forward race also. Third was Edge’s Mississippi Pete which maintained the front and carded a nice find.

All three Derbies had strong races and finished bird work. Impressive.

Judges: Glenn Conover and Ed Mayhew

OPEN DERBY — 19 Pointers and 1 Setter

1st—TOUCH’S MALCOLM STORY, reg. appl’d for; pointer male, by Touch’s Knight Rider—Blackhawk’s Sunflower. Alex Richert & Keith Wright, owners; Ike Todd, handler.

2d—EMMALITA, 1670912, pointer female, by Busterado—Seranoa’s Union Station. Austin Turley, owner and handler.

3d—EDGE’S MISSISSIPPI PETE, 1671925, pointer male, by Cole Train—Game Bee. Gordon Jones, owner; Ike Todd, handler.

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