American Field

Field Trial Report

Montana Open Shooting Dog Championship

By Austin Turley | Oct 13, 2020
Championship Winners. From left: Shawn Kinkelaar with Grand Prairie Thrill and Austin Turley with Emmalita. Standing: Tommy Rice, Eric Mauck (judge), Glenn Conover, Alex Mauck (judge).

Circle, Mont. — The 2020 Montana Open Shooting Dog Championship commenced Monday, August 24. Temperatures for the trial were abnormally hot, but the grounds were in terrific condition and bird numbers were the highest. in years.

Judges for the trial were Eric and Alex Mauck, both well-known setter men from Oregon. The judges put much thought into their decision. Alex went the extra mile in his judging assignment, testing the soil compaction riding in from the Tuesday afternoon braces. He received considerable bruising and scraffing as the soil proved to be very well compacted. Nonetheless, both brothers endured.

The judges commented that they had numerous dogs worthy of consideration and mentioned five that they wanted recognized for their performance, performances that nearly changed the final decision. Those dogs were: Rambling Rivers Rolling Stone (Stapleton) and his bracemate,  Prairie Tank(Conover); Northwood’s Sir Gordon (Rice), Thrill Me (Rice) and Bena (Schillereff). Their performances will be described in depth later.

Runner-up Emmalita (Turley) came from the 17th brace. Emma and Princess Di (Kinkelaar) broke away on the traditional 5th course. Both dogs made big opening moves across the short brome grass. At 3 point was called for Emma far to the front on the hillside. Two sharptails produced here. Both dogs ran to the front, with Emma carding a stop to flush in the short cover before the tree rows. Through the treerows Princess Di went wide and Emma stayed well to the front. At 25 point was called for Di, no birds could be produced. At 40, with the course going down wind, Di ran over a pheasant, flushing it back over her bracemate with mannerly stopped. This  ended Di’s day. Reaching the water tank at 45, Emma seemed rejuvenated from her soaking. Emma finished her hour reaching in the CRP.

Champion Grand Prairie Thrill, white and liver four-year-old pointer female,  owned by Mac Stidham of Columbia, S.C., was handled by Tommy Rice, and came from the 21st brace. Thrill was braced with Wild'n E Z (Turley). They broke away across hayed CRP. Thrill came out of the gates strong and built her entire hour on the ground. Crossing the dry creek and entering the cover, Thrill continued strong, Ez was moderate in her application. At 20 Ez had a stop to flush on a sharptail and handler elected to call it a day. Thrill reached the water tank at 35, refreshed herself, and continued on. At 40 point was called, sharptail produced. Thrill’s momentum built with this encounter. At time, point was called, Thrill standing far to the front on a treerow. This excellent finish was rewarded with sharptail being put to flight with a vigorous flushing effort. Thrill’s hour on the ground was powerful, but always mindful of her handler. Her birdwork was beyond reproach.


The first brace of the trial paired Mayhaw’s Perfect Storm (Trey Mills) with Rock’s Bird Colonel (Tommy Rice). Storm had a nice find at 5, and a good race, but failed to stop to flush at 35. Colonel had a commendable early race also but was up at 30 with a second unproductive.

Brace No. 2 brought us Allilwood’s Shady Shay (Adam Delude) and G R Gunsmoke (Shawn Kinkelaar). Shay started with Ann orderly find at 5. Shay had a second find. aa very nice one,  at 30 turning towards the air strip. Shay finished the hour ahead at moderate range. Gunsmoke was up early.

Both Rose (Alex Rickert) and Ridge Creek Lou (Kinkelaar) crossed the hayed CRP and were found standing along the dry creek at 8. Sharptails were produced, all in order for both dogs. The pair hunted the cover until 30 with both handlers electing to pick up.

Touch’s Two Step (Rice) and Touch’s Hailstone (Rickert) are brought to the line. Off the breakaway the pair teamed up to head south while the course was heading east. Step was returned to the front and retrieval unit was taken for Hailstone. Handler elected to pick up Step at 25 in the heat.

Storm Warning (Kinkelaar) and Joe (Tim Schillereff) broke away bending north. Joe then headed west and was not to be returned. Warning ran a very good race through the CRP and to the treerows. His race continued strong and directed through the tree rows. Handler elected to pick up at 30.

Brace No. 6 paired Speck (Schillereff) with Chelsea’s Thunder Bolt (Kinkelaar). Dr. Debbie Ozner and George Hickox were in the gallery supporting Bolt. Both dogs showed well across the short brome grass. Heading into the tree rows Speck was to our right and Bolt to our front. At 20 in the start of the treerows, the action began to happen. Speck encountered birds and was in the harness, Bolt carded his first find. By 22 Bolt had carded a second find in the treerows. At 24 point and birds were called for Bolt, notseen until Bolt was spotted moving down the treerows. At 29 point was called between the treerows; handler flushed the area diligently before relocating the dog. Upon relocation Bolt left the area and went to the treerows. With the wind at his back, he ran past birds which lifted, then turned and proceeded under them.

No. 7: Rocky Knoll Annie (Fred Rayl) and Touch’s Katrina (Austin Turley). Marilyn and Pat Lockhart were in the gallery supporting Annie. Both dogs started strong. At 17 point was called for Annie along the creek bottom. Nothing produced. Annie continued on the ground strong but was under pheasants at 40. Point was called for Kate at 35; a pheasant was produced on a relocation. Kate carded a stop to flush at 40. Point was called for Kate at 50, nothing was produced and handler elected to pick up.

Touch’s Diamante (Turley) with Beckworth’s Firecracker (Rice). Diamante broke away over the hill, next seen pointing a half-mile off the breakaway. A large group of sharptail was produced to impeccable manners. Firecracker was down the course, and Diamante was all out trying to regain the front. Firecracker carded a stop to flush, and handler elected to pick up. Diamante carded a stop to flush at 16 and was pointed again at 21 in the tree rows. Nothing produced after a vigorous flushing attempt. Upon leaving the area, pheasant and sharptail alike left from what seemed to be every blade of grass, dog mannerly stopping to flight. Moments later, going down a treerow, Diamante pursued the quarry too much for handler's liking.

Northwood’s Sir Gordon (Rice) and Tian Gotta Lotta Hope. Hope was "lost" at 5 due to a failed stop to flush. Gordon proceeded to put on a bird-finding clinic his first half hour with finds on sharptail at 10 and 18, followed with a find on Huns at 28. Gordon finished the hour gamely as the heat of the day had taken a toll on him.

Brace No. 10 paired Thrill Me (Rice) with Dutch (Brian Gingrich). Both dogs started well. Dutch was running nicely when a failed stop to flush ended his day at 20. Thrill Me did exactly as her name implied. For the first 30 minutes  her ground pattern and range left nothing to be desired. She was everywhere one could want in a shooting dog stake, and exactly when you would hope her to be there. She flashed across the front as the course would turn, only to reappear exactly where you would dream her to appear. Reaching the treerows at 45, Thrill Me had a stop to flush at 48 on birds we had previously seen lift. This occurred again at 50. At 56 point was called; birds were produced, all in order. Thrill Me finished moderately along the trees.

No. 11 brought us Bo (Schillereff) with Ramblin River’s Fire Woman (Bill Stapleton). Both showed well early, with Fire recording a stop to flush at 11. At 20 Bo’s handler elected to pick up. Fire was picked up around birds at 40.

Tian Shooting Star (Schillereff) and Upfront’s Southern Star (Kinkelaar) started well in the CRP. At 25 Southern Star was credited with a stop to flush. Running into a headwind in the heat of the day compromised both dogs' races through the middle part of the hour. Both dogs finished the brace without further bird contact.

No. 13 paired Tug Of War (Kinkelaar) and Pete (Schillereff). War pointed at 3 with Pete backing; no birds produced. Both dogs ran well with War pointing and Pete backing again at 33. No birds produced again. At 37 Pete was under birds.

Nella’s Belgian Brew (Rice) and Touch’s Fire ‘N Ice (Turley). At 1 minute point was called for Brew, Ice backing. No birds produced here. Brew pointed birds at 6 and 9 only to acquire a second unproductive at 15. Ice had a find at 7 but took too much liberty on a stop to flush at 10.

Brace No. 15 rounded out the morning with Burrow’s Trip My Trigger (Rice) and Envy (Schillereff). Point was called for Envy at 5 with Trigger backing. No birds were produced. Envy had birds at 15 and again at 28 with Trigger backing. At 30 Trigger carded a nice find before the airstrip. Envy was up at 32 and Trigger at 40.

Tian Elhew Verbena (Schillereff) with Silver W Jill Z (Kinkelaar). Dr. Debbie Ozner and George Hickox were in attendance to support Jill, which was big and strong early, settling in as the brace progressed. Upon reaching the treerows she hunted them well, but ended her day on a slow stop to flush at 57. Bena had a consistent forward race. Before reaching the treerows, birds were called at 42 but not officially seen. In the treerows at 47, point was called and birds produced. Point was again called at 49 and 58, on neither occasion producing birds.

The heat and the cover took a toll on both Toby (Gingrich) and Just Thrilling (Rice) early. Thrilling was up at 25. Toby continued on, encountering birds at 58 in the treerows.

Brace No. 19 started the day with Ramblin River’s Rolling Stone (Stapleton) and Prairie Tank (Glenn Conover). Both dogs started strong. At 13 Stapleton called birds for Stone, but none officially seen. At 28 before crossing the road, handler again called birds for Stone, but these were not officially seen. At 30 point was called for Tank in the treerows. Scout called birds but none were officially seen. At 39 point was called for Stone and birds produced. At 40 point was called for Tank, birds produced along the north edge of the horse pasture. At 42 Stone was pointing again, producing birds. Finishing at the normal conclusion of brace No. 1, Tank was forward as Stone came in from our right.

Charlie Hustle (Rice) and Rebellita (Turley) started well forward. At 18 point was called for Hustle. Unfortunately, there was a little too much hustle during the flushing attempt. Rebellita pointed at 29; nothing was produced. At 32 Rebellita again pointed, this time a sharptail produced. Handler elected to pick up at the water tank.

No. 22 started the afternoon with True Choice (Kinkelaar) and Scout (Gingrich). Choice started her brace going to birds, pointing at 3. Birds were produced in the cat tails along creek. At 7 Choice was again pointing along the creek. She corrected and birds went to flight, ending her day. Scout ran a good race for the hour, but unable to connect with birds.

No. 23 paired Hawthorn Pearl (Rice) and Luke’s Gospel Truth (Rayl). Luke was forward but the heat took its toll on him and he was up by 35. Pearl was strong on the ground and unable to connect with game.

The stake concluded with Shagtime Scout (Kinkelaar) and Red (Gingrich). Both dogs came out swinging early. Unable to connect with game, the heat and cover eventually took their toll, both dogs up before the allotted time.

Circle, Mont., August 24

Judges: Alex Mauck and Eric Mauck


[One-Hour Heats] — 36 Pointers, 5 Setters and 7 Vizslas

Winner—GRAND PRAIRIE THRILL, 1676501, pointer female, by Seekin A Thrill—York’s Hollywood. Mac Stidham, owner; Thomas Rice III, handler.

Runner-Up—EMMALITA, 1670912, pointer female, by Busterado—Seranoa’s Union Station. Austin Turley, owner and handler.


The companion Derby drew an entry of twelve, with an interesting aspect for two of the winners.

Second placed Deep Creek Mason, white and orange pointer male is shown to be by Funseeker's Rebel, sixteen-time all-age winner, the 2007 National Champion and a Purina Award winner.

Owned by Frank and Mercy Fonseca of  Miami, Fla., Funseeker's Rebel had a storied field trial career under the guidance of his late handler Fred Dileo. He won the Masters Open Quail Championship in convincing fashion in  the spring of 2004,  then the Tar Heel Championship crown that fall. In the spring of 2007, before winning the National Championship, he claimed the Florida Open All-Age title and runner-up in the Continental Open Championship, concluding his career in the fall of 2007 with a second win of the Tar Heel Championship and the Quail Championship Invitational.

Funseeker's Rebel was elected to the Field Trial Hall of Fame in 2016.

Third placed Conner's Trigger Man is by another premier field trial performer, Brush Country Spectre, also a National Champion and Purina Award winner.

Owned by Mary G. Finley of Encinal, Tex., Spec earned his laurels under the able hand of the late Ed Husser. He enjoyed an impressive Derby season (1990-1991). He won first at the Central Carolina Open Derby, then the Georgia and National Derby Championships.

His all-age career is marked by several significant titular wins: the North Carolina in the fall of 1992, the Georgia and National Free-For-All in the spring of 1993, the Tar Heel that fall, the Georgia in the spring of 1995 and again in 1996.

Brush Country Spectre has the distinction of winning both the National Free-for-All and the National Championship, but he is also a two-time winner of the Purina Award (1993 and 1994).

Brush Country Spectre was elated to the Field Trial Hall of Fame in 2001.

The firs- place winner, Spencer's Rambling Justice, handled the veteran Fred Rayl for James Spencer of Milton, Fla., came to the trial with three previous wins, and notched No. 4 when placed in the Derby here.

Judges: Shawn Conover and Adam Delude

OPEN DERBY — 11 Pointers and 1 Setter

1st—SPENCER’S RAMBLING JUSTICE, 1684191, pointer male, by Spencer’s Rambling Lawman—Caladen’s River Hawk. James W. Spencer, owner; Fred Rayl, handler.

2d—DEEP CREEK MASON, 1690923, pointer male, by Funseeker’s Rebel—Deep Creek Myrna. David Uphoff & Tim Thornton, owners; Brian Gingrich, handler.

3d—CONNER’S TRIGGER MAN, 1689366, pointer male, by Brush Country Spectre—Travis Rocky’s Jubilee. Ralph Conner, owner; Fred Rayl, handler.




Comments (0)
If you wish to comment, please login.