American Field

Field Trial Report

National Amateur Pheasant Shooting Dog Championship

Touch's Diamante Wins Title; Emmalita is Runner-Up
By Alex Rickert | Oct 05, 2020
Winners from left: Austin Turley, Alex Rickert (judge), Glenn Conover with Touch's Diamante, Tim Schilleriff (judge), Michelle Turley with Emmalita.

Circle, Mon. — On August 20, the Big Sky Field Trial Club hosted the 2020 National Amateur Pheasant Shooting Dog Championship in Circle, Mont. Conditions were unusually hot and dry; the trial was a true test to every dog's endurance and heart.

There were 27 entries for the Championship. Judges were  Tim Schillereff from Portland, Ore., and Alex Rickert from Bozeman, Mont.

Many club members contributed their time and efforts to make the trial happen. We want to thank Austin and Michelle Turley, Glenn Conover, Pat and Marilyn Lockhart, and John Junnila. My apologies to anyone I may have left out. Efforts of all were much appreciated.

We wish to extend our gratitude to the landowners for allowing the club to run on their grounds once again.


Named champion was Touch's Dimante, eight-year-old white and orange pointer male, owned and handled by Austin Turley of Molt, Molt. "Sam" is no stranger to winning in Circle, Mont. The preponderance of his 25 previous placements were won here.

The runner-up was Emmalita,  five-year-old white and liver pointer female also owned and handled by Austin Turley. "Emma" was named runner-up at last year's running of this stake.


The opening brace paired Rebellita (Austin Turley) and Perkins Renegade (Chris Perkins). Breaking away on course No. 1 under sunny and warm conditions, both dogs ran a moderate race to the front, handling well.. At 12 Perkins called point, Rebelitta backing. Perkins flushing attempt failed, and Renegade was relocated, eventually taking an unproductive. Renegade stopped at 40; birds were produced. The dog marked flight and Perkins elected to pick up. At 41 Turley called point; a sharptail flushed, all in order. At 43 Rebellita had a stop to flush on a very large group of sharptails. Rebellita finished her hour to the front, concluding a well run hour.

Traveler’s Split Rail (Greg Sands) started with a very moderate race and had a tough break pushing a bird at 10, ending his run early. Cap’ N Sam (David Huffine) had two unproductives early and was up at 20.

Ramblin River’s Rolling Stone (Bill Stapleton) and Name Like Mike (Mike Robbins) broke away as the heat of the day was really coming on. Both dogs were away running strongly to the front. Both were found standing at 13; no birds were produced, each with an unproductive. At 17 Rolling Stone ran through some birds, ending his run. Mike continued to run a very nice shooting dog race and finished strongly ahead but was unable to produce any birds during his bid.

Touch’s Katrina (Austin Turley) and Ridge Creek Lou (Lance Schulz) were released under clear skies, the temperature in the low 90s. Both dogs started strong, making nice forward casts, running with style and speed. By this time the birds had left the fields and were gathered in the treerows. The first 50 minutes of the hour was through open prairie. At 40 Katrina made a beautiful move, taking a ridge and rimming it until she came down several hundred yards to the front. At 50 we reached a treerow and Katrina pointed; Turley’s flush produced a several sharptail. Katrina continued down the treerow and had a stop to flush at 52. Continuing down the treerow, Katrina stood at 54. After a failed flushing attempt, a relocation produced a single sharptail. At 56 Turley called point; a bird was flushed. Katrina took a step forward ending what had been a good run. At 58 Schulz called point. During the flushing attempt, Lou relocated, ending the brace.

The day's final brace paired the winner, Touch’s Diamante (Austin Turley), and Edelman (Gordy Jones). The twosome broke away under a blazing hot sun, the temeprature approaching 100°. Both charged to the front. Diamante's opening move was one to remember, taking a treerow three quarters of a mile with speed, style and purpose. Continuing forward across open CRP, Diamante finished the cast fading to the left to meet his handler several hundred yards ahead. Edelman also started very strong and was going toe to toe with Diamante on the ground. Both dogs covered the ground with speed, purpose and determination, pushing strongly to the front. At 18 Jones called point; the flush and relocation were unsuccessful. Jones moved the dog on taking an unproductive. At 28, coming up another treerow, Turley called point. After a long flushing attempt and a relocation effort, no bird was produced, an unproductive resulting. Both dogs continued to push the front, Edelman working a treerow to our left and Diamante seen forward on our right.  At 36 scout called point for Diamante; a covey of Huns was produced with everything in order. Edelman's strong run came to an unfortunate end at 42 when he suffered a second unproductive. Diamante continued on, running a remarkably strong race in the heat. At 46 point was called for Diamante in a treerow well ahead;  a group of sharptails as well as several pheasant produced here. Quickly crossing the hayed field and finishing in the heavy CRP, Diamante continued to push to the front, showing no sign of fatigue from the heat. He finished his championship run well to the front going away. It was a tremendous job by dog and handler.

The second day conditions were sunny, warm and humid, thanks to some rain showers overnight.

Erin’s Ramblin River (Bill Stapleton) and Perkins Lakeside Wild Child (Chris Perkins). At 27 Perkins called point, flushing a sharptail with all in order. At 37 Perkins called point again,  but no bird was produced, an unproductive charged. Both dogs  had a divided find on a sharptail at 51. Just a short time later Perkins called point at 54; his flush produced a single sharptail. Both dogs finished their hour.

Up next were Traveler’s High Point (Greg Sand) and Crazy Mountain Buck (David Huffine). Buck started wild and never found the course. Huffine elected to pick up at 8. Sands called point at 8. After an unsuccessful flush and relocation, an unproductive occurred. At 40, and with no bird work, Sands elected to pick up at the water tank, ending the brace.

The last brace brace of the morning was the eventual runner-up,  Emmalita (Turley), and Prairie Tank (Glenn Conover). Both dogs ran very nice shooting dog races to the front, showing nicely.  Leaving the water tank at 30, Emmalita made a big cast to the distant chokecherry bush before crossing well to the front. It wasn’t until 35 when the first birds were produced. Both handlers called point, the dogs pointing different birds. Both handlers flushed and produced sharptails. With time winding down and both handlers needing more birdwork, both dogs were sent far to the front to reach the final treerow before time. Tank took the left side of the treerow; Conover called point at 58, a single sharptail  flushed here. Emmalita had charged far to the front and to the right of the treerow. She was found standing on point in the heavy CRP.  A rooster pheasant was produced, capping a true limb find and the best find of the stake. The final move and find secured runner-up laurels for Emmalita.

The first brace of the afternoon paired Alliwood’s Shady Shay (Adam Delude) and Perkins Trace of Snow (Chris Perkins). Delude elected to pick up at 17 after Shay was running a short race. Trace of Snow ran a very moderate race and finished her hour with no bird work.

Up next was Wild ‘n’ Z (Austin Turley) and Searchin For A Rainbow (Gordy Jones). Rainbow broke away strong making a wide cast to the right. Jones called point at 10 and after an extended flush and relocation effort took an unproductive. Wild ‘N’ Z was running a moderate shooting dog race and had quick mannerly finds at 25 and 26. Rainbow was well behind, searching for the front after the extended flush and relocation attempt earlier in the hour. Wild ‘N’ Eazy continued on and was found on point at 30; no birds were produced here. Coming up to more treerows Rainbow was finally able to push the front. She was running strong with class and purpose. At 40 Rainbow had a stop to flush in the treerows. Moving on,  Rainbow had a nice find at 43, everything in order. At 45 both dogs had another find. Wild ‘N’ Z had a covey of Huns while Searchin For A Rainbow stuck a pheasant. Both dogs handled their birds well. Turley elected to pick up at 46 knowing he did not have his previous runs beat. Searchin For A Rainbow finished her hour going away, ending a very commendable effort.

Concluding the day was the defending champion Upfront’s Southern Star (Lance Schulz) braced with Perkins Beautiful Disaster (Chris Perkins). Both dogs were away strong, making big moves ahead. The heat and blazing sun soon caught up to them and the race became very moderate. The first birdwork came at 50 when Perkins called point; a sharptail was flushed. At 55 Southern Star  pointed in the treerows producing a sharptail. Both dogs finished their hour.

The final brace of the trial was Ramlin River’s Firewoman (Bill Stapelton) and Touch’s Fire and Ice (Austin Turley). Firewoman had a quick find at 11 on a group of sharptails. Both dogs were pushing the front, handling well. At 12 Fire and Ice pointed a group of sharptails on a hillside. Moving on, both dogs were found standing at 25; a couple sharptails were flushed, giving the dogs a divided find. A short time later, at 33, Turley called point for Fire and Ice. A group of sharptails was flushed with everything in order. At 40 Firewoman ran under some birds ending her hour. Fire and Ice continued  with a nice shooting dog race and had another find on a sharptail at 46. She finished her hour to the front at a very moderate range.

Circle, Mont., August 20
Judges: Alex Rickert and Tim Schilleriff

[One-Hour Heats] — 17 Pointers, 7 Setters, 1 German Shorthair and 2 Vizslas

Winner—TOUCH’S DIAMANTE, 1651518, pointer male, by Touch’s Whiteout—Henson’s Go Girl. Austin Turley, owner and handler.

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


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