American Field

Rendition Wins Open Title; Firefly’s Power Play is Amateur Champion

National Red Setter Shooting Dog Championships

By Al Fazenbaker | May 16, 2019
Open Shooting Dog Championship Winners. From front left: Rendition with Don Beauchamp and Cedar Creek Talon with Dennis Hidalgo. Standing: Judge Stan Williamson, Terry Trzcinski, Judge Al Janulius,  Bonnie Hidalgo, Dr. Roger Boser, Joe Edwards, Paul Ober, Pat Sheehan and Ed Liermann.

Chandlerville, Ill. — The 2019 Open Shooting Dog Champion is the veteran red setter Rendition, owned and handled by long time red setter trialer Dr. Roger Boser of Seven Valleys, Pa. Running on course No. 2 in the afternoon of the first day of running,  the eight-year-old Rendition rendered a powerful and forward race, always showing to the front, and scoring finds on both quail and pheasant.

Close behind and claiming runner-up was Cedar Creek Talon, another red veteran, owned and handled by Ed Liermann of Palmyra, Wis. Running on course No. 1 on the morning of the second day of the trial, Talon showed a strong race with two finds on quail.

The Amateur Championship was swept by the Firefly Team. Dennis Hidalgo and his efficient scout Bonnie Hidalgo handled Firefly Power Play to the champion position. “Puck” ran a powerful, wide and forward race on course No. 2, scoring multiple finds. His littermate, Kindle, followed close behind, taking the runner-up spot with a strong shooting dog race on course No. 1 the final day of the trial.

The Futurity was handily won by Hatcreek Lady Red, classy, racy and fine looking red setter owned by Dwight Ingram of Goldsboro, N. C., and handled by the veteran Red Setter Hall-of-Famer Joe Edwards of Rose Hill, N. C. It was notable that all four Futurity placements this year were produced by Joe Edwards’ Come Back Kennels, and all four Futurity winners were sired by Come Back Cutter. This is the third time in the history of the National Red Setter Field Trial Club that Joe Edwards has swept the Futurity in breeding all four winners.

This year’s National Red Setter Shooting Dog Championships, Futurity, and supporting stakes were dedicated to the memory of Stan Zdanczewicz who passed away February 20, 2019. Stan was a longtime member of the club, having served in multiple capacities over the years, most recently as a member of the Board of Directors. He was an icon of the NRSFTC as well as a most devoted participant of The Purest Challenge. His Zan Sett Kennels produced multiple champions in both red setter and all breed competition. His Ch. Abra certainly is well remembered across the field trial community. May Stan rest in peace. I am sure he was watching our trial from above. He will be missed.

The National Red Setter Field Trial Club program began March 12. If the reader has not had the pleasure of running bird dogs at the Jim Edgar Wildlife Management Area, they are missing a truly pleasurable experience. These grounds provide an outstanding arena for showcasing a shooting dog, with a mixture of cropland bordered by grassy strips and a scattering of woodlands. The grounds are wide and offer multiple vistas to show a big running dog, and yet have multiple objectives. A bird dog must make good application as well as ground speed to show well.

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources, under the supervision of area manager Billie Lowe, does an outstanding job in maintaining this area for the field trial community. Along with the Illinois DNR, the Field Trial Clubs of Illinois are very supportive of the field trial events in this region. FTCI President Chad Chadwell and Vice-President Pat Sheehan have provided support above and beyond the call of duty to ensure our National Red Setter Field Trial Club has a successful trial.

Weather conditions this year, as with many areas of the Midwest, were variable. The early part of the week was raw, with high winds, making it challenging for both man and beast. On Thursday wind conditions became so intense that the running was postponed. At one point wind speeds were in excess of 50 mph, with wind chills dipping well below freezing. By Saturday things had calmed down, the sun was out, and we had the best weather conditions of the week.

Trial Chairman Ed Liermann procured some outstanding judges for the week. Stan Williamson of Longview, Ill., and Ed Janulius of Manhattan, Ill., judged the Open Shooting Dog Championship and Futurity, while Jeff Wallace of Knoxville, Ia., and Brian Sheehan of Carol Stream, Ill., handled the judicial duties for the Amateur Championship. This reporter received multiple comments from handlers and club members regarding the positive nature of these judges. Their time and expertise in the judicial saddle, and their renderings, were much appreciated by all.

No trial can be a success without the hands of dedicated volunteers. Of critical importance are the bird planters. Longtime club member “T” Miller, his son Clark Miller, and board member Milt Schafer handled this responsibility, rising at the crack of dawn each day and putting in a full day’s work ensuring a supply of birds in the right places and the right time. This is one of those jobs that has little or no glory, but is vitally essential to the success of our efforts. Thank you “T”, Clark, and Milt for a job well done!

Another sometimes thankless but essential duty is that of the dog wagon driver. It is virtually impossible to run continuous courses without the need to have dogs at the ready as one brace is completed and another positioned to go. Board member Garth Sellen made sure that dogs were on the line for each brace, as well as providing much appreciated coffee and cookies for handlers, judges and gallery riders. Thanks Garth for your tireless efforts during the week-long trial.

We would be remiss not to mention others in the background who helped make this trial a success. Deborah Fazenbaker, editor of our national publication, “The Flushing Whip,” baked  fourteen dozen cookies in assorted sizes, shapes and flavors, and there wasn’t a single cookie left at the end of the trial!

A special thank-you to several folks who helped out with meals, the banquet, and silent auction. Mary Boser, Linda Beauchamp, Brenda Edwards, Wendy Schafer and others worked to ensure a relaxing time was had by members during the evenings at the River Bend Lodge in Petersburg, Ill., where our “trial HQ” was stationed.

Our trial would not be complete without the sponsorships of several fine organizations.

Purina rep Terry Trzcinski was present for a portion of the trial, and he also helped out with some of the duties. Thanks Terry. We are grateful for your support. Purina has been a long time sponsor of the National Red Setter Field Trial Club and the Purest Challenge. This organization produces the finest dog food in the country, and they are a stalwart supporter of bird dog field trials. Without their support, our sport would be lost. There is no better way to thank Purina than to purchase their dog food products. It is without a doubt the best dog food one can buy on the market. Purina’s Pro-Club program not only provides benefits for each and every bag of dog food you buy, it also supports the efforts of the National Red Setter Field Trial Club. The next time you need to purchase a bag of dog food, reach for the Purina brand Your dog will thank you, and you will support our great sport.

Garmin is another staunch supporter of the National Red Setter Field Trial Club. Their electronic training products are reliable, resilient and effective. Backed by years of research and testing, a Garmin product will cut training time and enable you to adjust for differences in behavior, distance, temperament and training environment. A Garmin training collar will help you get the job done and put your dog in the winners’ circle.

SportDog® Brand has likewise been a longtime supporter of the club. The organization relies on extensive field testing of their products to ensure a quality product for you. Jim Morehouse of SportDog® has been a longtime aficionado of the red setter, and we appreciate his support.

Trial chair was Ed Liermann. His was a challenging job, with many hours of work prior to the trial, during the trial, and after the trial. Ed is a longtime member of the club and does an outstanding job in all three venues. His organizational skills and attention to detail make the trial process seem to flow seamlessly from one day to the next. The club is fortunate to have him at the helm.

Last but not least, a warm welcome to the several new faces at this year’s events, including Bruce Krug and John Daly, who traveled from Wyoming to run their red setter. We also welcomed old friends Ron and Karen Cassidy, Amy Gauthier, Mike Jacobson, Joe and Brenda Edwards, Mike Fox, Don and Linda Beauchamp, Paul Ober, Bob and Katherine Gove, Mike Harryman and Deborah Fazenbaker. My apologies if I missed someone; it was wonderful to see old friends and make new ones.

The National Red Setter Club also extends a special thanks to the professional trainers who attended and participated in various stakes throughout the week. Mike Harryman, Tom Waite, Bruce Krug and other professionals in this sport are integral to the success of our dogs. Thanks for your valuable contributions.

Club “headquarters”, as in past years at this location, was the River Bank Lodge, a wonderful place to stay, complete with a dining area and bar, as well as a lounge area with traditional log siding and overstuffed leather chairs and couches. Located in Petersburg, it’s a great place the evenings after a hard day of running dogs. Club members visited and relaxed with a favorite beverage, and enjoyed the camaraderie of fellow club members they had not seen for perhaps a year or more.

On the Monday night of the drawing, the club gathered in the lounge where Milt and Wendy Schafer completed the drawing. Club members met each evening at the lodge, where Ed Liermann arranged a catered dinner. Members gathered and shared a meal and conversation about the day’s running and caught up on visiting.

Saturday was the Red Setter Board of Directors meeting, followed by the general membership meeting, and concluding the day with the awards presentations and banquet. A silent auction of donations took place during the meal and gathering, with an array of red setter and bird dog apparel to choose from.

At the general membership meeting, the officers and board members for the club were elected by the membership. Our officers for the coming year are Allen Fazenbaker, president; Tom Norton, 1st vice-president; Dennis Hidalgo, 2d vice-president; Ed Liermann, secretary; Linda Beauchamp, treasurer. Board members include Katherine Gove, Joe Edwards, Paul Ober, Ron Cassidy, Garth Sellen, Dennis Hidalgo, Milt Schafer and Mike Fox.

A highlight of the evening was the presentation of several annual “Dog of the Year Awards.” Leading the pack this year was Tim Hammons of Silver Creek Red Setters, who won the LeGrande Award for highest points in shooting dog and all-age all-breed wins with his winning red setter Roses Are Red. Tim Hammons and Roses Are Red also garnered the annual High Performance Award, which is presented to the dog having the highest point value for all-age all-breed wins or placements.

The NRSFTC Shoot-to-Retrieve Annual Award went to Great Oaks Magic Touch, owned and handled by NSTRA competitor and red setter club member Jeff Joyner. Zansett Simply Red took the honors for Walking Shooting Dog of the Year for her owners Catherine Lewis and Dean Reinke.

Congratulations to all of the award winners for your efforts in competing in all-breed events!

The Board of Directors awarded two special honors to exceptional club members for their service to The Purest Challenge. Amy and Jerry Gauthier were awarded an Honor of Distinction for their work in promoting the red setter at the Annual Pheasant Fest held outside of Chicago, Ill. Amy and Jerry traveled to the events, along with their red setters, distributed club information, participated in the canine parade of breeds, and promoted our breed to the public. Thanks Amy and Jerry for all you do for our breed and our club.

Longtime club member and tireless worker “T” Miller has been essential to our success at Jim Edgar. He is our bird planter, and has served in this capacity each year of the trial. “T” has been a club member since 1970; he has served the club in many capacities including a member of the Board of Directors, as well as chairing several Red Setter Championships in the past. In appreciation for all the has done, he was honored a Lifetime Honorary Member of the club. Congratulations and thank you for your years of selfless service to The Purest Challenge.

The National Red Setter Field Trial Club confers its Hall of Fame Honors once every two years to one dog and one person. This year the club was honored and pleased to induct the red setter Ch. Restless Wind, owned and loved by Bob and Katherine Gove, into the Red Setter Hall of Fame. Our person inducted was  the late Dale Bruns, a longtime supporter of the club. Dale served on the Board of Directors for many years, and supported the club not only with his work, but financially, assisting the club with generous donations in lean years. We were especially pleased that several members of his family were present at the banquet to receive the Hall of Fame Award on behalf of Dale’s wife Teresa, who was unable to attend. Special thanks to Tom Bruns, John and Tessa (Bruns) Boldrey, Tim Bruns and Donna (Bruns) Stockrahm for taking the time to celebrate the honor bestowed on their father Dale. He was certainly most deserving and it was icing on the cake to have you there with us.


Come Back Magic (Edwards) and Dawson’s High Chaparral (D. Hidalgo) broke away east of the barn and both  made wide casts to the front. Chaparral scored the first find of the trial at 12 across the creek in a grassy strip, displaying good manners. Magic pointed in a small patch of corn just east of the road crossing but was on the leash at 24 after an indiscretion with the find. Chaparral continued ahead with a strong race, carding a small covey at 57 beyond the parking area, but was up after going with the birds.

Running course No. 2, Windfall (Boser) showed a pleasing race, but suffered two unproductives. Lincoln Watch That Tail (Smith) backed Windfall at 12, then had a find at 56, showing a moderate race to finish.

Waycross (Boser) carded a find at 56 and showed a pleasing forward race. Fire Fly Bee Line was not pleasing Dennis Hidalgo and was picked up at 56.

Come Back Lady Soul (Edwards) and Kindle (D. Hidalgo). Back on course No. 1 for the afternoon, Lady Soul showed a classy, forward and pleasing race, but had an unproductive at 23 and finished the hour strong but with no birds. Kindle backed her bracemate at 23, but showed an erratic ground pattern and scored no birds in the hour.

Rendition (Boser) and Cedar Creek Gem (Liermann). Gem scored the first bird contact, a stop to flush at 3. Rendition, the champion of this stake, scored his first find at 20, showing excellent manners. Both dogs were found standing at 35, a pheasant lifting. Rendition finished the hour with a strong and powerful forward race. Gem had an unproductive at 59 and finished the hour forward, showing a moderate race and pleasing handle.

Fire Fly Red Button (D. Hidalgo) scored a quail find at 5, and again at 10. Come Back Trump (Edwards) carded a quail find at 9, then a pheasant find at 22. The pheasant lifted and dragged both dogs with him, and they were up.

Spruce Goose (Waite) and Cedar Creek Talon (Liermann). Back on course No. 1, Goose ran wide, but was behind at times. He had no birds. Talon, the runner-up, scored his first find at 12, with excellent manners. At 23 he was found standing and a quail was produced. He was found standing at 39, no bird produced. Talon showed a wide and strong forward pattern to finish.

Fire Fly Power Play (D. Hidalgo) started the brace with a find at the breakaway, handled with good manners. An additional find at 10 produced a pheasant for Power Play; the dog finished the hour with a forward but sometimes erratic race. Zansett Simply Red (Waite) had no birds and showed a pleasing forward race.

Chandlerville, Ill., March 12

Judges: Ed Janulis and Stan Williamson


Winner—RENDITION, 1627352, male, by Touchstone—Solitaire. Dr. Roger W. Boser, owner and handler.

Runner-Up—CEDAR CREEK TALON, 1651780, male, by Come Back Hightider—Come Back Dandi. Ed Liermann, owner and handler.


No birds were pointed during the first series of the Futurity and a callback was necessitated for the final standings.

Cedar Creek Six Gun (Liermann)  showed a wide race, but was erratic and sometimes rough to handle. Come Back Billy Boy (Edwards) was wide and forward with a nice handle. He was powerful and strong to the finish, earning the No. 2 spot in the Futurity.

Celtic’s Rosette (Krug) had a tentative start as she developed a relationship to the horses, and improved markedly with time, making a few nice casts for her handler. Stilleto (Boser) showed a moderate race, always to the front, and handled nicely, earning the No. 3 Futurity slot in the winners’ circle.

Hatcreek Lady Red (Edwards) showed a very wide race, with several impressive casts. She was classy on the ground and always showed to front to take the first place honors.  Cedar Creek Shindig (Liermann) ran wide, but had a rough handle and difficulty staying to front.

Gratitude (Boser) showed a moderate and forward race, handling well to place fourth in the Futurity. Celtic’s Line Drive (Fazenbaker) showed a rough handle at times and a wide, albeit lateral, race.

Celtic’s Sin City (Fazenbaker), as a bye, ran a moderate but classy race and handled nicely.


1st—HATCREEK LADY RED, 1676024, female, by Come Back Cutter—Come Back Doodle. Dwight Ingram, owner; Joe Edwards, handler.

2d—COME BACK BILLY BOY, 1673121, male, by Come Back Cutter—Come Back Bee Gee. Joe Edwards, owner and handler.

3d—STILLETO, 1676459, female, by Come Back Cutter—Come Back Bee Gee. Dr. Roger W. Boser, owner and handler.

4th—GRATITUDE, 1676458, male, by Come Back Cutter—Come Back Doodle. Dr. Roger W. Boser, owner and handler.


The Walking Derby began with Celtic’s Wee Guy (Fazenbaker) and Celtic’s Rosette (Krug). Wee Guy showed a pleasing forward race, stayed in the pocket, hunted hard, but had no birds. Rosette had a nice hunting pattern with a moderate race and had no birds.

Sunsetter Rocky (Sellen) was lost after 5 minutes and the retrieval unit was out. Celtic’s Line Drive (Fazenbaker) was strong and wide with several wide ranging casts to the edges of the grounds. He scored a find at 20, handled with broke manners and finished strong to take the blue.

Celtic’s Sin City (Fazenbaker) put down a classy race, medium range, and hunted hard, finding birds at 3 and at 12, displaying Derby manners on her birds. She finished forward to place second.

OPEN DERBY — 5 Irish Setters

1st—CELTIC’S LINE DRIVE, 1675648, male, by Celtic’s Expeditiously—Celtic’s Culmination. Paul Ober, owner; Allen Fazenbaker, handler.

2d—CELTIC’S SIN CITY, 1684429, female, by Celtic’s Expeditiously—Celtic’s Culmination. Paul Ober, owner; Allen Fazenbaker, handler.


Three puppies competed. Sunsetter Lucy (Sellen), Raintree Blue Moon (Waite) and Foxy Abralena (Fox) all put down respectable races, with Blue Moon edging out the competition to take the blue for owners Dean Reinke and Catherine Lewis and handler Tom Waite.

OPEN PUPPY — 3 Irish Setters

1st—RAINTREE BLUE MOON, 1683335, male, by Zan Sett Simply Red—Foxy’s Lil Red Misty. Dean Reinke & Cathy Lewis, owners; Tom Waite, handler.


Cedar Creek Shadow (Schafer), as a bye, made a wide cast, but was on the leash after pushing a bird. Conneaut Creek Gone With The Wind (Fazenbaker) put down a medium forward race with one nicely handled find to place third. Chapel Valley’s Rising Sun (Gauthier) suffered an unproductive early and was on the leash after failing to back.

Conneaut Creek Rum Runner (Fazenbaker) pushed forward and was absent far to the front for a majority of the heat, showing only in the final few minutes ahead. MacArthur Maggie Mae (Schafer) rendered a nice cast forward, but was on the leash after pushing a bird.

Celtic’s Spectacular Bid (Fazenbaker) ran a nice forward race with two nicely handled finds to earn second place. Celtic’s Line Drive (Schafer) was under a bird and was picked up.

Celtic’s Sin City (Liermann) was on the leash after an indiscretion on a bird. Conneaut Creek Lake Erie Storm (Fazenbaker) showed a nice forward race with two nicely handled finds and a forward finish to take the blue ribbon.

Judges: Ed Janulis and Stan Williamson


1st—CONNEAUT CREEK LAKE ERIE STORM, 1651488, female, by Come Back Superfire—Come Back Bee Gee. Al Fazenbaker, owner and handler.

2d—CELTIC’S SPECTACULAR BID, 1664689, male, by Come Back Hightider—Celtic’s Spectacular. Paul Ober, owner; Al Fazenbaker, handler.

3d—CONNEAUT CREEK GONE WITH THE WIND, 1664811, female, by Cedar Creek Talon—Conneaut Creek Lake Erie Storm. Al Fazenbaker, owner and handler.


Come Back Lady Soul (Edwards) started with a find  at 6 near the south side of the creek on course No. 1. After crossing the creek, in a small grass strip, Dawson’s High Chaparral (D. Hidalgo) scored at 10 with Lady backing. All was in order. Both dogs stopped at 22. A pheasant was seen lifting from far off and the dogs were moved on. Lady stopped at 31, Chaparral backing. No bird was produced. Chaparral scored an additional find at the finish near the C-6 parking area, with all in order. Both dogs finished forward.

Firefly’s Power Play (D. Hidalgo) and Cedar Creek Talon (Liermann) broke away at the C-3A parking area. Talon suffered an unproductive at 5. At 10 Power Play carded a solid find in a corner of a corn field after an extensive relocation. Both dogs were observed standing, albeit widely separated, at 14. Each produced a bird after relocation efforts. Power Play scored again at 47 on the south side of the pond near the old barn with good manners displayed. He showed a powerful race, always to the front, and handling nicely to win the Championship. Talon finished the hour and was a bit erratic on his race.

Waycross (Boser) and Cedar Creek Gem (Liermann) started at the old metal barn. Waycross suffered unproductives at 20 and 29, with some ticking observed. He scored a nice find at 37, and again at 47 to finish the hour. Gem was absent for a significant time and had no bird work.

Come Back Magic (Edwards) and Windfall (Boser). Back on course No. 1, Magic had a find at 36 with Windfall backing. Magic went with the birds. Windfall was solo for the remainder of the brace, scoring a nicely handled find at 40. Windfall finished the hour with a moderate forward race.

Rendition (Boser) showed a pleasing forward race with two finds handled with good manners. Celtic’s Spectacular Bid (Fazenbaker) likewise scored two finds, suffered one unproductive and showed a nice race, although lateral at times.

Come Back Trump (Edwards) and Firefly’s Bee Line (D. Hidalgo) suffered unproductives at 5. Beeline scored the first find of the brace at 13, with Trump honoring. Beeline was on the leash after going with the bird. Trump continued on, scoring finds at 19 and 33, handled with good manners. He showed a strong forward race to finish the hour.

Conneaut Creek Lake Erie Storm (Fazenbaker) and Kindle (D. Hidalgo) ran Saturday morning on course No. 1. Stormie scored a find at 23 on the west side of the road, but suffered two unproductives to end her bid. Kindle scored two finds at 29 and 37, showing a strong and forward pattern to be named runner-up.

Judges: Brian Sheehan and Jeff Wallace


Winner—FIREFLY’S POWER PLAY, 1664073, male, by Flintstone—Firefly’s Hot Tip. Robbie Nesson & Bonnie Hidalgo, owners; Dennis Hidalgo, handler.

Runner-Up—KINDLE, 1626218, female, by Breakstone—Applebee. Dennis & Bonnie Hidalgo, owners; Dennis Hidalgo, handler.

The final event of the week, but certainly not the least, was our Gun Dog Stake. This is an opportunity for handlers to run their hunting dogs and get their feet wet with some field trialing experience. Six dogs competed.

Taking the blue for Garth Sellen was Sunsetter Kid Rock. Second was Chapel Valley’s Rising Sun, handled by Amy Gauthier. Cedar Creek Shadow rounded out the placements for handler Milt Shafer.




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