American Field

Field Trial Report

NBHA National Open Shooting Dog Championship

By Chris Gebhardt | Jul 11, 2019
The Winners. From left: Dereck Layne, judge; Ron Levitan, Bill Currie, Andrea Ward with Blair’s Witch Project, Tom Waite, Jillian Stuhr with Indian Creek Courageous Cat, Garry Malzone, Brad Hargis, judge, and Marty Robinson.

Dancyville, Tenn. — The NBHA returned to the incredible Coffee Gap grounds of West Tennessee for the 2018-2019 renewal of our National Open Championship.

The West Tennessee Field Trial Club has been in existence since the early 1900s and some of the largest and most storied field trials in history have been run over these grounds. Not to mention a who’s who of field trial royalty that grace the walls of the clubhouse and many times are part of the crowd at the evening happy hour.

There aren’t enough words to express our gratitude to Blake Kukar, Bill Currie, Dr. Gene Spiotta, Gene Spiotta, Ross Callaway, and all of the West Tennessee Field Trial Club for their generosity, help, and for providing such a quality venue to run the NBHA National Championship. They went above and beyond every single day and in every way to make this event a great one. These are truly special people who go out of their way to provide everything we need to make this trial work.

Every participant who ran a dog over these grounds absolutely raved about this Championship, the grounds, the people, and how they hope that it continues to be THE venue for the NBHA National Championship for years to come. We 100 per cent agree.

Special thanks also to our judges, Dereck Layne of Chapel Hill, Tenn., and Brad Hargis of Salem, Ill. Both men know a championship performance, were impartial and helpful to all participants, and rendered a decision that was well received by all. They are also the kind of people you enjoy having around — honest, straight, and fair. Big thanks also go out to our sponsors.

We couldn’t do what we do without the amazing support of Purina Pro Plan, Garmin, Gun Dog Supply, Mule Brand Clothing and Gun Dog Central. Thanks to you all.


The first brace broke away at 8:07 a. m., with Indian Creek Bocephus, handled by Garry Malzone, and Smith’s Magic Mike (Eddy Smith). Bocephus finished the hour with two finds. Mike was picked up on course.

Both Beaucoup Creek Gus (Donald Heisner) and Dale Creek Resurrection (Tom Waite) were up early.

Hifive’s Passin Time (Malzone) finished the hour with two finds. Scannon’s Stella (Waite) was picked up.

No. 4 was off at 11:24 with Jaguar Za Czeshka (Magda  Lear) and Indian Creek Courageous Cat (Malzone). Czeshka finished the hour with five finds, and Cat finished with three.

Dale Creek Gypsy Queen (Waite) and Crow Creek Sugarbaby (Ken Black) finished the hour with two finds and “Gem” was picked up.

No. 6 broke was away at 3:16 p. m. Lambeau’s Koby (Sean Melvin) finished the hour with two finds. Beaucoup Creek Buck (Heisner) carded four finds.

Hidden Hollow Sammy (Waite)  was lost at time. Brown’s Miss April (Melvin) was picked up.

The second day’s first brace was off at 7:36 a. m. — Peach Twist (Robinson) and Dale Creek Roxy (Waite). Both dogs were up early in their brace.

Emert’s Show Me Mo (Melvin) had three finds. Zansett’s Simply Red (Waite) had two finds and a back.

Black River Ruby (Melvin) carded two finds. Pure Confidence (Malzone) finished with five finds.

Blair’s Witch Project (Waite) had three finds. Indian Creek Perfect Storm (Malzone) was lost on course.

Brace No. 12 broke away at 1:32 with Heavy Chevy Jason (Melvin) and Crow Creek Deuce (Black). Jason was credited five finds. Deuce was picked up.

Come Back Stella  (Melvin) was picked up. Dale Creek Cuppa Joe (Waite) carded one find.

No. 14, at 4:04, with Brown’s Ace (Melvin) as a bye. Ace finished the hour with three finds.

After the completion of the initial series, the top dogs were announced for the callback and drawn.

National Championship callback dogs: Pure Confidence with Black River Ruby; Indian Creek Courageous Cat with Blair’s Witch Project.

Standby dogs were  Hifive’s Passin Time and Dale Creek Cuppa Joe.


Pure Confidence and Black River Ruby broke away at 1:01 p. m., both dogs hunting to the front. Pure Confidence had an issue and the handler picked him up early. Ruby did a nice job on the ground, was credited with four finds and finished the hour and a half.

Indian Creek Courageous Cat and Blair’s Witch Project were away at 3:00 p. m. Both dogs ran the country with style and purpose. “Guy” put down a strong, forward ground race for the entire brace, always found standing on the front end of the course, and with perfect manners on his six stylish finds. Cat rendered a strong effort on the ground as well and was perfect on her four finds. Both dogs finished the hour and a half.

The standby dogs did not receive the call. The judges had what they wanted for placements.

After a short break, the winners were announced. Winner of the 2019 NBHA National Championship was Blair’s Witch Project, handled by Tom Waite and owned by Greg Blair of Menomonee Falls, Wis. “Guy” was credited with two strong back-to-back performances to win the trial.

Blair’s Witch Project is a seven-year-old white and black son of  G F Witch Doctor, out of a daughter of Ch. Barker’s Blue Jett. “Guy” is now a three-time NBHA National Champion, having won the NBHA National Amateur Invitational Championship and the NBHA National Amateur Championship in 2018. Guy has won field trials in the grouse woods as well as off horseback. He has pointed wild quail, grouse, woodcock, sharptail, Huns, prairie chicken and pheasant. He is a true wild bird dog with a great personality that is always willing to please the handler.

Runner-up was Indian Creek Courageous Cat for Garry Malzone and owner Ed Marron of Ho Ho Kus, N. J. Cat is a first year dog that is continuing the winning ways from her Derby season where she won the NBHA Futurity and was the National Open Derby of the Year. She is an exciting dog to watch on the ground with tremendous style and poise around her game.

There were many fine performances and many great handlers, including Field Trial Hall of Fame and NBHA Hall of Fame member Buddy Smith.

Dancyville, Tenn., March 6 — One Course

Judges: Brad Hargis and Dereck Layne


[One-Hour Qualifying Heats; Ninety-Minute Finals] — 27 Entries

Winner—BLAIR’S WITCH PROJECT, 1646203, setter male, by G F Witch Doctor—Blue Jetts Fancy. Greg Blair, owner; Tom Waite, handler.

Runner-Up—INDIAN CREEK COURAGEOUS CAT, 1670105, pointer female, by South Bound Strech—Indian Creek Sugar. Edward W. Marron, Jr., owner; Garry Malzone, handler.


The young dog stakes are always exciting and a great place for young and old handlers alike to participate in a trial.

We would like to thank Blake, Bill, Ross, Marty, and all of the people of the West Tennessee Field Trial Club for the fabulous grounds, facilities, and assistance with making the trial a success. We look forward to continuing running championships at West Tennessee!

If you are a bird dog fan, you will thoroughly enjoy the country and people of Dancyville and should make every effort to attend a trial there.

It is a GREAT place to watch a dog roll!

NBHA OPEN DERBY — 14 Entries

1st—ROSE HILL BECCA, 1681700, setter female, by Joe Is Hot—Rose Hill Sally. Steve Stuart, owner; Sean Melvin, handler.

2d—BROWN’S MOONSHINE, 1676952, setter male, by Erin’s Hidden Shamrock—Fast And Loud. Andrew Brown, owner; Sean Melvin, handler.

3d—ERIN’S HOLLYWOOD, 1674240, pointer male, by Erin’s Redrum—Erin’s Macey. Sean P. Derrig, owner; Garry Malzone, handler.

NBHA OPEN PUPPY — 13 Entries

1st—PERFORMANCE BLUE SHADOW, 1681650, pointer male, by In The Shadow—Shadow From Dancyville. Jim Reece, owner; Justin Crook, handler.

2d—RANSOM’S PEARL, 1681762, pointer female, by Ransom—Quicksilver Rosie. Buddy Smith, owner and handler.

3d—FAST MONEY, 1681232, pointer female, by Stash The Cash—Lester’s Speed Queen. C. W. & Patty Moore, owners; Justin Crook, handler.

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