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H N’s Hasty Matilda Named Open and Amateur Shooting Dog Champion; Rio’s Rising Renegade is All-Age Winner

NGSPA National Championships

By Overview By Dean Crabbs, Field Trial Chairman | May 15, 2018
National Championship Winners. From left: Art Armbrust, Judge John Russell, Ray Larrondo, Tami Larrondo with Rio’s Rising Renegade, Keith Gulledge, Joe Amatulli, Robbi Gulledge with Texas Tuff and Judge Mike Jackson.

Booneville, Ark. — The ruling factors in the 2018 NGSPA National Championships were flooding and mud!

When my wife Diane and I arrived on the trial grounds on Tuesday before our scheduled Saturday start, the grounds were in the best condition we had seen for several years.

The Arkansas Game and Fish staff Brad Wells and Clyde “Red” Bailey had obviously put the summer and fall mild weather to good use mowing, clearing brush and clearing fire breaks. Great job, Brad and Red!

However, the skies opened up Thursday and heavy rain continued all day Friday. By Friday afternoon, Lick Creek had risen to the point only the upper crossing was useable and heavy rain was still in the forecast. “Red”, Board of Trustees members Dan DiMambro, Chris Streitenberger and I drove around the grounds. It was clear course No. 2 was completely flooded and un-usable as were the lower parts of courses No. 1 and No. 3. We were able to use the remaining parts of courses No. 1 and No. 3 (and the upper Lick Creek crossing) to lay out one course that was suitable and probably would not be made un-useable by anticipated rising water.

Further discussions with “Red” about how much higher the water could be expected to rise resulted in the decision to delay the start of the National Championships from Saturday to Sunday because of predicted heavy rain and thunderstorms all day Saturday. As the Nationals progressed, the water continued to creep up and at times there were spots where the water was nearly to the horses’ bellies.

Upon conclusion of the National Championship (All-Age), serious consideration was given to cancelling the National Open Shooting Dog Championship due to deteriorating course conditions. In the end, the decision was made to continue based on favorable long-range weather forecasts. The decision proved fortunate and we were able to finish the stakes without further delays.

Despite the less than favorable course conditions, everything went pretty smoothly. Everyone rolled with the punches and complaints were few.

We were fortunate to have Terry Trzcinski from Purina join us during the Amateur Championship and be present for our annual Purina steak barbecue. His presence allowed us to express our appreciation for Nestlé Purina’s continued support of sporting dog activities and field trialing in particular.

Also joining us for his annual visit was Jim Morehouse, SportDog’s field representative whose visit provided all in attendance with the opportunity to see what new products SportDog has added to its great line of dog training gear and allowed them to get help with technical issues. Thank you, Jim.

For the third year in a row, the City of Booneville made our lives easier by providing a Kawasaki Mule for bird planting and a surplus Humvee with driver to tow the dog wagon. We greatly appreciate their generosity. Booneville area merchants again made us all feel welcome and we appreciate their support.

As trial chairman, I was blessed with a great team and want to express my sincere appreciation for all of the support I received from Lori Rezzardi, field trial secretary; Kirk Bomer and Joe Amatulli, field trial co-chairmen; Mark Verdoorn and Art Armbrust, advertising; John Lunseth, catalog editor; Andy Gerdes and his wonderful Dimension Print staff for advertising and printing the catalog; Mike Aldrich for his help and sage advice; Mike Patrick for administering the Futurity program; Chris Streitenberger, our official scribe; Terry Zygalinski for wrangling and acting as MC for the Amateur and Futurity Calcuttas; stake manager, Chris Streitenberger, James Messer, Harvey Franco, Art Armbrust, Joe Amatulli, Dan DiMambro and Mike Aldrich; all of the NGSPA BOT for stepping up and helping during the trial; Adrian Loyd for caring for and planting quail during the trial; Arkansas Game and Fish employees Brad Wells and Red Bailey for their excellent preparation of the grounds and help during the trial, and my wife Diane for her patience and coordination of the dog wagon.

NGSPA National Amateur Championship

By Chris Streitenberger

The National Amateur kicked off the 2018 NGSPA National program. The original starting date was delayed from Saturday, February 24, until Sunday February 25, because of hard rain and flooding at Blue Mountain Area. The rain let up but the flooding continued to take over the trial grounds. A combination of courses No. 1 and No. 3 was cobbled together to provide a one-hour figure eight type course. A decision was also made to run the trial as a continuous course rather than a defined one-hour single course. This may not have been an ideal situation, but all competitors competed under the same difficult circumstances.

A friend of mine once said, the only two guaranteed winners in life are Father Time and Mother Nature. Mother won this go ’round.

The Amateur Championship was extremely competitive with 51 dogs drawn and 50 dogs going to the line.

Judges were Chuck Cooper from Pennsylvania and Jim Michaletz from Missouri. Both are longtime field trial competitors and trainers of high quality dogs. Their attention to every dog was greatly appreciated. In the end, they found several dogs they felt could have won on any given day but only two could win this week.

The winner, Hi N’s Hasty Matilda (Matte), owned and handled by Hank Lewis of Louisville, Ohio, came out of brace No. 10 on the second afternoon of the stake. Matte is not new to the winners’ circle, but this was her first national title.

From the first whistle it was apparent Matte came to hunt. As the course twisted and turned, Matte consistently showed to the front with no scouting required except to look for her on point. At the end of the hour her score card showed bird work with exceptional style and manners at 10, 17, 23, 26 and 35. She also backed her bracemate at 13. Her run was at moderate shooting dog range and her ability to search out to likely bird cover and to navigate the course as if on a rope gave her the nod. Congratulations, Hank.

Runner-up Lambourn’s Slick Shot (Buckshot), owned and handled by Robin Lambourn of Denver, Colo., in brace No. 11. For those keeping score, Buckshot won this stake in 2017.

Buckshot was described as a power shooting dog that required slightly more scouting to keep his hunting effort to the front. He and his bracemate were found standing at 12, 31 and 47 with a divided find being credited to each. Buckshot finished his hour standing on his own at 59. All manners around game were polished as you would expect from a now twice national champion. Congratulations Robin.

THE RUNNING

Hi N’s Feed Jake (Hank Lewis) and Riden High Rudy (Ray Nelson) left the starting line shorty after 8:30 a. m. Jake is a past winner here in Booneville. This day he scored one find but was a little out of the pocket for most of his hour. He did finished the hour hunting strongly ahead. Rudy handled easy for Ray at medium shooting dog range and scored four evenly spaced finds.

Tulli’s Excess (Lexy/Joe Amatulli) had a find at 47 and a back at 53. But her hunting effort was not what Joe was looking for and he chose to pick up early. Orlando’s Oswald v Grief (Bill Orlando) hunted hard and had solid game work at 45 and 53. He finished the hour but occasional lateral moves brought him to the front from behind.

Chicoree’s Country Fan (Fred Ryan) and Hi N’s Bodacious (Lewis) finished the morning session. Fan came to compete and in the big picture was considered a contender. She stayed to the front, making life easy for Fred Ryan on his first trip to Booneville. She scored finished finds at 17, 25, 32 and 41. She had an unproductive at 22, and finished the hour strong. Bo had bird work at 17, 25 and 32. He suffered an unproductive at 22. Bo is a hard driving dog and this day a little rougher in his handle than what our judges were looking for.

P W Jim Kath’s Kate (Keith Richardson) and All N’s Double Down (Dooby/ Joe Orndorff) started us off for the afternoon session. Kate was gone a good bit of her time down and Keith chose to pick up at 40. Dooby is a young dog and on this day a little out of his comfort zone. He did score on game at 7, 29 and 41. To his credit, he finished the hour.

Slick’s Slump Buster (Matt Smith) was a little slower in her gait and slightly off in the direction of her hunt. She made game contact at 8, 37 and 49. Prairie Wind’s Razor’s Edge was not seen under official judgment after breakaway and Keith Richardson pulled the retrieval unit at 15.

Quijano’s Queen Isabella (Belle/Carla Quijano) hunted at a shorter range but scored finds at 5, 16 and 50. Chicoree’s Cuttin Loose (Lucy/Ryan) was another of the dogs in this stake that made the short list of contenders. She showed plenty of power with several bigger casts that took her to the front. Like other contenders she made the hour with limited scouting except to look for her on game. She had excellent style and mature manners on game at 5, 16, 27, 41 and 50.

P W Extraordinaire (Airee/Richardson) and Llano’s Snowbird (Feather/ Chad Inderman) were first up on the second day. The day started on time but came to a screeching halt three minutes into the brace when a fog bank moved into the lower areas of the course. Dogs were rounded up and after about a 45-minute delay, the clock was reset and the brace was released for a second time. Airee and Keith were not on the same page and Keith pulled the retrieval unit at 17. Feather was not under judgment after breakaway and Chad pulled the retrieval unit.

B M B’s High Character (Carrick/ Terry Zygalinski) and Snowy River’s Full Strut (Chase Verdoorn) were unleashed just beyond Lick Creek. Carrick chose a different direction than we had planned and Ziggy pulled the retrieval unit to locate him. Strut has captured numerous wins in his career but on this day his gait was a little slow and he chose a little too much easy footing as he hunted to challenge the leaders. He did record finds at 2, 12, 31 and 58.

P W Mya’s Clean the Slate (Richardson) was scratched. B D K’s Texas Hold Em (Clark Linn) ran at a shorter range than our contenders but scored on game at 15 and 27 with finished manners. He did record an unproductive at 33.

Monday afternoon brought Windjammer’s Gemma (Zygalinski) and Hi N’s Hasty Matilda (Lewis), the latter previously described. Gemma located birds at 13 and 18 but her heart just was not in it today and Terry picked up at 35.

Lambourn’s Slick Shot’s (Lambourn) effort was previously covered. P W Flirt She’s A Keeper (Richardson) started like she could be a contender. Divided finds were recorded at 12, 31 and 47. Another find was recorded at 36. Unfortunately, after the find at 47, she lost contact with Keith and was not under judgment at time.

B D K’s P W Annie Oakley had limited contact with Keith Richardson from the first whistle and was picked up at 26. Tejas Bandit’s Southern Belle (Kenneth Tomlinson) recorded game contacts at 13 and 39. She hunted well but as she moved forward spent a little more time on the roads than desired.

Day No. 3 brought a one-hour fog delay. Finally the air cleared and Quijano’s Jax of Diamonds (Doc/David Quijano) and Orlando’s Oscar v Greif (Orlando) were loosed. Doc was a little rough in his handle but scored finds at 24 and 59. He was also credited with backing his bracemate at 28, 39 and 49. Oscar hunted hard with definite purpose and limited scouting. He showed polish around game at 11, 28, 39 and 49. The find at 39 required a beautifully executed relocation. He finished the hour strong.

Snowy River’s Ivy Itch (Verdoorn) recorded a single find at 16 and was credited with backs at 11 and 26. Unproductives at 31 and 36 ended her day. B D K’s All That Jazz (Terry Bomer) started like a dog to watch. She has the speed and animation to make you sit up in the saddle. She scored at 11, 17 and 26. Unfortunately she released herself early as Terry was flushing at 26.

P W Mya’s Feather Duster scored at 5 and 10 but Richardson was not happy and picked up at 27. Uodibar’s Day Money is young and was just not in the game on this day and Mike Aldrich picked up at 20.

P W B D K’s Dot On The Horizon (Richardson) and Sixxem’s A Cut Above (Sadie/Keith Bryant) started our third afternoon. Dot is a bird dog and came to hunt. She scored at 3, 13, 18, 29, 48 and 54. All bird work was at an upper level of polish and style. Unfortunately, when released from her last find at 54, she could not be returned to judgment at time. Sadie, like Dot, showed up with her A game. She is a power shooting dog and handled kindly always reaching for the front and completing her casts. She recorded bird work at 19, 25, 31 and 46. She also backed her bracemate at 13. A nice brace of dogs to ride behind.

Snowy River’s White Out (Willie/ Verdoorn) and Dezasterous Here We Go (Jake/Smith) cast off in brace No. 17. Willie was wearing his all-age shoes with him today and was gone for the first 22 minutes. Upon returning to the front he scored at 25. Chase chose to pick up after the flush. Jake was credited with an unproductive at 6 and a find at 29. He did finish the hour but seemed off on this day being limited in speed and range.

Llano’s Hot Tamale (Molly/Inderman) scored at 8 with all in order. Released she did not return to official judgment and the retrieval unit was called for. Point was called for P W Mya’s Contender (Richardson) at 37. She had a breach of manners at flush and was picked up.

An extra brace was run this afternoon to assist one of our judges and his travel plans. Snowy River’s Bankin on Boz (Verdoorn) is a bird dog and scored at 3, 7, 15, 19 and 34. At the end of the hour Chase did not have Boz and judges asked him to produce him. Boz was rounded up and brought to official judgment in the allotted time but came to us from behind. This may have cost him serious consideration. Maverick’s Big Bully (Linn) had game contact at 5, 50 and 53. Bully finished the hour but several extended absences detracted.

Our last morning brought Cuttin Wild’s Space Cowgirl (Lena/Mike Patrick) and Chicoree’s Sparkle in Her Eye (Ryan) to the line. Lena started well, scoring at 5, 18 and 25. Unfortunately she checked out early and Mike pulled the retrieval unit to locate her. Sparkle was found standing at 7; when released she also was not returned to judgment and the retrieval unit was requested.

Rio’s Rising Renegade (Ace/Ray Larrondo) is a strong forward-running dog. He recorded game at 23, 32 and 37. His handle was acceptable but the run maybe a little bigger than needed for this stake. M S R’s Lord of Dragonstone (Stan/James Messer) was found standing at 19, all in order. After release he was not returned to judgment.

Tulli’s Shot to the Heart (Cupid/Joe Amatulli) and Uodibar’s Texas Moon AKA Pete (David O’Brien) finished our last morning of the Amateur. Cupid scored at 6, 31, 33, 39 and 49. Her hunt was a nice honest effort. Pete handled game with mature manners at 17 and 27 but handler was not happy with his hunt and picked up early.

Quijano’s Cutter (Willie/D. Quijano) and Snowy River’s Cuttin Country (Dozer/Verdoorn) were off on a rainy afternoon. Willie backed Dozer at 4. Willie was not pleasing his handler and was picked up early. Dozer came to hunt. He scored at 18 then at 25, 27, 36, 37, 44 and 57. Dozer was a little slower afoot and the frequent downpours may have hampered his range to be a contender.

B M B’s Madison Avenue (Brandon Blum) and Dezasterous Jax the Ripper (Smith). At this point my notes got washed and my memory cannot recall all of the details. Madison was up early and did not finish the hour. Jax did a nice job with numerous finds.

Cajun’s Firecracker Kadie (Bryant) and She’s Got Legs (Bomer) were released as brace No. 25. Sorry but I lost all of these notes to the rain.

B M B’s Samsquanch (Blum) was lost early and the retrieval unit was requested. Chicoree’s Jake’s Bonnie (Ryan) finished the hour with two finds. Sorry for the lost information.

Booneville, Ark., February 25

Judges: Chuck Cooper and Jim Michaletz

NGSPA NATIONAL AMATEUR SHOOTING DOG CHAMPIONSHIP [One-Hour Heats] — 51 German Shorthairs

Winner—HI N’S HASTY MATILDA, 1657658, female, by Hi N’s Feed Jake—Hi N’s Southern Cross. Hank Lewis, owner and handler.

Runner-Up—LAMBOURN’S SLICK SHOT, 1649500, male, by Slicks Cuttin Wild—Gold Country Sky High Annie. Robin Lambourn, owner and handler.

NGSPA National Championship

By Chris Streitenberger

The National Championship drew our largest entry in recent years — 36 dogs drawn, and 35 competing.

Judging the stake were Mike Jackson from Indiana and John Russell from Kentucky. Both men are longtime competitors in the American Field pointer and setter circles. Their years of experience were obvious in our just completed Futurity which they also judged.

Like the previous two stakes, because of ground conditions, we used a modified single course.

The first brace in the National Championship was cast off on Saturday morning, March 3. The weather had improved slightly but high water and mud were still in abundant supply. I think it is fair to say the scouts more than earned their pay in this go round.

The winner came out of brace No. 2 on the first morning of the stake, Rio’s Rising Renegade (Ace), owned by Ray and Tami Larrondo of Nampa, Ida., and handled by Ray. Tami drew the short straw and was the scout.

Ace has notched multiple wins across the country. One of his signature traits is the ability to find game. This time down was no exception. Ace was locked up on his first find at 7. Birds were well located with mature polished manners at flush. Ace scored additional finds at 13, 37, 50 and 57. Tami may have drawn the short straw as scout, but her day was more relaxed than one would expect in an all-age stake. Ace showed great ground speed and powered to the front, showing consistently when needed. Our judges used that power with natural forward movement to separate Ace from the other competitors.

Congratulations, Ray and Tami.

The runner-up, Texas Tuff, owned by Terry and Kirk Bomer of Spring, Tex., and handled by Keith Gulledge, was in brace No. 4 on the first afternoon of running. Like Ray, Keith utilized his better half (Robbi) to scout for him.

Tuff proved to be a bird-finding machine. His first contact came at 12. Tuff is a beautiful dog on point, staunch as a rock clear through the flush and shot. He exhibited this same style and manners on game at 17, 28, 30, 41, 43 and 49. He was also credited with a back at 22. The multiple finds did not detract from Tuff’s desire to reach to the front. His speed simply got him from point to point in the blink of an eye.

Congratulations Terry, Kirk, Keith and Robbi.

The Running

P W Teton Aroma of Sage (K. Richardson/Ronnie Sale) was not seen under judgment after the first whistle and handler asked for the retrieval unit at 30. Blue River’s Cruisin Carla (Carlos/Ann Peterson/Josh Nieman) was found standing ahead at 13. The bird work was all in order, but this was the last Carlos was seen under judgment. The retrieval unit was called for at 47.

Rio’s Rising Renegade was previously described. P W Icon (Richardson/Sale) was not seen after the breakaway and the retrieval unit was called for at 35.

Texas Tuff’s (Gulledge) effort was detailed earlier. B M B’s High Character (Zygalinski) recorded divided finds at 12 and 23. He was also credited with a back at 17 and a find at 30. The bird work was more than acceptable but his run was a little unorganized.

Woodland Trails L L Cool J (Woody/ Robert Reynolds/Chris Goegan) and Llano’s Hot Tamale (Molly/Inderman/ Nieman) kicked off the first afternoon. Woody failed to back at 15 and was ordered up. Molly showed power to the front and scored at 4, 15, 17 and 52. She was also found standing at 17. After a flushing effort, a relocation proved unproductive. Molly is a beautiful dog on point and showed all of the power necessary to be an all-age contender at a high level of competition.

M S R Quail Commando’s Bunker Buster (John Glover/Goegan) was found standing at 17, all in order; he was sent on. Buster failed to negotiate a right turn and was not returned to judgment. The retrieval unit was called for at 37. B D K’s Gold Mine Claim Jumper navigated the course for the entire hour scoring multiple finds with superb style and intensity. He finished going away.

Snowy River’s Full Strut (Verdoorn) and M S R’s Storm’s End (James Messer) were up first the second day. The soft ground and overall tough conditions seemed to take a toll on Strut. He did located game at 27, 37 and 46. His manners were polished. As the hour ground on, Strut slowed and fell behind but he did finish the hour. End scored on game but his race was not up to par.

Chicoree’s Elvis Aairing Felty (Lance Felty/Goegan) made game at 37 but handler chose to pick up at 45. P W Penny for Your Thoughts (Richardson/Sale) was found standing at 6 with all in order. He was last seen at 11 and the retrieval unit was requested at 45.

H K’s Topcat Kitty (Hayley and David Killam/Eldon Hongo) did not make game contact while under judgment and was picked up at 57. Sunny Fields Vega Rumor (Art Terstage) was found standing at 17 with all in order. She also had an unproductive at 35. Handler chose to pick up at 57.

Chicoree’s Country Fan (Ryan/DiMambro) and B M B’s Free Ride (Blum) kicked off the second afternoon. Fan made game at 17 and 22 but failed to negotiate the pavilion turn and the retrieval unit was employeed. Ride was standing at 12, 23 and 41. Finished dog manners were in place. Handler pushed “Lewey” hard which seemed to detract from his ability to hunt cover.

H K’s Prime Cut (Killam/Hongo) was found standing at 28 and 38. Both stands were unproductive and his day was over. Kimber Tactical (John Kadavy/Josh Nieman) was not seen after breakaway and handler called for the retrieval unit.

Hi N’s Feed Jake (Lewis/DiMambro) is a previous winner in the stake (2015), but has been off for about a year recovering from a torn ligament. He finished the hour but may not have been quite on the top of his game. He did record finds at 33, 50 and 56. His style is still 12 o’clock. B M B’s Samsquanch (Blum) took a different route than was laid out and the retrieval unit was out at 33.

Uodibar’s BC Bob (Heath Autry/Nieman) started the third day. Snowy River’s White Out was drawn but scratched. Bob made game at 21. Handler attempted a flush, then asked Bob to relocate, which resulted in an unproductive. Handler picked up at 28.

D G’s Lil Miss Memorial (David Gangle/Goegan) carded finds at 19 and 43. Handler chose to pick up at 56. Llano’s Game On Dude (Inderman/Nieman) recorded finds at 3 and 19 with finished manners. On an additional find at 48, Dude chose to release himself early and was ordered up.

P W Bert’s Joke on Us (Richardson/Sale) was not observed under judgment after being released and the retrieval unit was called for at 21. M S R’s Motorollin (Messer) recorded a find at 10 but was not making his handler any money and was picked up at 21.

Chicoree’s Sparkle in Her Eye (Ryan/ DiMambro) and Jokes on You (Buddy/ Steve Erickson/Goegan) came to the line on the final afternoon of the stake. Sparkle was last year’s runner-up and for the majority of her time down proved she was still a contender. Her first stand came at 25, a second at 29. Her style and attitude around game are that of a champion. She also backed her bracemate at 19. Unfortunately, she got hung up in heavy cover on the back side of the course and did not return to the front. Handler employed the retrieval unit at 49. Buddy stood at 19. After a relocation birds were produced. Additional finds were recorded at 37, 49, 51 and 58. On Nos. 51 and 58, Buddy was slightly guilty of happy feet. Handler chose to pick up at 58.

Orlando’s Oswald v Grief (Oz/Oswald/DiMambro) dug into the course and located game at 6, 42 and 58 exhibiting polished manners. Oz was also found standing at 29. After a relocation attempt, Oz was charged with an unproductive. Slick’s Cuttin Wild (Mike Patrick/Nieman) has multiple wins to his credit and has been one of our breed’s most prolific producers of quality young dogs. Today he checked out early and the retrieval unit was called for at 26.

Hi N’s Bodacious (Bo/Lewis/DiMambro) came to show he was to be taken seriously. He recorded finds at 3, 11, 18 and 46. Bo is a picture of style on game. He was also credited with a stop to flush at 43. The bird work at 18 was a divided find. It was called the find of the stake, as no other dogs had even ventured into this area. Unfortunately at 52 Bo was found standing for a fifth time. On flush he had a mental flashback to his youth and his day was over. You can only roll all of this around in your head and say — what if? Texas Sharp Dressed Man (Glade/Terry and Kirk Bomer/Gulledge) started well with finds at 11, 18 and 21. Again, the find at 18 was a highlight of the stake. This is a beautiful intense dog on point. At 21 his youth showed and he released himself after the flush.

The judges were complimentary of the overall quality in the stake and indicated they were very comfortable naming a National Champion and runner-up.

Judges: Mike Jackson and John P. Russell

NGSPA NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP [One-Hour Heats] —

36 German Shorthairs

Winner—RIO’S RISING RENEGADE, 1643567, male, by Storm Over Rio Grand—Little Lady Lexi. Ray & Tami Larrondo, owners; Ray Larrondo, handler.

Runner-Up—TEXAS TUFF, 1662633, male, by Texas Bushwacking Bud—Cuttin Wilds Space Cowgirl. Kirk & Terry Bomer, owners; Keith Gulledge, handler.

NGSPA National Open Shooting Dog Championship

By Chris Streitenberger

The Open Shooting Dog drew 49 entries; 48 dogs went to the line.

The weather had finally moderated and at least the horse path around the course started to dry. The grounds as a whole were still wet so the same figure eight course was still in play.

Judges for this fixture were Harold Woodward from Arkansas and Greg Sand from Kansas. Harold has judged for us twice before. His opinion is always respected. Greg describes himself as a retired school teacher and full time field trialer. In fact, at the completion of our trial he pulled out and drove all night to compete with his beloved setters. That’s dedication.

Winning the Championship was Hi N’s Hasty Matilda, owned by Hank Lewis and handled by Dan DiMambro, which competed in brace No. 21 on the final day of competition.

If you do not recognize the name, “Matte” was also our 2018 Amateur Champion. I went back in our records and found the last time the same dog won both stakes at the same trial was in 1992. The dog was Pickens Diamond Lil, handled by Dale Pickens. To further add to how difficult this can be, the Amateur and Open were judged by two different sets of judges. In my mind, that puts Matte in a very elite group.

From the get-go, Matte dug into the cover and swept the course to the front. Her attitude was all business.

Her first find came at 8, with additional finds at 16, 22, 25, 37, 42, 47, 50, 53 and 57. The birds at 37 required a relocation which she accomplished flawlessly. The birds at 47 were located in an area of the course where no other dog in this stake had ventured. To save you from breaking out your calculator, that was ten perfectly handled pieces of bird work. Her style on point is that of a painting. Twelve o’clock head and tail and staunch as a stone statue. The amount of bird work would lead you to think she lacked range. Nothing could be further from the truth. Her foot speed and single focus of locating game took her to the front at very acceptable shooting dog range from the first whistle to the call of “pick ’em up”.

An impressive performance to say the least. Congratulations, Hank and Dan.

Runner-up was H K’s Trilogy, owned by Hayley and David Killam of Laredo, Tex., and handled by Eldon Hongo. “Trio” ran in the first brace on the second morning of the stake. Eldon’s wife Terri scouts for him, but in this brace she was given time off to watch and enjoy. Trio, like our winner, exhibited great ground speed and stayed in that proverbial 10 to 2 pocket constantly reaching to the front. She scored nine perfectly handled finds with style and polish at 8, 14, 21, 30, 39, 42, 49, 52 and 59. The magic number of finds to win this stake was not nine or ten, but when you combine great ground races with a large number of finds, the bar gets set really high.

Congratulations, Hayley, David, Eldon and Terri.

The Running

Lambourn’s Slick Shot (Buckshot/ Robin Lambourn/Nieman) carded an unproductive at 7 and was not pleasing his handler who ended his day at 27. Tejas Bandit’s Southern Belle (Ken Tomlinson/Hongo) located birds at 20 but she seemed to not have her heart in the game and was leashed at 38.

Uodibar’s Morass (Ben Collier/DiMambro) scored twice, at 25 and 53. All was in order around game and he finished the hour. Cuttin Wild’s Space Cowgirl (Patrick/Nieman) covered a lot of ground and recorded finds at 12, 50 and 58, her style and attitude around game very acceptable.

Chicoree’s Jake’s Bonnie (Ryan/DiMambro) recorded bird work at 21 and 33 exhibiting the style and polish of a potential champion. Her ground game was strong to the front. She was carried on a short list by our judges until the last day of the stake. Fly’n F’s Rocco Round the World (Charles Gonzales/Goegan) proved to be a bird dog. He scored at 16, 31, 34, 46, 53 and 57. The finds at 34 and 46 required relocation which he executed in a mature fashion.

Although not extreme in range, Riden High Rudy (Ray Nelson/DiMambro) hunted hard and scored five finds at 21, 36, 44, 56 and 59. Texas She’s Got Legs (Ziva/Bomer/Gulledge) started well, scoring finds at 25 and 48. Unfortunately her day ended at 56 when she failed to back her bracemate.

Windjammer’s Gem locked up at 20 but became impatient with Zygalinski’s flushing attempt and self-relocated to end her day. Chicoree’s Elvis Aairing Felty (Felty/Goegan) scored at 4 but handler chose to pick up at 31.

P W Flirt She’s A Keeper (Richardson/Sale) recorded a divided find at 4 plus additional pieces of bird work at 13, 32 and 49, all in order. Rio’s Rising Renegade (Ace/Larrondo) shared the divided find at 4 plus stacked up at 18, 25 and 30. All bird work was executed with mature manners. Ace was a handful and Ray and Tami worked hard to keep him in front.

H K’s Trilogy was described earlier. B D K’s All That Jazz (Bomer/Gulledge) was released in the first brace on day No. 2. Jazz scored at 11 and 42 but was not pleasing Gulledge; her day ended early.

H K’s Prime Cut (Killam/Hongo)  was not seen under official judgment and the retrieval unit was called for at 15. J B Wagoners Lightning (Lee Wagoner/DiMambro) stood at 15. A relocation attempt was made but ended in an unproductive. He seemed off on this day and handler picked up at 22.

Jokes on You (Erickson/Goegan) recorded finds at 9, 17, 19, 40 46, 51 and 55. His find at 19 was recorded as a divided find. His handle was a little rough for this stake. Hi N’s Bodacious (Lewis/DiMambro) scored multiple finds at 9, 17, 19, 46, 51, 54 and 57. His ground game was a little misdirected and came from behind on a couple of occasions.

H R K’s Bad Moon Rising (Jax/ Brooks Carmichael/Gulledge) and M S R’s Jade’s Wild Card (Ted Meyer/Goegan) kicked off the second afternoon. Jax is young and unfortunately his youth ended his day at 17. Jade seemed out of his environment and was picked up at 20.

B M B’s High Character (Zygalinski/DiMambro) backed his bracemate at 4. He also scored finds at 8 and 14. His ground game was not making any money so handler picked up at 20. Mar Mac’s Thor of Opalescence (Marion Machlusa/Goegan) was kind of on his own program and his day ended at 20.

Chicoree’s Cuttin Loose (Ryan/DiMambro) backed H K’s Just Enuf (Cleo/Killam/Hongo) at 2 but was not into hunting on this day and was picked up at 12. Cleo stood at 2 and again at 24. Both finds well located and all in order. She tired about halfway through the brace and was picked up at 49.

H K’s Passing Lane (Killam/Hongo) ran as a bye to end the day. Laney scored at 10 but her hunting pattern was a little misdirected. Handler picked up early.

P W Jim Kath’s Kate (Richardson/ Sale) and Windswept Last Chance Missy (Robert Perlin/Goegan) were the first brace of day No. 3. Kate was credited with a divided find at 27 but had been out of judgment the first 26 minutes and was picked up. Missy suffered the same fate as Kate. Credited with a divided find at 27 but picked up due to extended lack of contact.

P W Razor’s Edge (Richardson/Sale) was gone at the breakaway and the retrieval unit was used at 21. B D K’s Texas Hold Em (Linn/Gulledge) scored at 20, but handler was not happy and called it a day.

P W Icon (Richardson/Sale) recorded finds at 11 and 15 but got misdirected and the retrieval unit was employed. Llano’s Hot Tamale (Molly/Inderman/Nieman) came to hunt with her A game. This was one of those sit up in your saddle and take it all in kind of runs. Molly scored at 4, 10, 21, 28, 34 and 48. Her style and intensity around game are beyond reproach. Then the “what if” moment occurred. Prior to crossing Lick Creek, time was called. Josh did not have her at time. Both Josh and scout rode hard looking mostly behind us as we had not seen her since the find at 48. The feeling was she was on point and buried up as that area offers a lot of thick cover to hide a dog. After a generous amount of time, the judges had to offer the retrieval unit. She was found on point but 500 yardsahead. Nice dog.

Up first after lunch — P W B D K’s Dot on the Horizon (Richardson/ Gulledge) and All N’s Double Down (Dooby/Orndorff/Goegan). Dot went bird hunting when unleashed. She recorded finds at 20, 24, 31, 42, 48, 52 and 58. She dug into the cover and for the most part stayed to the front. Near the end of her hour, she got behind for a few minutes which in this caliber of trial sometimes makes a big difference. Dooby encouraged a bird to fly at 9.

Jim Kath’s Pandemonium (Jim Yates/ DiMambro) had a find at 3 but suffered unproductives at 9 and 18 and her day was over. Hi Points You Don’t Know Jack (Steve Stefaniak/Goegan) stood at 3, 8, 19, 24 and 26. The find at 26 required an extended relocation and his day ended at 31.

P W Mya’s Feather Duster (Richardson/Sale) recorded bird work at 8, 15, 25 and 30. Chicoree’s Sparkle in Her Eye (Ryan/DiMambro) scored at 8, 25 and 31. At this point the wheels came off as we approached the turn around on the back end off the course. Both handlers and scouts were riding hard to produce their charges, but in the end both retrieval units were called for, and the day ended.

Rummel’s Augie Dogie (DiMambro) and All N’s Green with Envy (Jade/Reynolds/Goegan) kicked off the last morning. Neither dog completed the hour.

P W Mya’s Contender (Richardson/ Sale) and H K’s Tarkus Early Girl (Killam/Hongo) were first up on the fourth day. Neither dog made the hour.

Hi N’s Hasty Matilda (DiMambro) was covered earlier. P W Extraordinaire (Airee/Richardson/Sale) had a strong forward run going up to 50 when an encounter with a beaver distracted from her finish.

Dezasterous Jax the Ripper (Smith/ DiMambro) and B D K’s Annie Oakley (Richardson/ Gulledge) started the final afternoon. Neither dog finished the hour.

Neither Cajun’s Firecracker (Bryant/ Nieman) nor Maverick’s Big Bully (Linn/Gulledge) finished the hour.

H K’s Mighty Mo Mable (Killam/ Hongo) and Llano’s Snowbird (Inderman/Nieman) did not finish the hour.

After announcing the results, pictures were taken and Greg Sand was off, with a five-hour energy drink in hand, to run his own dogs. Thanks to all competitors.

Judges: Greg Sand and Harold Woodward

NGSPA NATIONAL OPEN SHOOTING DOG CHAMPIONSHIP

[One-Hour Heats] — 49 German Shorthairs

Winner—HI N’S HASTY MATILDA, 1657658, female, by Hi N’s Feed Jake—Hi N’s Southern Cross. Hank Lewis, owner; Dan DiMambro, handler.

Runner-Up—H K’S TRILOGY, 1626516, female, by Uodibar’s Moon Pie—Uodibar’s Texas Shadywood. Hayley & David Killam, owners; Eldon Hongo, handler.

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