American Field

FIeld Trial Report

NGSPA Shooting Dog Invitational Championships

By Chris Bryant | Feb 10, 2020
Open Shooting Dog Invitational Championship Winner Cajun’s Firecracker is posed by Keith Bryant, joined by, from left: Keith Richardson, Bobbi Richardson, Hank Lewis, Chase Verdoorn, Dan Hoke, judge; Josh Nieman, Steve Auxier, judge; James Messer, Mark Verdoorn, Linda Smith and Ray Larrondo.

Gentry, Mo. — THE most “Prestigious” events in the German Shorthaired pointer field trial world — the NGSPA Open and Amateur Shooting Dog Invitationals!

This year marks the seventh Open Shooting Dog Invitational and the fourth Amateur Shooting Dog Invitational.

And this year the weather decided to cooperate. It was a beautiful week with the temperatures in the mid 40s. We ran three continuous courses with tons of bird work throughout the event.

The Shooting Dog Invitationals have a different format.

Only the top twelve dogs are invited to the Invitational each year for both the Open  and Amateur Shooting Dog. The trial format requires three days of running an hour each day to win.

Day No. 1 the dogs are drawn randomly. On the second day, the dogs are braced so that the first braces first day run last and the last braces are run first. No dog has the same bracemate or runs on the same course.

The third day the judges call back the top dogs they want to see run again. The trial is designed to test the bird ability, biddability and the endurance of the best of our breed. After the third day of running, a champion is named.

The Invitational Stakes were run at the Smith Farms in Gentry, Mo. The grounds consist of three one-hour courses covering rolling crop land and dense stands of woods and make for some beautiful lines for the dogs to run. The courses challenged the character and tenacity of even the best of bird dogs. We plant hundreds of quail so every dog has multiple finds throughout the Championship.

We are grateful to Larry Smith and his lovely wife Linda for allowing us to run the Invitational on their property. Larry campaigns pointers and he allows other championships to be held  on his grounds but no other German Shorthaired pointer trials are run on his grounds.

A huge thank you to all our sponsors that helped make this trial what it is.

Jim Smith from Purina was on hand and they paid half of both Ross Young oil paintings, dog food for the champion and for the raffle, as well as gear for the judges. Also thanks to SportDog and Garmin for the tracking and E-Collars. Thanks to Ed Moody and Costa for the sunglasses.

There are many to thank who have made this trial become one of the best events in the NGSPA. A huge thanks to Keith and Bobbi Richardson for all their generosity and support for not just the Invitational but everything they do for our sport.

Triple J is the wrangler and he always brings some high quality horses for the judges and people to ride. Thanks to Larry Smith and Steve Auxier for planting birds in the dark. Thanks to marshals Larry Smith, Tommy Smith and Laura Miller. Donna Gladstone and her lovely cousins cooked breakfast and lunch for us each day, and Charmayne Hughes prepared wonderful dinners.

This year the Gentry Bar hosted us for happy hour and dinner each night.

Gentlemen and ladies dress for the evening festivities. We enjoy appetizers, open bar and some of the finest wine from Keith Richardson’s wine cellar.  A first class dinner is prepared by Charmayne Hughes and Brownie is our auctioneer for the calcuttas.

Open Shooting Dog Invitational

The top twelve dogs invited:

1. Murphy’s Babe, owned by Heath Kooima; handled by Josh Nieman.

Defending Champion.

2. Riden High Rudy, owned by Ray Nelson; handled by Dan DiMambro. 2740 pts.

3. Greyrock’s Mile Marker (Saint), owned by Tom and Janice Tubergen; handled by Rich Barber. 1183 pts.

4. Rumel’s Augie Doggie, owned by R. Turlano; handled by Dan DiMambro. 1128  pts.

5. M S R’s Lord of Dragon Stone (Stan), owned by James and Sarah Messer; handled by James Messer. 998  pts.

6. Evergreen’s Jed, owned by Lance Olsen; handled by Dan DiMambro. 952  pts.

7. P W Mya’s Contender (Connie), owned by Keith and Bobbi Richardson; handled by Rich Robertson.  842 pts.

8. Cajun’s Firecracker (Kadie), owned by Keith and Bruce Bryant;  handled by Josh Nieman. 770  pts.

9. Joke’s On You (Buddy), owned by Steve Erickson; handled by Chris Goegan. 690  pts.

10. Dezasterous Jax the Ripper,  owned by Matt Smith; handled by Dan DiMambro. 654 pts.

11. Outbak’s Rough Cut (Diamond), owned by Adam and Sarah Burch; handled by Rich Barber. 604  pts.

12. Cuttin Wild’s Space Cowgirl (Lena), owned by Mike Patrick; handled by Josh Nieman. 460  pts.

The 2019 Open Shooting Dog Invitational was honored to have two

experienced and knowledgeable judges, Steve Auxier of Lincoln, Neb., and Dan Hoke of Cheney, Wash. Both have been competing and judging field trials for many years. We really appreciate them taking the time to come help us.


After the three days of running, Cajun’s Firecracker, owned by Keith and Bruce Bryant of Silver City, Ia., handled by Josh Nieman and scouted by Keith Bryant, was named the champion.

On day No. 1, “Kadie “ran in the first brace of the day, scoring finds at 27, 28, 45 and 51. The judges commented that her fourth find was a very impressive limb find; she was found standing out front with great style.

On day No. 2 Kadie drew brace No. 5 and continued to display her bird-finding ability with four finds and an additional divided find.

For the callback, Kadie ran in the first brace of the morning carding five finds during the hour. Her find at 25 on the edge of the big pond was another impressive display of bird work.

The judges commented that Kadie’s quality bird work, style and how strong she ran gave her the edge and she was named champion.

Day NO. 3 Callbacks

The judges called back four dogs for day No. 3. The running order was random and pulled from a hat.

Dezasterous Jax the Ripper ran in the first brace on the first day. With finds at 5, 9, 39, 47, 54 and 59 Jax displayed plenty of power and scored a couple nice forward finds.

On the second day Jax drew brace No. 6 and finished the hour with four nice finds. For the callback Jax ran in the first brace of the morning, again credited with four finds. The judges were impressed with his style: “He is very pretty on point, a very proud and athletic dog.” For the first few minutes of his callback brace Jax had a bit of his own agenda, otherwise he was pushing the winner.

M S R’s Lord of Dragon Stone was in the fourth brace of the first day and was credited with finds at 6, 10, 31 and 46. “Stan” required some scouting the first few minutes of his hour, but the judges mentioned how much they liked his strong finish and consistent ground pattern.

Day No. 2, Stan again showed his ability to finish strong in the second brace of the day. With finds at 15, 27, 36, 43 and 54. For the callback Stan drew brace No. 2, with finds at 12, 28, 40, 50, and a divided find at 32. The judges called his find at 50 on Garvin Gulch very memorable. Stan showed his intelligence, often switching sides of the objectives to best use the wind.

Cuttin Wild’s Space Cowgirl (Lena) was drawn in brace No. 3 on the first day of running. She put six finds in the judges’ books at 17, 26, 31, 37, 42 and 49. Her find at 31 was out front and stuck in the judges’ minds. Consistently forward and didn’t really need scouting. In the fourth brace of the second day, Lena again put on a show. The judges said her initial move was their favorite of the entire stake. Found standing on point at 11, Lena went on to have additional finds at 17, 29 and 53. In the second brace of the callback Lena continued to show her range, scoring finds at 12, 32 and 36. On the turn at Garvin’s Gulch Lena disappeared for an extended time; the judges commented that without this glitch the results might have been different. Her performance throughout the three days made the judges’ decision difficult.

Other Entries

Murphy’s Babe, the defending champion, was in the sixth brace the first day. She ran a strong and forward ground pattern without any bird contact. On day No. 2 Babe got started early in the first brace of the day with a find at 8 then followed that up with a couple more finds in the hour. Babe impressed the judges as she seemed to get stronger as the hour went on. She clearly displayed why she was the defending champion.

Riden High Rudy, in the second brace on the first day, had an early find at 4, another at 7, then a nice out front find at 13. In the fourth brace on day No. 2, Rudy had two finds at 20 and 29, but required aggressive scouting throughout both hour runs. He covered a lot of ground both days.

Greyrock’s Mile Marker ran in the second brace on the first day with nice finds at 8 and 28, also scoring another impressive find at Killam’s corner.  “Saint” then blew a pad at 45. On day No. 2 Saint drew brace No. 6, showing unbelievable heart, he put three finds on the record. The injury made it difficult, but Saint clearly gave it his all.

Rumel’s Augie Doggie had two finds in the fifth brace of day No. 1. The first at 24 was an outstanding single bird find. On day No. 2 Augie started strong with finds at 8, 16 and 24 in the first brace of the day. Augie’s pattern continued to get bigger and bigger as the hour went on, requiring significant scouting throughout the brace.

Evergreen’s Jed recorded a big forward stylish find at 11 in brace No. 4 day No. 1. He went on to have additional finds at 15, 37 and 59. The second day in the third brace Jed had his own ideas of where the course should be. He was credited with finds at 15 and 27, but wasn’t very responsive to his handler.

P W Mya’s Contender displayed her ability to cover ground in brace No. 6 the first day. She hunted with high enthusiasm, but wasn’t able to put any bird work on the judges’ books. Day No. 2 “Connie” ran in the second brace and got started early with a nice find by the gates at 9. She went on to have three more finds, including one at 38 the judges referred to as “One of the nicest finds of the stake.”

Joke’s On You carded finds at 12, 31 and 39 in the fifth brace day on day No. 1. “Buddy” showed everyone his strong forward ground game and his endurance to finish the hour as strong as he started. On day No. 2 Buddy was in the third brace and continued where he left off the first day. Buddy covered lots of territory early then went on to have finds at 15, 20, 35, 45, 52 and 58. Buddy required some scouting and had a minor breach of manners, but was exciting to watch.

Outbak’s Rough Cut started brace No. 3 on the first day with a very impressive move down the right side treeline, to be found standing at 13. She followed that up with another impressive move to be found standing again at 34. Day No. 2 “Diamond” was in the fifth brace and got started early with a find at 3. She went on to have a divided find at 12 showing off her style. Diamond had a very wide ranging pattern. The judges commented that she really knew when and where to hunt and really enjoyed her strong finish on the first day.

Gentry, Mo., December 2

Judges: Steve Auxier and Dan Hoke

NGSPA OPEN SHOOTING DOG INVITATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP [One-Hour Heats on Two Consecutive Days; One-Hour Third Day Finals] —

12 German Shorthairs

Winner—CAJUN’S FIRECRACKER, 1653919, female, by Hi N’s Hurricane Express—Sixxem’s A Cut Above. Bruce & Keith Bryant, owners; Josh Nieman, handler.

Amateur Shooting Dog Invitational

The top twelve dogs for the fourth Amateur Shooting Dog Invitational:

1. Texas She’s Got Legs (Ziva), owners Kirk and Terry Bomer. Defending Champion.

2. Snowy River’s Full Strut, owners Mark and Chase Verdoorn. 1288 pts.

3. Rock River’s U Can’t Handle It (Dually), owner Rick Heller. 1255 pts.

4. Tulli’s Shot to the Heart (Cupid), owner Joe Amatulli. 840 pts.

5. M S R’s Lord of Dragon Stone (Stan), owners James and Sarah Messer. 824 pts.

6. Riden High Rudy, owner Ray Nelson. 820 pts.

7. Aunt Troji’s Dirty Nike, owner Larry Metter. 782 pts.

8. Hi N’s Hasty Matilda (Matte), owner Hank Lewis. 728 pts.

9. Cajun’s Firecracker (Kadie), owners Keith and Bruce Bryant. 690 pts.

10. Snowy River’s Cuttin (Dozer), owners Mark and Chase Verdoorn.  690 pts.

11. Snowy River’s White Out (Willy), owners Mark and Chase Verdoorn. 674 pts.

12. Hi Tailyn’s Talented Texan ( Tex), owner Keith Bryant. 660 pts.

Judges for the  Amateur Shooting Dog Invitational were Tom Griffin of Watsonville, Cal., and Jeff Gilbertson of Acampo, Cal. Both men knew what they were looking for as they watched the twelve outstanding amateur contenders navigate the three challenging courses. Their services were greatly appreciated.


The 2019 Amateur Shooting Dog Invitational Champion is Snowy River’s White Out, owned by Mark and Chase Verdoorn of Platte City, Mo., handled by Chase and scouted by Mark.

On the first day “Willy,” in brace No. 5, was forward and had four stylish finds with a forward hard charging race. He hunted and ran the course showing his maturity and forward power.

Willy came back the second day in the first brace and again had a strong race rimming the bean fields hunting while having five stylish finds. He continued showing lots of power to the front, had good manners on his game.

The third day Willy was in brace No. 1 with the defending champion “Ziva”. These two were the judges’ top two dogs going into day No. 3. They wanted to see which dog would separate itself.

Willy had a strong, forward race with two nice limb finds. He showed great ground speed while making big moves ahead. Willy ran the edges of the corn field, hunting and  always found ahead on point, finishing the hour strong!

Overall the judges wanted a dog that handled and was stylish on the ground and on point, a shooting dog that was consistent for three days with flawless bird work. Willy met these requirements and was the most consistent dog over the three days. He was forward, stylish and, as the judges said, a true shooting dog! Willy was named the champion.

Day NO. 3 Callbacks

The judges called back four dogs for day No. 3; they arranged the running order.

The defending champion Texas She’s Got Legs was in brace No. 1 with Willy on day No. 3. She went birdless but the judges loved her ground game throughout the hour. Day No. 1 Ziva was in brace No. 5 and had five well-spaced stylish finds. She had a ton of pop and showed why she won this prestigious event last year.

Day No. 2 Ziva was in brace No. 3 and had  three stylish  finds. The judges loved the connection Ziva had with her handler Terry Bomer. She hunted the lines and had a nice forward race.

Hi N’s Hasty Matilda and Hank Lewis are no strangers to these grounds. On day No. 3 “Matte” showed her quickness and style throughout the hour. She finished with three finds and an unproductive. The judges loved her day No. 3 and said it was her best run of the three days. Day No. 1 Matte was in brace No. 3 right before lunch. She had three finds and showed why she was one of the top twelve dogs in the country. Day No. 2 Matte was in brace No. 5. The judges commented on her quickness as she covered the ground, and ran the lines nicely, carding four finds.

Snowy River Cuttin was the fourth dog called back. Day No. 1 “Dozer” was in brace No. 1 and had four finds. The judges said the first day was the best of his three. He showed good power and range and was broke on all his birds. Day No. 3 Dozer had two finds but did not have the punch the judges were looking for. Day No. 2 Dozer was in brace No. 5 with Matte and had five nice finds. He showed his experience and his knack for finding birds.

The Other Eight Entries

This was Snowy River’s Full Strut’s  third year at the Invitationals and won it back in 2017. On day No. 1 he was in brace No. 2 and had three finds and a back. Strut ran the lines while he was looking to make game. He was in brace No. 6 on day No. 2 and he put down a nice race with three finds. Once again showing his maturity as he ran the edges and showed to the front.

Hi Tailyn’s Talented Texan was in brace No. 4 the first day. He showed tons of style and was extremely snappy on the ground but had four unproductives. The second day Tex was in brace No. 2 and after another two unproductives  was picked up by his handler.

It was the first year at the Invitational for Rock River’s U Can’t Handle It  and owner-handler Rick Heller. Day No. 1 “Dually” drew brace No. 2. He was powerful and stylish and carded eight finds. The judges loved Dullay’s power and style. Day No. 2 Dually was in brace No. 4 right after lunch. We had a couple horse accidents as Rick went down and so did one of the judges. Even with all the horse accidents, Dually had a nice run with two finds.

Tulli’s Shot to the Heart was in brace No. 6 on day No. 1. “Cupid” showed her style and ground speed while pinning two nice covey finds. The judges loved the way she handled for Joe. Day No. 2 Cupid was in brace No. 2 and was lost at the breakaway.

M S R’s Lord of Dragon Stone was in brace No. 1 on day No. 1. He had six finds and tons of style. The judges really liked “Stan” and wanted to see what he would do in day No. 2 where he was in brace No. 6 and showed his power and ended up with one find.

Riden High Rudy was in brace No. 3 on day No. 1 and came out of the gate with his wheels on. He had one find and finished the hour strongly ahead. Day No. 2 Rudy was in brace No. 4 right after lunch. Rudy had his all-age wheels on and after 20 minutes or so Terry asked for the retrieval unit.

Aunt Troji’s Dirty Nike and owner-handler Larry Metter were first-timers at the Invitational coming from California. Day No. 1 Nike was in brace No. 4 and had four beautiful finds. The judges loved how Nike handled and how stylish she was on her finds. They were excited to see what day No. 2 had in store. Nike was in brace No. 3 and had a good run going with four finds but at 58 had a breach of manners that ended her run.

Cajun’s Firecracker won the 2019 Open Shooting Dog Invitational earlier in the week. On the first day she was in brace No. 6. She finished the hour with three stylish finds. She was rolling but lost with 15 minutes left in the hour. On day No. 2 “Kadie” was in brace No. 1 and had two nice finds but she didn’t do enough to overcome the first day’s hole.

Judges: Jeff Gilbertson and Tom Griffin


[One-Hour Heats on Two Consecutive Days; One-Hour Third Day Finals] —

12 German Shorthairs

Winner—SNOWY RIVER’S WHITE OUT, 1664279, male, by Last Chance Crop Duster—Short Stuff v Greiwe. Chase Verdoorn, owner and handler.

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