American Field

Field Trial Report

Region 11 Amateur All-Age Championship

By Mike Wilkin | Jul 11, 2018
Championship Winners. Front (l-r): Brad Laverne, Ron Shuman, Sean Kelly with Kelly’s Rebel Louie, Bridget Ledington with Northwoods Charles, Judge Casten Pigman, Judge Lori Steinshouer and Todd Schaaf. Back: Austin Turley, Doug Favor, Jeff Lostak, Bill Owen, Travis Gellhaus, Mike Wilkin, Jarry Walton and Nard Bailey.
Reno, Nev. —

On Saturday, April 21, the Region 11 Amateur All-Age Championship kicked off on the fabulous Red Rock field trial grounds in Reno, Nev. This is the premier Region 11 amateur trial and was held in conjunction with the West- ern Open Championships and the Pacific Coast Derby Championship, both of which are National Qualifiers.

Once again Purina generously sup- ported this trial with their sponsorship, and we can’t thank them enough for their commitment to our trial and to the entire field trial community. This combination of events brings competi- tors from all over the country as well as Region 11, and promotes a quality event for everyone in attendance. Thirty-one dogs were drawn for the Region 11 Amateur All-Age Championship.

Larry Smith has become a regular at the spring trials out West as of late, and we certainly enjoy his good-natured company and the camaraderie that he always brings with him. Austin Turley from Montana came with his string of dogs. Rich Heaton, Doug Favor, Jim and Bridget Ledington all made the trip down from Idaho. Don Beauchamp came to run his dogs. Todd Schaaf and Chuck Kunde came from Oregon. We thank them all for the time, effort, and distance traveled to attend this event.

As everyone knows, a tremendous amount of work and preparation goes into making any trial a success. Region 11 officers Sean Kelly, Jim Wolthuis and Jared Tappero work diligently to make this one of the best trials possible. They were joined by several folks who also help make the trial successful. Jarry Walton, the driving force behind the Western Open, lends his assistance everywhere something needs doing. Whether it’s hosting and coordinating the drawing, bird planting early morn- ings, or setting up the event tent, Jarry is there volunteering to help. Another local stalwart, Brad LaVerne, volunteers every year to drive the dog truck and ably help with essential camp duties like making sure the horse troughs are full of water every day. Brad does an exceptional job in driving the dog truck, making sure every dog is in the right place at the right time, and ensuring there are no time lags between braces or mix up in the dogs. We all owe Brad a genuine thank you for a job well done every year. Without water there are no trials in the West, and the water for the Region 11 All-Age and Western Open is provided by Lori Steinshouer from her nearby home. This water is from Lori’s deep well, and is sweet and cold, and very much appreciated by everyone in attendance (and their horses).

Region 11 was fortunate to secure the services of two excellent judges for this stake; Lori Steinshouer and Casten Pigman, both from the Reno area. Lori is a well-respected dog trainer and judge who brings a wealth of knowledge to the task. Casten has trialed German Short- hairs for years throughout the West and knew exactly what he was looking for. Both judges did an excellent job with well received placements.


Everyone who has trialed at the Red Rock field trial grounds knows that you need to be prepared for snow, sleet, freezing winds on one day, and hot dry days with no wind the next day. Fortunately the weather for our trial was without the extremes in temperature or wind speed that can often happen at this time of year. Unfortunately, even a light breeze tends to dry these grounds out, and even though it rained just two days before the stake began, sunny and slightly breezy conditions made scent- ing conditions tough on all competitors. This was compounded by the fact that these grounds are historically run on native birds and planted chukar, which were losing their scent in preparation for their breeding season. Most dogs went birdless for the event even though the gallery would ride up wild quail and planted chukar during almost every brace. It was unfortunate that scenting conditions were so tough as there were many good performances that went unrewarded even though there was a rotating cadre of helpers planting birds in every brace to ensure all dogs had a fair and even chance to produce quality finds and potentially win the stake.

Named champion from the 11th brace was Kelly’s Rebel Louie, white and liver pointer dog owned and handled by Sean Kelly of Loomis, Cal. All of Sean’s dogs are stylish, high tailed, hunting and running dynamos, and Louie is no exception. Louie was cast off on course No. 2 from the upper spring area and quickly made his way down the course toward phlox hill. Louie ran wide and hunted hard throughout, maintaining contact with his handler when necessary, and generally traversed the course with a range and style that was very pleasing to watch. Time was running out for Sean and his dog when Louie made his final cast across the final valley up the other side where he was found standing at time, looking as sharp and stylish as possible. This was a find on wild quail, and they didn’t want to cooperate by holding still. Sean needed an extended flushing effort to locate the quail that were more inclined to run through the sage than fly. A relocation was required to pinpoint and flush a quail that had been hiding in the shade of the pinions, with Louie remaining steadfast for the shot. This was the quality wild bird find of the stake and was justly rewarded with the championship laurels.

Runner-up Northwoods Charles came from the seventh brace. He is a tricolor setter dog owned and handled by Bill Owen of Santa Barbara, Cal. Charlie was cast off on the No. 1 course Satur- day afternoon and quickly made his way to the front showing well as he swung right across the ridge disappearing to the front. Charlie was found on point at 15 on a rock pile high up on the right side of the course after topping the sec- ond ridge, in area that was previously unhunted. He displayed perfect manners for wing and shot. Charlie continued to run and hunt diligently to the front and finished at the upper spring without further bird contact.

Other dogs had notable performances but either ran well without bird work or had bird work without the required all-age performance. The stake was concluded late Sunday afternoon with acknowledgements to Purina for their support and contribution of dog food for the winners, followed by the announcements which were well received by all.

Reno, Nev., April 21

Judges: Casten Pigman and Lori Steinshouer


26 Pointers and 5 Setters

Winner—KELLY’S REBEL LOUIE, 1656988, pointer male, by I B Burnt—I B Pike Creek. Sean Kelly, owner and handler.

Runner-Up—NORTHWOODS CHARLES, 1652828, setter male, by Ridge Creek Cody— Northwoods Chardonnay. William Owen, owner and handler.

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