American Field

Field Trial Report

Region 19 Brittany Amateur All-Age Championship

By Steve Ralph | Nov 06, 2019
Championship Winners. From left: Tom Tracy, Jr., Raus Tracy, Carla Tracy, Richard Beaver, Stan Williamson, Stan Noble, Joe Williams with J B’s Levi the Lionheart, Kent Patterson, Joey Rogers, Kevin Rogers with Lambach’s Blew By You, Steve Chang, Susan Januschka, Scott Johnson, Joanne Perry, Steve Ralph, Mike Poehler, Alica Harms, Lori Ralph, Barb Harms, Tim Huglen, Dave Capstick and John Harms.

Valentine, Neb. — Valentine, Neb.—Driving in the country, you’ll often experience the custom of oncoming drivers waving to each other. Growing up in the suburbs or the populous of a major city, when one first experiences this, it may often seem odd.

“Why are all these people waving at me” one might ponder?

When driving across the state of Nebraska to get here, it makes perfect sense — there aren’t that many people in the sandhills, and cows don’t wave!

Friendship and community are extremely important, especially when they both are often spread so far apart.

Hospitality is what the Harms Ranch is all about. Access to the land alone is beyond generous.

Couple that with the man hours spent driving the dog wagon by John Harms, the daily filling of water barrels and you get a tiny glimpse of the Harms Family’s true generosity.

It truly is a privilege to be able to compete with big running dogs on such beautiful and expansive grounds that allow a dog the opportunity to fill up its horizons in pursuit of wild and liberated game.

Thank you to the entire Harms Family for their warm welcome and graciousness in allowing us to run here on this beautiful ranch.

Steve Chang of Highlands Ranch, Colo., and Stan Noble of Sante Fe, Tenn., served as judges for this Championship which drew 43 dogs from across the country. Both men are respected judges, having competed in and judged many championships over the years. They allowed the handlers to show their dogs to the best of their ability over the meadows and sandhills.

We’d like to thank Tehrani Motors for supplying two Polaris Crew Rangers for the dog wagon, Purina for their financial support and providing Pro Plan Sport food for all the placed dogs.

Thank you to SportDog for presenting a training collar to the winner and Cosequine for their support with products that support joint health that is so critical to the longevity of athletic dogs.

The Championship could not have been conducted without the significant help of many volunteers. Special thanks to all the volunteers who helped make this Championship a success. Tom Tracy, Jr. set up the three one-hour courses, planted birds every night, and served as course marshal. Bret Lindback also served as course marshal.

John Harms drove the dog wagon for all of the braces. Jim and Hunter Harms kept the horse water barrels filled daily and set up the barn each day for dinners. Lori Ralph, Alicia Harms and Barb Harms prepared lunches and dinners every day to keep everyone well fed.

Steve Ralph, Matt and Tom Healey provided a walleye fish fry that everyone enjoyed. Steve Ralph, representing the hosting St. Croix Valley Brittany Club, handled all the field trial secretary work to keep the event running smoothly.

The Running

Day No. 1 started with beautiful weather and a steady breeze, gradually warming to the edge of hot with winds transitioning to gale force causing hats, and birds to fly wild. We ended the day with no creditable bird work under judgment.

Several dogs laid down quality runs but were unrewarded for their efforts.

Marjo’s Fille De La Bretagne (Brie/ Perry) and Maxwell’s Legal Tender Faith/Rogers) headed west on the expansive hay meadow, growing in range and application. At 15 near the old hay stacker Brie encountered a pheasant and her day ended. Faith struggled with the sandhills and their evil burs and at 43 Kevin elected to pick her up toward the end of the hay meadow past the old homestead.

El Grande (Truman/Myers) and  Tequila Scorcher  (Lincoln/Beaver) got to work right away with Truman working up into the sandhills and Lincoln working along their base. Truman encountered a bird early stopping on the flush, but the temptation got the better of the situation and his day ended. Lincoln continued working at moderate range until 22 when Richard elected to pick up near an old round baling machine.

Trace of Bourbon With Diamonds (Hastings) and Brendi Brooks Cowboy Up (Tuff/Trimble). This busy pair of dogs broke away near the abandoned baler with Trace taking to the sandhills and Tuff running the meadow edge. After heading into the sandhills, Tuff was found standing in a low pocket with Ray firing for a stop to flush on a sharptail. Trace moved on with really nice range and speed into the sandhills and point was called by the scout; this turned into an unproductive. The scout stated that sharptails left before anyone got there. Each dog had an unproductive as they continued their hour with Tuff backing nicely at the opportunity and the dogs finished their hour working well in the sandhills for their handlers.

A N J’s Ohio Hellion (Poehler) and  Piney Run Jake (Patterson) were away to the west in the expansive hay meadow stretching to the edge of sight. Hank did an imitation of velcro inside the thickest sandbur patch on the property appearing to be on point. Jake laid down a smooth and consistent performance for Kent working kindly the entire hour. After extensive bur removal and an unproductive near where a pheasant had lifted prior, Hank regained the front to finish the hour hunting forward with Jake. Both were birdless for their efforts.

Brigadoon’s High Proof Moonshine (Hooch/Perry) and Blazin E Z Mac (Ralph) worked the sandhills in howling winds with enthusiasm and speed and went down to the lake to cool off. Both dogs hunted hard in the hills but birds were very jumpy, lifting at the edge of sound from whistles or calling. Hooch succumbed to sandspurs, John electing to pick him up. Mac also encountered them, yet continued to hunt nicely after self-removal to no avail, ending his hour birdless.

Kashmir (Rankin) and Roll On Ms. Bella (Williamson) broke away into the sandhills and as we exited the hills above the far eastern hay meadow several sharptails were seen lifting way ahead of the dogs and handlers, very jumpy due to the winds. Winds continued to blow hard as we headed back into the hill sections close to the southern edge of camp with both dogs hunting hard and birds lifting wild well out of range of their efforts. Both dogs ended their hour bird-less in spite of commendable efforts.

Day No. 2 began with temperatures in the 50s, a rise in humidity, a drop in the wind and prayers for cooperative birds.

Alleycat’s Drought (Williamson) and  Coos Triple Six (Perry) were into the pasture and hay meadow working the northern edges with Drought extending his range steadily and growing in application. “Boomer” pointed in a willow patch which ended in an unproductive; despite extensive hunting he ended his hour birdless. Drought had an unproductive in the sandhills where birds were hanging out with regularity and ended his hour on point at the edge of the abandoned homestead hay meadow. Without a bird, his run went unrewarded.

Glade Run Irish (Capstick) and Lambach’s Blew By You (Rogers). Upon breakaway Blew drove into the sandhills where he worked as Irish worked the meadow edge at the base of the hills. At 10 Joey called point for Blew as Irish attempted to turn a blind eye to the event which ended his run. After a lengthy flush followed by a crisp relocation, Joey produced a pheasant for Blew with all in order. Blew worked the fenceline of the meadow into the sandhills and upslope from there pointed again. Joey and Blew worked the area ending in an unproductive. Blew powered into the sandhills afterward and as we crested the highest section was spotted standing statuesquely below the rise of a saddle between two peaks looking into a lush green section. After a long ride, lengthy flush and a nice relocation, Blew was moved on with a stop to flush suspected. Blew extended his range through the sandhills and ended his hour  entering the next hay meadow. Blew was named runner-up for his efforts.

Molly Mae Alexander (Alexander) and Spanish Dancer (Sassy/Robbie Myers) were a bit erratic to start, one of them heading north as the course headed south. They both improved as the hour went on throughout the sandhills. Upon exit into the unmown section of the hay meadow, Robbie called for the retrieval unit as Sassy was last seen near the middle of the hills. Molly continued on and had a stop to flush near the duck camp with time expiring not long afterward.

J J’s Levi The Lion Heart (Williams) and Hehi’s Slim Chipley (Healey)  worked separate sides of the field upon breakaway with their paths crossing on the bale row where Levi was found standing with Slim backing. After Joe relocated Levi, Slim was moved on to the front. Relocation ended in an unproductive for Levi. Both dogs were together again toward the old bale stacker where the dogs worked the southern tree island with Slim ending his day on a fleeing sharptail. Levi worked into the sandhills where he pointed in one of the first depressions with Joe producing a small brood of young pheasants with all in order. Upon release at the next hill, Levi pointed again for a single pheasant handled with all in order. After a brief slowdown due to sandburs, Levi continued to run with application and speed stretching his handler’s comfort zone as he dove into the hills southeast of the old homestead hay meadow as time was called. Levi was named the champion for his efforts.

W W’s Miss Wendy Peffercorn (Wice) and Jazz Em Up Arrow (Hastings). Right after breakaway Arrow had a stop to flush on a large group of young pheasants in a small depression of the hay meadow. Somewhat slow to start, both dogs grew in the sandhills, both making it to the lake where Wendy decided that she’d rather hang at the beach and Burton elected to pick her up. Rick and Arrow returned to the front and continued through the sandhills and beyond until 40 where Rick called it a day.

Jo Will’s Daniel in the Lion’s Den  (Williams) and Marjo’s Leftover (Perry) took opposite sides of the course with “Halie” diving into the sandhills and Daniel working the hay meadow. Daniel made some nice moves and as a young dog showed promise, though not enough to please his handler today and was up at 20. Halie hunted at moderate range, finishing the hour without bird work.

Day No. 3 — Cooler temperatures with elevated humidity and hopes of increased bird work.

Castaway Wilson  (Huglen) and  Firestarter’s Crossed The Line (Ty/ Rankin) broke away  with gusto. Wilson couldn’t contain himself approaching 6 when a pheasant lifted from the fenceline ending his bid. Ty grew in range and application as the hour went on through the meadow where cows had appeared and the sandhills leading to the old homestead. Ty’s birdless bid was not for a lack of hunting in the appropriate places; covering the course nicely resulted in one birdless stand carded in the tall section of the hay meadow prior to the abandoned hay baler.

Arrow’s Tequila Rustler  (Beaver) and  Ru Jem’s Last Penny (Ralph) were away into the sandhills on the edges of the hay meadow making nice moves and hunting throughout. Penny pointed in the hills around the abandoned baler ending in an unproductive and was taken on to catch the front. Both dog worked well through the sandhills working both sides of the course with Penny pointing in the tall grass of the southern pasture. Steve relocated Penny several times covering a large area to no avail, re-establishing point along the northern edge of the meadow. Unable to produce a bird for Penny, Steve elected to call it a day. Rusty and Richard continued to work forward with no birds pointed nor encountered for their efforts.

Alar’s Dirty Dancer (Patterson), as a bye, broke away hunting the thick sections of the hay meadow and stretched into the hills hunting well. Upon reaching the southeastern meadow near the duck camp, she swung the edges of the marshy section working the shelterbelts of that homestead and had a stop to flush on a pheasant there. Kent worked her into the sandhills closest to camp where she pointed close to the steep bank and ended her bid going with the pheasant. She’d done a nice job up until then.

Roustabout’s Eustace  (Capstick) and Diamond Hill Traveling Doc (Pollock)  took a bit to get rolling then worked the tall grass edges of the pasture and into the short hill section prior to the bale stacker. At 32 Lisa elected to pick up Doc due to sandbur issues. “T” continued to run after removing several himself. Before the old homestead field T drove into the heavy section, rimmed the field and headed off into the sandhills under the power line and swung to the front, rejoining Dave in the hay meadow. T continued making nice moves, bucking cover to no avail ending his hour without a much-needed bird.

Prickly Pete (Capstick) and  Maxwell’s Heavy Hitter (Rogers) took turns working the thick grass of the hay meadow and the surrounding hills independent of each other with Pete hanging in the hills for awhile. With the wind dropping and the sun shining bright, the temperatures warmed into the upper 70s requiring the dogs to seek out the ponds of the sandhill sections. With Pete being lost and Kevin electing to call it a day, this brace ended early. Both dogs were exciting to watch while it lasted.

T L M Tall Tale (Tom Milam) and  C V K’S Spartan King (Alexander). Sam and Leo worked nicely into the large section of the sandhills and worked toward the southeastern hay meadow. Leo was fast and far flung in his pursuit of game and took the southern fenceline of that meadow to the point of breaking the string and Jack calling for the retrieval unit. Sam worked the duck camp homestead area nicely without finding a bird. Tom chose to call it a day at that point.

Light wind, temperature in the low 50s to start day No. 5 gave promise of a new day.

Rincon Valley’s Sally (Rogers) and Sparky’s Prairie Wind Gypsy (Ralph) were away with handlers flying to the front on horses seemingly frisky with the lower overnight temperatures. Sally pointed near the bale stacker and ended her bid with a bobble on the bird. Gypsy ran well for the hour and had an unproductive near the windmill; she ended her bid birdless.

Shady Way’s Joker’s Hill Country E (Lindback) and  S S Rigs Colorado Gun Runner (Milam) headed toward the abandoned hay baler with Rig pointing early and “Stan” missing the opportunity to back. Rig suffered an indiscretion and  his day ended as well.

Jo Will’s Sir Walter Raleigh  (Williams) and T J’s Black Diamond (Perry) stretched for the western edge of the hay meadow field near the abandoned baler with Raleigh pointing on the northern edge of the lake after the sandhill section. A pheasant left on its own and Joe fired with all in order. “Coal” had a pheasant find at the edge of the hay meadow with a snafu ending his bid at the near moment that Raleigh was busy helping a different pheasant to fly faster to put an end to his bid.

Tabu  (Capstick) and J W B Arctic Cat (Alexander) each took off with reckless abandon and a willful disposition. Tabu pointed early and Dave elected to pick up being unsatisfied with the situation. Being in season, Jack elected to pick “Kimber” up as well for a lack of her usual quality run.

Valentine, Neb., September 20

Judges: Steve Chang and Stan Noble


[One-Hour Heats] — 43 Brittanys

Winner—J B’S LEVI THE LIONHEART, 1666510, male, by Spanish Corral’s Sundance Kid—Sam’s Sandbank Rose. Joe Williams, owner and handler.

Runner-Up—LAMBACH’S BLEW BY YOU, 1656589, male, by Maxwell’s Blew By You—Maxwell’s Quick Silver. Kevin Rogers, owner; Joey Rogers, handler.

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