American Field

Field Trial Report

Region 4 Amateur All-Age Championship

By Jim Pendergest | May 09, 2019
Championship Winners. From left: Jim Pendergest with Dialed In and Ray Wheeler with Touch’s Grey Street. Behind: Kristine and Tim Hammons, the judges.

Bloomingdale, Ohio — The Region 4 AFTCA Amateur All- Age Championship was held this year at Mingo Sportsman Club in Bloomingdale, Ohio. The winner emerged in Touch’s Grey Street, Derby-aged pointer male owned by Keith Wright of Covington, Ind. Dialed In, six- year-old pointer female and the defending champion, was named runner-up for owner-handler Jim Pendergest of Lexington, Ky.

Region 4 consists of clubs from Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan and Ohio. West Virginia is also in the Region, but no active clubs from West Virginia participate in the region.

The Region 4 Championships rotate between states and this year was Ohio’s turn.

The Mingo grounds are strip mine ridges that have a moderate amount of autumn olive providing cover. Bill Monk, the area manager, has planted quite a few more feed strips this year and it improved the area considerably.

The venue offers a great opportunity to show a true all-age dog, along with areas where the dogs must show a desire to bid to their handlers’ wishes.

The headquarters for the trial provides a shelter for having lunch and the Region 4 annual meeting was held there as well.

In the parking area, there are numerous sites for plugging in trailers or campers and plenty of gravel areas for parking horse trailers. There is also ample space for staking out horses and dogs.

The grounds are protected from the main roads and very safe for dogs. The Ohio contingent of Region 4 Trustee Ray Wheeler, along with Tim McClurg, Ted Goodyear and Jack Alexander, pitched in to release quail, marshal and scout for those needing help.

Tom Derosa from Pennsylvania provided his brand new four-wheel ATV for the dog wagon and kept us entertained with his wit.

Mary Sue Schalk, Region 4 secretary, took care of all of the details with efficiency, thoroughness and a great attitude. Region 4 officers, directors and members give them a hearty thank you for their efforts.

Judges for this renewal were Dr. Kristine and Tim Hammons of Berea, Ky. Both are well known in the sport and from their tremendous success with their line of red setters. They make a great team handling and scouting their dogs and the same proved true judging this stake. Both gave their undivided attention to each participant and their efforts are certainly appreciated.

There are never enough words to express our gratitude to Purina for their support. Their sponsorship of this event is instrumental in making it a success. Purina generously provided a supply of dog food for the winner and runner-up. Purina is a great asset to our field trial sport, not only for their sponsorship, but also for the research they conduct that advances the health and fitness of our canine companions. Also special thanks to Crouse Kennels for donating vests for the winning owners. The vests will be customized for each owner.

The Winners

After 24 contenders had competed over three days, the judges named two-year-old pointer sensation Touch’s Grey Street the 2019 Region 4 Amateur All-Age Champion. Street competed in the 7th brace of the stake with Ascension, handled by Matt Pendergest. Following is the account of their brace.

Away from the clubhouse, both dogs were shown going up the hill and out of sight to the front at 5. Ascension was pointing in the feed strip in the far right corner as we topped the hill. Street came in for a back as Pendergest was flushing. All was in order for both of the stylish pointers as birds were produced. Street evened the score at 17 in the feed strip opposite of Snyder’s Ridge. Street scored his second a short time later at the bottom of the hill after making the horseshoe. Street was again stylish and mannerly throughout. Ascension was pointing at the top of the ridge and birds were produced promptly for another nice piece of work.

Both dogs were showing well as we progressed toward the old cattle farm and made bend and back up the ridge. Wright was pointing Street out on impressive swings as we approached the twin towers and point was called again. Wright’s pointer was posed majestically again and held his style immaculately for the flush and shot. As we passed the rock pile, both dogs were well to the front and ridden for to make the turn back toward the woods. At time Ascension was leashed to the front left and the call of point came for Street at the right front. Birds were difficult to produce in the thick feed strip, but Street never wavered and a single was finally flushed for a great end to an exciting brace.

Named runner-up was Dialed In for owner-handler Jim Pendergest. She was braced with Touch’s Smooth Rider with Keith Wright and they broke from the rock pile in the 9th brace. Dialed in was to the left, with Rider straight ahead. Point was called for Rider at 5 and Wright showed the remains of a pheasant to the judge and took the dog on. Dialed In was shown to the front along the feed strip at 10. Both dogs were ahead as we crossed the gravel road with Rider to the right and Dialed In to the left. Rider suffered an unproductive here and was leashed at 18. Dialed In was spotted standing near the feed strip across from Snyder’s Ridge at 20. Quail were produced promptly with all in order for the shot. Dialed In ventured up the ridge to the left after the lake and was pointed out going along the ridge top. She was out of sight for about 8 minutes here, returning from the front at the horseshoe. She was found standing at the top of the ridge at 32; a single was produced from thick grass for the stylish female. Birds were not seen otherwise in this location before, during or after the trial. After crossing the main gravel road, Dialed In was on a big swing to the left. Point was called several minutes later and well to the front near the old cattle farm. As before, birds were produced quickly and just as indicated by the picturesque female at 46. After being watered and released, she cast to the left front and wasn’t seen again until we crossed the road at the twin towers. Sent ahead, she finished with an impressive move past the rock pile.

The Running

Small’s White Stryker (Small) was pointing at 8 to the left front. A relocation was required and executed quickly with all in order for the flush and shot. Simultaneous finds occurred at 16, Crouse’s Samuri Warrior (Crouse) on the right side feed strip at Snyder’s Ridge and Stryker on the left  feed strip. Both dogs made big swings to the left front as we approached the main gravel road and were ridden for by handlers to negotiate the turn to the right. Stryker scored his third at 36 after regaining the front. Both negotiated the loop at the old cattle ranch and Stryker was winding birds again at 48. He couldn’t seem to get the scent right and a bird got up while he was in motion resulting in his leashing. Warrior continued on in good form, but didn’t score again during his hour.

Crouse’s Samuri Warlord (Crouse) was lost off breakaway. Windy Hills Living Large scored at 14 and again at 25, but his ground effort wasn’t pleasing Merryman and he was leashed.

Mac’s Hi Oh Silver (McClurg) and Crouse’s Equalizer (Crouse) started strong and after an eight-minute absence, Silver scored at the thicket near the old cattle farm at 18. Point was called at 24 with only feathers produced. An unproductive at 42 ended his chances. Equalizer made a big swing to the left front and scored at 14 with style and manners above reproach. He continued on taking big bites of the country and was credited with his second find at 26. At 52 Equalizer was pointing opposite Snyder’s Ridge. Birds were produced with Equalizer marking flight, but staying for the shot. At time Equalizer was on the ridge to the left and gathered up there to finish the hour.

Phillips Off Line (Small) and S F Bandwagon (Smith) was the first brace Saturday morning, away from the clubhouse. Bandwagon was pointing at 9 just before the woods, with Off Line coming in and backing at a distance. Both dogs were mannerly for the flush and shot. Across the gravel road, Bandwagon scored his second find in the thicket on the left at 14. His excellent scenting ability on display here as he was deep in the thicket on this find. Bandwagon was charged with an unproductive at 35. Off Line was backing at this juncture. Bandwagon was pointing again at 38 and the flight of birds called as we rode to him. Birds were seen officially and Smith shot over the dog. Off Line scored his first find two minutes later just before the main gravel road crossing. All was in order here. Smith called point at 48, but ultimately Bandwagon was backing Off Line. Small produced the birds and shot over a stylish Off Line. Bandwagon was pointing at 55 and scored No. 4 after a relocation. Off Line finished with a good swing into the front. Bandwagon was just catching the front as time expired.

Crouse’s Kentucky Wind (Crouse) and Touch’s Fire Dancer (Wright) broke from the rock pile and had to make the quick U turn to stay on course. Both dogs went in to the left of the clubhouse and had to be ridden for. Wind was returned at 12. Fire Dancer was not and Wright requested the retrieval unit at 17. Wind was showing well into the valley at the power lines and sustained another absence here, Crouse returning with him from deep in the power line cut at 39. Point was called for Wind at 44 near the main gravel road crossing. After an initial flushing attempt, Crouse asked the dog to relocate; Wind refused. Crouse made another attempt and produced a single from right in front of Wind. A second find was credited to Wind at 52 just before the twin towers and again manners were good. Wind finished to the front beyond the rock pile.

Brace No. 6 had Touch’s Indiana Joan (Wright) and Crouse’s White Dragon (Schalk). They started strongly from the back portion of the course. Joan was pointing stylishly on the hill before the twin towers at 6, mannerly at flush and shot. Past the rock pile, Joan was shown on an impressive cast to the right front. Dragon was seen at a distance to the left. Both made the precarious turn just before the clubhouse without incident and both continued to show well through the big valley past Snyder’s Ridge. Joan scored her second, again at the hill near the twin towers at 52.  She pointed at 53 on the way to the front; Wright flushed and shot. The turn was made at the old cattle farm and both dogs finished well to the front on the ridge.

No. 7 had the winner, Touch’s Grey Street, and Ascension.

S F Fullcolor (Smith) and Windy Hills Rayban (Merryman) were away from the clubhouse and birds were scarce early on. Both dogs were searching diligently and Rayban struck first at 25 on the hillside after the tower. Rayban’s second find came at 39, surprisingly on a pheasant, and again manners were good for the flush and shot. Fullcolor was scoring simultaneously on quail on the right hand side. Smith was not satisfied with the effort and picked up at 43. Rayban scored his third at 48 as we made the U turn at the old cattle farm and his fourth at 52. He finished well just past the rock pile.

No. 9 had Dialed In and Touch’s Smooth Rider, this brace covered earlier.

Miller’s Arctic Breeze (Alexander) and Desiree (Wilcox). This was the first brace Sunday morning from the clubhouse and with cooler weather. Both were searching early, but not connecting in the normal locations. Simultaneous finds occurred at 19 in the thicket before the tallest tower. Alexander elected to pick up at 24. Desiree was pointed again at 25, but Wilcox wasn’t satisfied with the situation and elected to call it a day.

Mac’s Silver Chief (McClurg) and Rock Creek (Wheeler). Point was called for Creek at 10, but he got too close on relocation and was up. Chief scored well at 13 in the U turn near the old cattle farm. Point was called again at 24 where McClurg indicated feathers, declined to flush and took Chief on. Chief scored again at 47 and 56, but his ground pattern wasn’t up to the range of the winners.

Point was called for Get Ready  at 20, but he moved on before Dr. Wilcox attempted to flush.  S F Stetson was pointing at 22, required a relocation and Larry Smith was able to produce a bird. At 35 He elected to terminate Stetson’s effort. Ready scored at 31 at the twin towers. He suffered an unproductive at 45. After Wilcox consulted with the judges, Ready was up to end the stake.

Bloomingdale, Ohio, April 5

Judges: Dr. Kris Hammons and Tim Hammons


24 Pointers

Winner—TOUCH’S GREY STREET, 1680120, male, by Touch’s Knight Rider—Touch’s White Assault. Keith A. Wright, owner and handler.

Runner-Up—DIALED IN, 1655274, female, by Miller’s Dialing In—Rester’s Zumba Girl. Jim pendergest, owner and handler.

2019 Region 4 Annual Meeting

The Region 4 AFTCA meeting was called to order at 5:15 p. m. April 5, 2019 by President Jim Pendergest.

In attendance were: Jim Pendergest, Mary Sue Schalk, Keith Wright, Kent Merryman, Sherri Merryman, Ray Wheeler, Mike Small, Dr. Hunter Wilcox, Tim McClurg, John Vanada and Ted Goodyear.

President Pendergest had attendees review the minutes from the previous meeting held March 24, 2018 at Pyramid State Park in Pinckneyville, Ill. Motion to accept the minutes was made by Mike Crouse, seconded by Mary Sue Schalk. Minutes were approved by consensus.

Secretary Schalk reviewed the financial reports from the Shooting Dog and Walking Championships held in September, 2018 and November, 2018, respectively. She indicated that since becoming secretary the organization had made gains. The beginning account balance in July, 2018 was $10,453.32; the current March 4, 2019 statement reads $11,285.40. The gains on both the Shooting Dog and Walking Championship totaled $1,051.

Participants were presented with graphs from the events specifically indicating all expenses, income and donations. Mike Crouse made the motion to accept the financial statement as presented, seconded by Ray Wheeler. Approved.

President Pendergest presented the next item as unfinished business. There was none. The meeting moved new business.

The first item of new business was discussion of liability insurance for Region 4. President Pendergest referenced Region 6 as a similar organization having the insurance through K & K. He described the insurance as covering officers for liability situations. The policy President Pendergest presented would cost Region 4 $675 annually. Ray Wheeler had several questions concerning the policy, as many states will uphold the law as written on the “Equine Activities” posted in several sites hosting horseback field trials. President Pendergest gave Mr. Wheeler a copy of the information on the policy. Hunter Wilcox interjected that Pete Del Collo would be a great resource in finding an insurance policy to fit our events. Mr. Del Collo, a lawyer, utilizes a company out of Philadelphia, Pa., for championships he is involved with. Dr. Wilcox also suggested contacting Frank LaNasa for further information.

President Pendergest is going to further research the possibility of insurance for Region 4, and bring that information to the members of Region 4 for discussion and a possible vote.

The second item of new business was to elect a Kentucky Board of Director. First, the current Region 4 Board of Directors was reviewed. Members, by state, are: Indiana — Keith Wright and Mike Jackson; Michigan — Kent Merryman and Jim Cipponeri; Ohio — Ray Wheeler and Ralph Gillota; Kentucky — Jim “Harvey” Pendergest and Jim Crouse.

Due to the tragic death of Jim Crouse, his position needed to be filled. Ray Wheeler nominated Mary Sue Schalk to fill the position, seconded by Tim McClurg. Mary Sue Schalk accepted the nomination, and Mike Crouse asked that motion ceased. Schalk was voted to become the second of two Board of Directors for the state of Kentucky.

Next on the agenda, President Pendergest opened the floor for discussion to fill the Region 4 AFTCA Trustee position, also left open by Jim Crouse. Mike Small made the motion that Jim Pendergest be the Region 4 trustee, the motion was seconded by Tim McClurg. Pendergest accepted the nomination, and will inform the AFTCA of Region 4’s recommendation.

The final listed item on the agenda was the discussion of the trial rotation for the three Region 4 Amateur Championships.

The Amateur All-Age Championship will rotate to Kentucky (Western Kentucky) for the 2019-2020 season; representatives from Kentucky accepted the responsibility to host the event. The Amateur Shooting Dog and Walking Championship(s) are scheduled to rotate to Ohio. Ray Wheeler will check on availability and report back to President Pendergest. There was some discussion as to what happens when and if a state declines. If a state declines their opportunity to host, then the opportunity goes to the next state on the list.

There was discussion about state’s hosting Region 4 events in other regions, especially due to the lack of grounds in Indiana. Mike Crouse stated that each state should do their best in exhausting the existing possibilities in Region 4 to host the Championship they are responsible for that year. Keith Wright agreed; he offered his family’s property, Redwood in Indiana, at any time to host the Walking Dog Championship.

Ray Wheeler brought up that a Bird Dog Foundation Patron Memorial Plaque had commissioned in honor of Jim Crouse. He made a motion that Region 4 make a contribution of $100 to help repay Linda Crouse, Jim’s widow, who covered the cost of the plaque. Tim McClurg seconded the motion. Approved. Secretary Schalk will take care of this, working with the Bird Dog Museum director  Tonya Brotherton.

Ray Wheeler made a motion to adjourn; Mike Crouse seconded. The meeting was adjourned at 5:54 p. m.

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