American Field

Field Trial Report

Region 4 Amateur All-Age Championship

By By Mary Sue Schalk | Jun 24, 2020
The Winners. From right: Judge Dereck Layne, Mary Sue Schalk with Crouse’s Equalizer, Mike Crouse, Jim Pendergest with Dialed In and Judge Buddy Morrison.

Kevil, Ky. — March in Kentucky can be the most pleasant of months, or the most brutal. The second weekend of March, 2020 proved to be brutal for both man and beast.

The Region 4 Amateur All-Age Championship drew 19 canine contenders and those dogs proved their mettle. Overcast skies, frigid temperatures and different variants of rain fell throughout the ten brace stake. While the weather may have been daunting the performances did not disappoint.

Dereck Layne and Buddy Morrison served as judges for the event. Both from Tennessee, these two men provide a wealth of knowledge in regard to horseback field trials. The two have been avid breeders, competitors, club officials and promoters of the sport for many years. They were attentive in the judicial saddles and cheerful despite the unpleasant weather. Their time and efforts were much appreciated.

The West Kentucky Field Trial Club had several members to help with the event. Greg Veatch, ever at the ready, served as the dog wagon driver and managed all road crossings.

Alan Benson served as a marshal and was also a participant in the Championship. Mike Crouse, when not competing, was also an avid marshal. These volunteers are vital to the success of such an event. We certainly could not do it without them. Thank you from Region 4 and all field trial enthusiasts!


In what could arguably be called the heaviest rain of the weekend, Champion Dialed In, pointer female owned and handled by Jim Pendergest of Lexington, Ky., turned in a stellar performance.

Paired with Mary Sue Schalk and Crouse’s White Dragon, a first-year dog with laurels of his own, both put forth earnest efforts with class.

The pair broke loose at the five lanes for the fifth hour utilized at West Kentucky WMA. The crop field off the breakaway provided a stage for both dogs to be seen reaching to the front. As the turn was made parallel with the cinder road both dogs ran the edge of the corn field with White Dragon slamming to a stop. Schalk called point; however, after diligent flushing efforts no birds were raised. White Dragon ran well and finished his hour birdless.

Dialed In continued forward, making a huge cast after crossing the drainage ditch below the plant. Pendergest pointed her out making the first open crop field after the ditch as she disappeared to the front. Continuing on the course, the next time Dialed In was seen was locked in on two birds down a mowed strip. The birds were flushed and gun fired. With all in order, handler and dog headed to the front. She continued her graceful forward drive despite the mud and muck. At the conclusion of the hour Pendergest pointed out Dialed In headed strong to the front, exactly where she should be.

Runner-up Crouse’s Equalizer ran in the ninth brace with Shagtime Max, setter male. Mike Crouse of Dixon, Ky., owns and handles the white and black pointer male Crouse’s Equalizer, while Chris Cagle owns and handles Shagtime Max.

The ground was still saturated and the temperature just hovering above freezing when the two dogs were turned loose at the third hour on Ogden Landing Road. Unfortunately, Max did not have his best day and was leashed early.

Equalizer owned his hour with his powerful, gritty drive. He edged each field he came to and there was never a doubt this bird dog was hunting. Just over halfway through his hour, Equalizer made the line parallel to the first fishing pond and locked his brakes. A pretty picture, Crouse called point and proceeded to flush a covey for the dog. All in order, handler and athlete continued their performance. Equalizer finished his hour plowing through the puddles under the power lines, underlining his fierce determination to be in the front.


Small’s White Stryker (PM/Mike Small) and Redeemed (PM/J. Pendergest) took off in cold bitter rain and it seemed that as the dogs got stronger so did the rain. Stryker disappeared to the front after the cinder road crossing and was located on point at 35. Small flushed a covey in a thicket just below the handicap lake, a common haunt for feathered game. All was in order as Small handled Stryker back to the front where Redeemed was handling well for Pendergest. As the two dogs made the loop back below the handicap lake Stryker stood tall for the second time, with Redeemed backing. Small was able to fire his pistol a second time. Pendergest, not satisfied with Redeemed’s performance, harnessed his dog. Small’s White Stryker continued his forward performance finishing his hour as the rain lessened.

Breaking away at the five lanes, pointer males Game Wardon and Dunn’s True Reign appeared to have a break in the weather. Much to the disappointment of respective owner-handlers Dr. Fred Corder and Will Dunn that break did not last long. The rain picked back up to steady, as did the two pointers. Game Wardon and True Reign did not let the tough conditions slow them down. Both dogs had a forward race and finished their hour.

With the rain settling in for the day, Small’s Cut Bank (PM/Mike Small) competed against Mac Golva B (SM/Dr. Marion Brown). Cut Bank, a Derby, put forth his best effort, but the cold and wet proved too much as he faded and was picked up at 58. Golva B appeared to be made for the unpleasant weather laying down an earnest effort. The joy of the handler was evident as his grin  showed when he pointed out his dog in the stretches. Mac Golva B stretched out down the power lines for the finish of his hour, proving that the day was not just for ducks.

A short break for lunch allowed for a change into dry clothes and a quick warm up before heading back into the dropping temperatures and the steady downpour.

Phillips Off Line (PM/Small) and Shagtime Zeke (SM/Chris Cagle) broke away to the front to start the afternoon. Zeke took off and was picked up at the half hour mark. Off Line edged the bottom prior to the creek crossing giving the audience a shot of adrenaline in the arm. He handled well to the front after crossing the cinder road into the bean field. Small pointed him out to the front, and as the course bended back to the handicap lake Off Line was not in sight. Dog and handler regained connection within a few minutes and Phillips Off Line finished his hour.

Crouse’s White Dragon and Dialed In were previously covered.

Wrapping up the first day’s running were Pendy’s Good Grace (PF/Matt Pendergest) and Crouse’s Samuri Warlord  (PM/Crouse). Unfortunately, Warlord was gone off the breakaway. Grace had a strong forward race, exhibiting class in the wet and frigid conditions. She finished her hour without birds.

Sunday morning dawned overcast, the ground saturated from the previous day’s precipitation. Although the downpour subsided for day No. 2 the conditions were much the same—wet, cold and gray.

Wibaux Sun B (SM/Dr. Brown) and Shagtime Ole Red (SM/Cagle) were happy to hit the ground wide open Sunday morning. Ole Red pointed birds in the same location Small’s White Stryker had on Saturday. Wibaux Sun B was harnessed after a stop to flush in the same location. Cagle and Ole Red continued on. Ole Red turned in a solid performance for Cagle and finished his hour.

Crouse’s Iron Man (PM/Alan Benson) ran strong and forward the first half hour but had an unexpected absence the second half. He finished his hour but went birdless. Little More Shine (ISF/Tim Hammons) had two finds and covered plenty of ground during her hour.

Crouse’s Equalizer and Shagtime Max’s efforts were detailed earlier.

After the conclusion of the morning running, the judges opted for a quick lunch and change in horses before the final brace.

Game Bo, pointer male owned and handled by Fred Corder, was drawn as a bye for the tenth brace. Bo had a classic stride and handled well for Corder. Approximately midway through his hour Bo swapped ends with his head held high. Corder called point and his first attempted flush was unproductive. The handler asked for a relocation but Bo was sure there was game in front of his nose. Corder made another effort and this time birds were raised. Gun was fired and all was in order. Game Bo continued to the front and finished his hour.

The Region 4 Amateur All-Age Championship drew several top level bird dogs and their performances were worth riding in the rain and cold to enjoy. We appreciate all participants and volunteers who helped make this event a success.

Congratulations to the father-son team of Jim and Matt Pendergest and Champion Dialed In! And congratulations to the father-daughter team of Mike Crouse and Mary Sue Schalk and runner-up Crouse’s Equalizer!

Kevil, Ky., March 14

Judges: Dereck Layne and Buddy Morrison


13 Pointers, 5 Setters and 1 Irish Setter

Winner—DIALED IN, 1655274, pointer female, by Miller’s Dialing In—Rester’s Zumba Girl. Jim Pendergest, owner and handler.

Runner-Up—CROUSE’S EQUALIZER, 1660748, pointer male, by Crouse’s Ebony Masterpiece—Crouse’s Gerri Wind. M. D. Crouse, owner and handler.

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