American Field

Field Trial Report

Region 4 Amateur Walking Shooting Dog Championship

By Mary Sue Schalk | Jan 11, 2019
The Winners. From left to right: Jim Duncan; Bill Vest, Judge; Joe Hopkins with Champion All Out; Mary Sue Schalk; Jeff Hainline with Runner-Up Hainline’s Silver Star;  and Bill Hoover, Judge.

Berea, Ky. — Sixteen dogs were drawn for the 2018 Region 4 AFTCA Walking Shooting Dog Championship, and of the sixteen drawn ten were previous champions or runner-up champions—a high class field.

Bill Hoover of Felicity, Ohio and Bill Vest of Ezel, Ky., occupied the judicial saddles for the event. Both gentlemen are seasoned bird dog men. Their attentiveness to the canine athletes and their handlers was much appreciated during the two-day event.

The morning of November 16 dawned clear and with fresh snow on the already soft ground. Crow Creek Sugarbaby, pointer female, owned and handled by Ken Black was paired with Hainline’s Rock’n Roller, white and liver pointer male, owned and handled by Jeff Hainline. Rock’n Roller struck first with a find at 12. Sugarbaby moved well on the ground, however was out of sight for too long and the tracker was asked for at 27. Jeff Hainline continued with his Pointer male with another find at 28 and 43. Rock & Roller set the bar high for the stake with his first hour performance.

Warchief’s Medicine Man, a young pointer male, owned and handled by Jim Duncan ran with Joe Hopkins’ setter male All Out in the second hour.

Duncan was not pleased with Medicine Man and harnessed him within the first fifteen minutes. All Out is a hardworking, flashy four-year-old. He moves forward with power and handles very well. He had finds at 5, 20 and 35. All bird work was classy and well managed by both dog and handler. At 40 “Nick” styled up in what appeared to be an open field, Hopkins flushed but was unable to raise a bird. When asked to relocate, the dog worked the area diligently and dialed in beautifully. This time when Hopkins flushed the bird flew immediately. The young setter’s performance earned his first championship title. This is also the first title for owner/handler, 4th generation grouse hunter Joe Hopkins.

In the hour before the lunch break, Hainline’s Silver Star, the 2016 NBHA Futurity Winner, was paired with Vitali’s Grouseringer Tony. The setter male Tony was leashed early after movement on bird work. With snow still on the ground Hainline’s Silver Star set to work. Within 5 minutes, Star stood. Although stylish and in a prime location, no birds were raised. The white and black pointer female rolled on and at 25 point was called for the second time. With birds walking away, Hainline was able to fire his gun this find. The white and black pointer female powered though her hour with finds at 35, 37, 55 and 59, five in all including a find of wild birds.

The 2017-2018 Illinois Amateur Walking Shooting Dog of the Year added another feather to her cap in earning the runner-up laurels for this championship.

After lunch, graciously prepared by Donna Boatright, Mary Sue Schalk ran pointer male Crouse’s Smokin’ Joe with Magda Lear’s and Jaguar Za Czeshka, a setter male. Smokin’ Joe had a nice find in Dewey Bottoms, but after he crossed the creek he disappeared to the front not to be seen again. Jaguar had four finds and hunted earnestly for the hour. Unfortunately, at pickup he could not be located and the retrieval unit used.

The final brace on Friday, Vitali’s Grouseringer Razzle ran solo. The flashy setter female had her first of three finds in Dewey bottoms. Razzle held fast as birds got up like popcorn all around as Vitali flushed. She had two more stylish finds in her hour, however at the end of her hour she could not be found. The retrieval device was once again called on for location.

Saturday morning was delayed until 9:30 a.m. due to a heavy fog over the wildlife area. The ground was still quite soggy, especially after the snow on Friday morning.

In the first brace, Quail Trap Will ran with Hershner’s Grouse Gunner. Dave Hawk owns and handles Will, and Scott Hershner owns and handles Gunner.

Hershner leashed his setter male early after movement on his first and only find. Quail Trap Will ran forward with style and a fair range. He finished his hour with two solid finds and an unproductive.

Setter male French’s Wizard of Oz and pointer male Duncan’s War Chief were paired for the final hour of the stake. Brian French is the owner/handler of Oz and Jim Duncan owns and handled Chief. Both dogs were strong to the front off the breakaway. Oz returned from the front with a dead bird and was ordered up. Chief did not reappear and the tracker was asked for at the 20-minute mark wrapping up the trial.

The Region 4 AFTCA Walking Shooting Dog Championship was a high quality event made possible by several people.

Purina generously provided bags of feed to the winners and hats. Terry Boatright planted birds ever morning and scouted for several participants. Donna Boatright made coffee every morning and ensured that all were well fed each day.

Pam and Buster Tucker also helped throughout the weekend. All competitors were active participants in helping one another and to ensure the success of the trial.

Jim Duncan, the host of the event, set the tone with his friendly smile and helpful attitude. His encouraging words and enthusiasm for the sport will be missed.

Not enough can be said of those who welcomed and helped everyone involved in the Region 4 AFTCA Walking Shooting Dog Championship. Congratulations to Joe Hopkins and Jeff Hainline in their victories, and good luck to all as the season continues.

Unfortunately, two weeks after the trial Jim Duncan died unexpectedly on November 30 at age 63. He was very welcoming and encouraging to ALL participants at this trial. Region 4 extends our deepest sympathy to his family and friends.

Berea, Ky., November 16 — One Course

Judges: Bill Hoover and Bill Vest


Winner—ALL OUT, 1658806, setter male, by All In—Walnut Hills Rocket On Point. Joseph & Brittany Hopkins, owners; Joseph Hopkins, handler.

Runner-Up—HAINLINE’S SILVER STAR, 1655907, pointer female, by Silver’s Knight Rider—Fancy Fiddler Girl. Jeff Hainline, owner and handler.

Comments (1)
Posted by: Joseph Hopkins | Jan 12, 2019 13:10

Kentucky is and will be for the foreseeable future a hotbed for the some of the best walking shooting dogs in the country.

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