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Field Trial Report

Region 5 Amateur All-Age Championship

By Sean Patrick Derrig | Jun 11, 2019
Championship Winner. From left: Judge Aaron McAfee, Sean Patrick Derrig with Erin’s Coin Toss, owner-handler Brian Sheehan and Judge Tim Penn.

Chandlerville, Ill. — The Piasa Pointer and Setter Club hosted the Region 5 Amateur All-Age Championship at the Jim Edgar Panther Creek Wildlife Area outside Chandlerville, Ill., the weekend February 22-24. The chairman would like to personally thank all who attended.

The Jim Edgar Panther Creek venue features three consecutive one-hour courses with mature forest, agricultural land, and prairie grasslands that are home to many species of wildlife including bobwhite quail and ringneck pheasant. During the event we lost count of the pheasants seen during the trial as multiple dogs had more than one pheasant contact.

We had entries from seven different states including Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, Indiana and Illinois.

Region 5 hosted a dinner for all handlers in attendance at Lost Ranchero’s in Petersburg, Ill., after Saturday’s running. The dinner was enjoyed by all and Region 5 held its annual meeting after dinner.

A successful trial is not possible without a supportive team. The scribe would like to personally thank Pat Sheehan for bird planting, Jeff Wagoner for generously marshalling each brace, Rich Lake for driving the dog wagon and Brian Sheehan for helping with all aspects of hosting the Championship.

This year Region 5 Director Tim Penn of Edina, Mo., returned to judge with Aaron McAfee of Clinton, Ill. Both men have bred, raised and developed champion setters and pointers, respectively. They gave each dog their undivided attention and volunteered their time through adverse weather conditions.

The weather this year ranged from a beautiful 45° sunny day to rain, mist and 35 mph wind. Dogs, handlers and the gallery fought the elements, but smiles were seen on faces throughout the event.

Special thanks to Greg Blair and Purina for their continued support of Region 5 supplying dog food to the winners.

THE WINNERS

This year’s winner, emerging from the entry of 32 dogs, was Erin’s Coin Toss,   six-year-old white and liver ticked pointer male owned and handled by Brian Sheehan of Carol Stream, Ill. Coin Toss ran the last brace of the trial in a 35+ mph wind. While the conditions seemed bleak, the mostly white pointer shot away from the primitive campground like a rocket.

Braced with Dr. Pat McInteer’s Nemaha Night Hawk, the two dogs started taking out large chunks of the country. After crossing the C9 parking lot, both dogs took the left edge deep to the front. Night Hawk swung first to establish point at 12. Coin Toss went farther, swinging to Sheehan and then heading back to the No. 1 course. He was quickly gathered up and back on course. During this time Night Hawk had an unproductive, then went another 100 yards to establish point and a second unproductive.

After a road crossing, Coin Toss took the fingers reaching along the timberline for the next objective. Coin Toss faded to the front continuing to hunt the timberline and was found pointing. Sheehan put to flight a quail for Coin Toss’ first find. Coin Toss was released and continued to hunt objectives and edges through the remainder of the field.

Responding well in the conditions Coin Toss was gathered up at the gravel road and sent west through the switchgrass. He was found standing dead to the front on a single quail. From there he knocked out the following crop fields and was found pointing up front just to the right of the course for his third find. His manners, as always, were impeccable. From there he continued to devour large tracts of country and was gone for 10 minutes before being found at 55 to the front for his fourth and final find.

The last five minutes really sealed the deal in the scribe’s mind as Sheehan sent Coin Toss directly into the 35 mph wind and the dog took two large crop fields in before fading away to the right as time was called.

Runner-up laurels were awarded to Touch’s Smooth Rider, five-year-old white and orange ticked pointer male  owned and handled by Keith Wright of Covington, Ind. Smooth Rider was braced with Erin’s Wild Rum, owned and handled by Mark Johnson of Winnebago, Ill.

The two dogs had everyone in the gallery on edge as they also ran the second  course and devoured country. Both dogs made the loop at the primitive campgrounds to the C9 parking lot and were put on the left edge. Smooth Rider and Wild Rum were barely visible in the morning haze and took the outside edge as far as one could see into the country. Wild Rum came back while Smooth Rider could be seen hunting deeper to the front.

As we neared Watkins Road point was called for Smooth Rider off to the right. This find proved to be unproductive. As Smooth Rider was catching the front, he came in to honor Wild Rum which had a find at 15. Smooth Rider and Wild Rum worked the left woodsedge until 22 when they were found standing. Smooth Rider was awarded the find, Wild Rum honoring.

They were gathered at the gravel road and sent into the switchgrass where both dogs made the U-turn loop with ease. Wild Rum was found pointing off to the right before crossing the gravel road on an excellent pheasant find with two roosters cackling as they lifted. Smooth Rider continued to take in large tracts of country and was found pointing at 48 for his third find. Wild Rum and Smooth Rider went through the timber and had a divided rabbit find.

They continued to hammer the front, with Smooth Rider the stronger as we approached the hour. Just before pickup, Smooth Rider slammed point for his fourth and final find, Wild Rum coming in for the back. Both dogs had been a pleasure to watch with Smooth Rider being stronger throughout the hour.

Other dogs that gave worthy performances included Small’s White Stryker in the first brace of the trial and Pendy’s Good Grace which ran an impressive hour but failed to locate game.

The Piasa Club and Region 5 also thank the handlers who attended this event along with Purina and Greg Blair for their continued support. We appreciate everyone’s positive feedback for the grounds and look forward to seeing everyone again.

Chandlerville, Ill., February 22

Judges: Aaron McAfee and Tim Penn

REGION 5 AMATEUR ALL-AGE CHAMPIONSHIP [One-Hour Heats] —

30 Pointers and 2 Vizslas

Winner—ERIN’S COIN TOSS, 1652008, pointer male, by Erin’s Wild Justice—Georgia Sunshine. Brian Sheehan, owner and handler.

Runner-Up—TOUCH’S SMOOTH RIDER, 1661245, pointer male, by Touch’s Knight Rider—Burrow’s Sinbad Lady. Keith Wright, owner and handler.

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