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“The Southern Showdown”

Southern Open Brittany Shooting Dog Championship

By Kent Cantrell DVM | Jun 13, 2018
The Winners and Contender. From left: Kent Cantrell, Ben Lorenson with Shailorville’s Gunner, the winner; Larron Copeland, judge; Jim Carter, Kyle Merrill with Jake’s Royal Legacy, the runner-up, and Mr. and Mrs. William Gorman with Finn MacCuhal.

Bronwood, Ga. — January 31 started the inaugural running of the Southern Open Brittany Shooting Dog Championship after four successful years as a shooting dog classic.

Five years ago  a request was made  to the American Field/Field Dog Stud Book  for a Brittany shooting dog championship to be held in the Southeast, as there was not one currently in this part of the country. The group involved in starting this event knew it had to produce by finding superior grounds that would show off the best of this breed’s ability as a bird dog while running the country as a shooting dog. In this day I see the availability of quality field trial grounds, with multiple courses on native wild quail, diminishing before our eyes.

With this in mind, the Southern Open Brittany board of directors and participants express the upmost gratitude and appreciation to Larron and Laura Copeland for allowing us to hold this event on their well groomed Showtime Plantation. Larron continues to fine tune the courses and manage the bird population successfully. This year we had more bird work than the previous years, with one dog setting a stake record of six finds in an hour.

The second most difficult task in putting on a quality championship is locating competent, experienced judges who are willing to sit in the saddle for days with full attention on every dog.

Mike Moses of Lake City, Fla., is a successful field trial participant with many accolades, such as winning the National Amateur Free-for-All Championship twice, and noted as producing champions from his breeding program, too. Larron Copeland of Brownwood, Ga., occupied the judicial saddle alongside Mike. He needs no introduction. Larron is a successful competitor in the amateur all-age world, winning several championships, winner and runner-up in the 2017 Region 16 All-Age Championship along with Amateur All-Age Dog of the Year a few years back with Saddle Up Sally. These are just the few accomplishments that I can recall about Mike and Larron in my finite career, as they can judge at any level and their decisions were well respected and accepted.

We would also like to thank Greg Blair and Purina for providing Pro Plan dog food to the winners. We should all feed Pro Plan for the two simple reasons that Purina sets the standard in nutrition and provides overwhelming support to the field trial community. Hopefully we can get Greg Blair to this event one year so we can show our appreciation in person.

No trial that has a continuous course can be run successfully without a dog wagon driver. This year it was Buster Harrington, and we thank you!

THE WINNERS

The early mornings were plagued by fog requiring a delay all three days in turning loose the first brace of dogs, but overall the weather was almost perfect for a field trial.

Named champion was Shailorville’s Gunner, Brittany male owned by Tom Maule of Barnwell, S. C., and handled by Ben Lorenson, competing in brace No. 2 on the second course.

The second course is the tightest of the three courses and takes a dog that wants to run and stay with the handler. Gunner was and barreled out of sight to the front for an extended period of time and was found on point at 15. It was a bold limb find, stood with nice style and manners, that burned a few minutes off the clock. Gunner returned back to the front way ahead of handler. He hunted at moderate range, waiting for handler Lorenson, and when he caught up Gunner rocketed out of sight to the front, again making another big forward cast.

Gunner’s scout Kyle Merrill called point at 38 on another nice limb find after leaving a big field going into the piney woods. The third find was at 42, all in order with a nice high head and tail set. At 46 Gunner was found standing again with proper manners on the flush. The fifth find was at 52 and flawless.

With a couple of minutes to go Gunner and his bracemate rimmed a large cotton field and were found standing at time in a treeline on the far side of the field. Point was called by Lorenson, birds were flushed and Gunner was congratulated by his handler on a spectacular performance.

It was an exemplary display of bird-finding ability that along with his run made it easy for the judges to award Gunner as champion.

The runner-up was Jake’s Royal Legacy, Brittany male owned by Sebastian Ventura of Anderson, S. C., and also handled by Ben Lorenson. “Gabe” was in the 10th brace on course No. 1.

Gabe was noted as running a very nice shooting dog race, staying to the front and rimming the long field edges that this course has to offer. He had one find at 41, which was a single bird that he handled with nice style and impeccable manners. Gabe’s race was strong and reaching, keeping the attention of both judges and the gallery.

The Running

I’m Your Man (Lorenson) ran a big shooting dog race, had finds at 20 and 32, but made one large looping cast and ended up out of pocket for some time. Marjo’s Fille De La Bretagne (Perry) ran a moderate shooting dog race, had a find at 28 and was picked up after taking a few steps after the flush.

The winner, Shailorville’s Gunner,  was previously noted. D H Work Hard Play Harder (Pollock) ran a moderate shooting dog race with three finds at 30, 35 and the last at time as a divided find with Gunner.

Piney Run It’s A Smooth Ride (Lorenson) was picked up at 35. Emma Tayshon was picked up at 55.

Piney Run Jake (Patterson) showed well, running a stretching shooting dog race on course No. 1 with two nice finds at 18 and 24 on which he stood with appealing style and good manners. Jake had the full attention of the judges and the gallery with his flashy ground race and style, until on a find at 36 when he took a few steps after the flush and was up. Finn MacCuhal (Lorenson) made some nice casts during the hour with two quality finds at 25 and 42. The judges made mention of Finn’s performance as pressing and competitive to the winners.

Shailorville’s Tucker (Lorenson) and Stone Creek Jack’d Up GTO (Perry) were both picked up and did not finish the hour.

Thomas Dixie started out nice with a find at 7, standing with a high head and tail set. She then had a prolonged absence and the retrieval unit was called for at 35. Lorenson followed suit at 45 for Piney Run Lily.

Rainbow’s Chik’n McNugget was picked up by Merrill at 45. Prime Time Full Throttle (Cantrell) ran a moderate shooting dog race with finds at 22 and 32, standing his birds with a high head and tail set along with good manners.

Nothin But Trouble (Carter) put on a nice display of bird work on course No. 2 with a pair of finds at 22 and 55. Trouble hunted hard and showed her typical eye-appealing style while standing birds. Waypoint Chancey Big White Cooper (Merrill) ran a strong race and was found standing by Merrill’s scout at 46. After a valiant flushing attempt, Big White was asked to relocate and the birds got up less than ten yards from where he originally stood. He was then picked up.

Chattahoochee AJ (Carter) and Kinwashkly Jd’s Super Hero (Merrill) were picked up midway into the hour.

Runner-up Jake’s Royal Legacy was detailed earlier. T J’s Black Diamond (Perry) had a find at 18 with the birds lifting when the judges and gallery rode to the find. Unfortunately, “Coal” had two unproductives, one at 45 and the second at 58.

Kinwashkly Midnight Rambler (Lorenson) was picked up at 45. Second Amendment (Perry) had a mishap at 45 following a covey that lifted and was picked up.

Marjo’s Leftover (Perry) was out of pocket for a prolonged period and the retrieval unit was out at 45. One Off Kalik Kip (Merrill) finished the hour without bird work.

Sunrise In Tennessee (Misty/Merrill) put on a fine display of bird-finding ability with four bird contacts. The first was at 4 on a covey that remained elusive until the last brace of the trial. Misty showed eye-appealing style on point in all four finds, then at 28 in a divided find with her bracemate decided to go with the birds after the flush. Palmetto Pointe’s Autumn’s Blazing Star (Lorenson) had one back and the divided find, also was too tempted and pursued the covey. Both dogs were put in harnesses and the running was complete.

The directors of the Southern Open Brittany Shooting Dog Championship would like to thank all of the participants for supporting this event and look forward to successful renewal in 2019.

Bronwood, Ga., January 31

Judges: Larron Copeland and Mike Moses

SOUTHERN OPEN BRITTANY SHOOTING DOG CHAMPIONSHIP [One-Hour Heats] — 29 Brittanys

Winner—SHAILORVILLE’S GUNNER, 1649595, male, by Coos Rylee—Queen Alexandra of Shailorville. Tom Maule, owner; Ben Lorenson, handler.

Runner-Up—JAKE’S ROYAL LEGACY, 1615345, male, by Rimarda’s Rebel Jake—Poison Ivy. Sebastian Ventura, owner; Ben Lorenson, handler.

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