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Field Trial Report

United States Amateur Derby Invitational

By Ike Todd and Jim Atchison | May 01, 2021
Photo by: Vera Courtney The Starting Lineup. Front (l to r): David Russell with Como Thunder, Mike Small with Small’s White Charger, Mason Ashburn with Nosam’s Lady Like, Jonathan Burch with Burch’s Set em Up Joe, Steve Auxier with Intensive Turnin n Burnin, and Mitch Solt with Intensive Nitty Gritty. (Back, l to r): Chris Cagle with Shagtime Scott, Jay Lewis with Bocomo Dutchman, Doug Meyer with Greypointe Padre, Derek Bonner with Bonner’s Hot Rize, Matt Pendergest with Storm’s End, and Quintin Wiseman with Great Nation.

Grovespring, Mo. — Thie second running of the United States Amateur Derby Invitational Classic was held April 16-18 at the Sportsman's Association grounds in Grovespring, Mo.

This will be an unusual article in that part of it is a report written by Ike Todd, from his prospective as a judge, and part is written by Jim Atchison.

Atchison was planning to report the trial, but his plans were changed after a horse wreck sent him to the Lebanon, Mo., hospital with four fractured lower lumbar vertebrae.

Andy Daugherty, the other judge, would have been glad to help, but those who have been to Grovespring know the limitations of trying to use electronics there.

THE COMPETITION

By Ike Todd

Friday morning, the first brace  saw Bocomo Dutchman, with Jay Lewis, paired with Greypointe Padre, Doug Meyer. Both started slowly, showing immaturity in the big bottoms of the first course. Both got noticeably better as their heat progressed. Neither had game.

In the second brace, Storm's End (Matt Pendergest) had a fancy, forward race until 35 when she missed the turn back up the hill leaving Sycamore Bottom. Pendergest didn’t come for the retrieval device until 45. She was braced with Bonner’s Hot Rize (Derek Bonner), which had a forward, strong race for the full 45. He also didn’t connect with birds during the heat, but did suffer an unproductive at time.

Intensive Nitty Gritty (Steve Auxie) and Small’s White Charger (Mike Small) were in the third brace. Regrettably, Nitty Gritty was ordered up for chasing birds early in the brace. Charger ran an animated, smooth race, only marred slightly by being behind at pickup. He showed world's of class and a light, merry gait.

The first brace after lunch finally saw some of the contenders on game. Como Thunder (David Russell) ran a nice 45 minutes with a mannerly find right at pickup backed by Great Nation (Quintin Wiseman for Jason Brook). Great Nation ran a nice race as well as tallying the back at time, as well as his own find midway through the heat.

No. 5 saw Intensive Turnin n Burnin (Steve Auxier) run a very strong and slightly immature race with Shagtime Scott (Chris Cagle). Scott was lost slightly after breakaway with Cagle getting the retrieval unit at time.

Burch’s Set em Up Joe and Nosam’s Lady Like were in the final brace on Friday. Lady Like ran a moderate, animated race. Joe left with a purpose. He was missing in the Climer Pastures, coming in on his own accord though, slightly from behind. He scored once on birds and showed no sign of fatigue.

Saturday morning saw Intensive Turnin n Burnin and Como Thunder both make good use of the big bottoms on the first course. Rain from the night before improved scenting conditions tremendously. Como Thunder had an infraction on birds in the Island Field and was ordered up. Burnin continued on strongly, having a find on the right edge, just before Horse Killer Hill, late in the brace.

In the second brace, Shagtime Scott had a mannerly, high-styled find early. As he was catching up, Burch’s Set em Up Joe was spied on point. As everyone rode to Joe’s find, Scott went with them and failed to back, when he was ordered up. Joe was mannerly on his birds and used the remainder of his time to run his course to the extreme.

In No. 3 were  Nosam’s Lady Like and Great Nation. Great Nation went on a bird-finding spree, tallying five finds in his 45 minutes with good style on all. Lady Like had several mannerly backs and an improved ground effort from the day before.

Bonner’s Hot Rize and Greypointe Padre had the big hay bottoms after lunch. Unfortunately, Padre chased birds early to end his bid. Hot Rize made good use of the bottoms, at times maybe being over handled, but overall a pleasurable heat with three mannerly finds.

The fifth brace was action packed between Storm's End and Small’s White Charger. Both were credited with several finds, with Storm’s End suffering an unproductive at time. She showed lots of heart as her pads were torn from the previous day’s running. Though she never quit, her gait and speed were affected. Charger again appeared fresh, as his name might imply.

In the last brace, Bocomo Dutchman ran as a bye since Intensive Nitty Gritty was ordered up the day before. Dutchman started slow, experienced a long absence, then came back to have two mannerly finds near time.

CALLED BACK AND STANDBY DOGS

Burch’s Set em Up Joe was called back first with Small’s White Charger. They struck out strong on the cool, wet morning. Charger scored early on the birds that were the undoing of Greypointe Padre theday before. Joe wasn’t seen until several minutes into the brace when Burch raised his cap for a good find in the right front. As the two progressed together, Charger scored again at about 20, while Joe was making more tracks. When they entered the big fields before the turn into the Island Field, Charger had his third mannerly find on the right side, with still no sign of Joe. Charger made short work of the Island Field and wasn’t seen until the top of Horse Killer Hill. There he was sent one more time and again showed a light, effortless gait as he went out of sight as time was called. The device was requested for Joe.

In the second brace, both Bonner’s Hot Rize and Great Nation made strong bids. Great Nation had less jump than the days before but went on gamely. He suffered an extended absence early in the brace. Point was called for him far to the front after time. When the judges arrived, birds were said to have flown. Hot Rize got started early, having a nice find off in enough cover that Bonner almost missed him. From there he showed beautifully in Sycamore Bottom, eventually being found at the end of it on the left and on point for a nice find. He was directed out of the bottom, up the hill to the left where he ran the left side for his third mannerly find. His gait was little changed from the first day, showing plenty of bottom and determination on all three days.

Both Intensive Turnin n Burnin and Storm’s End were placed on standby, but were not called for.

Both judges remarked on what a high-quality field this was and that there were many creditable performances.

Grovespring, Mo., April 16

Judges: Andy Daugherty and Ike Todd

UNITED STATES AMATEUR DERBY INVITATIONAL

[Forty-Five-Minute Heats on two Consecutive Days;

Forty-Five-Minute Finals]  — 12 Pointers

Winner—SMALL’S WHITE CHARGER, 1687724, male, by Phillips Off Line—Phillips North Line. Mike Small, owner and handler.

Runner-Up—BONNER’S HOT RIZE, 1687893, male, by Miller’s Speed Dial—Miller’s Martha White. Jannie Chapman, owner; Derek Bonner, handler.

A POSTSCRIPT—ACKNOWLEGEMENTS AND THANK-YOUS

BY Jim Atchison

While many field trial clubs are struggling to survive, the United States Amateur Derby Invitational Club is not. In its second year of existence, this club continues to be on fire, thanks to the energy and efforts of Quintin and Tasha Wiseman and those who helped them.

The following, presented chronologically of the four days at Grovespring, will share some of the character of this outstanding field trial.

During the day on Thursday, April 15, most of the handlers, judges, members of the hosting Association and others arrived at the outstanding facilities of the conservation area used for the trial. Missourians who regularly use and take care of the facilities at Grovespring and were here throughout the trial included Jay Lewis, George Hill, Eddie and Nathan Berendzen, and Andy Daugherty, who was also judging.

The Wisemans arrived late in the afternoon and soon the clubhouse was filled with trophy saddles, guns, jackets, gift bags, and numerous boxes, bags, and coolers of food. A social hour began and lasted until 7:00 p.m., when Quintin called for everyone’s attention and thanked them for being here.

His comments started by acknowledging the generous sponsorship of Purina, and he and Jim Atchison conducted the drawing. As each competing handler’s dog was drawn in the first round, the handler received a jacket, cap and gift bag. Each jacket was embroidered with the handler’s name, the Purina logo, 2021, and the Invitational logo. The judges were introduced and they and the reporter received the same gifts.

Tasha Wiseman had hot breakfast casseroles prepared early Friday morning and the first brace was released at 8:00 a.m.  Quintin and Tasha were back to the clubhouse in time to have lunch ready for everyone and did the same in the late afternoon to enable everyone to enjoy a dinner of pork loin and all the sides. Joy Lester and Nathan Berendzen were frequently in the kitchen helping the Wisemans with those duties.

The second day of running, meals and accommodations for participants went much the same as the first. Yet, prior to the evening meal of amazingly delicious, perfectly cooked, medium rare beef tenderloin, Quintin made introductions, thanking Purina and many people for their donations and help, and sharing the details of the past twelve months of planning and effort that enabled the four days at Grovespring to be outstanding.

He again thanked Greg Blair and Purina for their sponsorship, which included advertising, a pallet of dog food which enabled every competing handler to receive one bag, the winner to receive eight more, and the runner-up four more, plus agreeing to underwrite the expenses of the Saturday night dinner and numerous items contained in the gift bags. Next, he asked John Burch to draw the winner of the raffle for a Beretta Silver Pigeon shotgun, which was won by Marty Robinson from Carrollton, Ga. The shotgun, costing more than $2,000 was given, to be used as a major fundraiser, by Phil and Melissa Town, who own Rule One Investing and are Wiseman’s friends and clients.

Henry Golden Boy .22 caliber repeating rifles were then presented to the owners of the high point dogs of the Central and Eastern Regions.  The rifles, with the Invitational’s logo and the dog’s names engraved in the brass, were presented to Steve Auxier, from Lincoln, Neb., for Intensive Turnin n Burnin of the Central Region, and to David Russell, from Como, Miss., for Como Thunder of the Eastern Region. David Russell was also presented the Jim Crouse Memorial Award, an engraved silver plague for the National High Point Dog, Como Thunder.

Wiseman then talked about the saddles built by Jeff Haggis, of Jack Haggis Saddle in Glencoe Ontario, Canada, that would be awarded to the handlers of the winner and runner-up. Those saddles were bought by Mitch Solt and an anonymous donor. He also told about the saddles made by Bob Johnson of B and B Tack in Albany, Ga., that had been won earlier in the year by Mike Small for Small’s White Charger and Derek Bonner for Bonner’s Hot Rize, as winners of the regional Super Qualifiers.  Coincidentally, Wiseman did not know on Saturday evening that before noon the next day, Mike Small and Derek Bonner would also win the Haggis saddles. The same two men would win all four saddles.

Several other awards were announced. The winning handler would receive a Garmin tracking collar, thanks to the generosity of Garmin and Dean Reinke. The winning scout would receive a pair of custom-made chaps donated by Patty Ewer of Custom Leather and Canvas in Thomasville, Ga. A portrait of the winning dog would be commissioned and created by Leah Brigham and a portrait of the runner-up, created on a turkey feather, would be donated by Mike Kearney of Trophy Bone Artistry.

Next, Wiseman spoke of the awesome generosity of three professional trainers who made donations that generated a lot of revenue to boost the funding of the Invitational Club.  Ike Todd, Jamie Daniels, and Mark McLean each donated one spot for a dog, for training in their summer camps. Those were auctioned. Todd’s donation was bought by Gary Lester, who then donated the spot back to the Invitational enabling it to be auctioned again and bought by Keith Wright. Jamie Daniels’ donation was bought by Dennis Sneed and Mark McLean’s summer of training was purchased by Doug Meyer.

The mention of professional trainers led Wiseman into introducing and thanking the judges, both highly respected professionals, Andy Daugherty and Ike Todd. While speaking of the judges, he referred to them as a Hall of Famer and a future Hall of Famer, and they were welcomed with appreciation and applause.

Others who worked throughout the trial were recognized. They included George Hill who drove the dog wagon, Gary Lester who marshaled, Eddie and Nathan Berendzen who planted birds, and everyone’s sweetheart, Vera Courtney of Hickory Valley, Tenn., who surprised Wiseman by arriving to take photographs throughout the weekend. He introduced Jim Atchison, the reporter, praised Tasha’s wonderful support, and also thanked Joy Lester and Nathan Berendzen who had faithfully helped with the meals.

Jay Lewis, one of the Invitational's committee members, was close by and helped wherever needed throughout the four days. In addition to Lewis, members of the Invitational Committee serving with Quintin and Tasha Wiseman were Todd Babbel, Whitley Stephenson, and Rich Heaton. Wiseman commented that the committee members communicated year-round, discussing ways to make the trial better and keep it strong.

Their efforts, coupled with the contributions of generous donors, enthusiastic workers, outstanding judges, and the performances of the twelve best amateur Derbies in the nation, certainly made the second running of the United States Amateur Derby Invitational a huge success. The continuing enthusiasm and energy of the leaders of this club will certainly ensure that the United States Amateur Derby Invitational Club will not become a field trial club that is struggling to survive.

 

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