American Field

Missouri State Amateur All-Age Classic

Whetstone Bird Dog Club

By Jay Lewis | Feb 12, 2018
Nemaha Cinch First in the Missouri State Amateur Shooting Dog Stake

Grovespring, Mo. — As the participants started to stir throughout the valley, a heavy frost covered the ground; 18° in the quaint village of Grovespring, Mo., and the contestants and hosts were busy preparing for the breakaway of the Missouri State All-Age Classic and companion stakes.

Judges Doug Meyer of Tonganoxie, Kan., and Jim Lawless of Sparta, Ill., met at the line and ordered those three little words that all competitors love to hear, “Let ’em loose”. It was pondered whether the frost was too crisp to run for fear of cutting the pads but excitement won out and the handlers gave chase.

The Missouri State All-Age Classic has waned over the years and Rich Lewis and Eddie Berendzen decided it was time to breathe new life into this historic trial.

I remember when I was just a boy when trialers from all around the country would come to Missouri with their best charges and vie for the winners’ circle at the Classic. To win the Missouri State Classic was an accomplishment and bragged about for years in the back rooms, stalls, trailers and tailgates where the performances were relived over and over again.

This year it was decided to offer a saddle as prize of this prestigious stake. Richard Lewis and Eddie Berendzen spared no expense or detail to renew this competition. Eight handlers brought 16 dogs from three states in the quest for the saddle and bragging rights for years to come. Judges Doug Meyer and Jim Lawless rode with keen eyes and anticipation of a championship performance.

The Sportsmen’s Association had plentiful birds and adequate cover to offer a splendid venue. Every brace had bird contact and the quail were found in large coveys proving the pre-release program here is working extremely well. This early season program has outdone itself this year and the weather cooperated to offer a tremendous ground race and game finding opportunities for all braces. If you didn’t make it to this trial you missed one for the record books.

The winner and runner-up of this year’s All-Age Classic came from the fourth brace Friday afternoon. Classic winner Nemaha Boot, pointer male handled by Dr. Pat McInteer of Falls City, Neb., was braced with runner-up S F Strongwind, pointer male owned by Nathan Berendzen and handled by father Eddie Berendzen of Higbee, Mo.

The action started quickly with a find at 11 by Strongwind with Boot backing. Eddie walked in and a large covey lifted with both dogs standing tall and mannerly. Loosed again Boot stood with birds at 17 along bottoms edge, all in order. At 20 Boot swapped ends just in front of Strongwind, which stopped abruptly for a back as birds lifted and shot fired. McInteer loosed Boot and both dogs were racing along field edge. At 28 Boot stopped again along creek line for a covey and Strongwind carried on into next field taking the front for the next 20 minutes. McInteer, trying to catch up, had another find at 46, all in order, and raced on to regain the front as both dogs turned the corner and disappeared. They were found at 53 with a divided find. Both dogs were high and tight as handlers walked in front for flight of another covey and shots were fired. At this point all eyes present knew the bar had been set.

Strongwind and Boot were sent away to finish the hour running on separate edges fading away as time was called. These two dogs held the top spots for the entire trial. At the end of day No. 2 the announcements were made. Dr. Pat McInteer posed his dog with saddle showing as Nathan Berendzen stood beside with S F Strongwind for runner-up honors. This was a great display for the renewal of the Missouri State All- Age Classic. The brace by brace follows.


Bocomo Hawk (Lewis) and R R Craftsman (Berendzen) broke away on the first course with heavy frost and crisp weather. At 25 Craftsman stood for birds as we have seen this white and black pointer female do many times before this season. She has been on fire early this season placing in most every trial she was loosed. She finished the rest of the brace running hard to the front with no other bird contacts. Hawk had a find at 35 standing tall. As handler approached birds lifted and Hawk went with them. His quest for the saddle was over as swiftly as it began.

Westfall’s Black Cloud (Lewis) and Nemaha Nighthawk (McInteer) were turned loose at little vine loop and headed up the hill. Nighthawk found birds in path at 5 with good manners. Cloud faded away to the front. At 25 Cloud stood with Hawk backing. As birds were flushed both dogs were mannerly. Dogs were sent on and Cloud took the bit and headed out the front, not be seen again. The retrieval unit was taken by Lewis. Hawk finished the hour with no more birds.

Brace No. 3 was a bye dog as Steve Auxier and Working Class could not make it at the last minute. Lou Qualtiere’s pointer male Delight had the course to himself. At 30 Delight suffered an unproductive in a known location and at 50 as we neared the clubhouse Lou decided to end his bid.

The winners in No. 4 were noted.

Django (Babbel) had a find at 20 on a large covey at the end of sycamore bottoms and ran on until 40 when Todd decided to pull the plug as he was just not firing on all cylinders. Unusual for Django. At 15 Spot (Berendzen) had an unproductive stand then went on to have a find at 35 with all in order. Spot finished his hour with one find.

I’m A Redneck Flirt (Babbel) scored four finds and covered the country as a seasoned veteran even though she is young. At 20, 30, 45 and 50 she stood tall and quivering with excitement.

Bocomo Rose (Lewis) had a find at 15 and chose to take them out like a puppy as handler called point, then ran on another twenty yards and put another covey in the air. She was loaded into the wagon by a disappointed handler No. 7 was a bye dog handled by Larry Smith. Setter female Prairie Souix  was drawn with Frontline Shaq but Chris Livingston could not make it to the trial and scratched his two dogs. Souix had a false stand at 5 followed by a find at 25, all in order, and another find at 40 at the bottom of horse killer hill for a two-find performance, but not enough to be considered.

No.  8 featured the well known winner S F Bandwagon (Larry Smith). All waited in anticipation of this bye dog in the final brace. Bandwagon ran hard to the front for 10 minutes and pointed, only to knock the birds and all watched as Larry rode to put a rope on him to end the All-Age Classic.

Grovespring, Mo., December 8

Judges: Jim Lawless and Doug Meyer

MISSOURI STATE AMATEUR ALL-AGE CLASSIC [One-Hour Heats] — 15 Pointers and 1 Setter

Winner—NEMAHA BOOT, 1651910, pointer male, by Nemaha City Slicker—Nemaha Tinker Bell. Dr. Pat McInteer, owner and handler.

Runner-Up—S F STRONGWIND, 1645211, pointer male, by S F McKenzie—Greypointe Gloriosa. Nathan Berendzen, owner; Eddie Berendzen, handler.


The Amateur (All-Age) Derby accompanied this Classic with a field of six entered and five making the gate. Nemaha Rio (McInteer) ran alone as handler Auxier could not make the stake this weekend. Rio scored two broke finds and ran a moderate race to earn first place in his 30-minute bid.

Both Nemaha Free Loader (McInteer) and Bocomo Cherry (Lewis) were running the edges in search of game. At 15 Free Loader had a find and then his race shortened some but he finished. Cherry had a buried-up find in briars on top of hill before the twin barns. Shot was fired and Cherry was sent to the front to finish running hard on right side into the bull pasture for second.

The Amateur Shooting Dog Classic  drew a field of five presided over by Doug Meyer and the scribe, Jay Lewis.

Nemaha Boot (McInteer) was lost at 25. Pete (Lawless) had a stop to flush at 5 and another at 20 and finished his hour hunting heavy cover.

Brace No. 2  had the winners, Nemaha Cinch (McInteer) and Ten Oaks Annie A (Jeanette Heise). Birds were plentiful still in this brace. Cinch won the stake with a find at 15 backed by Annie, another find at 25 and a find at 55, all in order. Annie had her back at 15, a find at 50 on a lone bird and another find to finish at 55 for second place.

The final brace of the trial was Jim Lawless and his young female Pink  which had an unproductive at 20, then went on to have a find at 30 by the cemetery where she could not contain herself with the birds lifting as she stepped in at 30 to end her bid and the trial.

This running of the Missouri State Classic was one to be remembered. Many birds were pointed and flew like wild in large coveys and many more birds were ridden up by the gallery and scouts. The Grovespring venue is an excellent place to show a big running dog with edges and lines fading away with many large coveys of birds to test the skill and style of all ages and breeds.

The Sportsmen’s Association  is to be commended for their leadership of grooming and maintaining these grounds to afford all competitors the chance to show their wares.

If you haven’t been to these grounds recently you need to put them on your calendar for a fun filled time of competition and camaraderie.

See you at the line!

OPEN DERBY — 6 Pointers

1st—NEMAHA RIO, 1668952, male, by Nemaha Free Style—Wiggins Snow Rebel. Dr. Pat McInteer, owner and handler.

2d—BOCOMO CHERRY, 1677071, female, by Westfall’s Black Cloud—Bocomo Hot Dotty. Jay Lewis, owner and handler.

Judges: Jay Lewis and Doug Meyer


[One-Hour Heats] — 5 Pointers

1st—NEMAHA CINCH, 1658376, male, by Nemaha City Slicker—Nemaha Copper. Dr. Pat McInteer, owner and handler.

2d—TEN OAKS ANNIE A, 1658799, female, by Erin’s Brave Heart—Nathan’s Sis. Louis Qualtiere & Jeanette Heise, owners; Jeanette Heise, handler.

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