Event: USCSDA Spring Walking Trial
Result: Big Sky Field Trial Club
Location: Barber, Montana
Post Date: Nov 13, 2023
Submitted By: Taylor Todd
Open Shooting Dog Winners (front, l-r): Sweet Grass Skipper with David Huffine, Sweet Grass Skeeter with Mandy Drysdale, and Touch's Micro Dot with Sonny Clark. (Standing): An unknown visitor, George Isham, Johnny Banks, Ann Kunsak, John Holt, Brad McCardle, Taylor Todd, and Alex Rickert (judge).
This year's fall USCSDA trial was hosted by the Big Sky Field Trial Club at the Table Rock Ranch in Barber, Montana, on September 16 and 17. Over 30 dogs were entered in four different stakes for the weekend. A late wave of fall heat swept over central Montana, creating difficult conditions for both the dogs and handlers, but fun was still had, and birds were found throughout the two days of running.
Table Rock Ranch harbors good populations of native sharptail grouse as well as Hungarian partridge and pheasants. As an all-wild bird trial, the variability of birds is always a concern, and this weekend, birds were more scarce compared to previous outings at the ranch, but there were still enough birds for dogs to showcase their talents. BSFTC would like to thank the Rickert family for their kind hospitality and allowing the use of the grounds for trials throughout the year. The bird habitat is pristine, and it's truly hard to beat watching bird dogs run on this property.
Judging the Open Shooting Dog and Open Derby were Alex Rickert of Bozeman, Montana, and Marcos Puiggari of Missoula, Montana. Both Alex and Marcos bring years of experience watching bird dogs, and the club thanks them for their time in the saddle.
All placements in the Open Shooting Dog were based on the dogs' race, with first place awarded to Sweet Grass Skipper, a white and orange male setter who is owned and handled by David Huffine. Skipper ran big through the large CRP field at Table Rock Ranch while staying forward and aware of his handler.
Second place went to Sweet Grass Skeeter, a white and orange male setter owned by David Huffine. Skeeter was forward and strong during his half-hour and kept a stylish gate that caught the eye of many in the gallery.
Third place went to the beautiful Touch's Micro Dot, a female pointer owned and handled by Sonny Clark. Dot drew an afternoon brace in the heat of the day and proved tremendous heat tolerance by finishing nearly as strong as she started the brace. However, her handler succumbed to the Montana heat at about 10 minutes, and a substitute, David Huffine, stepped in to help Dot finish the 30 minutes. The effort by Dot, David, and Sonny was highly applauded when placements were called.
The Open Derby had 12 dogs competing, and better scenting conditions led to more bird work for the young dogs. First place went to LBF Up In Smoke, which is owned and handled by Brad McCardle. Smoke had a broke stop to flush early in the brace and finished with a strong race to secure the win.
Second place went to Bridgers Insane Bolt, a white and liver male pointer owned and handled by John Holt. Willy pointed a young pheasant on course 1 at Table Rock while running a nice forward and biddable pattern to showcase his future potential.
Third place went to Sweet Grass Scout, a white and orange setter female owned and handled by David Huffine. Scout ran an animated race with a high and happy tail that made her a pleasure to watch.
The third stake run by the BSFTC was Open Puppy, and it was judged by Mandy Drysdale and Brad McCardle. First place went to Crazy Mountain Pearl, a female setter handled by David Huffine. Second place went to Table Rock's Mocking Jay, a pointer female handled by Frank Ilijanic. Third place went to Seranoa's I Love Lucy, a pointer female handled by John McIltrot.
The fun and exciting weekend of walking trials was wrapped up with the Amateur Gun Dog, which was also judged by Mandy Drysdale and Brad McCardle. Six dogs were entered, and two placements were awarded. First place went to Dun Rovens Lonesome Call, a male setter owned and handled by Frank Ilijanic. Dutch ran a nice forward race in the heat to secure first place in the stake.
Second went to Passione's Point Breeze, a male setter owned and handled by Ann Kunsak. Ann is a first-time field trial handler, and BSFTC was excited to see her and Breeze enjoy the day of running dogs.
An honorary third-place ribbon was given to Rhett, a male setter who lives with the Rickert family at Table Rock. Rhett made an impromptu appearance during the derby when he escaped from an ATV in the gallery and made a nice move to the front before his owners got him back.
BSFTC would like to extend a very robust thank you to the Rickert family for the use of Table Rock Ranch for the weekend. The Rickerts not only graciously allow the use of their land for field trials but also provide great companionship and are an integral part of the field trial community in Montana.
There were many club members who assisted with this trial behind the scenes to make things possible. First and foremost is David Huffine, who has not only been the trial chairman for the three walking trials BSFTC has put on but is also responsible for bringing the USCSDA to the region and introducing the concept of walking trials in the area. We can't thank David enough. We'd also like to thank those who put in extra effort and time surrounding the trial. It goes without saying that there are hours of prep work, and everyone who pitched in is greatly appreciated.
The Big Sky Field Trial Club is looking forward to continuing the tradition of walking trials in Montana.
Barber, Mont., September 16
Judges: Marcos Puiggari and Alex Rickert
OPEN SHOOTING DOG - 5 Pointers and 6 Setters
1st-SWEET GRASS SKIPPER, 1698209, setter male, by Sweet Grass Slim-Tower Hill Zoey Zee. David Huffine, owner and handler.
2d-SWEET GRASS SKEETER, 1693872, setter male, by Sweet Grass Slim-Seranoa's Glimpse of Glory. David Huffine, owner and handler.
3d-TOUCH'S MICRO DOT, 1692164, pointer female, by Touch's Diamante-Seranoa's On Guard Annie. Klaus Schmidt, owner; Sonny Clark, handler.
Open Derby Winners (front, l-r): LBF Up In Smoke with Brad McCardle, Bridgers Insane Bolt with John Holt, and Sweet Grass Scout with David Huffine. (Standing): Keith Anderson, Taylor Todd, John McIltrot, Michelle Sutton, Alex Rickert (judge), Al Rickert, Marcos Puiggari (judge), Sonny Clark, Ann Kunsak, and Johnny Banks.
OPEN DERBY - 11 Entries
1st-LBF UP IN SMOKE, 1702242, pointer male, by Touch's Diamante-Empire On Line. Brad McCardle, owner and handler.
2d-BRIDGERS INSANE BOLT, 1702589, pointer male, by Chelsea's Thunder Bolt-Upfront's Southern Star. John Holt, owner and handler.
3d-SWEET GRASS SCOUT, 1700663, setter female, by Shag Time Bobo-Black Cloud's Angel. David Huffine, owner and handler.
Amateur Shooting Dog Winners (front, l-r): Dun Rovens Lonesome Call with Frank Ilijanic, Passione's Point Breeze with Ann Kunsak, and Rhett with Alex Rickert. (Standing): Isham Family, John Holt, Brad McCardle (judge), Mandy Drysdale (judge), David Huffine, Johnny Banks, and Al Rickert.
Judges: Mandy Dysdale and Brad McCardle
AMATEUR SHOOTING DOG - 6 Entries
1st-DUN ROVENS LONESOME CALL, 1692279, setter male, by Waymaker Super Sam-Backus Creek Sadie. Frank Ilijanic, owner and handler.
2d-PASSIONE'S POINT BREEZE, 1691228, setter male, by Erin's Hidden Shamrock-Quickmarksman's Z Z Top. Ann Kunsak, owner and handler.
OPEN PUPPY - 4 Pointers and 2 Setters
1st-CRAZY MOUNTAIN PEARL, unreg., setter female, by Caladen's Andy Warhol-Caladen's O'Keefe. Tracy Clower, owner; David Huffine, handler.
2d-TABLE ROCK'S MOCKING JAY, unreg., pointer female, by Touch's Malcolm Story-Seranoa's On Guard Annie. Frank Ilijanic, owner and handler.
3d-SERANOA'S I LOVE LUCY, 1705772, pointer female, by Touch's Malcolm Story-Seranoa's On Guard Annie. John McIltrot, owner and handler.
Open Puppy (front, l-r): David Huffine with Crazy Mountain Pearl, Frank Ilijanic with Table Rock's Mocking Jay, and Michelle Sutton with Seranoa's I Love Lucy. (Standing): Isham Family, John Holt, Alex Rickert, Brad McCardle (judge), Mandy Drysdale (judge), and Johnny Banks.