Result: NGSPA Amateur And Open Shooting Dog Invitationals
Location: Gentry, Missouri
Post Date: Jan 31, 2024
Submitted By: Keith Richardson and Chad Inderman
NGSPA Open Shooting Dog Invitational Championship Winners (l-r): David Quijano, Keith Richardson, Josh Nieman, Chad Inderman with Llano's Game On Greta, Jadie Rayfield, and John Hicks.
The most "Prestigious" events in the GSP Field Trial world.
The 2023 NGSPA Open and Amateur Shooting Dog Invitationals!
The 2023 editions were the 11th Open Shooting Dog Invitational and the 8th Amateur Shooting Dog Invitational for the National German Shorthaired Pointer Association. This year, the weather was a bit chilly at times, but it was much better than some previous years for the two events.
As a recap of the format for the Shooting Dog Invitationals:
Only the TOP 12 point-earning dogs are invited to the Invitational each year for the Open Shooting Dog and the Amateur Shooting Dog events. The format of the trial is like no other trial run and requires three days of running, an hour each day, to win. On day one, the dogs are drawn randomly. On the second day, the dogs are braced so the dogs running in the morning of day one run in the afternoon of day two. The objective is that no dog has the same bracemate or runs on the same course. On the third day, the judges call back their top dogs to run again for an hour. The trial is designed to test the bird ability, biddability, range, and endurance of the best of our breed. After the third day of running, a champion is named.
Since our first Invitational, we have run at the Smith Farms in Gentry, Missouri. The grounds consist of three one-hour courses covering rolling cropland and dense stands of woods, which make for some beautiful lines for the dogs to run. The courses challenge the character and tenacity of even the best of bird dogs. We seeded the courses with over 1,000 quail for the six days of running, and every dog had multiple finds throughout the Championship.
We are more grateful than words can express to Larry Smith and his lovely wife, Linda, for allowing us to run the Invitationals on their property. Larry campaigns English pointers, and he allows other championships to be run on his grounds, but no other GSP trials are allowed to use this land.
A huge thank you goes out to all our sponsors who helped make this trial what it is. Greg Blair and Purina were incredibly supportive, paying half of both Ross Young Oil paintings and dog food for the champion and auction. Also, huge thanks to SportDOG and Jim Morehouse for their many years of support by donating product. We are extremely grateful for the support of Garmin and Patrick Bowman for their contributions of product. We consider the very talented wildlife artist Ross Young to be a sponsor because he charges us less for his fine work.
There are a lot of people to thank for making this trial one of the hallmark events in the NGSPA. A huge thanks goes to Keith and Bobbi Richardson for all their generosity and support, not just for the Invitationals but for everything they do for our sport. Their Executive Assistant, Brittiny Haberkorn, is a huge help behind the scenes. Triple J is the wrangler, and he always brings some high-quality horses for the judges and people to ride. A big thank you to Joe Frauendienst, property manager for the Richardsons, who got up in the early morning hours every day to plant birds again this year. He did an excellent job with many multi-bird finds in spots that showcased the work of a good bird-dog. Jon Small again donated his time to handle dog wagon duties. Thanks to all that spent time with marshal duties: Tommy Smith, Steve Auxier, Rich Robertson, and Dan DiMambro. Donna Gladstone and her niece Wendy cooked breakfast and lunch for us each day. Linda Smith cleaned rooms for the judges. Chad Inderman stepped up to handle the running of the Amateur Shooting Dog Invitational when Keith Richardson had to leave after the Open. Becky Dynkiewicz and Dan DiMambro did excellent jobs with the administrative duties.
Charmayne Hughes prepared wonderful dinners and hosted us in a private room at Hughes Bar X in Albany, Missouri. The gentlemen wear coats and ties, while the ladies wear nice dresses or suit pants for the nightly festivities. We enjoy appetizers, an open bar, and some of the finest wines from Keith Richardson's wine cellar. For the third year, Malloy Gamebirds provided the best flying and strongest birds we have seen at any NGSPA Championship.
2023 NGSPA 11th OPEN SHOOTING DOG INVITATIONAL
The Top 12 Dogs
1. Perfections Huckleberry ("Huck"), defending champion, is owned and handled by Jon Hann.
2. Hi N's Curtain Call ("Charlie"), with 1,252 points, is owned and handled by Hank Lewis.
3. Hi N's Allison Miranda ("Allie"), with 1,214 points, is owned by Kirk and Larry Loftin and handled by Kirk Loftin.
4. Llano's Game On Greta ("Greta"), with 1,212 points, is owned by Chad and Natalie Inderman and handled by Josh Nieman.
5. All N's Johnny B Good ("Johnny"), with 1,127 points, is owned by Gale and Cheryl Graves and handled by Joe Orndorff.
6. Uodibar's Robbi Jo ("Robbi"), with 1,016 points, is owned by Sherri Tangsrud and handled by Kirk Loftin.
7. Slaterock's Mountain Heart ("Rommel"), with 924 points, is owned by James and Andy Dynkiewicz and handled by Dan DiMambro.
8. Quijano's W D Forty Rusty ("Rusty"), with 770 points, is owned by David Quijano and handled by Josh Nieman.
9. Stoney Hill's Pinnacle Dee ("Dee"), with 764 points, is owned by Kirk and Larry Loftin and handled by Kirk Loftin.
10. P W Indian Brook Heads Up ("Enzi"), with 626 points, is owned by Keith and Bobbi Richardson and handled by Rich Robertson Jr.
11. P J Wildfire's Little Lexi ("Lexi"), with 602 points, is owned by Kirk and Larry Loftin and handled by Kirk Loftin.
12. P W Evolution's Recreation ("Spike"), with 516 points, is owned by Keith and Bobbi Richardson and handled by Rich Robertson Jr.
The 2023 Open Shooting Dog Invitational was honored to have two very experienced and knowledgeable men in the judges' saddles. John Hicks and Jadie Rayfield have both been very active and successful in the pointer/setter field trial world as participants, judges, and involved in putting on trials. They are both very focused on the job at hand, but at the same time, they enjoy a bit of spontaneous humor and are fun to be around. It is the first time these two men adjudicated our breed, and they clearly showed they are looking for the same kind of dog we enjoy seeing placed as Invitational Champion.
The judges expressed amazement at how broke our dogs were. Over the three days, there were over 100 points producing birds with no breaches of manners on game and many dogs handling five or more flushes during their run. In nearly 50 years of running and judging dogs they had never seen such a group of broke dogs. They were also complimentary of the sportsmanship exhibited by the handlers and participants and the organization of the event.
The Champion - Llano's Game On Greta
Llano's Game On Greta had 15 finds in three days, and each was handled with perfect manners and classy style. Greta ended her three days of performance with a memorable finish, demonstrating outstanding stamina and heart. Some of us knew she was running with an injured foot, but it never affected her performance. She was a fun dog to watch because she exuded the pleasure of the hunt, and her gait was snappy and fast with flowing speed as she covered the ground. Greta was very responsive to her handler and required very little handling, always showing to the front. Greta made some "monster casts," and one was particularly memorable as it was capped with a limb find. The judges were particularly impressed because she consistently had "two-step" finds where the birds were so well pinpointed that the handler only needed to take a few steps into the cover to flush the birds.
Other Memorable Performances
Perfections Huckleberry had an excellent rapport with his handler, who rarely needed to give him direction because he naturally coursed to the front. With 15 minutes left in the hour, Huck made a giant move that eventually took him over three hills and into the thickest part of the course, where he was lost to sight. After a 7-minute ride and to the relief of everyone, he was found staunchly standing on point, presenting one of the most exciting limb finds of the stake. As one judge said, it was a "dinger," which he had to explain to this Yankee reporter was a real "bell ringer." Huck had two days of solid performance, where he finished as strongly as he began, thus demonstrating his power and stamina. He was called back on day three and had a strong 45 minutes before he disappeared (on point, as it turned out) and failed to be returned to judgment.
P W Evolution's Recreation had the strongest first day of any of the dogs. The judges described his performance as "textbook" perfect. He ran with undiminished power and consistently showed to the front. His handler was able to ride and sing to Spike from the "money hole," explained by the judges as that 10 to 2 slot a reasonable distance from the judges, and show his dog making impressive moves; he had six finds on the first day, and three of them were limb finds discovered by the scout. Day two was not so pretty. His handler had been bucked off at the start of a scouting job just before his run. He climbed back on and stuck it out with a couple of broken ribs. It was obvious that his handling performance was affected, as was that of Spike.
P J Wildfire's Little Lexi had a good two days. She never tired and always held the front. Her bird work was pristine with excellent style. Her main downfall was that her run was a bit erratic and not as flowing as the top two dogs.
Slaterock's Mountain Heart impressed the judges. He was a big running, powerful dog who was also a great bird dog. He found a lot of birds every time he was on the ground and handled them with exceptional style, never making a mistake. He was impressive throughout his runs, which were unfortunately cut short on day two when he took a wrong turn and was lost from judgment at about 30.
P W Indian Brook Heads Up was off to a great start with a spectacular day one. She was fast, flowing, and powerful as she took every edge to its completion, never breaking off or checking back. She had seven finds with perfect style and manners. Enzi needed little direction and allowed handler to remain in the "money hole" while she did her job. On the second day, she was lost on the cast-off. The scout found her standing on course 3 and returned her to judgment, but 30 minutes had lapsed.
In the second brace of day one, Stoney Hill's Pinnacle Dee had finds at 7, 14, 22, 32, 41, and 59 minutes. Dee put her style on display for everyone to see, showing her range and looking for birds in all the right places. In the last brace of day two, Dee couldn't give a repeat performance of day one. A couple of non-productive points and a little less responsiveness hurt her chances.
Gentry, Mo., November 27
Judges: John Hicks and Jadie Rayfield
NGSPA NATIONAL OPEN SHOOTING DOG INVITATIONAL [One-Hour Heats On Two Consecutive Days; Third Day Callback One-Hour Heats] - 26 German Shorthairs
Winner-LLANO'S GAME ON GRETA, 1679141, female, by Llano's Game On Dude-H K Angie's Slick Image. Chad & Natalie Inderman, owners; Josh Nieman, handler.
NGSPA Open Shooting Dog Invitational Championship (first row, l-r): Jessica Hann, Hank Lewis, Kirk Loftin, Chad Inderman, Josh Nieman, Cheryl Graves, Joe Orndorff, Gale Graves, Cindy Orndorff, Sherri Tangsrud, Jadie Rayfield, John Hicks, and Keith Richardson. (Second row, l-r): Carly Dynkiewicz, James Dynkiewicz, Becky Dynkiewicz, April DiMambro, Andy Dynkiewicz, David Quijano, Rich Robertson Jr., and Chase Verdoorn.
2023 NGSPA 8th AMATEUR SHOOTING DOG INVITATIONAL
The Top 12 Dogs
1. Stoney Hill's Pinnacle Dee ("Dee"), defending champion, is owned by Kirk and Larry Loftin and handled by Kirk Loftin.
2. B M B's Madison Avenue ("Madison"), with 2,151 points, is owned by Brandon and Jennifer Blum and handled by Brandon Blum.
3. Hi N's Allison Miranda ("Allie"), with 1,712 points, is owned by Kirk and Larry Loftin and handled by Kirk Loftin.
4. Uodibar's Robbi Jo ("Robbi"), with 1,016 points, is owned by Sherri Tangsrud and handled by Kirk Loftin.
5. Twin Creeks Running Rocky ("Rocky"), with 978 points, is owned by Kirk and Larry Loftin and handled by Kirk Loftin.
6. In Country's Hurricane Jane ("Jane"), with 824 points, is owned by Robert Reynolds DVM and handled by Chris Young.
7. Hi N's Curtain Call ("Charlie"), with 808 points, is owned and handled by Hank Lewis.
8. High Standing Cuttin Edge ("Woody"), with 698 points, is owned by Anthony and Dayna Rusciano and handled by Anthony Rusciano.
9. Uodibar's Lover Boy ("Blue"), with 680 points, is owned by Sherri Tangsrud and handled by Kirk Loftin.
10. Chisholm Creeks Cuttin Loose ("Lucy"), with 610 points, is owned and handled by Mark Wasserman.
11. Llano's Game On Greta ("Greta"), with 508 points, is owned by Chad and Natalie Inderman and handled by Chad Inderman.
12. Snowy Rivers So Far So ("Sophie"), with 460 points, is owned and handled by Mike Kindler.
Our judges for the 2023 NGSPA Amateur Shooting Dog Invitational were Sheldon Rogers and Richard Robertson Jr. Sheldon lives in Saskatchewan and has judged many important trials in the pointer/setter game, as well as having judged the NGSPA Amateur Shooting Dog Invitational in 2016 and the Open Shooting Dog Invitational in 2017. As an amateur, he has trained and competed his own dogs. Richard Robertson Jr. has trained and competed bird dogs professionally since he was 22 years old and has judged many field trials of all types over his many years in the sport. Both men are highly respected and bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to this very special NGSPA event.
The Champion - B M B's Madison Avenue "Madison"
On day one, Madison was in the first brace after lunch on course 1. Madison and her bracemate broke away together to the right. Madison's owner/handler, Brandon Blum, was able to quickly gather her up, and Madison went forward, where she stayed to the front for the rest of the brace. Madison was found standing at 24 minutes by a big tree on the fence line where course 1 makes a left turn to drop down into the bottom country. Madison had run a long edge to get to this location and was rewarded with birds. Madison went on to have more finds at 42, 49, and 59. The judges noted that Madison stayed to the front with no hard riding from her handler and was always mannerly on her birds.
On day two, Madison was in the second brace of the morning on course 2. The dogs were cast off by the gate along the county road at the beginning of course 2. Madison was standing at 5 minutes along a tree line. After a long flushing attempt around the trees, a single quail flew from a patch of grass between the trees and the dog. After the first find, Madison had some work to catch the front, and she was up to the task. She quickly caught back up and regained the front, where she was rewarded with another find at 12 minutes. Madison had her third and final find of the brace at 30 minutes on the dam of "Dead Tree Pond." As Madison's handler was preparing to flush, Madison's bracemate came over the hill and ran directly between Madison and her birds. Madison ignored the commotion and remained staunchly committed to her game, where birds were ultimately produced. Madison finished the remainder of the hour with a good forward race.
On day three, Madison had four more finds with birds at 7, 10, 44, and 50. Madison also carded her only two unproductives of the stake, but the bobble wasn't enough for the other dogs to catch her. The judges always pay attention to a dog's endurance on the last day of this grueling three-day performance, and Madison was found to show no letdown in speed, power, or endurance during the entire three days. Madison was named the 2023 NGSPA Amateur Shooting Dog Invitational Champion based on her consistent performance over all three hours.
OTHER DOGS WORTHY OF MENTION
Other notable dogs were Llano's Game On Greta, Snowy Rivers So Far So, and Uodibar's Robbi Jo, who were all called back for day three. Greta, Sophie, and Robbi all showed strong class and talent over the first two days and earned their invitation to this event. But, for various reasons, they were not able to show the consistent three-day performance that earned Madison the championship.
NGSPA Amateur Shooting Dog Invitational Championship Winner (l-r): Dan DiMambro, Rich Robertson Jr., Brandon Blum, Steve Auxier with B M B's Madison Ave, and Sheldon Rogers.
Judges: Rich Robertson, Jr. and Sheldon Rogers
NGSPA AMATEUR SHOOTING DOG INVITATIONAL [One-Hour Heats On Two Consecutive Days; Third Day Callback One-Hour Heats] - 28 German Shorthairs
Winner-B M B'S MADISON AVE, 1670283, German Shorthair female, by Trueblu's B D K Ace Inthe Hole-Time To Pay The Piper. Brandon & Jennifer Blum, owners; Brandon Blum, handler.
NGSPA Amateur Shooting Dog Invitational Championship (first row, l-r): Anthony Rusciano, Kirk Loftin, Brandon Blum, Chris Young, Sheldon Rogers, and Rich Robertson Jr. (Second row, l-r): Hank Lewis, Dayna Rusciano, Sherri Tangsrud, Mark Wasserman, Chad Inderman, and Mike Kindler.
Thoughts on the 2023 NGSPA Open Shooting Dog Invitational
By Jon Hann
Our invitational for us, like so many others, was filled with hope and joy and great moments and heartbreak and exhilaration. The excitement of moving in -- the rustling hum of camp, of horses being settled and fed, blanketed at night, generators running their low buzz and keeping the trailers just warm enough, dogs staked out to be fed and watered, watching with grand attention that they might be turned loose. The excitement of waiting for the first draw -- the dinners are spectacular and yet homie and heartfelt, perfectly crusted quail and pheasant, desserts that are the envy of all, and spinach dip that is unrivaled. Each meal created with a beautiful touch of class that Keith and Bobbi Richardson work so hard to keep at this event.
Seeing old faces but folks are all dressed up and hardly recognizable from their dog running clothes. Dresses and heels replace boots and chaps. Jeans and ties replace spurs and whistles. Waking up in the early morning with the cold air -- so cold it makes you stop to take a breath and ice crystals glistening across the millet and the corn stocks, the windmill Standing vigil over the Smith farm. A beacon to all who have run these grounds before us. It is surreal. You can feel the history of the land beneath your feet -- the champions of many breeds echoing through the draws. For us, it is the shorthairs that capture our hearts. It is fast-paced -- slipping on icy draws and galloping through the cornfield with steam rising around us off the coats of our horses like geysers waiting to erupt. The camaraderie here is second to none. Each person helping the dogs get through the challenging courses, scouts pushing their horses to the limit of their endurance. Handlers jumping in and turning dogs while others hold horses at each find. The ever-present flushing of the coveys, the sense of desperation from the handlers trying to find the birds and the catching of the front in a flurry of hooves. And again, warm dinners at the Hughes Bar X with ever-present Calen knowing each of us personally and tending to our dinner and drinks with such compassion and kindness. It is Ross Young oil paintings filling the space by the buffet, telling of last year's winners and Keith with his nightly blessings of meals to keep us all safe the next day. It's sore feet and tired dogs - handlers on the brink of exhaustion. It's mist rising off the ponds, and birds flushing with the frantic beat of their wings. It's the welcoming smile of Linda and Larry Smith, who so willingly share these cherished grounds with each of us. And Joe, who rises in the middle of the night to plant birds, and Tommy and Steve and Larry, who dedicatedly marshal you through these grounds with every twist and turn, staying on course with steadfast determination. It is a dream come true.
We are each honored to find our place among this beautiful land. These dogs bring so much life to us, so much joy, they make this possible. Huck, I thank you for the journey, for making these moments possible for Jon and me, for pushing on through tendon injuries, and for putting your heart out there with every run. You are the champion of our hearts. Godspeed to each of you and your beautiful companions.
Huge congratulations to Greta, Josh, Chad, and Natalie. What a fierce little dog she is, fighting through an injury and pushing till the end.
Till the next time. God Bless.