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Event: Ohio Valley Field Trial Circuit
Result: Coalfield Bird Dog Club

Location: Kevil, Kentucky

Post Date: Mar 20, 2024

Submitted By: Mary Sue Schalk

Ohio Valley AAAS24

Amateur All-Age Winners (l-r): Storm's End with Matt Pendergest (owner/handler), Imagine with Jim Pendergest (owner/handler), and Crouse's Woodrow F Call with Mary Sue Schalk (owner/handler).

After arctic conditions postponed the Region 4 Shooting Dog Championship the prior weekend, the Ohio Valley Field Trial Circuit was able to run their event in what seemed like spring-like conditions on January 26-27, 2024. The weekend trial drew eight Amateur All-Age entries, six Open Derby entries, and eight Amateur Shooting Dog entries. The Friday and Saturday of this event were a testament to the dedication and passion those have for the sport of horseback field trialing. There were several unpredicted events that occurred where all players stepped up to help ensure the success of this particular trial. We would especially like to show our gratitude to the following individuals: Alan Benson, Kevin Rogers, Ben Weddington, Jim Pendergest, and Matt Pendergest.

The weather for the Amateur All Age stake was mild and overcast, perfect conditions for a day of hunting. Ben Weddington judged with Alan Benson, who stepped in to judge after Pete Glass suffered truck trouble en route. Note: Pete made it home safely before the day's end. We are certainly sorry for his frustration.

The winner of the stake came from the final brace in Storm's End, owned by Megan Henry and Matt Pendergest. Pendergest handled the much-decorated pointer female to a well-earned first place. Her bracemate, Keda Farm She's So Fine, a Brittany female owned and handled by Kevin Rogers, was picked up early as she was not pleasing her handler. Classy and strong, "Kate" ran forward and hit edges with purpose in finding game. She finished going away down the powerline, with the audience sitting forward in their saddles.
Second place was earned by Imagine, owned and handled by Jim Pendergest. Almost 4 years old, the almost spotless, white pointer male took a few minutes to connect with his handler, but when the two connected, "Lee" showed the promise of an up-and-coming all-age performer. He and his bracemate, Crouse's Quiet Man, caused heart rates to increase in the first half hour. Unfortunately, Quiet Man disappeared on an edge at the halfway mark and was not to be seen for the remainder of the hour.
Crouse's Woodrow F Call, a black-nosed pointer male with some orange on his ears, earned third place in the Amateur All-Age Stake. "Call" is owned by Mike Crouse and Mary Sue Schalk and is handled by the latter. Just a first-year all-age competitor, the young dog was biddable and forward. He worked to find the edges and pursued game with due diligence. Kevin Rogers handled CVK's Trumped Up, a Brittany male. Trumped Up hunted earnestly for his handler and finished his hour.

Rogers also handled Brittany male Rincon Valley Ted, in the first hour with Crouse's Tennessee Game Kate. Mike Crouse handled "Kate," who made a tremendous cast to front off the breakaway and was seen next when the judges called time. "Ted" enjoyed his time on the ground, running forward for his handler throughout the hour.

The Open Derby stake started immediately following the Amateur All-Age stake. Ben Weddington also judged this stake with another substitute judge, Kevin Rogers. Vincent Major, slated judge, was in a fender bender en route and was unable to attend. Note: All were unharmed in the car accident, and for this we are thankful. Vincent will be back for our next event.

The winner of the stake again from the last brace of dogs. Flightline, son of Storm's End, winner of the Amateur All-Age stake, earned the blue in his 30 minutes on the ground. He is owned by Jim and Matt Pendergest, with Matt handling him to his placement. A strong pointer male, he is obviously going to be a force to be recognized as he continues to mature. He was forward and obliging his handler, an enjoyable dog to watch. His bracemate was no slouch in Crouse's Comeback Kid, who placed third in the stake. A strapping liver and white male, owned by Mike Crouse and Mary Sue Schalk, "Ted" covered plenty of ground, laterally, in his half-hour and also located a covey behind the manager's house. Much coveted birds in the West Kentucky Wildlife Management Area were a sight for sore eyes! Schalk handled "Ted" for the father/daughter team.
Jim Pendergest was back in the winner's photo with Armed, who earned second place. Armed ran in the first brace with English setter male Woodsway's Stingin' Rain, owned by Eryn and Colleen Pearson and handled by Mary Sue Schalk. "Sting" punched his ticket in the horseback field trial, finishing his first half hour in front of horses. Pendergest's young dog was eager to be on the ground and hunted both sides of the course throughout. Biddable and forward helped "Sam" earn his spot on the table.
Notable in the Open Derby stake is that half of the entries are littermates--Crouse's Illinois Maverick, Crouse's Prairie Spirit, and Crouse's Comeback Kid. All three liver and white pointer males are strong dogs who are easy to spot on the ground. Crouse's Illinois Maverick, owned by Mike Crouse and Mary Sue Schalk and handled by Crouse, was paired with Crouse's Prairie Spirit, owned by Janice Benson and handled by Alan Benson. The brace of young dogs was another quality performance in the first 15 minutes. Benson asked for the tracker at the midpoint, and Crouse handled Illinois Maverick for 30 minutes. "Jack" ran strong and finished to the front for Crouse.

The Amateur Shooting Dog stake ran on Saturday, and everyone competed in the rain all day. Alan Benson and Kevin Rogers were dedicated judges during the entire stake. The winner emerged in the second brace in Crouse's Ka Boom, a liver and white pointer male. "Boone" is owned by the father/daughter team of Crouse/Schalk and handled by Schalk. He hunted forward his entire hour, finished strong to the front, and was biddable under Schalk's whistle--a pleasurable shooting dog performance for those braving the elements. Kenton Bryant was braced with Ka Boom and Schalk, running Bryant's Give It A Rip, an English setter male. Rip and Bryant competed in the Region 6 Shooting Dog Championship the day prior, and we appreciate them coming to our event as well. Rip finished his hour but was certainly uncomfortable in the cold rain as time wound down.

The third brace produced the second and third-place dogs in Crouse's Total Eclipse and Woodsway Tara's Fury, respectively. Mike Crouse handled the black and white pointer female, Total Eclipse, with Ben Weddington handling the English setter female, Tara's Fury. This hour produced the nastiest weather of the day, with heavy downpours and strong winds. True to the grit of most bird dogs, they both stayed strong and hunted while trying to avoid the biggest of puddles. All prevailed, and the girls finished to the front, happy to get into the dog boxes.
To wrap up the day, Ben Weddington handled Cloverdale's TN Winston with Mike Crouse and Crouse's Pond River Gus. The weather was still challenging, but both dogs worked well for their handlers. Winston finished the hour in the driving rain, while Gus got disconnected, and the tracker was retrieved at the end of the hour.

This trial, in particular, was a testament to the kindness of both friends and strangers. With the hiccups we experienced, we are very grateful to Alan Benson and Kevin Rogers for stepping in at the last minute to judge, Jim and Matt Pendergest for helping us maneuver vehicles due to lack of a dog wagon driver, Ben Weddington for being eager to volunteer and participate, Kenton Bryant for coming to our event after participating in a Regional Championship, and to Mike Crouse for his continued help in keeping trials moving and marshaling all field trials at West Kentucky Wildlife Management Area. We certainly could not have these events without the support of our volunteers and sponsors. A big shout out to Greg Blair and Purina. Each club in the Ohio Valley Field Trial Circuit receives Purina dog food for prizes. Also, this year, we have received support from SportDOG, as they are providing some collars for prizes and collars for the top dogs on the circuit at the end of the season. A big thank you to the West Kentucky Wildlife Management Area team. We are very fortunate in Western Kentucky to be able to utilize public grounds for horseback field trials, and we appreciate the work that the WMA employees do to keep the grounds ready.

Kevil, Ky., January 26
Judges: Alan Benson and Ben Weddington
AMATEUR ALL-AGE [One-Hour Heats] - 5 Pointers and 3 Setters

1st-STORM'S END, 1687221, pointer female, by Dunn's Tried'n True-K F Prairie Storm. Matt Pendergest & Megan Henry, owners; Matt Pendergest, handler.
2d-IMAGINE, 1693699, pointer male, by Touch's Grey Street-Dialed In. Jim Pendergest, owner and handler.
3d-CROUSE'S WOODROW F CALL, 1700673, pointer male, by Haynes Justified Warrior-Hero's Country Doll. M. D. Crouse & Mary Sue Schalk, owners; Mary Sue Schalk, handler.

Ohio Valley ODS24

Open Derby Winners (l-r): Kenton and Emerson Bryant, Flightline with Matt Pendergest (owner/handler), Armed with Jim Pendergest (owner/handler), and Crouse's Comeback Kid with Mary Sue Schalk (owner/handler).

Judges: Kevin Rogers and Ben Weddington
OPEN DERBY - 5 Pointers and 1 Setter

1st-FLIGHTLINE, 1703306, pointer male, by Lester's Storm Surge-Storm's End. Matt & Jim Pendergest, owners; Matt Pendergest, handler.
2d-ARMED, 1706136, pointer male, by Imagine-Mohawk Mill Dolly. Jim Pendergest, owner and handler.
3d-CROUSE'S COMEBACK KID, 1701214, pointer male, by Crouse's Heart of Dixon-Crouse's Skiptomylu. M. D. Crouse & Mary Sue Schalk, owners; Mary Sue Schalk, handler.

Judges: Alan Benson and Kevin Rogers
AMATEUR SHOOTING DOG [One-Hour Heats] - 4 Pointers and 4 Setters

1st-CROUSE'S KA BOOM, 1697434, pointer male, by Crouse's White Dragon-Crouse's Gretzky Gal. M. D. Crouse & Mary Sue Schalk, owners; Mary Sue Schalk, handler.
2dCROUSE'S TOTAL ECLIPSE, 1673980, pointer female, by Crouse's Ebony Masterpiece-Crouse's Gerri Wind. M. D. Crouse, owner and handler.
3d-WOODSWAY TARA'S FURY, 1705776, setter female, by Erin's Hidden Shamrock-Gyrfarm's Baby Belle. Eryn & Colleen Pearson, owners; Ben Weddington, handler.

Ohio Valley ASDS24

Amateur Shooting Dog Winners (l-r): Crouse's Ka Boom with Mary Sue Schalk (owner/handler), Crouse's Total Eclipse with Mike Crouse (owner/handler), and Woodsway Tara's Fury with Ben Weddington (handler).