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Result: All-America Prairie Championship

Location: Trail City, South Dakota

Post Date: Sep 27, 2019

Submitted By: Tracy Haines


Championship Winners. In foreground, from left: Tommy Davis with Touch's Red Rider and Tierra Hadley with Dominator's Rebel Heir. Behind: Frank LaNasa, Bob Saari, Claudia McNamee, Luke Eisenhart, Scott Jordan, Eddie Berendzen and Kirk Swanson, the judges; Jamie Daniels and Lee Phillips.
TRAIL CITY, S. D. -- The success of your dogs' summer training and conditioning can be judged on the South Dakota prairies that are comprised of local ranches in the vicinity of Mobridge and Trail City.

The superb stewardship of the land made available by these ranchers not only ensures the viability and profitability of the land, but offers excellent coverage and forage for the varieties of game birds present in the area: prairie chicken, sage grouse, pheasant and Hun.

The relationships formed by many of the dog owners, handlers and ranchers allow not only use of the grounds for training, but the availability of the grounds used for our trials.

If the harvesting schedule allows, landowners have been at the trials offering their help as needed, some even taking on the job of driving the dog wagon, delivering hay or water for participants' horses, or helping set out lunches and/or evening social hour fare.

The All-America Open All-Age Prairie Championship, along with the accompanying Open Derby and Junior All-Age Stakes, is the last of the three major trials held in the area. It is held on the Hahne, Landess, Bohlander, Thompson, Smith and Wientjes ranches, starting shortly after the completion of the Southwestern Championship on the neighboring Johnson ranch.

There are three courses laid out over both grazing and crop lands with several pond dams available for water. There are large hills, deep ravines and wide open areas on all the courses to test the drive, endurance and hunting ability of the dogs as they contend with varying temperatures and wind conditions.

Participants at our trial include prominent professional trainers from the South: Jamie Daniels, Judd Carlton, Luke Eisenhart, Tommy Davis, Billy Wayne Morton and Steve Hurdle. We are also fortunate to have in attendance many amateur trainers, handlers and owners as participants and/or observers: Claudia McNamee, Frank LaNasa, Bob Saari, Garland and Kathy Priddy, Scott Jordan, Scott and Tierra Hadley, Betty Shearouse and David Moore.

Well respected judges for our stakes were Kirk Swanson of Red Oak, Ia., and Eddie Berendzen of Higbee, Mo. Nathan Berendzen graciously accompanied them to help keep them in line. The judges were attentive from the first brace to the last and were a pleasure to chat with at the end of the day's judging. I truly hope that they will return as judges or participants soon.

I have so many to thank for their help in conducting this trial, from the landowners, judges, handlers (who aside from bringing their entries, helped each other with gates, pointing out dogs, switching horses when a competitor's horse needed a rest, and more).

Garland and Kathy Priddy were here to help cover anything else I needed -- from driving the dog wagon so I could watch my own dogs run, having chocolate always available, to the wonderful margaritas at the end of the day's running, along with their wonderful friendship.

I would also like to thank Scott and Tierra Hadley for making the trip up from Colorado to help me with all the extra chores needed and letting me share with them the excitement and magic of a summer on the prairies. It was fun to watch others experience the prairies for the first time along with being able to enjoy the presence and camaraderie of old friends. I'm pretty sure the Hadleys will come back again.

I also thank Purina for generously supporting our trial, and our sport, with their continuing donations of dog food to the winners as well as the advertising of our event. Please support them as they support our sport.

Last, but definitely not least, I cannot begin to offer enough thanks to Claudia McNamee who graciously agreed to take notes during the running of all the stakes. Her insights and attention to detail are below, relating the individual dogs' performances.

Thanks to all for the wonderful memories of the 2019 All-America trial.


The winner was Confident Nation, white and orange ticked pointer male owned and handled by Scott Jordan of Grant, Minn. Second was Rebel Cause, white and liver pointer male owned by David Williams of Beech Bluff, Tenn., and handled by Jamie Daniels. True Center, white and orange pointer male handled by Judd Carlton, gained third. True Center is owned by Frank and Jean LaNasa of Isanti, Minn.

The first and third place dogs are by Frank and Jean LaNasa's multiple winner and champion True Confidence. They are from litters of different dams, but whelped a mere ten days apart, Confident Nation on April 22, 2018, and True Center on April 12, 2018. Of notable interest is that their dams -- Southern Songbird for Confident Nation, and Red Sunshine for True Center -- are both by Erin's Redrum.

Second placed Rebel Cause is by multiple champion Dominator's Rebel Heir, championship runner-up here in 2019.

It was hot and sunny, not much wind, high 50s-60s for the start of the Derby.

In the first brace, Rebel Cause (Jamie Daniels) had a find at 12 at same time as his bracemate and a strong, forward, big race. Bud (Tommy Davis) was also strong and forward with a find at 8, then standing at 12, but birds not seen. Bud pointed for a third time at 29, with some movement before handler arrived.

True Center had at find at 13, birds getting up before Judd Carlton arrived; he dismounted and shot his gun. A strong, forward race for True Center. True Honor (Eisenhart) rendered a commendable ground effort but suffered an unproductive at time.

The wind from the south was picking up for Dogwood Jake (Carlton) and Cheyenne Nation (Scott Jordan). Jake had his first find at 3, was relocated and followed a few steps when the birds flushed. He scored again at 11, then had an unproductive at 28 in alfalfa field. Cheyenne Nation backed Jake at 3, with a second back on Jake's stand at 28.

Just Say When (Daniels) had his first find at 10, birds not seen by the judges, then a back at 20 on an unproductive, and a divided find at 22. Shearjoy's Rebellion (SF/Davis) put down a good race, had an unproductive at 10, a back at 20 and a divided find at 22.

Dominator's Bull Market Bud (Daniels) rendered a strong and forward thirty minutes with a covey find at 26. Confident Nation (Jordan) put down a strong, forward all-age race with one find on the "Dinger" covey at 10, the find of the trial so far up on Indian Hill, and a great finish.

Daniels requested the retrieval device for Dominator's Rogue Rebel at 9. Tommy Davis picked up Trip at 20.

The afternoon continued sunny, wind picking up out of south, stronger as the day went on, temperatures reaching the high 70s-low 80s.

Zipline was picked up by Carlton at 4 due to the heat. Country Prime was scratched by owner David Moore.

Hadley's Honky Tonk Song was handled by Tierra Hadley, one of only two amateurs to run in the Derby. The judges and gallery saw Song standing by judges at 15 on side of hill but the handler did not see her and didn't know about it until later. Birds flew and the dog moved on. Song had a strong, forward race throughout the 30-minute brace. Dunn's Hell'n Highwater had forward moments but was inconsistent. Eisenhart picked him up at 26.

Quicksilver Big Easy (Steve Hurdle) had a moderate race and no bird work. Bo (Tommy Davis) suffered an unproductive at 12 and had no bird work.

Trail City, S. D., September 5

Judges: Eddie Berendzen and Kirk Swanson

OPEN DERBY -- 16 Pointers and 1 Setter

1st--CONFIDENT NATION, 1684546, pointer male, by True Confidence--Southern Songbird. Scott Jordan, owner and handler.

2d--REBEL CAUSE, 1686084, pointer male, by Dominator's Rebel Heir--Rebel Maiden. David Williams, owner; Jamie Daniels, handler.

3d--TRUE CENTER, 1684456, pointer male, by True Confidence--Red Sunshine. Frank & Jean LaNasa, owners; Judd Carlton, handler.


Open Derby Winners. In foreground, from left: Confident Nation with Tommy Davis, Rebel Cause with Tierra Hadley and True Center with Judd Carlton. Standing: Jamie Daniels, Scott Jordan, Eddie Berendzen and Kirk Swanson, the judges, and Bob Saari.

All-America Open All-Age Prairie Championship

The winner was Touch's Red Rider, five-year-old white and orange pointer male owned by Tucker Johnson of Hobe Sound, Fla., and handled by Luke Eisenhart. Runner-up was Dominator's Rebel Heir , six-year-old white and liver pointer male owned by James Hamilton, Jr. of Atlanta, Ga., and handled by Jamie Daniels.

The judges also noted honorable mentions: True Confidence (Eisenhart), Mercer Mill Grand (Billy Wayne Morton), Erin's Redrum (Eisenhart) and Miller's Blindsider (Daniels).

The first brace was down on Wednesday, September 4, at the completion of the Open Derby. On Thursday, September 5, we started with brace No. 2.

Daniels picked up Dominator's Rebel Squire at 25. Strut Nation (Jordan) had a big race. Scott asked for the retrieval device at time. Initially, both dogs went a bit off course to start but were corrected relatively quickly. It was later learned that in an attempt to get a dog on track, a scout and horse went down in a hole. No one was hurt thankfully but delayed correction of the dogs' path on their initial cast.

Just Watch (Daniels) ran a good, strong race, found standing at 26, relocated several times but the result was an unproductive. Watch had cut himself running and handler picked him up after the unproductive. Erin's Redrum (Eisenhart) had a strong, always forward all-age race except the aforementioned first cast, beautiful cast resulting in first find at 20. Redrum had a back at 26 (where bracemate had an unproductive), and a second find at 46. Both of Redrum's finds were birds that handler flushed versus birds that got up before handler reached his dog which had happened often at the three trials this summer.

Mega Blackhawk's Progeny (Hurdle) was scratched. Mercer Mill Express (Morton) ran a moderate all-age race with a find at 23, an unproductive at 39, a find at 43, an unproductive at 50 and was picked up.

Miller's Blindsider (Daniels) put down a strong race but was out of touch often during the first half hour. Blindsider carded a find at 33 way up along corn field to right, and in the second half of the hour ran a strong forward true all-age race but had no further bird work. Shearjoy's Unforgiven (Davis) ran a moderate all-age race. At 30 scout called point way off to left up near corn field. The dog stood quite a long time before handler, owner, and judge got there, but the result was an unproductive. "Will" went off course at 40 and handler picked him up at 45.

The afternoon braces started at 12:45 p. m. By now the temperature was in the 80s with a dry southerly wind that had picked up as well.

Dogwood Bill (Daniels) and Erin's Wild Justice (Eisenhart) set out forward and stayed on course. As judges and gallery came up over hill past dam, both dogs were standing about 500 yards ahead, facing each other, a good distance between them. Bill carded a back at 9 and handler picked up at 23 by first big water tub. Justice stood staunchly to start at 9 but no birds were produced. The temperature started to take its toll on the dog and handler picked him at 23.

White Reign (Hurdle) ran a strong, forward, true all-age race but had no bird work. Handler asked for the retrieval unit at 47 after not having the dog for about 20 minutes. The temperature was rising. Mercer Mill Smoke had a moderate race, no birds. Morton picked up at 25.

Outer Limit (Priddy) put down a moderate race overall, went astray after we rounded "fallen tree" pond and scout Eisenhart brought him back up front. No bird work for "Sam" this brace. Handler picked him up at 39 because he was beginning to overheat. Dominator's Rebel Heir (Daniels) ran a consistently strong forward true all-age race in hot conditions the entire hour. His first find was at 13 in alfalfa field with a single bird getting up before handler was off his horse. On his second find at 32 the bird again got up before handler was off his horse so neither find was flushed. Heir had a respectable, strong finish; formidable race and hunting considering hot and dry conditions.

The final day with five braces left to run as two dogs were scratched before the day began: Wild Hawk (Carlton) and Miller's Bushwacker (Daniels), resulting in Mercer Mill Grand braced with Touch's Red Rider.

Friday morning braces had temperatures in the 60s, no wind, clear skies.

Mercer Mill Grand (Morton) and Touch's Red Rider (Eisenhart) broke away forward and strong, and stayed ahead. Grand backed Red at 2 and 6, carded a nice find at 15, had an unproductive at 45 with a strong, forward, true all-age race throughout the hour. Red came out of the gate determined, forward and on course; strong, true all-age race for the entire hour, patterned beautifully throughout the hour. Red had finds at 2 and 6 where bracemate backed, a third at 18 and a final find at 38, with an unproductive at 45 and a strong finish. Both the race and pattern of both contenders kept us high in the saddle throughout the hour, exciting to watch. By 30 four finds had been tallied between the two dogs, the most so far during a single brace in the trial. Red was stronger than Grand on the ground this day and, therefore, finding birds first. No holes in Red's race and pattern, up front and casting the entire hour.

The temperature was rising -- starting to get hot . . .

Dial Again (Hurdle) found no birds, put down a moderate race and had an unproductive at 5. I didn't ride the second half of brace. Dunn's Tried'n True (Eisenhart) carded one unproductive in a big strong all-age race, although a little off course coming up to alfalfa field. The dog wagon called point at 35 but because of the length of his stand the handler felt that the birds had most probably left. Judges let handler know that he was not changing anything so he picked him up at 37.

Touch Up (Carlton) ran a big, forward, all-age race with two unproductives so was picked up. Upper Limit (Priddy) found no birds and ran a moderate race.

In the afternoon braces, Hurdle and Daniels both scratched their dogs so Luke Eisenhart ran two bye dogs.

True Confidence (Eisenhart) took the left side off breakaway (hadn't seen any of the other dogs cast left on this course), always forward, strong, true all-age race for this ten-year-old pointer male. He was poetry in motion moving across the prairie; a veteran champion and that showed today. He consistently hunted with beautiful casts throughout hour, carding one covey find at 18 with handler flushing birds. Confidence got off course to left at one point; scout went to work and got him on track to handler. He had a formidable, great finish.

Dunn's True Issue (Eisenhart) had a strong breakaway and forward race. Issue was not seen by judges again and handler asked for the retrieval unit at 17.


Winner--TOUCH'S RED RIDER, 1661244, pointer male, by Touch's Knight Rider--Whippoorwill G M A. S. Tucker Johnson, owner; Luke Eisenhart, handler.

Runner-Up--DOMINATOR'S REBEL HEIR, 1654881, pointer male, by Rivertons Funseek'n Scooter--Pearl Again. James Hamilton, Jr., owner; Jamie Daniels, handler.