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Result: American Derby Invitational Championship

Location: Grovespring, Missouri

Post Date: Apr 30, 2019

Submitted By: Dennis Hidalgo


The Winner. In foreground, owner Keith Wright with Touch's Grey Street. Standing, from left: Larry Huffman, judge; Kendell Schmidt, Hank Jansen, Mike Matney, judge; Kipp Linard, Ike Todd and Dennis Hidalgo.
GROVESPRING, MO. -- The American Derby Invitational Championship was concluded March 27 at the Field Trial Sportsmen's Association (FTSA) grounds near Grovespring, Mo. Touch's Grey Street, white and orange pointer male owned by Keith A. Wright of Covington, Ind., decisively won the 27th renewal of this Championship with an impressive five- find final series.

The FTSA grounds at Grovespring were in excellent shape for this trial. The previous week's heavy rain created high water in the creeks and some muddy areas; however, by the time this trial was run the waters had subsided and mud wasn't an issue. The courses have been maintained and feed strips on edges attract and hold birds. Pre-released birds were found on all courses with supplemental birds being released daily.

The FTSA has improved the grounds by adding a new parking area known as parking lot B. This addition was possible through donations from individuals and clubs using the venue. The new parking area has camper hook-ups with power, water and a graveled pad. Also, 50 additional dog kennels and 16 new horse pens have been added.

This trial is a qualifying trial for the National Championship. The format for this trial is an initial series of one-hour heats and a second series of ninety minutes in which the judges determine the dogs to move on to the second series. The final decision is based on the combination of their performances in the two series.

Derby dogs earn points at qualifying trials: first place receives five times the number of dogs entered, second gains three times dogs entered and third gains points equal to dogs entered. A list of the qualifying trials is published in The American Field prior to each season.

The final determination of the qualified dogs for this renewal was not made until three days before this event. Westfall's Red Man won the Derby Stake at the Missouri Open trial to move him into the top invitees. Two of the top dogs were unable to compete, Dunn's True Reign and Ransom's Jack Flash. This allowed Hendrix's Copperline to attend. Once the twelve dogs were determined, the drawing was completed by Kendell Schmidt and Dennis Hidalgo. Running orders were artistically created by Tiffany Genre.

The dogs qualified are shown in the accompanying box below.

This renewal had three handlers with multiple dogs: Jamie Daniels, Ike Todd and Gary Lester. These three handlers acquired 65% of the points needed for qualification with Jamie at 35%, Ike at 17% and Gary at 13%. The top qualified dog was Dogwood Bill with 19%.

It takes a village to run a trial. This trial's village consisted of the Chairman Kendell Schmidt, George Hill, Hank Jansen, Tim Self, Kipp Linard, Jim Lawry and Bonnie Hidalgo.

In addition to the handlers those also in attendance were Bill Westfall, Ryan Westfall, Tiffany Genre, Raines Jordan, Gailen Cooper, Tommy Thomas, Bob Burchett, Mike Poehler (who supplied the morning entertainment with an unscheduled dismount); Carl Owens, Joe Worsham, Ryan Derrig, Nick Berrong, Guy Hendrix, Mark Haines, Stegan Smith, Steve Messick, Larry Smith and Carol Matney.

My apologies to anyone I may have missed.

This Championship was sponsored by Purina. The financial assistance of this fine company is greatly appreciated and the supply of dog food to the winners is happily received. Purina Pro Plan fuels the majority of field trial champions, especially the upper echelon. Thank you, Purina, for your continued support of field trials! Jim Morehouse, SportDog's representative, helped sponsor the stake with a SportDog Training Collar for the winner.

Judges for the Championship were Larry Huffman of Michigan City, Miss., and Mike Matney of Big Sandy, Tenn. Larry is a noted all-age trainer who has enjoyed great success with the Whippoorwill line. Mike is a former all-age trainer who now operates a commercial fishing business. He trained dogs for Joe Don House among others and spent his summers near the North/South Dakota line.


The trial was scheduled to start on March 26, at 8:00 a. m.; however, fog delayed the start by 30 minutes.

Lester's Storm Surge (Gary Lester) and Dominator's Rebel Squire (Jamie Daniels) were shown on the far end of the breakaway field; they were forward through the double gates field. Surge took the valley to the left before the road crossing. Squire had a find along the left edge of Davis bottoms with Surge backing mannerly at 21. Squire had a second find at 36 near the bottom of horse killer hill. Surge pointed at 42 on apple tree hill left edge with Squire backing. A relocation was needed but the bird was eventually produced. The brace ended on top of little vine loop with both dogs forward.

Worsham's Super Sport (Todd) and Hendrix's Copperline (Hendrix). Joe Worsham was riding to watch Sport and Guy Hendrix for son Burke. This brace broke away at the bottom of little vine hill. Larry Smith scouted for Burke

Hendrix and Keith Wright for Ike Todd. Point was called by Hendrix in sycamore valley but waved off on approach. Both dogs were in front going up the hill out of sycamore valley. Sport had a find on the right edge of the field past the twin barns at 23. At 55 Ike called point for Sport. On approach the birds were moved by Copperline. Both dogs were pointed at 57 in the clubhouse loop with all in order.

Dominator's Rebel Patch (Daniels) and Erin's Lonestar Law (Derrig) started in horse corral valley below the twin barns. Nick Berrong was riding to observe Patch and Ryan Derrig was mounted for his uncle Sean. Both dogs were absent as handlers passed the twin barns. Sean opted to ride the ridge on the left while the judges and gallery rode the course through the chute. Lonestar was pointed to the front with Patch backing in the chute at 10. Sean rode down the hill to handle and flush. No birds were produced at this stand and the dogs were sent to sycamore valley. At 32 Lonestar had a find going up the final ridge loop. Jamie ask for the retrieval unit for Patch at 35. Point was called for Lonestar at 49 on the right side before the rocky creek crossing. The birds lifted with all in order. The dog was forward approaching Davis bottoms at time.

Dogwood Bill (Daniels) and Touch's Grey Street (Todd). Breakaway was delayed until 2:00 p. m. due to the late morning start. Street pointed below Andy's house but it was a barren stand. Bill had a find on the far edge of the double gates field at 11. At 23 Street had a find on the left side of Davis bottoms. Bill came down the hill from the old cemetery and was watered during this stand. Bill had his second find at the bottom of horse killer hill, in the woods on the left at 39. At 44 Street had a find on top of apple tree hill, just before the gate with Bill backing mannerly. They continued forward until time was called on top of little vine loop.

Miller's Hot Rod (Anderson) and Westfall's Red Man (Daugherty). Raines Jordan was mounted to watch his Hot Rod and Ryan Westfall scouted for Red Man. Bill Westfall followed in the side by side. Both dogs ranged well through sycamore valley. They were in front on approach to the twin barns. Entering the bull pasture at 30, Man had a good find. Hot Rod was pointed just before the pond in Climer's at 39, all in order. At 46 in the bottom of horse corral valley both dogs stopped nicely at the rise of a covey. Hot Rod was on the hill, causing Randy to climb the hill to reach him. Judge Matney's girth was seen swinging freely going up the hill past the clubhouse. He continued on until the end of the brace. Both dogs finished in horse corral valley. The off billet of Mike's saddle had snapped. Enough material was present for on site repairs and the next brace was ordered.

Caladen's Yukon Cornelius (Todd) and Lester's Shockwave (Lester). Carl Owens was mounted to watch his setter Cornelius compete. This brace began up the hill to the twin barns from horse corral valley. Shockwave went right from the barns and was seen by the big pond. He showed again on the hill across from the chute; he returned to the front before sycamore bottom. After the double gates crossing Shockwave took the lower tree edge toward the cemetery and Cornelius the upper edge. At 21 Shockwave pointed a woodcock in the row across from parking lot B with Cornelius backing. All was in order. At 26 the setter pointed at the crossing to the breakaway field with the pointer backing; this proved to be a barren stand. Shockwave had a second stand on the hillside going up the final ridge loop at 32, all in order. Both dogs showed well through the ridge loop and onward. They made a wrong turn and went across the road at double gates. Shockwave was retrieved by his scout while Cornelius was found pointed in sycamore valley at time. Birds were flushed for the stylish and steady setter. Shockwave finished forward entering Davis bottoms.

Tuesday evening's festivities featured a fish fry hosted by Kipp Linard with fish supplied by Mike Matney. Mike had to delay his trip on Monday to wait for the fish to be cleaned. Talk about fresh caught fish! Thanks, Kipp and Mike.

Kendell was the head chef with Hank and Jim assisting. Brownies with ice cream and fresh baked chocolate chip cookies for dessert.

After dinner it was announced that the judges had selected four dogs for the final series: Dogwood Bill, Touch's Grey Street, Caladen's Yukon Cornelius and Lester's Shockwave. They announced that Touch's Grey Street and Lester's Shockwave would appear in the first brace, and Caladen's Yukon Cornelius and Dogwood Bill in the second brace.

Ninety-Minute Finals

Touch's Grey Street and Lester's Shockwave were off at 8:00 a. m. March 27. Both dogs were shown at the far end of the breakaway field. Point was called. Street was pointed with Shockwave backing. Street had a second nice find at 12 on the far edge of the double gates field. Just into Davis bottom, Ike called point for Street at 20; the dog was standing on the left edge below the cemetery. A lengthy flush produced the bird just in front of the dog. At 29 point was called by the scout for Shockwave in the

corner of Davis bottoms near the dog wagon cut, all in order. Lester then took the road to the island field to return to the front. Both dogs were shown on the edge of the island field and up to fox hill cut. Shockwave was pointing on the right edge below horse killer hill but needed to see his birds fly and was leashed. At 50 Ike showed Street making a move to little vine from the top of apple tree hill. Street continued long ranging forward casts across little vine hill into the top end of sycamore valley. After a brief absence, point was called far forward on the right edge of sycamore valley at 73. He stood tall through flush and shot. Street rimmed the edge of sycamore valley and went up the hill where he was seen on the right edge by the fence. Scout Keith Wright couldn't get through the fence and returned to the gallery. Ike went to the top of the hill to look for the dog. Point was called on the hilltop by Andy's house at 80. The well-located feeding covey lifted in front of Street for his fifth and final find. Street finished going away past the twin barns as the judges rode to see his final cast. A brace to remember.

Caladen's Yukon Cornelius and Dogwood Bill. Owner Carl Owens was mounted to watch his setter Cornelius. Less than 1 minute into the brace Cornelius encountered a feeding covey in the grass just past the twin barns and needed to see if they could fly. They did and he was leashed. Bill had an unproductive at 7 behind the blue house. At 10 Bill had a well located find on the left, just into the bull pasture. Bill's second find was just below the pond in the clubhouse loop. At 53 Bill had his third find at the top edge of sycamore bottoms. Bill had high style and good manners on all finds. At 65 Jamie decided Bill was not pleasing him and opted to pick up.

Dog/Breed & Sex/Handler/Owner/Points

Dogwood Bill, PM, Jamie Daniels; Dogwood Kennels 116

Erin's Lone Star, PM, Sean Derrig; Sean Derrig 702

Dominator's Rebel Squire, PM, Jamie Daniels; Jim Hamilton & Fred Norris, 691

Lester's Storm Surge, PM, Gary Lester; Gary Lester, 506

Worsham's Super Sport, PM, Ike Todd; Joe Worsham, 421

Miller's Hot Rod, PM, Randy Anderson; Raines Jordan, 369

Caladen's Yukon Cornelius, SM, Ike Todd; Carl Owens, 288

Touch's Grey Street, PM, Ike Todd; Keith Wright, 288

Dunn's True Reign*, PM, Will Dunn; Will Dunn, 288

Westfall's Red Man, PM, Andy Daugherty; Ryan Westfall, 269

Lester's Shockwave, PM, Gary Lester; Gary Lester, 269

Dominator's Rebel Patch, PM, Jamie Daniels; Nick Berrong, 259

Ransom's Jack Flash*, PM, Steve Hurdle; Rachel & Billy Blackwell & Doug Arthur, 244

Hendrix's Copperline, PM, Burke Hendrix; Burke Hendrix, 240

*Qualified but not in competition

Grovespring, Mo., March 26

Judges: Larry Huffman and Mike Matney


[One-Hour Qualifying Heats; Ninety-Minute Finals] -- 11 Pointers

and 1 Setter

Winner--TOUCH'S GREY STREET, 1680120, pointer male, by Touch's Knight Rider--Touch's White Assault. Keith Wright, owner; Ike Todd, handler.