Result: National Amateur Prairie Chicken Shooting Dog Championship
Location: Buena Vista, Wisconsin
Post Date: Dec 15, 2022
Submitted By: Frank LaNasa
From left to right; Lee Long, Judy Reisner, Dennis Sneed, Rich Boumeester, Doug Reisner, Ann Irhke, Ed Liermann, Linda Smith, Judge Larry Smith, Scott Jordan, Gary Wolfe, Frank LaNasa with Confident Nation, Judge Jarrett Bell, Allison Bell, Mark Johnson, participant, George Irhke, Sue Duvall, Mike Duvall, Chris Sellers, Purina Rep Terry Terzinski, Sean Patrick Derrig, Brian Sheehan, Scholarship recipient Parker Kreie.
While a lot in our sport has changed from year to year thankfully a lot remains the same. Showing up at the grounds each year for 35 years, we all wonder how the birds will be, where the birds will be, and how's the cover. The answer is different every year, sometimes a lot different. The Buena Vista Grasslands are unavailable for working dogs from horseback during the summer months. Some locals will walk the grounds during the summer months with their bird dogs but the heavy cover limits routes and the areas they investigate so come the trial time we rarely know what the whole status is, but all are excited to find out. This year, birds were moved on every single brace of the trial.
We were fortunate to have two field trial competitors sit in the judge's saddles. Judges who breed dogs, raise puppies, develop youngsters, train, and successfully compete typically understand the challenges one faces in competition and resist the temptation to jump too quickly to conclusions on events that happen at a rapid pace. If you ever want to see how fast things can go from good to bad or from bad to good, then come to Buena Vista. Judge Larry Smith was joined by his wife Linda for the week with us. Larry has been a stalwart supporter, giver and successful competitor of field trialing for decades. He has been to most places and trialed on most birds more than once! He knows what he's looking for, and he's the type of judge you enjoy showing your dogs under. Judge Jarret Bell and his wife, Allison are strong competitors who work and develop their dogs. They spend time in different venues, gaining the experience that competitors running under their judgment can appreciate. Larry and Jarret have had numerous champion performers and know a performance when they see it.
The National Amateur and National Open Prairie Chicken Championships run back to back. Consequently, both championships work hand in hand to help each other make it the best experience for the competitors. Ed Liermann has not only been a superb trial chair for the Open Championship but has done much to advocate for the benefits of having quality field trials on these native prairie chicken grounds. Ed has shown that Field Trial events can be givers to the local communities and positive influences for the natural resources and wildlife on the venues themselves. The benefits of Ed's work reach far beyond the boundaries of just the Buena Vista Grasslands and well into the other public grounds in the state of Wisconsin. His work with the Wisconsin DNR on a local and statewide level and his networking with local institutions of education preparing our next generation of Natural Resource managers have been a blueprint for others to follow.
Others that assist are my co-chair Mark Johnson, the AFTCA Vizsla Trustee at Large; Gary Wolfe, dog wagon driver extraordinaire; George and Ann Ihrke and Judy and Doug Reisner with road crossings; and John Mathys with marshaling.
This year's Champion, CH Confident Nation, is no stranger to the winner's circle. Smoke is a four-year-old male pointer owned and handled by Scott Jordan of White Bear Lake, Minn. Smoke is by True Confidence x Southern Songbird, and a 7th generation winner going back to Ch Isanti Blacktop who won this event in 1999. Smoke has been placed at this venue numerous times and his performance this year on course 6 was in championship form. Smoke runs strong so the cover doesn't seem to provide the same challenge for him as for others. At 25 he was off to the left on the course and styled up beautifully. A large covey of chicken powerfully jumped to wing all at once in classic style, leaving a lasting memory. He continued a strong forward pattern, never backing down and finished deep and strong well to the front, separating himself from the other competitors.
Runner-Up this year was Lawless Georgie Girl. Girl is a 5-year-old female pointer by Oak Grove Pacemaker x Homestead Georgia. She ran on course 4. Her ground race was pleasant, consistent and forward and required very little assistance. She reached into the country when it made sense and shortened when it was required. At around the 40-minute mark after crossing Griffith Road she went forward into heavy cover and established point. While riding to her, unseen by her handler, her birds left. She was shot over and brought on where she continued her consistent hunt. Finishing strong, her hour was memorable as well.
The judges also mentioned the performance of Erin's Rebel Attraction which pushed the winners for handler/owner Brian Sheehan with an outstanding hour.
1 Notorious Front Range (PM/John Mathys) and Cedar Creek Sixgun (ISM/Ed Liermann). Both dogs were consistent, with Front Range the wider. After crossing Griffith road Sixgun was upfront on left of course. At 10 a single bird left from the area near Sixgun and when Liermann arrived he noticed Sixgun standing and called point. After a lengthy flush the dog was taken on. It was unclear whether Ed ever knew a bird had left previously. Front Range continued his strong effort cumulating in a find at 58 with all in order.
2 Confident Nation (PM/Jordan) and Erin's Cure the Blues (PM/Dennis Sneed). Confident Nation was reported earlier. Cure the Blues started well but became more erratic as the hour progressed. He did not have any bird contacts.
3 Erin's Rebel Attraction (PM/Sheehan) and Chochise B (ESM/Marion Brown). Rebel Attraction scored on a big covey at 10. Birds were leaving during the ride to the find and additional birds were flushed for Rebel. Rebel handled the tough cover on course 3 with a strong forward and unscouted performance only shortening up some the final 10. Chochise was unable to connect with game.
4 Nine to Five (PF/Dave Moore) and Lawless Georgie Girl (PF/Jim Lawless). Georgie Girl was reported earlier. Nine to Five ran a race equal to her bracemate making for a pleasant hour for the pair. Unfortunately Nine to Five was birdless.
5 Erin's Tin Lizzie (PF/Mark Johnson) and Stellar's Natural Disaster (PF/IS/Mike Duvall). At 25 Natural Disaster had a stop to flush on a single chicken and went on to finish the hour with no more contacts. Lizzie ran a pleasant moderate race but was picked up at Lake Drive.
6 Cedar Creek Shindig (ISF/Ed Liermann) and Erin's Country Rebel (PM/Derrig). At the 12-minute mark Rebel had a good find on a single chicken. Shindig failed to back and was picked up. Rebel suffered unproductives at 40 and 52.
7 Southern Confidence (PM/LaNasa) and Wibaux Sun B (ESM/Marion Brown). Confidence was strong and appealing having finds at 6, 25, 36 but the find at 42 proved too much as a covey of birds ran out from in front of his stand, exposing themselves and taking to wing with Confidence right behind. Sun B was picked up, failing to back on Confidences first find.
8 Notorious Dominators Heir (PM/John Mathys) and Erin's Wild Rum (PM/Mark Johnson). Both dog's efforts were big and strong, but not always directed forward. Heir suffered an unproductive at 25. Rum was up at 40. Heir finished without any bird contacts.
9 Strut Nation (PM/Jordan) and Lawless Speck (PM/Jim Lawless). Nation and Speck started huge with Speck having a good stop to flush on a covey of 3 chicken. At 25 Speck had an unproductive and then he was gone at 35. Nation after making a couple of showy moves disappeared from judgement at 20.
10 Seller's Pashca Skylos (PM/Chris Seller) and Mac Golva B (ESM/Marion Brown). Golva B at 4 had a good find. At 12 Skylos had birds in the air and was up. Golva B had those same birds pointed and was shot over with all in order. Golva did a good job, always forward and responsive to his handler. Golva B pointed at 56 and ended his hour with an unproductive.
11 Northern Confidence (PM/LaNasa) and Erin's Southern Comfort (PM/Derrig). Confidence and Comfort were aggressive from the breakaway causing a bit of a challenge to get them both through the first loop on the course. Confidence pointed at 22, while going to him Comfort came into the area and pointed as well. Both dogs had their own birds and both were shot over. Shortly after Confidence went missing and was up. Comfort continued on with a good stop to flush at 45 and ended his hour with an unproductive.
12 Notorious Slap Shot (PM/John Mathys) and Oak Grove Scarlett (PF/Doug Reisner). Scarlet suffered an unproductive at 20 and then followed up with a good find at 35 with all in order. Reisner decided to pickup at 40. Slap Shot was doing well on the ground and at 58 while working a bird, it lifted with Slap Shot stopping, ending his hour.
13 Cheyenne Nation (PF/Jordan) and Thumper's Anything But (PF/IS/Mike Duvall). Anything But, always mindful of her handler hunted moderately without any contact. Nation had everyone watching for the hour but could not score on game.
Buena Vista, Wis., September 23
Judges: Jarrett Bell and Larry Smith
NATIONAL AMATEUR PRAIRIE CHICKEN SHOOTING DOG CHAMPIONSHIP [One-Hour Heats] - 21 Pointers, 3 Setters and 2 Irish Setters
Winner-CONFIDENT NATION, 1684546, pointer male, by True Confidence-Southern Songbird. Scott Jordan, owner and handler.
Runner-Up-LAWLESS GEORGIE GIRL, 1676697, pointer female, by Oak Grove Pacemaker-Homestead Georgia. Jim Lawless, owner and handler.