Event: Kansas Prairie All-Age Qualifier; Westfall's Wheels Up named First
Result: Gyp Hills Field Trial Club
Location: Medicine Lodge, Kansas
Post Date: Jan 26, 2023
Submitted By: Doug Meyer
Kansas Prairie All-Age Winners. From left: Judge Ralph Short, Andy Daugherty, Thane Yunker, Matt Cochran with Westfall's Wheels Up, Joe Worsham with Worsham's Super Sport, Allen Vincent with Sadie Firefly and Judge Donnie Jeffrey.
The Gyp Hills Field Trial Club held the Kansas Prairie All Age stake on the beautiful rolling red hills of the Z Bar Ranch near Medicine Lodge Kansas beginning October 17, 2022. This was another good renewal on the 43,000-acre Z Bar contested on wild bobwhites, pheasants and prairie chickens. The three one-hour courses utilized travel along the hillsides and riparian areas of four different named watersheds, the Salt Fork of the Arkansas River, East and West Dry Creeks and Cottage Creek. Each course is laid out to provide relatively equal opportunities on wild game and chances to show on big swings. This ranch its managed for wildlife as well as some 2,000 bison who roam among a dozen pastures. This year the Z Bar along with most of Kansas and the high plains was terribly dry and very little water was found in any of the normally flowing streams. The club and ranch helper Thane Yunker put out 100-gallon water tubs on each course and we were blessed with unseasonably cool temperatures for the trial. Really fortunate and the competitors were up to the challenge and still able to find and point birds in the low humidity.
Andy Daugherty's dogs have made a habit of winning on these grounds since the club started this Purina Points and National Qualifier some eight years ago. Andy won last year with Brad Calkin's pointer male, Westfall's River Ice after a dug up find along a cliffside and a deep race with showy casts. This year Andy turned loose Westfall's Wheels Up who made quick work of course two with a solid race through the first half and through the wetland. He was found to the right of course above Cottage Creek by scout Matt Cochran. After a bit of a dicey crossing, Judge Donnie Jeffrey watched as Daugherty put a running pheasant in the air for Wheels after a nice job of handling this rooster. His finish was strong after catching the front. Joe Worsham released his Super Sport dog on the third hour and Dave had his running shoes on early. Not seen since the three-minute mark, Joe rode ahead while scout Matt Cochran was riding high and looking. Right before the tracker was considered, Super Sport came in from deep at the front to reconnect with Joe. Watered at the next gate, he quickly pointed into a plum thicket with all in order as the bobwhites boiled out. Taken on, he was hunting the country and dug up a pheasant in a thicket in one of the many small cuts on the Z Bar. A real nice find. Joe was keeping him in check and the dog finished ahead to take the second place spot. Allen Vincent handled Sadie Firefly to a real nice though birdless race to annex third place. Sadie kept getting stronger as the hour progressed. Bird work was at a premium, but the handlers knew their race needed to meet the standards as well. Texas Wild Agin had a covey of birds early in the wetland but Vincent put the rope on him after the half due to his race shortening. Big and Wild for Matt Cochran had an unproductive early in the brace but birds were ridden up as the gallery moved on after the dog had been taken on. Westfall's Power Trip was running a very strong dog race but was sidelined by a porcupine late. Probably the overall strongest race of this renewal.
Judges Ralph Short and Donnie Jeffrey rode attentively and knew what they were looking for. Both are wild bird hunters and enjoyed success field trialing over the years. Donnie had a couple AA dogs with Randy Downs as well as the very well-known Bill's Doublecross Slim he and Bill Trabue won so many shooting dog championships with. Ralph and I trialed together, and he was instrumental scouting for me when we won the AFTCA National WSD Championship with Greypointe Espada in the mid-2000's.
Medicine Lodge, Kan., October 17
Judges: Donnie Jeffrey and Ralph Short
KANSAS PRAIRIE OPEN ALL-AGE - 21 Pointers and 1 Setter
1st-WESTFALL'S WHEELS UP, 1680653, pointer male, by Westfall's Black Ace-Westfall's Quick Trick. Bill Westfall, owner; Andy Daugherty, handler.
2d-WORSHAM'S SUPER SPORT, 1680553, pointer male, by Touch's Knight Rider-Touch's Maswood Anne. Joe Worsham, owner and handler.
3d-SADIE FIREFLY, 1691207, pointer female, by Westfall's True Grit-Gin Smoke and Lies. Natlie Cooper, Steve Lightle & James Mills, owners; Allen Vincent, handler.
The Gyp Hills club has laid out a separate multiple course that runs in a circular pattern through Dry Creek and the hillsides about the Salt Fork of the Arkansas. A dog can be seen but also needs to want to go with you as there are certainly places they can get away. Lots of birds are usually seen and this year several derbies had bird contacts. Wynona Nickelback Hank had a nice forward race and bird contact for Allen Vincent to take first place. Vincent also claimed second with Sandridge Big Iron after a find and nice race. Joe Worsham took third with Worsham's Spit Fire who was braced with Big Iron. We hope all these derbies go on to fulfill the promise shown on the Z Bar.
The Club wishes to thank Greg Blair and Purina Pro Plan for their continued support as well as the ownership, management and staff at the Z Bar. We cannot run the trial without their assistance and hospitality. Special thanks to Thane Yunker who assists in every way possible with the dog wagon, gates, crossings, etc. The trial is held in a remote area and having the ranch to support us is critical to our success. Thanks to Brad Calkins for sponsoring the winner's steak supper for his River Ice dog from 2021. The ribeyes were great! We hope to see some of you at our amateur stakes February 24-26 this spring! The Gyp Hills FTC thanks you for your support.
KANSAS PRAIRIE OPEN DERBY - 4 Pointers and 4 Setters
1st-WYNONA'S NICKLEBACK HANK, 1694727, setter male, by T's Nickleback-Carpenter's Don't Ya. Bruce Sooter & Ryan Garrett, owners; Allen Vincent, handler.
2d-SANDRIDGE BIG IRON, 1700919, pointer male, by Westfall's True Grit-Gin Smoke and Lies. Allen Vincent, owner and handler.
3d-WORSHAM'S SPITFIRE, 1701266, pointer male, by Touch's Grey Street-Erin's Miss Daisy. Joe Worsham, owner and handler.
Kansas Prairie Derby Winners. From left: Judges Donnie Jeffrey and Ralph Short, Allen Vincent with Winona's Nickelback Hank, Andy Daugherty with Sandridge Big Iron, Matt Cochran with Worsham's Spitfire, Joe Worsham, Gary Shaw and Mikaela.