Result: NBHA National Amateur Championship
Location: Berea, Kentucky
Post Date: Feb 28, 2023
Submitted By: Gerald Addison
National Amateur Championship Winners (from left): Judge Sam Ridings, Greg Isenberg with Tenacee Shelby, Geoff Johnson with Chippewa's Dog of War, Judge Matt Hadley, Geoff Johnson, Don Heisner, and Craig Hiatt.
The NBHA National Amateur Championship, hosted by the Bluegrass Walking Shooting Dog Club, was run at the Miller-Welch Central Kentucky Wildlife Management Area December 9-10. While the weather on both days started rather difficult, with dense fog requiring a delay on Friday and Saturday, the trial could be completed by day's end on Saturday.
Judges Matt Hadley and Sam Ridings presided over a field of 19 very talented bird dogs that traveled from as far away as New York and Florida. The field consisted of 11 setters, six pointers, one Red setter, and one Brittany. Plenty of birds were on the course, and all braces of dogs had bird contacts.
After a delayed start because of fog, the trial got underway with cloudy, wet conditions and a light breeze, which made for excellent scenting conditions for the dogs. Champion Chippewa's Dog of War, owned and handled by Geoff Johnson, ran in the third brace of the day, and the nice-looking male pointer appeared determined to set the bar as high as possible, and set it high he did. Only six minutes into his run, he was found high and tight. At the flush and shot, the dog remained steady as a rock. He repeated this at the 18 and once again at 41 and finished his hour ranging wide and fancy while still staying to the front and handling well for Geoff. This turned out to be the race that was not to be beaten, although many tried and came close.
The runner-up, Tenacee Shelby, a pointer male owned and handled by Greg Isenberg, came from the sixth brace, the first brace to run on Saturday morning. With scenting conditions almost identical to the day before, it would be an even test for all contestants. Once again, we faced a two-hour fog delay, but this didn't dampen the spirits of this big running pointer. He broke away and at 10 was found standing, and a single quail was flushed and shot fired with perfect manners. This scenario was repeated at 25 and 32, and he never failed to deliver with perfect manners, making the judges' decisions all the more difficult. In the end, he was awarded the well-deserved runner-up ribbon.
The Derby field consisted of six young bird dogs made up of four pointers and two setters. The running took place immediately after the conclusion of the shooting dog stakes and finished just ahead of darkness, with all braces having bird contacts. Judges for the Derby were Jonathan Dunn and Gerry Addison.
Ultimately, first place was awarded to Vitali's Grouseringer Rush, owned and handled by Gary Vitali. Rush had a nice find that required an extended flushing attempt by Gary, who finally could locate the quail buried under leaves. This young dog showed great restraint holding during this flushing attempt. While not running as far ranging as some other dogs, he hit the objectives, stayed to the front, and handled well for Mr. Vitali.
Second place was awarded to Boomer, a pointer male owned and handled by Travis Patterson. Boomer had his first find at 12 and was found with beautiful style and kept his composure while a quail ran on the ground in front of him and after the shot. This seemed to put the dog into another gear, and he took a trip, being gone from judgment for 9 minutes. When he was found, he was to the front and had slowed down, making him much easier to handle. He ended his half hour with another find but could not keep his cool this time and ended flushing the bird. All in all, these derbies show great potential.
We want to thank the state of Kentucky for allowing us to utilize these very nice trial grounds, judges Matt Hadley, Sam Ridings, and Jonathan Dunn for their hard work, Mike Fox for running the trial, and Bob Kester for planting birds. And a huge thank you to all that participated.
Berea, Ky., December 11
Judges: Matt Hadley and Sam Ridings
NBHA NATIONAL AMATEUR CHAMPIONSHIP [One-Hour Heats] - 19 Entries
Winner--CHIPPEWA'S DOG OF WAR, 1691401, pointer male, by Miller's Speed Dial-Bonner's Snow Angel. Geoff Johnson, owner and handler.
Runner-Up--TENACEE SHELBY, 1683044, by Elhew Moneymaker-Cantor's Coco. Greg Isenberg, owner and handler.
Judges: Jonathan Dunn and Gerry Addison
NBHA AMATEUR DERBY - 4 Pointers and 2 Setters
1st--VITALI'S GROUSERINGER RUSH, 1695612, setter male, by Woodville's Yukon Cornelius-Outcast Stardust. Gary Vitali, owner and handler.
2d--SONIC BOOM VOM HUBER HAUS, 1701297, pointer male, by Mac Rhoads-Lacee Jane Elhew Blackhawk. Aaron Travis Patterson, Jr., owner and handler.
Amateur Derby Winners (from left): Gary Vitali with Vitali's Grouseringer Rush, Judges Gerry Addison and Jonathan Dunn, and Travis Patterson with Sonic Boom Vom Huber Haus.