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Event: 2023 Series Held At The Robert Gordon Field Trial Grounds
Result: National Red Setter Championships

Location: Hoffman, North Carolina

Post Date: Apr 12, 2023

Submitted By: Bonnie Hidalgo


National Open Shooting Dog Winners: Dennis Hidalgo with Firefly's Beeline, Bonnie Hidalgo, and Kelli Aitken with Quantonas Reciprocal. Absent were Come Back Trump and Joe Edwards.

The National Red Setter Club's National Shooting Dog Championships trial kicked off Thursday, February 16, at the Robert Gordon Field Trial grounds on the Sandhills Gamelands near Hoffman, N. C. The trial moved to Hoffman this year after ten straight years at the Jim Edgar/Panther Creek WMA near Chandlerville, Ill. The main reason for the change of venue was that in Illinois, many of the courses would be burned just a few days before the trial, rendering much of the ground unusable. Hoffman is a well-established ground with six well-groomed courses for running bird dogs; it has all the amenities one could desire. Birds are pre-released here, and no additional planting is permitted. With birds being released in the fall and a steady schedule of field trials conducted here, the birds, for the most part, are pushed off course.

Four coveys were moved during the running of the National Red Setter Open Shooting Dog Championship, all found during brace No. 6. Only one dog, out of 16 competing, finished with bird work. Undoubtedly, this was a contributing factor when the judges opted to withhold the title and revert to an Open Shooting Dog stake with three placements given. Between the two Championships and the Futurity, with 44 dogs running over the six courses, only six found game.

The walking stakes were run at the Tilley Road location, off the typical field trial courses, where planting birds are allowed. The NRSFTC purchased birds for planting for each brace of the walking stakes to give those contestants an excellent opportunity to point game. The Walking Shooting Dog course was a very nice "cover dog" type which was popular with the handlers. The Walking Derby course consisted of various habitats, from piney woods and brush to open grassy fields.

Judges for this event were Gary Miller, from nearby Jackson Springs, N. C., and Buck Heard, Moultrie, Ga., accompanied by his lovely wife, Lynn. Gary knew these grounds and was indispensable for guiding the handlers through the courses, and knowing the shortcuts back to camp at day's end! Gary runs all-age pointers and currently has a nice derby that he works and competes.

Buck is well-known on the amateur shooting dog circuit for having highly competitive dogs. Buck is a generous patron of the sport who believes in giving back to it in many ways, including judging. The Club wishes to thank Gary and Buck for hours spent in the saddle, watching our red dogs.

The National Red Setter Field Trial Club greatly appreciates its generous and faithful sponsors: Purina, Garmin, and SportDOG. Purina produces an incredible product in Purina Pro Plan, which fuels our dogs and keeps them in tip-top performance shape. Purina shows incredible dedication to the sport of field trials with its many sponsorships, but its best support is in what it adds to the health and performance of our canine athletes. Purina sponsored a banquet with our annual meeting. They provided dog food for the winners and financial aid for some of the trial's expenses. Greg Blair and Terry Trzcinski represent Purina well; they are always very helpful to clubs and individuals. Thank you, Purina, for all you do for all of us!

Garmin provided their highly sought-after products for the winners of the Championships and National Futurity. The club appreciates Garmin's continued contribution. The winners were excited to receive the quality equipment that Garmin provided.

SportDOG donates products for fundraising, which aids in the trial's financial column. SportDOG representative Jim Morehouse is always ready and willing to teach or assist anyone with product support and use questions. Thank you, SportDOG, for your unwavering support of the NRSFTC.

Special thanks to Greg Robinson for his expert driving of the dog wagon. He supplied refreshments and shared his knowledge of the area. He is an amiable man and was enjoyed by all.

Respected local pro Calvin Curnutte aided Robert Ecker with his Futurity entries. He graciously shared his knowledge of the grounds and helped the trial chair, Ed Liermann, lay out the courses for the walking stakes. Robert Ecker and his sweet niece, Gina Yocum, were also a great addition to this event.

Thanks to the many NRSFTC members who contributed to the success of this event. Joe Edwards is appreciated for his efforts in attaining dates at Hoffman and for the work that he put in, helping Ed Liermann get this event organized. Ed Liermann paid attention to detail and kept the event running to a timely conclusion which would have been in jeopardy had he not come up with the courses to run the walking stakes concurrently.

Thanks also to Wendy Schaefer, Linda Beauchamp, and Brenda Edwards for their attention to serving meals in the clubhouse and running numerous errands. Linda also tended to her duties as club treasurer, with her husband Don working as the collection agent. Tom and Linda Coppedge graced us with their entries, friendly presence, and dozens of cookies that Linda baked. Milt Schafer and Don Beauchamp were available to lend a hand in various facets of the field trial, from in the field to evening gatherings. Club President Dennis Hidalgo baked pizza for all attending before Wednesday night's board meeting. He also served his specialty, chicken Alfredo, to the entire group on Thursday evening. Thanks to Linda Coppedge and Andy Weik, who assisted Dennis with the cooking of the Thursday dinner. Andy also contributed two bottles of his delicious maple syrup to the silent auction. Clayton Thompson served as the official videographer; his video creation is anxiously awaited and will likely be best viewed on the Redbeard Outdoors channel on YouTube.

Amy and Jerry Gauthier were on hand to help. Amy, in addition to running her dogs, served in her capacity as club secretary. Jerry led us all in a blessing Sunday morning, preceded by Lynn Heard reading from the bible and Kristine Hammons singing a beautiful hymn.

Horseback members pitched in to aid with the running of the walking stakes. Kelli Aitken planted the Walking Shooting Dog course; Ed Liermann planted birds for the Futurity callback and the Open Walking Derby. Tim and Kristine Hammons graciously agreed to judge the Walking Derby.

The local trial contingent also provided a gentleman named Dave to be on road patrol while running the walking stakes for the safety of the dogs running near the corner of Hoffman and Tilley Roads. Bob and Barb Youngs were also on hand and were friendly and informative about the grounds and facilities before and during the trial.

There was an air of friendship and harmony during the entire trial, which caused one local bird dog person to remark that "you all came from so many different states, and you all get along so well; I've never seen a group that likes to hang out and socialize like this!" It is safe to say that all had a good time!

National Red Setter Open Shooting Dog Championship (title withheld)
Firefly's Beeline won first place in the Shooting Dog Championship turned Shooting Dog stake. She appeared in brace No. 6, the last to run on Thursday. Dennis and Bonnie Hidalgo own her; Dennis handled her.

Bee pointed at 19, on the opposite end of a thicket from where her bracemate had established point a moment before, neither dog in view of the other. Neither handler put up a bird; Dennis collared Bee so the bracemate could relocate. Things went wrong for the bracemate, and Bee was sent forward alone. Beeline went down the hill, where she scored a nice find at 23, with all in order. Beeline was sent forward, crossed a road, and pointed in a thicket at 32. Dennis didn't think she had them and whistled her up, she locked on, but he didn't think it looked right and told the judges he was taking her on. He had her collared when a big covey lifted. Sent on from this, she continued a forward, kind handling race, hunting the cover at good range and speed. At 45, she was seen making game and then disappeared. Her scout checked the area and found her standing. Flush was unsuccessful, and she was relocated. Bee did a great job maneuvering to get downwind, expertly pinning a covey, pointing with high style. Her manners and composure were good for flush and shot. Bee finished the hour forward, still performing a good shooting dog race.

Quantonas Reciprocal, an 8-year-old female owned and handled by Kelli Aitken, placed second. Reason ran a beautiful, consistently forward race. She handled kindly; unfortunately, she did not encounter birds.

Come Back Trump was placed third on the quality of his ground performance. He hunted mainly forward in pattern and handled kindly. No birds were moved. He was handled by his owner, Joe Edwards.

Windfall (Boser) and Silver Creek Wild Again (Hammons). Both dogs were consistently forward for the hour. Windfall pointed at 50, with Wild Again backing; it proved unproductive. Windfall pointed at 58; Wild Again came in for another back, and relocation netted no game as time expired. A pair of quail were ridden up by a scout, but no dogs made contact this hour.

Cedar Creek Sixgun (Liermann) and Red Bird's The Fifth Element (Aitken). These two were nicely forward from the start, Sixgun the stronger of the two. Griffin slowed late in the hour and was picked up at 50. Sixgun ran a big, predominantly forward race for the hour. He was absent at time but came in a few minutes after the hour. His was a nice ground race.

Firefly's Lucky Penny (Hidalgo) and Come Back Billy Boy (Edwards). They began with promise, fast and forward. Lucky suffered two lengthy absences and was picked up at 54. Billy ran the hour, hunting the edges at good range, and was mostly forward. No birds were moved during his brace.

Gratitude (Boser) and Come Back Delta Dawn (Aitken). Both dogs were forward in pattern early. Gratitude went right into the timber, and Delta showed forward. Gratitude appeared to the front, where he remained until 20. He then disappeared and was not recovered under judgment. Delta pointed at 39, but no birds were produced. She pointed again at 44, and birds were heard but not produced. She finished the hour forward.

Come Back Trump (Edwards) and Hotrod Ricky Joe (Hammons). Trump's hour was described earlier. Ricky Joe ran an excellent shooting dog race, showing nicely on the edges. He finished well but without game contact.

Firefly's Beeline (Hidalgo) and Little More Shine (Hammons). Bee's winning performance was described. Shine pointed at 18; upon relocation, she ran over a bird to end her bid.

Dawson's High Chaparral (Hidalgo) and Come Back Bo (Edwards). Chaparral was lost at 20. Bo started well but shortened by 40. He was picked up with no game contact.

Firefly's Power Play (Hidalgo) and Quantonas Reciprocal (Aitken). Power Play was a handful and was eventually lost. Reason placed second, and her performance has been described.
Hoffman, N. C., February 16
Judges: Buck Heard and Gary Miller
[Title Withheld]

1st--FIREFLY'S BEELINE, 1674096, female, by Dawson's High Chaparral-Firefly's Hot Tip. Dennis & Bonnie Hidalgo, owners; Dennis Hidalgo, handler.
2d--QUANTONAS RECIPROCAL, 1686166, female, by Heiligsepp's Blick-Russell's New Day. Kelli Aitken, owner and handler.
3d--COME BACK TRUMP, 1673917, male, by Come Back Audie-Celtic's Spectacular. Joe A. Edwards, owner and handler.

51st National Red Setter Futurity
The first series of the Futurity is a 30-minute heat. Dogs that point game adequately in that series need not be brought back to demonstrate point in the callback series. Dogs that impress the judges with their races but have no opportunity to demonstrate pointing ability are called back, in the order of their ranking, by the judges. There was one dog, Celtic's Gretchen Leigh, out of the 13 that proved herself a competent bird dog in the initial series.

Judges Gary Miller and Buck Heard called back three additional dogs and named two others to a standby list. The dogs in order were: Come Back Apache (Edwards), Celtic's Danger Close (Ecker), and S H F Chrome (Bell). The standby dogs were Come Back Bullet (Edwards) and Wayward (Boser). In this 51st Futurity, only one standby dog was worked.

The dogs in the callback are run one at a time from horseback over a short, bird-planted course. The performances in the callback and the placements are reported in the next segment; the original races of all dogs, except that of the winner, are listed under "Futurity
First Series."

In the absence of Futurity Secretary Jim Inbody, who could not attend, former futurity secretary Al Fazenbaker graciously stepped up to apprise the judges of the Futurity standard.

Futurity Callback and Winners
Celtic's Gretchen Leigh was the only Futurity dog to find and point game on course; it was not necessary for her to be called back to show pointing ability. She won this stake in her 30-minute heat. Gretchen scored a stylish find at 5 with acceptable manners. She pointed at 16, but no birds were produced. Gretchen handled well and stayed forward at a consistent range. Gretchen is owned by Paul Ober, and Celtic Kennels of Reading, Pa. Pennsylvania pro Robert Ecker expertly handled her.

Come Back Apache earned second place money based on his combined performances. He is owned and handled by Joe Edwards of Rose Hill, N. C. In the callback, he was forward into the bird field. He caught scent quickly and struck a beautiful pointing stance. He stood for the flush with minimal movement upon shot.

Celtic Danger Close, handled by Robert Ecker for Paul Ober, was next to perform in the callback. He failed to point on his first contact, then pointed a second bird but not to the judges' satisfaction. He was not placed, and his actions made it possible for the first standby to be called up.

S H F Chrome was the third to work. He pointed stylishly and allowed his handler to flush but made some movement at flight. S H F Chrome placed third for his owner/handler, Daniel Bell of Kenansville, N. C.

Come Back Bullet, owned and handled by Joe Edwards, was first on standby and was called up. Bullet pointed his bird with fine style but went with the flush. Bullet earned fourth place.

Wayward, owned by Roger Boser, was next on standby but wasn't needed as the judges already had their placements.

Futurity First Series
Come Back Apache (Edwards) and Celtic Danger Close (Ecker). These two were mostly forward in pattern. They were stylishly gaited; Apache was somewhat bigger going, but they were very closely matched.

S H F Chrome (Bell) and Firefly's Sunsetter (Hidalgo). Chrome was forward in pattern and displayed a good way of going. Sunsetter was lost at 10. Neither dog encountered no birds.

Come Back Misty Red (Ecker) and Come Back Dash (Edwards. Both were lost.

Come Back Bullet (Edwards) and Wayward (Boser). Bullet was not as forward as he could have been but ran with an easy gait. Wayward was attractive on the ground and similar in range to Bullet.

Cedar Creek Jules (Liermann) and SHF Fire (Bell). Jules made good moves early but seemed to weaken as time went on. Fire was inconsistent in his pattern.

Come Back Rebel (Edwards) and Conneaut Creek Tigger (Fazenbaker). Rebel did not show the range and drive his handler expected, and he was picked up early. Tigger hunted well but not at the range of the dogs that were called back.

Celtic's Gretchen Leigh (Ecker). Gretchen was drawn as a bye. Her winning performance
was described earlier.
1st--CELTIC'S GRETCHEN LEIGH, 1702360, female, by Celtic's First Down-Celtic's Game Face. Paul Ober, owner; Robert Ecker, handler.
2d--COME BACK APACHE, 1700071, male, by Come Back Billy Boy-Hatcreek Misty Blue. Joe A. Edwards, owner and handler.
3d--S H F CHROME, 1703037, male, by Come Back Billy Boy-Hatcreek Misty Blue. Daniel Bell, owner and handler.
4th-COME BACK BULLET, 1700072, male, by Come Back Billy Boy-Come Back Bree. Joe A. Edwards, owner and handler.

NRS 51st FuturityS23

51st National Futurity Winners (front row): Robert Ecker with Celtic's Gretchen Leigh, Joe Edwards with Come Back Apache, Daniel Bell with S H F Chrome, and Ed Liermann with Come
Back Bullet. (Standing): Gina Yocum, Greg Gibson, Gary Miller (judge), Francis Fountain, Buck Heard (judge), Don Beauchamp, and Bonnie Hidalgo.

Jack Carter Red Setter Open Walking Shooting Dog
This stake ran on Saturday morning after the Futurity callbacks. It was run simultaneously with the Walking Derby in locations where bird planting was permissible. (The one-hour courses are pre-released birds only.) The course was described as a 'cover dog' course and seemed quite popular with the handlers. Judges for this stake were Buck Heard and Gary Miller.

Conneaut Creek Lake Erie Storm emerged as the winner for owner/handler Al Fazenbaker. Stormie ran a nice race at a desired range. She hunted smartly and scored one beautiful and well-mannered find.

Cedar Creek Asa's Reign handled well for Amy Gauthier; he placed second. Asa scored two stylish, mannerly finds. He did not cover as much ground in his hunt as the winner. Amy and Jerry Gauthier of Wabash, Ind., own Asa.

Cedar Creek Braden also came through for Amy, winning third-place honors. Braden put
on a nice hunting race with one mannerly find. Amy and Jerry Gauthier own him.
OPEN SHOOTING DOG - 10 Irish Setters

1st--CONNEAUT CREEK LAKE ERIE STORM, 1651488, female, by Come Back Superfire-Come Back Bee Gee. Allen Fazenbaker, owner and handler.
2d--CEDAR CREEK ASA'S REIGN, 1692805, male, by Cedar Creek Talon-Cedar Creek's Skyline Belle. Amy Gauthier, owner and handler.
3d--CEDAR CREEK BRADEN, 1664951, male, by Cedar Creek Skyliner-Cedar Creek Rocket Baby. Amy Gauthier, owner and handler.


Jack Carter Open Walking Shooting Dog Winners: Brenda Edwards, Linda Coppedge, Amy Gauthier with Cedar Creek Asa's Reign, Jerry Gauthier with Cedar Creek Braden, and Milt
Schaefer. Absent were Conneaut Creek Lake Erie Storm and Al Fazenbaker.

Red Setter Open Walking Derby
This stake was judged by long-time NRSFTC members Kristine and Tim Hammons of Berea, Ky. It covered a variety of habitats and was well-planted with quail. Come Back Misty Red turned in an excellent race to win this stake for handler Robert Ecker and new owner Paul Ober. Misty Red scored two pretty finds with top manners.

In second place was S H F Chrome, owned and handled by Daniel Bell. Chrome scored three finds, allowing his handler to flush. He was shorter range than the winner. Conneaut Creek Tigger was placed third on race. He hunted diligently but found no birds. His chances may have been diminished because a hunter and his dog were found on the course during Tigger's brace. Tigger is owned and handled by Al Fazenbaker.
Judges: Kristine Hammons and Tim Hammons

1st--COME BACK MISTY RED, 1699334, female, by Come Back Billy Boy-Hatcreek Misty Blue. Paul Ober, owner; Robert Ecker, handler.
2d--S H F CHROME, 1703037, male, by Come Back Billy Boy-Hatcreek Misty Blue. Daniel Bell, owner and handler.
3d--CONNEAUT CREEK TIGGER, 1697071, male, by Come Back Trump-Come Back Little Bit. Allen Fazenbaker, owner and handler.


Red Setter Open Walking Derby Winners: Robert Ecker with Come Back Misty Red and Daniel Bell with S H F Chrome. (Standing): Gina Yocum, Kristine and Tim Hammons (judges). (Back row): Don Beauchamp, Bonnie Hidalgo, and Buck Heard.

National Amateur Red Setter Shooting Dog Championship
Judges for this stake were Buck Heard and Gary Miller. It commenced on Saturday afternoon, following the conclusion of the walking stakes. A brief lunch period was taken as the judges had decided to fit in three braces of the Championship that afternoon. Their plan was successful, and the entourage returned to camp just after 6 p.m. This left five hours of running for Sunday. Afternoon courses start on designated course 4, from behind the barn. The morning braces begin on course 1, immediately across the road from the Clubhouse.

Red Bird's The Fifth Element, handled by Kelli Aitken, emerged as the obvious winner of this stake. "Griffin" ran a predominantly forward race at near-ideal range. He made a wrong turn at the beginning of the hour but was always where he should be once he overcame that. This dog moves gracefully and has speed; he is in tune with his handler. At 45, he pointed, but Kelli felt unsure, so she relocated him. Griffin quickly pinned his quarry, standing with lofty composure. The covey was flushed while Griffin stood high and tight. His was a beautiful performance.
Clayton Thompson capably scouted him. Red Bird's The Fifth Element is co-owned by Kelli Aitken and her good friend, Kristi Gallino.

Silver Creek Wild Again appeared on Sunday afternoon in brace No. 8, the final brace of the Championship. Runner-up honors were earned by this young dog, who has yet to reach his third birthday. Wild Again is owned and handled by Tim Hammons, Berea, Ky.; Kris Hammons scouted him. Wild Again ran a consistent, medium-range shooting dog race. He was never anywhere but forward during the hour. At 18, he pointed with high style on both ends and was mannerly through flush and shot. He was a shoo-in for runner-up.
The Running
Firefly's Lucky Penny (Hidalgo) and Red Bird's The Fifth Element (Aitken). Lucky was lost by 20. Griffin's hour is reported in "The Winners" section. Hotrod Ricky Joe (Hammons) and Gratitude (Boser). These two put down good races and were mainly forward in their patterns. No birds were seen this hour.

Come Back Trump (Edwards) and Firefly's Power Play (Hidalgo) Power Play ("Puck") pointed stylishly at 16 beside a tall, grassy thicket. Trump came in for a back. A large covey was flushed, and Trump went with them. Puck displayed perfect composure throughout. At 30, Puck pointed in a brushy thicket; relocation was required. He was successful, but it ended as a stop to flush. After some discussion between the judges, Puck was allowed to continue. He pointed again at 47, but this proved unproductive. His race, for the most part, was forward. Puck finished the hour with energy to spare.

Quantonas Reciprocal (Aitken) and Cedar Creek Sixgun (Liermann). Sunday's first hour turned loose across from the clubhouse, on course 1, following a devotion ceremony. Reason ran a pretty race at a good range. Sixgun put down a big race and was predominantly forward. Neither dog found game.

Little More Shine (Hammons) and Firefly's Beeline (Hidalgo). These two females ran solid races and hunted the likely places. Unfortunately, neither was successful in finding game. They finished the hour well forward.

Come Back Billy Boy (Edwards) and Windfall (Boser). Billy ran the hour with a forward pattern at a good range. Windfall ran a nice shooting dog race for 45 minutes when he slowed noticeably. He was picked up at 48. No birds were seen this hour.

Dawson's High Chaparral (Hidalgo) and Come Back Delta Dawn (Aitken). These two had their agendas, and both were lost.

Silver Creek Wild Again (Hammons) and Come Back Bo (Edwards). Bo was scratched.
Silver Creek Wild Again was named runnerup; his performance is reported under "The
Judges: Buck Heard and Gary Miller

Winner--RED BIRD'S THE FIFTH ELEMENT, 1687076, male, by Eshod's Barn Burner-Red Bird's River Wild. Kellie Aitken & Kristi Gallino, owners; Kellie Aitken, handler.
Runner-Up--SILVER CREEK WILD AGAIN, 1692221, male, by Zansett Ricky O'Ryan-S C Miss Behaving. Tim Hammons, owner and handler.


National Red Setter Amateur Shooting Dog Championship Winners: Clayton Thompson with Red Bird's The Fifth Element and Tim Hammons with Silver Creek Wild Again. (Standing): Bonnie Hidalgo, Kelli Aitken, Gary Miller (judge), Greg Gibson, Kristine Hammons, Buck Heard (judge), Ed Liermann, and Dennis Hidalgo.