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Event: Southern Shadows Rick Wins Amateur Derby Lawless Georgie Girl Shooting Dog
Result: National Amateur Shooting Dog Championships

Location: Grovesprings, Missouri

Post Date: Apr 21, 2023

Submitted By: Tony King

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National Amateur Shooting Dog Derby Championship Winners: Lance Servais with Southern Shadows Rick and Brian Petersen with Red Alert Lane. (Back row): Mark Johnson, Adam DeLude, Dr. Bob Rankin (judge), Tony King, Luke Topp, Greg Blair (Purina representative), Tim Penn (judge), Dr. Pat McInteer, and Jace and Jay Lewis.

Blessed with seasonable weather for mid-January, amateur handlers from 13 different states traveled to the Ozark Highlands region near Grovespring, Mo., to participate in the running of the AFTCA National Amateur Shooting Dog Derby and Shooting Dog Championships. Highlighted by great camaraderie, generous sportsmanship, plentiful bird work, and spectacular dog performances, this year's event was the perfect setting for the sport's pinnacle of amateur shooting dog and derby championship venues.

The Sportsmen's Association field trial grounds are near Grovespring, Mo., in Wright County. This setting features a 2,800-acre field trial complex home to many of the field trial sport's largest and most important titular stakes each year. The facility boasts large gravel parking areas, two kennel setups, RV hookups, two horse barns, paddock-style horse corrals, a clubhouse for gatherings with sleeping quarters, and three one-hour courses that provide ample opportunity to showcase the talents of any top-notch field trial dog. The three courses vary in topography and habitat, allowing handlers to show a field trial dog that runs and handles. The Sportsmen's Association also conducts an early season pre-release quail program to supplement the ongoing release of quail by field trial clubs. These features and various amenities make for a very enjoyable experience.

Judicial consistency was key in acquiring judges for these two championships. Dr. Bob Rankin from Edmond, Okla., and Tim Penn from Edina, Mo., manned the judicial saddles for five straight days evaluating 23 derbies and 33 shooting dogs. Although neither had met before, the planned pairing of these two avid field trialers was an excellent combination of consistency, pace, effort, and attitude. Their cheerful attitudes and willingness to look at every dog the same way were contagious among the handlers and trial participants throughout these stakes. These two gentlemen are genuinely passionate about the sport of field trialing and work very hard to improve it by filling many leadership roles. Dr. Rankin is the current president of the American Brittany Club and former AFTCA Trustee-at-Large (representative of the Brittany breed group). Tim is a Region 5 officer and the National Bird Hunters Association's National Secretary. Their experience and leadership ability served them well throughout the trial, as their decisions were well received. The AFTCA Board of Directors and regional trustees
appreciate their services and their dedication to the sport of field trialing.

No successful field trial is complete without a great team of patrons who donate their time, experience, and energy to the sport of field trialing. This year's team consisted of current and former AFTCA trustees and several avid field trialers to host this successful event. The AFTCA organization was well represented at this year's running as Region 17 Trustee Luke Topp helped co-chair this event with me. Purina Committee Member and Trustee-at-Large (representative of the Vizsla breed) Mark Johnson was also in attendance to run dogs and help with many logistical duties during the trial. Adam DeLude again made the long trek from Wisconsin to run dogs and help host another national AFTCA event. Earlier in the season, Adam helped co-chair the AFTCA National Amateur Walking Shooting Dog Championship and was an integral part of this event. Former Trustee Lou Qualtiere was the dog wagon driver extraordinaire for this event. Although it seems trivial, a great dog wagon driver eliminates many headaches during a field trial. Finally, I would like to thank Valerie Burchette and Michelle Weaver as they catered the Purina dinner. As always, Valerie and Michelle's home-cooked pasta dinner and desserts were outstanding. Thanks to all these individuals, their generosity and dedication during this event were highly appreciated.

Field trials would not survive without the help of their sponsors. The AFTCA is very fortunate to have two of the industry's best. For years now, Purina and Garmin have graciously provided product and support to AFTCA Amateur National Championship stakes. Purina provided Pro Plan Performance, and Garmin provided e-collars to the champion and runner-up in both stakes. Furthermore, Purina representatives Greg Blair and Terry Trzcinski were in attendance for Friday evening's Purina dinner. I would like to personally thank Greg and Terry for taking time out of their busy schedules to attend. The AFTCA would like to thank Garmin and Purina for their unwavering dedication and continued support.

The National Amateur Shooting Dog Derby Championship
After significant rain showers caused a delay in the running on Wednesday, a strong field of 23 derbies was brought to the line over the following two days to showcase their young abilities. In a whirlwind of activity that included many solid performances and plenty of bird work, littermate brothers from the Lance Servais and Brian Petersen team set themselves apart from the rest of the contenders.

Pointer males Southern Shadows Rick and Red Alert Lane, sired by Lester's Prime Poison Lane out of the producing female Southern Ritz Lane, captivated the judges with their strong, forward yet showy applications coupled with crisp, mature bird work, earning them champion and runner-up honors respectively.

After an early pickup, Southern Shadows Rick for Brian Petersen and Hale's Country Strong for Jeff Hale broke away with purpose at the top of Apple Tree Hill to begin brace No. 5. Across Apple Tree and through Little Vine Loop, both were showing nicely. At 12, Rick stood boldly on the left edge of the bottom corn field with County Strong backing beautifully. After a lengthy flushing attempt, an unproductive was recorded in the books for Rick. From there and through Sycamore Bottoms, both dogs were away with purpose. Up the hill and above Andy's, Country Strong recorded a nice find at the wooded draw on the left side. Both dogs hunted nicely through Twin Barns Pasture, and after a big swing across the south hillside, Rick recorded a nice find at 55 in the fence line above the chute entry. With the clock winding down, the pair was away and headed for Bull Pasture, with Rick taking the right edge and Country Strong hunting thoroughly along the left. At the pickup call, both dogs were seen finishing well and reaching near the Old Blue house.

Southern Shadows Rick was biddable during the hour, required little scouting and applied himself perfectly as the course topography and habitat varied. Always on the front end, Rick continued to reach and gain confidence in his pursuit. He seemed to yield to Petersen's commands but pushed the envelope of country while hunting every step. His bird work and style were unblemished, and his timely finish could not have been more ideal. Although the judges had many quality performances to choose from, Southern Shadows Rick's total performance separated itself from the rest of the field, earning him the Derby Championship title.

The advantage of having the course to yourself can be inviting but not having a challenging bracemate can often be problematic. The situation did not hinder Runner-up Derby Champion Red Alert Lane for Brian Petersen, as he ran in brace No. 7 as a bye-dog. Promptly away at 8 a.m. on Friday, Red Alert Lane started attacking the creek bottom edges on course 1. His thorough pursuit left no haunt unsearched as he was across the creeks and through the bottoms below Andy's house towards Davis Bottom. At 24, Red Alert Lane was on board with a stylish and mannerly find in the old middle fence line in Davis Bottom. From there, Petersen guided him across the cross creek and through Island Field, with Lane taking every edge and using the wind to his advantage. At 41, he was rewarded with a mannerly find below Horse Killer Hill. Away with time to spare, Red Alert Lane made easy work of Apple Tree Hill and Little Vine Bottoms. As the call of pick-up rang out, he finished going away with purpose and uphill near the course 2 breakaway. Lane's pursuit was unwavering like his champion littermate, and his bird work was decorous. This derby required little scouting as he never left the front end, thus solidifying his spot in the winners' circle.

The Running
Brace No. 1 featured Southern Shadows Bootleg for Lance Servais and Hale's Country On for Dr. Jeff Hale. Bootleg quickly went to work with a nice find before crossing the road into Davis Bottom and finishing his hour with a stop to flush at 45 and a final find at 50. Bootleg's hour was also impressive, being very biddable, mostly forward with mannerly bird work. In many situations, this performance would have earned the opportunity to land in the winners' circle. Hale's Country On finished the hour but was unable to point birds.

Game Street for John Van Horn and Worsham's Spitfire were away in brace No. 2. Van Horn requested the tracker early as Game Street failed to make the turn. Spitfire was applying himself thoroughly but was picked up for a breach of manners at 25 near the end of Sycamore Bottom.

High Mountdan Man for Scott Hadley and Alliwood's Eleventh Hour for Adam DeLude went to work quickly in brace No. 3. Mountdan Man was in the harness early, but Eleventh Hour proceeded to have finds at 7, 12, and 24. Nearing the end of the brace, DeLude elected to pick his derby up as her effort faltered.

Bob Barker brought Barker's Lightning Bolt to the line with Saginaw Luke Skywalker for Mark Johnson in brace No. 4. This pair was handling well and doing a nice job as they crossed the road into Davis Bottom. Barker asked for the tracker as Lightning Bolt did not make the turn into Island Field. Johnson elected to end Skywalker's bid, in Island Field, for a breach of manners.

Brace No. 5 has been reported as champion.

Brady's Fresh Starter for Van Horn and Chaos Tempo for Schmidt were loosed in brace No. 6 near Bull Pasture. The pair were hunting well through Bull Pasture and into Climer's. This pair's bid ended near 35, above the clubhouse, as each suffered a breach of manners on different pieces of bird work.

Brace No. 7 has been reported as runner-up champion.

Dr. Pat McInteer brought Nemaha Touch A Grey to the line with Valora, handled by Jeff Hale for owner Rick Thone in brace No. 8. At 7, Touch A Grey was standing nicely with Valora backing along the left edge of the cornfield before entering Sycamore Bottom. Grey's bid ended shortly after as youthful exuberance took over during the flush. Valora suffered the same fate at 17 along the creek edge in Sycamore Bottom.

Away and up the hill toward Andy's in brace No. 9, Southern Shadows Wave for Servais and Alliwood's Never Say Never for DeLude started early. At 10, Wave was on point above the wooded draw with Never Say Never backing nicely. Towards the Twin Barns, both dogs scored again at 14, each having finds in different locations. From there, both dogs hunted well but with less reach than the winners. Never Say Never was busy throughout her hour, ending up with four more well-executed pieces of bird work at 16, 26, 28, and 59. Wave finished his hour strong but endured unproductives at 22 and 59.

Brace No. 10 brought Wreak Havok for Hadley to the line with Erin's Mason Man for Roger Key. Both dogs started well, with Wreak Havoc having finds at 31, 34, and an unproductive at 25. During the brace, Roger experienced a horse wreck. Due to the quick actions of the folks on site, Roger was quickly rushed to a local hospital. Roger suffered a laceration that required stitches and swelling in his ankle. Thankfully, all preliminary tests showed no broken bones or serious damage. Special thanks to Dr. Jeff Hale, Lou Qualtiere, and Kay Morrison for looking after Roger and help getting him to the hospital.

Southern Shadows Story for Servais ran as a bye-dog in brace No. 11. Having yet another strong entry, the team of Servais/Petersen aptly guided Story over course 2. Story finished the hour with good finds at 22, 44, and an unproductive at 40. Like the other Southern Shadows contenders, Story's hour was consistent, biddable, and forward in approach.

The final brace of the Derby Championship brought Johnny Be Good for Roger Keys, handled by Jim Lawless, to the line with Blair's Holy Thunder for Greg Blair. Holy Thunder's bid ended at 33 as he was in the harness for a breach of manners. Be Good was in the harness at 50 as the dog was doing a nice job but understandably seemed out of sorts with his new handler.

This year's AFTCA National Amateur Derby Championship can best be summarized by ample opportunity and quality performances. In speaking with the judges, they seemed impressed and quite pleased with the quality of amateur derbies that attended this year's event. They were overwhelmingly complementary and proud of the mature abilities many of these young competitors exhibited. Rough calculations showed over 25 bird contacts in two days of running. Rarely did any derby go birdless or not have the opportunity to point birds. The competition was fierce but sportsmanlike throughout.

Grovespring, Mo., January 18
Judges: Tim Penn and Bob Rankin

Winner--SOUTHERN SHADOWS RICK, 1700851, pointer male, by Lester's Prime Poison Lane-Southern Ritz Lane. Lance Servais, owner; Brian Peterson, handler.
Runner-Up--RED ALERT LANE, 1700854, pointer male, by Lester's Prime Poison Lane-Southern Ritz Lane. Brian Peterson, owner and handler.

The National Amateur Shooting Dog Championship
After a successful Friday evening celebration of announcing the derby winners and the camaraderie offered at the Purina dinner, amateur handlers switched gears, preparing to run their shooting dogs for this year's running of the AFTCA National Amateur Shooting Dog Championship. In contiguous format, dogs were brought to the line early Saturday for an 8 a.m. breakaway. Judges Dr. Bob Rankin and Tim Penn continued their assignment by staffing the judicial saddles for this event.

Over three days, 33 of the country's top amateur shooting dogs were brought to the line to vie for this year's titles. Besting this year's field of contenders was a pair of two pointer females from the Midwest. Jim Lawless's 6-year-old female, Lawless Georgie Girl, put on quite a show in brace No. 12 as she rolled through portions of the third and first-hour courses to earn this season's championship title. Georgie Girl's stellar four-find performance and reaching forward race captivated the judges and those in the gallery to witness it.

Adam DeLude's black and white pointer female, Alliwood's Shady Shay, earned the runner-up title. She demonstrated a workmen-like approach that provided the judicial panel with what can be best described as a consistent, smooth, right-in-the-pocket shooting dog presentation that yielded three well-spaced finds to solidify her spot on the championship platform.

In the last brace of the second day of running, Lawless Georgie Girl and Topp's Cassie were turned loose at the pond above the clubhouse. Across the top and headed downhill, both dogs veered left as the handlers proceeded towards Twin Barns. Topp's Cassie never regained the front, but Georgie Girl showed nicely near the Twin Barns area. Having the course to herself, Georgie Girl quickly went to work in the chute at 15 by pinning a pair of tight-sitting birds. Down the chute and bending left towards the end of Sycamore Bottom, Georgie Girl was on point again along the right edge and below the pond at 20. All in order for flush and shot, Georgie Girl shot across the road and pinned a covey of feeding birds at 24 for her third find.

Riding confidently, Jim piloted Georgie Girl as she traversed the bottoms below Andy's house. Still going strong, crossing the creek, and bending back on course 1, Georgie Girl made easy work of the breakaway portion of course 1. She hunted every step but was strong and forward, bending to Jim's every command. After crossing the road and into Davis Bottom, Georgie Girl grabbed the right edge and faded out of sight along the creek bottom. At 59, the call of point rang out as Georgie Girl came into view proudly standing on her fourth and final find. As with the other three pieces of work, her lofty pose indicated exactly where the birds were, as all was in order for the work. A culmination of application, biddability, range, and bird work, Georgie Girl's total performance was of the type that you could run for days and not beat. As with many braces at the end of the day, few witnessed it. For the judges, scout, Jim, Kay, and those in the gallery, I'm sure it will be remembered for years to come.

Alliwood's Shady Shay for Adam DeLude and Working Class for Steve Auxier were brought to the line in the first brace on the final day of running. It was an overcast but cool morning as both dogs were promptly away on course 1 at 8 a.m. Both dogs were to the front through the breakaway section and across the creek, with Shady Shay taking the middle of the course and Working Class searching the right side.

At 16, after crossing the creek and checking the hidden field, Shady Shay had her first find in the far-right-hand corner. Both dogs were forward from there and into Davis Bottom, with Shay working the left hillside field and Working Class staying at the creek bottom. After working the hilltop field and navigating the timber, Shay showed to the front and went to work on the middle section of Davis Bottom. At 27, this stylish and biddable female had her second find. Away and rushing forward, DeLude and Shay caught the front. Across the creek and through Island Field, both dogs were going nicely. Entering the chute below Horse Killer Hill, Working Class was towards the end, but Shay was not in sight. With DeLude riding patiently and confidently as he made Horse Killer Hill, Adam continued to sing to his dog. As the handlers topped the hill, Shay showed to the front along the Apple Tree fence line. At 52, she was on point again at a motte of trees along the right side of Apple Tree Hill. After a lengthy flushing attempt, DeLude released Shay, and she exhibited a mannerly relocation. With all in order for flush and shot, Shady Shay quickly grabbed the front end, where she never left. She diligently worked Little Vine Bottoms, hunting every lick and punching the front end. At the call of pick up, Shay finished her hour, going uphill at the course 2 breakaway. Throughout her hour, Shay was not extreme but enough. She was consistently in the pocket and seemed to hit every likely birdy location. Similarly to the champion, Shay's bird work was accurate and her presentation intelligent, thus earning her the runner-up laurels.

The Running
Brace No. 1 included Lacy's Cool Hand Luke for Ronnie Miller and Blair's Calvary Mountain, handled by Adam DeLude for Greg Blair. At 19, Calvary Mountain had a nice find before crossing the road. After that, both dogs were in the harnesses early as Luke brought a bird back to his handler, and Calvary Mountain was lost.

Hale's High Flyer for Jeff Hale and Aim High Elhew Hadley for Scott Hadley were away in Davis Bottom for brace No. 2. Flyer went to work early and had finds at 7 and 15 and a divided find at 38. Amy covered the country nicely and had a divided find at 38 and a second find at the end of her hour. Both dogs finished the hour.

Brace No. 3 featured the only Brittany in the Championship. Mr. Stanley for Dan Campbell was away with Lester's Top Recruit for Lance Servais. This brace featured much action as both dogs hunted well and applied themselves nicely through portions of course 2 and onto course 3. Mr. Stanley completed his hour commendably with finds at 11, 19, and 50. He backed nicely at 28 and suffered an unproductive at 58. Recruit also finished his hour with finds at 11, 25, 29, and 49, where the judges did not see the birds. He backed well at 19 but suffered unproductives at 7 and 56.

Topp's First J R for Luke Topp and Touch's Mac Daddy for Klaus Schmidt were away in brace No. 4 on course one. J R's time on the ground was solid but well-applied. He had a nice find at 10 just after crossing the creek with Mac Daddy backing nicely. At 18, Mac Daddy suffered an unproductive, but J R backed nicely. At 49, J R was on point again on top of Apple Tree Hill but was put in the harness shortly after due to a breach of manners. Mac Daddy pointed a dead bird at 45 and had a stop to flush at 54. He finished the hour.

Dr. Pat McInteer brought Nemaha Magic Marker to the line with Thumper's Anything But for Mike Duvall in brace No. 5. Both dogs applied themselves nicely throughout their hours. Marker had finds at 25 and 30, a back at 37, and an unproductive at 54. Anything But backed nicely at 25 and 30 with nice finds at 34, 37, and 58. Their time on the ground was forward and applicable. Both exhibited quality bird work and finished their hours near the course 3 breakaway.

In the final brace of the first day's running, Erin's Tin Lizzie for Mark Johnson and Hale's High Demand for Jeff Hale were turned loose near the clubhouse. Lizzie was on the board early with a nice find at 17. The brace ended early, for both competitors, in the chute as both suffered a breach of manners.

Southern Shadows T Rex for Brian Petersen and Griff's Express were away in brace No. 7 on course 1. Unfortunately, the brace ended early as both dogs failed to make the first creek crossing, and the handlers pulled the trackers early.

Reed's Super Spirit (Jason Reed) and Topp's Ice Chip were loosed in brace No. 8. Spirit had finds at 7 and 20 but was picked up at 27 for a breach of manners. Ice Chip was in the wagon early as she brought a bird back to her handler.

Mike DuVall brought his second contender, Stellar's Natural Disaster, to the line with Erin's Mason Man, for Roger Key in brace No. 9. Both dogs' bids ended early as Mason Man suffered two unproductives, and Disaster endured a breach of manners.

Ramblin Rivers Natural for Bill Stapleton had a good go in brace No. 10 with Hale's Smooth Touch for Jeff Hale. Natural was strong and applied himself nicely. He had a good find at 44 but acquired a limber tail and was put in the wagon. Smooth Touch was also going well, but two unproductives ended his bid at 50.

Brace No. 11 featured Bubba and Amy Spencer's Cocklebur Breaking Bad and Bryan Sheehan's Erin's Rebel Attraction. Away in Little Vine on course 2, both dogs were hunting well as they made the turn and headed for Sycamore Bottom. Through the cornfield area and around the bend, the pair took independent edges as they were apt to the front and through the bottom. At 24, Breaking Bad had a nice find above Andy's, demonstrating breathtaking style. Both dogs hunted independently through Twin Barns Pasture and towards Bull Pasture. At 35, Rebel Attraction was pointed on the right edge near the Bull Pasture gates, with Breaking Bad showing a picturesque back. Temptation got the best of Rebel Attraction, and he was quickly put in the harness. Having the course to himself, Breaking Bad had two more pieces of bird work before exiting Bull Pasture. On each, his style elevated, and his birds were accurately located. He finished his hour, leaving Climer's Pasture near the course 3 breakaway.

Braces No. 12 and No. 13 were previously described under the champion and runner-up champion.

Brace No. 14 brought Bromance for Jon Humphrey as a bye-dog to the line due to an earlier scratch. Bromance finished his hour with finds at 12, 27, 37, 45, and 59. A commendable performance that provided the judges with yet another dog to consider.

Lawless Speck for Jim Lawless and Wreak Havok for Hadley were away in brace No. 15. Wreak Havok was up early for a breach of manners at 7. Speck had finds at 10, 20, and 22. At 26, Speck was put in the harness for an unfortunate breach of manners.

Iron And Wine for Humphrey and Ten Oaks Annie for Jeanette Heise were loosed in brace No. 16. Both dogs applied themselves well throughout course 1. They were both strong and independent. Iron And Wine had finds at 24, 48, and a turkey find at time. Annie had finds at 12 and 51 with mannerly backs at 46 and at time.

The final brace of the Championship brought veteran Chukarhill Rimrock Eiger for Cindy Findley to the line with Klaus Schmidt's Touch's Micro Dot. Eiger had nice finds at 8 and 25 but suffered two unproductives to end his bid. Although Eiger's bid didn't go how Cindy had hoped, it was special and memorable as Cindy announced Chukarhill Rimrock Eiger's retirement from competition. Micro Dot had a find at 24 but was picked up at 42 near Twin Barns Pond as he did not please his handler.

This year's running of the AFTCA National Amateur Shooting Dog Championship was a tremendous success. The combination of favorable weather, a great field trial venue, ample opportunity to point birds, and plenty of fellowship led to an overwhelmingly positive event. As with the Derby Championship, the competition was strong, with several championship-worthy performances for the judges to consider. The AFTCA Board of Directors and Regional Trustees would again like to thank the Sportsmen's Association, judges, sponsors, amateur handlers, and field trial patrons who attended and participated.

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National Amateur Shooting Dog Championship Winners (from left): Jim Lawless with Lawless Georgie Girl and Luke Topp with Alliwood's Shady Shay. (Standing, from left): Dan Campbell, Dr. Bob Rankin (judge), Lou Qualtiere, Janet Heise, Tim Penn (judge), Tony King, and Adam DeLude.

NATIONAL AMATEUR SHOOTING DOG CHAMPIONSHIP [One-Hour Heats] - 36 Pointers, 1 Setter and 1 Brittany
Winner--LAWLESS GEORGIE GIRL, 1676697, pointer female, by Oak Grove Pacemaker-Homestead Georgia. Jim Lawless, owner and handler.
Runner-Up--ALLIWOOD'S SHADY SHAY, 1669475, pointer female, by Busterado-Seranoa's Union Station. Adam DeLude, owner and handler.

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Presenting Judges Gifts: Region 17 Trustee Luke Topp, Tim Penn (judge), Dr. Bob Rankin (judge), and Region 5 Trustee Tony King.

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Presentation of Raffle Prize: Region 17 Trustee Luke Topp, Mark Johnson (winner), and Region 5 Trustee Tony King.