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Event: Painted Owyhee Breeze Wins Larry McConnell Memorial; Lone Tree Splish Splash, Ru
Result: Region 9 Larry McConnell Memorial Amateur All-Age Championship

Location: Payette, Idaho

Post Date: Jun 1, 2023

Submitted By: Jeremy Skousen

region 9 aaa chs23

Region 9 Amateur All-Age Championship Winners (back, from left): Ray Larrondo, Ryan Marriott, Bill Owen, Sergio Velez (judge), Jack Cafferty (judge), Mike Eades, Mel Lueck, Talmage Smedley, and Terry Erickson. (Front, from left): Tammy Larrondo, Kris Wall, Alex Mauck (scout) with Lone Tree Splish Splash, Jim Ledington (scout) with Painted Owyhee Breeze, June McConnell, Bridget Ledington, and Phil Bowden.

Spring weather in the sagebrush-covered hills at Prairie Wind Ranch is never easy to predict, and this year we got to experience heavy rain, snow, hail, wind, and a little sunshine. This year's running of the Region 9 Amateur All-Age Championship was the first commemorating the impact and legacy of Larry McConnell on our sport in the region. The trial was well attended, and handlers from all over the West competed for the trophy with 25 dogs.

Once again, we can't thank Keith and Bobbi Richardson enough for access to these grounds and amenities. The Boise Valley Pointing Dog Club would also like to thank all those involved for all the work before, during, and after the trial concluded. Talmage Smedley, Phil Bowden, and Jeremy Skousen worked tirelessly on the dog truck and had to get creative with the soggy conditions. Kris Wall and Terry Reinke provided coffee, breakfast burritos, other morning refreshments, and hot lunches that kept the handlers in good spirits. The BVPDC would also like to extend our deepest gratitude to Purina and SportDOG for the continued sponsorship of
this trial. The well-deserved 2023 Region 9 Larry McConnell Memorial Amateur All-Age Champion was Painted Owyhee Breeze, owned and handled by Bridget Ledington, with a forward and powerful all-age race and a couple of finds on chukar and an impressive finish that was exactly how the judges expected the eventual champion to conclude her hour. The runner-up was Lone Tree Splish Splash, owned and handled by Bill Owen, with exciting all-age moves throughout her hour and an impressive limb find on a pair of wild Hungarian partridges, which she handled perfectly. She also had a nice find at chukar rocks with good manners.

Jim and Bridget Ledington chaired the trial again and continued to work hard to keep this trial running smoothly. They are always ready to lend a hand, which usually leads to one of them scouting, which was especially difficult on Bridget this year in her leg brace.

We were happy to have June McConnell attend and present the Larry McConnell Memorial Amateur All-Age Championship Trophy to Champion Painted Owyhee Breeze and Bridget Ledington. This was touching and seemed meant to be, as the McConnell and Ledington families have always been close in the field trial community. It was like Larry McConnell was looking down on us all and always there in spirit with all of us.

This year, the courses were redone to take advantage of some areas of the ranch where the wild birds are often found in the spring and to make the trial smoother. The dogs and horses had to have grit and gumption to deal with the conditions the crazy weather created. But the real bird dogs were rewarded with the opportunity to do what they love; run and find birds. Everyone in attendance got to test their mettle and show their true love and passion for the sport. The faint of heart would not last very long at a field trial in early April in Idaho. This year's judges were Sergio Velez and Jack Cafferty, and both performed their duties admirably, even in tough conditions. Their enthusiasm and perseverance were encouraging as they watched each brace.

Payette, Ida., April 1
Judges: Jack Cafferty and Sergio Velez
[One-Hour Heats] - 15 Pointers and 8 Setters

Winner--PAINTED OWYHEE BREEZE, 1669636, pointer female, by Utah's Red Rock Express-Little Willow Aaron. Bridget & Jim Ledington, owners; Bridget Ledington, handler.
Runner-Up-LONE TREE SPLISH SPLASH, 1672171, pointer female, by Frontline Shack Attack-Whippoorwill Wild Spark. Bill Owen, owner and handler.

region 9 trophys23

Larry McConnell Memorial Trophy.