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Event: U. S. Complete Spring Walking Trial
Result: Big Sky Field Trial Club

Location: Barbert, Montana

Post Date: Jun 19, 2023

Submitted By: Taylor Todd

Big Sky osd23-

Open Shooting Dog Winners (l-r): Mandy Drysdale with Sweet Grass Skipper, Sonny Clark with Touch's Micro Dot, and David Huffine with Sweet Grass Slim. (Behind): Keith Anderson, John McIltrot, Michelle Sutton, Nick Schade (judge), Taylor Todd, Alex Rickert (judge), and A. J. Rickert.

The Big Sky Field Trial Club held its second U. S. Compelte Shooting Dog Association trial at the Table Rock Ranch in Barber, Mont., April 22-23. The Club is very pleased with a great turnout that included many first-time handlers. Over 50 entries in four different stakes filled the weekend with excitement and many great performances. Although light snow was falling as shooting dog placements were called, the Montana spring weather was fantastic for a weekend of running dogs.

Table Rock Ranch harbors good populations of native sharptail grouse, Hungarian partridge, and pheasants. As an all-wild bird trial, the club is very happy with the number of bird contacts in each brace throughout the weekend. Table Rock is a beautiful place to showcase a bird dog, and the Rickert family does a fantastic job of maintaining pristine habitat to support wildlife and great bird populations.

Judging the Open Shooting Dog and Open Derby were Alex Rickert of Bozeman, Mont., and Nick Schade from Salmon, Ida. Alex and Nick bring great experience to the judging regime and did a great job observing dogs and helping new handlers with their first time at a field trial; BSFTC thanks them for their time in the saddle.

First place in the Open Shooting Dog went to Sweet Grass Skipper, a young derby-aged white and orange male setter owned and handled by David Huffine. Skipper ran a strong forward race making big, exciting moves through Table Rock's CRP. The young dog proved his maturity by finishing the brace with a broke find on a single sharptail.
Second place went to Touch's Micro Dot, a beautiful female pointer owned and handled by Sonny Clark. She ran a nice forward race, and when she disappeared to the front, she was found standing in the bottom of a coulee on her first and only find of the brace. Dot stood as Sonny flushed a group of pheasants, and then she went on to finish her run gracefully.
Third place went to another dog owned and handled by David Huffine, Sweet Grass Slim. Just minutes into the brace, Slim was found standing dug into a shelter belt. When a pair of huns flushed, he demonstrated a high level of composure as his bracemate nearly jumped over him in chase of the birds. Slim slowed during the end of the brace but finished well.

The Open Derby was very competitive, with 21 young dogs contending for placements. First place was awarded to Sweet Grass Skipper, who had a big weekend, winning both the Open Shooting Dog and Derby. Skipper didn't have any birds but ran a captivating race that included a breathtaking move putting him deep into the front in good cover. Skipper finished very strong and handled the course well.
Second place went to Tower Hill's Bright Star, a black and white female setter. Betty is owned and handled by Taylor Todd. She ran a strong and powerful race and handled well. With seconds to spare in the brace, Betty was last seen cresting a grassy hill. She was found spiritedly running just minutes after time.
Third place went to LBF Up In Smoke, a fancy young male pointer owned and handled by Brad McCardle. Cheech looks great on the ground while running a big race, and after a long absence, he had some bird work followed by a strong finish to seal the deal on a placement.

The third stake run was Open Puppy. This is the first time the Club has run a puppy stake, and everyone in attendance enjoyed it. It was judged by Mandy Drysdale of Bozeman, Mont., and Taylor Todd of Helena, Mont. No bird work was seen in the puppy stake, but many young bird dogs were able to showcase their future potential. Eight dogs were competing in this stake, and first place went to a pointer with a placement in the Open Derby, LBF Up In Smoke, owned and handled by Brad McCardle. Second place was awarded to LBF Bohemian Rhapsody, a male setter also owned and handled by Brad McCardle. Third place was earned by a female setter named Northwoods Annie, owned by Jimmy Blackburn and handled by John McIltrot.

The fun and exciting weekend of walking trials was wrapped up with the Amateur Gun Dog, which Mandy Drysdale and Taylor Todd also judged. Seven dogs were entered, and three placements were awarded. First went to Bells Yellowstone Pride, a female pointer who won this same stake last fall during the club's inaugural walking trial. She is owned and handled by Keith Anderson. Second went to Tallgrass Master of Disaster, a male Gordon setter owned and handled by first-time field trialer Chloe Nostrant. Third place went to Quilomene Sumac, a female setter owned and handled by Tim Powell.

The Big Sky Field Trial Club would like to extend a very robust thank you to the Rickert Family for the use of Table Rock Ranch for the weekend. The Rickerts not only graciously allow the use of their land for field trials but provide great companionship and are an integral part of the field trial community in Montana.

Many club members assisted with this trial behind the scenes to make things possible. First and foremost is David Huffine, who has not only been the trial chairman for the two walking trials BSFTC has put on but is responsible for bringing the USCSDA to the region and introducing the concept of walking trials in the area. We can't thank David enough. We'd also like to thank those who put in extra effort and time surrounding the trial--Mandy Drysdale, John McIltrot, Michelle Sutton, Keith Anderson, and Robert Jones.
The Club would also like to thank Purina (Greg Blair) for sponsoring the trial and providing awards for our winners.

Barber, Mont., April 22
Judges: Alex Rickert and Nick Schade
OPEN SHOOTING DOG - 7 Pointers and 9 Setters

1st--SWEET GRASS SKIPPER, 1698209, setter male, by Sweet Grass Slim-Tower Hill Zoey Zee. David Huffine, owner and handler.
2d--TOUCH'S MICRO DOT, 1692164, pointer female, by Touch's Diamante-Seranoa's On Guard Annie. Klaus Schmidt, owner; R. J. Clark, handler.
3d--SWEET GRASS SLIM, 1685332, setter male, by Sterlingworth Jack-Sandland Miracle Maggie. David Huffine, owner and handler.
OPEN DERBY - 12 Pointers and 9 Setters
1st--SWEET GRASS SKIPPER, 1698209, setter male, by Sweet Grass Slim-Tower Hill Zoey Zee. David Huffine, owner and handler.
2d--TOWER HILL'S BRIGHT STAR, 1698424, setter female, by Sweet Grass Slim-Tower Hill Zoey Zee. Taylor Todd, owner and handler.
3d--LBF UP IN SMOKE, 1702242, pointer male, by Touch's Diamante-Empire On Line. Brad McCardle, owner and handler.
Judges: Mandy Drysdale and Taylor Todd
OPEN PUPPY - 2 Pointers and 6 Setters

1st--LBF UP IN SMOKE, 1702242, pointer male, by Touch's Diamante-Empire On Line. Brad McCardle, owner and handler.
2d--LBF BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY, 1702241, setter male, by T's Gunslinger-Erin's Red Rose. Brad McCardle, owner and handler.
3d--NORTHWOODS ANNIE, unreg., setter male, breeding not given. James Blackburn, owner; John McIltrot, handler.
AMATEUR SHOOTING DOG - 3 Pointers, 3 Setters and 1 Gordon Setter
1st--BELLS YELLOWSTONE PRIDE, 1687338, pointer female, by Touch's Diamante-Bellita. Keith Anderson, owner and handler.
2d--TALLGRASS MASTER OF DISASTER, unreg., Gordon setter male, breeding not given. Chloe Norstrandt, owner and handler.
3d--QUILOMENE SUMAC, 1679207, setter male, by Straight Up Western Sky-D's Red Hot Mama. Timothy Powell, owner and handler.

tower hills bright star s23

Tower Hill's Bright Star, Second in the Open Derby