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Result: Region 13 Amateur Shooting Dog Championship

Location: Ionia, Michigan

Post Date: Jul 5, 2023

Submitted By: Jim Cipponeri

grouse feather witcher s23

Grouse Feather Witcher, Winner of the Region 13 Amateur Shooting Dog Championship

The first Region 13 Shooting Dog Championship since the reorganization of Regions 4 and 13 drew 20 dogs from Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, Alabama, Ohio, Georgia, Tennessee, and Canada. The event was hotly contested as Purina Dog of the Year honors were at stake. The Michigan Championship Club hosted the competition with support from Nestl Purina, and their continued support is appreciated in all of our regional events and the Michigan Open Shooting Dog Championship in the coming year.

We were fortunate to secure two judges with vast knowledge and experience who have had tremendous success competing nationally and locally. Chris Cagle and Mark McKinley are devoted trialers and a joy to have around. They paid close attention to all the dogs that competed and portrayed a positive influence on our sport.

Region 13 Trustee Jeff Haggis and his son Matt conducted the drawing, competed, and assisted Joe Guzman in running the trial. Richard Lipski seeded the course every morning and liberated quail throughout the day. The weather was relatively warm for this time of year, with temperatures ranging from the high 40s to the low 70s with moderately moist conditions. Ron Williams handled the dog and chuck wagon duties without a glitch and provided good-natured banter along the way.

Mark Johnson supplied snacks, an endless supply of roasted peanuts and various beverages, and a constant dose of goodwill after each day's events. He also judged the Michigan Classic and competed in the weeklong festivities.

Champion Grouse Feather Witcher comes from a long line of setter champions bearing the Grouse Feather Kennel name. The 4-year-old orange and white male ("Tex") was always to the front, ran the edges of Ionia, and had impeccable style and manners on point. Breaking away from headquarters, he had a stylish back from quite a distance along the treeline, then a small covey find at the end of Hires field, followed by a display of edge running along Ainsworth Road up to the horse staging area. At 17, he pointed a recent hawk kill, then had a nice find at 26 near the Dog Leg. Continuing toward the Boy Scout bridge, Tex nailed a running quail with a superb relocation at 39. At 48, Tex pointed but could not put anything in the air. The handler elected to move on without a relocation effort. At time Tex was out of sight of the handler heading toward the old Apple Orchard on course two, moving left to right per judges. As he came into view, he was found on point with what would have been his fourth find. However, judges did not ride to the call of point. He had done enough in the eyes of the judges.

Runner-up Miller's Heat Wave was superbly handled by Alabama native Fran Miller and scouted by her affable husband, Jack. It was their first time to Ionia, and they were impressed by the well-manicured grounds, local participation, and camaraderie of midwestern field trialers. The Region 13 win secured the Top Amateur Field Trial Shooting Dog of the Year honor in a close battle with Lane Hodges's entries. Heat Wave ran a consistent forward race with an attractive running style. Her three finds were well-spaced, and she looked magnificent on point. This was her first time running at Ionia under the Millers' guidance, and she did a commendable job of navigating the unfamiliar venue. Jack was called upon a few times and managed to keep Heat Wave and himself on course with incident.

Ohio trialer Tim McClurg had two entries knocking on the door, and Will Langley's setter, Crime Boss, had four finds before being gone too long as a result of a damaged fence along the Gravel Pit.

Ionia, Mich., April 22
Judges Chris Cagle and Mark McKinley
REGION 13 AMATEUR SHOOTING DOG CHAMPIONSHIP [One-Hour Heats] - 15 Pointers and 5 Setters

Winner--GROUSE FEATHER WITCHER, 1688616, setter male, by T's Gunslinger-Wynona's Witchy Woman. Allen Dunbar, owner and handler.
Runner-Up--MILLER'S HEAT WAVE, 1675842, pointer female, by Just Irresistible-Miller's Bring The Heat. Fran & Jack Miller, owners; Fran Miller, handler.

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Dog wagon driver, cook, and cowboy Ron Williams.