See News section for exciting announcement regarding UKC/FDSB Developments!

I Accept

United Kennel Club (UKC) is an international dog registry celebrating bonds, rewarding ability, and preserving the value of a pedigree. We use cookies to capture information such as IP addresses and tailor the website to our clients' needs. We also use this information to target and measure promotional material. Please see our Privacy Policy for more information.

Skip to main content
Facebook Instagram YouTube

Result: 43rd Missouri Shooting Dog Championship and 35th Midwestern States Futurity

Location: Grovespring, Missouri

Post Date: Jul 11, 2023

Submitted By: Tony King

43rd mosd winnerss23

43rd Missouri Open Shooting Dog Championship (front, l-r): Brian Gingrich with Touch's Big Whiskey and Virgil Moore with Erin's Thunder Backus. (Behind): Bob Bakus (judge), Chuck and Marla Stretz, Danny Draffen, Lou Qualtiere (judge), Lance Schulz, Tony King, Ronnie Miller, Jerry Hailey, Shawn Kinkelaar, and Bill Stapleton.

It seems that each year the renewal of the Missouri Open Shooting Dog Championship and the Midwestern States Shooting Dog Futurity provides different challenges but always seems to yield a successful field trial. After bitter cold temperatures throughout the late winter of 2022, the spring of 2023 brought devasting storms throughout the southeastern portions of the United States and made it challenging for field trial clubs to host their annual events. The running of the 43rd Missouri Open Shooting Dog and the 35th Midwestern States Shooting Dog Futurity started out business as usual, but heavy rains later in the week created obstacles for handlers, dogs, and club members to work around. In the end, it all worked out, and the field trial was a success.

The 43rd Missouri Open Shooting Dog Championship judges were Bob Bakus from Winfield, Ill., and Lou Qualtiere, from Marshfield, Mo. Bob and Lou are not only veteran judges but are well-respected individuals throughout the field trial community. Their cheerful attitudes and willingness to look at every dog in the same manner provided a consistent running environment for all the competitors. Although Bob and Lou had never worked together, I believe their complementary personalities and work ethic made for a commendable pair. They paid close attention to every brace and worked equally hard throughout the stake. They maintained a consistent pace and rode hard when necessary. You could not ask for a better, more competent pair to run a dog under. With Lou leaving to run in an amateur championship, Danny Draffen from Speed, Mo., replaced Lou to judge the 35th renewal of the Midwestern States Shooting Dog Futurity. Just as in the championship, Bob and Danny fell in step and worked well together. This being Bob's first futurity judging assignment and Danny having judged the stake in the spring of 2020, the pair offered a seasoned but fresh outlook to the ever-challenging task of judging derbies. Their decisions were well received and respected throughout the stake.

The Board of Directors and club members from the Missouri Open Shooting Dog Association and Midwestern States Shooting Dog Futurity would like to thank these three gentlemen for their efforts and dedication to the sport of field trialing.
Field trials would not survive without the help of their sponsors. The Missouri Shooting Dog Association and Midwestern States Shooting Dog Futurity are very fortunate to have two of the industry's best. For several years now, Purina and SportDOG have graciously provided product and support for these field trial venues. As always, Purina provides Pro Plan Performance for the champion and runner-up handlers and/or owners. SportDOG provides e-collars to the champion and the runner-up as well.

The Missouri Shooting Dog Association and Midwestern States Shooting Dog Futurity would like to thank its sponsors and their professional representatives, Greg Blair and Jim Morehouse. The Board of Directors and club members look forward to their renewed support and the continued relationship for these time-honored events.

A huge heartfelt thank you to Adam DeLude and Jerry Hailey for their help. Once again, Adam traveled from Wisconsin to help facilitate both events. Adam and Jerry were there throughout, helping with food, dog wagon, bird planting, marshaling, and social media management. Without everyone's help, this event would not have run as smoothly as it did. Their help was invaluable and much appreciated. Thanks again, Adam and Jerry!

43rd Missouri Open Shooting Dog Championship
Two brilliant performances with lots of bird work, favorable weather conditions early in the week, and great camaraderie set the stage for a pleasurable week of running at this year's Missouri Open Shooting Dog Championship. Professional handlers Shawn Kinkelaar, Chuck Stretz, Harold Gearhart, Virgil Moore, Brian Gingrich, and amateur competitors Jim Lawless and John Van Horn enjoyed the gentlemanly competitiveness and fellowship this year's event provided.

The Champion
The stage was set early when Chuck Stretz brought Touch's Big Whiskey to the line for owner Dr. Richard Steckley in the second brace of the stake. Big Whiskey was away in Lil Vine loop with Ninnescah Ranger for handler Harold Gearhart and owner Ivan Breckenridge. Over the ever-changing topography on course No. 2, Big Whiskey applied himself well while hunting every birdy objective. Throughout his hour, Big Whiskey had seven crisp, clean finds while taking every advantage of consuming the county. He was forward, big, and never wavered. His race was well-applied and intelligent throughout. Birds were properly located on each of Big's finds, and his style was immaculate. At the call of pick up, Big Whiskey was seen forward, still pushing the envelope of available country to hunt. After the brace had ended, all those that witnessed it knew that Big's performance was impressive and would be hard to beat.

The Runner-Up
In the first brace, on course No. 1 and on the second day's running, Shawn Kinkelaar brought Erin's Thunder Backus for owners Jerry Moisson and Dr. Tom Jackson to the line with Luke Topp's Topp's First J R for handler Harold Gearhart. As this pair traded punches, they put on quite a show, each with four finds providing an exciting brace to watch. I would be remiss if I did not commend both dogs, as their performances were equally impressive but different in nature. Throughout the brace, Erin's Thunder Backus was smooth and consistent. His race was thorough and sensible. As the brace unfolded, Backus was the more biddable, with J R the more reaching. Always to the front and yielding to Kinkelaar's commands, Backus' style was faultless, and his birds accurately located. In my mind, it was the finish that separated these two. Coming off Lil Vine Hill, Erin's Thunder Backus gained an advantage as he was more forward while J R had taken a different path. At the call of pickup, Backus was seen far to the front heading towards Sycamore bottom.

Others That Impressed
At every field trial, there's always a group of dogs that provide quality performances that, under different circumstances, could possibly be named winners.
The following is a list of dogs that had performances worthy of noting: Levi Express Visa (five finds), Touch's Shameless (six finds), Touch's Grand Finale (four finds), Topp's First J R (four finds), S T's Locked N Loaded (three finds), Lawless Georgie Girl (four finds) and Tug O'War (four finds).
Grovespring, Mo., March 9
Judges: Bob Bakus and Lou Qualtiere

Winner--TOUCH'S BIG WHISKEY, 1669605, pointer male, by House's Ring of Fire-Touch's Whippoorwill Road. Dr. Richard Steckley & John C. Stretz, owners; Chuck Stretz, handler.
Runner-Up--ERIN'S THUNDER BACKUS, 1692320, pointer male, by Chelsea's Thunder Bolt-Erin's Bet On Me. Dr. Tom Jackson & Jerry Moisson, owners; Shawn Kinkelaar, handler.

The 35th Midwestern States Shooting Dog Futurity
As has been the tradition over the last several years, the MWSD Futurity is held following the conclusion of the Missouri Open Shooting Dog Championship. Challenging weather greeted club members and participants late Wednesday evening into Thursday of this year's running. After heavy rains created safety issues and course problems, and with more rain to come later over the weekend, club officials were forced to change the format, thus eliminating the thirty-minute qualifier and only running a one-hour final series for all competitors. As previously stated, Danny Draffen and Bob Bakus were in the saddle to evaluate twelve of the country's top shooting dog derbies. After waiting for the creek levels to subside, the decision was made to bring dogs to the line and complete this year's running. Although a slight deviation from the standard format, the running provided several worthy performances and ample opportunity for each contestant to find birds. When the dust had settled, the judges were able to efficiently place four worthy dogs for this year's winning laurels.

Hale's Country Strong for owner and handler Dr. Jeff Hale was this year's winner of the 35th MWSD Futurity. "Strong" is an athletically built liver and white pointer male out of the seventh nominated pointer litter in this year's futurity program. Strong is sired by Texas Cool out of the dam, Wiggins Super Sin, whelped by breeder and successful amateur field trialer Jason Super of Fort Worth, Texas. After acquiring Hale's Country Strong as a pup, Dr. Hale placed Strong under the tutelage of professional handler Ike Todd during the summer of his derby season. Hale's Country Strong was away in the third brace with Backus White Privilege for Shawn Kinkelaar. Strong recorded five crisp and clean pieces of bird work throughout his hour as he traversed the edges and rolling hills on course No. 2. The judges noted how Strong was always forward, in the pocket, and biddable throughout. He showed experience and poise around game, and all finds were accurately located. On his third find, Dr. Hale struggled to flush the bird and asked Strong to relocate. After a brief tap on the head, Strong refused to move as to say, "He's right here; you missed him." Another flushing attempt proved the dog right.

Although a young contender, Strong's application was mature, and his finish adequate. If early indications are representative, this young, talented contender has a bright future ahead of him.
This year's second and third-place winners came out of the first brace of the futurity. Georgian, a white, black, tan, and ticked male setter sired by Erin's Wild Atlantic Way and out of the dam Quicksmarksman's Silky, was this year's second-place earner for handler Shawn Kinkelaar, owner John Fort, and breeder Larry Earls. The third-place winner, also a setter, was Patches Prairie Wind, for owner Donna Markey and handler Virgil Moore. Prairie Wind was whelped in a litter bred and raised by Jim Smith in Holdenville, Okla. This white and orange setter male was sired by Doc's Second Wind out of the dam Hard Hats Bad Dotty. This pair went to work quickly and continued throughout their hour, with the first find being around 05 and the last at 52. Georgian tallied five finds, and Patch scored four of his own. This animated pair were biddable throughout but needed guidance from time to time. For the most part, their bird work was crisp, with a few moments of immaturity. Both dogs hunted well, as they were both fast and forward. As the brace went on, it proved exciting. At the call of pickup, both were forward and still punching the front end.

The fourth-place winner, Ramblin Rivers Unplugged, is out of a litter sired by National Champion Miller's Blindsider and by Darrell Wells' producing dam, Wells Southern Charm. Unplugged was guided by Brian Gingrich for owner Bill Stapleton in the second brace of this year's running. This athletically built, liver and white pointer female seemed to float across the countryside in search of game. She tallied four finds and seemed to eat up the country. Her race was strong, and bird work crisp. She finished forward just as she started with plenty of gas in the tank.

Many factors go into a successful field trial, and the Missouri Shooting Dog and Midwestern States Shooting Dog Futurity club members pride themselves on hosting field trials that afford all competitors an equal opportunity to showcase their talents. Such elements include hiring quality judges, lining up the logistics of hosting an event, and providing ample opportunity to find birds. This year's records indicate that an ample number of birds were pointed on all three courses, with a total find count of sixty-one in the Shooting Dog Championship and thirty-one pieces of bird work in the Futurity. Although each year presents new challenges, the Missouri Shooting Dog Association and Midwestern States Shooting Dog Futurity team works hard to continuously provide the field trial community with a venue that competitors and their dogs want to attend and represents the historical tradition they have earned.

The Missouri Shooting Dog Association and Midwestern States Shooting Dog Futurity would like to take this opportunity to thank all its club members, dog owners, handlers, supporters, and sponsors and would like to extend best wishes in the upcoming field trial season.

Judges: Bob Bakus and Danny Draffen
35th MIDWESTERN STATES SHOOTING DOG FUTURITY [Thirty-Minute Qualifying Heats; One-Hour Finals] - 10 Pointers and 3 Setters

1st--HALE'S COUNTRY STRONG, 1702745, pointer male, by Texas Cool-Wiggins Super Sin. Dr. Jeff Hale, owner and handler.
2d--GEORGIAN, 1695040, setter male, by Erin's Wild Atlantic Way-Quickmarksman's Silky. John Fort, owner; Shawn Kinkelaar, handler.
3d--PATCHES PRAIRIE WIND, 1701470, setter male, by Doc's Second Wind-Hard Hats Bad Dotty. Donna Markey & Virgil Moore, owners; Virgil Moore, handler.
4th--RAMBLIN RIVERS UNPLUGGED, 1698585, pointer female, by Miller's Blindsider-Wells Southern Charm. Bill Stapleton, owner; Brian Gingrich, handler.

35th mwsd winnerss23

35th Midwestern States Shooting Dog Futurity (front, l-r): Tony King with Hale's Country Strong, Shawn Kinkelaar with Georgian, Virgil Moore with Patches Prairie Wind, and Bill Stapleton with Ramblin Rivers Unplugged. (Behind): Bob Bakus (judge), Dr. Jeff Hale, Danny Draffen (judge), Ronnie Miller, Jerry Hailey, John Van Horn, Mike Northwood, and Brian Gingrich.