Chelsea’s Thunderbolt wins the US Shooting Dog Invitational Championship two years in a roll for handler Shawn Kinkelaar and owners Dr. Tom Jackson and George Hickox!
Chelsea’s Thunderbolt decisively captured the title of 2019 US Shooting Dog Invitational Champion. The 6-year-old white and liver pointer male is owned by George Hickox and Dr. Tom Jackson. Bolt was handled by Shawn Kinkelaar through the three series event, scoring a total of nine finds and running strong, forward races in each of the series for a total of three and a half hours on the ground. This was a repeat win for Bolt, he and Shawn were also victorious here in 2018.
The US Shooting Dog Club did a marvelous job of hosting this event which ran at Camp Robinson, Conway, AR on February 16-18. The twelve great shooting dogs that ran were ranked between 1 and 15 in the Nation, making this Championship of Champions a jeweled crown.
The advertised judges, Allen Vincent, Collinsville. OK and Dr. Robert Rankin, Edmond. OK presided.
A full report on the Invitational is below
CH Chelsea’s Thunder Bolt with owners Dr. Tom Jackson, George Hickox, Eddy Taylor, scout Virgil Moore, handler Shawn Kinkelaar, judges Dr. Tom Rankin and Allen Vincent, reporter Bonnie Hidalgo
14 X CH Chelsea’s Thunderbolt with owners Dr. Tom Jackson and George Hickox
Shawn’s eighth time to win the Invitational Championship!
Judges for the 2019 Invitational Championship were professional handler Allen Vincent of Collinsville, OK and Dr. Bob Rankin of Edmond, OK.
The reporter for the 2019 Invitational was Bonnie Hidalgo of Brighten, CO. Bonnie also reported for the championship in 2017.
The Invitational Championship was held February 16 – 18, 2019 at the Camp Robinson Wildlife Management Area near Conway, AR. One-hour heats were conducted on the first two days and 90-minute finals were held for call-back finalists.
Front: Co-owner George Hickox (standing), Chelsea’s Thunder Bolt with handler Shawn Kinkelaar, and co-owner Dr. Tom Jackson; Way Better Rocky with handler Mike Tracy (owners: Carl & Collin Bishop and Muriel Primm); Miller’s Unfinished Business with handler Joel Norman (owner: Benjy Griffith); Thrill Me with handler Tommy Rice (owner: Keith Finlayson); Miller’s Miss Calamity Jane with Carl Bishop (handler: Mike Tracy, owner: Allen Linder); CS Cold Water Rex with handler Doug Ray (owner: Tony Gibson); Back: Miller’s Vanilla Snow with Muriel Primm (handler: Mike Tracy, owners: Tommy & Bonnie Hamilton); In Swami’s Shadow with owner Bill Sand and Eddy Taylor (handler: Shawn Kinkelaar); Touch’s Diamate with Jason Sanders (hander Tommy Rice, owner: Austin Turley); Caladen’s Davinci with handler Jerry Raynor, (owner: Auddie Brown); LF Dynomike with owner Larry Williamson and hander Virgil Moore; Rebellita with John Neeley (hander Tommy Rice, owner: Austin Turley); reporter Bonnie Hidalgo, and judges Allen Vincent and Dr. Bob Rankin
Handlers and Owners:
Congratulations to these fine contenders, owners, and handlers, based on the 2017/2018 Purina Top Shooting Dog Point System:
Chelsea’s Thunderbolt, #1, Owners: Dr. Tom Jackson and George Hickox, Handler: Shawn Kinkelaar, 2,792 points, Defending Champion
Way Better Rocky, #3, Owners: Carl & Collin Bishop and Muriel Primm, Handler: Mike Tracy, 1,610 points
Miller’s Unfinished Business, #4, Owner: Benjy Griffith, Handler: Joel Norman, 1,260 points
Thrill Me, #5, Owner: Keith Finlayson, Handler: Tommy Rice, 810 points
Miller’s Miss Calamity Jane, #6, Owner: Allen Linder, Hander: George Tracy, 580 points
CS Cold Water Rex, #7, Owner: Tony Gibson, Handler: Doug Ray, 698 points
Miller’s Vanilla Snow, #9, Owners: Tommy & Bonnie Hamilton, Handler: George Tracy, 615 points
In Swami’s Shadow, #11, Owner: Bill & Mary Ann Sand, Handler: Shawn Kinkelaar, 565 points
Touch’s Diamate, #12, Owner and Hander: Austin Turley, 540 points
Caladen’s Davinci, #13, Owner: Auddie Brown, Handler: Jerry Raynor, 522 points
LF Dynomike, #14, Owner: Larry Williamson, Hander: Virgil Moore, 505 points
Rebellita, #15, Owner and Handler: Austin Turley, 480 points
Sugarknoll Warpaint, #2, Owners: Allen Linder, Pete & Chris DelCollo, Handlers: George and Mike Tracy, 2,289 points
Erin’s War Creek, #8, Owner: Allen Linder, Handler: George Tracy, 627 points
Conecuh’s Shoe Shine, #10, Owners: Tony & Becky Gibson, Handler: Doug Ray, 595 points
United States Shooting Dog Invitational Championship 2019
Participants with wins and point standings from previous season
Chelsea’s Thunder Bolt, “Bolt”, Defending Champion, #1, W & L, PM with 2,792 points
Handler: Shawn Kinkelaar – Effingham, IL
Owners: Dr. Tom Jackson – Columbus, IN, George Hickox – Pittsburg, PA
CH Texas OSD CH 22
Lone Star OSD CL 19
CH Alabame OSD CH 40
CH Jayhawk OSD CH 42
CH US SD Invitational CH 12 + 400
CH Southeastern OSD CH 61
CH Egyptian OSD CH 41
CH Michigan OSD CH 35
Waybetter Rocky, “Rocky”, #3, W & O, PM with 1,610 points
Handler: Mike Tracy – Glenville, PA
Owner: Carl & Collin Bishop – Punxsutawney, PA, Bill & Muriel Primm – Cream Ridge, NJ
Fort Mill FTC 61
RU Northeastern OSD CH 46
CH South Carolina OSD CH 38
CH Eastern OSD CH 35
North Carolina PD Assn 71
Indiantown Gap Keystone OSD CL 38
CH Canadian OSD CH 32
RU Michigan OSD CH 35
Miller’s Unfinished Business, “Dan”, #4, W & O, PM with 1,260 points
Handler: Joel Norman – Leesburg, GA
Owner: Benjy Griffith – Macon, GA
Mill Pond FTC / Jep Wade OSD 26
CH National OSD CH 63
Thrill Me, “Pea”, #5, W & O, PF with 810 points
Handler: Tommy Rice – Pavo, GA
Owner: Keith Finlayson – Tallahassee, FL
CH masters OSD CH 67
Miller’s Miss Calamity Jane, “Jane”, #6, W & O, PF 580 points
Hander: Mike Tracy – Glenville, PA
Owner: Allen Linder – Livingston, TN
CH Georgia OSD CH 58
CS Cold Water Rex, “Rex”, #7, W & O, PM with 698 points
Handler: Doug Ray – Waynesboro, GA
Owner: Tony Gibson – Union Springs, AL
RU Kentucky OSD CH 36
Mill Pond FTC / Jep Wad OSD 26
CH Gulf Coast OSD CH 44
Miller’s Vanilla Snow, “Sue”, #9, W & L, PF with 615 points
Handler: Mike Tracy – Glenville, PA
Owners: Tommy & Bonnie Hamilton – Springfield, KY
Conecuh Station FTC 40
CH Northeaster OSD CH 46
CH Keystone OSD CH 37
In Swami’s Shadow, “Dot”, #11, W & O, PF, with 565 points
Handler: Shawn Kinkelaar – Effingham, IL
Owner: Bill & Mary Ann Sand – Overland Park, KS
Fleetwood OSD CL 29
RU Atlantic Coast OSD CH 55
Touch’s Diamate, “Sam”, #12, W & L , PM, 540 points
Handler: Tommy Rice – Pavo, GA
Owner: Austin Turley – Mott, MT
CH Big Sky OSD CH 28
CH Idaho OSD CH 26
Caladen’s Davinci, “Leo”, #13, W & B & L, SM, with 522 points
Handler: Jerry Raynor – Dunn, NC
Owner: Auddie Brown – Kingstree, S
Fort Mill FTC 61
RU North Carolina OSD CH 59
RU Eastern OSD CH 35
LF Dynomike, “Mike”, #14, W & O, PM, with 505 points
Handler: Virgil Moore – Canyon, TX
Owner: Larry Williamson – Ponca City, OK
Lone Stare OSD CL 19
CH Arkansas OSD CH 41
Rebellita, “Jane”, #15, W & L, PF, with 480 points
Handler: Tommy Rice – Pavo, GA
Owner: Austin Turley – Mott, MT
CH Montana OSD CH 48
Each year, the U.S Shooting Dog Invitational Championship is held at the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission maintained Camp Robinson Wildlife Management Area near Conway, AR:
334 Clinton Road
Conway, AR 72032
United States Shooting Dog Invitational Championship
By Bonnie Hidalgo
Chelsea’s Thunderbolt grabbed everyone’s attention in the opening minutes of his first hour. It only got better from there, resulting in his being named the 2019 United States Shooting Dog Invitational Champion. This marked the eighth win of the US Shooting Dog Invitational for handler Shawn Kinkelaar. Shawn handled Bolt throughout the stake which consisted of two one-hour series on consecutive days followed by a 90-minute call back series. Bolt is jointly owned by Dr. Tom Jackson, Columbus, IN and George Hickox, Pittsburg, PA. Bolt scored three superb finds in each of the series, exhibited independence in hunting the depths of the courses and showed great rapport with his handler by maintaining a forward pattern.
Twelve of the nation’s best Shooting Dogs competed in the Shooting Dog Invitational. The second, eighth and tenth ranked dogs were unable to attend, so invitations were extended to the dogs ranked thirteen through fifteen. They each ran an hour on two consecutive days; based on an average of their performances, four dogs were called back to run again the third day. In addition to the winner, the finalists were Waybetter Rocky handled by Mike Tracy for owners Carl & Collin Bishop, Punxsutawney, PA and Bill & Muriel Primm, Cream Ridge, NJ; In Swami’s Shadow, owned by Bill and Mary Ann Sand, Overland Park, KS and handled by Shawn Kinkelaar and CS Coldwater Rex handled by Doug Ray for owner Tony Gibson, Union Springs, AL.
The Welcome festivities and drawing for this Championship were held at the Camp Robinson clubhouse on Friday evening, February 15. Jim Martin graciously gave the blessing. Following cocktails and dinner, welcome gifts were presented to all handlers, officials and owners that were present. An elaborate program entertained one and all. A Calcutta and the drawing closed out the evening. Club members responsible for the success of the evening were Joyce and Johnny Taylor, Connie Crowell and Katie Scherrey.
Camp Robinson has always been the home of the US Shooting Dog Invitational Championship. The Invitational gained its Championship status for the 1990 renewal, marking 2019 as the 30th running. Johnny and Joyce Taylor have been the stewards of this great event for 23 years. The popular field trial venue near Conway, Arkansas consists of six one-hour courses which wind around each other over varying terrain. The cover changes from woods, to small fields, to open expanses. With plenty of recent rain, the going for dogs and horses was sloppy and deep. Throughout the courses are pre-released coveys of quail which erupt into the air at flush as if they were wild. To locate these birds a dog must be capable of hunting intelligently. During this running there were also finds on woodcock.
The advertised judges, Allen Vincent of Collinsville, OK and Dr. Robert (Bob) Rankin of Edmond, OK watched all the dogs with the same, close attention. They have a wealth of experience in handling and judging dogs. Allen is a well-known trainer on the All Age circuit. His ability to spot dogs was evident with him often pointing dogs out to their handlers. Bob Rankin campaigns all age Pointers and all age Brittanies. He has been involved in the sport for years and has judged many Championships. Both gentlemen were a pleasure to be around.
Good sponsors at an event of this nature are crucial; this club hit the jackpot with theirs! Purina came through in a big way. Purina provided dog food to every entry and a generous portion to the winner. They also sponsored the Ross Young painting of the winner that is awarded to the owner. Purina provided large gear bags for the judges and reporter and helped with the cost of the USSDIC logo hats given to all participants. Everyone in attendance appreciates the contribution made by Purina to the sport and this event. Most dogs that are successful at major trials across the country, are fueled by Purina Pro Plan Performance. The horse feed that each of the handlers received, based on one bag per entry, was also donated by Purina.
SportDog was extremely generous in its support with the donation of a SportDog TEK 2.0LT GPS Track and Train collar; a SportDog 2525 training collar, a SportDog Upland 1875 training collar, a SportDog Sport Hunter 1825X training collar; a SportDog No Bark SBC-R Collar and a generous supply of SportDog hats. These gifts were door prizes for the participating handlers and owners.
Tucker Saddlery bestowed the Invitational with six of their finest bridles and six of their beautiful wool saddle pads. These were door prizes for owners and handlers and were well received!
Garmin was generous in its donation of a Garmin Astro 320 with a T-5 collar and a Garmin/Tri-Tronics Pro 550 training collar. These were awarded to the winning handler.
Gun Dog Supply provided twenty $25 gift cards for door prizes for handlers, owners, and judges.
Haggis Saddlery donated reins and a leather holder for a tracking receiver.
Bird Dog Whiskey donated a dozen bottles of their product which was happily received.
Leather Brothers donated a name-plate collar with handler’s name and number engraved for every entry. For door prizes they gave 30 high quality leather leads, 20 checkcords and 6 chain roading couplers.
The Collar Clinic provided a $50 gift certificate for collar repair which was given as one of the door prizes.
World Class Kennels generously provided a stocked bar for each evening’s social hour. Everyone enjoyed that!
Mud River donated a dozen 12 pack coolers, koozies and coupons for their products.
Nancy Whitehead contributed her beautiful book of dog photography, In the Field to every handler and owner in attendance.
Melanie & Dr. Jeff Hale sponsored the pro-handler lunches.
George Hickox and Dr. Tom Jackson generously provided a wonderful New York Strip steak dinner on Sunday night in honor of Chelsea’s Thunderbolt and his win here in 2018.
Additional sponsors were The Farmer’s Association and Witt & Carol Stephens.
The US Shooting Dog Invitational Championship has had several generous benefactors who have created and continue to contribute to an endowment fund that ensures the perpetuity of this field trial. These far sighted sportsmen and women are Lee Cruise(deceased), Charlie & Linda Jackson, Randy & Lynn Potter, Jack, Audrey and Brian Sanchez, Johnny & Joyce Taylor and Ron Prewitt. Ron is the newest benefactor; his addition made this year’s $1000 increase in prize money possible.
The USSDIC Club provided logo wear jackets or vests to all handlers, owners that were present and to the judges and reporter.
Johnny and Joyce Taylor spend all year organizing this event and handling all the pre-trial arrangements. Obtaining sponsorships and donations fall to Joyce’s capable hands. When the trial gets underway the Taylor’s, Connie Crowell and Katie Scherrey orchestrate it with help from local field trialers. Connie Crowell is an incredible field marshal. She knows the courses so completely that she is able to give handlers ample notice of what is coming up. Joyce also rode every brace helping with the duties of marshal especially when the handlers were separated. They handled countless other duties in the evenings where Katie was also a great help. Johnny oversaw announcements, refreshment breaks between braces and numerous details including clean-up after the event. Johnny and Joyce arranged for the dinners and they were delicious. The Friday evening kick-off dinner was BBQ with all the trimmings; Saturday night was deep fried catfish and chicken. Hot lunches were catered on Saturday and Sunday and they hit the spot. J.D. and Jill Smith were invaluable help in and around the clubhouse; J.D. along with Johnny Taylor grilled the Saturday night steaks to absolute perfection! There were no complaints about any of the meals at this trial! The door prizes that Johnny, Joyce, Katie and Connie handed out at the evening meals were eagerly received by all.
Steve Messick admirably filled the critically important job of dog wagon driver. He was always in the right place at the right time. Mike Taylor was the official photographer and got some great shots! He and Marcia O’Neal provided a beautiful cake with Thunderbolt’s picture on it for dessert on “steak night”. They both pitched in to help wherever they were needed. Darby Moore accompanied her husband Virgil to the trial and helped out with KP duties as needed.
Owner’s that made the trip to the Invitational were Dr. Tom Jackson, George Hickox, Carl Bishop, Muriel Primm, Keith Finlayson and Bill & Mary Ann Sand. Traveling with Dr. Jackson was his son, Sam. Debbie Ozner was also on hand to see Bolt. Jason Sanders made the trip to Conway to scout for Tommy Rice. Some of the spectators in the gallery included Eddie Taylor, Zac Hilton, Dennis Hidalgo, Ronnie Miller, Francis Buche and Bruce Sooter.
Also there with Joel Norman: to scout was John Neeley. Larry Williamson, Virgil’s owner was there to see his dog run
Chelsea’s Thunderbolt, white and liver pointer male, was ranked number one in the points standings with 2,792 points. He is the defending Invitational Champion. He is owned by Dr. Tom Jackson, Columbus, IN and George Hickox, Pittsburg, PA. Bolt is handled by Shawn Kinkelaar of Effingham, IL. The wins which qualified him for this Invitational were seven open shooting dog championship titles, including Texas, Alabama, Jayhawk, Southeastern, Egyptian, Michigan and the US Invitational. He also placed third in the Lonestar Open Shooting Dog Classic.
*Sugarknoll Warpaint was ranked 2nd with 2,289 points. He is owned by Peter & Chris DelCollo and Allen Linder who declined the invitation. Warpaint is typically handled by George Tracy.
Waybetter Rocky was ranked number 3 with 1,610 points. This white and orange pointer male is owned by Carl & Collin Bishop, Punxsutawney, PA and Bill & Muriel Primm, Cream Ridge, NJ and is handled by Mike Tracy, Glenville, PA. Rocky’s qualifying placements included three open shooting dog championship titles, South Carolina, Eastern and Canadian; two runner-up open shooting dog titles, Northeastern and Michigan and three second places at Fort Mill FTC, North Carolina PDA and Indiantown Gap Keystone Classic.
Miller Unfinished Business with 1,260 points was listed number 4 in the rankings. Benjy Griffith, Macon, GA owns this white and orange pointer male that is handled by Joel Norman of Leesburg, GA. “Dan’s” point earning placements include winning the National Open Shooting Dog Championship and 1st place in the Jep Wade OSD at the Mill Pond FTC.
Thrill Me was ranked at 5 with 810 points. The white and orange pointer female is owned by Keith Finlayson of Tallahassee, FL and handled by Tommy Rice, Pavo. GA. “Pea” earned her invitation by winning the prestigious Masters Open Shooting Dog Championship.
Miller’s Miss Calamity Jane ranked 6th on the list with 700 points. The white and orange pointer female is owned by Allen Linder, Livingston, TN and was handled here by Mike Tracy, Glenville, PA. “Jane” earned her points by winning the Georgia Open Shooting Dog Championship.
CS Coldwater Rex attained the number 7 ranking with 698 points. Tony Gibson, Union Springs, AL owns the white and orange pointer male which is handled by Doug Ray, Waynesboro, GA. Rex earned his invitation by winning the Gulf Coast Open Shooting Dog Championship, taking Runner-up in the Kentucky OSD Championship and placing 2nd in the Jep Wade OSD at the Mill Pond FTC.
*Erin’s War Creek qualified for the number 8 invitation with 627 points, but it was declined. War Creek is owned by Allen Linder and is handled by George Tracy.
Miller’s Vanilla Snow with 615 points was ranked 9th. George Tracy typically handles the white and liver pointer female for Tommy & Bonnie Hamilton, Springfield, KY. Mike Tracy handled her here. Sue gained her invitation by winning two open shooting dog championships, the Northeastern and the Keystone. Points were also earned by placing 2nd at the Conecuh Station FTC.
Conecuh’s Shoe Shine was the number 10 points holder with 595 points. The invitation was declined by owners Tony & Becky Gibson and handler Doug Ray due to injury.
In Swami’s Shadow, owned by Bill and Mary Ann Sand, Overland Park, KS collected 565 points. The 11th ranked white and orange pointer female is handled by Shawn Kinkelaar. Dot’s points were won by placing first in the Fleetwood Open Shooting Dog Classic and Runner-up in the Atlantic Coast OSD Championship.
Touch’s Diamante came in at number 12 with 540 points. The white and liver pointer male, “Sam”, is owned by Austin Turley of Molt, MT who qualified him and was handled by Tommy Rice in the Invitational. Sam won two open shooting dog championships, the Big Sky and the Idaho to earn his invitation.
Caladen’s DaVinci ranked 13th with 522 points. The white, black and liver setter male is owned by Auddie Brown, Kingstree, SC and handled by Jerry Raynor, Dunn, NC. Leo placed third at the Fort Mill FTC and placed Runner-up in both the North Carolina and Eastern Open Shooting Dog Championships to gain his points.
LF Dynomike was 14th in the rankings; with 505 points. The white and orange pointer male formerly owned by Mike McClanahan is currently owned by Larry Williamson of Ponca City, OK and is handled by Virgil Moore, Canyon, TX. Mike’s points were earned by winning the Arkansas Open Shooting Dog Championship and by placing second in the Lonestar OSD Classic.
Rebelita was 15th in the point standings. She came in with 480 points and was qualified for her invitation by her Amateur owner/handler Austin Turley, Molt, MT. The pointer female was handled in the Invitational by Tommy Rice. Her points came from winning the Montana Open Shooting Dog Championship.
The Winner and Other Finalists
To the victor go the spoils and this win was no exception! The winning owners receive a valuable Ross Young painting of the dog. They also receive Montana Silversmith belt buckles. The winning handler receives an $8000 purse, a Garmin Astro 320 with T-5 tracking collar, a Garmin Pro 550 Training collar, and a $600 Purina certificate for Pro Plan dog Food.
The winner, Chelsea’s Thunderbolt was sired by the 2008 National Champion, Whippoorwill Wild Agin. Bolt’s dam was Butler’s Jill, she by CH Elhew Sinbad. Bolt carries the great Champions Elhew Swami, Elhew Sunflower, Erin’s Southern Justice, Whippoorwill Wild Card and Bly Spy Master in his pedigree. Bred by Brad Sadler, Chelsea’s Thunderbolt was whelped on April 21. 2012. Brad and Chelsea Plantation were responsible for his early development. Steve Hurdle ran him as an all age derby but at the end of that season made the decision that Bolt was better suited to the shooting dog circuit. Steve offered to sell the dog to Shawn Kinkelaar; Shawn brought Tom Jackson and George Hickox on board as owners. The rest as they say, is history. To date Chelsea’s Thunderbolt has won 14 Championships and 2 Runner-up titles. He has twice been named the Purina Shooting Dog of the Year.
Chelsea’s Thunderbolt had no shortage of fans in the gallery. Dr. Tom Jackson, one of his owners, was accompanied by his son, Sam. The other owner, George Hickox was accompanied by Debbie Ozner. Shawn Kinkelaar’s hometown friend, Zac Hilton was also there to cheer Bolt on. Eddie Taylor rode the front. Virgil Moore did a fine job as Bolt’s scout in all series.
Great care is taken to ensure that every dog runs at a different time of day, on a different course with a different bracemate during the first two series. Chelsea’s Thunderbolt appeared in the second brace of the first series which meant he would run in the afternoon on the second day. He drew the final brace of the second series. The dogs are judged on their cumulative performances, the dogs that shine in one series may not have as good a day the next time down. Those dogs that average the best are selected for the final. Bolt’s fine race and three nice finds in the first series topped all others on that day. On Sunday he repeated that feat with another three find performance. As the top dog returned for the finals, Bolt was selected to be in the first brace. He did not disappoint. He ran the 90 minutes with speed and power. He scored three finds, all with excellent style. He consistently gave quality performances; the average of which was untouchable.
Waybetter Rocky earned his berth in the 90-minute final with two solid, attractive races. He was braced with Bolt in the first series. He impressed on the ground but went the hour without bird contact. In the second series he added two pieces of birdwork to a fine race to advance. He is owned by Carl & Collin Bishop and Bill & Muriel Primm. Carl and Muriel were on hand. Rocky was capably handled by Mike Tracy. Rocky was paired with Bolt in the final, he acquitted himself well.
CS Coldwater Rex went without game contact in the first series but ran a strong race. He came back in the second with a fine, forward race and two finds to get the judges nod to continue. Rex is owned by Tony Gibson and handled by Doug Ray. He was scheduled to appear in the second brace of the finals with In Swami’s Shadow.
In Swami’s Shadow impressed with her bird handling and race in the opener. In the second series she ran well, scored nicely on game but suffered two unproductives. The weight of her first performance carried her to the final round. Shawn Kinkelaar handles her for owners Bill and Mary Ann Sand who were present.
The second brace of the finals was canceled; Chelsea’s Thunderbolt had made the decision an easy one for the judges. Even before it was announced that the second brace would not be run, everyone knew who the Champion would be. Detailed descriptions of all performances are listed in the order of running which follows.
First Series (1 hour):
Miller Unfinished Business “Dan” (Norman) was braced with Thrill Me “Pea” (Rice) Pea scored a pretty find at 15 with birds lifting as her handler arrived. She stayed tuned in to her handler and ran a predominantly forward race. Dan ran a good forward race. At 55, he pointed a covey with fine style and manners.
Chelsea’s Thunderbolt “Bolt” (Kinkelaar) and Waybetter Rocky “Rocky” (M. Tracy) were released in the woods, near the lake. Bolt was on point at 3, below the ridge. A covey was put up in front of him while he remained high and tight throughout. Both dogs were making big, bold moves; they were exciting to watch. Bolt scored again at 15, standing majestically in the sedge grass. Kinkelaar flushed the covey; Bolt remained frozen until he was collared. His third find came at 31, again Bolt showed beautiful style and perfect decorum. These two champion pointers put down excellent races. Rocky pointed at 45 but even with a relocation his quarry was not to be found. Bolt suffered a barren stand at 57. Both dogs finished nicely forward.
Miller’s Vanilla Snow “Sue” (M. Tracy) paired with Touch’s Diamante “Sam” (Rice) Sue pointed at 11 but no birds were produced. She carded a second unproductive at 19. Sue scored a pretty find at 31 with all in good order. Her race was consistently forward. Sam was a handful at the start and was absent for a while. He pointed a single with high style at 33, on the fence line. Sam had a brief absence after his find but showed forward. He pointed but corrected on at 58 to finish going away.
Miller’s Miss Calamity Jane “Jane” (M. Tracy) and Rebelita “Jane” (Rice) were first up on Saturday afternoon. Calamity Jane pointed at 14 with Rebelita honoring. Tracy called flight of the birds, but they were not officially seen. After a brief attempt to find a straggler, they were taken on. The two pointer females scored a divided find at 23, both were steady and stylish for the flush of their covey. Rebelita pointed at 50 but it was unproductive. Jane notched her second find below the ridge at 54; all was in perfect order. Both were forward in pattern.
CS Coldwater Rex “Rex” (Ray) and In Swami’s Shadow “Dot” (Kinkelaar) pointed together at 13, relocation was required; both were given the task. Rex hunted but had no luck and was taken on. Dot relocated across the ditch and into the open field beyond where she pinned a large covey. She stood stylish and intent while Shawn put her birds to flight. Rex pointed at 30 but it proved to be barren. Dot scored her second find, with a relocation which saw quail flushed as the hour expired. It was an attractive piece of birdwork. This pair was predominantly forward at desirable range throughout the hour.
Caladen’s DaVinci “Leo” (Raynor) was paired with LF Dynomike “Mike” (Moore) Leo was the only setter in the stake. He was stylishly gaited and ran a strong race; unfortunately, not much was seen of him. Mike turned in a predominantly forward race. At 56, he pointed on the right in the vicinity of a feeder. He was high and tight through flush and shot. Mike finished going away.
Second Series (1 hour):
Caladen’s DaVinci (Raynor) and In Swami’s Shadow (Kinkelaar) Leo was in Saturday’s last brace and back first thing Sunday morning for the start of the second series. He started well but was difficult to handle. His handler asked for the tracker at 23. Dot ran a nice race. She was found on point at 20, but when relocation was necessary, she was drawn off by the passing gallery. This left Shawn with no choice but to take an unproductive. She suffered another unproductive at 43. Dot finished her hour with a nice find.
Miller’s Miss Calamity Jane (M. Tracy) and LF Dynomike (Moore) Jane was on point at 7, near the ridge. Her scout called flight of a single but no one else was positioned to see it. A non-productive stand went on her card after an attempted relocation. Mike was picked up for failure to back. Point was called for Jane at 43, departing birds were called but the judges advised that they had not seen them. Tracy opted to collar and move on. Jane had another unproductive at 55. Her race was forward and attractive.
CS Coldwater Rex (Ray) and Rebelita (Rice) Rex turned in a strong, attractive, mainly forward race. He scored handsome, mannerly covey finds at 40 and 49. On both occasions his birds were well-located. Rebelita ran a mostly forward race with no bird contact.
Miller Unfinished Business (Norman) and Touch’s Diamante (Rice) were standing stylishly alongside a grassy strip at 10. Diamante was twenty yards to the front of Dan, both handlers began flushing. A single quail lifted between the dogs and both handlers fired. Both dogs ran strong races. Diamante scored a dug up find on a woodcock at 49. His style and manners were first class.
Thrill Me (Rice) and Waybetter Rocky (M. Tracy) Pea ran a forward race; her only game contact during the hour was a stop to flush at 14. Rocky scored a good find at 14, showing nice style and manners. Rocky scored again at 42, found by the dog wagon, on an edge within view of the road. He stood with high intensity and style, his birds were easily put to flight. Rocky ran a strong, consistently forward race.
Miller’s Vanilla Snow (M. Tracy) and Chelsea’s Thunderbolt (Kinkelaar) Sue put down a strong and forward race. She found no birds and was picked up at 42 following a barren stand. Bolt ran a beautiful race, showing speed and style at excellent range. He hunted the course wisely, scoring a stellar covey find at 18. At 33, he notched a dug up find on a single. Once again, his stunning style was on display. Bolt connected a third time with a handsome find at 39 on another single. He pointed at 59 but no birds were produced before time expired.
Final Series (90 minutes)
Chelsea’s Thunderbolt (Kinkelaar) and Waybetter Rocky (M. Tracy) were paired as the top two dogs from the combined preceding series. Bolt came out gunning for the win. He scored his first find at 3 with his signature style. Rocky was credited with a natural back. All was in order for both pointers. By 9, Bolt was on point again, Rocky honored. It was a pretty scene with both dogs looking sharp and displaying perfect manners for the flush and shot. At 42, point was called for Rocky, he stood stylishly on a left edge. A covey was produced for him with everything in order. Bolt pointed a third time at 66 with Rocky politely backing. Kinkelaar made a thorough attempt to flush and was approaching his dog, ready to send him for a relocation when something in the grass caught his eye. There within a foot or two of Bolt’s nose was a woodcock which Shawn promptly flushed for the steady dog. Both dogs were sent on, Rocky taking the ridge side while Bolt kept to the right. At 69, Rocky locked up in an attractive point. Birds were flushed for the well-behaved pointer. These dogs continued their terrific races until the time expired, they both displayed wisdom and fortitude not to mention a high degree of class. Bolt’s consistent performances through all series left no one in doubt as to the winner of this US Shooting Dog Invitational Championship.
CS Coldwater Rex (Ray) and In Swami’s Shadow (Kinkelaar) were not called upon to run since an unbeatable winner had emerged from the preceding brace.