National Quail Derby Classic

  • 1st: Burr Oak's Redneck Cowgirl "Casey"
    Owned by Jim Gingrich
    Handled by Brian Gingrich
  • 2nd: CK Rugers Red Label Ann "Anny"
    Owned/Handled by Ron Chenoweth

National Quail Championship

  • 1st: Berry's Taking Chances "Lotto"
  • 2nd: Burr Oak's Quarterback "Rex"
    Owned by Jim Gingrich
    Handled by Brian Gingrich

November 2nd marked the third running of the NVA National Quail Championship. We had some exciting changes this year in the form of a new venue for this championship. In keeping with the time honored tradition of such great American Field events as the Quail Championship Invitational and the Quail Classic which are held at the West Kentucky Wildlife Area in Paducah Kentucky, we were privileged and thought it fitting to hold our NVA National Quail Championship on these same wonderful grounds.

We were very blessed and it was an honor, no a privilege, to work with an outstanding group of men who judged this event. Mr. Mike Crouse and Jim Crouse, brothers from Dixon Kentucky, each judged one stake. Both of these men have bred, trained, and campaigned English pointers for many years. Both have extensive experience judging championships; Jim having the distinct honor of getting the call to judge the granddaddy of them all on the Ames plantation this year. Each of these men plays an integral part in the Ohio Valley Field trial circuit and helps run and coordinate the Quail Invitational and Quail Classic there in Paducah Kentucky. These men did far more then judge our championship, not that that wasn't enough. They spent many hours on the phone helping this author coordinate our championship and did above and beyond to welcome our group. They spent time with laying out courses, ordering and delivering birds, answering numerous questions, and doing anything and everything that was needed to help make our event successful. I could go on and on, but these were two of the nicest, hardest working, respectable gentlemen I have ever met in this game.

Mr. John Burrows of South Fulton Tennessee was the second judge for the Championship partnering with Mike Crouse and partnered with Jim Crouse for the derby. John also is well respected in the pointer world and has judged numerous events. He has trained and campaigned shooting dog pointers for years and his knowledge of dogs and the grounds was a huge asset. He was very polite and helpful and all appreciated his knowledge, stories, and insight. These men's knowledge of the grounds and of high class bird dogs was a tremendous asset to the NVA in having a successful trial on these new grounds for this Championship. We hope that we can continue a long relationship with these folks and be allowed the opportunity to keep this Quail Championship there for many years to come.

Thanks also to Tim Kreher the manager of the West Kentucky Wildlife Grounds for his help in allowing us access to this venue, answering many questions, and of course, for all the hard work that his department does in mowing and maintaining the grounds. Thanks to local Mark Sullivan for his help in showing me around this summer, helping with some things locally, and helping set up some of our food purveyors. Thank you to the fine folks at the Baymont Inn in Paducah for accommodating us folks.

Lastly, a special thank you to one of the finest gentleman and best dog wagon operators and birddog men around, Mr. Terry Allen. He is one of the most selfless people I have ever met, and we could not have gotten around that week without him. He gave his valuable time to not only operate the dog wagon for us, but was up every morning early with me to catch and release birds before sunrise, pick up dogs, report to the guard tower, pick up trash, and everything and anything you asked or didn't ask of him he did it. His knowledge of the grounds and stories of the dogs and events of yester year were a true delight to hear. Terry is an absolute true gentleman and an asset to any association. His attitude and demeanor are an example to all in the bird dog community. Again it was our privilege to work with and to have the help of these fine men.

Thanks to Josh McPherson, Phil Rohs, Jim Blumentritt and Carrie Syczylo for their help in getting things done whatever was asked of them. To those that contributed moneys or items to this event, thanks. Thanks to Bonita Austin and Mark Johnson for cash donations for trophies, and Robert Tomczak for donating a 20 Gauge Rossi shotgun. Thank you to Ray Cooper for his help coordinating our sponsors. Lastly, to our corporate sponsors Purina and Tri-tronics for their continued support of this championship with Pro Plan Performance food and two fantastic training collars from Tri-Tronics. These are greatly appreciated.

This year's event drew entries from Texas, Missouri, Iowa, Ohio, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Maryland, Indiana, and Kansas. Pro's Jerry Jordan, Bryan Long, and Chuck Copper and Diane Vater were present as well as a good mix of amateurs from various regions. Cover was thick in areas but the grounds were dry and in good shape.

The Winners

In the open championship we saw 22 entries and 22 starters. It was a challenge for all because none of the handlers or dogs had ever run on these grounds before. The thick cover in areas along with the unfamiliarity of the grounds made it difficult for handlers and dogs alike. The weather was good for the event but the light winds on the first day seemed to aid scenting and more birds were found on the first day of running. The winner, Berry's Taking Chances, owned by Mike and Carrie Syczylo of Indiana and handled by trainer Diane Vater of Pennsylvania ran in the last brace of the second day.

Lotto as she is known to everyone is very familiar with the winners circle, having won numerous AKC and American Field Championships over the last few years. She continued her winning ways by having a consistent forward course with numerous well spaced finds. Lotto carded a single, a divided covey find with brace mate Rampaige owned and handled by Phil Rohs, and another covey find, all with nice manners and style. As time was called Lotto was making a nice forward cast and went on point.

Burr Oak's Quarterback, "Rex", owned by Jim Gingrich of Winnebago Illinois and handled by his son and pro trainer Brian Gingrich, garnered the runner-up title. Rex ran in the first brace after lunch on the first day. Rex started strong making nice casts forward and carded a find on a single just off the bean field exhibiting nice manners and style. He got a little sticky and lateral after 35 in a thick section of the course but got going again. At 42 he had a divided covey find with Flowerstep Ehros which is owned and handled by Jim Blumentritt of Texas with all in order. Ehros was running a nice course but disappeared for a short absence but returned from the rear. He also got sticky for a while but continue with a pleasing gate. At 46, point was called for Rex, but after a thorough flushing attempt in some very thick cover Gingrich took the nonproductive and sent his charge on. Rex finished going away at time.

The Derby Classic saw 11 young dogs come to the line. John Burrows and Jim Crouse presided over the stake. It was a good event for Brian Gingrich just coming off his first AF championship win as a pro in the Quail Championship with Rex. He garnered the win in the derby with his father's dog Burr Oaks Redneck Cowgirl or "Casey". Casey did a nice job and was consistently forward with a covey find in the first bean field. She handled kindly and exhibited a pleasing gate.

Second place went to newcomer Ron Chenoweth from Illinois with a dog he bred, trained, and handled named CK Rugers Red Label Ann or "Anny". She also handled kindly and had bird contact twice but was not as big as the winner. Third place went to Durite's All the Bells and Whistles, "Bella" owned by Scott and Laura Bauer of Indiana and handled by breeder Carrie Syczylo. Bella also forward and consistent with a find but was not as the other winners and was the youngest of the three. We look forward to hopefully having this championship stay on these grounds for many more years.