National Quail Championship

  • 1st: Boot Scootin Boogie
    Owned by Dustin Ochs
    Handled by Brian Long
    Scouted by Robert Tomczak
  • 2nd: Pele's Wiki Hawaiian Punch
    Owned and scouted by Chad Chadwell
    Handled by Brian Gingrich

National Quail Derby Classic

  • Winner: Fiddler's May See Me May Not (May-C)
    Owned by Andrew Fiddler
    Handled by Andrew Fiddler
  • 1st Runner Up: Burr Oak's Reve
    Owned by Jim Gingrich
    Handled by Brian Gingrich
  • 2nd Runner Up: Burr Oak’s Durite Tess
    Owned by Jim Gingrich
    Handled by Brian Gingrich

By Robert Tomczak

The National Vizsla Association National Quail Championship and companion Derby Classic was contested at Pyramid State Park in Pinckneyville, Illinois. With some clubs and events struggling in this tough economy, the NVA continues to grow. October 23-26 marked the 4th running of this event as a championship and was a record setting year for entries. Thirty-four dogs were drawn and ran in the championship and 16 were drawn and ran in the derby.

The champion emerged in Boot Scootin Boogie, male vizsla owned by Dustin Ochs of Emporium, Kansas. The champion, Boots, was handled by professional trainer Brian Long of Merryville, MO and scouted by Robert Tomczak. Boots has been no stranger to the winners circle over the last year. Named runner-up was Pele's Wiki Hawaiian Punch, vizsla male owned and scouted by Chad Chadwell of Springfield, IL. Pele was handled by professional trainer Brian Gingrich of Rockford, IL.

Boot Scootin Boogie started in the first brace on the first day. Boots cast strong with a big move down the left side of the first crop field, sweeping along the back and into the pines before the creek crossing. After navigating the creek and woods crossing, Long entered the cattle pasture, and shortly thereafter sent the scout while riding on and signing occasionally to his charge. After the turn from the long cattle pasture as Long rode toward the olive grove, Boots appeared from the woods to the right. He got a little erratic, but swung to the front and swept across into the olive grove and locked very stylishly on point as he making his way through the grove. With Boots looking very classy, Long flushed a couple libbies from the cover with all in order.

Boots was taken on and after the road crossing was found standing in the taller grass next to a small thicket. After Long made a thorough search, he elected to go on with Boots being credited with a nonproductive. Boots ran the left edge of the large cattle pasture and disappeared in the thick cover. The scout was sent as Long, rode navigating the fence crossing through the olive orchard at the pond. After a short absence Boots was seen forward and shortened for a bit in the next field. He got going again and worked the far left edge before the turn at the road crossing. He navigated the set aside next to the cattle pens casting out and working the last cattle pasture across to the front left. He was headed to the gate at the final road crossing before the corn fields when time was called. He ran with and attractive powerful gate and did what was necessary in the judges eyes to garner the championship.

Pele's Wiki Hawaiian Punch ran in the second brace on the third day and started at 8:35 in the large cattle pasture with the big pond after the first road crossing. Pele worked the first few fields with a consistent forward workman like effort. As he transitioned through the fence at the final field before the second road crossing, Pele swung right and made a cast to the brushy rock outcropping. Point was called at 8:51. After a short search, Pele appeared unsure letting up and Gingrich elected to relocate. No bird was produced and he was taken on. By 9:18 his brace mate Omega had gone MIA and Pele was now on his own. Pele continued to work in a consistent but closer fashion then the winner. As he entered the large cornfield Pele worked the right side and point was called at 9:20 by Gingrich. Pele was standing in the grassy ditch at the end of the field. A small covey was produced with all in order. Pele continued forward transitioning well through the turn into the long cattle pasture ending with the olive orchard. He worked forward through the orchard to the road as time was called.

Others that performed well were Hillbillie Shiloh Holyman with a very big strong forward race with one find and an unproductive, Lundy's Fiddlin with Fire with a couple finds and strong race, Cherokee's Li'l Red Rascal with a consistent edge running course with a find, and Rebel Rouser McCain with a strong but somewhat immature or erratic race with a find. Locating birds on this course was challenging and dogs had to hold their edges.

Judges for this renewal were John Burrows of South Fulton, TN and Guy Rezzardi of Iuka, IL. Both men have been involved with dogs for many years and are well respected. John runs shooting dog pointers and Guy, German Shorthair Pointers. They rode for three days giving each dog their undivided attention. We greatly appreciate their time with this being the second year returning for John. Special thanks to Guy for not only spending his time in the saddle but also for helping arrange for the birds.

The Derby Classic was very competitive and won by the youngest handler of the event. Young Andrew Fiddler of Oak Grove, MO won with his father and his dog, Fiddler's May See Me May Not or May-C. She handled very well for Andrew and it was evident they have a strong bond. She was very fast with an attractive way of going, had two finds, and was very stylish. May-C was forward making many fine casts and finished strong going away.

The runner-up was Burr Oak's Reve, owned by Jim Gingrich of Winnebago, IL and handled by his son, professional trainer, Brian Gingrich of Rockford, IL. Reve had a nice race, a few finds, and a nice finish. Reve was just not quite as big and as consistent throughout as the winner. Both the winner and runner-up are littermates and are both sired by the winner of the Quail Championship, Boot Scootin Boogie.

The second runner-up was Burr Oak's Durite Tess owned by Jim Gingrich and handled by Brian Gingrich. Tess ran with a pleasing gate, had bird work, made some nice casts and finished well but just with not the consistency of the other winners.

The judges for the Derby Classic were Guy Rezzardi of Iuka, IL and Robert Tomczak of Elk Mound, WI. Both judges felt there were a number of other dogs that showed great potential but just needed more experience and maturity to develop.

We of course want to thank our longtime sponsors Purina for the donation of ProPlan Performance food and to Tri-tronics for the training collar and certificates. It is because of the generosity of these great companies that we are able to make this a class event. Thanks to Bonita Austin for her continued generosity to the trophy fund.

Last but not least, thank you to all who helped to run this event. This was one of the nicest, most helpful groups of people that attended this year. Almost everyone helped in some way and pitched in whenever asked. Special thank you to Guy and Lori Rezzardi for their extra help, to Mike and Carrie Syczylo, Brian and Steph Fiddler, Jerry Jordan, Chad Chadwell, Jamie Fountain, Warren Eizman, Lisa Riddle, the McPherson clan and many more.

The event was well attended and we had many new participants this year. Pro trainers were Warren Eizman from CA, Jerry Jordan of IA, Brian Long of MO, Jamie Fountain of GA, Brian Gingrich of IL, Josh McPherson of UT, and Diane Vater and Chuck Cooper of PA. Other amateur entrants came from WI, MO, KS, NE, OH, IL, and IN. It was nice to see newcomers in Joanne Beckley of KS, Chad Chadwell of IL, Greg Wegler of IL, Craig Donze of IL and Lisa Riddle of British Columbia Canada. Thank you again to all who attended and to those that helped that I may have missed. We hope to see you all next October.