Shooting Dog
Dogs left to right: runner up - FC AFC Burr Oak’s Quarterback ("Rex"); winner - Touchdown Kid’s Jet City Rose ("Rosie")
People left to right: Brian Gingrich, Gus Toombs (judge), Theresa Gimbut, Mark Johnson, Brian long, and Ben Lorenson (judge)

Derby Classic
Dogs left to right: 3rd place - A Case XX for JT Becker ("Case"); 2nd place – Burr Oak’s Durite ("Tess"); winner – CK Touchdown ("Guy")
People left to right: Lily Fountain, Jamie Fountain, Gus Toombs (judge), Mark Johnson, Thersa Gimbut, Ben Lorenson (judge), Brian Gingric

The National Vizsla Association (NVA) held its annual Eastern Shooting Dog Championship and Derby Classic beginning on Sunday February 12th, 2012. The grounds at Di-Lane Plantation WMA near Waynesboro, Georgia were in great condition following the Georgia Championships held during January. Site manager Steve Kyle's, who has recently returned to Di-Lane, stopped by often during the trial while he and a crew of workers conducted some preplanned burning intended to improve the quail habitat and game population on these grounds even more. Weather conditions throughout the championship and derby classic ranged from high 20's in the early mornings to near 70 during one afternoon. Conditions were dry and dusty however bird contact was frequent throughout the trial. 22 shooting dogs were drawn and run for this years Championship followed by 10 derby classic contenders.

Once again Georgia locals (Dublin) Tippe and Jamie Fountain served to host and serve as secretary for this event. Tippe's skills are not limited to the field or to the paperwork as she again established a working outpost in the kitchen of the exceptional club house at Di-Lane. Along with breakfast, and lunch Ms. Tippe put together an excellent "low country boil" for Sunday dinner. We were pleased to share the grounds and facilities with Ray Dohse/ Kim Trafton and Southeastern Continental Breed championship - Central Georgia Pointing Dog Club weekend trial as well as with Benjie Stephens and Ron Lambert who started the Beaver Creek Shooting Dog Classic on Monday morning. The National Vizsla Association is proud to recognize our sponsors and supporters including Nestle Purina and Tri Tonics Corporation. Representative Terry Trzcinski of Purina was on hand again this year and we thank him and Pat Lamantia for their ongoing help and for the Pro Plan product that went to our winners. We also wish to thank Warner Smith of Tri Tronics for their support and for the new Pro 500 collar awarded to our championship winner.

Under clear sky's, a cooler morning temperature and little wind advertised judges, Mr. Ben Lorenson of Allendale, S.C. and Mr. Gus Toombs of Fayetteville, Georgia directed the first brace to "turn um loose" at 8:30 am. Over the next three days Ben and Gus gave full time and attention to each brace of dogs.

Emerging from the pack this years Shooting Dog championship winner, Touchdown Kid's Jet City Rose - "Rosie", who ran in the 11th brace on Monday afternoon. "Rosie" is owned by Mr. Jim Ochs of Kansas and was handled by Brian Long of Missouri. She ran with purpose for her hour on these grounds slamming a solid point at 11 along a briar edge 70 yards from the interior road. Birds were flushed and all was in order. Moving forward she was found pointed in the bamboo canes near the first creek crossing. A single quail was flushed for her as she pointed tall and mannerly. Finding birds in the thick stuff gave Rosie incentive to work the woods and heavy cover with vigor for the next 30 minutes. While maintaining contact with her handler it was difficult to see her work in the woods. At the end of the hour judge Lorenson called time and Scout Fountain produced Rosie from a forward piney woods edge. Our Championship Runner-up, FC AFC Burr Oak's Quarterback - "Rex", ran in the third brace on Sunday late morning. Rex is owned by James Gingrich of Illinois and was handled by his son Brian Gingrich. Rex had plenty of bird work throughout his hour carding a divided find at 8, a find at 15, an unproductive at 25 and additional finds at 40 and 45. Rex's bird work was good and he finished each and every cast during his hour in front of the judges.

The 2012 Eastern Derby Classic ran on Tuesday – Valentines Day. A bit of overnight precipitation knocked the dust down for the dogs, judges and handlers and we watched a nice crop of young dogs put on a good performance. Both judges, Toombs and Lorenson, commented that the derby stake was "a good one". This years derby classic winner, CK Touchdown - "Guy", came from the 5th brace running as a bye dog and was handled by Brian Gingrich of Illinois. Guy's owner, Mr. Ron Chenoweth, was not able to attend this year's event but celebrated the success of this coming two year old. Guy showed lots of potential as a first class shooting dog. The judges stated that he "ran a great race". He pointed on two occasion's birds that were found dead, and had a nice find at 25 which was handled with the style and class of a mature shooting dog. The second place dog, Burr Oak's Durite - "Tess", came from the 4th brace. She is owned by James Gingrich and was also handled by Brian. Tess ran an attractive and smooth gaited race and showed to have a "long nose" as she pointed birds at 7 and 23. This years third place derby classic dog, A Case XX for JT Becker - "Case", ran in the 1st brace and was handled by Jamie Fountain of Dublin, Ga. Case is owned by David Knight. Consistent with most of this derby stake Case pointed birds frequently. He had evenly spaced bird work at 7, 11, and 21 and showed improving application and range throughout his bid.

Allowing for photos and thank you's most of our contestants had departed the grounds by dark on Tuesday on their way home. Thank you to our judges and to all who participated in and supported this year's event.

Mark Johnson