The 2015 NVA National Quail Championship began Saturday October 31 with a late start due to rain. It was our third highest entry for the championship in the events history and the highest total overall entry combined with the derby. The grounds were in superb shape this year and it is a testament to the hard work by site manager Cha Hill and his crew. The week later start time was also of great benefit, for it allowed for the utilization of all courses because all the crops had been harvested from the fields.

We were very fortunate to have Rich Barber, respected GSP pro from Fillmore,IL and returning judge, Peter Coppens, of Collinsville,IL. Both these men are very active in the GSP breed and were very attentive in judging both stakes and were very fair in trying to give each dog a level playing field with the problematic weather of rain and fog.

We had an initial rain delay the first day and fog delays on two other days but overall temperatures were favorable in the early part of the day and got a bit warm on some afternoons. Both our winner and runner up came from the first day running.

CK Touchdown Guy was the winner of this year's event for owner Ron and Denise Chenoweth of Port Byron, IL for pro handler Brian Gingrich of Rockford, IL. This same team won this championship in 2012. Guy was turned loose in the fourth brace overall in the second part of the first day at 3:08. CK Touchdown Guy had a generally consistent forward race with one find, a stop to flush, and a nice covey find on the east side of the lake across the second road crossing. This was a very nice piece of bird work. When turned loose, he ran the big cattle pasture well and finished nicely in the front.

Runner up was Saginaw Redneck Cowboy "Tex", for owner and handler Mark Johnson of Winnebago, IL. Tex ran in brace 2 and cast off on course 2 at 11:25 in the big picked bean field. He carded his first find only 2 minutes in off the far back right of the bean field as the course swung left. Tex caught the front after his find and worked the heavier cover to left of the picked milo field nicely. He had a brief absence but was gathered from the heavier cover off the ridge on the turn before the road crossing. Tex stayed at a nice consistent forward range and point was called for his second find at 11:58 with all in order. He continued hunting the front and finished nicely going away at time. Guy and Tex bested a field of 29 entries with 29 coming to the line, a third highest entry in the championships history.

National Quail Derby Classic

The derby classic started with 31 entries and 31 promising young prospects all came to the line. Brian and Stephanie Fidler of Oak Grove, MO had a great week by repeating their performance from 2014 by owning and handling both the first and third place winners. The day started with a major fog delay and did not get started until after lunch. The winner came out of brace 7 toward the end of the first day of the stake. Fidler's Fight To The Finish or "Diesel" showed the most range, power and consistency in his application. Diesel was always forward holding his lines well and carded one find. He finished strong and forward like he started.

Second place went to Jackie for owner Mark Held of Omaha,NE with newly turned pro Carrie Syczylo of Martinsville, IN. Jackie ran in the very first brace and showed a very snappy fast and independent ground race. Her application was big and fast but got a bit erratic and out of pocket at times. She is a young dog and shows great promise. Jackie carded one find during her brace.

The third placement went to Fidler's CK Kiss My Sassafras "Sassy" for Stephanie Fidler of Oak Grove, MO and is the better half of husband and wife team. Stephanie broke her foot earlier in the week and was limited in her movement for much of the event but would not be denied when it came to running her derby dog. Sassy had a very consistent moderate ground race and carded three evenly spaced finds throughout her half hour. She handled very nicely for Fidler and had a mature application finishing nicely to the front as she started. She did not show as much power and range as the other winners.


Special thanks to our corporate sponsors Purina Pro Plan for their continued support since the beginning with advertisement and food sponsorship. Thanks to Garmin for supplying the winner and runner up with some of the best training and locating collars on the market. Thanks to Alan Davidson of Dogs Unlimited for their support of gift certificates for the derby winners. I highly recommend giving them a call for all your training equipment needs, as well as, the best dog collars with their Duralon line. Lastly, thanks to NVA supporter, Bridget Nelson of Montana, for her donation sponsoring our trophy for the Quail Championship winner.

Thank you to all who came to support this event and who help to aid in it's continued growth. We had pros Brian Gingrich from IL, Jamie Fountain of Georgia, Josh McPherson from Utah and Carrie Syczylo from Indiana. We also had many returning amteurs, as well as, many newcomers. Participants came from WI, KY, MO, CO, IL, GA, OH, LA and IN.

Much appreciation and thanks to those that have helped me with the running of this great event. Derby stake manager Chad Chadwell for all his help for coordination of things, to dog wagon driving, 4 wheeler and bird planting, etc, etc. Thanks to his lovely wife Nancy Brown for help in arranging lunches and handling food monies. Brian Fidler for bringing another 4 wheeler and aiding with the dog wagon, Phil Stout dog wagon, Forrest McPherson bird planting, Ron Chenoweth, newbies Todd Meyer and Sheri Pharris. Also to any I may have missed, thank you.

Mark your calendars for we look forward to seeing you all at next year October 30, 2016 for the NVA National Quail Championship at Pyramid State Park, Denmark grounds in Cutler, IL.