This year's renewal of The National Vizsla Association Western Shooting Dog Championship and companion stakes of the Mortenson Derby Classic and the National All Age Classic kicked off on April 9th at the 12 Mile Pass Grounds near Fairfield, UT. With the exception of heavy fog delaying one day's start time the weather was just about perfect for running dogs. Events like this take a lot of work in advance as well as during the trial and this year was no exception. With Josh McPherson, Forrest McPherson and Bonita Austin heading up the list of people putting the trial together and insuring it's smooth running during the running this year came off with flying colors.
It is also important to recognize how much field trials of this stature depend on the dedicated support of our sponsors. Long time sponsors like Nestle Purina who came through again with their fine products and Garmin/Tritronics with professional training collars for the winners are key to making these events a success. Purina has been sponsoring National Vizsla Association championships since our inception back in 1991. Tritronics, now Garmin/Tritronics has been with us since our very beginning also.
This year's entries set a new record with people traveling from Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Oregon, Montana and Canada to join the local competitors from the Southwest to make this event a major success. The Western Shooting Dog Championship drew 18 dogs while the Mortenson Derby Classic attracted a record 20 dogs and the All Age Classic saw 14 dogs come to the line. There's no doubt that the fine slate of judges we had this year contributed to the entries and the success, with Heath Robertson of Elberta, UT and Jason Woffinden of Lehi, UT riding to watch the shooting dogs. Marty Middleton of Herriman, UT was joined by Rich Burgi from Sandy, UT to pass judgment on the Derby and All Age dogs. The combined experience of these four men is well over 100 years of judging and running fine bird dogs and their decisions were well received.
The Western Shooting Dog Championship saw a host of very competitive dogs with some excellent performances for the judges to evaluate. Emerging as the Champion was CK Touchdown Guy owned by Ron Chenoweth of Illinois and handled by Brian Gingrich also from Illinois. The Runner-up was Burr Oaks Reve owned by Jim Gingrich of Illinois and also handled by Brian who is Jim's son. With 20 dogs in the Derby, judges Middleton and Burgi had their work cut out for them but with their years of experience it was more of a pleasure than hard work, selecting CK Smiley's Legacy owned by Ron Chenoweth as the winner handled by Brian Gingrich. They liked Fidler's CK Ragin Bull owned by Brian Fidler and handled by his wife, Stephanie, as their second place dog and Fidler's Big Finale owned and handled by Stephanie as their third place dog. Stephanie traveled from Oak Grove, MO to show off her fine derby dogs.
The National All Age Classic was won by CK Touchdown Guy owned by Ron Chenoweth and handled by Brian Gingrich. The First Runner-up was Midnight Run's Probably Cause (Kayla) owned by Jeff Zenas of Michigan. The judge's comments after each stake was not only that they were impressed by the winners but the quality of the dogs as a whole. The National Vizsla Association is grateful for the efforts of all the people who pitched in to help make this event a huge success and to these fine judges for their attention and decisions