National Vizsla Association National Championship Events
GROVESPRING, MO. — Held between March 12-I7th, the National Vizsla Association held the 24th running of its National Championships and Derby Classic, the 18th consecutive at the Sportsmen’s Association grounds outside Grovespring, MO. For those who are unfamiliar, the grounds are spacious enough to accommodate a three-hour continuous course and host the Missouri All-Age Championship immediately after the NVA’s conclusion. Like several other clubs, the National Vizsla Association employs a couple of minor course modifications but nevertheless takes advantage of almost 1500 acres to run its three championship stakes. Any changes in course or format are noted in the body of the report.
This year’s National events were blessed with great dog work and good sportsmanship, the welcome attendance of many owners to watch their dogs, and the ongoing support of its long-standing, perennial corporate sponsors -- Purina, Garmin, Dogs Unlimited, and Christie Saddlery -- for all of which the organization is deeply grateful. A previous reporting commitment kept me from arriving before the start of the National Amateur Championship -and while the descriptions of those winners’ performances is supplemented by conversation with the judges, I am deeply grateful to Natalie Howard for her thorough summaries of those braces.
National Amateur Championship
NATIONAL AMATEUR CHAMPIONSHIP
2018 NVA National Amateur Championship
Winner: Reve O/H Jim Gingrich
R/U: Kimber O/H Jarrett & Allison Bell
The judges for this year’s Amateur championship were both successful, well-regarded amateur trainers and handlers. Joe Worsham, from Easton, MO, has trained and handled multiple champions, including Worsham’s Silver Streak who qualified to run at the 2001 National Championship at Ames. Jay Lewis, from Ashland, MO, has also handled multiple champions under his Bocomo kennel name in both all-age and shooting dog competition. For both judges, this was their first time viewing an exclusively-vizsla field -- and both were explicit about the strength of the breed and the depth of the competition. The National Vizsla Association appreciates their experience and concentration in the saddle for the duration of the event.
From a field of 29 starters, the judges named Burr Oak’s Reve, bred by Brian and Stephanie Fidler, owned and handled by Jim Gingrich as the 2018 National Amateur Champion with Kick Em Up Kimber, owned by Jarrett and Allison Bell, bred by Ron Chenoweth, and handled by Jarrett as runner-up. This was a reversal of the placements from the 2016 National Championship where Kimber had claimed the title -- and while Jarrett Bell is no stranger as a winning handler in the NVA’s national events, this would prove to be Jim Gingrich’s first national win handling one of his dogs. In the judges’ opinion, both dogs had distinguished themselves from the remainder of their competition with the strength of their forward races, the quality of their finds, and their desire to flow through the country with their handlers.
Nonetheless, the judges also wished to note the strong performances of the following dogs:
BGK’s Blinged Up Rossi (Bell), Cali’s Wiki Wiki Mai Tai At Sunset (Chadwell), Diamond C’s
Recon (Corliss), Huntin’ With a Little Swagger (Bell), and CK Wrigs 1914 of Broad Run’s Boone (Anderson).
Reve (Gingrich) ran in the eighth brace on the first course. Reve took off strong to the front and was found standing for the first time just before the road crossing, the handler was able to produce a bird on the find and Reve handled it clean. She then took the left side tree line all the way to the second creek crossing coming into the Island Field, sticking to the line and going forward. She continued along the left side tree line and was found standing to the front, the handler producing a bird on the find and Reve handling it clean. Reve continued her forward run making her way up Horse Killer Hill and was found standing at 0:50 just on top of the hill, the handler was able to produce a bird and she once more handled it perfectly. Reve finished the hour going forward and her strong performance on the ground awarded her a championship win.
Kimber (Bell) was braced with Briar (Hess) in the tenth brace. Both dogs took off through Sycamore Bottom making their way up the hill headed toward the Twin Barns, with Briar working the left side tree line as Kimber made her way up the right side of the hill. Kimber was found standing at 0:14 just after the barns, the handler was able to produce a bird and Kimber caught the front after the find. Briar was found standing at 0:20, bird was produced on the find and then it was Briar’s turn to catch the front. Both dogs had a nice race along the right side line coming out of the Bull Pasture. Kimber would be found standing at the dead tree at the far end of the field with Briar backing, her handler produced a bird and both dogs handled the find clean. Both dogs worked their way back up the hill head back toward the Twin Barns and were found standing in the trees on the right side of the Valley of Death chute at 0:45. Both handlers worked to produce a bird on the find, a small covey of birds was produced with Briar turning to mark after the flush, Kimber handling the find immaculately. Both dogs finished the course going forward going into the field after the Double Gates. Kimber’s strong hour performance provided her the runner up award.
The first brace featured Stone (Stapleton) and Doc (Van Kooten) brace took off at 8:04 am. Stone took off to the front but handler was unable to keep him on course and tracker was pulled at 25 minutes. Doc was found standing for the first time at 39 minutes along the left side tree line just before turning to go up Horsekiller Hill, handler was unable to produce a bird and elected to take a non-productive. Doc moved forward and made his way up Horsekiller Hill, he was found standing at 50 minutes in the middle of the field on top of the hill. He handled his bird work and a covey was produced on the find. Doc finished the hour.
The second brace featured Cinder (Stapleton) and Rossi (Bell) brace took off at 9:10 am. Rossi was found standing at 21 minutes, she handled her bird work and handler produced a bird on the find. Cinder failed to back on Rossi’s first find and was picked up. Rossi was again found standing at 28 minutes but handler was unable to produce a bird, a pile of feathers was found and handler took a non-productive. At 31 minutes Rossi was found standing to the left heading toward the Twin Barns with a bird produced on the find, Rossi handled her bird work clean. At 41 minutes Rossi was found standing, a bird was produced and she again handled her bird work clean. At 47 minutes she was found standing for a final time but handler was unable to produce a bird on the find. Rossi finished the hour.
The third brace featured Smudge (Bell) and Recon (Corliss) due to technical difficulties this brace was lost on the recorder. Smudge was picked up by handler at 30 minutes. Recon completed the brace with 2 finds and one non-productive.
The fourth brace featured Dexter (Van Kooten) and Ty (Chadwell) brace took off after lunch at 1:30 pm, both dogs moving to the front toward the creek crossing. They were found standing on a divided find just prior to the creek crossing; after relocating both dogs, no bird was produced and both handlers elect to move on. At 15 minutes Dexter and Ty were again found standing on a divided find immediately after the creek crossing. The handlers worked hard to produce a bird but were unable to after relocating the dogs; both handlers elected to pick up the dogs at 20 minutes.
The fifth brace featured Buddy (Huff) and Ginger (Ginger) brace took off at 1:54 pm. Buddy was first found standing at 5 minutes: after relocating the dog the handler was unable to produce a bird and elected to move on and take a non-productive. Buddy was found standing at 26 minutes in the left side tree line just before making the turn onto Horsekiller Hill, the handler produced a covey on that find and Buddy handled his bird work clean. Ginger failed to back on this second find and although she made her way up Horsekiller Hill, she was picked up by the judge at the top of the hill. Buddy was found standing at the top of Horsekiller Hill at 37 minutes but after being unable to produce a bird the handler elected to pick up due to a second non-productive.
The sixth brace featured Mia (Chadwell) and Reno (Tuttle) brace took off at 2:47 pm. Mia was found standing to the right in the hay field at 15 minutes, bird got up and flew as the handler moved toward the dog and she handled it clean and went on. Mia was again found standing at 27 minutes in Sycamore Bottom but handler was unable to produce a bird and decided to move on with a non-productive. Reno was picked up at 27 minutes by her handler who was not happy with her performance. Mia headed toward the Twin Barns where she was found standing at 39 minutes and again at 43 minutes, both finds produced a bird and both were worked clean. Mia was found standing for a final time just after the Twin Barns on the hill to the left, she was picked up by the handler after he was unable to produce a bird on the find.
The seventh brace featured Taza (Gingrich) and Johnny (Beckley) brace took off at 3:50 pm.
Taza was found standing at 6 minutes with Johnny backing, handler able to produce a bird on the find and both dogs handled it clean. At 13 minutes Taza was found standing in the left side tree line heading toward the Twin Barns, Johnny was found standing immediately after just a head on the hill. Chet relocated Johnny but was unable to produce a bird with and elected to take a non-productive. Jim relocated Taza several times in a attempt to produce a bird but was unable, he elected to take a non-productive on the find. Taza caught the front and at 34 minutes was found standing to the left in the Bull Pasture, handler relocated several times but was unable to produce a bird and elected to pick the dog up for her second non-productive. Johnny was found standing at 38 minutes but decided to take a few too many steps into the bird and was picked up by the handler.
The eighth brace featured Reve (already covered in the placements) and Bella (Meyer). Sadly, the report is too brief. Bella had her running shoes and disappeared off the break away, Meyer pulling the tracker at 22 minutes just after the road crossing.
The ninth brace featured Imre (Anderson) and Henry (Bell) brace took off at 9:12 am. Both handlers elected to pick up prior to 20 minutes leading into Sycamore Bottom, neither handler happy with dogs performance.
The tenth brace featured Kimber and Briar and is already covered in the placements.
The eleventh brace featured Gunnar (Van Kooten) and Ruby (Corliss) Brace took off at 12:55 pm. Both dogs worked the right side line along the creek before the road crossing. Ruby was found standing with Gunnar honoring at 14 minutes with bird produced and both dogs handling it appropriately. Gunnar made a forward move along the far left tree line coming into the Island Field. Both dogs moved forward along the right side tree line leading to Horsekiller Hill, making their way up the hill at 35 minutes. Gunnar was found standing on the top of Horsekiller Hill at 40 minutes, handler produced a bird on the find and dog handled it cleanly. Both dogs finished the course.
The twelfth brace featured Kayla (Zenas) and Swagger (Bell) brace took off at 2:05 pm. Both dogs have a nice forward race headed toward the Twin Barns. Swagger was found standing at 20 minutes in the left side tree line prior to the Twin Barns, bird was produced and handled cleanly by Swagger. As Swagger’s first bird was being worked, Kayla was found standing just a head in the left side tree line, bird was produced on the find and handled appropriately. At 30 minutes Swagger was found standing immediately to the right of the gate halfway down the line after the Twin Barns. Handler produced a bird on the find and Swagger handled it cleanly. Handler elected to pick Kayla up at 30 minutes. At 35 minutes Swagger was found standing to the left just after the pond but no bird was produced and handler elected to take a non-productive. At 40 minutes Swagger had a stop to flush and handled it appropriately. After making her way over the hill in the Bull Pasture she was found standing at 50 minutes, bird was produced and handled appropriately. Swagger finished the course.
The thirteenth brace featured BamBam (Gingrich) and Coach (Tuttle) brace took off from the Twin Barns at 3:12 pm. Both dogs had a fast forward race down the valley headed toward the road crossing at the Double Gates. BamBam worked the entire far right line after the road crossing and is found standing at 14 minutes at the end of the tree line, the birds popped as handler rode up and Bam Bam worked the find cleanly. BamBam quickly caught the front after the find and both handlers elected to water just before the cemetery. Both dogs battle a tough north wind coming up the hill behind course one and head back down and along course one. Coach was found standing at 49 minutes at the buffet line, handler was able to produce a bird and coach handled it appropriately. Both dogs finished the course.
The fourteenth brace featured Bullet (Bell) and Deuce (Van Kooten). Brace took off at 8:02 am. Both dogs take off to the front headed toward the creek crossing. Deuce was found standing at 14 minutes just after the creek crossing. After relocating Deuce, handler was unable to produce a bird and elects to take a non-productive. At 25 minutes Deuce was found standing with Bullet backing just before the creek crossing headed toward the Island Field. A bird was produced on the find and both dogs handled it appropriately. Coming into the Island Field, Bullet worked the left side tree line all the way to the deer blind. At 32 minutes Deuce was found standing just after the deer blind with Bullet backing, handler produced a bird on the find and both dogs handled it appropriately. Both dogs moved forward coming off the find and had a nice race down the right side tree line headed toward Horsekiller Hill. At 50 minutes Bullet was found standing in the left side tree line of the hay field, handler produced a bird and Bullet handled the find clean. Bullet caught the front after the find and decided he wasn’t ready for his last championship run to be finished, he was not produced at the end as he continued over the hill looking for more birds. Deuce finished the course going forward.
The fifteenth brace was a bye brace with Wrigs (Anderson) brace took off at 9:20 am. Wrigs worked his way up the initial hill and at 5 minutes was found standing in the field just in front of the deer stand, handler produced a bird and Wrigs handled it clean. Wrigs worked the left side tree line all the way through Sycamore Bottom and headed up the hill towards the twin gates. At 45 minutes Wrigs was found standing down the hill to the left in the Bull Pasture, handler produced 2 birds on the find and Wrigs handled the find clean. Wrigs worked his way forward coming out of the Bull Pasture. At 55 minutes Wrigs was found standing on the hill to the left opposite of the hill leading to the Twin Barns, after being relocated several times the handler was unable to produce a bird and elected to take a non-productive. Wrigs finished the course.
Judges: Jay Lewis and Joe Worsham
NATIONAL VIZSLA AMATEUR CHAMPIONSHIP [One-Hour Heats] — 29 Vizslas
Winner—BURR OAK’S REVE, 1625747, female, by Boot Scootin Boogie—Lundy’s Fiddlin With Fire. Jim Gingrich, owner and handler.
Runner-Up—KICK EM UP KIMBER, 1617822, female, by Sam I Am—Ck Penny. J. D. Bell, owner and handler.
National Derby Classic
NATIONAL DERBY CLASSIC
2018 NVA National Derby Classic
Winner: Sassy H:Brian Gingrich O:Ron & Denise Chenoweth
1st R/U Sawney O: Mike Chowning H: Laura Miller
2nd R/U Òengus O/H: Laura Miller.
Staying on from the judging the Amateur, Jay Lewis would be joined by Bob Burchett of Grovespring, MO. No stranger to the grounds either, Bob is best-known as a trainer and handler of some of the strongest, most stylish Brittanys in the country. The National Vizsla Association is grateful for their diligence and attention during their time in the saddle. From a strong field of 18 starters, these two judges named CK Touchdown Sassy, owned and bred by Ron Chenoweth, and handled by Brian Gingrich, the winner of the 2018 NVA National Derby Classic, with two littermates, Millstar’s Lion Rampant (Sawney) and Millstar’s Saltire (Oengus), taking the runner-up and second runner-up awards. Both dogs were bred and handled by Laura Miller -- with Sawney owned by Mike Chowning and Oengus owned by Laura.
Unlike last year, the Derby used the entire three-hour course continuously and began shortly after lunch on Wednesday; the temperature would remain in the upper forties, the air very dry, and the wind gusty making scenting conditions difficult for many of these young dogs.
Sassy came out of the fifth brace and would begin her bid on Course 3 at the far end of the Valley of Death chute. After blowing through the length of the chute, Sassy would punch out to the far side of the Sycamore Bottom field and out the far corner of the field and across the road. Coming through the Double Gates, she would punch down the west-east treeline and through the creek crossing, turning at her handler’s persistent squalling and swinging northbound along the lower field. Reuniting with her handler on the high side below Andy Daugherty’s kennels, Sassy would move purposefully down the creekside edge on the right, the northeasterly wind anchoring her to it all the way around the hook and up under the Bramhall cemetery. She would continue her purposeful cast to the northeast corner of the next field before coming up the treeline to the gap and coming to a stop at 0:14, high and stylish. She would, nonetheless, relocate herself and while her handler would dismount to assist her, she would ultimately take herself on -- the interlude at least demonstrating her willingness to point. Punching through into the Breakaway Field, Sassy would tackle the challenge of Hamburger Hill, undaunted by the uneven rocky surface before swinging down into the final arm of the breakaway hay field. Sent to the northeast to finish up, she would cross the breakaway field and finish up charging down the creekside’s edge cover -- having spent thirty minutes showing her drive, athleticism, and strong sense of the front.
Sawney could come out of the first brace, running on the first half of the first course -- the temperature in the mid-fifties, the breeze light and out of the southwest. He would break away hard down the long right side of the first field, to be pointed out passing through the dead tree gap well to the front. Moving smoothly through the first creek crossing and down the avenue of trees, Sawney would take the next most obvious line ahead of him before being asked to turn and come back through the second creek crossing. He would swing high around the copse before dropping down to the road crossing at the Davis Bottom. He would punch up the left side of the Davis field before swinging out on the treeline towards the creek. Some 75 yards from the cut-through, he would swing and point decisively at 0:24, tail high, broke but for a small turn to mark at the flight of a pair of birds. After downshifting slightly after the road crossing, the find appeared to help him find high gear once more in the full heat of the sun -- and Sawney would finish strong swinging around the lower edge of the Island Field, leaving no doubt of his potential for the future.
Oengus would run in the sixth brace, turned loose from the initial breakaway field in the full warmth of the sun. He would break away purposefully down the right side of the course, dropping down into the creek bed and going forward, popping out and swinging around past the old grain elevator and through the neck. Moving smoothly through the first creek crossing, he would move forward up the avenue of trees and turn west along the treeline. He would get perhaps a hundred yards up into the wind before coming to a stylish stop at 0:12, staying staunch all the way through the shot. Wrangled forward, Oengus resume his way up the creekside edge before being taken to cool off in the small pond on the slope before the road crossing. Through into the Davis Bottom, he would ultimately swing out to the creek bed to go forward, emerging at the intersection with the treeline his brother had located birds on, finishing the line before swinging up onto the wooded shoulder on the left. He would swing around that upper apron before dropping forward towards the creek crossing where time would expire. Occasionally lacking the degree of focus that his brother had demonstrated, Oengus nonetheless earned his placement with intelligent application (rewarded with a find in difficult conditions), and a solid thirty-minute effort.
Franchi (J. Bell) would take the field in the first brace braced with Sawney (already covered in the placements). He would break down the right side of the long hayfield, moving smoothly as he swung past the old grain elevator and through the neck of the field. Working intelligently through the next field sections, Franchi would swing up around the copse before swinging down the fenceline to the road crossing. Coming into the Davis Bottom field, Franchi would swing out on the right, creekside edge coming to a stop at its culmination at 0:25, below the copse of trees. Despite an extensive relocation effort, the initial stand would prove fruitless and the dog would be taken through the woods path to the creek crossing and up into the Island Field to finish up, still moving nicely at the finish despite the obvious growing heat.
The second brace featured Duke (A. Bell) paired with Charlie (Howard) -- the clean, cold wind atypically seeming to come from the northwest, providing some kind of assistance to the two dogs as they got underway at the start of the Island Field. Both dogs would take a little time to focus coming through the sweeping turn into the field below Horsekiller Hill -- but Duke would nonetheless appear to stop with nice style on the lower right edge at 0:07 but would work it out and take himself on. Both dogs would be watered in the little pond atop the hill and both would initially begin the left hand treeline before swinging across the face of Apple Tree Hill. Charlie would come to a stop on the eastern edge of the central copse of trees at 0:16, a bird seen leaving ahead of the stylish dog. Down into the Little Vine Loop, Charlie would appear to downshift slightly in the patchwork of small hayfields, Duke too by the time they had both climbed up onto the next ridge, the deer condo ahead of them -- he, at least, with the self-awareness to take himself to the small pond on the right to cool down in the heat of the afternoon. Both dogs would swing below the deerstand to the east and finish up to the front, moving well for the conditions but without the same degree of forward consistency as the winners.
The third brace would begin in the hayfields below Apple Tree Hill and would feature Lola (Gingrich) paired with Casey (Chenoweth). Both dogs would move easily through the patchwork of smaller, hay-baled fields into the Sycamore Bottom, Casey swinging out wide to the far side and working the slope behind the gnarled, dead tree, Lola seemingly having rimmed the large field and met her handler at the entrance to the hill climb up to the Twin Barns. Coming up the ridge had obviously taken some toll on Lola, but she would nonetheless come to a stop at 0:19 down in the scrubby grass on the prominent corner edge, pointing nicely for her handler to flush the bird. Approaching the Twin Barns, Chenoweth would admit that he’d lost contact with Casey and ask for his tracker at 0:22. Passing through a gap in the old fenceline at the Twin Barns, Lola would run through a bird at 0:23 without any opportunity to establish point. Nevertheless, after moving up the draw, she would come to a stylish stop below the stockpond at 0:26, birds seen flushing ahead of her. She would finish up going away just below the Blue House.
The fourth brace featured Nova (Gingrich) paired with Luca (Tomczak), commencing their brace in the Bull Pasture. Luca would swing wide down the outer fence line through the first section, Nova taking a little time to get settled in to the front -- nonetheless, the dog would come to a stop at 0:06 beside the little pond surrounded by pines on the start of the climb out of the pasture, but it would not yield any bird contact. Both dogs would swing through the next field with the long broomsedge edge, Luca showing a little more punch and purpose at this point. Nevertheless, both would swing off the rounded slope of the hill and down into the valley below the Twin Barns -- where both dogs would come to a stop at 0:17 on the left side of the chute up to the Twin Barns. Sadly, this too would prove to be a fruitless stop -- and after being watered in the growing heat of the afternoon, both dogs would course up over the next rise past the Barns. Where Nova had initially seemed slow to really dig in to the course, however paradoxically, the non-productive and the hill climb had apparently energized her -- and as the gallery cleared the rise, she would be seen out on the left coursing down the spur to the southeast. By comparison, the heat and steep climbs had appeared to have had their usual effect on her bracemate as he plugged down through the Valley of Death, still hunting but without the same vim and vigor that he had begun with. Time would expire as the gallery entered the Sycamore Bottom, Gingrich electing to simply ask for his tracker.
Sassy (already covered in the placements) would run with Bobber (Tomczak) in the fifth brace. Bobber would break away assertively down the Valley of Death chute, swing high up the right side of the slope, before dropping forward and punching out to the far side of Sycamore Bottom -- going forward towards the road along the long right edge. He would initially drop down into the creek crossing and forward, taking a little more effort from his handler to corral him back onto the high side. He would move snappily along the creekside edge and underneath the cemetery, staying on the lower side through the creek crossing and out into the Breakaway Field. He would climb Hamburger Hill successfully before dropping down into the pond to cool off -finishing up his thirty minutes going away out on the far side of the breakaway field. While there was no doubt he had been outpaced by his bracemate, Bobber nonetheless acquitted himself with his constant effort on the ground.
Noah (Szyczylo) would run in the sixth brace with Oengus (already covered in the placements) but, doubtlessly affected by the heat of the afternoon sun, would never quite find a competitive gear -- and Szyczylo would elect to save her young dog from the hot conditions at 0:06 at the old grain elevator.
The seventh brace would feature Wilson (Ochs) and Nitro (Syczylo) turned loose in the Island Field. Wilson would immediately punch out for the big island while Nitro would swing around the outer edge of the field all the way to the cut-through. Into the field below the Horsekiller Hill, neither dog would be seen for a while -- but Ochs would successfully locate Wilson in the creekbed on the lower right side and get him turned up the steep hill. Out into Apple Tree Hill, Wilson would tackle the undulating right side and swing around the long outer edge, punching into the woods on the northern side. Reaching the far end of Apple Tree Hill at 0:18, Syczylo would acknowledge that she had lost contact with her dog and ask for her tracker. Down into the hayfields of the Little Vine Loop, Ochs would also admit that he no longer had his dog and ask for his tracker at 0:23.
The eighth brace drew Jeter (Chadwell) with Toby (Gingrich) who would be turned loose in the first of the Little Vine Loops. As both dogs worked their way through the first succession of fields, both seemed to struggle to find a linear objective and punch out along it. Up the steep climb to the plateau below the deerstand, both dogs would begin on the long wooded edge on the left, before crossing across the face of the slope and tackling the right. Both dogs would swing down the hill and into the next succession of hayfields, Toby showing a little more consistent application forward, Jeter nevertheless making nice, but intermittent casts. Into the Sycamore Bottom, Toby would eventually settle on the right side of the big field and punch forward, Jeter settling on the left side and coming across on the center treeline. Both dogs would successfully turn up the hill, and would finish up just beyond the gate, plugging forward purposefully.
The final brace would bring Sammy (Howard) to the line with Dexter (Beckley), the two dogs turned loose for the long ridge climb up to the Twin Barns -- and both initially settling to tackle the lower, left side of the slope and up towards the brush piles. The judges would see Dexter establish point at 0:04 on the last corner of the woods before the brushpiles, Sammy too appearing to have bird contact in the area although no distinct point was seen even by his handler (who would refrain from firing his gun at the flight of the bird). Leaving the Barns and through the fenceline, Dexter would take the drainage on the lower, left side and come to a stop at the thicket below the stockpond at 0:10, the birds seen leaving and a shot fired. Acknowledging that it was not Sammy’s best day, Howard would elect to pick up his dog at 0:11 and leave the course to his bracemate. Dexter, in the meantime, had pushed up to the fenceline below the Blue House and would stop once more at 0:13, a bird successfully flushed before the mannerly, stylish dog. Through into the Bull Pasture, he would swing down on the lower slope and appear to make game at the copse of trees near the prominent draw, coming to a stop at 0:18, the southwesterly wind coming up the draw into this face. He would be reluctant to relocate, but would eventually get a bird located running through the scrub and leaves. He would remain focussed on finding the next most likely objectives as he passed through the exit of the Bull Pasture, moving down the long broomsedge edge on the right -- but occasionally getting sticky as he worked through the layers of old and new scent. He would finish up in the back corner of that long field.
Judges: Bob Burchett and Jay Lewis
NATIONAL VIZSLA DERBY CLASSIC — 18 Vizslas
1st—C K TOUCHDOWN SASSY, 1678000, female, by Touchdown Kid—C K Guy’s Dee Dee. Ron Chenoweth, owner; Brian Gingrich, handler.
2d—MILLSTAR’S LION RAMPANT, 1675351, male, by Lundy’s Red Bull—C K Millstar’s Wee Dram. Mike Chowning, owner; Laura Miller, handler.
2d—MILLSTAR’S SALTIRE, 1671543, male, by Lundy’s Red Bull—C K Millstar’s Wee Dram. Laura Miller, owner and handler.
National Open Championship
2018 NVA National Open Champion
Winner: Red H: Brian Gingrich O: Pat Bangert
R/U : Ty O/H Chad Chadwell and Nancy Browne
The judges for this year’s championship were Bob Burchett (who stayed on from judging the Derby Classic) and Sean Patrick Derrig, from Chicago, IL. The Derrig name is well known -nevertheless Sean Patrick has distinguished himself as an insightful dog man in his own right. The Association and all the competitors appreciate their insight, diligence, and concentration during the three days it took to run the stake. Judge Burchett, in particular, complimented the competitors on their camaraderie and sportsmanship and the strength of the breed in the thirty years since he had last judged a vizsla trial.
From a strong field of 36 starters, the judges pronounced Bangert’s Red Baron, owned by Dick & Pat Bangert, bred by Greg Jones, and handled by Brian Gingrich, as champion, with Penny’s Wiki Wiki Another Mai Tai Please (Ty), owned by Chad and Nancy Chadwell, bred by Greg Wegler, and handled by Chad as runner-up. This was Red’s first championship win and a fitting tribute to the memory of Dick Bangert who first recognized the potential in this dog as a puppy, but who passed away due to cancer shortly after Red turned two years old. Since Dick’s death three years ago, coming to watch Red compete has become a truly family affair for Pat Bangert and her two daughters, Julia Kohlberg and Karen Bangert. For Ty, it was a return to the podium -- runner-up in the same championship last year as well -- his consistency as a performer re-affirmed.
Red ran in the fifth brace with Ginger (Chenoweth) on a warm, dry afternoon. Turned loose on the second course (albeit further on in the patchwork of hay fields below Apple Tree Hill), Red would make short work of that looping curve of fields before punching into the Sycamore Bottom, taking the long field edge and swinging wide past the Double Gates to come up the right side of the hill towards the Twin Barns and would be seen climbing out over the rise as the gallery had its first glimpse of the two structures. Once into the big field below the Blue House, he would power up the left side of the drainage and come to a stop at 0:20 on the lower eastern slope below the catchment pond, birds successfully flown out of the thicket ahead of him. Once through into the Bull Pasture he would swing wide and come forward along the lower fenceline, climbing out the pasture and navigating the gate chute into the next large, open field. He would punch down the cover line of dun, broomsedge on the right side before swinging forward past the dead trees -- where he would be found standing at 0:36, birds flown out of the nest of brambles. He would power over the next rise and down in the chute leading to the overflow parking and corrals, and initiate the climb to the Barns -- where he would be watered before the descent into the Valley of Death. He would swing up high on the right side and come to a stop three-quarters of the way up the slope at 0:49, hidden slightly behind a tall tree, a pair of bird flushed easily ahead of him. In the final field section before the Double Gates, Red would certainly downshift as the ambient temperature reached its peak for the week in the high seventies. Nevertheless, after a brief respite, he would disappear over the final rise towards
Daugherty Kennels and be seen going away forward to the front at the call of time. It was a race defined by strong, independent, consistently-forward moves in the increasing heat of the afternoon, by quality finds on the edge of the course, and impeccable style on his birds.
Ty would run on the first course in the thirteenth brace, paired with Cowboy (Austin), on a cool, damp morning. Both dogs would break away hard, beginning on the left side but ultimately switching over to the right to take better advantage of the light southwesterly breeze. Cowboy would definitely take a little more wrangling through the first section of the course, while Ty seemed comfortable cruising ahead of his handler. Coming through the second creek crossing, Ty would be found standing at 0:15 around on the creekside edge, Cowboy emerging and establishing an honor behind him. A bird would be flushed over the lip of the creek bed leaving everything in order. Through the road crossing and out into the Davis Bottom, Ty would swing out round the creekside edge on the right side coming to a stop at 0:25, Cowboy once more obliged to honor the dog ahead of him. For a second time, Cowboy would prove a little reluctant to leave the location and his handler would elect to pick him up. In the meantime, Ty would power through the remainder of the Bottom and make his own way through the creek crossing and out to the larger of the two copses of trees in the Island Field, moving fluidly through the cut and into the field below Horsekiller Hill. After climbing the hill, he would move out on the left side as the raw wind buffeted the gallery -- and would be found standing at 0:45 roughly 300 yards up the treeline, a pair of birds sent out from the windrow. Swinging across the slope below the deer stand, he would cross the course to the far edge of the field, coming successfully to a stop once more at 0:49. Dropping into the Little Vine Loop, he would work the right side and disappear into the small drainage one hundred yards beyond the gap -- and would be found standing in a thicket at 0:54, the birds seen running uphill through the undergrowth. He would power through the final hill climb and finish out on the top of the hill. Ty had run a beautiful hour race, forward and searching -- and on almost any other day would have worthily earned the winner’s mantle. Red’s win was a matter of degrees -- perhaps literally. Ty had run in the cool of the morning, and his additional two finds had limited the extent to which he might have punched out front in the manner that Red had clearly demonstrated; his performance was a thing of beauty, nonetheless.
The first brace would bring Briar (Hess) to the line with Rossi (Bell) on a cool, very pleasant morning for running dogs, the temperatures in the mid-forties. Both dogs would break away strong to the south, both, too, taking a little time to get the bearings and punch out down either of the long field edge lines. After establishing a more consistent pattern, both dogs would move smoothly through the second creek crossing and out along the creekside. Bell would call point at 0:15 for Rossi, a bird visible out in the open, with Briar in fact stood in deep (and likely invisible) in the tall broomsedge on the lip of the creek. The bird would readily flush and both handlers would fire. Through the Davis Bottom, both dogs would swing out along the long creekside edge. The call of point would come once more for both dogs at 0:24 roughly three-quarters of the way around the long edge, once again both dogs buried in the edge cover -- and in this case separated by a low rise. As both handlers would attempt to flush, Rossi would lose some of her style and Bell would elect to pick her up. In the meantime, Briar would be asked to relocate but sadly to no avail. He would be taken on, but his handler would nonetheless elect to pick him up at 0:30.
The second brace featured Ruby (Corliss) and Buddy (Winnen) turned loose in the second-half of the final southbound field on the first course. They would proceed smoothly through the creek crossing into the Island Field, Ruby taking the long upper edge, Buddy moving swiftly but not yet settled into pursuing an obvious set of objectives. Up over the rocky ledge into the field below Horsekiller Hill, Buddy appeared to have settled into the task at hand and powered down the long creekside edge, Ruby choosing the same objective albeit at a more tempered speed. Coming to the entrance to the hillclimb, Buddy would be found on point at 0:13, up on the slope directly below the Horsekiller sign, a bird readily flushed ahead of him. Coming up over the hill and into Apple Tree Hill, both dogs would proceed up the long lefthand treeline -- Buddy coming to a stop at 0:17, Ruby honoring in a mannerly fashion. Despite looking directly up into the wind, Buddy would initially show some uncertainty in his style and, after an initial flushing effort, he would be asked to relocate -- although sadly, all his effort would prove fruitless.
Coming over the crest of the hill, Buddy would swing out on the right side and come to a stop some 300 yards from the exit chute at 0:24 -- a bird would be successfully produced, but Buddy would sink at the flush and shot. Down into the Little Vine Loop, Ruby would be out on the right side moving forward, swinging nicely around through the sequence of hay fields before climbing the steep hill out on the left side. Buddy, too, would power down the long, left woods edge as he made the ascent and headed towards the apex of the turn eastward. Ruby would swing wide through the turn beyond the deerstand but, by the time her handler had come down off the low ridge at 0:45 he asked for his tracker, admitting defeat. In the meantime, Buddy had made his way successfully through the serpentine mosaic of small hayfields before moving into the Old Sycamore Bottom, eventually punching down along the long right edge. He would break over to make the Twin Barns climb, going forward through the cover on the left, finishing up his hour shortly before the two structures.
The third brace brought Taza (Gingrich) to the line head-to-head with Bella (Syczylo), turned loose shortly before the Twin Barns. Sent up over the rise, both dogs would initially drop down on the left shoulder, Taza coming to a stop in the bramble thicket below the catchment pond at 0:06, although sadly all flushing and relocation efforts would prove fruitless. Rejoining the front at the gate below the Blue House, Bella would make game in the line of brambles at 0:11, whoa’ed into a stop after applying a little too much pressure to a sudden flushing bird, Taza arriving on scene to execute a mannerly stop at the flush of a second. Now alone, Taza would move through the Bull Pasture, consistently snappy but occasionally lacking forward punch, and swing through the two fields on the top of the ridge, the second buzz-cut short from haying. As the gallery dropped off the top of the ridge, Taza would be at the bottom of the hill, working the southern treeline of the chute that heads into the overflow parking field. The dog would come to a stylish stop roughly 150 yards down this treeline at 0:29, looking up into the southeasterly wind -- a covey of birds successfully boosted out from its shelter beneath a downed tree. Up and over the Twin Barns, Taza would zip down through the gulley of the Valley of Death and come to a stop at 0:38, looking into the remains of a milo strip. Sadly, all flushing and relocation efforts would come to naught, bringing an end to the brace.
The fourth brace drew Scout (Gingrich) with Henry (Bell) turned loose on the first course, the air still and hot. Henry would break away nicely down the right side, taking the long creekside edge around and past the old grain elevator, Scout taking a little time to settle into pushing the front. Both dogs would work their way through the succession of smaller fields to the road crossing -- where a road crew was finishing up repairing the bridge after the spring floods -Henry sticking with the creekside edge on the right through the Davis Bottom gap, Scout initially swinging high towards the Davis Cemetery. Both dogs would continue to run a commendable race through into the Island Field. Henry would initially appear to be working scent at 0:27, but would take himself on, Scout taking the long, left edge all the way to its conclusion at the rocky step into the field below Horsekiller Hill. Over the climb on to Apple Tree Hill, both dogs would initially take themselves southbound on the long fence line before turning west across the slope below the deerstand. Both dogs would appear to be working efficiently through the Little Vine Loop, and would make the next climb smoothly up the wooded, left side. Despite their efforts, both dogs would swing off the hill and down into the patchwork of hayfields without any bird contact.
In the fifth brace, Ginger (Chenoweth) would be braced with Red (already covered in the placements). She would break loose from the hayfields and out into the Sycamore Bottom, climbing up onto the wooded hillside above the old sycamore tree. She would climb out of the bottom and up the hill towards the Twin Barns, working the lower left edge of trees. Climbing into the Blue House field, she would work the right side before swinging below the catchment pond and forward along the upper fenceline. Nevertheless, upon reaching the Blue House, aware of the difference in their performances, Chenoweth would elect to pick up his dog out of respect for his bracemate.
The sixth brace drew Stone (Gingrich) with Swagger (Bell) in the still, warm air of the late afternoon. They would turn loose on the high side before the Bramhall Cemetery and set upon their long cast to the north. By the time both handlers had made the creek crossing into the Breakaway Field, Stone had punched out the front and had been out of sight for some time, Swagger plugging away consistently in the eighty-degree heat as she approached the rocky slope of Hamburger Hill. Coming down off the hill and back into the breakaway field, Swagger would swing out to the far creekside edge -- and while he had held out on a suspected glimpse of Stone at the bottom of Hamburger Hill, Gingrich would admit defeat at 0:19 and ask for his tracker. Swagger would make her way down the right side past the old grain elevator before swinning out to the left side at the neck of the field, coming to a stop just beyond the old, gnarled oakat 0:25 -although sadly all flushing and relocation efforts would prove fruitless. Sent on, she would nonetheless move with purpose down through the remaining fields, swinging out wide on the right side after the first creek crossing before dropping across the front to the second. Continuing to engage with the creekside edge, Swagger would come to a stop roughly 350 yards down this edge at 0:39, a bird boosted from the remnants of the milo and down across the dry creek bed. Through the road crossing and the Davis Bottom gap, Swagger would once more swing out to the obvious creekside edge and take it forward all the way past the transecting woodline, coming to a stop at 0:49 roughly 200 yards before the small cluster of young cedars. A bird would be seen flushing as the judge arrived, others obvious on the ground ahead of the mannerly dog -- and a shot fired with everything in order. Swagger would finish her hour going away strong in the Island Field, her overall race nonetheless somewhat episodic -- a series of interludes between strong casts and competent finds.
The seventh brace featured Tikka (Winnen) alongside Skippy (Tomczak), turned loose on the first morning on a cool morning with light drizzle -- Tikka initially settling in to the long left edge, Skippy the creekside on the right. Coming to the far corner, Skippy would duck through the creek crossing into the field below the Bramhall Cemetery and would come to a stop at 0:08, standing on the edge of the woods -- birds seen running by the judge, with all in order. Approaching the first creek crossing, Skippy would come to a second stop at the top of the treeline leading up to the Double Gates at 0:14, Tikka coming in to honor shortly afterwards. Sadly, Tikka would self-release during the initial flushing effort ending her bid. Despite the distraction and after two relocations, Skippy would eventually get a running bird pinned on the slope below the stock pond. Coming through towards the road crossing, he would stop at 0:22 in the milo strip above the creek edge where others had encountered a covey of birds -- although sadly, it appeared they had already moved off this morning, leaving Skippy with a non-productive. Across the road crossing, Skippy would swing out on the right side -- largely engaging with the long, creekside edge all the way to the third creek crossing into the Island Field. He would concentrate on the outer left edge before climbing up over the rocky shelf into the field below Horsekiller Hill. Taking the undulating lower edge, Skippy would come to a stop at 0:48 roughly midway down near a downed, dead tree, birds successfully flown out of the scrubby grass. Over the steep climb to Apple Tree Hill, he would take the long, obvious windrow to the south and come to a final stop midway down at 0:55, a bird kicked out from beneath the wiry trees -- the slight breeze evident in the valley now largely absent up top. While lacking the same degree of boldness and commitment as the winners, Skippy would nonetheless exhibit a competent hour on the ground, finishing up out front in the first hayfield of the Little Vine Loop.
With Guy (Gingrich) a scratch, the eighth brace would feature Jones (Syczylo) running by herself, with proud owner Greg Soderbergh riding along in the gallery. Turned loosed in the Little Vine Loop, Jones would swing through the first small fields before the abrupt climb on to the ridge. She would take the wooded tree edge all the way out to the fenceline beneath the deerstand and then turned with her handler, appearing to the front as the gallery made its own turn to the east. Dropping down off the hill, Jones would take long outside edge of the next field and come to a stop on top of the small rise at 0:15. Standing on top of a small tributary stream bank under the shade of the oak trees, Jones would look stylish silhouetted against the sky, a bird successfully flushed from the broomsedge beneath her. Swinging through the next hayfield and out into the Sycamore Bottom field, she would tack into the wind and take the long right edge. In advance of the turn and climb northeast, Jones would cut up into the Valley of Death chute, the handler successfully gambling that the dog would be willing to climb the wooded shoulder to rejoin her on the shoulder leading up to the Twin Barns. She would stay on the lower side of the slope, pursuing the obvious cover edges of woods through the fenceline past the Twin Barns. Initially taking the lower draw below the stock pond, Jones would next punch south up the hill to the upper fenceline and then proceed to course down that line towards the Blue House. She would come to a stop shortly before the gate at 0:48, but after a couple of relocations along the thicket she would be taken on -- the birds most likely having simply run off in the tangled undergrowth. Into the Bull Pasture, Jones would swing low and wide before coming up to the cut into the second half of the pasture field. Unexpectedly, she would run across a bird and fail to stop in a sufficiently mannerly fashion at 0:57, bringing an end to a run which had otherwise showcased her intelligence in tackling the course given to her.
The ninth brace featured Doc (Van Kooten) paired against Blaze (Tomczak), with owner Damon Daniels in the gallery. Swinging clockwise through the second half of the Bull Pasture, both dogs would swing down into the deep southeastern corner, Blaze coming to a stop near the first of the dead trees at 0:06, Doc coming in to honor nicely, and a single bird successfully flushed out of the grass. Moving smoothly out front, both dogs would successfully drop off that plateau and then climb the hill to the Twin Barns where their roles would be reversed as Doc stopped to point at 0:15, Blaze backing, as a bird was kicked out from the fenceline to the west of the two buildings. Down into the Valley of Death, Doc would be surprised by a single bird flushing out of the milo strip at 0:20, but would stop in an entirely honorable fashion. Blaze had exited the chute and swung forward long the left side, ducking up into the woods as the course headed for the Double Gates -- coming to a stop up on the slope at 0:25, a bird successfully flown out ahead of him. Doc had continued down the left side, Blaze invisible to him up in the cover, and had in the meantime also come to a stop up in the thicket between the entrance to the hill climb and the gates at 0:26, a bird also readily produced ahead of him. Both dogs would pass through the gates and tackle the long, lower creekside edge below the Bramhall Cemetery, Doc spinning back into the southeasterly breeze to point at 0:34 just before the hook, Blaze coming to a close honor for a second time. After a reluctant relocation, the handler would locate the bird ahead of his dog and successfully flush. Both dogs would move through the final fields below the clubhouse and cross into the Breakaway Field for the daunting climb up Hamburger Hill. With Blaze plugging forward up the spine of the slope, Doc would drop lower along the scrubby cover on the left side, coming to a stop at 0:45, turned up into the breeze rolling over and down the slope. Sadly, despite his obvious intensity, all flushing and relocation efforts would prove fruitless.
Both dogs would swing off the hill and down into the hayfield, Blaze crossing the breakaway field to go forward on the creekside, Doc finishing up the hour going forward on the left. While certainly respectable in the heat, both dogs needed to show more punch to truly challenge the winners.
The tenth brace would see Deuce (Van Kooten) drawn against Cinder (Gingrich), with both dogs turned loose from the Breakaway Field directly into the southerly breeze. Through the neck of the first field, Deuce had largely concentrated on the remains of the shaggy milo strip on the left side, Cinder the long creekside edge on the right. Through the first creek crossing, Deuce would take the avenue of trees to the right, Cinder the ditchline to the left -- both dogs not fully committed to punching directly into the head wind. Through the second creek crossing, Deuce would flit around the creekside edge to the right, coming to a stop at 0:16 on the bend, a pair of birds seen running through the milo stalks and flushing down into the creek bed. Across the road, both dogs would swing out along the right side, Cinder coming to a stop at 0:22, Deuce establishing a mannerly honor soon thereafter, near a pair of cedars shortly before the cut-through. Birds would be successfully produced ahead of the pair with everything in order. Swinging through the Island Field, both dogs would still seem reluctant to take an edge for its duration as if scenting conditions on the ground were harder to discern than it seemed from the back of a horse. Nevertheless, while Cinder concentrated on the upper, western edge once the dogs had passed into the field below Horsekiller, Deuce would take the lower creekside edge -and come to a stop at 0:44 near the downed tree, a single bird flushing up close to the energized dog. After a brief conversation with the judges about his standing in the stake, Van Kooten would elect to save his dog (and his horse) any further effort. Cinder would make the climb and swing across the face of Apple Tree Hill, working efficiently if a little scattered across the front and then down into the Little Vine Loop. Up over the hill and around past the deerstand, Cinder would still appear be moving smoothly and would drop down off the hill and swing out on the far edge of the next, small hayfield, coming to a stop some 100 yards around the edge at 0:57. Sadly, all flushing and relocation efforts would prove unsuccessful and Gingrich would elect to end his dog’s bid.
The eleventh brace would see Gunnar (Van Kooten) turned loose with Recon (Corliss) in the mosaic of small hayfields. Both dogs move move smartly through these fields, Gunnar the concentrating on the creekside edge, Recon the long outer edge. Punching out into the Sycamore Bottom, Recon would move out to the far side and come to a stop in a thicket at 0:09, a running bird produced from the tangle of briars. Both dogs would move fluidly through the remainder of the big field before angling up the climb towards the Twin Barns. The wind, calm in the bottoms, appeared blustery and fickle in direction up on the shoulder, angling between south and east. While Recon largely concentrated on the rolling broomsedge on the right side, Gunnar would punch forward on the left, moving nicely through the large piles of cleared brush, before crossing the front of the course up towards the barns. Through the gap, Gunnar would push forward up the draw towards the stock tank, and then swing up to the fenceline where he would come to a stop at 0:26, looking into the thicket between the two final junipers below the Blue House cut-through -- Recon coming in to honor nicely -- Gunnar turning to mark as birds were successfully boosted out of the thicket. Moving through the Bull Pasture, Gunnar would swing wide and low before crossing over and joining Recon working through the right shoulder on the inside of the turn. While the temperature had remained relatively benign in the mid-50s, the humidity had climbed steadily since noon and was well over 80% -- the combination playing havoc with otherwise well-conditioned dogs. And as both dogs came off the hill before the Twin Barns, Corliss elected to save his dog any further hardship and picked up at 0:45. Gunnar would persevere up the steep hill and come to stop on the front edge of the fenceline, a bird flushed, the dog turning to mark as it squirted up over the hill. He would move efficiently down through the Valley of Death, finishing up out front in the field before the Double Gates.
The twelfth brace would bring Coach (Tuttle) to the line with Enzo (Tomczak) to be turned loose on the high side below Andy Daugherty’s kennel in dense, muggy air. Both dogs would somehow end up on the low side going forward, Coach having an easier time punching through the center treeline, Enzo getting hung up as he sought to find the front ahead of the judges, but nonetheless re-taking his place on the left side of the field ahead of his handler. Both dogs would then flow smoothly into the creek crossing and up into the breakaway field -- whereupon Coach began to favor a foot, his pad blown, and his handler would elect to pick him up at 0:13. Enzo would make the most of the slogging climb up Hamburger Hill, seemingly now with the warm, dense breeze in his face. After a cool down in the pond, Enzo would set off through the chute back into the Breakaway Field, initially settling on the milo on the left side to move forward. He would take that line almost the entire way to the dead tree cut-through -- and then through the second creek crossing. Swinging around the creekside edge, Enzo would come to a stop by the patch young junipers on the bend at 0:42 -- a bird readily kicked out across the creek bed for the mannerly dog. Once across the road, Enzo would have two finds in quick succession on the treeline between the Davis Cemetery and the Davis Bottom gap at 0:48 and 0:50. He would continue his yeoman effort in the conditions around the long creekside edge and finish up out front shortly before the creek crossing into the Island Field.
The thirteenth brace would feature Ty (Chadwell) drawn against Cowboy (Austin) and is already covered in the placements.
The fourteenth brace would bring Dutch (McPherson) to the line with Wriggs (Anderson) and they would be turned loose on the top of the hill looking at the deerstand ahead, both dogs primarily electing to take the wooded edge on the left. Swinging around the turn and off the hill, Wriggs would swing nicely around the outer edge of the next hay field. Coming into the Sycamore Bottom, though, neither dog had been seen for some time. Both handlers would make the climb up towards the Twin Barns but upon reaching the crest and not seeing their dogs at 0:23, both would ask for their trackers.
The fifteenth brace would feature Kayla (Gingrich), with owner Jeff Zenas riding in the gallery, with Reno (Tuttle), turned loose from the top of the ridge in the direction of the Twin Barns. Soon after, Kayla would come to a stop at 0:02 out on the left side, looking into a milo strip not far off the first pair of big brushpiles. Sadly, all flushing and relocation efforts would prove fruitless and she would be sent on once again in the general direction of the stock pond -- the wind unusually cold and sharp in the open field. Through into the Bull Pasture, both dogs moving efficiently across the slope and up the shorter climb to the gate at the culmination of the field. Moving into the next field, Reno would move nicely out to the southeast along the broomsedge strip and out to the first of the dead trees before swinging back north to connect with his handler at the gate opening. Kayla would be found in the very back of that field, behind the second tree at 0:21, the birds flushed out of the muddle of briars in front of her. Coming through the gate into the final hilltop field, Tuttle elected to pick up his dog at 0:22, apparently due to an infraction he had seen (and was unwilling to let his dog get away with). Kayla would then come to a stop on the far shoulder of the hill looking into a scrubby patch of briars at 0:24, although after another round of fruitless flushing and relocation, Gingrich would pick her up ending her bid.
The sixteenth brace brought Sydney (Gingrich) to the line with Mia (Chadwell) to be set loose on the first course, heralding the final afternoon of competition. Sydney would initially concentrate on the left side of the first field, Mia cruising the creekside edge on the right, the wind unusually seeming to be at their backs. Past the dead tree cut, both dogs would swing up on the left side to be found standing near a pair of pines, Mia standing prettily at 0:08, Sydney backing in fine fashion, the birds pushed out from the shelter of a downed tree. Across the first and then the second, Syndey would push out on the left side, Mia the right -- she, in turn, coming to a stop at 0:18 at the milo strip on the bend, the bird seen by the judges marshal dropping off the creek bed. She would stop again just before the road crossing at 0:18, the bird pointed at a significant distance, the wind now having switched back to its usual southerly direction. Through the road crossing and beyond the Davis Bottom, Sydney would come to a stop at 0:24 out on the creekside, roughly 100 yards shy of the transecting line, turning to mark at the flight of a pair of birds from the milo strip. In the meantime, Mia would also come to a stop of her own midway down that transecting line of trees at 0:24, ultimately proving to be a fresh hawk kill verified by the judge. Into the Island Field and both dogs would swing out on the wide, left side, Mia now coming to a stop off the eastern edge of the smaller island at 0:30, Sydney sadly failing to honor in a sufficiently mannerly fashion. However likely a spot, complete with a small pond at its center, all flushing and relocation efforts would prove fruitless. On and up and over the rocky step into the field below Horsekiller Hill, Mia would cruise the lower right edge and come to another stop at 0:41 some 50 yards beyond the downed tree, a single bird flushed out of the milo stalks ahead of her. After being watered in the pond at the top of the hill, Mia would punch up the long, left line and come to a stop at 0:49 roughly 100 yards shy of the Apple Tree Hill signboard, a single bird flushed out from beneath a young oak a good distance off her front. Off the hill, Mia would swing wide out on the creekside edge of the Little Vine Loop hayfields, finishing well (and perhaps the closest to the winners) with a strong climb up the short, steep hill on its left side.
The penultimate brace saw Reve (Gingrich) head-to-head with Katie (Syczylo). Turned loose at the head of the climb, both dogs would swing forward on the long, left edge towards the deerstand. Around the turn below the stand, both dogs would criss-cross across the front trying to glean information from the minimal southeasterly breeze before dropping into the hayfields below. Into the back, westernmost of those fields, both dogs would take the wide, outside edge, Reve to her credit taking the full length of the sweeping crescent to the next creek crossing, Katie looking no less animated on the ground albeit less confident in her choice of casts. Out into the Sycamore Bottom, Reve would cross the large open field far to the front, while Katie would continue to seem uncertain about her choices in the large open field. Syczylo would concede this was not her charge’s finest hour and would elect to end her bid at 0:17. Nonetheless, making the turn up the hill towards the Twin Barns, Reve had not been seen making the turn with her handler. Despite valiant efforts by handler and scout, she would still not be seen by the time the gallery reached the cut-through below the Blue House -- and Gingrich would ask for his tracker at 0:33.
The final brace of the championship would bring BamBam (Gingrich) together with Kimber (Bell) to be turned loose at the beginning of the Bull Pasture. While Kimber would carve purposefully around the upper, right shoulder of the turn, by comparison BamBam would seem less focussed in her cast. Both dogs would swing through the gate, Kimber taking the long, broomsedge line to the southeast and coming to a stop in the back corner at 0:09, birds successfully flushed out of the briar thicket ahead of her. Reve in the meantime had found more of her stride and punched through the next field, both dogs coming back together at the base of the hill overlooking the overflow parking. Climbing up the whaleback hill, Kimber would come to a stop on the fenceline by the Twin Barns at 0:16, a single bird readily kicked out, while BamBam would come to a stop of her own some 200 yards up over the crest of the hill on the same fenceline, a trio of birds flushed from the vicinity of a medium-sized cedar tree. Down into the Valley of Death, Kimber would climb across the face of the right shoulder and come to a stop beside a lone oak tree at 0:20, birds again pushed out from the face. Moving out into the second half of the Sycamore Bottom, Kimber would roll purposefully down the right side, BamBam the left -- both dogs coming together to go through the Double Gates, and after a little hitch with both dogs appearing to start out for the far creek crossing, they would both move down the central treeline, their handlers up on the high side. Under the Bramhall Cemetery, both dogs would move nicely out of the hook and through the gap -- Kimber coming to a stop at the eastern gap, BamBam narrowly missing the opportunity to honor at 0:34. Not showing her usual precise style, Bell would encourage Kimber to move up and in doing so she would release and bump the bird ahead her. BamBam would move smoothly through the creek crossing into the Breakaway Field, and begin the long steady slog up Hamburger Hill where she would show some imagination and drop through the dense gully to the left and swing around the far broomsedge shoulder. Nevertheless, as she dropped off the hill back into the hayfields below, her handler elected to end her bid, fully aware of what had come before.
Judges: Sean Patrick Derrig and Bob Burchett
NATIONAL VIZSLA CHAMPIONSHIP
[One-Hour Heats] — 35 Vizslas
Winner—BANGERT’S RED BARON, 1659495, male, by C K Touchdown Guy—Heidi Go Seek Jones. Pat Bangert, owner; Brian Gingrich, handler.
Runner-Up—ANOTHER MAI TAI PLEASE, 1650217, male, by Wegler’s Crown Royal—Wegler’s Penny Lane. Charles & Nancy Browne, owners; Charles Chadwell, handler.
Ladies Foot Race
Left to right - Race Winner Nancy Brown, 3rd place winner and spirit award winner Michelle Hess, 2nd place Carrie Syczylo, Justin Hess, Natalie Howard, and Allison Bell