Valhalla Ranch, Byers, Colorado
October 1-5, 2001

FC Rain Bird
Wins National Championship

NFC/FC NAFC Tians Lickity Split
Wins National Amateur Championship

The images and events of September 11th were still burning into the memory of every American. Our thoughts and prayers for the victims and their families were fresh in our minds. It had been just 3 short weeks since the terrorist attack on America. The early discussions centered on the appropriateness of holding the Championship and ended with our Presidents charge to not let the terrorist disrupt our way of life.

The Colorado Pointer Club was privileged to host the American Pointer Club's 6th National Championships held at the Valhalla Ranch near Byers, Colorado. Thanks to the members that came out to help; it was nice to enjoy the warm weather and beautiful Colorado scenery with fellow field trialers.

In 1893 Katharine Lee Bates, visited Colorado. She went to the summit of Pikes Peak and was so taken by the beauty of America from her lofty perch. It inspired her patriotic poem America the Beautiful. One could easily believe that her gaze was in direction of the Maclennen family ranch when she penned the line amber waves of grain. The ranch is located in the Bijou Creek basin, in the heart of Colorado 's Wheat country just 60 minutes East of Denver. Open range land and large grain fields bound the field trial courses on each side with the courses running through the sandy river bottom of the flood plain along the Bijou Creek. The Bijou creek is, for the most part, a dry riverbed with small pockets of water and flows only during floods. The course winds along the river channel through open grass meadows and along sharp riverbanks. It is shaded by large Cottonwood and Elm trees, Russian Olives, Willow and other small brush like trees. Fallen trees, old log snags, under brush, weed patches and native grasses all supply great game bird cover for both native Pheasant and Quail.

The Maclennen families, who own and operate this successful cattle ranch, made it possible for us to hold the Championship on this beautiful ranch setting, and deserve special thanks. It is also the home of one of the finest hunting clubs in Colorado. A special thanks, as well, goes to the group of field trialers who have the training lease on the area on which the Championships was run.

The major sponsors of this event were Ralston Purina, Eukanuba, Tri-tronics, Karl Nyquist’s C & A Construction and AAB Awards. Without their continued sponsorships of both products and financial support it would be very difficult to hold quality events like our field Championship. We would like to thank Roy Pelton, from Eukanuba for attending the running and helping in every way he could and also for agreeing to speak at the banquet.

Participants and spectators came from all parts of the country. The award for longest trip goes to Maggie Platt, who ran her derby dog in her local weekend trial in new England, then loaded up and flew to Colorado to run in the National Derby Classic. APC Board members Debbie Frieutus and Angle Schillereff journeyed form Connecticut and Oregon and stayed the week. Others in attendance were: Richard Matzke from Washington; Texans Eric Bettesworth, Chub Davis, Roy Pelton and Pat Bush; from Alabama pro trainer Dave King; from Georgia Sarah Hurt; from Arizona David Hays and Pat Hattler. Coloradoans included: Steve, Lisa, Bridget and John Bailey; John Marina Haley & Sara Stonebraker; the Devos's Marc Sandy Mary & Mitchell; Frank, Marie, Steph & James Lallas; Jeff Hoskins, Tom Hamalack, Dave Towner, Jim Hamilton, Jason Ringdahl, Jim & Leslee Masolotte, Tracy & Jack Haines, Rex Roberts, Rose Goldberg, Jim Butler, Linda Smith, Odebt Massey Spero Manson, and Jenny and Steve Frey.

Entries were, not surprisingly, down this year with the inherent travel problems after the events of September 11th. However the 18 dogs that toed the mark for the running of the National Championship were some of the best in the country (8 Field Champions, 3 National Field Champions and 1 American Field Champion). Judges for this years' National Championship were Ray Calkins of Oregon and Robin Baker from Texas. Ray is a vet and has been training and campaigning German Wirehaired pointers on a national level for many years. Robin is very active in Irish setters both as a breeder, trainer and campaigner in the field. She has won national titles on her dogs 5 times over the years, all handled by herself. They brought years of combined knowledge and experience to the Judges saddle and their decisions were well received by all.

The winner came from the 3rd brace on the first day FC Rain Bird (Ray). Ray broke away at 10:35 am under clear skies 70 and rising. Convincingly powering to the front he was gone from view at the first bend of the river course. Ray showed to the front, and made a strong move to a large Cottonwood tree line on the far edge of the creek toward the first gate crossing and was out of sight. Found standing at 15 Bailey called point for the dog near the gate crossing but the birds had left. The dog was sent on and made a bold cast to the far east edge of the river bottom, and was rewarded with his first find at 21. Standing tall with birds directly in front of him, Steve move just past Ray to flush and the covey was put to flight. Ray remained high and tight - all was in order. Sent through the second gate, Ray seaming to get stronger as he went, hunting hard and working to the front with purpose and style, made another good cast ahead and again he was gone from sight. After a short absence, the scout was sent. The call soon came that the Ray was to the front in the heavy cover moving ahead. The tight turn, where the course narrows at the 30-minute pens, was negotiated with ease, with Ray and Steve coming together at just the right time. At 42 Ray was working along the left side of a cover strip when he whirled and froze in mid stride. Pointed with his body slightly turned, head and tail high facing a deadfall and a tangle of under brush, Bailey flushed a small covey of quail. Steve fired - all was in order. Ray was watered and sent on his way, he was in and out of sight working the right side of the course, but always mindful of the front. Seen far ahead crossing to the other side of the course, Ray’s final cast down the left side of the course was big and bold hunting effortlessly forward until out of sight. Ray finished his hour as strong as it had begun. Scout Marc Devos pointed out Ray moving far to the front shortly after the end of his hour. The gallery talk on the ride back in was that they had all been witnesses to a fine performance by dog, handler and scout alike, everyone knew the standard had been set.

Ray is owned by Steve and Lisa Bailey of Elizabeth, Colorado and handled by Steve. Rain Bird is a big orange and white male whelped in March of 1994. Ray a veteran campaigner had a very good year winning the 2000-2001 Colorado All-Age Dog of the Year award as well as the American Pointer Club 2000 Top All-Age Dog honor. Lisa reports that Ray is going into semi-retirement spending more time on the sofa and less in the field.

2nd place was awarded to NFC/FC/NAFC/AFC Windtucks Baby Doll, JH (Dolly) owned by Jim Masolotte of Littleton, Colorado. Jim and Leslee Masolotte were on hand to watch the dog and Jim scouted for handler Steve Bailey. Dolly won the inaugural National Championship in 1996. Though Dolly turned 10 years old during the trial she still can hold her own against the youngsters. Her race was equal to the winner during the first 30 minutes. At the halfway point the tight turn was made easy as Dolly had a scattered covey of quail pointed with Bailey flushing and firing ahead of the dog. She hunted the heavy cover of the creek bottom showing to the front now and again and took the west fork of the creek in her last few minutes. Her finish was good, but not enough to equal the winner today.

3rd Place was awarded to NFC/FC/NAFC Tians Lickity Split (Amy) owned by Eric Bettesworth of South Lake, Texas. Amy is a 2-time winner of this National Championship. Her race started with a strong cast to the edge of the creek. She had not been seen for some time when the call of point came from scout Angela Schillereff. A long flushing attempt and relocation could not produce the birds though there were finds in this location earlier. The dog was taken on. Amy's bird work was up to her normal high standard, but her race had a little trouble getting on track.

4th Place went to FC/AFC Automatic Jessie (Jessie) owned and handled by Jack Haines of Broomfield, Colorado. Jessie has placed in the National Championship 4 times in her career. She was also the 1997-1998 Colorado Gun Dog of the Year. Jessie had a workman like race and her 2 finds were all in order.

For the running of the National Derby Classic our open judge Ray Calkins was joined by Pam Selman of Colorado . Pam is a well known and respected judge and Gordon Setter fancier. Pam shows, trains and competes in the field with her dogs in open all breed competition and is committed to the dual dog concept.

Running on the same courses as the National Championship, 10 very good juveniles ran races that would have surely put them into the ribbons at most weekend field trials. The first place dog came from the 2nd brace, Katew Elhew Joryon (Roxy). Roxy put down a hard charging race rewarded with 2 good derby finds for Chub Davis his handler, and owner Jim Butler. He finished going strong and hunting hard. Monster On Wheels (Monty) handled by his owner Jason Ringdahl was the 2nd place dog. He ran in the 4th brace with the 3rd placing dog Railroad Annie (Annie) also handled by his owner, Rex Roberts. Both ran a forward searching effort. Annie finished her 30 minutes with no birds. Monty also finished strong and had a find on course. The 4th place went to Muldoon Panther Spots (Spots) handled by Chub Davis for owner Pat Bush. Spots ran a nice gun dog race but could not dig up a bird.

For the running of the National Puppy Classic, Robin Baker and Pam Selman were in the judicial saddles. The 30-minute stake ran on the same course as the National Derby Classic. The winner, Cross Country Sue (Sue), handled by her owner Steve Bailey, separated herself from the rest of the field from her first cast. Getting better as she went, showing future promise as a winning puppy should. The 2nd place went to Shotgun Dixie Ticked (Dixie ), handled by Chub Davis for owner Jim Butler. 3rd place went to Texedo's Blue Moon (Brutis) owned and handled by Richard Matzke. 4th place went to Tian Bella Blanca (Bee), handled by Angela Schillereff for owner Tim Schillereff.

Thursday morning paired judges Dr. Mike Furcolow and Dr. Charles Kelly for the National Amateur Championship. Mike, a DVM from Boulder, CO, has been field trialing for over 25 years and has finished many Champions. He has had 3 dogs that have been qualified to run and have run 7 times at the American Field Nationals held at Grand Juction, Tenn. each February. Charles is a DDM from Lamar, CO, an avid bird hunter who has campaigned, trained and finished many Champions and has competed on a national level with his GSP's for the last 15+ years. Both men bring to our Championship a vast knowledge of bird dogs and field trials.

Thirteen hopefuls pawed the starting line and when the dust cleared only two past National Champions remained. NAFC/FC/AFC Nevada Neon Moon (Tux) from the 2nd brace and NFC/FC Tian Lickity Split (Aimee) from the 5th brace. Both dogs put on a seminar in ground application, hunting and bird work. The Judges and gallery were shown what results when a well trained dog and its handler, work as a team, each knowing the others every move. Aimee emerged as this year's National Amateur Champion, the result of a little better ground race and exceptional bird work. The judges felt that these two Champions set such a standard that no others deserved to be placed.

Place Name Breed Owner(s) Handler
National Championship
1 Rain Bird "Ray" Pointer Steve Bailey Steve Bailey
2 Windtuck Baby Doll "Dolly" Pointer Jim Massolotte Steve Bailey
3 Tian Lickity Split "Aimee" Pointer Eric Bettesworth Eric Bettesworth
4 Automatic Jessie "Jessie" Pointer Jack Haines Jack Haines
National Amateur Championship
1 Tian Lickity Split "Aimee" Pointer Eric Bettesworth Eric Bettesworth
2 Nevada Neon Moon "Tux" Pointer Richard Matzke Richard Matzke
3 Withheld      
4 Withheld      
Open Derby Classic
1 Kates Elhew Jargon "Roxy" Pointer Jody Butler Jim Butler
2 Monster on Wheels " Monty" Pointer Jason Ringdahl Jason Ringdahl
3 Railroad Annie Pointer Rex Roberts Rex Roberts
4 Muldoon Panther "Spot" Pointer Pat Brush Chub Davis
Open Puppy Classic
1 Cross Country Sue Pointer Steve Bailey Steve Bailey
2 Shot Gun Dixie Ticked Pointer Rob Butler Chub Davis
3 Tuxedo's Blue Moon Pointer Richard Matzke Richard Matzke
4 Tian Bella Blace Pointer Tim Schillereff Angela Schillereff

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