Fort Robinson State Park near Crawford, Nebraska

Report by Bonnie Hidalgo

The fabulous Fort Robinson State Park near Crawford, NE was the site of the 2005 American Pointer Club National Field Trial. This 10th renewal commenced October 2 and concluded Friday October 7. The Fort was originally a cavalry remount facility, the restoration is excellent. History oozes out of each and every building. An interesting museum explains the history of the area and of the Fort. The former barracks are now a lodge where rooms are reasonably priced. Former Officers housing and the homes of enlisted men are available for groups of ten to twenty. All lodging is pleasantly decorated and extremely tidy.

The horse facilities are unique. There are two brick barns with four long rows of box stalls each; that are available for rental by individuals. The horse facility used by the field trial group is a wood frame structure known as the Mare Barn. The original Fort had three of these barns back in the day when the Fort housed 20,000 horses and mules. The Mare barn consists of a courtyard, lined on three sides with box stalls that look through Dutch doors to the courtyard. The Annex, which once held stalls, sits in the center of the courtyard. It is now a meeting room; on its walls are photos of some of the famous horses that were kept at Fort Robinson in its heyday. During the course of the Pointer Nationals, both heat and AC were used to keep the people comfortable within its walls. Restrooms complete with showers are included in the Mare Barn complex. Lunch was served in the Annex by the Park’s catering service each day of the event. Some of the delicious meals consisted of the park’s home raised buffalo.

The parking area for the trial group lays just to the west of the Mare Barn. Here there is ample room for many rigs with plenty of grass to stake dogs out in. Unfortunately, the Pointer Nationals had need for only a little of the space; the entries were disappointingly low. A total of thirty-nine dogs were drawn in the four stakes.

The grounds themselves are what make a dog person excited! They offer a variety of terrain and cover. A dog that stays along the tree lined edges could find the quail that were released in plentitude by the club. A dog that ranges out to open country on the wide meadows and hillsides has a chance of finding the native sharp tailed grouse. Different types of dogs can show nicely here; which may make the Judges decision tougher as they must judge a dog on the degree to which it meets the top standard for its type.

As both all age and gun dogs may appear in the same stake, a judge must look for the best overall performance. Consistency is the key in a stake of this type. All of the Judges on the panel did an excellent job of watching and evaluating the dogs. They were attentive and courteous.

Judges for the National Championship and for the National Puppy Classic which preceded it were Eric Bettesworth and Robin Baker. Both Judges hail from the Lone Star State. Eric lives in Paradise and Robin is from Kingsbury, TX. They both have years of experience with bird dogs. Eric has competed with Pointers that have won both the APC National Open and Amateur titles in past years. He is a popular judge in many parts of the country. Robin Baker has gained her experience with Irish Setters. She has trained and handled her dogs to National Championships and has judged several major trials.

The National Amateur Championship judges also evaluated the entrants in the National Derby Classic. These judges were Debby Freidus of Connecticut and Greg Sand of Kansas. Deb is a member and officer of the American Pointer Club. She competes with her dogs on the east coast. Greg raises and campaigns English Setters in both AKC and FDSB events. This past August he won the Montana Open Shooting Dog Championship with one of his young setters.

The club was short on members in attendance but all that were on hand pitched in and got the job done. Bird planting was handled at various times by Tracy Haines, Marc & Mary Devos, Jamie O’ Donnel, and Steve & Bridget Bailey. Steve Bailey and Marc Devos were the official Field Marshals but others pitched in from time to time when they were handling their dogs. Jack Haines drove the dog wagon for the majority of the event. He was assisted on occasion by Mary and Mitch Devos. When Jack ran his dog, the Wagon duty was covered by Sandy Devos. This group works very well together and it makes for a comfortable atmosphere.


The Winner of the National Puppy Classic was Hideaway’s Tall Boy. This attractive young male is owned by Ben and Amanda Garcia of Longmont, CO. Ben handled him to the victory. Tall Boy covered a lot of country in a bold manner. He was bred by Jack Haines and is out of the mating of FC Loose Lady and Just Wait.

Second place went to Willy’s Sam I Am. Sam is a female owned and handled by Serafin Barayazarra of Denver. Sam was braced with the winner and was quite comparable but not quite as strong. She was sired by last year’s APC National Amateur Champion, NAFC/FC/AFC Heller’s Wild Willy. Sam’s dam is Saw’s Phantom Pebbles.

Hideaway’s Miss Magnolia claimed third place. She is also owned by the Garcia’s and was handled by Ben. She showed promise but was not as outgoing as the previous two. Maggie was sired by Roll’s Southern Justice and her dam is Black Crude’s Julita.

In Fourth place was Arch Enemy, a male owned and handled by Steve Bailey of Elizabeth, CO. Archie was nicely gaited but lacked the confidence that comes with maturity. Archie is a littermate to the winner.

These were the only entries in the National Puppy Classics but they showed good potential. They all come from some very distinguished pointer lines. Judges for this stake were Robin Baker and Eric Bettesworth. The weather was clear and dry with temperatures in the low nineties when this stake ran on Sunday.


The 2005 National Champion Pointer is Night Traveler. Clyde as he is called was handled by his owner, Richard Matzke from the state of Washington. Night Traveler is a white and orange, six and a half year old male. He was sired by Anchors Aweigh; his dam is Night Moves. Night Traveler appeared on Tuesday morning in the sixth brace of the Championship. Clyde’s application was strong and forward. He scored one clean find. This was early in the hour; he was partially down a steep slope with quail well located in the brush before him.

Tian’s Mr. Spock captured the reserve title. He ran an excellent, forward gun dog race. He had three well spaced, stylish finds with great manners on each. Spock was handled by Ben Garcia for owners Jack and Tracy Haines of Broomfield, CO. Spock was whelped in May 2002 in a litter sired by FC/AFC Tian’s Where’s Jim. Spock’s dam is Tian’s Bella.

Third place went to FC Pete Moss an entry of Judith Hamilton of Florida. The four and a half year old male was handled by Dave Pomfret. Pete’s dam is Elhew Dancing Doll and he was sired by Mr. Elhew Bullfrog. Pete ran in the heat of the day on Monday when temperatures reached ninety degrees. His race was strong and attractive until the heat took its toll at the 45 minute mark. Even then he didn’t quit but his drive was shortened. Pete scored a very nice find at 36 minutes into the hour.

FC/AFC Tuxedo’s Blue Moon placed fourth. Blue was bred and handled by his owner, Richard Matzke. Blue will be five this February. His sire is NFC/AFC Elhew’s Paladin; his dam is NAFC/AFC Nevada Neon Moon. Blue appeared in the eighth and final brace of the Championship. He scored two finds in the hour.

A field of sixteen dogs were entered and drawn in this important stake; only fifteen pointers competed. Eric Bettesworth and Robin Baker officiated. Monday’s weather was hot and dry but a front came through over night. Tuesday’s conclusion was run in much cooler, damp conditions.


Six contestants competed for the honors in the National Derby Classic. Maker’s Mark came out on top. He is owned by Marc, Sandy and Mitch Devos of Centennial, CO. This strapping young dog turned in a beautiful ground race. He had one find in which he displayed nearly finished manners. Maker’s Mark is out of Cross Country Sue and was sired by Peacemaker. Mark Devos handled him to the win.

Frank-N-Stein was handled to second place by his fifteen year old owner, Bridget Bailey of Elizabeth, CO. Frankie is a littermate to Maker’s Mark. The litter was bred by Steve Bailey. Frank-N-Stein had two bird contacts. The second find was very nicely done. Frankie put down a good race and handled kindly for his young handler.

The remaining placements were with held by Judges Debby Freidus and Greg Sand for lack of adequate bird work. They commented that the two placed dogs showed excellent potential. It was a blustery, overcast day with temperatures topping out in the mid forties.


The Champion appeared in the third brace; NAFC/FC/AFC Set’r Ridge’s Natural High won this title for the second time. Flare’s first title came in 2003. She is owned by Richard Matzke and Paul and Melissa Newman of Washington. She scored four clean and stylish covey finds and one find on a single in her bid for the title. She had one non-productive stand. All of her finds were in front of the gallery. She ran a pleasant gun dog race. She was whelped in February 2001 and is a littermate to the fourth place finisher in this year’s Open Championship, Tuxedo’s Blue Moon. Her sire is NFC/AFC Elhew Paladin; her dam is NAFC/FC/AFC Nevada Neon Moon. Richard Matzke handled her to this great accomplishment.

Tian Mr. Spock garnered his second Runner-up Championship placement of the week. He is proudly owned by Jack and Tracy Haines and was capably handled by Tracy. Spock made some reaching moves with seemingly effortless strides. He carried himself attractively. One of his bigger moves got him hung up across the water for a while but he came back on his own and scored two nice finds. Earlier in the hour he backed his brace mate with high style. Spock had one non-productive. He appeared in the first brace of the National Amateur.

FC Shoulda Known Better appeared in the fourth brace on Thursday. She was handled by her owner, Tom Maneely, a Nebraska resident. Her sire is Nemaha Dime and her dam is Abbey Tabasco Cat. Bet will be six years old in February. This classy female runs and hunts hard; her tail is always cracking. Bet hunted every step of the way; coming through some tough areas politely. She was found forward on point about fifteen minutes into the hour. She showed high style and good manners on her game. The Judges liked her but remarked that her application was overly lateral.

NFC Tian Just Peachy was fourth. She is owned by Tim and Angela Schillereff and was handled by Richard Matzke. Peaches had four attractive pieces of bird work which were neatly handled. Her race lacked the range and drive seen in the first three performances. Peaches won the National Open Championship in 2004. Her sire is Deception’s Bullet and her dam is She’s Moonstruck; she was whelped in January 2002.

Judges for this National Amateur Championship were Greg Sand and Deb Freidus. There were thirteen canine competitors in this stake. Four braces were run on Thursday and the Amateur concluded with three hours run on Friday. The weather both days was beautiful; clear and mild but not too warm for good dog work. The announcement of the Amateur winners brought the 2005 American Pointer Club Nationals to a close.