2022 NGSPA Shooting Dog Invitationals
By: Keith Bryant and Keith Richardson
The most “Prestigious” events in the GSP Field Trial world.
The 2022 NGSPA Open and Amateur Shooting Dog Invitationals!
The 2022 editions were the 10th Open Shooting Dog Invitational and the 7th Amateur Shooting Dog Invitational for the National German Shorthaired Pointer Association. This year the weather was a bit chilly at times, but much better than some previous years for the two events.
As a recap of the format for the Shooting Dog Invitationals:
Only the TOP 12 point earning dogs are invited to the Invitational each year for both the Open Shooting Dog and the Amateur Shooting Dog events. The format of the trial is like no other trial run and requires three days of running an hour each day to win. Day one the dogs are drawn randomly. On the second day, the dogs are braced so the dogs running in the morning of day one run in the afternoon of day two. The objective is that no dog has the same brace mate or runs on the same course. The third day the judges call back their top dogs to run again for an hour. The trial is designed to test the bird ability, bid ability, range and the endurance of the best of our breed. After the third day of running, a Champion is named.
We ran the Invitational at the Smith Farms in Gentry, MO. The grounds consist of three one-hour courses covering rolling crop land and dense stands of woods which make for some beautiful lines for the dogs to run. The courses really challenged the character and tenacity of even the best of bird dogs. We seeded the courses with over 1,000 quail for the the six days of running, and every dog had multiple finds throughout the Championship.
We are more grateful than words can express to Larry Smith and his lovely wife Linda for allowing us to run the Invitationals on their property. Larry campaigns English Pointers and he allows other Championships to be run on his grounds, but no other GSP trials are allowed to use this land.
A huge Thank You goes out to all our sponsors that helped make this trial what it is. Greg Blair and Purina were incredibly supportive, paying half of both Ross Young Oil Paintings, Dog Food for the Champion and auction. Also huge thanks to Sport Dog for their contributions. Thanks to Ed Moody and Costa for the sunglasses.
There are a lot of people to thank to make this trial one of the best events in the NGSPA. A huge thanks goes out to Keith and Bobbi Richardson for all their generosity and support, for not just the Invitationals, but everything they do for our sport. Their Executive Assistant, Brittiny Habercorn is a huge help behind the scene. Triple J is the wrangler and he always brings some high quality horses for the judges and people to ride. A big thank you to Joe Frauendienst, property manager for the Richardsons, who got up in the early morning hours every day to plant birds again this year. He did an excellent job with many multi-bird finds in spots that showcased the work of a good bird-dog. Jon Small again donated his time this year to handle dog wagon duties. Thanks to all that spent time with marshal duties. Donna Gladstone and her crew, cooked breakfast and lunch for us each day. Linda Smith cleaned rooms for the judges. Chris and Keith Bryant and Penny Robertson share in the administrative duties and did a great job.
Not only did Charmayne Hughes prepare wonderful dinners, but she hosted us in a private room at Hughes Bar X in Albany. The gentlemen wear coats and ties while the ladies wear nice dresses or suit-pants for the nightly festivities. We enjoy appetizers, open bar and some of the finest wine out of Keith Richardson’s wine cellar. Brownie is our auctioneer. For the third year, Malloy Gamebirds, provided the best flying and strongest birds we have seen at any NGSPA Championship.
2022 NGSPA 10th OPEN SHOOTING DOG INVITATIONAL
The Top 12 Dogs
The Judges. The 2022 Open Shooting Dog Invitational was honored to have two very experienced and knowledgeable judges watch the running of this year’s event. Bubba Smith is very active and successful in the Pointer trial world as a participant, with an impressive judging resume. Bubba has judged many National Qualifiers as well as previously judging the NGSPA Open All-Age Invitational. Chris Sellers is also an active participant in the Pointer breed and has judged many of their most prestigious trials. Chris has also judged the NGSPA Open All-Age Invitational. Both men know what a bird dog should be and were very attentive for the entire three days of running. Huge thanks to both for volunteering their time to come judge this event, it was very much appreciated.
The Champion – Perfections Huckleberry “Huck”
Huck was handled by Jon Hann and scouted by Jessica Hann. On day one Huck drew the third brace and started his run with a find very early in the hour. He continued with birds at the 4, 30, 44, and 48 minute marks in the judge’s books. Huck continued to show his bird finding abilities on day two in the fifth brace, carding five more finds, always mannerly on his bird work. Huck’s two day performance earned an invite for the showdown on day three. The judges’ comments for day three included “a very exciting brace to watch.” Huck’s second find around the big pond was impressive and clearly stood out in the judges’ minds. With nine finds between the two dogs in their day three showdown, Huck made his claim as Champion. The judges used the words “Classy, Biddable, and Stylish’ to describe Huck. Through the entire three days of running “Huck required very little need for scouting and was very responsive to his handler.” Over the three days of running, Huck put on display his stamina along with the ability to stay forward and was rewarded with the title of 2022 NGSPA Open Shooting Dog Invitational Champion!
Day Three Call Back Bracemate – Aunt Troji’s Dirty Nike “Nike”
Nike, handled by owner Larry Metter and scouted by Josh Neiman, drew brace five on day one and started the action by carding a find in at the one minute mark. With additional finds at 2, 13, 17, 33, 39, and found standing at time. Nike flowed through the country, consistently forward hunting likely areas. Day two Nike was up in the first brace of the day, putting on a repeat performance of day one. During the hour, Nike scored five finds, showing perfect manners and style each time. Nike’s impressive two day performance put her in the day three showdown. Nike continued to impress the judges on day three with multiple finds and again flowing through the country, requiring very little scouting assistance. A missed backing opportunity separated Nike from the potential championship. Judges used the words “smooth, great rapport with handler, flowed to the front, very nice dog” in their comments.
The Other Entries
Prairie Wind Evolution’s Re-Creation “Spike”- Handled by Rich Robertson Jr and scouted by owner Keith Richardson. Running in the third brace of day one, Spike showed why he was last year’s Champion. Producing stylish finds at 4, 17, 45, and 54 minute marks. Spike covered the course with a big, forward shooting dog race. On day two Spike drew the fourth brace and again showed the judges his desire to cover the ground while putting six finds in the books. A couple small breaches of manners cost Spike his chance to repeat as champion.
PJ Wildfire’s Little Lexi ”Lexi”- Handled by owner Kirk Loftin and scouted by Sherri Tangsrud. In the fifth brace of day one, Lexi came up with finds at 30, 39, 42, 52, and 60 minutes. She used a lot of the course, searching in likely areas for the entire hour. On the second day Lexi ran in brace three, putting seven finds on the judges’ notes and again showing her big shooting dog range. Lexi had some minor issues with her bird work that kept her from being called back for the third day.
Uodibar’s Robbi Jo “Robbi” – Handled by Kirk Loftin and scouted by owner Sherri Tangsrud. Robbi was drawn to run the last brace of day one and started the hour with an early find, she then decided to explore a different area for a while. When Robbi rejoined the group she had a second find. On the second day Robbi ran in brace one, scoring five finds with a wide forward ground race. The extended absence on day one was too much for Robbi to over-come.
Stoney Hill’s Pinnacle Dee “Dee’- Handled by Kirk Loftin and scouted by Sherri Tangsrud. In the second brace of day one, Dee had finds at 7, 14, 22, 32, 41, and 59 minutes. Dee put her style on display for everyone to see, showing her range and looking for birds in all the right places. In the last brace of day two Dee couldn’t quite give a repeat performance of her day one. A couple non-productive points and a little less responsiveness kept Dee from the winners circle.
Cajun’s Firecracker “Kadie”- Handled by Josh Nieman and scouted by owner Bruce Bryant. Kadie had her own agenda for this entire trial. On day one she was not seen after the castoff in brace two. On the second day, Kadie did record two finds before disappearing for the remainder of the hour.
Chicoree’s Glitter and Gold “Glitz”- Handled by Dan DiMambro and scouted by April Raber. In the first brace of day one, Glitz put 5 finds in the judges’ books. Her third find was an impressive stand on top of the hill for everyone to admire. Glitz ran the last brace of day two, producing birds four times. Both days Glitz used the entire course to find birds, a couple extended absences cost her a chance for a third day run.
Hi-N’s Allison Miranda “Allie”-Handled by owner Kirk Loftin and scouted by Sherri Tangsrud. Running in brace four on day one, Allie had finds at 12 minutes and 58 along with a non-productive at 36. During the second brace of day two Allie had a much better showing with seven total finds. Her ground coverage both days showed why she was a participant at this year’s Invitational.
Carey’s Blazing Cooper ‘Coop”- Handled by Joe Amatulli and scouted by Kirk Loftin. Coop started day one in the first brace, showing his power and big shooting dog range with finds at 7, 12, and 32 minutes. On day two Coop drew the fifth brace and started the hour strong with an impressive find followed by a nice back. Coop then decided he had other plans and wasn’t seen for the remainder of the brace.
Chicoree’s Riden High Trixie “Trixie”- Handled by Dan DiMambro and scouted by April Raber. Trixie was in the fourth brace of day one and produced birds at 4, 40, 50, and 59 minutes. At times, Trixie showed her desire to cover the ground and hunt the birdy areas during the hour. On day two Trixie drew brace four and let everyone know she could find birds, carding six nice finds. Her ground coverage over the combined two hours was a little inconsistent, keeping her from a day three run.
BDK’s Texas Hold Em “Tex”- Handled by Josh Nieman and scouted by Bruce Bryant. Tex finished day one in the sixth brace, producing an early find in the first two minutes of the hour. Tex went on to have finds at 26, 33, 43, and 57 minutes. On day two Tex ran in the second brace scoring five finds along with a divided find. Tex was very stylish on his finds and the way he covered the ground, but the second half of day two he had a difficult time catching the front.
2022 NGSPA 7th AMATEUR SHOOTING DOG INVITATIONAL
The Top 12 Dogs
Our judges for the 2022 NGSPA Amateur Shooting Dog Invitational are both very accomplished and respected dog men, with long resumes of judging our field trial sport. Kevin Joyce and Helmut Schoen have both been very successful participants, winning both National Championships and owning dogs in the Bird Hall of Fame. We are very fortunate to have them take time from their personal life to come watch our dogs. Thanks to both of you1
The Champion – Stoney Hill’s Pinnacle Dee ‘Dee”
After three days of running, the judges named Stoney Hill’s Pinnacle Dee “Dee” the 2022 NGSPA Amateur Shooting Dog Invitational Champion. Dee is owned by Kirk and Larry Loftin and was scouted by Sherri Tansgrud. Over the three days of running, the judges had Dee as their number one dog each day. Dee impressed with her consistent speed, forward race, biddability, and bird finding and classic style. No matter the bracemate, Dee always managed to pull ahead and hold the front. Her gait gave her the appearance of “floating” over the ground without effort. She flowed along the big edges, gaining range until she disappeared to the front, while many dogs tended to break off the same edges, or dive into the cover losing momentum and range. She had over 15 finds during the three hours and pointed with a high tail and incredible intensity, not moving a muscle until collared by the handler after her bird work was completed. Judges summed it up “she was a beauty!” A number of times her birds were dug into extensive cover requiring a number of relocations. Several times the judges were impressed when she was found standing on a “limb” after having made a far reaching move. Dee went with her handler listening to his direction and responding at a distant range, all the time staying to the front. She had one absence on the second day , which over the three days did not distract from her performance. The judges were pleased to award Dee the 2022 NGSPA Amateur Shooting Dog Championship.
Honorable Mention – Snowy River Struttin “N Cuttin “Spur”
We do not award a Runner-Up title in our Invitationals, but if we did, the judges said it would have been awarded to Spur, owned by Mark and Chase Verdoorn, and handled by Chase. Spur was braced with Champion Dee in the third day call back. He was a consistent bird finder over the three days. He ran the edges and pointed with remarkable style and intensity. His forward race was sometimes hindered when he dug into the cover looking for birds, popping out down the line but having lost ground to his bracemate. Spur handled extremely well for Chase. He was consistent over the three days, running to the front and finding lots of birds, but his speed and range did not match that of the champion.
Other Dogs Called Back on Day 3 (second brace)
Snowy River’s White Out “Willy” owned by Mark and Chase Verdoorn, handled by Chase Verdoorn.
Over the three days, Willy found a lot of birds and pointed with impressive style and rock solid intensity, handling his birds to perfection. He consistently hunted to the front, responding quickly to his handler’s direction. It was easy to see why he was named Amateur Invitational Champion three years in a row. The first two days his speed and power was less than that of the top two dogs, although the third day was his strongest.
In-Country’s Hurricane Jane “Jane” owned by Dr. Robert Reynolds and handled by Chris Young
The first day of running, Jane was one of the strongest dogs. She was also one of the top dogs on the second day, but her “handle” was slipping a bit. She consistently found lots of birds and pointed them with style and intensity, and her power and range were impressive. During the call back on day three she had a strong first 30 minutes, finding plenty of birds and demonstrating classic style, but the longer she was on the ground the more she went self-hunting.
The Other Entries
BMB’s Madison Ave “Madison” Handled by owner Brandon Blum. Madison ran in the second brace on day one with five finds recorded along with a couple killed bird stands. She ran an intelligent ground race, looking in the right spots. On day two Madison drew the last brace of the day, she spent a little too much time honoring her bracemate to make the top call back spots on day three. Madison had a consistent range and great manners on her bird work both days, she was named as a back-up dog for day three.
Uodibar’s Robbi Jo “Robbi” Handled by Kirk Loftin and scouted by owner Sherri Tangsrud drew the fourth brace run on day one and spent a little too much of the hour out of touch. In the third brace day two Robbi wasn’t seen much during the hour.
PJ Wildfire’s Little Lexi “Lexi” Handled by owner Kirk Loftin and scouted by Sherri Tangsrud was in the fifth brace day one, she had an impressive stop to flush along with two finds. On day two Lexi ran in the first brace of the day, carding five finds. Lexi had a much stronger run on day two, her day one range was one of the reasons she didn’t get the call on day three.
Twin Creek Running Rocky “Rocky” Handled by owner Kirk Loftin, Rocky was in the last brace day one, he had two nice finds, but also had a breach of manners. Day two Rocky ran in the second brace and put five finds on the records. He was having a hard time getting on the same page as his handler on day two.
Cuttin Wild’s Rebel Yell “Rebel” Handled by Keith Bryant in the fifth brace day one Rebel had a very forward race with multiple finds, he showed good power and ran the edges well. Day two Rebel started the hour strong, reacting well to the handler, but had a couple breaches of manners on his bird work.
MSR’s Lord of Dragonstone “Stan” Handled by owner James Messer, Stan was in the last brace of day one and the first brace of day two. Both days Stan ran a consistent shooting dog race and founds enough birds, but didn’t show the power, style, and ground speed of the dogs called back for day three.
Slick’s Wild Child “Holly” Handled by owner Richie Rodger. Holly had a hard time getting her head into the game here, she ran a good shooting dog race and covered the course well, but was challenged to keep her manners in mind on her bird work.
Hi-N’s Allison Miranda “Allie” Handled by owner Kirk Loftin. Running in brace one the first day Allie wasn’t seen after the cast off. On day two in the last brace of the day Allie had some redemption, she scored six nice finds and showed her power around the course for the entire hour. Her day one was too much to overcome.