A Gundog Named Vern Makes History
Posted on 04/11/2008 in Notes From The Field.
Vernon De L’Escarbot and owner/handler Mark Dinsmore have added another “first” to their long list of achievements in field competition, as Vernon won First Place in this years Open Braces Type (W) Wild Bird field trial run on wild native pheasant at the 2008 FBGDA Nationals near Salina, Kansas. This was the second First Place win in braces competition for Vernon, as he earned another First Place last year in type (L) liberated braces competition, run on bobwhite quail and chukar in Arizona. The 2008 First Place on wild game was the final requirement for Vernon to be named UKC Grand Champion of the Field. Consequently, the four year old orange roan Epagneul Breton male is the first dog of any UKC Pointing Breed to earn the coveted UKC GR CHF title.
In this year’s FBGDA Open braces trial, Vernon was braced with Violette Des Renfro a/ka/ “Shug”,a three year old Epagneul Breton female, owned/handled by Fred Overby. The dogs cast off into the CRP like rockets, and from the first moment, it was clear that the competition between the duo of Bretons was intense, as each sought to point the first bird. As the heat wore on, each dog brought out the best in the other, with Vernon making longer casts initially and Shug methodically quartering back and forth with shorter casts at the insistence of her handler. There were no birds in a bottom with some small standing timber, and the judges turned the duo north towards the end of the CRP field. As the time in the heat reached approximately the thirteen minute mark, Shug’s handler attempted to cut her next cast to the left short and to send her straight ahead, sensing that a running rooster was between the dogs, their handlers and the approaching fence row at the end of the CRP field.
Shug did not cut quite as short as her handler asked, and Vernon, who had also sensed that birds were out ahead was charging into the area where the birds were thought to be. Within thirty yards of heading forward to the fence row, Vernon snapped on a quick point in a clump of thick native prairie grass. Shug, who had curled back around to get in sinc with the prevailing wind, backed Vern perfectly and was then leashed for the flush for Vern. As Vernon’s handler reached in to get his blank gun out of the holster in anticipation of a flush his hands were numb from the extreme cold. The blank gun accidentally discharged coming out of the holster, and the rooster which had been pointed flushed up wild and cackling. Judge Toulet yelled to the startled (and momentarily frustrated) handler to fire his blank gun again after the flush. Vern stood perfectly through the initial accidental shot, the subsequent flush of the cackling rooster, and the second commanded firing of the blank gun by Mark Dinsmore, his handler. He was then leashed, and the handlers walked to the judges for further instructions. The judges allowed the handlers to release the dogs again for another minute, but time soon expired. Again, Vernon had found a way to produce game for the gun, in a field trial. Overby walked over to Dinsmore and stuck out his hand, saying “Congratulations— now that was a lot of fun! You owe me and Shug both a beer, for not messing up your and Vern’s bird!” Dinsmore laughed, and said “Thanks—I’ll be glad to oblige-- Shug ran very well today.” Overbv said in closing, “Well Vernon got the bird, and he ran beautifully today—I hope he gets his Grand Champion title!”
Vernon has won various placements under Judge Henri Guelou of France, Jacques Bordet of France, Butch Nelson of Montana, Regis Toulet of France, Sandy Gunn of Canada and others. He has won wild bird trials in various venues and shot bird trials in various venues, running both solo and braces. He has won a field trial via barrage, and won several field trials without the necessity of a barrage. In addition to reaching the supreme achievement by virtue of capturing the UKC title Grand Champion of the Field, Vernon has also received placements in other venues such as AKC field trials in the United States and in FCI field trials run in France, the native country of the Epagneul Breton breed. Vernon is the first American bred Epagneul Breton to win a CACT in a European Field Trial where the competition amoung the Continental Breeds is very stiff. In addition to his achievements afield, Vernon is a UKC Champion in conformation, and was rated Excellent in overall conformation for the Epagneul Breton breed, by J.F. Bordet a breed specialist from Aunac, France. His hips are OFA rated Good.
Congratulations to Vernon de L”Escarbot and Mark Dinsmore upon becoming UKC’s first Grand Champion of the Field of any pointing breed!