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Red Hills UKC Wild Bird Field Trials Held at El Consuelo Farms
Posted on 04/16/2010 in Notes From The Field.

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The towering long pines of El Consuelo Farms near Quincy, Florida provided a spectacular backdrop for the Epagneul Breton Gun Dog Club of Georgia’s 2010 UKC Wild Bird Pointing Dog Field Trials. The generosity of long time Epagneul Breton enthusiast Guy de la Valdene made the event possible as he hosted the club at his bobwhite quail plantation in the historic Red Hills Region near Tallahassee, Florida. The gracious host provided an exceptional meal for the club and guests for lunch on Saturday’s field trial. The event showcased classic Red Hills plantation quail hunting grounds filled with tall pine trees, lots of bi-color lespedeza, broom sedge and ample briar patches. These beautiful grounds developed by Mr. Valdene perfectly lent themselves to the continuous course layout for the two separate concourses upon which dogs were evaluated hunting wild bobwhite quail over the two days of UKC licensed wild bird field trials. The UKC trialing format requires judges and handlers to be on foot, and the format is run the same as pointing dog field trials in Europe.

This year’s EBGDCG wild bird trials were open to other pointing breeds, and included Vizlas and a Gordon Setter, in addition to multiple outstanding representatives of the Epagneul Breton breed promoted by the host club. Former CEB-US President Fred Overby was tapped for judicial duties, along with EBGDCG President Mark Bird, of Sharpsburg Georgia, who received his French judging horn, prior to the beginning of the competition. The judging duo were assisted by scouts/marshals, who assisted in observing the dogs which would at times lose their handlers in the thick strips of bi-color lespedeza and broom sedge, which the resident bobwhite quail population calls home.

A sense of excitement was evident as Field Trial Chairman, Bill Wall, sounded the horn for the event Top awards on Friday’s trial were presented in the Gun Class to Vampire Des Renfro a.k.a. “Levi” and Billy Cannon. The duo earned First Place with superb steady to wing and shot work on a covey of wild bobwhites which had run a ways to try and avoid being pointed at the place where their scent was first detected by Levi. The black and white male Epagneul Breton exhibited both his great nose and acute bird finding sense by carefully looping back around after not being able to point the covey on the opposite side of the field road where he first encountered the scent. Levi’s solid black head was held high somewhat like a vampire’s cape, as he rose to full height to dominate and pin the birds after carefully determining their location, where they had scurried to try to avoid detection. The large covey of wild birds flushed in multiple volleys, but Levi remained staunch after the shot and after all birds had sailed away in the tall pines. “This quality of field work was what we had in mind, when we were working with the UKC to define what a GUN Dog should be,” said Judge Fred Overby when he handed out the award and announced that Levi had just earned his UKC GUN title.

Also exhibiting a solid performance was Tessie Des Par Dessus Par, who had a fine run during the hottest part of the day, and who returned with owner and CEB-US President Wallace Huey for a late afternoon call back heat when conditions were more favorable for game to move. “Tessie” displayed much heart and immense drive as she worked the briars and thick cover. She pointed intensely as she located a pair of feeding birds facing into a briar patch off the main concourse road as the sun was setting on the Florida pine trees. This fine work earned her Reserve Placement in the GUN Class in Friday’s trial.

In Saturday’s field trial, Beth Chandler’s, five year old male Vizla, Remy displayed outstanding work in the Open Class participants assigned to Judge Overby. He held steady to wing and shot for a covey of bobwhites and ran an excellent course. Likewise GRCHF Vernon de L’Escarbot displayed perfect Epagneul Breton form on a single bird encountered during his excellent run during Saturday morning’s concourse under Judge Bird. A barrage was thus required to select the winner of the Open Class. The runoff barrage was arranged at an open field leading into typical quail cover. Both dogs tore out at the barrage breakaway, but Vernon De L”Escarbot was declared the winner, a few seconds into the heat. Shortly after the break away, “Remy”, the Vizla ran over to Vernon to distract him from hunting, and Head Judge Mark Bird, sounded the end of the barrage and immediately declared Vernon the winner. As Judge Bird presented Remy’s handler the awards for the Reserve Placement, he congratulated Beth and “Remy” for becoming the first non-Epagneul Breton dog to win a placement in the Georgia Club’s five years of field trials.

There were additional Open and Gun Passes and an HNQ and TAN awarded during the weekend event. For those additional results, please go the Epagneul Breton Gun Dog Club of Georgia’s club web site. As EBGDCG President and Saturday’s Head Judge Mark Bird, concluded the festivities, he declared the event to be “a spectacular event in a spectacular venue—for judges, dogs and handlers alike.”

Vampire Des Renfro and owner Billy Cannon celebrate their First place Win securing a UKC Gun Dog title earned at the UKC type (W) Wild Bird Field trials held at El Consuelo Farms in Quincy, Florida.

A fine Hungarian Vizla known as Remy owned by Beth Chandler of Florida and the well decorated Vernon De L”Escarbot, an Epagneul Breton owned by Mark Dinsmore of Minnesota prepare for the running of the Barrage at a UKC type W Wild bird field trial in Quincy, Florida. The Epagneul Breton, Vernon was named Winner and the Vizla, Remy received a Reserve Placement.