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UKC Crowns its First Champion of the Field in the UKC Pointing Dog Program And Other Open Dogs Begin to Make Their Mark
Posted on 05/10/2006 in Notes From The Field.

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Choteau, Montana:
Vernon de L’Escarbot and handler Mark Dinsmore were in the final minute of their heat in the Open Class of the third annual Big Sky Epagneul Breton Gun Dog Field Trials, when the two year old orange roan male Epagneul Breton smelled a pheasant and whirled around, establishing a solid point. Vernon stood like a rock, as the pheasant was flushed, and the gun fired. Owner/Handler Mark Dinsmore walked over and leased his dog after praising him. He then walked over to Senior UKC Judge Butch Nelson, who declared the heat over and congratulated the handler. Although Dinsmore did not learn until the end of the day that his dog would become UKC’s first Champion of the Field, Vernon’s find was particularly gratifying, for several reasons.

First, the hunting conditions had been difficult in this UKC Licenesed Type (W) wild bird field trial. Rooster pheasants were running wild through the CRP and almost impossible for a dog to pin down, and the hens were leaving only a trace of scent, as the spring nesting season began to approach. Vernon had run in 2006 Spring UKC Field Trials from southwest Georgia, to Kentucky and ending his first season in the relatively new but developing UKC field trial circuit in north-central Montana. The two year old dog is dead broke, and handles like a dream. He had earned a Reserve Placement the Georgia FBGDA National Level Field Trial on liberated quail, then moved on to place First in two multi- breed field trials in Kentucky in early April. Prior to his First Place win in Choteau’s Sunday trial on wild prairie birds, Vernon had satisfied his requirements for the UKC TAN, Trialer, and Champion Trialer titles–all in this, his first season as a field trial dog.

Bred in Minnesota by Bruce and John Mooney of L”Escarbot Kennels, Vernon is of excellent conformation. “He searches enthusiastically for game, hunts at an appropriate range, has excellent quartering and ground coverage and his manners around birds are perfect. The dog has been hunted a great deal, and is the type of dog that one simply enjoys on a Saturday afield. He is the essence of the type dog UKC’s field program is designed to identify and recognize”, said Fred Overby, a fellow handler, who has watched Vernon compete in several venues on wild and liberated birds. While they have earned the top title offered by UKC at the present. Vernon and his owner, Mark Dinsmore look forward to more competition as the UKC Program grows, and other breeds become more active in the Program. They hope that a UKC Cup Field Trial will occur in 2007.

Vernon de L’Escarbot

There was actually a small but quite strong field of Open Dogs at the Choteau Montana field trial. Tim Powell, and his powerful orange and white Epagneul Breton male, Traveler Des Par Dessus Par had also earned a UKC Trialer Title the day before. Four year old Gus and Powell have run in trials in Georgia, South Dakota, Kentucky and at three locations in Montana. Gus had a spectacular run on Saturday, finding multiple birds, and stopping to flush on a hen who flushed wild from a far distance, half way through his heat. Gus had earned four passes, prior to earning his First Place and the Blue ribbon in the Saturday wild bird trial.

Zeus Ebony Leaps A lot, a black and white Epagneul Breton male, owned by Peter Wax of North Dakota had earned the first Win in an Open stake in 2005 and added a Reserve placement on Saturday to his growing list of accomplishments. Additionally, a two year old tri-color female Velvet Tuxedo de Tri River a/k/a “Tux” ran in the Montana trials. Tux and her owner/handler Shelly Shipley of Kansas had earned First Place in the FBGDA Nationals earlier in Georgia in March of 2006. A young Pudelpointer named Strike who has done well in NAVDHA events ran first on Sunday morning as the Open Stake began and another Epagneul Breton male known as “Shane”, which had earned his UKC GUN Title in 2005 made out the rest of the field for the Choteau trials. “It was a strong field and honest head-to-head competition among some of the best dogs in the country”, remarked Chris Kieres who judged Saturday’s trial and then took part in Sunday’s trial as a handler.

Both Dinsmore and Powell, who have now titled Open Class dogs in the UKC venue heartily endorse the venue. “One thing that drew me to the venue was that UKC actually conducts field trials on wild birds,” says Powell who has participate in various other field trial venues. Dinsmore, also likes the challenge of field trialing his dog in various venues around the country. “The liberated bird trials require the dog to demonstrate that he is complete dog by virtue of not only pointing and remaining steady, –but having to mark, search for and retrieve to hand, a shot bird. One the other hand, requiring that a dog prove himself on wild birds to earn a UKC Championship title insures that real bird dogs in the program earn top recognition,” says Dinsmore. Both handlers agreed, that earning a UKC title at any level is not easy, even for a very good dog.

UKC’s Novice Stake has to date received considerably more entries than the more demanding Open Class. “We congratulate these handlers and dogs for their hard work and achievements. Watching these top Open dogs perform so beautifully steady to wing and shot is an inspiration to others to train and more fully develop their dogs to the level of Open competition”, said Todd Kellam, head of UKC’s Pointing Dog Program. A number of handlers who have taken part in this program agree that the Open Class, like the Novice class of competition is beginning to attract more people and some outstanding dogs.

An interesting group photo as all dogs pictured have Open firsts: (l to r) Mark Dinsmore - Vern, Peter Wax - Zeus,
Tim Powell - Gus, Shelley Shipley - Tux