Result: Minnesota Grouse Dog Association
Location: Onamia, Minnesota
Post Date: Aug 1, 2023
Submitted By: Kyle Peterson
Open Shooting Dog. (Front, l-r): Rod Lein with Over The Hill Morgan and Kyle Peterson with I'm Easy Money. John Zeman (judge) and Jordan Pharris (judge).
The Minnesota Grouse Dog Association held its 6th annual quail trial at Four Brooks Field Trial Grounds in Onamia, Minn. After one of the worst Minnesota winters in decades, and many canceled spring trials, the entries piled high. Two Open Shooting Dog stakes, two Open Derby stakes, and the very popular Youth stake proved how this event has grown exponentially over the years. It has brought in waves of new members to the club and to the sport. Pair that with the famous Youth event, and it has become a fun family-filled trial, with kids of all ages sharing in our passion of pointing dogs.
With 28 total braces for the weekend, the turnout was incredible. The team of people and the sponsors who supported this event were second to none. MGDA President Chris Bye, Director Ben Mckean, Trial Chairmen A. J. Kalupa and Kyle Peterson, and countless other club members answered the call to make this weekend such a success. Lastly, a big thank you to the trial sponsors, OnX Hunt and Purina, for helping grow this event year after year.
Day one started out bright and early with the first Open Shooting Dog stake, judged by John Zeman and Jordan Pharris. The first morning proved to be very competitive but also very challenging, as the wind was quite stagnant. Two dogs came out on top and beat the odds against them. The second-place winner was Over The Hill Morgan, owned and handled by Rod Lein. Morgan, a little female pointer with a big heart, put on a great race. Her speed, agility, and application on the ground earned her a spot in the winners' circle.
The winner of this stake came out of the very first breakaway of the weekend. Setter I'm Easy Money, owned and handled by Kyle Peterson, set the tone for the day right off the bat. Strong and powerful on the ground, Easy put on a show. Not only did he show a great relationship with his handler, but he was honest and steady on his birds. This first-place win was Easy's first shooting dog placement of his career. Congratulations to both of them.
Derby stake No. 1 of this event was judged by A. J. Kalupa and Kyle Peterson. Thank you to club member John Zeman for generously providing horses for all judges that day. The running order was piled high with 21 dogs. From new handlers to pro handlers and dogs 10 months old to 2 years old, the diversity of this stake was so much fun for everyone involved.
The third-place winner, setter female Northwoods Cedar Edge, owned and handled by Eric Saetre, ran beyond her years. Stylish and snappy with every step, "Enni" was always to the front and in tune with Eric. Enni put her nose to work and had several great bird finds to finish strong.
The second-place winner, setter male Berg Brothers Doc Holliday, owned and handled by Paul Bukovich, kept the judges' attention his entire run. Doc showed strength in his ground race and his nose, finding bird after bird. He stayed to the front, focusing on his objectives. Doc finished as strong and flashy as he started to finalize the judges' decision.
The first-place winner, pointer male BK Marshall, owned and handled by John Zeman, showed the definition of shooting dog potential. "Kane" handled flawlessly. He was staunch on his birds and proved himself a true athlete. With big casts and checking back with John as needed, Kane ran smart, showing little effort with every move he made. This was Kane's debut run as a coverdog, and his win was well deserved.
The second and final day started off with Open Shooting Dog stake No. 2, judged by Duncan Bukovich and Region 19 AFTCA President Frank LaNasa. Thank you to Frank for providing horses on day two for the judges. With six competitive braces and great weather conditions, all participants really put on a show.
The third-place winner was setter female Northwoods Cedar, owned and handled by Lindsey Saetre. Cedar made everything look effortless. The way she ran, the way she handled, and with every piece of bird work. She showed her athleticism all the way to the end and never took her eye off the prize.
The second-place winner was English setter male Belle's Happy Hunting Ghost, owned and handled by Jordan Pharris. "Dos" was always to the front, making big moves. What seemed to stick out most was the connection between dog and handler; almost like Dos knew what Jordan was thinking. Dos finished strong with several nice bird finds.
Coming in first place for the final Open Shooting Dog stake was setter female Little Hawk, owned and handled by Paul Cook. To the judges and the gallery, Little was a sight for sore eyes, showing style and discipline on every bird. She ran a strong, wide-ranging race on the ground and stayed focused from start to finish.
Bringing this trial to a close was Derby stake No. 2, judged by Ryan Hough and Ben Brettingen. The weather got fairly warm by Sunday afternoon, but the wind stayed up. John Zeman was nice enough to supply a water tank at the halfway mark to ensure the safety of the dogs and give a fair trial. Like the other stakes of this trial, there was no shortage of great dog work for everyone to enjoy.
The third-place winner was pointer female Jewett's Creek Oakley, owned and handled by Jeff Sullivan. Both third and first-place dogs came from this brace, and it was a blast to watch. Oakley was fast on his feet and showed how to stretch out. He was honest around his bracemate and had no shortage of bird work.
The second-place winner was pointer female OTH Full of Beans, owned and handled by Rod Lein. Beans showed her true bird-finding abilities during her run. She was staunch and broke on her birds as well as her bracemate's. She finished her brace as strong as she started, bringing home her well-deserved second-place ribbon.
Coming home with the blue ribbon in first place was setter female Freyja Kendra, owned and handled by Ryan Bjerke. This little setter packed a punch! Every move she made was big. She runs with style and is light on her feet. She had multiple impressive bird finds as she hit every objective on the course. She and her handler showed they have worked hard and are ready for her shooting dog career.
The Minnesota Grouse Dog Association always goes above and beyond for every trial, but the youth event is always something special to watch. Boys and girls from three years old to ten years old participated. The excitement on their faces as they turned dogs loose was unmatched. A quick 15-minute course is laid out with quail and bird launchers. During each brace, the Junior handlers were accompanied by an adult, but they did it all, from flushing the bird to firing the gun. You can see each kid fall in love with what we do. After each brace had finished, all the kids lined up for the results. They all got to take home their own ribbon and style their dogs up for a group photo. I encourage everyone, even if they don't field trial, to bring their families to this event. A cookout, both days, is always provided, creating the perfect environment to meet new people or learn about the sport.
Onamia, Minn., May 20 - One Course
Judges: Jordan Pharris and John Zeman
OPEN SHOOTING DOG - 3 Pointers and 5 Setters
1st-I'M EASY MONEY, 1693862, setter male, by Jetwood-I'm Blue Who. Kyle Peterson, owner and handler.
2d-OVER THE HILL MORGAN, 1699010, pointer female, by J T H Scion-Over The Hill Patty. Robert Zielke, owner; Rod Lein, handler.
Judges: A. J. Kalupa and Kyle Peterson
OPEN DERBY - 6 Pointers and 12 Setters
1st-BK MARSHALL, 1699760, pointer male, by B K Bonafide Stallion-B K Hirollins Wild. John Zeman, owner and handler.
2d-BERG BROTHERS DOC HOLLIDAY, 1698544, setter male, by Berg Brothers Sagebrush-Berg Brothers Abbie. Paul Bukovich, owner and handler.
3d-NORTHWOODS CEDAR EDGE, 1703153, setter female, by Snyder's Pioneer Scout-Northwoods Cedar. Eric & Lindsey Saetre, owners; Eric Saetre, handler.
Open Derby, (front, l-r): John Zeman with BK Marshall, Paul Bukovich with Berg Brothers Doc Holliday, and Eric Saetre with Northwoods Cedar Edge. (Behind): A. J. Kalupa (judge) and Kyle Peterson (judge).
Judges: Duncan Bukovich and Frank LaNasa
OPEN SHOOTING DOG - 10 Entries
1st-LITTLE HAWK, 1698254, setter female, by Erin's Hidden Shamrock-War Paint. Paul Cook, owner and handler.
2d-BELLE'S HAPPY HUNTING GHOST, 1686119, setter male, by Midnight Ghost Ryder-Ruffed Country Belle. Dani McNeil, owner; Jordan Pharris, handler.
3d-NORTHWOODS CEDAR, 1691883, setter female, by Erin's Prometheus-Northwoods Carly Simon. Eric & Lindsey Saetre, owner and handler.
Open Shooting Dog. First place Little Hawk with Paul Cook.
Judges: Ben Brettingen and Ryan Hough
OPEN DERBY - 6 Pointers and 4 Setters
1st-FREYJA KENDRA, 1701728, setter female, by Ponderosa Mac-Centerfold Sioux. Ryan Bjerke, owner and handler.
2d-OVER THE HILL OF BEANS, 1699009, pointer female, by J T H Scion-Over The Hill Patty. Rod Lein, owner and handler.
3d-JEWETT'S CREEK OAKLEY, 1703338, pointer female, by Toth's Tornado Reloaded-Grouse Trails Warrior Cat. Jeff Sullivan, owner and handler.
Open Derby, (front, l-r): Jeff Sullivan with Jewett's Creek Oakley, Rod Lein with Over The Hill Beans, and Ryan Bjerke with Freyja Kendra. (Behind): Ryan Hough (judge) and Ben Brettigen (judge).
Youth Trial Winners.