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Result: Region 13 Amateur Shooting Dog Championship

Location: Ionia, Michigan

Post Date: Jun 17, 2024

Submitted By: Jim Cipponeri

Region 13 Ama SD ChS24

Region 13 Amateur Shooting Dog Championship (l-r): Allen Dunbar, Joe Guzman, Albert Blake Rizzo with Grouse Feather Witcher, Phil Daniels (judge), Mark Johnson (scout) with Alliwood's Eleventh Hour, Charley Fenech (judge), Adam DeLude, Ron "Pirate" Williams, Kelsey Hajek, Lane Hodges, and Jeff Haggis (Region 13 Vice-President). [Photo Courtesy Jim Cipp Photography]

Region 13 members and officers came together in quick fashion to successfully complete the 2024 Shooting Dog Championship at the Ionia Recreation Area. Sponsoring club Farmer Sportsmen's president and trial chairman, Bill Branham, was unable to attend due to a medical emergency on the day of the drawing. Thankfully, Bill is home with his wife/nurse Julie and on his way to recovery.

The drawing was moved to Jim and Connie Cipponeri's home, and with the help of Jeff and Matt Haggis, brace sheets and judges' books were printed. Veteran field trialer and "correspondent" Paul Tutro picked up the quail and delivered them to the grounds, which avoided a last-minute catastrophe. Haggis Saddlery and Nestl Purina provided prizes and gifts for the winners and judges.
Ron Williams, our gregarious dog wagon driver, doubled as Chef Ronaldo Williams and exercised his culinary skills with an Italian-themed dinner Saturday night. Tom Winters drove over to lend a helping hand as well. Purina representative Terry Trzcinski made the trek from Illinois to enjoy the day and also donated a crock pot lunch at the spur of the moment. Marc Johnson brought his usual assortment of snacks, energy drinks, and an array of adult beverages for impromptu happy hours after each day of running.
Bill Branham secured our two fine judges, Phil Daniels and Charley Fenech. Both men truly enjoy the sport of field trialing and give 100% attention to all the dogs competing. The decisions were well received, although there were several other admirable performances. This trial drew the top three Purina dogs in the point standings, as Region 13 is the last Championship points trial of the season. Dr. Pat McInteer and his son and grandson came from Nebraska, and Joe and Tessa Hughes made the trip from Alabama. Lane Hodges entered for the second year in a row and was a pleasure to have around. This was the first time at Ionia for the McInteer and Hughes families. They left impressed with the courses, associated facilities, and hospitality of the Region 13 members.

If anyone has experienced a final game of the Stanley Cup finals or perhaps a game 7 of the World Series, the drama and tension exceed definition. Maybe not "quite" the same level of intrigue and complicity, but the showdown at Ionia did bring a sense of enthusiasm and intrigue.

After the dogs were put up, stalls cleaned, and rigs loaded, impromptu trial chairman Jim Cipponeri was handed over the winners list. The outcome was awarded to two dogs from Wisconsin--Allen Dunbar's 4-year-old English Setter male, Grouse Feather Witcher, the new Region 13 Champion, and Adam DeLude's 3-year-old Pointer female, Alliwood's Eleventh Hour, runner-up.

The winner had five evenly spaced finds, the first along Riverside Drive just entering the Old Apple orchard. This was a very tempting situation considering the inclement weather, which caused the birds to be less than enthusiastic to fly. The second was along the Christmas Tree fields just east of the Tibbets Creek crossing. Style and manners were exemplary. The handler showed confidence in his dog and let him hunt the birdy objectives but, at the same time, reach out and rumble in the cut hay fields off Tuttle Road. At this point, the conditions got very warm and humid, but the classy Setter continued his strong ground performance and completed his hour with three more contacts in the last 17 minutes without a bobble or any type of letdown: a true championship performance and well-earned.

The young runner-up has a bright future and put on display a performance that would normally be worthy of champion rather than runner-up honors. He ran a very independent, far-reaching race that exuded the maturity of an older dog combined with little need of scouting as he was in tune with the handler for the entire hour. His four finds were evenly spaced with sky-kissing style on all four encounters. The first was a single near the historic Hires property, followed by a small covey near the Dog Leg, just before Logans Lookout. Descending Cardiac Hill, his third encounter was near the snowmobile parking lot, followed by pick up in the Show Me bottom near the Course 2 breakaway.

Grouse Feather WitcherS24-

Grouse Feather Witcher, Winner of the Region 13 Amateur Shooting Dog Championship

Ionia, Mich., April 13
Judges: Phil Daniels and Charley Fenech
REGION 13 AMATEUR SHOOTING DOG CHAMPIONSHIP [One-Hour Heats] - 18 Pointers and 5 Setters

Winner-GROUSE FEATHER WITCHER, 1688616, setter male, by T's Gunslinger-Wynona's Witchy Woman. Allen Dunbar, owner and handler.
Runner-Up-ALLIWOOD'S ELEVENTH HOUR, 1695563, pointer female, by Touch's Grey Street-Alliwood's Shady Shay. Adam DeLude, owner and handler.

Alliwoods Eleventh HourS24

Alliwood's Eleventh Hour, Runner-up in the Region 13 Amateur Shooting Dog Championship