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2023 Top Field Dogs

Top Coursing Dogs - Full Results PDF
Top Pointing Dogs - Full Results PDF

Top Field Beagles - Full Results PDF
Top Field Spaniels - Full Results PDF
Top Retrievers - Full Results PDF
 

From retrievers, pointers, and spaniels to lure coursing hounds, learn more about the Top Field Dogs who spent 2023 in the fresh air with their favourite people doing their favourite thing.
 

#1 Lure Coursing Dog 2023 


Registered Name: CH Wirtu Cipher of Andare ACX2 FCHX2 
Call Name:
Cipher
Breed: Whippet
Date of Birth: June 3, 2019
Breeder: Janet Milam
Owners: Ed & Ivy Molloy

Ivy and Ed Molloy:
 
We are so very proud of our little red brindle spitfire!  2023 was a busy year, so it was quite a surprise to learn that Cipher earned the #1 Lure Coursing Hound in Canada designation for the second year running. Thank you to all the judges that acknowledged our girl’s honesty and ability in the field.  Cipher also finished her conformation Championship (in very limited outings) with a Sighthound Specialty Best of Winners under respected hound judge and breeder Jocelyn Gagne.
 We would also like to give a particular ‘thank you’ to Cipher’s breeder Janet Milam, and to Kathleen Kelly – you sure know how to pick ‘em!

 In addition, we’d like to acknowledge all the breeders who select for conformation form and performance function and who continue to encourage their ‘puppy people’ to carry on the lure coursing tradition.  Also, our continued gratitude to all the volunteers who give selflessly of their time and expertise to ensure the vibrancy of this sport.  The time spent to develop the necessary skills to keep our hounds safe and challenged, to find and develop appropriate venues, and to organize our field trials, is something we truly appreciate.
 
All the best in 2024 &Tally Ho!
 

#1 Pointing Dogs 2023 


Open Shooting Dogs 
Registered Name:  DC Amigo's Bird Zekeing Missile

Call Name: Zeke

Breed: Brittany Spaniel 

Date of Birth: February 29, 2021
Breeders: Amigo Kennels
Owners: Tom Doherty and Kim Williamson

Handler: Tom Doherty

 

Kim Williamson:

Amigo Kennels would like to announce their newest Dual Champion, DC Amigo's Bird Zekeing Missile. Zeke is the youngest Pointing Dog in Canada to obtain a Dual Champion that we know of, and we are so proud of him.

Zeke was born February 28, 2021 and when he was 8 weeks old, he went home to his new best friends Brad and Anne. Brad was just looking for a good hunting dog, he had always owned and hunted with flushing dogs, and he was so excited to learn how to hunt with a Pointer.

Brad wanted the best hunting dog possible, so he sent him off to Dan Hoke in Washington for training. What we didn’t think would ever happen, Brad became ill and had to have surgery for himself. Tom went and picked up Zeke from Dan’s, and Zeke came to live with us, while Brad recovered. While Brad was in the hospital, we would take out Zeke every weekend, and take videos of Zeke working birds to send to Brad to keep his spirits up, and give him hope that come hunting season he would be able to hunting behind his amazing dog.

The sad news in this whole story is Brad lost his battle with life, and we all lost a great friend, who’s smile will always be remembered. Brad’s family thought it would be best if Zeke stayed with us, and we promised them we would make Zeke the best hunting dog for Brad.
We started to enter Zeke into Field Trials in 2023, which he took, 3 major wins, and other placements.
And every time Zeke does well, we look to the sky and say “Did you see that, Brad?!”, because we know he is smiling down on us.

Zeke is a great dog and Brad was an amazing person. It’s a journey we have all been blessed to be part of for the love of a special dog.

 

#1 Amateur Shooting Dog Pointing Dogs 2023 


Registered Name: Trax Ivy League FD TD
Call Name: Ivy
Breed: Weimaraner
Birthdate: November 26, 2016
Breeders: Megan Bastien and Shirley Nilsson
Owners: Terry Meek and Megan Bastien
Handlers: Terry Meek and Shirley Nilsson 

Terry Meek:

Ivy came into our lives at 8 weeks old, after her being puppy tested as the right fit. That fit was a field dog who could excel and who has excelled beyond my expectations. It was easy to see very early that she showed oodles of talent to be a specialist in the field, born broke comes to mind as a way of describing her. 
 
Her career started with winning many Derby stakes to a National Weimaraner Futurity Championship, to NWPD of the year as well as #1 Weimaraner in the NW 2022 to the icing on the cake, an AKC Field Championship and now adding the cherry on top being named # 1 CKC Amateur Shooting Dog 2023.
 
These accomplishments could not have happened without Ivy’s other boss Shirley Nilsson who has also spent many hours traveling with Ivy to get her to events and collecting many blue ribbons along the way. What Ivy brings to the field is powerful to watch, she has range, ground speed, desire and style that gives goose bumps.  Her talent doesn’t end in the field she has Tracking titles in both CKC and AKC, she is show pointed and will be working now on her Rally titles. Ivy is not all work, she is the sweetest most loving family dog you can meet, she loves everyone she meets.
 
 Many thanks to the members of the Field Trial Clubs who put together these trials and give so much to the pointing dog community, without them this wouldn’t be possible.
 I want to express my continued gratitude to Ivy’s breeders Megan Bastien and Shirley Nilsson whose dedication to the Trax Weimaraner breeding program is beyond impressive. These two ladies have been my greatest supporters, mentors, throughout the last several years, I cannot thank them both enough.
FTCH Bionic Tikka's owners were not available for an interview at the time of publication. 


Retriever Field Trials


#1 Open All-Age (also #1 Combined)
Registered name: FTCH Bowrivers Trail Blazer QFTR
Call name: Grit
Breed:  Labrador Retriever
Date of birth:  July 29, 2017
Breeders:  Daniel and Laura Danforth
Owners:  Daniel and Laura Danforth
Handler:  Daniel Danforth
 
Laura and Daniel Danforth:

Grit is a Bow River retriever through and through. We are his breeders, owners, trainers, and handlers and he is our heart.

Grit has a calm and cool demeanor and took his time to develop. He was often referred to as “steady eddy” by members of our training group. In 2023, with Dan at his side, Grit’s style paid off!

There are a lot of people involved in reaching this achievement; Team Bow River, the Retriever Community whose volunteers are the heartbeat of the sport of Retrievers making Retriever Field Trials happen, fellow Competitors who come to line with their amazing retrievers, and the Veterinarians and Canine Physical Therapists who help keep our canine athletes healthy and strong. A heartfelt thank you to you all.

Our most memorable win with Grit was at the Saskatoon Retriever Club field trial in June 2022. This win earned Grit his Field Trial Championship title. What was extra special was after the ribbons were handed out, a fellow competitor gathered everyone to celebrate Grit’s win and FTCH with a champagne toast! Who keeps a bottle of champagne in their trailer for “just an occasion like this”!

It is a rewarding experience when a retriever you have bred accomplishes Top Dog status. Grit’s mom, Pebbles, had this honor in 2016 and 2018. In 2017 she was busy making Grit. Thank you, Grit, for following in your Mama’s paw steps.
 
  
#1 Amateur All-Age
Registered name: AFTCH FTCH Amarillo Diggin Up Bones
Call name: Trouble
Breed: Labrador Retriever
Date of Birth: September 18, 2014
Breeder: Ryan Markel
Owner: Dave Wardle
Handler: Dave Wardle

Dave Wardle:

Donna and I were thrilled to learn that Trouble is the high point amateur all age field trial retriever for 2023.

Contrary to his name, he has been an easy and talented dog to train and is a very consistent competitor. This is the third time he has achieved the high point amateur dog status and has been a Canadian National finalist three times. We are proud of the fact that Trouble and two of his offspring were finalists in the 2022 Canadian National. In an earlier trial all four junior placings were taken by his pups.

We owe a large part of our success to our dedicated amateur training group and of course to Donna who has thrown countless retrieves for our dogs. Thank you to all the clubs who work so hard to put on these trials.  
 

Spaniel Field Trials  


#1 Open All-Age (4 dogs tied for #1)
Call Name: Nitro
Registered name: FTCH Alrish Percy
Call name: Percy
Breed: English Springer Spaniel 
Date of Birth: May 25th, 2020
Breeder: Allah Hawley
Owner: Drew Goldsmith 
Handlers: Drew Goldsmith and Casey Butz 
Drew Goldsmith:
 
 
Percy is one of those dogs that is a calm, loving companion in the house and an enthusiastic, high energy hunting machine in the field. 

Percy received his Spaniel Field Trial Championship title this year, as well as taking fourth at the Canadian National Spaniel Field Trial Championship.

At eight weeks old, Percy took one look at the water and jumped in, swimming like a natural. Retrieving from the water came quickly, something he can't get enough of, in or out of the water. In the field, his enthusiasm is evident and he's a joy to watch. Percy comes from a long line of working dogs, many of them Champions and National Champions. 

Thank you to Casey Butz for helping me to achieve Percy's champion status and for handling Percy at the National where they achieved a fourth-place ribbon. 

I look forward to handling this three-year-old Spaniel for many years to come. Thank you, Percy.                                                                                                     
 

Registered name:  FTCh Jaegercourt Better Be
Call name:  Bee
Breed:  English Springer Spaniel
Date of birth:  October 7, 2020
Breeders:  Pierre and Vivianne Fecteau
Owners:  Vivianne Fecteau
Handler:  Pierre Fecteau
 
Pierre Fecteau:
Bee is a truly natural bird finder and a relentless retriever. She is very biddable, easy to train and eager to please. Although she is powerful and fast in the field, she is a cooperative hunting dog and has an incredible off switch in the house. 

As breeders, we are very proud of our accomplishments through years of selecting natural abilities. We thank all the people involved in the game without whom this wonderful sport wouldn't be possible, especially our club members.
 

 

Registered name: FTCH Bellsmill Pale

Call name:  Mickey

English Cocker Spaniel

Date of birth:  Sep. 5, 2018

Breeder:  R. A. Longville

Owner:  Clay Earl

Handler:  Clay Earl


 
Karen Earl: In the Canadian National Spaniel Field Trial Association High Point Open Award’s 50-year history, FTCH Bellsmill Pale (Mickey) is the only Cocker to have ever won. Mickey placed First in the Top 10 Open Dogs in Canada, awarded by the Canadian Kennel Club on a calendar basis. Adding to his accolades, Mickey is the 3-time winner of the High Point North American Cocker Award. He earned a Certificate of Merit at the 2023 Canadian National Open Spaniel Championship, the only Cocker to receive an award. Mickey won these awards running in Spaniel Field Trials in Canada and the United States. In Canadian field trials, English Cocker Spaniels compete against English Springer Spaniels.

Mickey is a special dog with the drive, bird-finding ability, flush, and marking ability that enables him to win trials at the highest level against both Springers and Cockers. He was bred by R. A. Longville of Bellsmill Gundogs and imported as a pup by Tom Ness of Oahe Kennels after a long search by Clay Earl of Coldwater Kennels for a dog that could compete in any-variety trials. All Mickey’s training was conducted by Clay Earl with an eye to developing his natural talents. As a pup, he was hunted extensively on wild birds before his obedience and control training were initiated. Mickey showed exceptional personality and promise early. Importantly, he has been genetically tested and confirmed clear of AMS, EIC, FN, PFK deficiency, and PRCD. His hips are OFA-certified as Good; his eyes are CERF-certified as Clear.

Mickey loves to train, is highly intelligent, and fully enjoys life! He passes his many positive traits on to his offspring, as demonstrated by FC Hang on Harvey and other progeny currently running the circuit.

 
 

Registered name: NFTCH, FTCH, AFTCH Sunrise Jesse
Call name: Jesse
Breed: English Springer Spaniel 
Date of Birth: August 1st, 2019
Breeder: David Morse
Owner: Drew Goldsmith 
Handlers: Drew Goldsmith and Casey Butz
 
Drew Goldsmith:

Jesse had an awesome 2023 on the Canadian Spaniel Field Trial circuit, becoming an Amateur, an Open, and a National Spaniel Field Trial Champion. Jesse has many North American Champions and National Champions in his pedigree. 
Jesse is a tall, handsome fellow who loves to please and is easy to handle on the hunt. Even as a puppy, his easy-going, but eager, personality was apparent. He enjoys retrieving both in and out of the water and is a loving, loyal companion.
Thank you to Casey Butz for his help in training and handling Jesse. It was awesome to watch Casey and Jesse work together to win the 2023 Canadian National Spaniel Field trial. 
I look forward to watching and handling this four-year-old English Springer Spaniel as he eagerly continues the hunt. Thank you, Jesse. 
 


#1 Amateur All-Age  


Registered Name:  NOSC AFTCH FTCH Bushbuster's Colt Forty Five MH
Call name: Colt
Breed: English Springer Spaniel
Date of birth: May 25, 2015
Breeder: Wade Chipman
Owner: Stan Pappas
Handler: Stan Pappas

Stan Pappas:

Colt is a "once in a lifetime" hunting dog and I am honored to have him! 

Colt showed his intelligence at a very early date. He started by winning the first six events he was entered in and was named "High Point Canadian Puppy". I was so impressed, that while he was still a puppy, I entered him in an open event and he did not disappoint. He won first place in his second attempt as an open dog and championed out before his second birth date.

Colt just keeps on winning: 2017 High Point Canadian Puppy, 2018 High Point Canadian Open Dog, CKC # 1 Dog for the year, 2022 National Field Trial Champion and CKC #1 Dog for the year!!!  
He has also won his "Master Hunter's" title in the minimum required attempts skipping all the preliminary events.

He is still competing and winning, at the age of eight and shows no effects of age. 
 
As a sire, his pups show his intelligence and have countless achievements!!!
The saying is: "Great dogs start early, stay long, and reproduce themselves". 
Colt has certainly met all the criteria and filled all the boxes!!!!
He is a great dog and a greater family member!!!!  
A great deal of thanks goes to my training partners and friends, Gary Shantz, Tom and Myra Bratrud, Greg Royer and Casey Butz who helped along the way. Thanks to my wife Myra, who has supported me and my dogs for over fifty years.
 
 
 
 
 
 
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