Here is some great news for all my setter lovin’ friends. The drought is over for setters at Ames Plantation. Shadow Oak Bo wins the big daddy of em all! Thanks to Ryan Frame of Dave Hughes Kennel for penning the story for me. Stay tuned to Buck’s Blog and the LCS Blog for more news from Ryan.
John “Buck” Koritko
On the morning of February 13, 2013, an English setter named Shadow Oak Bo was turned loose against a pointer called Rivertons Funseek’n Scooter, a pointer at an important field trial The heat would be three hours long.
The field trial is the most famous and storied bird dog field trial in the world, the National Bird Dog Championship, run yearly at the Ames Plantation near Grand Junction, Tennessee. With time running down, Bo had tallied an impressive six finds and backed, or honored, his brace mate’s points three times (Scooter had five finds himself). Near the end of the time down, Bo slipped out of sight in the cover and was found on point again. Once more he had a bevy accurately located, his seventh.
When the National Championship began in 1896, it was won the first twelve straight years by English setters. But by 1915 and, fairly quickly, the pointer, often called the English pointer, had come to dominate in terms of numbers and wins. A setter called Mississippi Zev won it in 1946, then not again until Johnny Crocket won it in 1970, then all pointers for 42 straight years through 2012. Though Bo had done well, it was only the third day of the event Many more fine dogs had yet to run, but across the country, setter fans crossed their fingers and waited.
Owned by Butch Houston and Dr. John Dorminy, and handled by seasoned pro Robin Gates, many had thought that a setter could not win the National Championship. Some had said that the so called ‘All-age’ setters were the key and that there are not enough all-age setters to breed to get a National Champion. Bo’s pedigree, however, shows that dogs from nearly every area of field trials, walking and horseback, contributed to his genetics. It was thus a proud day for field trials and a proud day for setter fans and setter breeders everywhere when, on February 22, 2013, the waiting crowd heard the announcement of the 2013 National Bird Dog Champion: Shadow Oak Bo!
Ryan Frame of Dave Hughes Kennel