LSGSP Fall 2003 Trial

Weather better suited for tanning and skiing met the participants of the Lone Star GSP Club's Fall horseback trial. Temperatures reaching into the 90's assured that only the best conditioned dogs and horses would attain the highest levels on October 31 through November 2 in Palmer, TX, just south of downtown Dallas.


Friday's Open Limited Gun Dog would feature 16 outstanding dogs run under the close scrutiny of judges Don Lloyd of Paola, KS and Ben Kuykendall, local Brittany man. The earlier morning braces allowed the dogs a break from the extreme heat and gave us most of the birdwork of the day. The 1st brace brought us the eventual winner in this non-retrieving stake, Free Flight's Cowboy, or Levi, owned by Chad Baum, and professionally handled by Ronnie Sale. Levi ran a nicely controlled big gun dog race with two very stylish finds. Always seen to the front, finishing with a very nice forward reaching move. Second went to FC AFC Duchess Cassidy MH, also handled by Ronnie Sale and owned by Debbie and Andy Gerdes of flower Mound, TX. With the heat, most of us were very glad the day of running ended at around 2 p.m. Many were amazed at the "horsewomanship" of Blake Biggs' 7 year old daughter, Whitney, who rode every brace of the day on the biggest horse at the trial.


Saturday morning dawned with slightly cooler temps and overcast skies. The Open Gun Dog featured 26 dogs, mostly GSPs, with several Weims and Vizslas. Judges were Don Lloyd and Carolyn Kuykendall. With the overnight arrival of John Rabidou and several Texas amateurs, we were assured a quality field for the weekend. Tom Hudson's Huachucas Hasta Luego, GSP female, handled by John Rabidou, won the stake. Later ran a snappy stylish forward race with 3 dug up finds. This little dog surprised everyone, in that, at six, she has not won more. Her win was punctuated by one of the longest retrieves in callback history. The birds flight didn't cooperate, but thanks to the artful shooting of Ray Mullen, she got her obligatory retrieve. Second went to Duchess Cassidy's Sundance Kid, JH, handled by owner Andy Gerdes.


The Open Derby followed in the heat of the day. Kirk and Terry Bomer's Texas Cassino's Mad Cash was able to defeat 28 other young dogs to garner his derby points. Cash, handled by Terry, put down a nice controlled near All Age race with several edge finds. This young dog will be one to watch in broke stakes in a few years. Thanks to our judges Will Barbee and Grant Stanfill for their undivided attention to so many dogs. Second went to Uodibar's Ben Judged, handled by John Rabidou, with a nice big gun dog race. Four or five of these dogs could have won about any derby in the country.


Sunday morning began with rain clouds threatening, but no rain would be seen. The Amateur Gun Dog stake began at 7:30 sharp with 21 dogs competing. The first and second place dogs came from the 7th brace of the day. Although getting hot, both dogs, Andy Gerdes' Duchess Cassidy's Sundance Kid and Blake Biggs' Slick's Cajun Desire, broke away with far reaching moves. At 6, Gerdes called point on a far left edge. At 8, Biggs called point far to the front. After a long flushing try, a pair of bobs was produced. Both dogs ran very nice, controlled, big gun dog races with several finds each. Each dog completed the callback without a bobble. The judges, Don Lloyd and Ben Kuykendall determined the 2 year old Dance to be the winner with Biggs' Callie, 3 year old female second.

This reporter and Carolyn Kuykendall had the honor to judge the Open Puppy on Sunday afternoon. 14 very nice puppies would compete. I have had the opportunity to ride many braces as a judge, competitor, and gallery member, but I truly can't remember seeing a finer group of puppies anywhere. Diane Vater, a pro from Pennsylvania had a little GSP, Wingfield's Perfect Angel, who ran the race of a veteran near All Age dog. The dog broke away hard, was extremely consistent, and hung on the edges as well as any I've seen. Carolyn and I knew it would take something awesome to beat the performance of Wingfield's Perfect Angel. But, none were up to the task. Second went to Phil Hausman's RHR Talk of the Town. This young female showed she already has what it takes to win, beginning with a great breakaway and as stylish of a point as anyone could want. Truly a fine young dog. Third went to Harvey Franco's Carriage Hills St. Thomas Breeze, GSP male. Another puppy that has a great future. Not only were these three dogs fun to watch, but I'd certainly feed any one of them if given the chance.


During the three days, we were able to run 107 total dogs. One of the biggest fall trials anyone could remember for the Lone Star club. Thanks go to our judges, Carolyn Kuykendall, Ben Kuykendall, Grant Stanfill, Will Barbee, Blake Biggs, and Don Lloyd. Special thanks to Don for his attention and time in the saddle, literally all weekend. We appreciate that Don was willing to drive the 600 miles to help us out. Further thanks to all who helped: our cook David Vogelsang, Kevin Temple, Carl Petrey, JD Mullen, Ray Mullen, Kirk Bomer, Scott Bodenstab, Jimmy Kline, and Andy Gerdes for all he does at every trial. Most all agreed that the new grounds are about as good as could be expected. The native bobs and released birds make for adventure at every turn. I feel these grounds will soon be some of the best weekend grounds in Texas.