I apologize for wasting a week before posting the results. We had a wonderful National through four series with Dibbs and blew it in the fifth and final series. To be honest, I have been a little pouty. That being said, we need to congratulate all the handlers/dogs that finished and/or placed. It was a very difficult National, as it should be, and as usual, someone won! Most know that I do not want to be known as a field trial person, my love is gun dogs and hunting. That being said, a big supporter of Christina and I at the field trials (Ted) had a conversation with me about my enjoyment of the field trials. I expressed that over the past four years I have enjoyed it more in the moment and have enjoyed getting new people involved. I am now humbled to compete with some of my peers when I consider the number of National High Points, Handler of the Year, National Championships and National Placements they have been awarded. It truly is an honor to compete with them and talk about dogs. I hope that Christina and I can continue to gain their respect and continue to grow our respect for this game. I enjoy seeing other professionals get their first National Placements and I really enjoy seeing amateurs beat the pros, we need to train better to stay ahead!
Congratulations to Jason Givens winning with Solo! I believe this is the second time Jason has won (Rev) and he also won the U.S. National Open High Point with Solo in 2018. Second Place went to Dan Lussen with Spirit. Dan has multiple National placements in the U.S. and in Canada. Third Place went to our friend Todd Stelzer with Guinness and I think this is Todd's first National Placement. Great job Todd! Fourth Place and the Gun's Award went to Kat Brusko with Crash. Sorry Kat, but I do not know your history of National placements but I have judged your dogs and they were very nice.
Certificate of Merits went to Cindy Goode Wilson with Niles, Russ Smith with Bruiser, Dan Murray with Baron, Les Hegney with Kai, Ken Willis with Fibbs, Amelia Baxter with Boogie and Ralph Botti with Poncho.
Last, we need to thank all that contributed to put the trial together. I cannot imagine the stress everyone was under considering the current health (turned political) concerns in the United States. Gary Riddle, Bob Child (to be inducted in the Bird Dog Hall of Fame in 2021!), Mahri Peschel, Kurt Price, Bill Brockett, The Gun Team (many I know, others I do not), The lunch caterer, catalog, ESSFT (great job Holly and Katie) and the State of Utah. Thank you Morgan Haglin and Mike Elsasser for donating your time to judge. If I forgot people, as I am sure I did, or misspelled names, I apologize.