2009 National Retriever Championship
AND THE WINNER IS!!!
By Milton S. Holcombe
At the 2009 National Retriever Championship in Dover, DE, field trial chairman Dr. Craig Stonesifer made the announcement that number 59, FC Mioaks Fabulous Flipper (Flipper), a six year old black Labrador female, was the champion. She is owned by Gordy Alfter of Fremont, Wisconsin, and handled by David Ward.
The judges had narrowed the field to 12 dogs for the final series, a water quad with one retired gun, on Dr. Stonesifer’s beautiful grounds at his home outside of Dover. The finalists, in addition to Flipper, were as follows:
FC-AFC Ebonstar Gotta Zoom owned by W.G and R.B. Early handled by Al Arthur
FC Bayou Teche Tex owned by Jerard Ward and handled by Mark Smith
FC Premier’s RSK Powerstroke owned by Marion Boulton Stroud and handled by Alan Pleasant
FC Hawkeye’s Red, White And Blue owned by Marion Boulton Stroud and handled by Mark Mosher
FC Trumarc’s Brother Bob owned by Rodney Bridgers and handled by Danny Farmer
Kiss of the Devil owned by Robert Hannsen & Terry Rotschaefer and handled by Bill Eckett
FC World Famous Magical Mischief owned by Joe & Gretchen Augustyn and handled by Bill Sargenti
Robb’s Mia Hambone owned and handled by Richard A. Underwood
Ride Sally Ride III owned by Jay Chesshir and handled by Paul Sletten
FC-AFC Gimme Five More owned by J.M. & L.K. Dubose and handled by Mac Dubose
FC Candlewood Goldendaze Louie owned by Chuck & Mary Schweikert and handled by Scott Dewey
As any field trialer will tell you, it is an extreme honor just to qualify to run a National stake, and even more of an honor to be a finalist, but the ultimate honor is to be named the champion. Dave was almost overcome with emotion when Flipper’s number was called as the 2009 Champion. I was not able to stay for it, but it is the custom that the winner of the National throws a party that evening, and I’m sure a good time was had by all who could attend.
This year’s judges, Tom Vaughn of Parker, CO, Dr. Joe Broyles of Baton Rouge, LA, and Jack Vollstedt of Junction City, OR, did a quite nice job with the event while working under some extreme conditions during the set-up week. Seems it rained in buckets most days. This rain also caused them to have to run some series in a different order than was originally intended, as you could not get to some areas on the wet terrain.
Craig Stonesifer and this years President, Bill Goldstein of Florence, SC, did a wonderful job of organization and things ran quite smoothly. Their Committee Captains and Co-Captains are too many to name here, but all did a wonderful job and ran a well organized and orchestrated event. If you served on a Committee, rest assured that your volunteering was appreciated by the owners and handlers. Always when you departed one site to go to the next the signage was in place to lead you there. You couldn’t get lost if you tried. When you arrived at the next site they were busy getting it ready to run a test dog. The test dogs this year were FC Rebel Ridge Whistlin’ Dixie owned & handled by Lyn Yelton and AFC Yellowjacket’s Black Diamond owned & handled by Nelson Sills.
Congratulations to the National Club on a successful event and to the Champion FC Mioaks Fabulous Flipper, to owner Gordy Alfter, and to handler Dave Ward. Well done!!