I think it’s fair to say that scout
owner and dog in the picture above have had a good day, just on the evidence of the expressions alone.
The history is even better. The dog is Shadow Oak Bo, the winner of the 114th Grand Junction Field Trial at the Ames Plantation in Tennessee. This is the great contest of quail hunting dogs. Shadow Oak Bo is the first English Setter to win at Grand Junction since 1970, and (according to my friend Jere Hoar, an aficionado of setters), only the third Setter in the last 80 years to win. The job the dog did to win is impressive.
If you go to the museum at Grand Junction, you’ll see rich early history of the setters in the early years of the field trials. For the last seventy-five years or so, pointers have dominated.
I grew up with English setters– a favorite dog of my youth was a setter named Bo from one of Jere Hoar’s dog’s litters.
This is an important sentimental moment for setter fans.
Our current setter, Hank the Dog, is pictured below.
The picture is of Shadow Oak Bo and his scout (whose function will be clear in the description, below) whose father is Shadow Oak Bo’s trainer.
Here’s the description of the win from the Ames Plantation site:
In the eyes of the judges, Bo’s performance in the 2013 National Championship came closer to meeting the Amesian Standard than any dog in the competition. His three hour performance began with a bang when at the two minute mark he was standing proud and tall in the cut milo field just to the right of the course. Braced with Rivertons Funseek’n Scooter, the handsome pointer and setter dualed it out for the next three hours. When the dust began to settle with less than 15 minutes to go Bo had amassed a score of six perfectly handled finds and three backs of his brace mate who had managed five good covey finds. The icing on the cake for Bo came when he drifted out of sight to the front of the course as time was called. Within minutes Robin Gates’ hat was in the air with Bo once again standing proud and tall on his seventh and last find. His birds were perfectly located, just as they had been on all his previous points and his manners were perfection to the wing and shot as Robin put the covey to flight!
Here’s a picture of Bo on point while his scout flushes the birds, also from the Ames site. Apparently, they cut setters very close for the field trial in case there are icy conditions that could cause problems in their coat.
Here’s another picture of Bo