Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The summer Championship are coming up fast!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Purina Award Paintings by Ross Young

Famed artist Ross Young has completed the paintings of this years Purina Dog of the Year Award winners.  Each painting is a fabulous portayal of the winners.  Visit Ross's website at for more information on Ross and to see many samples of the work he has done.  

CH Heard Hills Queen Mary
Amateur Shooting Dog of the Year

CH Lester's Snowwatch
Amateur All Age Dog of the Year

CH Coveyrise Offlee Amazin
Open Shooting Dog of the Year

CH Strut
Open All Age Dog of the Year 

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

CH Nella Running Tab Passes

With great sadness I write to inform you that my champion Nella Running Tab has passed away May 28, 2010.
I have never had something that I was more proud of.  I don’t have children, so my animals are my life.  You always hear parents say about their kids that “we love you all the same”.  Well that isn’t the way it is with my kids.  Ben brought me so many things; joy, happiness, frustration, closer to my father, but most of all FRIENDS.  There are so many people that I wouldn’t have met without this dog.  The field trial community is truly a great one. 
In his short career he won the Michigan Open Shooting Dog Championship, Arkansas Open Shooting Dog Championship, R-U Champion in the Montana Open Shooting Dog Championship and a 2nd place at the Beaver Creek Classic in the piney woods of Georgia.  All of these accomplishments in the wonderful hands of Shawn Kinkelaar.  It is a testament to Shawn to take a young dog and win in about every venue in the country.  It’s fun to see a dog on the same page with such a great handler. 
Ben was whelped in April of 2005 and was bred by Bryce Flaming, going back to his great dog, Hanna’s Elhew Lou. 
The best years were definitely ahead of Ben, which makes this so much harder for me to write. 
As my father and I put dirt on Ben’s oak box, with tears rolling down our faces, a bobwhite kept whistling, assuring us that he’s still in a good place. 
-Vagas Mathison



It is with a heavy heart that I write this. Our great dog and champion, Elhew Swami, passed away unexpectedly Tuesday morning, May 11.

She had had a recent bout with some tumors in her breast that had been removed and we thought she was in the clear, but without any warning she died in my home, on her bed, quickly and without any suffering. Bama, as she was called, would have been 12 years of age July 3.

As many of you know she had an unbelievable career as a shooting dog under the whistle of Shawn Kinkelaar. They had a fabulous rapport; it was an absolute ball watching Bama work for Shawn.

Bama ended her career with 16 open shooting dog championship titles with another 14 runner-up championship wins and a total of 40 wins. She won the Top Shooting Dog of the Year Award a remarkable three times. She was as tough of a competitor as you will find in any sport.

Bama was jointly owned by myself, Stan Howton and Bryce Flaming. Bryce Flaming bred the litter (Elhew Jefferson-Hanna’s Elhew Lou), whelped July 3, 1998.

We decided to retire her from competition three years ago before she turned nine. She spent the rest of her time at our home in Kentucky as Lisa’s and my house dog, having the full run of the place. She accompanied me to work and was my constant companion.

Lisa and I, along with Stan and Bryce, were very blessed to have had her and will miss her greatly.

Thanks for one helluva ride, Bama.

— Rob Butler

Elhew Sunflower Passes


The last Saturday of this past January was a bittersweet day. For my 9-year-old son, Camden, it was especially sad.

As we loaded the truck that day we both knew that this would be Jill’s, better known as Elhew Sunflower, last trip to the field. Camden had heard many stories and read several articles, but to him Sunflower was the queen of our kennel that he had only really known since her retirement a few years earlier.

He wasn’t born in 1999 when Jill won her first championship and was still in diapers in 2000 and 2001 when she was named Top Shooting Dog of theYear. At almost 14 she was showing her age physically, but still had the determination of a young Derby in her heart.

In her final brace she was paired with her granddaughter, Sunflower’s Amazing Grace. Sunflower covered the gently rolling hills as always, strong to the front. At times it seemed that the younger dog paused with us, watching in amazement. She would complete a draw and in her typical fashion throw her head to see the desired direction. Her casts were still long, hitting the objectives, but her pace had slowed considerably.

On that particular blue bird afternoon there were no birds to be found. But that late January afternoon wasn’t about the birds, it was about celebration of the journey the white and liver pointer female had made over the course of her career and lifetime.While watching her run and sitting on the tailgate afterwards I lamented on her accomplishments, all that we had experienced, and the relationships we have developed.

Sunflower’s tremendous record of 27 wins, including 15 championship titles and numerous runners-up, could not have been possible without those involved. Rob and Lisa Butler have been fantastic co-owners and very supportive throughout both Sunflower and Swami’s careers. Handler Shawn Kinkelaar’s hard work and dedication to the dog and sport are proven through her accomplishments.

It was fitting as we watched the sun set late that day over the same pasture that Sunflower was started in as a pup when we first realized she would be something special. Sunflower passed this spring.

— Bryce Flaming