Wednesday, March 11, 2009

WING SHOT FLING ENTERS HALL OF FAME

Red Setter Hall of Fame Inductee Wing Shot Fling



Bob & Catherine Gove accept the Red Setter Hall of Fame scroll on behalf of
Wing Shot Fling

We were especially honored and pleased this year at our 2009 National Championship to award entry of Wing Shot Fling into the Red Setter Hall Of Fame. Bob and Catherine Gove traveled from Princeton Minnesota to our trial grounds to be present for the awards ceremony, which took place on Friday evening of March 6 2009 at the Central Kentucky Wildlife Management Area. President Don Beauchamp presented Bob and Catherine the Hall of Fame scroll, and Bonnie Hidalgo spoke of the greatness of this red setter in a moving speech that left many in tears. Wing Shot Fling was a once in a lifetime dog, and she has now found a deserving resting place among the Great Ones in the Red Setter Hall of Fame.

Congratulations to Bob and Catherine, and to Hall of Famer
Wing Shot Fling


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Bob & Catherine Gove accept the Red Setter Hall of Fame Scroll on behalf of

WING SHOT FLING


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Bob Gove says a few words about his beloved "Fling"


Owner and Handler, Bob Gove remembers “Fling”...

"We are very honored to have Wing Shot Fling, a dog we were privileged to share life with, elected to the Irish Red Setter Hall of Fame! We are very appreciative to all the members who voted her in and to those who share the memory of this wonderful dog with Katherine and me. To quote the late singer song/writer Jim Croce, I’d especially like to thank “my best old X friend” Stan Zdanczewicz for nominating her. (Stan’s a music aficionado) Whelped February 5, 1978 Fling Came to me in April from the Rambling Red Irish Setters kennel of Anne Marie and Randy Kubacz, they could not have sent me a better dog. She was regally bred and her pedigree reads like the Who’s Who of Red Setterdom. Her Dam Turkey Talk Polly has produced many fine pups and had fountainhead-breeding close-up. Her sire the legendary Abra needs no elaboration.

Fling was my first real field trial dog. I never had a hunting dog as a boy growing up and while I was in college always wanted an Irish Setter. After graduating and getting a job I bought a puppy and for the first time heard about this field trial thing. In 1973, after suffering through nearly 2 years of my book learned training program, I entered her in the Irish Setter Club of Minnesota’s field trial. She got (I don’t know if won would be the right word) third place in an Irish Setter derby stake and I got “field trial fever”. I really couldn’t afford to jump in head first so started by breeding that female to Saturday Night Ed in 1974. From that litter I picked a pup that was a very nice dog, a fabulous grouse dog, but not really a horseback dog at least up until the time she was hit by a car and died. In 1977 I bought a horse in 1978 a horse trailer and that fall we, Fling and I, went to our first National Red Setter Field Trial Club (NRSFTC) championship. She had her first win a couple of weeks earlier, 1st in a 5 dog puppy stake. The Championship was held at the Green River Conservation Area near Ohio, Illinois. I rode every brace and was awe struck by the beauty of Green River, the fabulously groomed field trial grounds with abundant feed strips, hedge rows, open fields, thickets and woods scattered over 2500 acres on expertly laid out continuous courses. Add beautiful fall colors and all those wonderful Red Dogs I had been reading about, running and pointing pheasants, I was hyperventilating. Then my Fling, an 8 month old puppy, was 3rd in the NRSFTC open puppy with 19 entries. Oh my God, the dagger of “field trial fever” was trust into my very soul!

By the end of the spring of 1979 season Fling had won 18 placements (a nice career for a lot of dogs) including 2nd in the spring NRSFTC open puppy stake with 24 entries (can you imagine that... two NRSFTC puppy stakes with 19 and 24 entries, (those were the days). On top of that she won the NRSFTC Puppy of the Year award. Buckle up, Bob!

That August found us on the North Dakota prairies for 2 weeks. Fling had field trial qualities that combined undeniable devotion (willingness to please), burning desire (running with great strength and heart) and extreme boldness (run to the limits of the course no matter how wide). We both learned much about handling, running as big as the country and finding wild birds, Sharptail Grouse in this case. I believe it was the most influential experience in her development, we both learned a great deal. That fall was the start of her derby season and she began where she left off winning 8 derby placements. Again the NRSFTC Championship was at Green River and I met a young man, Keith Martin, who was the son of the area manager. Keith had just started training dogs professionally. Later that fall I sent Fling with him to Georgia to get her into birds. He did a good job and even placed her in a couple of trials down south. The spring of 1980 she finished her derby season with a total of 12 wins and won the NRSFTC Derby of the Year award. She was the first dog to win both juvenile Dog of the Year awards. Fall of 1980 she and I won our first Championship the inaugural NRSFTC National Amateur Championship and it was the thrill of thrills, my kneecaps were jumping. She went on to win the same Championship in 1983 and the NRSFTC Open Championship in 1985. Needless to say we continued to go to a lot of field trials and she won about everywhere we went, she had 103 American Field wins, I wrote them all down. She won the Duke award and was runner-up Legrande in 1985 and won both the Duke and LeGrande awards in 1986. She was always a gallery favorite due in part to her obvious desire to do whatever I asked and the way she artfully and boldly traversed the course to find birds. She was loved by many, feared by some, and hated by a very few that could not bear to lose to a Red Dog. One spring while the NRSFTC Championship was running at Rend Lake in southern Illinois I had to attend a seminar at the University of Indiana so Katherine and Denise Zdanczewicz Stops ran Fling. After I got to the trial I asked them how she did they said that every time she saw a rider off in the distance she would run off to them. They said they thought she spent the whole hour looking for me. The next day I ran her in the amateur shooting dog stake and she was 1st.
She was entered in several American Field all breed Championships. A few I can remember; All-American Shooting Dog Championship, Illinois Open Shooting Dog Championship, National Prairie Chicken Open Shooting Dog Championship (several times) and a variety Amateur Field Trial Clubs of America National and Regional Championships. I even ran her in the National Amateur Ruff Grouse Championship once (they thought she was a little wide). She was never placed in an all breed Championship but opened the eyes of many, be aware Red Dogs are not to be disregarded. You will have to beat them not just consider them extra purse money. What I consider to be her best wins were her winning the National Amateur Prairie Chicken Shooting Dog Classic, which became the National Amateur Prairie Chicken Shooting Dog Championship. Amateur Field Trial Clubs of America requires that to establish a new National Championship it must be run 3 times as classic to evaluate the merits of making it a Championship. Fling won the classic in 1985 and 1986, she was not alive to contest the 1987 running, it became a Championship in 1988. Like many great field trial dogs Fling was a house dog, a wonderful pet, a joy to be around, slept next to the bed every night, rode on the front seat of the truck, was mannerly, obedient, we couldn’t have asked for more. She was a great hunting dog especially on wild pheasant. She was really good at pinning them down and would hold point and let you flush but as soon as the shotgun was on your shoulder she would break to make the retrieve. She once ran off a shear 12-foot embankment at full stride retrieving a pheasant that was dropping into the river below. One summer we were bored and saw that there was a shoot to retrieve trail being held at a hunt club near us, that sounded fun so we entered her. When it came our turn I released her and she tore around the 40 acre area. I walked out about 100 yards and stood there whistling commands to her. After about 5 minutes I brought her into area where they were planting the birds and she soon pointed, I walked in and flushed a quail and the gunner shot it. I walked to Fling and tapped her on the head she did not budge, I tapped her again and again, blew the whistle, walked in front of her and pleaded for her to get the bird, she would not. So I led her out and released her and she soon had another bird pointed, flush, shoot, tap same result. I we did this 2 or 3 more times and she absolutely refused to retrieve. She knew this was a field trial and you don’t touch a bird in a field trial! Fling died 21 years ago due to kidney failure. I can’t believe how I still get teary eyed when I think or talk about what a wonderful dog she was. Katherine and I will never forget her and now thanks to the members of the NRSFTC she will forever be remembered through the Irish Red Setter Hall of Fame. Thank you. We are grateful to you all." (courtesy The Flushing Whip 2009)

Catherine Gove and Deb Fazenbaker show off the "Fling Cake" !!




WING SHOT FLING

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