Virginia setters rule at national shooting dog championship.
Pinekone Black Rose with her owner and handler, Ashby Morgan.
Virginia emerged victorious at the National Amateur Walking Shooting Dog Championship, held this past February at the Dick Cross Wildlife Management Area in Mecklenburg County.
A total of 23 dogs arrived from as far afield as Rhode Island and Tennessee to compete in pairs, or “braces,” during hour-long heats in which their goal was to nose out as many quail as possible while their handlers followed behind on foot and judges and onlookers followed on horseback.
Dogs were judged both on number of finds and on style, and the winner was Pinekone Black Rose, a 5-year-old female English setter with black ticking. Rose is owned and handled by Ashby Morgan, a Verizon technician from Hudgins. “I believe Rose won because she was fast on the ground and stayed out in front like you want a hunting dog to do,” says Morgan, who has been training and trialing bird dogs for 30 years. “She showed good manners, meaning she backed her brace mate and was steady to shot. The fact that she pointed with intensity with a high head and straight tail was icing on the cake.”
Another female English setter from Virginia, Blue’s Tomoka Belle, owned by Phil and Sharon Townley of Richardsville and handled by Sharon, took second place, making it an impressive one-two for the Old Dominion.