Monday, August 11, 2014
If you're a setter guy and follow (even loosely, as I do) the field trial world, you may have heard of Ridge Creek Cody, a multiple champion who was one of the more successful setters competing on that scene. I've never seen him in person and, regrettably missed a chance to see him run at a local trial in my area a couple years ago, but I've always admired him from afar, and had hoped to perhaps get a Cody pup some time in the next year or so if I could find a breeding not already reserved, find the space, and (most unlikely), find the money.
My Ozzy (a Berg Bros. dog) was sired by a younger brother to Ridge Creek Cody's dam, a fantastic dog (now dead) named Houston's Belle. I'm not a trialer, but since getting Ozzy I've become a fan of the numerous dogs going back to Houston's Belle that are competing on the various trial circuits, and I loosely follow their progress on the field trial forums and bulletin boards.
At six, Cody was a fairly young dog so I always thought (assuming the three criteria above) that if I really wanted a Cody pup (which I do) that I'd have a little time to try to make it happen. Apparently, however, I don't. Yesterday I saw (via a friend's FB post) a link to this blog post at Northwoods Bird Dogs
Jerry and I received horrific, heart-breaking news from North Dakota. During the morning of Saturday, August 9, Ridge Creek Cody and several other dogs drowned while on a conditioning run from a four-wheeler. Cody was owned by Larry Brutger of St. Cloud, Minnesota, and trained and handled by Shawn Kinkelaar on the horseback shooting dog circuit.
Other dogs that perished include 2X-CH Royal Rocks Mr. Thumper and Handsome Harry Hardcash.
Ridge Creek Cody was whelped in 2008 out of two grouse champions, Can’t Go Wrong x Houston’s Belle. Paul Hauge, Belle’s owner, and Jerry were the brains behind the breeding. Jerry had competed against Can’t Go Wrong on the grouse trial circuit and was extremely impressed with his fluid gait and extraordinary ability to find and point ruffed grouse. Too, Jerry campaigned Belle to all of her championships and knew her strengths.
We both remember the day Larry picked up Cody as an eight-week-old puppy. As little Cody romped around the kennel office, Larry talked of his plans for training and competition. That first year, Jerry took Cody to our camp in North Dakota and worked him on the vast prairies. Matt Eder further developed Cody but it was Shawn Kinkelaar who took on Cody and fully realized the dog’s potential.
Cody was a 3X champion and one-time runner-up champion.
2014: Midwest Open Shooting Dog Championship
2012: National Amateur Pheasant Shooting Dog Championship
2011: Idaho Open Shooting Dog Championship
2011: All American Open Shooting Dog Championship (Runner-up)
In addition, Cody was the Bill Conlin Setter Shooting Dog Derby Award Winner (2009-2010) and placed third in the United States Quail Shooting Dog Futurity, a rare accomplishment for a setter.
Among trainers, handlers, judges and fellow competitors, all agreed that Cody had supreme athleticism—a skill level on par with Michael Jordan or LeBron James.
From what I could gather on the gundog forums, it happened at a rain-swollen river crossing during a roading session. Whatever the cause or circumstances, a tragic way to die, and a huge loss not only for those dogs' owners, but, in the case of Cody, a big loss for the setter world, too.
Posted by Chad Love at 10:10 AM