Profiles of 2014 Top-Producing Sires in the Sporting Group

Some breeders and owners tell us more about their top producers.

The sires listed below are top producers according to official AKC records Jan. 1, 2014, through Dec. 31, 2014. Statistics include both Champion and Grand Champion offspring.


1. Provide a brief biography of yourselves and your experience in the sport.
2. Provide a brief biography of your sire’s breeder(s) and background in the sport, if you are not the breeder.
3. Briefly describe the highlights of your sire’s show career.
4. What is significant about the breeding that produced him, his sire and dam or the dogs behind him?
5. Are there two or three traits that you feel he is particularly prepotent for?


GCh. Kurly Kreek Artic Express
Curly Coated Retriever

Owners: Scott and Mary Shifflett

1. My husband and I bought our first Curly Coated Retriever in the late 1980s and bred our first litter in 1997. That litter was phenomenal. There were five puppies: one Best in Show dog, two Group-winning dogs, and four Group-placing dogs! Littermates won BOB and BOS at Westminster before the age of 2. It is very important to start with a good, sound foundation bitch. We have been awarded CCRCA Breeder of the Year on multiple occasions. We have finished 19 Bred-by champions as well as others.
2. N/A
3. ‘Art’ was a wonderful show dog. He was the first Gold CCR Grand Champion, No. 1 CCR for several years, a Group winner, No. 1 Owner-Handled CCR. He has produced Best Bred-by at the CCRCA National.
4. By looking at pedigrees and considering significant traits of both the sire and the dam. Coat is extremely important in our breed, as well as temperament. Working with other breeders, identifying weaknesses in our breed and developing a plan to improve upon these areas over time.
5. The puppies that Art has produced have great coat, great temperament and the desire to please.


GCh. Shortales N Cahoots W Irondale JH

German Shorthaired Pointer [Tied]
Owners: Leita Estes and Dr. Timothy Stinchcombe

1. My name is Leita Estes and I have been breeding German Shorthaired Pointers under the prefix of Shortales for over 30 years. I have owned and bred top-ranked GSPs, including ‘Apache,’ Ch. Shortales Columbis Braveheart and ‘Sting,’ GCh. Shortales N Cahoots With Irondale, JH. Sting was the No. 1 GSP all breed and No. 10 Sporting dog. I have written many articles for the Parent Club magazine, most recently “The Responsibility and Management of the Stud Dog” and “Learning the Art and Skill of Puppy Evaluation.” I was the Health and Welfare Chairman for many years as well using my career as a scientist to guide the health of our breed. I am also an AKC conformation judge.
2. N/A.
3. ‘Sting’ is a multiple Best in Show winner, with 21 Best in Specialty Show wins, and is a GSPCA Top 25 winner. He was the No. 1 GSP all breed and Top 10 Sporting dog in 2011. 
4. Sting’s mother’s sire was Ch. Indian County Columbia Moon, ‘Jack,’ from the Columbia River/Gretchenhof lines. The frozen semen at the time was 20 years old. This is where Sting inherited his beautiful ground-covering movement. My line is a combination of three influential kennels: Columbia River/Gretchenhof, Minado and Weinland. I have created a consistent look and line, which my mentor L. Vance McGilibry of Columbia River fame guided me to create. 
5. Sting is prepotent for his beautiful head, topline and flashy color and movement. Most importantly he passes on his wonderful sweet disposition that makes his puppies a joy to live with.


BIS GCh. Starfield’s Army Strong V Bulkley JH, NRD
German Shorthaired Pointer [Tied]

Owners: Lynn Rhodes and Steven Herman

1. Being introduced to the breed in the mid-1970s though a field trainer, I quickly bought my first GSP. I worked hard and learned from many of the now HOF trainers. Then I was introduced to the show ring. With many wonderful folks and mentors over the years, I was able to start my own small breeding program. It is a lot of hard work, dedication to the breed in every way, along with ups and downs. Always learning and helping others, as well as breeding dogs as close to the standard is the best reward.
2. N/A
3. ‘Grant’ is a wonderful representative of the breed, with a great work ethic, steady temperament and a zest for life. I am honored that this is his second year to have earned this title. He is also the first GSP to achieve his AKC NADD Dock Diving Title. He is a multiple Specialty show, Group and BIS winner, accomplishing this by the age of 2, guided by his wonderful handler, Pam Bober.
4. Grant is the result of a thought-out linebreeding.
5. Grant puts a stamp on many of his get, throwing strong rears, short backs, lovely heads and a sweet, silly personality. Many folks say they can spot his get in the ring, which makes me proud. His get have also proven themselves in the field.  


GCh. Caccia Cane Fonzie SH, CGC
Spinone Italiano

Owners: Shirley and Fred Bauer

1. Both Fred and I had dogs growing up, but never a purebred dog until we got ‘Fonzie.’ I saw a Spinone Italiano on TV at the Westminster show and liked the hairy face, the humanlike eyes and the fact they were laid back, good with children, people and other pets. I contacted the Spinone Club of America, which put me in touch with people who had Spinoni in my area. After meeting a special Spinone named Dante in Evergreen, Colo., I decided I wanted to work with the breeder of that dog, Bobbi Benson, of Iowa. I had to have my name on a waiting list for a while, but it was worth the wait! In May of 2007, we made the trip to Iowa to pick up our first Spinone. I am so grateful Bobbi trusted me, a newbie, with one of the best in that litter, and the rest is history. Now I enjoy watching his progeny do well in hunting, therapy work, rally, obedience and conformation. 
2. Bobbi Benson is the Vice President of the Spinone Club of America, and a longtime breeder of Spinoni. She has been involved with the breed since a few years prior to AKC recognition of the breed in 2000. She is particularly interested in maintaining the Spinone’s particular style of hunting, and she also believes in adhering to the Italian standard for the breed here in America. 
3. I started showing Fonzie when he was 8 months old and he went back-to-back Winners Dog. He finished his championship in 2008 with me handling him. He finished the year with a Group placement and ranked No. 8 in the country, with limited showing. He also took Best in Show at the first Regional Specialty in Greeley, Colo., in 2009. Fonzie was invited to participate at AKC/Eukanuba in California in 2010. Handlers Luke and Rowan Baggenstos showed Fonzie for me. He won BOB there as well as on the previous day. I couldn’t have been more proud, as he had not been shown in eight months. After two more shows, he had his Grand Championship, finished by handler Linda Kitzman. In addition, Fonzie earned his AKC Junior and Senior Hunt titles, and he received a C-ROM (Conformation – Registry of Merit) from SCOA for 2014 for having 10 champions from his offspring (he actually had 12).
4. I think what is significant about the breeding that produced Fonzie was that he was bred from foundation stock, the early Spinoni first listed in AKC when the breed was recognized in 2000. His dam was one of them. His sire was an import from breeder Luigi Bottani in Italy.
5. I think the best traits about Fonzie that he passes on are his adherence to the breed standard, his strong bone and substance, and his body that “fits into a square” as the standard describes. His correct wiry coat, tight eyes, great head and his desire and style of hunting, so unique for the breed. 


GCh. Flatbrook’s Heir About Him MH

Wirehaired Pointing Griffon
Owners: Kristi and Graham Rogney

1. Growing up in a family that showed and bred horses and dogs, I learned to appreciate animals that were beautiful and functional. My father bred English Setters to hunt, and my sister showed Bearded Collies and PBGVs. I loved watching the dogs work in the field but appreciated correct structure and conformation with a keen understanding that the animal must be built to do the job.
2. ‘Higgins’ came from a collaboration between my mentor’s kennel, Richard Byrne of Flatbrook Sporting Dogs, and his co-breeder, Hank Brandes of Snowbird Kennels. His focus was always on top hunting prospects while maintaining proper breed characteristics. I shared my desired goal of a beautiful show prospect male from strong hunting lines. He called me one day and told me there was a very special boy. I knew the moment I saw him that he was “the one.”
3. While we never truly campaigned him, Higgins enjoyed great success in the ring. He was the 2013 Westminster Kennel Club Best of Breed, 2012 AKC/Eukanuba National Championship Best of Breed, Select Dog at the 2012 AWPGA National Specialty and earned enough wins to be inducted into the Parent Club’s Show Dog Hall of Fame.
4. He was linebred to one of the few BIS winners in our breed that had produced top field dogs as well, and his pedigree contains three other BIS males, while maintaining an impressive lineage of top field dogs.
5. Temperament, hunt ability and breed type. Higgins has produced multiple Group-winning and -placing offspring that are consistently in the Top 20. He has also sired four North American Versatile Hunting Dog Association award-winning litters along with multiple dogs that have earned many titles in conformation, hunt tests and obedience.


From the August 2015 issue of Dogs in Review magazine. Subscribe to receive 12 months of Dogs in Review magazine, or call 1-888-738-2665 to purchase a single copy.

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