English Setter 'Stella' Wins NSTRA 2021 Purina Endurance Classic
The statuesque standout among 192 bird dogs competing at the National Shoot to Retrieve Association (NSTRA) 2021 Purina Endurance Classic was a 4 ½-year-old tricolor female English Setter named “Stella.” Owner-handler Mike Stotts Jr. of Nine Mile Falls, Washington, attributes the success of Stotts’ Skipping Stella to her keen bird-finding ability, stylish pointing and strong overall performance over six 30-minute rounds and the final one-hour round. Held Sept. 8 to 11 in Lewistown, Montana, the endurance event was a walking trial that drew handlers of several bird dog breeds from across the country. Points were earned for quail covey finds, retrieving ability, backing or honoring a bracemate on point, ground coverage in search for game, and obedience work. Stotts, a 20-year NSTRA competitor and avid hunter, says, “On the last day, Stella ran in four rounds. In the final round, she slammed the first quail covey find about 100 yards out, only five seconds into the round.” Bred by Shaun Rydl of Buzzard Roost Kennels in Medora, Iowa, Stella is fed Purina Pro Plan SPORT Performance 30/20 Chicken & Rice Formula dog food.