September Joy All Star: Shaun Rydl
As you drive through the rolling hills and expansive creek bottoms of Southern IA, it is hard not to imagine the sound of a cackling rooster exiting the last bit of switchgrass he can find, as you raise your battered shotgun to shoulder, or the flurry of a covey of quail as they explode from beneath your feet, somehow still surprising you even though you have taken the last dozen steps expecting their eruption. This place is the epitome of midwest bird hunting country, and to visit it, without hunting it, is almost as difficult to picture as Mr. Shaun Rydl partaking in this wonderful sport behind anything other than an English Setter.
Shaun grew up hunting this very land, and for the last three decades plus he has dedicated himself to breeding, raising, hunting, and trialing his favorite gun dog breed. In 1991, Rydl bought his first field trial setter from Bob Merkle. This was just his first step into the world field of trialing – a world Shaun would soon become quite familiar with. However, at this time, Shaun would tell you that the dog was probably better at doing her job than him. Her name was Turkey Creek Jetta and she was a very well-rounded, fast, sharp dog. And Shaun, well, he was still learning. It wasn’t until 1995-96 they started trialing and after 8-10 field trials, in 1996 they got first place in a field trial. In 1999, they did win Midwest Regional Champion and Jetta took him to nationals as well. So as time went on, Jetta and Shaun’s dynamic only grew stronger.
This success with Jetta and others propelled Shaun forward, and when Skippers Bandit came along nearly 16 years ago, Shaun not only had another quality competitor in his kennel but another block in the foundation of the Buzzards Roost kennel. Shaun and Skipper went on to be 10-time NSTRA Champions, 2-time Midwest Regional Champions, and 4-time National Finalists. Skipper has gone on to sire 109 puppies and at 16 years old is still in fantastic shape, and living in the lap of luxury.
The history between Joy Dog Food and the Buzzards roost is almost as storied as Shaun’s trialing and hunting career, and after a short hiatus their partnership is now as strong as ever. Shaun is impressed with how his dogs maintain their weight through the difficult hunting and trialing season, as well as their fantastic coats, and clean kennels, as well as the customer service he and the dogs at the roost receive.
Congratulations to Shaun on all of his success, and thank you for being a true JOY ALL STAR.