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Election Committee Selects Honorees for 2012

Field Trial Hall of Fame

Aug 10, 2012
Dale E. Bush

The process which started in May, when endorsements for nominees for the Field Trial Hall of Fame first appeared, followed by the public nomination voting, then balloting by members of the Election Committee, is completed.

Two Dogs and two highly deserving Persons have been elected to the Field Trial Hall of Fame class of 2012 — Game Maker and Miller’s Southern Pride are the Dogs, and Dale E. Bush and Garland Priddy are the Persons elected.

The issues of May and June carried endorsements for each of these honorees highlighting their contributions to the field trial sport and why individuals deemed them deserving of Hall of Fame honors. But, as has been custom, a brief sketch of each electee is carried here as the formal announcement of their election to the Field Trial Hall of Fame.

GAME MAKER

News of the devastating fire that swept through Randy Downs’ kennel the night of June 11 stunned the field trial public and disheartened Dr. Fred Corder of Corinth, Miss., who had a number of dogs in the kennel that were victims of the fire, among them his multiple winner Game Maker. The nine-year-old white and liver pointer male had amassed a total of 36 placements in his field trial career, and had rendered three creditable performances in the National Championship at Grand Junction, Tenn.

Game Maker was whelped February 16, 2003, bred by Scott Crawford of Overland Park, Kan., who bred his Therapy’s Little Bess to Rock Acre Buckwheat. Bess was sired by Crawford’s consistent winner Therapy, which won significant accolades during seven seasons when handled by the late Marvin McDowell.

Eddie Sholar of Leesburg, Ga., acquired the young Game Maker in February of 2004, and that fall the Georgia sportsman earned a pair of placements with his handsome Derby — a second in the Tail Feathers Club’s Amateur Derby, and a second in the Southern Club’s Dr. Dan Bateman Amateur All-Age.

Eddie Sholar placed “Chip” with Tom Shenker at Abigail Plantation near Albany, Ga., and with Tom at the helm the dog notched a series of good, notably runner-up in the Georgia and Continental Derby Championships (2005), and the title at the season finalé American Derby Invitational Championship at Jim Fornear’s Outland Ranch near Broughton and Galatia, Ill.

That Derby title was Chip’s first qualifying placement for the National Championship; his second came at the Black Belt Open All-Age in the fall of 2005, and the following February, he made his first appearance at Grand Junction, drawing the afternoon course on which he had a number of finds exhibiting his signature handsome high style that would be his hallmark when standing birds.

Dr. Fred Corder acquired Game Maker in April, 2006, following his bid in the Grand Junction classic.

Game Maker had won eight of his recognized placements under Eddie Sholar’s banner; the ensuing 28 wins were earned carrying the colors of Dr. Fred Corder. Highlights of Game Maker’s field trial career follow.

R-U Georgia Derby Chmp (S) 2005

R-U Continental Open Derby Chmp (S) 2005

Wr American Derby Invitational Chmp (S) 2005

1st Black Belt Open All-Age (F) 2005

2d Prairie Open All-Age (F) 2006

R-U International Pheasant Chmp (F) 2007

1st American Quail Classic Open All-Age (F) 2008

2d Missouri Open All-Age (S) 2009

R-U Reg. 6 Ama. All-Age Chmp (F) 2009

3d Prairie Open All-Age (F) 2009

R-U Alabama Open All-Age Chmp (S) 2010

Wr National Ama. Pheasant Chmp (F) 2010

1st West Kentucky FTC Ky Quail Classic (F) 2010

Wr National Amateur Invitational Chmp (F) 2010

Wr International Pheasant Chmp (F) 2010

1st Prairie Open All-Age (F) 2010

2d Solatex Cajun Open All-Age Classic (S) 2011

Wr All-America Quail Chmp  (S) 2011

R-U Mississippi Open Chmp (S) 2011

Wr National Amateur Pheasant Chmp (F) 2011

R-U National Open Pheasant Chmp (F) 2011

1st Tootsie Hurdle FTC Open All-Age (F) 2011

2d Ames Amateur FTA Amateur All-Age (F) 2011

(S) First six Months of Year

(F) Second Six Months of Year

Game Maker was handled successfully by both owner Fred Corder and handler Randy Downs and the dog’s record reflects eight good wins when Fred Corder handled the dog, and the balance when either his owner or Randy Downs handled.

As a producer, Game Maker either did not attract the attention of the public or his busy field trial schedule precluded him being used more as a sire. He is shown to have sired 21 winners, the most notable of which is Game Time C with ten placements, his most recent the 2012 Georgia Open Quail Championship. Game Time C also perished in the kennel fire, as did winners Game Mark and Game Watch.

Brad Harter, who has filmed the past 25 renewals of the National Championship noted in his endorsement of Game Maker: “Although he did not always win or place, I felt that his performances were some of the finest ‘natural’ bird dog performances which I have ever witnessed. . . History will afford him the credit he deserves . . . .”

MILLER’S SOUTHERN PRIDE

From the Canadian prairies of the North to the piney woods of the South, Miller’s Southern Pride, in a career that spanned nearly nine seasons, amassed a total of 21 wins.

“Rod” was whelped February 15, 2000, one of a litter of thirteen bred by Don Wiggins of Mount Vernon, Ill., a breeding that created a bit of commotion when DNA showed the dog as registered with an incorrect dam (Wiggins Dash). DNA later confirmed the correct dam (Wiggins Miss Sammie). A bit of an inauspicious start for the young white and orange pointer male.

Chip McEwen of Alva, Fla., registered the dog in November, 2001, and soon after won first with Rod in the Sunshine Club’s Amateur Derby at E. L. “Ted” Baker’s Chinquapin Farm in Lake City, Fla.

The following spring, Rod won runner-up in the Continental Open All-Age Championship, quite a feat for a Derby-age contender given the stake’s one-hour qualifying series and one- hour and fifty-minute finals.

The following fall he was back at Chinquapin where he won the Sunshine Open All-Age Classic as a first year all-age, and now under the tutelage of handler Rick Furney.

Under Furney, Rod won six open all-age championships, including the Continental Championship and the Quail Championship Invitational. He was a two time runner-up in the Continental and runner-up in the Quail Championship Invitational.

He won back-to-back Sunshine All-Age Classics (2002 and 2003), won the Border International and Dominion Chicken Championships twice each.

Mike Furney, Rick’s brother, teamed with Chip McEwen as a co-owner in January, 2004, and the following fall Mike handled Rod to the title at the Region 14 Amateur All-Age Championship at Mortlach, Sask.

“Rod was a superb all-age dog,” recalled handler Rick Furney, “you never had to worry about running enough or running the time that was asked of him.

“. . . Rod and his brother, Miller’s On Line, won champion and runner-up at the Continental the same year. On Line ran first and I thought there was no way he could be beat. Then I ran Rod in the following brace and he won it with one of the best finals heats ever run or witnessed on Dixie Plantation.”

Highlights of Miller’s Southern Pride's wins follow.

1st Sunshine Field Trial Club Ama,Derby (F) 2001

R-Up Continental All-Age Chmp (S) 2002

1st Sunshine FTC Open All-Age Classic (F) 2002

Wr Region 16 Amateur All-Age Chmp (F) 2002

Wr Continental All-Age Chmp (S) 2003

1st Pelican Open All-Age (F) 2003

R-U Dominion Open Chicken Chmp (F) 2003

Wr Border International Chicken Chmp (F) 2003

1st Sunshine FTC Open All-Age Classic (F) 2003

R-U Continental All-Age Chmp (S) 2004

Wr Border International Chicken Chmp (F) 2004

R-U Quail Championship Invitational Chmp (F) 2004

Wr Dominion Open Chicken Chmp (F) 2005

Wr Quail Championship Invitational Chmp (F) 2005

Wr Region 14 Ama. All-Age Championship (F) 2006

2d  Dr. D. E. Hawthorne Open All-Age Classic (F) 2006

Wr Dominion Open Chicken Chmp (F) 2008

1st Dr. D. E. Hawthorne Open All-Age Classic (F) 2008

2d Southern Pines Open All-Age Classic (S) 2009

(S) First six Months of Year

(F) Second Six Months of Year

Miller’s Southern Pride, like his counterpart Game Maker, was bred sparingly, and is shown as the sire of eleven winners which have accumulated 42 wins. Among his get is one champion, Girl Talk, winner of the Region 8 Amateur All-Age Championship for owner Bobby T. Davis.

Unlike Game Maker, Miller’s Southern Pride is shown to have frozen semen and his production record may be enhanced in the seasons ahead.

DALE E. BUSH

Dale Bush of College Station, Tex., is among the most well known personalities in the field trial world, having owned, bred and handled his pointers and setters, having judged field trials far and wide, having served as a trustee and president of the Amateur Field Trial Clubs of America, and as a director and president of the Bird Dog Foundation, as well as a former member of the Purina Top Shooting Dog Award Committee.

His involvement and contributions to the sport have spanned more than 40 years, starting in the 1970s to the present.

Dale was born in 1947, reared on a dairy farm in Upstate New York where he began his association with bird dogs that has resulted in two avocations for the Texas sportsman: hunting and field trials.

Coming from an agriculture background, Dale pursued his education at Texas A&M University in College Station where he earned a Master’s degree.

Dale and his wife Cathy were married in June, 1968. They have two children, Amy Bush Eppes, and Jason R. Bush.

If contributions to the sport are the hallmark of a Hall-of-Famer, Dale Bush has excelled.

He served the AFTCA and the Bird Dog Foundation with distinction, and after stepping down as the Foundation’s president, spearheaded the effort to raise the necessary funds to build the recently completed sporting dog wing at the Foundation’s facility in Grand Junction, Tenn.

He was instrumental in securing sponsorship for the AFTCA from Kasco, then Bass Pro Shops.

The National Amateur Quail Championship, the AFTCA’s flagship stake, benefitted from Dale Bush’s involvement when he secured invitations to hold that stake at the legendary King Ranch in south Texas, and later at the Tongue River Ranch in northwest Texas.

Dale chaired the committee that arranged for the Purina Awards program to be held in College Station, where attendees were offered tours of Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine, and the George H. W. Bush Presidential Library.

When one examines Dale’s involvement with field trial sport it is difficult to find a stake he has not been invited to judge, from the Canadian prairies to the Deep South. He has served at Grand Junction, Tenn., for the National Championship, at Dixie Plantation for the Continental Championship when it drew a record 122 dogs; the American Field Quail Futurity when he teamed with friend and fellow Texan Joe E. Coleman.

He has judged stakes of national import for the Brittany, German Shorthaired Pointer and Irish Setter breeds.

It is nearly impossible in the space available to detail the many facets of the field trial sport on which Dale Bush has had a significant impact, and not only field trials, but in other areas as well, notably: 4H, Texas Parks and Wildlife, Quail Unlimited, and the Texas Audubon Society.

“Field trials are a great sport,” said the Texas sportsman, “a sport that puts all walks of life together with dogs, horses, the environment, game birds and competition.”

Longtime field trial friends Jerry Reed and Doug Vaughn presented a detailed endorsement for Dale Bush in an early June issue, concluding with: “The contributions and positive impact on the sport of field trialing associated with 42 years of service by Dale Bush are overwhelming . . . (he) is one of the sport’s most generous contributors.”

GARLAND PRIDDY

Former professional bird dog trainer Garland Priddy of Raymond, Miss., began his field trial career in 1971. Garland was born in 1947 in Sulligent, Ala., where he was raised and where he received his elementary and high school education. Participation in football, baseball and basketball played a roll in Garland’s teenage years. He continued with football, on a scholarship, when he attended Delta State University in Cleveland, Miss. He graduated in 1970 with a degree in business administration.

He taught school for one year in Greenville,  Miss. Then it was a career change — answering an ad and hired by the late Pete Frierson to manage the Frierson bird dog kennel operation. The early foundation hunting behind his father’s dogs at a young age brought Garland to the sport. While still in college he attended the National Championship, watching the running from the back of a rented horse.

Garland was involved with bird dogs at age 5 when he hunted with his father, who let him shoot his gun after he’d gotten his limit. Garland had a gun of his own at age ten.

His tenure with Frierson Kennel spanned some 21 years, and the Mississippi patron, elected to the Hall of Fame in 1979, provided Garland with the dogs, equipment and wherewithal to compete successfully on the major all-age circuit. The Kansas Wind, Addition’s Go Boy, Go Boy’s Shadow, Mac’s Reelfoot Chief (all elected to the Hall of Fame), Jaws, The Texas Heir, Spy Hill Buddy are among dogs that won on the major circuit with Garland Priddy handling them. Garland’s record shows 50 all-age titles and 41 additional all-age placements.

Garland spent 23 years as a major circuit trainer-handler. He is now in sales for a building supply firm in Raymond, Miss. He secured his amateur status in 2010 and enjoys competing in both open and amateur stakes.

Garland and his late wife Betty had two children, Anne Marie Tipton and Zane Priddy. Garland and his wife Kathy were married in May, 2004. Kathy enjoys horses and field trials dovetailed nicely, providing her an arena where she can ride and also enjoy the dog work.

Garland coached boys baseball and girls fast pitch softball. In 1993, the 16- 18-year-old girls all-star fast pitch softball team that Garland coached won the Mississippi Championship, then went on to win the Dixie Youth Girls World Series.

Garland has made himself available to judge, presiding at several major stakes, including the American Field Quail Futurity and the Continental Championship, a trial which Garland holds in highest esteem. He has also judged the Saskatchewan and Southwestern, American Derby Invitational, National Amateur Quail Championship and the Quail Championship Invitational, to name but a few of his engagements.

“The most significant aspect of the field trial sport is the people you meet and those who become lifelong friends,” noted Garland Priddy. “Everyone in field trials should make every effort to introduce new people to the sport and to help them get started,” he added.

Harry Gillmore of Murphysboro, Ill., endorsing Garland Priddy for the Hall of Fame, summed up his nomination with: “Garland Priddy’s credentials easily afford him the opportunity to be enshrined in the Hall of Fame, joining the four dogs already there.”

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