American Field

Random Notes . . .

By Don Gerstner | Feb 01, 2019

Medicine Lodge, Kan. — Dean Lord called me about attending his Hall of Fame honoring in Grand Junction, Tenn., on February 9. I would love to come but my wife fell and broke her hip a couple weeks ago. She is out of the hospital and is already walking with a walker.

I first met Manuel (Casado) in the mid-1960s when he wanted a field trial dog. Mr. Amsden of Plum Thicket Farm and lumber yard in Wichita had bought a couple pups out of the litter Manuel had raised which was strange because he was an avid breeder and owner of well-bred setters.

Floyd came to my home and wanted to give me (Easy) Mark. I was loaded with dogs at that time. Mark was almost three months old with a patched-up leg.

Mr. Amsden brought me a brother of Mark, Plum Thicket Sam, when he was about a year old. Mark broke out petty easy and as his leg got better he started running plenty.

Sam was a class act from the start and had the best tail running I have ever seen on a pointer. I bought a female of the litter, Sandy, and she and Mark had great duels in finding birds.

Mark could out-bird Sam most of the time, but with Sandy, it would be a knock-down drag-out. I worked two other pups out of that litter and they made good bird dogs.

During the 1960s we had enough birds to really develop a dog, that is if he had the stuff to go look for them and honest enough to hold them until we got there. Like they say, the blood will tell.

When working Mark after selling him back to Manuel we had a bus that hauled freight back and forth from Medicine Lodge to Wichita. The driver would pick up Mark and take him to Wichita and put him in Manuel’s kennel. He rode in the front seat and the driver would usually tell me Mark and Manuel won another one.

I took two or three dogs down to a trial near Abilene, Tex., and that’s where I first saw Dean Lord handle bird dogs. All his dogs looked great and I was really impressed with a setter I think was called Commander’s Red Rocket. “Joe” was named right, for sure.

One day while working dogs with Manuel, I told him that he should put Mark with Dean to see what he could win, as Dean went all over the country with a nice string of about twelve dogs.

Some time after Mark won the National Open Shooting Dog Championship the second time in 1969 Manuel came with tears in his eyes and said he’d sold Mark to a man in Japan.

Later, when Plum Thicket Sam was about three, I talked Oscar Brewer, the owner, into putting Sam with Dean and he did a good job and won some good trials with Sam.

Lots of great wild bird trials in Oklahoma and fun times all through the 1960s and ’70s.

I remember a trial near Woodward, Okla. Dean and Mark were braced with a dog that Mr. Chuck Taylor was handling. Mark was finding birds and had about five clean finds and Chuck’s dog wasn’t doing so well.

Chuck rode over to the judges and stated, “Judges, it’s easy to see that all the birds are on Mark’s side of the course.”

Great times. Great guys. Just a tad more about Mr. Dean Lord and one of his good’ns.

Comments (2)
Posted by: Charles Forsyth | Feb 01, 2019 16:39

Thanks Don, fun to hear about those days and a great dog.

Posted by: Steven M Mayo | Feb 02, 2019 18:56

Nice job Don

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