American Field

A Preview and Update

2020 Quail Championship Invitational

By Mary Sue Schalk | Nov 19, 2020
Valiant, Winner of the 2019 Quail Championship Invitational.

NOVEMBER 28 will mark the opening day of the 57th running of the Quail Championship Invitational held in Western Kentucky on public grounds.

This year the event will look different as Kentucky, like most other states, has health guidelines in place to protect the people. If you plan to attend the three-day event, please note the following changes.

• We will not be able to hold the Friday night dinner, drawing and silent auction. The drawing will take place virtually on Wednesday, November 25, at 6:00 p.m. CST.

• There will be a silent auction online from November 14 through the 21 to raise funds for the West Kentucky Field Trial Club.

• Lunches will not be provided in the clubhouse.

We are thrilled to announce our field of twelve for the 2020 Quail Championship Invitational!

Leading the field is last year’s champion, Valiant, which also earned the Purina Top Dog Award for the 2019-2020 season. This white and liver pointer male is sired by Miller’s Happy Jack out of Tina’s Tear Drop.

Valiant is owned by Jay McKenzie of Eureka, Kan., and will be handled by Randy Anderson of Vinita, Okla.

Gary Lester, a Kentucky staple, has three rookie entries in this year’s renewal:  Miller’s Speed Dial, Lester’s Shockwave and Lester’s Storm Surge.

Although new to the Invitational field, these three competitors are certainly not rookies on the all-age circuit. Miller’s Speed Dial is the reigning National Champion and is the son of National Champion Miller’s Dialing In out of Old Road Lou.

Lester’s Shockwave, named 2020 All-America Quail Champion is by Ransom and Beane’s Line Dancer. Lester’s Storm Surge, the Missouri Open Champion, is of the same breeding.

All three dogs are owned and will be handled by Gary Lester of Gracey, Ky.

Two-time Quail Championship Invitational Runner-Up True Confidence is returning for his consecutive fourth year of competition. True Confidence is by Two Acre Bulldog and out of Bar P Annex.

“Bob” is one of four dogs that will be handled by Luke Eisenhart of Albany, Ga. He is owned by Frank and Jean LaNasa of Isanti, Minn.

The 2019 National Champion Dunn’s Tried’N True will return for his fifth consecutive appearance. Tried’N True won the Quail Championship Invitational back to back in 2016 and 2017. He is also sired by National Champion Miller’s Dialing In and is out of White Royal Pain.

"Jack" is owned by Will and Rita Dunn of Lebanon, Ky.

Miller’s Bindsider is returning for his second shot at the title. Last year Blindsider made the callback, and we are happy to see him qualify for a second year. The winner of the Masters Quail Championship will be handled by Jamie Daniels of Bronwood, Ga. The son of Just Irresistible and Miller’s Bring the Heat is owned by Nick Berrong of Maryville, Tenn.

Although Game Wardon may be a first-year contender, he is being handled by veteran Luke Eisenhart. Owned by Dr. Fred Corder of Corinth, Miss., he won the International Pheasant Championship in 2019, and recently won the Tar Heel Open Championship. He was sired by Caladen’s Rail Hawk out of Game Creek.

The last of the rookie competitors is Chinquapin Legacy, the Florida Open All-Age Champion. Legacy is by Chinquapin Reward, a former Invitational competitor, out of Hilltopper Solid Anne. The white and black pointer male will be handled by Slade Sikes of O’Brien, Fla., for owner E L “Ted” Baker.

Coldwater Thunder is the lone female in the group, but comes with a stout resume as well as a previous appearance in 2017. Among her wins to qualify this year are a first in both the Hobart Ames Open All-Age and Sunflower Open All-Age. The white  and liver pointer female is sired by Coldwater Warrior, which won the Quail Championship Invitational in 2012, and out of Thunder Bess.

Steve Hurdle of Hickory Flat, Miss., will handle Coldwater Thunder for owners Doug Arthur of Eads, Tenn., and Rachel Blackwell Russell of Como, Miss.

First appearing in the Quail Championship Invitational in 2018, Marques Armed Robber returns for a second bid for the title. Armed Robber won two open stakes in North Carolina to qualify and will be handled by “Lefty” Henry of North Carolina. Armed Robber is a son Reloaded out of Dialed In, she the 2018-2019 Amateur All-Age Dog of the Year, both owned and campaigned by Jim Pendergest, a Kentucky native.

Marquess Armed Robber is owned by John and Sue Ivester of Huntersville, N. C.

Touch’s Red Rider rounds out the field of twelve, and is the final of four competitors for handler Luke Eisenhart.

This is Red Rider’s second consecutive year competing in the Quail Championship Invitational. The white  and orange pointer is by Touch’s Knight Rider out of Whippoorwill GMA. He is owned by S. Tucker Johnson of Hobe Sound, Fla.

Between now and the November 25th drawing, if a dog is unable to compete, the following dogs will be notified with the opportunity to participate in the printed order: Dogwood Bill, Hendrix’s Touch Up, Touch’s Blue Knight, Miller’s Justifiable,  and Lowrider Frank.

This just in (November 19). Three dogs have been withdrawn for the 2020 running:  Coldwater Thunder, Marques Armed Robber and True Confidence.

Taking their place are: Dogwood Bill, pointer male owned by Dogwood Kennels in Boston, Ga., Hendrix's Touch Up, pointer male owned by Burke and Guy Hendrix of Hernando, Miss., and Miller's Justifiable, pointer male owned by Jay McKenzie of Eureka, Kan

Our judges panel is set with three respected field trial men. Professional handler  Chuck Stretz of Blackwater, Mo., is returning to judge for the second year. He will be joined by Joe Worsham of Easton, Mo.,  and Tim Hammons of Berea, Ky., both veterans of the amateur circuit.

Making history this year, Claudia McNamee will be the first woman to report the Quail Championship Invitational.

The purse has been increased this year from $4,500 to $6,000. We also have several donors who annually step up to  contribute to the silent auction, as well as snacks and drinks for our dog wagon.

We are forever grateful to Greg Blair and Purina for the continued sponsorship. All dogs receive a bag of Purina Pro Plan. The champion will receive eight (8) bags, while the runner-up receives four (4).

Purina also provides dog food for the Kentucky Quail Classic.

Also a big thank you to John Rex Gates and TriTronics with a gift of a collar to both the winner of the Invitational and the Kentucky Quail Classic.

Another big supporter of our event is Clifty Farms, which annually donates country hams for judges’ gifts.

We could not host such an important event without this generous outpouring of support.

The drawing will be complete Wednesday, November 25, and made public via “The American Field” website, Facebook as well as Instagram.

Please know the West Kentucky Field Trial Club is doing everything we can to make this a safe, enjoyable event in these uncertain times. We appreciate your support and understanding as we navigate the new expectations on the public grounds we utilize.

Taking their place are: Dogwood Bill, pointer male owned by Dogwood Kennels in Boston, Ga., Hendrix's Touch Up, pointer male owned by Burke and Guy Hendrix of Hernando, Miss., and Miller's Justifiable, pointer male owned by Jay McKenzie of Eureka, Kan

If you have further questions or concerns please contact Trial Chairperson Mary Sue Schalk  at (270) 625-0196.


Caption:  Valiant, Winner of the 2019 Quail Championship Invitational.

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