American Field
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A Living Legend — Ray Trimble

By Bob Fleury | Jul 11, 2018
Ray Trimble

Ray Trimble of Carterville, Ill., was honored by the Bird Dog Foundation with the designation of Living Legend at a luncheon meeting in June in Grand Junction, Tenn. Those selected spoke to an audience and told of their involvement over the years in the sport of field trialing.

Ray and his dog, FC/AFC Brendi Brooks Cowboy Up (Tuff), reached a major milestone in January, 2017 by winning the ABC Illi- nois Brittany Amateur All-Age Championship. Why a milestone? Ray was ninety years, six months of age at the time he handled Tuff to his American Field Champi- onship. He is one of the oldest, if not the oldest, to win an American Field Championship according to sources at the American Field.

Ray turned 92 on May 28 and just recently finished Tuff’s AKC Amateur and Open AKC Field Championships.

Ray has been an avid field trial competitor since the mid 1950s. He has had many successful dogs with multiple championship wins. He won the National Brittany Open All-Age Championship in 1963 after placing third the year before with Crab Orchard Duke. He won the National Brittany Amateur All-Age Championship in 1986 with FC/AFC Crab Orchard Jet and earned runner-up in the National Brittany Amateur All-Age Champi- onship in 1988 with Franklin County Bandit and also with FC/AFC Brisco Buddy Boy in 2003 and fourth in 2010 with FC/AFC Brisco’s Mr. Stub.

While still handling his dogs from horseback at age 92 (he bought a new horse last year), he also continues to serve the American Brittany Club in several capacities, such as American Field liaison, and just recently retired as Classics Committee Chair and after many years just turned over his job as ABC Purina Coordinator to someone younger, Brittany Hall-of-Famer Kent Patterson of Franklin, Tenn.

Ray is a member of the American Brittany Hall of Fame and the Brittany Field Trial Hall of Fame and is the second person to receive the American Kennel Club Lifetime Achievement Award and the first pointing breed person for performance events.

Ray was a co-founder of the Greater St. Louis Brittany Club and the Illinois Brittany Championships.

Outside of field trials, Ray flew aircraft off Navy carriers in WW II, was an aeronautical engineer working on planes and space programs for McDonnell Douglas for over thirty years. Additionally, he was an avid golfer and gardener.

People ask him what keeps him young. He often replies, “Running dogs and that well known special ‘medicine’ I have at the end of each day’s running seem to be my secret.”

Bob Fleury

North Stonington, Conn.

 

Two incidents that occurred this past year involving Ray Trimble could have been tragic events but turned out to be pretty amazing.

The first incident happened shortly after Ray had acquired a new horse and was out scouting for a friend’s dog in a trial when the horse stumbled and went down with Ray on it. Ray actually ended up under the horse for a bit but did not suffer any broken bones. Being that he was out by himself with no one around Ray got up, shook himself off and got back on the horse. Amazing feat for 91-year-old young man.

The second incident could have been tragic also but in the end turned out to be pretty hilarious. It was on a pretty hot day at a championship and they had come back into headquarters to break for lunch. This scene involved Ray, his horse and Kent Patterson.

Arriving in camp Kent Patterson was sitting on the back of his horse trailer in the process of taking his chaps off when Ray rode up to the water tank which was nearby to water his horse. As Kent looked up he saw Ray’s horse reaching way down to get to the water and all of a sudden the horse and Ray ended up in the water tank. Kent’s first thought was that Ray was in the tank under the horse and would end up being drowned. Kent started to run to the tank forgetting that his chaps were down around his ankles. As Kent laid in the prone position and looked toward the tank all he could see was Ray popping up like a Jack in the Box.

Other than a change of wet clothes Ray keeps on having fun. Could we all be that lucky.

B. F.

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