American Field

Field Trial Report

Alabama Amateur Field Trial Club

By Tessa Hughes | Jan 04, 2022
Amateur Shooting Dog  Winners. (Left to right): Ronald Thrasher, Judge Brian Hodges, Joe Hughes with J Maple Jester, Tessa Hughes, Scott Little (scout) with J Maple Lucy, Lowry Strickland, Jeremy Taylor with Taylor's Simply Southern, Judge Stegan Smith, and Glenn Cooper.

Blue Mountain, Miss. — The 2021 Alabama Amateur Field Trial took place December 2-4 at Blue Mountain, Miss., at the beautiful Hell Creek Wildlife Management Area grounds.

We want to express our thanks to Mississippi Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks for the tremendous work they do on these grounds to make them so hospitable for our sport. We very much appreciate the time and effort the state of Mississippi puts into its natural resources so that its citizens can enjoy the outdoors at sporting events like field trials.

The club would also like to thank its sponsor, Sportsman’s Pride Dog Food, for its generous and continued support of our sport. The club enjoyed delicious meals each day provided by club members Melissa Bain and Carolyn Page. Our club is always a joint effort including the work contributed by various folks, including Marshals Brad Kennedy, Joe Hughes, and our stake manager and secretary, Greg Bain. We also appreciate our club member who drove our dog wagon, Ronald Thrasher.

We also want to thank our very capable judges for their time and effort: Stegan Smith of Corinth, Miss., and Hughes of Locust Fork, Ala., who judged the All-Age; Smith and Gary McKibben of Hernando, Miss., who judged the Derby; and Smith and Brian Hodges of Smithville, Miss., who judged the Shooting Dog Stake. We cannot overstate how much the Club appreciates the time and careful attention each judge gave to the entries in front of them.


This year’s All-Age stake was won by Misty Morn Masked Man, pointer male owned by Joey McAlexander. Interestingly, this is Masked Man’s third time to win this All-Age Stake, having won in 2018, and the year prior, 2017 (Masked Man also won the Derby the year before in 2016.)

Masked Man was up in the first brace of the trial on Thursday morning with his bracemate, Rebel Survivor, pointer male (David Williams), leaving from the clubhouse to the left.  Conditions were warm and overcast.  Masked Man and Survivor made some beautiful casts through the first fields, and both made it quite nicely through the pines behind the clubhouse to cross the rock road. Masked Man hunted hard throughout his brace, sweeping always to the front, covering the country on some of his favorite huge grounds. Man had a brilliant find at 51 on the hill before you cut through the small pine thicket, standing with his head and tail high for wing and shot.  He went on to finish strong after the road crossing. Rebel Survivor also finished well but had no bird work.


Coldwater Paradise, pointer female (Gary McKibben), and Mohawk Mill Gangster, pointer male (Gary Winall), were up next.  Leaving from the game warden’s house, they ran hard and finished strong but neither dog had game contact.

Next up were Thor Touch B, setter male (Marion Brown), and Rebel Dreams, pointer female (Williams).  Both dogs left from the club house and made impressive casts in the big bear trap field. Dreams went on, making us sit up and take notice, and she carried on for her handler through the country. Unfortunately, Thor was lost with Brown asking for his retrieval device before the Hell Creek crossing. Dreams went on to have a beautiful find at 46 on the right before the steel bridge crossing, garnering her a third-place finish.

First up after lunch were Small’s White Charger, pointer male (Mike Small) and Mohawk Mill Knight Hawk, pointer male (Winall).  Both dogs ran aggressive races, with Knight Hawk having two finds, one to the right side of the beaver dam ditch and one on the side of twin oak hill.  Both times, Charger swept in to back. Charger also suffered an unproductive, but he hunted well and to the front.  Both dogs finished their hour.

Rebel Deuce, pointer male (Williams), and Mac Golva B, setter male (Brown), comprised our second brace of the afternoon. Mac had one very nice find, but Deuce suffered a breach and was up at the find.  Mac went on to finish his hour, working well for his handler.

Mohawk Mill Good Advice, pointer male (Winall), and Phillips Linebacker, pointer male (Small), concluded our first day of running.  Both dogs swept away from the clubhouse quickly to the right, and Linebacker went on to have two finds, looking beautiful on his first, marking flight on his second, and then suffering an unproductive.  He finished the hour with strength of purpose. Good Advice, on the other hand, was lost, which was worrisome for all, because his retrieval collar malfunctioned. It was not until the following day that Greg Bain discovered him at the island where the first and third hours cross, where you turn right to cross Hell Creek, and there are always birds at the island. Advice had a slightly briar-scratched nose and eyes, but other than that, looked none the worse for wear after spending a night out on the grounds.

The first brace of Friday morning — Como Rain, pointer male (David Russell) and Nosam’s Ladylike, pointer female (Ashburn) — was running hard away to the left from the breakaway. However, Como Rain was lost after the game warden’s house, and Ladylike, although having a good ground race, went birdless.

River City Blackhawk, pointer male (Kent Walker) and Small’s White Striker, pointer male (Small) left from the game warden’s house for the second brace of the morning.  Club officials want to mention that Lowry Strickland stepped in to lend a hand to Kent Walker and did an excellent job as a scout. Club members were grateful that both Strickland brothers, Lowry and John Chandler, were on hand to help with the trial.  Both dogs were running hard, and Small had an impressive find after relocation in heavy cover below the house, with Judge Stegan Smith getting off his horse to identify quail running on the ground for Small. Both dogs finished their hour, but Blackhawk had no game contact.

Next were Como Thunder, pointer male (David Russell), and River City Jet, pointer male (Walker).  Lowry was in the saddle again to help Walker scout. Thunder garnered the second-place trophy and showed us all again why he typically excels at Hell Creek by sweeping across the creek to take the big bottoms and make some attractive casts. He had one beautiful find, with Russell pointing out for the judge that the bird was there but dead. Jet suffered an unproductive but was strong and to the front.

Nosam’s Patchwork, pointer female (Ashburn), running as a bye, rounded out the All-Age Stake with a beautiful find at the heretofore described island at the intersection of the first and third courses, which she handled very nicely.  She went on to finish her brace nimbly and with ease.

Blue Mountain, Miss., December 2

Judges: Joe Hughes and Stegan Smith


17 Pointers and 2 Setters

1st—MISTY MORN MASKED MAN, 1667341, pointer male, by Miller's Dialing In—Mac's Inspiration. Joey McAlexander, owner and handler.

2d—COMO THUNDER, 1687714, pointer male, by Skyfall—Catch Me Dot. B. K. & Rachel Blackwell, Doug Arthur & David Russell, owners; David Russell, handler.

3d—REBEL DREAMS, 1687736, pointer female, by Dominator's Rebel Heir—Rebel Maiden. David Williams, owner and handler.


The Derby was won by Phillips Linebacker, pointer male run by Mike Small on the second course.  Linebacker was braced with Cocklebur Chocolicious, pointer male (Bubba Spencer).  Linebacker made some stunning casts in his hour, including taking advantage of the long bottom going back toward the clubhouse, which is where many trials and many championships have been won. Clearly, Linebacker’s handler knew this and took advantage of the opportunity to point his handsome dog out several hundred yards away in the long bottom, making a very impressive cast across the front.

Touch’s Flo Rider, pointer female, run by Mike Jackson, braced with Cocklebur’s Breaking Bad, pointer male (Spencer), rendered a commendable race to garner a second-place finish.  She was always where you would expect her, out in front, running an ambitious race.  Third place went to an exciting setter male, Shearjoy Triple Threat, owned by Betty Shearouse and run by Burke Hendrix. He ran a strong, beautiful race as a bye dog in the third hour to take his placement.

Judges: Gary McKibben and Stegan Smith

AMATEUR DERBY — 6 Pointers an 3 Setters

1st—PHILLIPS LINEBACKER, 1695679, pointer male, by Phillips Off Line—Phillips Silver Lady. Orrin Ingram & Nathan Philips, owners; Mike Small, handler.

2d—TOUCH'S FLO RIDER, 1697564, pointer female, by Touch's Smooth Rider—Touch's Speed Queen. Keith A. Wright, owner; Mike Jackson, handler.

3d—SHEARJOY TRIPLE THREAT, 1693002, setter male, by Shearjoy's Legacy—Lolita. Betty Shearouse, owner; Burke Hendrix, handler.


J. Maple Jester, pointer female (Hughes) took this year’s first place trophy.  She was, like her cohort in the All-Age, in the first brace of her stake, and was braced with Buck, pointer male (Jackson), with Strickland scouting for Jackson. Both dogs left the clubhouse to the left and were away strong, making big casts through the first fields and crossing the rock road to sweep through the pines behind the clubhouse quickly.

After the road crossing, Jester showed nicely out front and then swept on. This author and scout then called point for her, as she had a beautiful find in the pines up and to the left on the course. She held well for wing and shot. She then went on to rejoin her snappy bracemate, and both dogs made impressive casts in the field below the game warden’s house. Jester then suffered an unproductive with Buck backing where birds had been pointed the day before by Masked Man in the All-Age at the top of the hill before the crossing through the pine thicket. Both dogs finished strong.

The first brace has been covered above.

In the next brace, both Cocklebur Drama Queen, pointer female (Amy Spencer), and Wibaux Sun B, setter male (Brown), hunted hard, but Drama Queen was up after a second unproductive. Sun backed his bracemate nicely at 33, and also had a find at 53, for which he stood beautifully for wing and shot.

Kennedy’s Chocolate Chip, pointer male (Brad Kennedy), and Pioneer B, setter male (Marion Brown), were next up. Pioneer had a nice find at 35, which he held admirably for his handler. He went on to finish his hour. Chocolate Chip was running an ambitious race but unfortunately was lost before we got to the creek crossing.

J Maple Lucy, pointer female (Hughes), and Game On, pointer male (Walker), were in next brace. Lucy garnered second place honors, and she set the woods on fire, setting down a blistering race, rimming the first fields away from the clubhouse to the left, storming through the pines, and flying through the fields beside Hell Creek. She made several snappy casts, and kept her scout, Scott Little, on his toes, as usual. Her bracemate was lost after the game warden’s house, and his handler asked for his retrieval unit. Little called point for Lucy at pickup but could not be heard over the wind. She was located and credited with finishing within her time.

Warrioto’s Crazy Daisy, pointer female (Little) and Swift Justice, setter male (Kennedy), were in the brace leaving from the game warden’s house.  Both dogs were away strong with Daisy having an impressive find in the field below Rock Hill, but was lost thereafter. Justice ran a good hard race but went birdless.

Seekin’ A Thrill, pointer male (Ross Leonard), and Warrioto’s Baby Ruth, pointer female (Little), were in the next brace. Thrill, this year’s National Amateur Shooting Dog Invitational Champion, showed us all why he is a champion, making some gorgeous casts, but unfortunately had no game contact in his hour. Ruth, a beautifully running bird dog, also hunted hard, but she finished birdless, as well. Thrill was lost at pickup.

The next morning found us with one brace to finish the trial. Jeremy Taylor stepped in to sweep the third placement with Taylor’s Simply Southern, pointer female, and an excellent ground race.  Southern showed us all she can still hang out on the edges and sweep those Hell Creek grounds and do a masterful job.  Pathfinder, pointer male (Leonard), started off well and made some good casts. However, at some point, Pathfinder was not pleasing his handler and was up.

Judges: Brian Hodges and Stegan Smith


11 Pointers and 3 Setters

1st—J MAPLE JESTER, 1675700, pointer female, by J Maple Jake—Coldwater Queen Kate. Joe & Tessa Hughes, owners; Joe Hughes, handler.

2d—J MAPLE LUCY, 1681755, pointer female, by J Maple Jake—J M Storm Cat. Joe & Tessa Hughes, owners; Joe Hughes, handler.

3d—TAYLOR'S SIMPLY SOUTHERN, 1657191, pointer female, by Miller's Happy Jack—Blue Collar Lady. Jeremy & Tommy Taylor, owners; Jeremy Taylor, handler.


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