American Field

Field Trial Report

Alabama Open All-Age Championship

By Tessa Hughes | Mar 12, 2018
Championship Winners. From left: Secretary Greg Bain, Judge Mike Small, Korry Rinehart with Skyfall, Steve Hurdle, Judge Mike Jackson, Tiffany Genre with Lester’s Jazz Man, President Joe Hughes, Randy Anderson and Brad Kennedy.

Blue Mountain, Miss. — This year’s winner of the Alabama Open All-Age Championship was the beautiful six-year-old white and liver pointer male Skyfall, owned by Bob Walthall and Thorpe McKenzie of Tallahassee, Fla., and handled by Steve Hurdle. Skyfall, interestingly, was our runner-up last year. Skyfall swept a field of 29 pointers and 2 setters to seize the championship trophy. This year’s runner-up was Lester’s Jazz Man, white and orange pointer male owned by Dan Hensley of Claremore, Okla., and handled by Randy Anderson.

The stake was held on its traditional grounds, the Hell Creek WMA in Blue Mountain, Miss., starting on February 3. Many thanks to our sponsor, Sportsman’s Pride Dog Food Company, and its representative, Brad Kennedy, for all the continued support and the gift of dog food to the winners.

Thanks to judges Mike Small of Evansville, Ind., and Mike Jackson of Battleground, Ind. Both were well qualified and gave their full attention to each dog. And, the Alabama Field Trial Club can’t express enough appreciation to Jack Coleman of the Mississippi Department of Game, Wildlife and Fisheries for all the hard work he does to keep the grounds immaculate, birds plentiful, and road crossings safe. Much appreciation also to Carolyn Page and Melissa Bain who made sure everyone had delicious lunches each day of the trial. Marshals included Greg Bain, Joe Hughes, Ronald Thrasher, and Kennedy.


Skyfall, the 2018 Alabama Open All-Age Champion, set down a breathtaking ground race with magnificent bird work to seize the championship title. The weather on Monday when Skyfall competed was cold and clear, with highs in the low 40s, and very muddy grounds. Both Skyfall and Touch’s Blackout (PM/Anderson) were away fast at the breakaway. Hurdle called point for Skyfall at 2, the dog handling the flush of a large covey flawlessly. Scout Tiffany Genre called point for Blackout at 13; he also handled his bird work very nicely. Hurdle then called point for Skyfall at 16; he looked very impressive on his birds, handling wing and shot in a very mannerly fashion. Both dogs then finished the hour with Skyfall putting down a true all-age ground race, and Blackout hunting hard, fast and to the front as well.

The Running

The Championship began on an overcast Saturday morning with the temperature at 28°. Hendrix’s Signature (PM/Burke Hendrix) and Valiant (PM/ Randy Anderson) started us off. Point was called for Valiant at 8; no birds were produced. Point was called for both dogs at 22, with both dogs holding nicely, although Hendrix took the back, as only Anderson went in to flush. Hendrix called point at 30 for Signature, the dog handling his birds well. Hendrix again called point at 38; no birds were produced. Approximately 50 yards away Anderson called point for Valiant, and he held for wing and shot. Point was called for both dogs, this time with both handlers flushing a big covey, and both dogs handled the find well. Hendrix called point for Signature at 55, Valiant backing. The dogs looked nice and held for the wing and shot. Both dogs finished the hour.

Attitude’s Iron Will (SM/Hurdle) and S F Bandwagon (PM/Larry Huffman). Huffman called point for Bandwagon at 13. A big covey boiled out and Bandwagon stood for it all. Hurdle called point at 16 for Iron Will, the dog standing for wing and shot. At 19 Hurdle called point again for Iron Will, with Bandwagon backing. Both dogs handled the flush and the report of the gun with flawless manners. Hurdle called point at 30 for Iron Will, the dog mannerly on his birds. At 42 Huffman called point for Bandwagon and he handled the find with flawless manners. Both dogs finished their brace.

Aberdeen’s Paid In Full (PM/Anderson) and Hendrix’s Signed Copy (PM/Hendrix) were away well from the clubhouse with Anderson calling point for his dog at 10. Hendrix called point for Signed Copy at 12; the dog handled his game contact nicely. Signed Copy suffered an unproductive at 31. Neither dog finished the hour.

Coldwater Thunder (PF/Hurdle) and Erin’s Snowy River (PM/Scott Beeler) were the first brace after lunch leaving from the clubhouse. Rachel Blackwell and Doug Arthur, owners of Thunder, were in the gallery to see their dog run. Hurdle called point for Thunder at 7 with Snowy River backing. Thunder looked beautiful on her birds and both dogs handled the find well. Snowy River then suffered a prolonged absence and his handler asked for the retrieval unit at 27. Thunder had another find at 34, again looking very nice on point. She handled the flush and shot well. Hurdle called point for Thunder at 55, manners good on her birds. Thunder went on to finish her hour.

Whippoorwill Wild Assault (PM/ Huffman) and Mountain Music (PM/ Hurdle) left from the game warden’s house. Music suffered an unproductive at 7 but finished the hour. Huffman asked for his retrieval unit at 45 after Assault was missing from competition for an extended period.

Touch’s Adams County (PM/Anderson) and McRee’s Glory B (PF/Pat McPherson). Point was called for Adams County at 30; he handled his birds well and finished the hour. Glory B ran all over the back side of Hell Creek, making some magnificent casts, but was charged with an unproductive at 53. She also finished her brace.

Sunday, day No. 2, started off with a temperature of 48°, overcast, with very wet conditions after heavy rain. Phillips Field Line (Anderson) and Mega Blackhawk’s Progeny (Hurdle), both pointer males, were first up. Point was called for both dogs at 5, both handlers flushed, and both dogs stood high and tight for the flush and shot. Both dogs continued on, with Anderson calling point for Field Line at 38 for a clean find. Both finished their hour.

Cole Train (PM/Dr. Fred Corder) and Stash the Cash (PM/Gary Lester). Lester called point at 36 for Cash but no birds were produced. Lester again called point for Cash at 46, but he was up after no birds were produced after relocation. Corder asked for his retrieval unit after his dog suffered an extended absence.

Stardust Chaz (SM/Hurdle) always shows nicely at Hell Creek, making impressive long casts, and this year was no exception. Hurdle called point at 9 for Chaz with Hush Money (PM/Anderson) backing. On relocation Hurdle put birds in the air for his dog, which handled the find well. Both dogs continued on and both finished the brace.

Pointer males Game Throne (Corder) and Miller’s Happy Jack (Anderson) started off the afternoon, with a temperature of 45° and bright sunshine. Corder called point for Game Throne at 29; the dog held nicely for wing and shot. Anderson called point for Jack at 31 on the opposite side of the field, and the dog handled his game contact in a mannerly fashion. Both dogs went on to complete the hour.

Manteo’s Ace of Spades (PM/Anderson) and Beeler’s Quick Step (PF/ Beeler). After a lengthy absence for Ace, Anderson asked for his retrieval unit. Quick Step ran a nice ground race but went birdless.

In the last Sunday brace we had two pointer females starting us off, Whippoorwill Foto Op (Huffman) was in season, and Rebel Maiden (David Williams). After an unfortunate mishap at 3, Maiden was too soon back in the harness. After beginning an exciting ground race, Foto Op was lost, and Huffman asked for his retrieval unit at 40.

Monday morning dawned cold, 27°, and overcast, with Miller’s Speed Dial (PM/Lester) and B K’s Ransom (PM/ Hurdle) in the first brace of the day. Both dogs had strong ground races but neither had game contact.

Pointer male Coldwater Stoner put down a blistering race that took him far and away and Weldon Bennett asked for the retrieval unit at 26 after he failed to return. Anderson called point for pointer male White Dollar at 29, all in order for wing and shot. Anderson again called point for Dollar at 42, and the dog was again mannerly on game. He continued on to finish strong.

Brace No. 15 has already been covered.

Lester’s Jazz Man (PM/Anderson), running as a bye, put down a strong ground race. Anderson called point at 31, and Jazz Man looked very nice on his birds. He then went on to finish his brace, running well to the front.

Blue Mountain, Miss., February 3

Judges: Mike Jackson and Mike Small


29 Pointers and 2 Setters

Winner—SKYFALL, 1646491, pointer male, by Whippoorwill Wild Agin—Sparkles. Bob Walthall & Thorpe McKenzie, owners; Steve Hurdle, handler.

Runner-Up—LESTER’S JAZZ MAN, 1652017, pointer male, by Lester’s Snowatch—High Point Jesse. Dan Hensley, owner; Randy Anderson, handler.

Open Derby

Fifteen pointers were entered in the one-hour Derby Stake, and the dogs ran mostly in very damp conditions with highs in the 40s. Gary Lester again swooped in to capture first place in the Derby Stake this year, this time with young Stash the Cash which swept the field with two exciting finds and an impressive ground race. Touch’s Spaceman (Anderson) took second place honors, running always to the front, with one find and a back of his bracemate. Coldwater Spectre (Bennett) did an excellent job with a very flashy ground race and one stylish find to place third.

OPEN DERBY CLASSIC [One-Hour Heats] — 15 Pointers

1st—STASH THE CASH, 1675817, male, by Skyfall—Miller’s White Wall. David Thompson & Tommy Loid, owners; Gary Lester, handler.

2d—TOUCH’S SPACEMAN, 1669610, male, by House’s Ring of Fire—Touch’s Sandy. Matt Griffith, owner; Randy Anderson, handler.

3d—COLDWATER SPECTRE, 1671179, male, by Ransom—Coldwater Snow. G. W. McKibben, owner; Weldon Bennett, handler.

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