American Field

Members Memorial Trial

Associated Field Trial Clubs of Florida

By Don Wood | Dec 03, 2018
Open All-Age Winners. Front (l-r): Debra Hollingsworth revolving trophy, Don Wood with Funseeker’s Rebel Tex, Dave Vernasco with Double Down Cruise and Paul Daniel and Silver’s Rebellious Gator. Behind: Brady Claybrook, Logan Claybrook, Beth Brown, Dianne Vernasco, Robert Franks, Jim Goza and Petie Brown.

Punta Gorda, Fla. — The Associated Field Trial Clubs of Florida held their first trial of the 2018-2019 season October 20-21.

This year the trial was extra special as it was in memory of our dear friend and fellow field trialer, Debra “Debbie” Hollingsworth, who passed away earlier this year. Debbie had two outstanding all-age dogs that she ran every chance that she had, Hollingsworth Buck and Hollingsworth Dee. In the past she always chaired this trial so it is fitting that this trial is where we would pay our last respects to her.

Her good friend Robert Franks had a rotating trophy made for the occasion and he came from Arkansas to present the trophy to the winner.

Saturday afternoon we piled into trucks and headed to Debbie’s favorite spot on the grounds. Many kind words were spoken as her ashes were scattered among the palmetto bushes and wiregrass. When we pass by, I’m sure that she will be smiling.

Whenever Robert visits he brings catfish from the Mississippi area and then treats us to a fish fry complete with hush puppies, beans and slaw. That feast took the place of our usual Saturday night covered dish. Thank you, Robert, for your generosity.

The weather this time of year is hot. No other way to put it. The first couple of braces may have caught temperatures in the mid to upper 70s but by the end of the day the thermometer was close to 90°. That is why we feature 30-minute stakes at our first couple of trials.

We would like to thank Purina for their generous sponsorship of our trial. Their help with the ad, donations of dog food and the bragging hats add a great deal to the weekend. Thank you Purina!

Always at the first trial there is concern about the quantity of birds. We run on all wild birds and they have not been supplemented in any way. Last year the bird count was low due to poor hatching conditions and then Hurricane Irma came through. This year we were pleased to have several bird contacts both Saturday and Sunday.

We rely on ample ground water this time of year to keep the dogs wet while they are running in the heat. We were all somewhat surprised that the grounds were dry for October, which allowed our trucks and dog wagon to go anywhere without too much fear of getting stuck.


The Open All-Age Stake kicked off at 8:00 a. m. Saturday morning. There was a good dew on the ground helping the dogs. By the start of the second hour any hint of dew was gone and there was nothing but hot.

First place Funseeker’s Rebel Tex, owned and handled by Don Wood, ran in the fifth brace and was shown making some deep casts. His scout found him standing in a palmetto patch at 20. After a brief relocation, he had the birds pinned.  Placed second was Double Down Cruise, owned and handled by Dave Vernasco, with a strong forward race. Third was Silver’s Rebellious Gator, owned by Jim Goza and handled by Paul Daniel. Gator also had a strong race.

The Open Shooting Dog Stake started Sunday morning with 12 hopefuls. The first place dog also ran late in the morning. Petie Brown and Myakka Lucy Diamond had a nice find at 15 and then continued to show good shooting dog range for the balance of the time.

Double Down Easter Sunday and Dave Vernasco took the second spot, while Dave’s other entry Double Down Trumpster took third.

Punta Gorda, Fla., October 20

Judges: Beth Arthur and Petie Brown

OPEN ALL-AGE — 10 Pointers

1st—FUNSEEKER’S REBEL TEX, 1623386, male, by Funseeker’s Rebel—Phantom’s Razorette. Don Wood, owner and handler.

2d—DOUBLE DOWN CRUISE, 1670311, male, by Funseeker’s Rebel Tex—Nacho Myakka Miley. Dave Vernasco, owner and handler.

3d—SILVER’S REBELLIOUS GATOR, 1625002, male, by Daniel’s Southern Cross—Silverline Serious. Jim Goza, owner; Paul Daniel, handler.

Judges: Robert Franks and Don Wood

OPEN SHOOTING DOG — 11 Pointers and 1 Brittany

1st—MYAKKA LUCY DIAMOND, 1665013, pointer female, by Elhew G Force—Myakka Hey Jude. Petie Brown, owner and handler.

2d—DOUBLE DOWN EASTER SUNDAY, 1607728, pointer female, by Wynot Deuce—Adora. Dave Vernasco, owner and handler.

3d—DOUBLE DOWN TRUMPSTER, 1670312, pointer male, by Funseeker’s Rebel Tex—Nacho Myakka Miley. Dave Vernasco, owner and handler.

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