American Field

Field Trial Report

Benton County (Miss.) Trials

By Elton Bray | Jan 09, 2018
Open All-Age Winners. From front left: Nick Thompson with Whippoorwill Justified and Mark Haynes with Miller’s Speed Dial. Standing: Dr. Jim Mills, Larry Huffman, Dr. Jack Huffman, Judges Mike Jackson and Elton Bray, and Gary Lester.

Michigan City, Miss. — The Benton County Open All-Age and Open Derby were concluded December 4 at Whippoorwill Farm, Michigan City, Miss. This has been a prestigious trial for many years, and this year was nothing less.

The grounds, as always, were in excellent condition. Over thirty coveys  were moved for the two and a half days of running. There were lots of great performances and the judges had their work cut out for them.

The judicial panel for both stakes included Mike Jackson of Battle Ground, Ind., and the writer of Holly Springs, Miss. Mike is a true gentleman. We rode hard to watch each dog, and were always in agreement with our decisions. Mike has judged several notable trials and I was honored to team with him for the running.

The trial would not be complete without Larry and Piper Huffman. Larry takes care of the farm. He plants the food plots, does the mowing and puts out the birds. His hard work has paid off. Piper handles the behind-the-scene work, and was in charge of the lunches each day.

Larry, Earl Connolly and Nick Thompson were the marshals and made sure we were always on the right track.

Dr. Jack Huffman was in charge of the dog wagon. He is a pro at it. He normally follows along so if we pick up early, he’s right there.

A huge thank you to the Huffmans and Whippoorwill Farm for hosting such a nice trial.

A bit of excitement happened during the Open Derby. The neighboring farm to the southwest was burning some of their property and it got out of control. During the next-to-last brace of the Derby, the course was on fire. Thankfully pickup was called just before the smoke got too bad. Larry dispatched the Forestry Service and by 10 o’clock that night the fire was under control. Unfortunately, it did burn about 100 acres of the Whippoorwill Farm. No person or animal was harmed, but it was something most had never experienced at a trial before.

Open All-Age Winners

Receiving top honors in the All-Age Stake was the 2016 National Champion, Whippoorwill Justified, owned by Ronnie Spears of Jacksonville, Ark., and handled by Larry Huffman. “Patch” competed in the 9th brace with 2015 National Champion Miller’s Dialing In. It’s not very often you get to watch two National Champions in the same heat.

Patch ran a very forward, bold race the entire hour. He was credited with four very commendable and flawless pieces of bird work. His last was just as pretty as the first. “Speck” was unable to make game but was bold throughout the hour.

Second was awarded to Miller’s Speed Dial, first-year white and orange pointer owned and handled by Gary Lester of Gracey, Ky.

“Joe” was braced in No. 7 with Oakspring Big Time Warrior (Allen Vincent). Speed Dial was credited with two finds, one at 10, the second at 57. He was staunch on both and stayed far to the for the whole hour. Warrior was credited with one find at 19.

Placed third was Coldwater Thunder, three-year-old white and liver pointer fe male owned by Rachel Blackwell of Oxford, Miss., and Doug Arthur of Eads, Tenn. She is handled by Steve Hurdle.

“Lu” was braced in No. 3 with Whippoorwill Foto Op, which was not seen at 5 and Huffman called for the retrieval device at 17. The birds were on the move on Saturday afternoon and Thunder took advantage. Her grace, speed and stamina along with her three pieces of bird work added her to the winners’ circle.

Michigan City, Miss., December 2

Judges: Elton Bray and Mike Jackson

OPEN ALL-AGE [One-Hour Heats] — 22 Pointers and 1 Setter

1st—WHIPPOORWILL JUSTIFIED, 1656011, pointer male, by Whippoorwill Wild Agin—Sparkles. Ronnie Spears, owner; Larry Huffman, handler.

2d—MILLER’S SPEED DIAL, 1666636, pointer male, by Miller’s Dialing In—Old Road Lou. Gary Lester, owner and handler.

3d—COLDWATER THUNDER, 1655558, pointer female, by Coldwater Warrior—Thunder Bess. Rachel Blackwell & Doug Arthur, owners; Steve Hurdle, handler.

Open Derby Winners

The 30-minute Derby was won by Stash The Cash, white and liver pointer male owned by David Thompson and Tommy Loid of Edmonton, Ky., and handled by Gary Lester. Cash was classy and forward for the duration. He competed in the 6th brace with Coldwater Spectre (Gary McKibben).

Second was awarded to white and liver pointer female Miss Stylin Sue, owned by Dr. Jim Mills and Steve Lightle  of Searcy, Ark., and was handled by Allen Vincent. Sue is quite the eye-catcher with her speed and snappy gait. She was braced in No. 2 with Fly in the Sky (Lester).

Game Wardon, white and liver pointer male owned and handled by Dr. Fred Corder of Corinth, Miss., was named third. He was also strong and steady throughout the heat. Wardon competed in brace No. 5 with Superstition Last Touch (Vincent).

No bird work in the Derby. The youngsters were judged based on their all-age potential.

Judges: Elton Bray and Mike Jackson

OPEN DERBY — 12 Entries

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

2d—MISS STYLIN SUE, 1674906, pointer female, by Ransom—Coldwater Snow. Dr. Jim Mills & Steve Lightle, owners; Allen Vincent, handlr.

3d—GAME WARDON, 1676189, pointer male, by Caladen’s Rail Hawk—Game Creek. Dr. Fred Corder, owner and handler.

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