American Field

Field Trial Report

Central Carolina Amateur Field Trial Club

By Sammy and Nida Giddens | Nov 26, 2021
Amateur All-age Winners. Front row, from left: I’m Alley Cat with Whitley Stephenson, Mohawk Mill Gangster with Ellen Clements, and Walnut Tree Blue with Steve Mills. Row two, from left: Nida and Sammy Giddens, Nan Hilliard, Gary Winall, and Judge Sean Melvin. Back row: Paul Gadd, Ray Joye,  and Alford Wood.

Hoffman, N. C. — The Central Carolina Amateur trial was held October 29-31 at the Sandhills Wildlife Management Area, Hoffman, N. C. Six continuous one-hour courses are offered and considered by many to be the finest running grounds in the country.

Throughout the six courses are quail that have been prereleased in September-October. These birds have a lot of instincts like wild birds. It takes a real bird dog to be capable of finding and pointing these quail.

These excellent grounds have a clubhouse, large barn with stalls for many horses, outside horse corrals and kennels for our dogs. The grounds also offer short travel distances to Southern Pines, Aberdeen and Rockingham for great shopping, restaurants and accommodations. The Richmond County Tourism Development Authority is a major supporter of the North Carolina Field Trial Association.

Thank you to the North Carolina Wildlife Commission, the Sandhills Wildlife team led by Lee Criscoe and the North Carolina  Field Trial Association for providing this great facility.

Lee Criscoe and Brady Bech did an excellent job improving the roads throughout the courses where heavy erosion had occurred, clearing privet brush and planting feed patches throughout the six courses.

Thank you to Surestay Plus-Best Western for providing special rates for our judges and field trial participants. All of the staff strived to make our stays with them a pleasure.

Thank you to Ray Joye, president of the North Carolina Association, Grayson Francis, vice-president, and John Ivester, secretary-treasurer, for all the hard work they contribute to make field trialing at Hoffman so enjoyable and successful.

John Ivester and his team (Mike Hester, Steve Mills, Lefty Henry, Alvin Hurst) have done a tremendous job prereleasing the quail coveys. And Lefty Henry keeps the quail fed.

Sammy Giddens was stake manager for the trial. Nida Giddens, Lefty Henry, Gary Winall and Ellen Clements marshaled and helped with whatever was needed during the trial.

Nida also served as head chef, providing lunches each day and a lasagna dinner on Saturday night. Thank you to our special guest, Louise Wilcox, for providing dessert. Thank you to Drew Hill (Carolina Packers) for donating delicious fresh bologna and smoked sausages.

We all appreciate our dog wagon driver, Alford Wood, who always has the right dogs on the line in an efficient manner and provides delicious snacks along the way.

Thank you to Purina Pro Plan-Greg Blair, area manager, for your generous sponsorship of the Central Carolina Amateur and many other trials throughout the field trial season. It is thru your support we are able to continue this great trial.

Thank you to Gun Dog Supply/Steve Snell, Johnny O’s Awards/Martha, Aberdeen Supply/JasonVuncannon and Andi’s Tack/Andi Neal for your support.

We were so excited this year to have special friends attend our trial and look forward to them making this an annual event and also attending other trials at Hoffman: Clint Sails, an Army veteran, and his wife, Valerie. Clint entered and ran his dog, Ben. So glad Clint was back in the saddle, although they both are dealing with some medical issues.

Tommy Herring and his son, Will, attended their first field trial. They are Sammy and Nida’s longtime special friends. Sammy and Tommy’s families have been friends for generations.

Our field trial family lifts Ray Joye, Skip Brown and Ted Riley in our prayers. They are all dealing with medical issues.

The Central Carolina Amateur is the first amateur trial at Hoffman for the 2021-2022 field trial season.

Judges for the Amateur All-Age were Sean Melvin from Garland, N.C., and Jeff Smith from Chase City, Va. Judges for the Amateur Derby were Sean Melvin and Paul Gadd from Hickory, N.C.

Sean Melvin is an accomplished pro handler, winning the U.S. Complete Open National Championship and many other trials. He has judged walking, shooting dog, and all-age, open and amateur trials. Sean is also an excellent horseman.

Jeff Smith is a retired electrical engineer. He has judged numerous trials and championships. He is highly regarded in the North and Southeast as a judge and handler. Jeff also campaigns and trains his own dogs.

Paul Gadd has been a great supporter of the North Carolina Association, serving as 9resident 1998-2000, secretary (1993 time range), and secretary 2010-2020. He has put many miles in the saddle riding, judging and showing dogs at Hoffman starting in the early 1970s. Paul has a keen eye for a good dog and is an excellent horseman.

The three judges set a good, consistent pace and gave all dogs the chance they deserved. They looked for a dog with a forward race and bird finding desire.

Looking across course No. 1, the sun was rising slowly above the eastern horizon displaying the brilliant flame red, yellow, and orange leaves of the oak and maple trees, the switchgrasses glowing and the long leaf pine needles shedding across the sandy course. The chill of the October morning blew away the humid summer air.

As judges, handlers, scouts and gallery gather, Stake Manager Sammy Giddens announces the judges, handlers and dogs. Dogs are lofty with scouts styling them up, horses are snorting and gigging, handlers are checking their stop watches while all wait for the judges’ voices to ring out, “Turn ’em loose, gentlemen.” And the first amateur all-age trial of the season begins at Hoffman!


I’m Alley Cat, setter female handled by Sammy Giddens and scouted by Whitley Stephenson, was turned loose on course No. 1. Alley was found on point at 15 up on a hill at the second creek. No birds were found after Sammy has a long flushing attempt. Alley came into the right side of the mile-long field. She was seen far ahead at top of hill crossing to left and heading to the front. Scout Stephenson located her on left edge before the road crossing and called point at 40. A stylish find with intensity on point. A large covey was flushed.

Alley finished the hour always forward and independent but at the same time maintaining rapport with her handler.

Second was Mohawk Mill Gangster, pointer male handled by Gary Winall and scouted by Ellen Clements. Gangster was turned loose on course No. 6 and was found at 10 with a limb find in woods on right side of course. As Gary rode to him, Gangster showed tremendous loftiness and intensity on point. He ran a forward race and fluid gait to finish the hour.

Walnut Tree Blue, male pointer handled by Steve Mills and scouted by Dennis Snyder, earned third. Blue was turned loose on course No. 5. He was found on point at 12 showing good manners during flush. As he continued along edge, he was found on point at 40 in a cherry thicket. Blue ran a forward race, hunted hard and handled course while finishing the hour.

Hoffman, N. C., October 29

Judges: Sean Melvin and Jeffrey Smith

AMATEUR ALL-AGE [One-Hour Heats] — 16 Pointers and 5 Setters

1st—I’M ALLEY CAT, 1676541, sette female, by Moyock’s Spencer—Moyock’s Miss ellie. Hunter Creek Kennels & A. Q. Brown, owners; Sammy Giddens, handler.

2d—MOHAWK MILL GANGSTER, 1685479, pointer male, by Mohawk Mill Pirate’s Legacy—Katie Lee’s Wild Side. Gary S. Winall, owner and handler.

3d—WALNUT TREE BLUE, 1680850, pointer male, by Walnut Tree Fred—Dialing Kate. Steve Mills, owner and handler.


Mohawk Mill Spur,  pointer male handled by Gary Winall and scouted by Ellen Clements, had a find at 5 and impressed the judges with his manners and style on this covey find. He ran an animated forward race and finished as strong as when he started.

Second was Mohawk Mill Wired, pointer male that  ran a fast, forward race which showed the potential of this young dog. Earning third was Dry Creek Ajax, pointer male , handled by Jeff Smith and scouted by Sammy Giddens. Ajax was forward reaching throughout the brace hunting hard between the edges and moving strongly from start to finish with a lot of class.

Thank you to everyone who supported our trial with your kindness, time, entries, etc. We look forward to seeing you again next year.

Judges: Paul Gadd and Sean Melvin

AMATEUR DERBY — 13 Pointers and 1 Setter

1st—MOHAWK MILL SPUR, 1695312, pointer male, by Mohawk Mill Legacy’s Pride—Mohawk Mill Dolly. Gary S. Winall, owner and handler.

2d—MOHAWK MILL WIRED, 1695314, pointer male, by Stoney Run’s Buddy—Mohawk Mill Zeva. Gary S. Winall, owner and handler.

3d—DRY CREEK AJAX, 1696249, pointer male, by Bad News Bob—Dry Creek Ginger Snap. Jeffrey Smith, owner and handler.


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