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Caladen’s Davinci Wins 2018 Swamp Fox Open Shooting Dog Classic

Cock-N-Fire Field Trial Club

By Roger McPherson | Jan 29, 2019
Swamp Fox Open Shooting Dog Winners. From front left: Caladen’s Davinci with Calvin Curnutte and Miller’s Lock And Loaded with Eric Russell. Second row: Jerry Raynor, George Tracy, Tom Brigman, judge, and Jeff Ruth. Third row: Roger McPherson, judge; Earl Drew, Mills Hodge and Bill Clem. Top row: Fred Potts, Chef Cliff Brown, Mike Martino, Sammy Giddens, Larry McDonald and the coach, Allen Johnson.

Hoffman, N. C. — The 2018 running of the Swamp Fox Shooting Dog Trial, under the management of the Cock-N-Fire Field Trial Club, took place on the celebrated Robert J. Gordon Field Trial Area in Hoffman, N. C. Although the weather was dismal at times, great dogs, gifted handlers, good food, and excellent camaraderie made the Swamp Fox Shooting Dog an unqualified success.

This year’s edition attracted 50 entries in the Open Shooting Dog and 33 in the Open Derby. Twelve handlers from six states brought their charges to the line to compete in the Swamp Fox Shooting Dog.

Robert J. Gordon Field Trial Area is under the management of the North Carolina Wildlife Department, with the North Carolina Field Trial Association responsible for the bird release and feeding program. Due to the record highs of precipitation throughout North and South Carolina released bird numbers were appreciably lower this year, making finding birds challenging. Ten coveys were found during the Shooting Dog.

The responsibility of handling the organization of the event, raising the additional $4000 for the purse, as well as making sure everyone was welcome, and everything went effortlessly was in the capable hands of Coach Allen Johnson. Assisting him were Jerry Raynor (handling marshalling duties), Cliff and Dane Brown (preparing meals) and Larry McDonald (driving the dog wagon and snacks for breaks). Thank you for a job well done.

A major sponsor of the Swamp Fox is AgSouth Farm Credit, ACA; without their monetary support we would not be able to continue to host an event of this stature. A second sponsor we recognize as vital to our sport is the assistance of Scott Blair and Nestlé Purina, in addition to monetary support also providing dog food for the winners. The help of all sponsors is greatly appreciated; without them such a significant purse could not be offered.

This year’s judicial responsibilities were shared by Tom Brigman and your scribe. Tom Brigman is a very successful amateur and sought after judge of shooting dog and all-age events. He has a wealth of experience to call upon in the adjudication of shooting dog competitors.

The Swamp Fox is a points trial for the Purina Top Shooting Dog and Handler of the Year Awards, as well as a National Shooting Dog Championship qualifier. This year drew 50 entries with 49 canines coming to the line.

SHOOTING DOG WINNERS

The winner was eight-year-old white, black, tan and ticked setter male Caladen’s Davinci  appearing in the second brace, skillfully handled by North Carolinian Jerry Raynor. Davinci is owned by Auddie Brown of Lane, S. C.

No stranger to the winners’ circle, Davinci was runner-up in  the Tar Heel Open All-Age Championship (2014), and both the North Carolina and Eastern Open Shooting Dog Championships in 2017.

Davinci began his hour with a lengthy cast and at 10 minutes was found to the front hunting the country. Settling in, he hunted the country with eye-catching running style, continually in touch with his handler. At 24 he was found on point, standing with intensity, high on both ends, with birds well located. Raynor flushed the covey and shot, with his charge still standing not losing his style and composure. Davinci continued his big forward race hunting the country, ending the hour with a very strong finish to garner the blue.

Awarded second was pointer male Miller’s Lock and Loaded, appearing in the 14th brace under the guidance of Hall of Fame trainer George Tracy. This first year shooting dog owned by Muriel and Bill Primm of Cream Ridge, N. J., has a promising career ahead of him.

Lock and Loaded began his effort with a considerable forward cast hunting the country with style and self-assurance maintaining contact with his handler. At 14 Tracy called point, Lock and Loaded standing his birds with great intensity and style (high on both ends). As George flushed the covey, Lock and Loaded never let down continuing to stand with style and poise. The only blemish in his hour came at 44 when he came from behind; although occurring at a tricky spot, it was the only thing that separated the two. Lock And Loaded finished his hour as he began, forward, hunting the country.

Placed third was Lone Tree’s Rod Iron, four-year-old setter male appearing in the sixth brace, skillfully guided by North Carolinian Mike Hester. Rod Iron, is owned by Mike Wood of Mooresville, N. C. Last spring Rod Iron was runner-up in the Kentucky Open All-Age Championship. He was attractive going, covering ground with speed and purpose. Although rain was with us throughout the day, during this brace rain was brutal. It was difficult for handlers, horses, dogs, and judges. Rod Iron, however, continued his strong forward race hunting the right places, although more moderate than the other two. Perhaps his ground race was restrained by the rain. At 19 Hester called point, flushing a covey, with Rod Iron standing attractively throughout. Rod Iron finished his hour to the front with no let down.

THE RUNNING

Miller’s Miss Calamity Jane (PF/ Tracy) and Ridge Creek Kate (SF/ Kinkelaar) broke away on course No. 1 with rain in the forecast. Both dogs hunted forward throughout the hour. At 34  Calamity Jane was found pointing in a likely spot. George flushed but could not produce birds. After release Calamity Jane continued her good ground race with no bird contact. Kate, although consistent on the ground, hunted hard but also went without birds.

The winner Caladen’s Davinci  braced Quickmarksman Dan (PM/Hester). Both dogs ran their hour in rainy weather.  Dan was credited with a back at 24. His ground race was forward but then was moderate at times. At 52 Dan was found on point; Mike flushed a covey, all in order. Dan ended his hour with a strong finish.

Under rainy conditions, Merritt’s Hope (SF/Curnutte) and Touch’s Mae Mobley (PF/Tracy) began with speed and purpose. At 15 a loud cry of “Point” was heard from the dog wagon. Hope was on point. After a short canter to the spot, Hope was standing with intensity and style. Calvin flushed a covey with all in order. At 19 Hope suffered her first of two unproductives, which ended her bid. Mae Mobley continued with her big forward eye-appealing race, hitting all the likely locations without contacting birds.

The afternoon braces began on course No. 4 behind the horse barn, with periods of severe rain. Starting off the afternoon was In Swami’s Shadow (PF/Kinkelaar) and Sandy Hill Jake (PM/Raynor). Both dogs raced away as they were loosed. At 20, seeing neither dog since the breakaway, both handlers asked for their retrieval units.

Erin’s War Creek (PM/Tracy) put forth a big forward race hunting all the right places. Although having a sound effort during his hour, he was unable to produce birds. Hale’s Southern Touch (PF/Kinkelaar) was also nice on the ground, but a tad less consistent of the two, and likewise was unable to locate birds.

As brace No. 6 started dark clouds were rolling in. Weather conditions turned into heavy rain during this brace.   Lone Tree’s Rod Iron’s (SM/Hester) effort was previously covered. Merritt’s Missy (SF/Curnutte) was discovered on point at 9. Calvin flushed producing a nice covey, all in order. At 57 Missy was again found on point; however, no birds were produced. Missy finished her hour as she started with a moderate ground race with determination.

Saturday morning’s weather was better. Miller’s Braveheart (SM/Tracy) and Oakridge Platinum (PM/Kinkelaar) were gone soon after the breakaway, both handlers asking for their retrieval units.

Quickmarksman Tom Tekoa (SM/ Hester) and Erin’s Copper River (PM/ Raynor). At 14 handler at once shouted point, birds, whoa, as Judge Tom Brigman cantered to the location. Tom Tekoa was found standing tall on both ends with more birds put to flight, all in order. At 33 Copper River was found pointing with Tom Tekoa backing. Raynor flushed but was unable to produce birds. At 45 Copper River was not pleasing his handler and the retrieval device was called for. Tom Tekoa continued shortening some in places, with a strong finish to his bid.

Hirollins Easy Money (PF/Warren Parrott) was not getting it done today and after a barren stand at 35 with Miller’s Heat Seeker (PM/Tracy) backing, handler elected to pick up his charge. Heat Seeker was pleasant to watch on the ground, having a snappy way of going. At 28 Heat Seeker was on point with Tracy calling birds in the air. Having horse problems I was unable to see flight of birds; however, my partner told the handler to shoot over his dog. At 43 Heat Seeker again was found on point, standing tall on both ends with the covey well located. Heat Seeker finished his hour as he started, forward hunting hard.

The first brace Saturday afternoon was Backcountry Tornado (PF/Tracy) and McRee’s Roxanne (PF/ Raynor). Tornado was not in tune with handler and the retrieval device was called for at 32. Roxanne was not swinging with the handler, the retrieval device requested at 45.

Hirollins Talking Smack (PM/Tobiassen) and Drowning Creek Matt (PM/Curnutte). This brace did not last long. At 8 Matt took out a covey with youthful enthusiasm, and at 9 Talking Smack rushed to join in the fun.

Pointer female Cory’s Easy Holy Water was not pleasing Tracy; the retrieval unit was required at 20. Zorra (PF/Kinkelaar) was eye-catching on the ground, eating up the country with gratifying application. She had a very good ground race with an unproductive recorded at 43. Zorra finished her hour as she started, hunting forward in a pleasing fashion.

Setter male Ridge Creek Lou was not pleasing Kinkelaar and was picked up at 20. Miller’s Call Back (PM/Morton), on the other hand, was putting down a very nice ground effort. He was forward, hunting the country with great eye appeal, but could not locate any birds. Call Back ended his hour as he began, hunting the country handling kindly.

Sunday’s weather forecast was showers during the morning. First brace of the morning matched Miller’s Lock and Loaded (PM/Tracy) and Marques Lucky Star (PF/Henry). Both dogs raced away from start of course No. 1 with great energy. Lock and Loaded’s effort was described earlier. At 15 Lefty, having not been in touch with Lucky Star in awhile, requested the retrieval unit.

Sandwood Creek (PF/Raynor) and Miller’s On Call (PM/Morton) were slow to get started but began hunting hard at moderate range at 15. Creek struck first with a covey find at 28. On Call suffered an unproductive at 31. At 41 Creek was taken up by her handler. At 46 Charles called point for On Call, producing birds with all in order. A second unproductive at 48 ended On Call’s effort.

Neither Blue Blue Moon (SM/Hester) nor Miller’s Vanilla Snow (PF/Tracy) was pleasing handler. Both were picked up at 45.

Lily On Bee (SF/Littlejohn) and Upfront Southern Star (PF/Kinkelaar). It was not a good day for Lily as she was not putting forth her usual effort. Trey threw in the towel at 33. Southern Star, however, was putting down a very pleasing effort. She was fun to watch with an attractive way of going, hunting the country always to the front. At 47 her handler called point in a likely spot. After flushing and a relocation attempt, no birds were produced. Southern Star finished her hour just as she started, with eye-appealing gait and hunting hard.

Miller’s Honor Code (PM/Tracy) and K H Vengeance (PF/Morton). At 31 K H was pointing with Honor Code backing. Charles flushed, putting up a covey. Tracy chose to leash his charge. At 48 K H had a barren stand and again at 57. Charles leashed K H.

R J’s Deicer (PF/Kinkelaar) and Miller’s Unbridled Forever (PM/Tracy) were not performing up to the standard today. Deicer was picked up at 40, and Unbridled Forever was leashed at 52.

Monday began with some showers in the morning and misty rain at times during the day.

Miss April (PF/Melvin) and Touch’s Rocketman (PM/Tobiassen) began hunting, Miss April at moderate range. Miss had a nice find on a covey at 21. At 31 Rocketman was taken up for a breach of manners. On a second find at 38 Miss was moving when handler called birds in the air, ending her attempt.

Merritt’s Bear (SM/Curnutte) and Bo Bunda (PM/Martino) started strong. Bear was making an impression with his power and style on the ground. At 43 Judge Brigman pointed out Bear at some distance standing tall, high on both ends. We cantered to the location as Bo Bunda was espied not honoring his bracemate to end his bid. Calvin quickly put the well located covey to flight, with all in order. Bear continued, however, at a more moderate range, and at 52 was again found pointing; this time no birds were produced. After the barren stand he slowed and was picked up at 58.

Ace (PM/Melvin) and Glassilaun War Paint (PM/Tobiassen). War Paint slammed to a point only 30 seconds into the brace. Toby flushed for his charge but produced no birds. Ace had two barren stands and was leashed. War Paint continued his pursuit with attractive casts hunting the right places. His ground effort was with power and style; however, he was lost at time.

Sugarknoll War Paint (PM/Tracy) and Foolish Again (PM/Raynor) put on a powerful ground race off the breakaway. Foolish Again had a very good ground effort coming from behind only once and finishing strong. War Paint, a veteran, also had a strong ground race always pointed out ahead hunting the country. He also had a strong finish. A strong ground effort failed to produce birds.

Chelsea’s Thunder Bolt (PM/Kinkelaar) began his bid with a purpose making stylish forward casts. Black River Ruby (SF/Melvin) was the closer of the two. At 18 Bolt’s handler called point. He was found pointing with good location in a plum thicket; handler quickly put a covey to flight. Both dogs were pointing at 28 in the same area, one on each side of the course. Bolt in the piney woods had his covey well located as his handler put them to air with all in order. Ruby’s stand was barren. As we continued Bolt’s effort seemed to diminish. At 40 Ruby was pointing; her handler flushed a covey, all in order. Her handler elected to leash her to end her bid. Bolt continued to moderate his effort. As we entered the big field, he began to pick up the pace, yet it was too late for he was not in contention. Judges asked handler to pick him up at 50.

Smuggler’s Society Buck (PM/Kinkelaar) was scratched. Miller’s Hennessy (PM/Martino) shot away from the breakaway, last seen making a long cast along the left edge of the food plot as far as the eyes could see. After not having contact with his dog for an extended period, Martino asked for the retrieval device.

Hoffman, N. C., December 28

Judges: Thomas Brigman and Roger McPherson

SWAMP FOX OPEN SHOOTING DOG CLASSIC [One-Hour Hears] —

39 Pointers and 11 Setters

1st—CALADEN’S DAVINCI, 1625O62, setter male, by Merritt’s Blaze—Merritt’s Pearl. Auddie Brown, owner; Jerry Raynor, handler.

2d—MILLER’S LOCK AND LOADED, 1674986, pointer male, by Just Irresistible—Miller’s Bring the Heat. William & Muriel Primm, owners, George Tracy, handler.

3d—LONE TREE’S ROD IRON, 1658701, setter male, by Ida O Chess—Scott’s Little Lady. Michael  Wood & Chris Teigland, owners; Mike Hester, handler.

Judges: Thomas Brigman and Sammy Giddens

SWAMP FOX OPEN DERBY CLASSIC — 28 Pointers and 5 Setters

1st—HIROLLINS TALKIN SMACK, 1678552, pointer male, by Fast Forward’s B K Gunner—Wiggins Miss Stella. Warren Parrott, owner; Toby Tobiassen, handler.

2d—MARQUES HANDSOME RANSOM, 1677312, pointer male, by Ransom—Marques Lucky Star. John & Sue Ivester, owners; Robert “Lefty” Henry, handler.

3d—SILVER W JILL Z, 1682062, pointer female, by Ransom—Double Weld. Debbie Ozner, owner; Shawn Kinkelaar, handler.

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