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Dogwood Bill Wins Premier Honors; Lester’s Storm Surge is Runner-Up

Continental Derby Championship

Feb 08, 2019
Dogwood Bill Winner of the Continental Derby Championship

Greenville, Fla. — The 2019 chapter of the Continental Championships commenced Monday morning, January 21, at time-honored Dixie Plantation near Greenville, Fla. The Continental Derby Championship drew a field of 48 up-and-coming stars.

On the final afternoon of the stake, Continental President Randy Floyd stood on the dog wagon trailer and announced that if none of the six dogs “knocked it out” in the next three braces, the judges wanted to see two dogs at the end of the stake for a second series.

As is eventuated, while good performances were rendered, no dog “knocked it out,” and the two dogs were braced and off at 5:15 p. m., the judges stating that the callback heat was to be an hour.

When the proverbial dust had settled, Dogwood Bill, white and orange pointer male owned by Dogwood Kennels in Boston, Ga., and handled by Jamie Daniels, emerged the winner. Lester’s Storm Surge, also a white and orange pointer male, owned and handled by Gary P. Lester of Gracey, Ky., was named runner-up.

Judges for this renewal were Reid Hankley of Thomasville, Ga., and Joe Rentz of Fayetteville, Ga. Both men are young enthusiasts, but both come with considerable bird dog experience. Reid Hankley was originally from Virginia. He attended Florida State University and grew enamored of the plantations that populate the north Florida landscape, serving internships and eventually managing a plantation. He is especially fond of Dixie.

Joe Rentz and his wife Tricia enjoyed the limelight three years ago when their Rentz’s Fire And Ice won the Purina Derby of the Year Award, handled by Jeanette Tracy. Fire and Ice won the 2018 edition of the National Amateur Shooting Dog Championship. Another Rentz color-bearer, Redland’s Jacked Up, won the 2017 National Amateur Shooting Dog Championship, and the 2018 National Amateur Free-For-All Championship.

THE WINNERS

Dogwood Bill was in the first brace of the second day, braced with Shagtime Red, handled by Lee Phillips. Action came at 7 when Judd Carlton found Bill well to the left as the course swings to the right, a good find credited to the young Bill. Back ahead, the plantation roadway was crossed near 15, and soon after both handlers rode up sidehill calling on their dogs. The judges held up waiting, as a doe came darting toward the gallery, making a sharp right turn when she spotted the riders.

The dogs were soon out front in short order. Near the half, both scouts rode perimeter of wide long fallow field to the right, Judd Carlton again calling point for Bill silhouetted by dark cover standing on distant hillside, but the work there was unproductive.

On to the front, Judge Hankley spotted Bill down incline on the left where Daniels flew a nice bevy for the mannerly dog.

Bracemate Red slashed through the country, little scouting the second half, but no bird work.

Bill was strong throughout, both of his finds the result of ambitious casts.

Time was called short of the water tank breakaway on forward rise, Bill going strong in the final minutes.

Before arriving at Dixie and successfully capturing the title here, Bill  allied three first place wins in 2018. The first was last spring at the Georgia-Florida Invitational Club’s Derby. Then, in the fall, the Bear Pond and Sunshine Derbies, and a second in the Muckalee Club’s Derby.

Bred by Clint Hutchinson of Dogwood Kennels, Bill was sired by True Confidence, owned by Frank and Jean LaNasa of Isanti, Minn.

Runner-up Lester’s Storm Surge appeared in the second brace of the stake opening morning. Storm Surge was down with Marques Handsome Ransom, handled by Lefty Henry.

Shortly past the Y at 10, gallery riders spotted Surge just off to the right pointing. Lester was summoned from ahead and he flushed a bevy for the staunch pointer. Henry rode the left edge, and Ransom was seen sparingly in the early minutes. The judges held up momentarily at 18, Lester indicating point for Surge up incline to the right, where he flew the stylishly pointed birds. Henry continued to ride the left side calling on Ransom, as Surge was spotted standing at 26, just a short ways off course path. When Lester arrived, he whistled. Surge started tentatively, then headed to the front.

After the right turn toward the Boy Scout cabin, Henry had Ransom. Moments later, Lester called point for Surge at 36, another large covey credited to the stylish pointer. Henry lost contact with Ransom again, then Surge was pointing at 56, another good find went into the books. Henry requested his retrieval unit a minute later.

Near time Surge was on the right cresting forward rise. Some minutes after pickup “Point” came. Judge Rentz later said the dog was harnessed when he arrived, Lester saying “birds had flown.”

Storm Surge was bred by Derek Bonner of Mooresboro, N. C., with a September 21, 2017 whelping date. His record shows one placement — a third in the Kentucky Quail Classic Derby in November.

And so it these two the judges asked to be seen again after the final brace was concluded Thursday afternoon. The judges announced that the callback would be an hour, and sufficient daylight was available for that time span.

As it eventuated, an hour would not be needed to resolve the issue. Off at 5:15 p. m., Storm Surge, or Chip, pointed at 3 and Bill backed, but the stand proved  nproductive.

Bill pointed 8 minutes later, a find credited to the Dogwood entry. Meanwhile, Storm Surge had slipped out of sight, and at 32 minutes Lester called it, requesting his retrieval device. And the winners were determined.

And Others

It was 32°, air calm, a bright sun  eginning to show above the trees to the east as Randy Floyd welcomed participants, noting appreciation to the Livingston Family for Dixie. Larron Copeland offered a brief invocation, asked for safety for owners, handlers and officials during the trial.

K H Game Weapon and Notorious King’s Ransom were loosed, owner Scott Griffin handling the former and owner John Mathys with Ransom. John Mathys had escaped the frigid conditions in Green Bay, Wis., where he said the night before it was -4°. The pointer pair caught the right edge leading to the pine stand ahead. They were through the pines in short order, and angled right past the large field on the left and across plantation roadway at about 15, and ahead. The earlier quiet air now had an occasional breeze with a bite that made the temperature feel colder. Weapon was pointing handsomely on rise at 31. Scott worked the area, then sent the dog to relocate, but nothing came of it. On past the Cadillac pond which is a pond again following heavy and frequent precipitation which now had standing water in the course path and ponds scattered through the plantation. Ransom was forward for the most part with an occasional foray to the side. Weapon was pointing again at 42, positive and firm; this time Griffin flew a large bevy, more birds taking to the air as his shot reverberated through the pines. Ahead, the twosome reached the water tank turn, Ransom ahead cresting forward hill as time was called. Charles Morton, scouting, brought Game Weapon to the wagon some minutes later, the dog having gone straightaway near the water tank.

Runner-up Lester’s Storm Surge and Marques Handsome Ransom followed.

The morning’s final pair — Osceola’s Rebel Chief with Jason Loper and Hendrix’s Touch Up with Judd Carlton. Owners Guy and Burke Hendrix were riding, Guy noting the conditions here were much better than at the recent Hobart Ames trials. Touch Up was pointing at 5, Carlton flushing a covey for the Hendrix stylist. He pointed again at 15, scoring another commendable find, the birds coming up in twos and threes. Three minutes later he logged No. 3, again mannerly for flush and shot. Rebel Chief was strongly ahead, canvassing the country in wide-going sweeps and not seen at times. At 24 both handlers were on far field edge, where reportedly both dogs were standing. A rabbit darted away, past Touch Up. He swung and  ollowed until stopped. Back ahead it was Chief’s turn on birds, scoring two meritorious pieces of work at 35 and 45. Touch Up backed the first at 35 with impressive composure. The twosome handled the closing minutes in good form, concluding strong.

The p. m. portion was off at 1:40, Canadian Elhew Jack with Mark McLean and Shagtime Max with Lee Phillips. The brace was scarcely five minutes old when Max notched a handsome piece of bird work to get the hour off on a good note. Jack was pointing some 18 minutes later; McLean flew the bevy. At the shot, a second covey flew closer to the gallery. The pointer-setter twosome handled the ensuing country well, little or no scouting and responsive to handlers. Jack was pointing again at 45, a second find in the book for the well mannered pointer. Soon after the broad long field leading to the roadway was ahead of them, and each responded with some commendable casts to cap their hour.

K H Game Train and Spencer’s Ramblin Alibi. North Carolina owner Scott Crawford had Game Train, while veteran handler Fred Rayl had Alibi. Off at 2:53, the twosome swept away down mowed swaths, angling left up to the roadway course and to the front. Alibi was ahead for the early minutes, then gone. Game Train appeared to be in tune with Crawford, then slipped out of sight. As the judges were about to turn up incline leading to long broad field, gallery riders behind spotted Game Train near course path pointing. Scott Crawford was ahead and scout Charles Morton coming on cautioned the dog. Game Train was a bit crouched. A bird may have moved because the dog flinched slightly, then the covey flushed, birds front and behind. It was either two separate coveys or the dog standing in the midst of them, mannerly for the demanding work as Morton shot. At 40 Rayl requested his retrieval device for Alibi. A minute later Crawford called point for his dog, Game Train standing picturesquely in sedge under a nearby tall pine. Nothing came of the initial flushing effort; “Joe” was sent to relocate and that too came up blank. On to the fore, and up incline where off to the left Morton called point, Game Time credited with another mannerly piece of bird work, time ending soon after, but a shot heard some distance on forward treeline, but judge had spotted the dog right at pickup.

Touch’s Justified was in the day’s final brace with Marques Big Luck, Mark McLean handling Justified and Lefty Henry with Luck. Justified’s co-owner Karen Norton was riding and Bruce Norton in the dog truck, owner John Ivester in the gallery for Big Luck. Both were away with vigor, Luck hitting the roadway ahead and angling north (left). Henry had him back, but the dog swung north again. A brisk ride rounded him up. On the way to catch the gallery a shot sounded, Luck having “wheeled and pointed a covey” at 12, Judge Hankley later apprising. Justified was pointing at 25. McLean’s flushing effort went for naught. Justified’s relocation covered a wide gamut, and it too came up blank. At 30, as the judges were exchanging retrieval units, Justified pointed, notching an exemplary piece of bird work. Near 40 Luck veered left and Henry eventually rode when the dog failed to turn, Judge Rentz staying back. Some minutes later, the gallery held up, McLean riding well to the fore left calling on Justified. Judge Rentz arrived and informed that Henry had requested his retrieval device. McLean was back with Justified, time called soon after.

The temperature stood at 38° for the start of the second day, a bright sun illuminating a near cloudless sky, a harbinger of a pleasant day ahead. Over the course of the morning would see an increase cloud cover, but nothing ominous.

The winner Dogwood Bill and Shagtime Red were the first brace.

It was 9:13 when Snap Back with Greg Shepherd and Summerlin’s Harvest Time (Mark McLean) were loosed. Both began out front, Snap Back angling to the left, and Harvest Time on hillside to the right standing at 5. As the judge was riding to the spot the dog came on. Greg Shepherd continued to ride the left edge calling on Snap Back, whose scout Woody Watson called point near 12. When Judge Hankley arrived, Watson apprised, “The dog moved on.” Harvest Time shot across the front near 20, then swung to the fore. After the turn toward the Boy Scout cabin, Shepherd held up awaiting the judges, and took his retrieval device at 31. At nearly the same time, McLean called point; Harvest Time tallied a commendable find at 32. Not long after, McLean had the roading harness out and Harvest Time’s bid was ended at about 50.

Erin’s Blew By You and James Pond Bull followed. Amateur owner-handlers here, Sean Derrig with Blew and Woody Watson with Bull. The setter and pointer were quickly up forward rise toward the water tank, turning along pond on the right. Watson’s hat was up at 8, Bull pointing handsomely to the left. The pointer made an “adjustment,” then a second, and had the bevy pinned. The high-tailed setter moved through the country seemingly effortlessly and with pleasing animation, happy about its work. Bull was pointing again 13, upright and staunch initially, Blew backing from some fifteen yards or so. As Woody flushed, Bull’s demeanor relaxed. Handler came back and sent him to relocate as Derrig took Blew on. Nothing transpired here, an unproductive charged. Farther on, near the half, Watson signaled point on forward hill, but the dog was coming on as judge rode. Some minutes later a single flew just off side of course path. At 34 both handlers signaled point and rode to their dogs standing in cover on far field edge. When they arrived, Bull took the initiative. He moved up, circled around, Watson apprehending him as Derrig stepped in front of Blew and shot, a single reportedly having flown from the site. As Derrig prepared to take Blew on a covey flushed perhaps forty yards away in the direction the setter would be turned loose. Judges apprised handler of this just as Blew stopped, Derrig appreciative of the information took the dog on. Some minutes later, near 50, Derrig came for his retrieval unit and thanked the judges.

The day had gradually warmed, but an occasional breeze offered some cooling as the first afternoon pair — Dominator’s Rebel Squire (Daniels) and Nonami’s Bad Medicine (Ray Pearce) — began near 1:40 p. m. Both dogs were quickly past the old breakaway spot and well ahead. Bad Medicine was soon pointing. As Pearce approached he swung his head to the right, that’s where the birds flushed for a commendable piece of work, steady to wing and the ensuing shot. Bad Medicine was pointing again a few minutes later. Nothing came of Pearce’s flushing effort. Medicine’s relocation also was fruitless. Squire was mostly forward, taking in the sides and swinging back ahead for Daniels. Medicine stood in broomsedge at 27, staunch and appearing sure, but handler’s flushing effort and the dog’s relocation produced nothing. Squire pointed some five-six minutes later, but this was also unproductive. His ground effort continued in the same vein, forward and responsive, but nothing came of it in terms of bird work. Squire continued to work the country in concert with Daniels, pointing at 39. He too suffered that same fate, no birds on Daniels’ flush and nothing when he relocated. While he strove earnestly to find birds, his determined effort was unsuccessful.

No Sale and Lester’s Top Recruit followed in No. 11, Billy Henley who won this stake in 2003 riding on the dog wagon for No Sale, son Mark handling. Gary Lester had Top Recruit. The twosome went side by side at top speed down mowed swath to the right, Recruit eventually rounding to the front, where at 13 he was pointing near large live oak where birds had been pointed in previous renewals. They were here again. Lester flushed then sent the dog to relocate. Recruit went perhaps fifteen yards straight ahead, and pinned the bevy accurately. He was pointing again 6 minutes later, Lester readily flushing birds in front of the staunch pointer, more quail flying from behind the well mannered dog. Meanwhile, Mark Henley had come for his retrieval unit for the setter, Judge Hankley noting later that he’d seen the dog on an earlier occasion. He said that of all the dogs (pointer or setter) he’d seen, No Sale is one of the fastest. Lester had the pointer out front, rimming large fallow field edge at 40. As the party reached roadway, Mark Haynes, scouting, called point, the dog down near wet low swampy area off woodsedge. Lester quickly flew a bevy here, Recruit mannerly for wing and shot. Dog and handler were soon past behind the office, then Rogers pond (water right up to the roadway). Recruit was angled to the left as the course moved up hillside, the dog appearing some minutes later out front and finishing on treeline of forward broad field.

Ransom’s Jack Flash and Hendrix’s House Card were in No.12, the twosome with a north Mississippi connection, the former owned by Billy Blackwell and daughter Rachel of Olive Branch, and House Card carrying the colors of Guy and Burke Hendrix of Hernando. Steve Hurdle had the former, Judd Carlton, the latter. Both dogs were away strongly using the long stretch ahead leading to the roadway, then into pines. Both dogs were a bit handy at 20. Jack Flash suffering an unproductive about this time, but a commendable piece of bird work went into the books for Jack at 48. House Card shortened a bit, and Carlton chose to take him up at 50. Jack was ahead, and he too, according to the judge, was up soon after.

The temperature was a mild 55° for the first brace on day No. 3 under overcast skies when Touch’s Blue Knight and Dominator’s Rebel Patch were loosed at 7:55, Woody Watson with Knight, Jamie Daniels with Patch. The dogs were quickly through the forward pine line, swinging well with the course. Patch grabbed far edge of large fallow field at 11 and carried it to the fore. After plantation road crossing, a covey flushed wild from side of course path at 20. At 26 Patch put a well handled bevy in the books for the day’s first bird work, then suffered an unproductive at 35. Knight had maintained a good forward effort, Greg Shepherd’s scouting needed sparingly. At 55 two birds flushed wild off edge ahead as Knight came on the scent, spun and pointed. Watson arrived, was apprised of what had transpired, Knight staunch and intense as handler shot. Daniels said he was through, and picked up Patch. Knight finished ahead 100 yards or so beyond the hilltop water tank.

Rain was forecast for later in the afternoon, but the sun began to show intermittently when Hendrix’s Deacon Blue (Judd Carlton) and Erin’s Ty Breaker with owner Ted Roach were loosed. The twosome was quickly past the Y on to the front where they were stopped at 15 and watered. Ty Breaker scored a handsome find at 18 and a second equally classy piece of work at 27. Though his ground effort was not as far reaching as bracemate’s, his bird work was faultless. Deacon Blue went on the board at 32 with a well handled piece of work on forward incline, then a second stylish find at 37. Ty Breaker countered some six minutes later when Steve Hurdle (scouting), riding left side called point, indicating the dog straightaway from him, then “Birds!” Ted Roach arriving to shoot over the handsomely posed dog. Deacon Blue was strongly forward, covering a wealth of country. Ty Breaker stood again at 50 just ahead in course path. Roach made a cursory sweep, indicating feathers there, and brought the dog on. The twosome finished well, Deacon with more jump and distance.

K H Game Call (Scott Crawford) and Lester’s Shockwave (Gary Lester) were No. 15, the duos away well. Shockwave got off to the left and came across fallow field hill at 12. Game Call was making game directly ahead on rise at 14. He circled around, caught scent and spun into a twisted pose as bird flew, followed by Crawford’s shot, whereupon Game Call followed the birds ten or more yards before handler had him stopped, but his bid had ended. On ahead Shockwave was pointing, high head and tail. When Lester’s flushing effort produced nothing, a series of relocations ensued, the dog stopping, Lester attempting to flush, but nothing came of any of them. However, 12 minutes later Shockwave pointed again, again the same arresting style, high head and tail. This time he had a bevy pinned. Off to the front, and about 9 minutes later the dog went up right hillside as the course angles gradually to the left. When he was not back ahead again, Lester came for his retrieval unit at 55.

No. 16 — Erin’s Lonestar Law (Sean Derrig) and On The Loose (Judd Carlton) — was off at the 1:45 p. m. appointed time, the temperature having reached near the high of the day, 71°. The fast-paced pointers made it through the initial five minutes and past the old breakaway spot in short order. Both were ambitious as handlers pointed them out covering the country in fine fashion. They made it to the water tank at about 15 where they were doused and sent on. At 35 On The Loose was pointing, but Carlton’s flushing and the dog’s relocation came up empty. At nearly the same time, Lonestar Law had a piece of bird work, pointing several hundred yards farther on and credited with a commendable find. Their earlier strong efforts were resumed, On The Loose pointing again at 55, a bit low in front, his right back leg raised slightly off the ground as Carlton flushed. When nothing was produced a relocation followed that was also fruitless and he was up. Lonestar Law had hit the long, demanding stretch that is a challenge in the closing minutes of this hour. When he reached the end of it, Derrig pointed him out heading up the rise as time was called. As it happened, he arced around to the left and was coming around to meet his handler, who had ridden quickly ahead to pick up the dog.

No. 17 was ready at precisely at 3:00, Erin’s Calvin Klein (Steve Hurdle) and Caladen’s Yukon Cornelius with Robin Gates, a pointer and setter pair, respective owners Rick Stallings and Carl Owens riding. As others turned loose on this course, the twosome shot down mowed swath on the right as the gallery moved left onto course roadway. Both dogs were angled to the fore, and at 15 handlers’ hats were up. The dogs were standing some fifteen yards apart, pointer on the left, setter on the right, as their handlers went in front, Gates flushing bird closer to the setter, both dogs exhibiting faultless manners at flush and their handlers’ shots. Calvin Klein was pointing at 21 toward a large live oak, the tips of its branches stretching out over the dog which scored nicely on a fast-flying covey. Near the half Hurdle rode wide out on the right calling on Calvin Klein, as the setter toured left field edge well to the fore. He added to his score at 32, credited with a well handled piece of work on a bevy. Some minutes later Gates called “Birds!” riding down slope on the right where Cornelius had delved, Judge Rentz informing that the dog was moving when he saw him, but then standing as Gates shot. Soon after Hurdle requested his retrieval device for Calvin Klein. The setter was still moving smartly, up incline, then past the office and Rogers pond, up hillside and past the customary start of course No. 3, with another four minutes on the clock, finishing in good form ahead.

The start of the day’s final brace moved to the plantation roadway so the dogs — Worsham’s Silver Sport and Rayl’s Black Lady — would have a favorable straightaway to start. Mark McLean had the former, Fred Rayl, the latter. Black Lady was a bit slow to get started, then found her gear, as the larger tall and lanky Silver Sport moved quickly to the fore. The twosome cruised through the plentiful pines and live oaks in this portion of the course, then north with the big lake to the left, where apparently Black Lady was attracted, word heard later that she was in the lake at about 25 minutes, but rescued. Silver Sport rendered some impressive casts and in the process slipped away from McLean, the judges holding up near 35 when the dog was not in sight. Some minutes later Judd Carlton came across fallow field on the right with the dog. It was off to the front again, but not for long, as McLean called it a day near 46.

The forecasted rain arrived over night, bringing more than two additional inches of moisture. Forecast for the fourth and final day was overcast skies, temperatures in the mid-50s.

Neely’s Standing Ovation was paired with Miller’s Justified in No. 19, Robin Gates with Ovation, Gary Lester with Justified, owner John Neely riding for his namesake pointer male. The twosome went strongly down right edge, Justified angling into pine strip ahead, and pointing at 3, staunch, tail high as Lester flew his birds. The auspicious start was short-lived when Justified suffered an unproductive at 6, again handsomely posed but no birds. He pointed again 30, and a second unproductive after Lester’s initial flushing attempt and a lengthy relocation effort by the dog occurred. Earlier, Ovation had angled well to the left into far woodsline where Judge Rentz reported a series of relocations on running birds was successful for the Neely pointer. During Justified’s third stand, Ovation had a successful find at 33. The balance of his hour was forward, Gates showing the dog to advantage, and concluding his effort going straight away north from the water tank atop rise where the second brace is customarily loosed.

Quicksilver Sir Nick for Steve Hurdle, owner Rick Stallings riding, and Hendrix’s Copperline with Burke Hendrix followed. After they were off, Hurdle rode the left side as Hendrix maintained the center. He angled right after the Y, but his dog was on the left and they were soon connected. Both dogs were wide and strong and seen sparingly until about 20 when the twosome was spotted well to the right exiting green field. On past the Boy Scout cabin, handlers drifted farther to the fore in their efforts to keep in contact with their dogs. On pine tree planting rise Hurdle signaled point at 52; nothing came of his flushing or the dog’s relocation. Time was called soon after, neither dog in sight, but brought in some minutes later.

Rester’s Amazing Grace (Robin Gates) was paired with Beeler’s Country Clipper (Scott Beeler), away near 10:30 a. m. Cecil Rester was here from Angie, La., for his Grace. It took the bracemates a minute or so to warm up, then they were going strongly, the twosome soon spotted cresting distant hill. Grace was pointing at 25, the work requiring a relocation which she handled well, a covey credited. Scott Beeler rode comfortably ahead with Gates, their dogs shown regularly. Clipper was pointing at 34. Unable to flush birds, handler sent him to relocate. Clipper began this work, then snapped into point again, but nothing came of it. Handlers were off to the right near 50 and the gallery held up, Grace angling in from the side quickly passing the standing riders, both dogs now out front. Beeler called point at 55, Clipper posed high and staunch. As Scott was preparing to flush, the dog moved, swung in a circle, stopping abruptly to command, then charged in, birds flying in every direction. Grace was out front at time.

Before the first afternoon brace was loosed, Randy Floyd announced that if no dog “knocked it out” in the afternoon braces, the judges wanted to see two dogs for an hour callback after the last brace had been run.

Westfall’s Red Man and Erin’s Cold Justice were ready to be sent away when Randy Floyd made the announcement. Andy Daugherty had Red Man, which competed in this stake last year as a puppy; Sean Derrig had his Justice. The twosome made it past the old breakaway spot and to the water tank at 15, and a minute or so later, on right side hill Justice was standing, handsomely posed as Derrig approached and flushed his birds, the dog statuesque through flush and shot. Both dogs stood momentarily ahead at 24, then moved on. Justice was pointing again at 38, again erect and motionless, but Derrig’s flushing effort and the dog’s relocation were fruitless. Four minutes later on rise ahead in the stately Esquire pines he was pointing, scoring a high-headed, high-tailed find with perfect manners. Some minutes later, stoutly made Red Man was moving, and Daugherty elected to pick him up. Justice continued to canvass the country ahead pleasingly. At 57 Derrig held up and requested his retrieval device and the heat was over.

Neely’s Party Girl with Robin Gates and Sandhill Lil Juney with Fred Rayl followed, the twosome away from the water tank breakaway. Respective owners were riding, John Neely for Party Girl and Robert Thomas for Juney. The dogs went straightaway, the first twosome in the stake to do so, others having taken mowed swaths on the right and had to be brought around to the course path. Party Girl had the first of her two finds at 22, following Gates’ flushing effort and her productive relocation. Soon after the two were in the portion of this course that traverses two extremely long fields. Both dogs were initially on the right edge, then Party Girl delved into the cover there, as Juney swung down and continued her quest on the left side. She was soon out of pocket and when not back ahead, Rayl elected to pick up at 47. After climbing the hill ahead, Burke Hendrix alerted Gates that Party Girl was “standing ahead,” where she notched her second well handled find at 52. She finished her final minutes along large field coverline, disappearing at its end.

There was a delay to the start of the stake’s final braces awaiting Luke Eisenhart who had been helping Gates with Party Girl. He was back and ready at 4:14 with Dunn’s True Reign; Allen Vincent had Justifier. They went strongly through the initial pines and live oaks. Justifier stopped at about 10, then moved on. True Reign was covering a goodly portion of country and Eisenhart and scout Mark Haynes worked to keep him to the fore. At 21 Justifier was pointing. As Vincent approached, the dog charged forward. Vines and leaves and dead branches flew in every direction as the dog grabbed an armadillo, flung it in the air, swung back and forth. Vincent got it stopped, and ended the dog’s bid. Reign continued his wide, purposeful effort. At 46 Eisenhart was ahead as Reign was being brought on and he and a covey met to his detriment.

The judges called for Lester’s Storm Surge and Dogwood Bill for a second series which has been noted.

Greenville, Fla., January 21

Judges: Reid Hankley and Joe Rentz

CONTINENTAL DERBY CHAMPIONSHIP [One-Hour Heats] — 43 Pointers

and 5 Setters

Winner—DOGWOOD BILL, 1678778, pointer male, by True Confidence—Hutchinson’s Storm Chaser. Dogwood Kennels, owner; Jamie Daniels, handler.

Runner-Up—LESTER’S STORM SURGE, 1681624, pointer male, by Ransom—Beane’s Line Dancer. Gary P. Lester, owner and handler.

SOME SIDELIGHTS AT DIXIE

Nothing stays the same. This was readily apparent when driving past the office the noticeable absence of a house occupied by Mr. Too Bright was no more. The longstanding resident who had been at Dixie seemingly forever, now in his 80s, had been moved to a facility near Monticello some months back, and the house that he’d occupied razed.

Too Bright handled the dog wagon duties for the Continental stakes for many renewals. Those duties for this renewal were in the hands of Til Hankley, the transplanted Virginian who resides near Thomasville at Pebble Hill Plantation. He was scheduled for “double duty,” handling the dog wagon for the all-age stake as well.

 

Dixie Plantation personnel — Manager Randy Floyd, Hunter Lewis, John McCormick and Ethan Whiddon, and office manager Andrea Barstow — were invaluable in the services provided to ensure a successful running of the 2019 program. On staff at Dixie also is Gloria Hagen who handles the luncheon detail at the Commissary each day, and the Quail Lodge where the judges and reporter are housed.

 

Dixie is now under the umbrella of Tall Timbers Research and Land Conservancy. Clay Sisson, who resides in Albany, Ga., oversees the Tall Timbers program at Dixie and, as in former years, he was on hand at the trials. Part of Tall Timbers initiatives is providing opportunities for hunts at Dixie, which help to support Tall Timber research projects. The Tall Timbers board has been supportive of the continued Continental Championships at Dixie, their home since the 1930s. But the lost hunt revenue (a sizeable amount) during the two weeks the Continental stakes are being held, is to be made up by the club, a daunting challenge.

Part of this fund raising entails sponsorship of water tanks placed judiciously on the courses. Sponsors include: Hank Bush/Bush Development Group; Dr. Ron Deal, Recognizing Flush’s Wrangler, 1981 Continental Champion; Sean Derrig/Covey Pointe Plantation, Recognizing Erin’s Redrum, 2018 Continental Champion; Dixie Trace FTA; Jim Hamilton, Recognizing Dominator’s Rebel Heir, 2016 Continental Champion; Doyle Hancock & Sons Construction; Karen & Bruce Norton; Mike Shea; David Thompson, Recognizing two-time National Champion Lester’s Sunny Hill Jo; Bill and Margie Ricci, Recognizing Awsum In Motion, their 2017 Continental Champion; and Sportsman’s Pride, Brad Kennedy. Other sponsors and supporters included Ag-Pro (steak dinner) and Julie Livingston Ripley, she the niece of the late Geraldine Livingston (steak dinner), and Equine & Anvil, and Parker Chevrolet.

 

Mike Cheely again came from Fayetteville, Ga., to help with the trial, riding morning and afternoon to assist with the marshalling. He also provided (prepared and served) dinner one evening for the judges, reporter and dog wagon driver. Judge Joe Rentz manned the grill on a second evening dinner at the house where Mike Cheely resided during the trial.

 

Hunter Drew of The Wright Group (real estate) in Thomasville hosted a sumptuous luncheon on the first day, and Brad Kennedy and Sportsman’s Pride, not to be outdone, served catfish luncheon with all the sides on Tuesday. Brad Kennedy also rode several braces.

 

South Carolina was represented by Tom Hall, who files several well crafted field trial reports each season, and Carl Owens, on hand to watch his setter Caladen’s Yukon Cornelius, which has a string of first place Derby wins, two amateur and two open, the last a first in the recent Hobart Ames Derby at Ames Plantation.

 

A long distance traveler to the trial was Dr. Clark Lundgren of Thompson Falls, Mont., at one time (many years ago) residing in Lethbridge, Alberta. Most, if not all, the dogs Dr. Lundgren has campaigned bear the “Canadian” prefix to their names. His Canadian Elhew Jack was a first-day competitor here. Owner Rick Stallings was on hand from Mathews, Ala., for his two entries — Erin’s Calvin Klein and Quicksilver Sir Nick— as was Louisianan Cecil Rester.

 

Bob Walthall visited from Thorpe McKenzie’s Sunny Hill Plantation near Tallahassee. He’s a regular at Dixie’s trials. Bob has the distinction of being the breeder of four remarkable litters — Whippoorwill Wild Agin- Sparkles — that have produced nine champions!

 

Garland and Kathy Priddy were on hand from Raymond, Miss., with an entry in the All-Age Championship. They’ve been a considerable help with the Southwestern Championship in early fall at the Johnson Ranch near Trail city, S. D.

 

Bill and Margie Ricci of Powhatan, Va., have been regulars here for a number of seasons, and were here in 2017 when their setter Awsum In Motion won the Continental Championship, only the second setter since 1958 to do so. In recognition of that win, the Riccis generously sponsored a water tank on the courses.

 

Hall-of-Famer Allen Linder rode one afternoon accompanied by his granddaughter Madison McDonald. The Tennessee sportsman has dogs on both the major all-age and shooting dogs circuits, successfully.

 

A coterie of amateurs handled their dogs in this 2019 renewal, notably: Scott Crawford of Charlotte, N. C., Sean Derrig of Chicago, Burke Hendrix of Holly Springs, Miss., John Mathys of Green Bay, Wis., Ted Roach of Fort Wayne, Ind., Woody Watson of Albany, Ga.

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