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Touch’s Whitewater Wins 2020 Renewal; Westfall’s Mandalay is Runner-Up

Continental Derby Championship

Feb 05, 2020
The Winners. From left (foreground): handler Mark McLean, Judge Jason Williams, Judd Carlton with Touch’s Whitewater, Hailey Moreland, Mr. and Mrs. Jim Tande; Tierra Hadley, Larron Copeland, Allen Vincent with Westfall’s Mandalay, Randy Floyd and Bill Westfall (partial); handler Andy Daugherty, Judge Bill Mason, Mike Cheely and Bernie Matthys. [Photo by Chris Mathan.]

Greenville, Fla., — Dixie Plantation, for the 71st time, hosted the 2020 running of the Continental Derby Championship, the premier Derby classic attracting a field of 35 hopefuls for the start on January 20.

Dixie has been home for the Continental trials since 1939 when the inaugural Continental Championship was held under the auspices of then Dixie owner Gerald Livingston. The Continental Derby Championship came on the scene in 1950.

As the subhead above notes, Touch’s Whitewater (a name change in process when the Bulletin appeared), white and orange pointer male owned by Dr. Marcos Puiggari of Missoula, Mont., and handled by Mark McLean, emerged victorious. Whitewater appeared in the second brace of the stake and his creditable performance held up for the ensuing two and a half days to be awarded the title.

Runner-up laurels were bestowed on Westfall’s Mandalay, white and black pointer male in the ownership of Bill Westfall of Liberty, Mo., who spends much of the winter months at his plantation in south Georgia. Mandalay was handled by Andy Daugherty. Mandalay was in the first brace.

Judges were Bill Mason of Greensboro, Ala., and Jason Williams of Blakely, Ga., who rode attentively, astutely analyzing each performance based on years of experience working, following, and handling topnotch, high class bird dogs.

THE WINNERS

Touch’s Whitewater appeared in the second brace of the stake.  He arrived at Dixie with one placement on his record — a third at the Lee County Open Derby at Larron and Lauren Copeland’s Showtime Plantation in Bronwood, Ga.

Whitewater was braced Nonami’s Hank Aaron, Mark McLean with the former and Ray Pearce with Hank.

The earlier bird work and early pickup  in the first brace provided sufficient course before the sharp right turn which usually occurs at the end of the initial brace, this twosome away at 9:05.

Hank was standing at 5, intense and certain, Pearce flushing a nice size bevy for the staunch young dog. On ahead Whitewater was well past the water tub at the roadway Y. Hank caught up quickly and was standing again at 25, again handsomely posed, but this stand was blank after a relocation.

On the way to the fore, a shot sounded, Whitewater notching a find deep left. They were soon at course turn toward the Boy Scout cabin and on this trek Hank was not in sight, Pearce calling. “Mike” had swung wide, but crossed the front just past the scout cabin and was across roadway up hill toward water tub where Pearce came for his retrieval unit at 48.

Mike notched a second piece of bird work at 55, nicely done, and finished with a commendable concluding cast.

Interestingly, Whitewater’s pedigree shows a predominance of shooting dog bloodlines, particularly on the dam’s. On  the sire line, in the third generation, is performer and producer Erin’s Bad River, and further down, Miller’s Date Line.

The runner-up, Westfall’s Mandalay earned three placements before his first-brace effort here. He was awarded a second in the Saskatchewan Open Derby in Canada in the early fall, then a third at the Whetstone Derby, and then a first at the Inola Open Derby in November.

Westfall’s Mandalay  was down with Erin’s Outlawed (Sean Derrig) in the stake’s opening brace, the twosome  off at 7:55.

Action came quickly when Outlawed was pointing on forward coverline at 5, a handsome stand, the dog intense and high tailed. Derrig flushed in the tangle ahead of the dog, then sent him for a relocation, which the dog undertook readily, canvassing a wide area, but to no avail.

On ahead, both dogs swung well along field edge, Mandalay venturing to the side a short distance where Daugherty called point. On the way to the dog, he rode up the birds, soon after bringing the pointer on. Not long before planation roads crossing at 13 Mandalay was pointing again, this time birds flushed in front of his attractive stand. He tallied No. 3 a short time later, up gentle rise to the right, birds winging away as Daugherty walked in front, the dog’s manners first rate.

The twosome was ahead then, Outlawed was out of sight, Derrig soon after riding west side of Pike’s Peak incline calling, subsequently getting deeper away from the gallery.

Mandalay crossed green field ahead, Allen Vincent, scouting, riding to keep tabs, soon after calling point, the dog standing 200 yards off to the left, his manners again in good order as birds flew and for the shot.

Outlawed had given Derrig the slip. He returned at 50 and requested his retrieval device.

Daugherty ahead with Mandalay signalled point near the old Cadillac pond, and another bevy was in the books for the Westfall pointer, which finished out front soon after.

Owner Bill Westfall was on hand Wednesday afternoon when the winners were named, the recipient  with handler Andy Daugherty of hearty congratulations for his young dog’s laurels.

THE OTHERS

The frigid temperatures that hit the midlands over the weekend arrived Monday morning for the start of the stake, the temperature near 27° with a northwest breeze that made it feel even colder. Randy Floyd introduced the judges, expressed appreciation for the trial sponsors and gave a short invocation of thanks and a prayer of protection for participants, and the first brace — Erin’s Outlawed and Westfall’s Mandalay – was off.

Touch’s Whitewater and Nonami’s Hank Aaron followed.

During the ensuing snack break, Bobby Dubose, in the next brace with Dubose What A dog, remarked that he was “oldest handler with the youngest dog.” Bobby, at 80, has competed at Dixie on many occasions, just before this stake, in the Continental Amateur trials in November.

Just Say When with Jamie Daniels and What A Dog were loosed at 10:24, both dogs in tandem quickly ahead. Co-owner Tracy Haines was here from Broomfield, Colo., riding for her Just Say When. At 5 the twosome rounded in front of the gallery from the right, and soon after Bobby’s dog pointed. He was statuesque as his handler moved in front to flush and remained so as Bobby worked to get birds airborne. When nothing transpired, he sent the pointer to relocate, but an unproductive eventuated. Both dogs wove through the piney country ahead, and then across green field, delving to the left where point was called on downward incline at 28, Just Say When visible, What A Dog half hidden in brush about twenty yards to the left. As Daniels prepared to advance to flush for Say When, Dubose had his dog by the collar to lead it away. Nothing came of Daniels’ flushing effort, nor a subsequent relocation. Soon back ahead, What A Dog was pointing. Neither a thorough flushing effort nor a busy relocation were productive, ending the Dubose pointer’s bid at 33. Just Say When continued ahead, canvassing edges, delving into thick areas, eventually pointing handsomely at 50. This work and a relocation ended disappointingly unproductive. The morning running was over.

The afternoon braces resumed after a sumptuous luncheon provided by The Wright Group, real estate, advisory and brokerage services, hosted by Hunter Drew at the Commissary.

Lester’s Stemwinder and S S S Stormy were first up, Gary Lester with the former, Allen Vincent, the latter. The sky was clear, sun bright, temperatures having warmed a few degrees to the low 40s. The energetic twosome was quickly across the forward fallow field and through the woods cut that leads to the old breakaway spot, and well beyond. Stormy was stopped at 16 before the water tub turn, but her point and relocation came up blank. Minutes later, at 22, Stemwinder was pointing ahead facing stand of young pines where Lester flew a nice size bevy for the staunchly styled dog. Both dogs were attractive, modest in coverage at times, but busy, and finishing ahead.

Melrose Ramblin Man and Notorious Dominator’s Heir were next, the pair with the long stretch ahead that leads to roadway and water tank. Both quickly negotiated this for handlers Terry Chastain, Jr., and John Mathys who angled up rise after roadway for the next portion. The Dominator dog was pointing ahead at 22, standing in a picturesque setting, on a slight elevation under spreading oak, the backdrop a large green field with the white Quail Lodge (where the judges are housed) in the distance. Birds had been found in this vicinity at former trials and they were here again when Mathys flushed, his dog with topnotch demeanor when the covey flew in all directions. Ramblin Man countered with work of his own 2 minutes later, scout calling point. The judges and gallery had made the turn south when “Point!” came from across partial dry lake, and Judge Williams responded. As it eventuated, the dog was at the far end of lake edge where a commendable piece of bird work was recorded some minutes later. Both dogs were ahead at 40 when a bevy flushed wild from field edge as the judges passed. Just before the trek behind the office, Mathys elected to take his dog up at about 55. Rambling Man was ahead, concealed for a few minutes by the tall cover before time was called as the judges passed Windham Lake and Ramblin Man grabbed the forward incline as time wound down.

Erin’s Irish Rebel and Westfall’s Tulsa Time were the day’s final pair, Sean Derrig with the former, Andy Daugherty with Tulsa Time. They were off at 4:05, the afternoon beginning to cool. Like his kennelmate in the morning’s first brace, Rebel was pointing within the first few minutes, high headed, tail ramrod straight, his birds flying in pairs, then threes and spread out over a wide area, likely feeding, as someone in the gallery observed. Then the twosome was on the long edge of ensuing field, rounding it at its end and heading toward the water tank road crossing. Soon after, at 15, Daugherty determined that Tulsa Time was not contending and had the rope out. Shortly after, Derrig signaled his dog ahead was pointing and quickly was at a full gallop, the judges in his wake. When he reached the dog, he said birds had flown. Neither judge had seen them, but handler shot. Six minutes later Rebel was pointing again, as handsome as the first two times, but Derrig’s flushing effort produced nothing, as did the dog’s subsequent relocation, and hander elected to take him up.

Another brisk morning for the start at 7:57 when Westfall’s Wheels Up (Andy Daugherty) and Rebel Cause (Jamie Daniels) were loosed. They took the right edge and crossed the front before swinging to the fore. Through the treeline, both were ahead, then Cause slipped out of sight before the turn west was made at about 8. Before plantation road crossing, at about 12, Daniels signaled he was riding back in hopes of locating Cause, Judge Williams holding up. Wheels Up was across the roadway ahead at 15, and soon pointed at 18, down slope to the left facing tall dead grasses ahead where the covey was flushed, the dog stylish and mannerly for the work. At 28 Daugherty indicated the dog making game and hurried his pace but Wheels Up came on, showing nicely on a strong cast on the edge of the Pike’s Peak incline. Earlier, Judge William returned to the gallery to inform that Daniels had requested his retrieval device for Cause at about 22. Wheels Up maintained a forward pattern for most of the second half, a covey flushing wild on the right near 55 minutes, the Westfall pointer completing his bid soon after.

No time lost between braces, as Dogwood Cash and Confidence Nation were ready and off at 9:06, Judd Carlton with the former, Tommy Davis with Nation, owner Scott Jordan riding. Within what seemed to be but a minute Nation was pointing 300 years ahead facing on-coming riders, firm, his tail flagpole straight. Davis flushed, but nothing was flown, and the dog’s relocation also came up blank. Ahead at 7 Cash was pointing and Carlton flew his birds, the dog with commendable manners and location, Brooks Bennett (son of longtime field trial patron, Oscar Bennett) in the gallery admiring the work. Davis had been calling on Nation since the earlier unproductive, crossed ahead to the north to check that side of the course. Cash was pointing again at 21. Carlton worked to produce birds then sent the dog to relocate. Cash executed a wide relocation effort but it was not productive. Soon after, word came that Davis had conceded when Nation was not be located, a disappointment for owner Scott Jordan who was riding. Cash continued, mostly forward with little scouting, but after the turn toward the Boy Scout cabin and in sight of the cabin at 45, Carlton elected to pick the dog up.

Bonner’s Bulletproof and Dubose’s Wonder Dog were next, the twosome loosed after a brief snack break, Mark Haynes with Bulletproof and Bobby Dubose back with his “Joe.” They shot up the forward hillside, making the turn left at the top past the water tub, both dogs out of sight for a spell, Bobby Dubose eventually signaling at 10 he was heading back to look for Joe. As it happened, both dogs came to the gallery not long after and Jamie Daniels took Joe on. At 22 Bulletproof was pointing, staunch and positive as Haynes flew his birds and shot. Both dogs ranged well through the plethora of pines that populate this section of the course, Joe pointing atop rise at 39. Joe was firm, leaning, but nothing came of Daniels’ flushing, and the dog was sent to relocate. Joe took some liberties, appearing almost as though he would go on, but backwards, and finally Bobby Dubose, who had returned earlier, called on him and Joe responded, following Brad Phillips, Bobby’s grandson who was scouting, back to the front where Bobby took over. Both dogs, now ahead, moved through the ensuing country, time called about 12 minutes later. As the judges awaited handlers to bring their dogs in, “Point!” was called. Bulletproof was pointing, but nothing was flushed and nothing eventuated from a relocation.

Conditions were much the same for the p. m. running, sunny skies but  temperatures in the 40s with a brisk wind at times.

Erin’s Wild Atlantic Way with Sean Derrig and Chickasaw Hurricane with Tommy Davis were loosed at 1:43, both quickly over the fallow field ahead, through pines and past the former breakaway area on the way to and past the water tub turn. Hurricane was pointing at 15, Davis flushing a good size bevy for the high styled dog. Wild Atlantic flashed through the piney terrain, with a commendable swing woven in. Davis signaled point at 23, Hurricane standing in a low spot at a significant distance. During the ride, the pointer came on. At about 37, the judges alerted handlers that their dogs were well to the right in dry lake bottom; Eisenhart, scouting, had them back ahead in short order with handlers at the water tub before the ascent through the stand of esquire pines. Hurricane was standing again at 52. He glanced at Davis on his approach, and his tail flagged momentarily before firming again before handler flushed. Nothing eventuated, and the dog was sent to relocate; that too was blank. On ahead, both dogs were approaching the long expanse toward forward roadway, when Atlantic pointed. He was a pleasing sight, the wind directly at him, the flag of his tail fluttering in the breeze as Derrig flushed his birds. Time was called.

Texas Wild Rex (Allen Vincent) and Dominator’s Bull Market (Jamie Daniels) were in No. 11, the balance of the stretch to the roadway ahead before them. They quickly used that portion and were on incline concourse path across roadway. At 15 Vincent was down, harness in hand. When the judge arrived to hand him his retrieval unit, he asked factiously, “You know where there is an armadillo trial?”

Bull Market was ahead when Judd Carlton, scouting, called point a goodly distance to the left at 27. The dog was a portrait, statuesque, the judge later, saying, “Wasn’t he pretty?” Indeed, but Daniels’ flushing effort and “Bud’s” relocation produced nothing. Bull Market carried a long edge soon after, and at 42 was pointing again, same picturesque style and intensity, but this too, after handler’s flush and Bud’s relocation, ended unproductively.

The day’s final pair — Redeemed with Luke Eisenhart and Mayhaw’s Smooth Criminal with Judd Carlton— was off at 3:37. They were a quick twosome, reaching the forward incline to the right in short order. Redeemed tallied a commendable find at 10. The twosome maintained the front, at times delving to the sides when handlers had to ride. At 25 handers’ hats were up, both dogs standing ahead facing each other, not more than ten yards apart on either side of tall grassy patch. Both handlers had their dogs by the collar, the stand deemed they were backing each other. A rider flushed a covey at 33 and another at 38. As the course moved up the ensuing hillside, Redeemed went straight ahead as the course path angled right and Eisenhart followed, this at about 42. Smooth Criminal was pointing ahead at 48, but it was unproductive. Carlton elected to pick up. A minute or so later, Redeemed was back ahead, finishing his stint well.

A 32° morning for brace No. 13 — Lester’s High Dollar with Gary Lester and Shearjoy’s Rebellion with Tommy Davis, the latter the second setter contender in the stake. The pair was away at 7:56, owner Betty Shearouse riding for her pretty setter. They took the right coverline and crossed at the pine strip ahead. Through the pines, Lester rode to the far treeline calling on High Dollar. Both dogs were soon out front and at 12 Davis was riding, called “Birds!”, Rebellion stopped, High Dollar some twenty yards away also, the setter credited with a stop to flush. After plantation road crossing at 24, scout Luke Eisenhart rode up hillside to the right, and soon called point, both dogs there, but moving as the judges arrived. Back ahead Lester signaled point at 31, but waved it off. Rebellion was pointing at 34, nicely styled, but Davis’ flushing effort and the dog’s relocation were blank. Lester called point for High Dollar at 42, but waved it off. Rebellion made a showy cast across broad green field to far coverline. At 53 Lester’s hat was up indicating his dog pointing some distance down left incline, but a deep ditch intervened between the dog and Judge Williams heading back toward High Dollar. Lester called flight of birds, but the judge did not see them. Lester shot. On ahead the twosome finished well, High Dollar straight ahead and Rebellion veering well to the left.

Spencer’s Rambling Justice and Dominator’s Rebel Rogue, Fred Rayl with Justice and Jamie Daniels handling Rogue. Mr. Jim Spencer, owner of Justice, was riding as the dogs went quickly ahead. Daniels rode the right side as Rayl veered left toward the Florida- Georgia line. Handlers switched positions near the Y water tank through the fallow field ahead. Justice came through the gallery at 14 surging ahead, and at 20 Daniels, who had ridden the north edge for some minutes, came for his retrieval device. Justice was out of sight for a spell, again coming through the gallery at 29, then making the right turn that leads to the Boy Scout cabin area, where at 34 Rayl signaled point. As the judges rode, a turkey flew across course path. Justice was a picture, high and tight facing a high and thick patch of cover which Rayl battled through hoping to flush birds. When nothing eventuated, Justice was tapped for a relocation, which ended unproductively. Up the hill and the swing left, eventually angling through pine row, when Judge Williams at 57 alerted Rayl that Justice was standing down slope to the right where a covey was flushed and shot fired, time ending soon after.

Cheyenne Nation and Touch’s Breakaway Fred were up after the snack break. Fred won the Georgia Derby Championship earlier in the month, Ike Todd handling the dog in that stake. Mark McLean was in charge here. Owner Scott Jordan had his Nation. Action came quickly when Jordan called point at 2 on right rise, the dog styled handsomely facing back toward the oncoming gallery, just as Fred angled back and briskly approached his pointing bracemate, stopping and posed as stylishly as Nation. A portrait opportunity. Jordan flushed the bevy that was not more than six feet in front of the dog. Fred was a wide ranging rascal, gone, then up front, a pattern repeated with regularity. Tommy Davis, scouting Nation, called point well to the left at 16. Again, the dog was a picture of intensity and style. As Jordan approached Nation gave him a brief sideways glance. Handler flushed, then issued a relocation, which came up blank. Briskly on the way back to the course, the dog stopped at 21, spun and pointed. As Jordan walked to him, the dog took a step or two. Two birds flew, and Scott flushed the balance of the bevy. A few words between Jordan and Judge Mason and the dog came on. Fred maintained his pattern, seen up front, then gone, then up front. Nation was pointing again at 51 facing high thick cover. Jordan tackled the task, but nothing was flown, and nothing came of the dog’s relocation. Fred was gone at time, and McLean rode back to the judge to secure his retrieval unit.

It was 32° when the morning running ended, just a 5° difference from the morning’s start. Two hours later the temperature had climbed some 10° and would reach nearly 50° by mid-afternoon.

Carlton’s True Grit with Judd Carlton and Rester’s Cajun Charlie, with several Derby placements this field trial season, handled by Luke Eisenhart. Charlie’s owner Cecil Rester was here from Angie, La. The twosome made short work of the initial fallow field, were through the ensuing woods area and well to the front by 10. Charlie made a strong move up forward hillside at 16, and was especially strong the first half. True Grit’s auspicious start soon dimmed and Carlton called it a day for the dog at 33. Charlie sustained an absence after the half, came to the gallery while Eisenhart was off to the side seeking the dog. Rester slipped in momentarily, but Luke was back and off they went to the fore. In closing minutes, Charlie was gone again when “Point!” came from the far left near time, the dog standing in cleared swath posed handsomely. Eisenhart gave it a thorough try, then sent Charlie to relocate, but nothing came of it and time had ended.

It was warm and dry at 2:59 when Miller’s Heat Advisory (Daniels) and Rester’s Cowboy Bill (Eisenhart) were loosed. The long stretch ahead of this pair was quickly covered and they were in heavier cover on the right soon after. At 26 Daniels had the dog with him, but not pleased with what he was doing conceded. Cowboy Bill was hitting on all cylinders and soon after Eisenhart was out of pocket as the dog came to the gallery at 41 and Tracy Swearingen, riding, took him on. At 51 Bill was pointing atop forward hill, exhibiting pleasing style as he stood facing waving broomsedge. The flushing effort came up blank, and the dog’s series of relocations, point, relocation, were also fruitless. Eisenhart was on hand for the final minutes that ended as the course passed behind the office.

The final brace featured Nilo’s Feathered Indian with Mark McLean, as a bye. The pretty pointer female flashed up course hill, was quickly on green field edge, and then delved left, where Hailey Moreland alerted McLean from the gallery, “Dog’s on the left.” McLean had her soon after and she swung right with the course and pointed in sedge at 24. Nothing came of her stylish pose or her relocation and handler chose to take her up. [Word from an observer later informed that a hawk had lit in a tall pine in the vicinity moments before she pointed.]

Greenville, Fla., January 20

Judges: Bill Mason and Jason Williams

CONTINENTAL DERBY CHAMPIONSHIP [One-Hour Heats] — 33 Pointers and 2 Setters

Winner—TOUCH’S WHITEWATER, 1686591, pointer male, by Touch’s Smooth Rider—Jackson’s Double M. Dr. Marcos Puiggari, owner; Mark McLean, handler.

Runner-Up—WESTFALL’S MANDALAY, 1682881, pointer male, by Strut Nation—Erin’s Amazing Grace. William P. Westfall, owner; Andy Daugherty, handler.

 

SOME DIXIE SIDELIGHTS

Knowledgeable judges has been the haulmark of the Continental trials at Dixie, and 2020 is no exception.

Both Bill Mason and Jason Williams are seasoned bird dog men.

Bill Mason grew up in Falls City, Neb., and became acquainted with another well known bird dog and field trial individual — Dr. Pat McInteer.

Bill attended the University of Nebraska, “for two months,” he said with a chuckle. “I was not getting any scholarship or aid, my mom and dad were paying for everything. My dad was a Marine and it did not sit too well with him.”

Bill eventually relocated and was employed by the Alabama Department of Corrections, eventually stationed at the Charles A. Farquhar Cattle Ranch near Greensboro, Ala., the programs there helping to provide monies for the underfunded corrections budget.

Charles Farquhar was the oldest warden in Alabama when he and his wife Doris were killed at the ranch in 1994 by an inmate.

Subsequently, the cattle ranch became part of the Alabama Forever Wild program, and was named M. Barnett Lawley Field Trial Area where Bill is the lands management officer.

Bill spent several summers at erstwhile major circuit handler Roy Jines’ camp in the Nebraska sandhills where he received a “graduate course” in bird dogs and field trials.

Jason Williams grew up with bird dogs and more predominantly horses. His father, John Williams, trained and sold horses.

Jason earned a rodeo scholarship to Southwestern Oklahoma State University.

He became affiliated with the late Freddie Epp and his son Roy in the early 1980s, and spent eight summers with the Epps at their camp in Saskatchewan.

“Then I got to know J. C. Turner. He won the Top Shooting Dog Award (in 1999) and I was able to use his grounds in  North Dakota starting in 2000.”

Jason, like his father, is also in the horse business while  handling any number of winners on the major shooting dog circuit

Three individuals play an important role in the activities at Dixie and the Continental Championships in particular— Plantation Manger Randy Floyd, office manager Andrea Barstow and Gloria Hagen. Randy also serves as president of the Continental Field Trial Club, while Gloria Hagen is a mainstay of the luncheon hour in the Commissary and manages the comfortable Quail Lodge where the judges and reporter are housed.

Opening day, January 20, was also the Martin Luther King holiday and, as in seasons past, there are a goodly number of riders in the gallery, among them Kevin Stuart from Schenectady, N. Y., and Lynn Oxendine from Joplin, Mo. Kevin was visiting from Sean Derrig’s southern quarters in Georgia and Lynn was on a circuit of major stakes that he’d had on his “to do” list for some years. He’d ridden at the Florida Open Championship the previous week.

On the dog wagon on Monday were Alex Mauck and his friend Kris Wall from Oregon. They too had ridden the Florida at Chinquapin the previous week. “It was warm for our horses,”

he said. “Giving them a couple of days’ rest.” They were back in the saddle later in the stake. Kris celebrated her birthday here on Tuesday, January 21.

Clay Sisson of Tall Timbers was also on hand on opening day.

Chris Mathan was here for the afternoon portions of the trial from her home in Pavo, Ga.  Terry Chastain, who has judged here on several occasions, came from Melrose Plantation in Thomasville and rode the afternoon his son Terry Jr. handled the Melrose entry.

Paul Deloach is a regular in the gallery and he rode daily during the running, and Claudia McNamee, undertaking some reportorial  assignments (see Lee County, January 25 issue) rode the afternoon of the third day.

Owners riding in support of their dogs, if known, were noted in the earlier write-up. But it is newsworthy to mention them again.

Tracy Haines was here for Just Say When; Chicagoan Sean Derrig handled three entries — Erin’s Outlawed, Erin’s Irish Rebel and Erin’s Wild Atlantic Way. Bobby Dubose from Baker, Fla., to the west, handled his two Derbies, Dubose’s What A Dog and Dubose’s Wonder Dog. Bobby likely set a record — the oldest handler at age 80 to compete on the Continental Derby Championship!

John Mathys from Green Bay, Wis., has a place not too far from Dixie, and he handled his Notorious Dominator’s Heir. Minnesotan Scott Jordan spends much of the winter in the south. He had two entries — Confidence Nation and Cheyenne  Nation. He handled the latter.

Gary Lester has been a regular at Dixie for some fifteen years and was back with Lester’s Stemwinder and Lester’s High Dollar. Owner Cecil Rester was also here with a twosome — Rester’s Cajun Charlie and Rester’s Cowboy Bill, both handled by Luke Eisenhart.

Betty Shearouse came from Kimball, Tenn., for her attractive setter female Shearjoy’s Rebellion.

Jim Spencer of Milton Fla., followed his young pointer male Spencer’s Rambling Justice handled by Fred Rayl.

There is expense to conduct trials at Dixie, now under the ownership of Tall Timbers Research. To help defray some of the cost, a generous group sponsors ten water tubs that are placed strategically around the courses.

Members of this contingent are: Bruce and Karen Norton of Norman Park, Ga.; Dixie Trace Field Trial Association; Doyle Hancock and Sons Construction; Dr. Ron Deal in memory of Flush’s Wrangler (winner of the Continental Championship in 1981); Jim Hamilton of Atlanta, Ga., whose Dominator’s Rebel Heir won the Continental in 2016; Mike and Laura Shea; Larron and Laura Copeland whose Showtime Sam Houston won the Continental Championship title in 2019; Til and Reid Hankley (Til drives and dog wagon truck and Reid judged this stake last year with Joe Rentz); Hank Bush of Tallahassee, Fla.; Sportsman’s Pride, Sunshine Mills (Brad Kennedy) of Red Bay, Ala.

Speaking of sponsors, the first week of the trials luncheons were provided three sponsors: On Monday by the Wright Group — Hunter Drew; on Wednesday, a tasty fish fry by Sportsman’s Pride; Thursday, by The Company, Gary Lester. Saturday evening’s steak dinner was hosted by Ag Pro and the Continental Field Trial Club. During the second week, Purina was scheduled to provide lunch for all participants.

Noticeably absent at Dixie for the 2020 renewal was handler Robin Gates. The Gates family — John S., John Rex and Robin — have been competing at Dixie since the inaugural running of the Continental Championship in 1939 when John S. Gates won the title with Lester’s Enjoy’s Wahoo. John Gates won the inaugural Derby Championship in 1950,  as well, with Anna  Monroe.

Hailey Moreland rode on Wednesday afternoon. Her dad, Bubba Moreland, was a regular here for many seasons, retiring from the competitive field trial ranks a few years ago. She mentioned that he was improving and when questioned further, informed that Bubba had sustained a leg injury followed by surgery. A subsequent complication caused additional surgery, but that he was on the mend.

Others integral to the successful running of the Continental Championship are Mike Cheely of Fayetteville,  Ga., who come for virtually the entire ten-day program to  assist with the marshaling, morning and afternoon, and Til Hankley who efficiently mans the dog wagon, joined by his friend Barbara Reed.

Longtime attendee at Dixie, John Thompson  of Camilla, Ga., stopped by for a visit the second day. John is a proficient dog man and  equally so with horses that he breeds.

At lunch on Tuesday, January 21, Bobby Dubose was reminiscing about placements he’d won and dogs he’d won with. He said he handled a pointer female Lemon Girl in the National Derby Championship at Jimmy Hinton’s Sedgefields Plantation near Alberta, Ala. He said she did a good job. David Grubb was there and saw her and offered to purchase her. Pete Frierson was also interested. Bobby said he finally told David Grubb the dog was his. Mr. Frierson had called and asked if Grubb had paid for the dog. Bobby said no. “Then she’s not sold yet,” Mr. Frierson said. When Bobby answered that he’d agreed David could purchase her, Mr. Frierson abruptly hung up the phone.

Lemon Girl was then acquired by Col. Frank Pierson and her name changed to

Colonel’ s Lemon Girl and she was thenceforth campaigned under his banner by David Grubb.

Bart Goodson came from Tallahassee on Wednesday and rode that afternoon. His father, Brantley Goodson, was a mainstay of the trials here some years back. Bart initiated a fund raising effort to have a custom dog wagon built to accommodate up to ten dogs with comfortable seating for those who wished to following the running.

Providing a big boost to the trials was Thomasville Toyota which provided a new vehicle to tow the dog wagon. On the truck were a big assortment of snacks provided by Childers Construction.

Reeves Lane was on hand Wednesday afternoon when the winners were announced. He brought the Derby Championship trophy (see photo of the winners) which his mother and father, Billie and Ruth Lane of Edison, Ga., provided. Billie Lane had a 53-year uninterrupted attendance at the Continental trials.

Last, but certainly, not the least, are Purina and Sportsman’s Pride, represented by  Greg Blair and Brad Kennedy, respectively.

Sportsman’s Pride sponsored the Tuesday fishfry and Purina was scheduled to host lunch during the All-Age portion of the trial. Purina and Sportsman’s Pride also helped with monetary support.

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