American Field

Amateur Shooting Dog Classic

Cross Keys Field Trial Club

By Dennis Hood | Jan 04, 2018

Fitzpatrick, Ala. — After a short hiatus, the Cross Keys Amateur Shooting Dog Classic returned to the annual slate of amateur classics on the Alabama Field Trial Association circuit. The club had long been a staple on the Alabama circuit until the death of Phillip Chancey brought about an end to the tradition.

Two years passed with no grounds available to run the trial. This past spring and summer Mr. Ray Allen stepped forward and offered his Feathers Plantation property located in Fitzpatrick, Ala., as a home for the Cross Keys. This was done with the blessing of Mr. Tom Lanier who holds the hunting lease on the property. With this part of the process accomplished we approached our local rep on the Purina award committee about having our trial points established. Mr. Rick Stallings was able to handle this for us with no problem. Many thanks to all of you gentlemen who assisted us in bringing the Cross Keys back and making it all that is was.

Judging duties for the comeback trial proved to be a problem to fill. Billy Kerr and Harrison Lee had initially agreed to judge, but Billy ended up with work related responsibilities and the large draw at the Dixie Open Shooting Dog Classic still had Harrison tied up. Thanks go out to David Lovern of Powder Springs, Ga., and Heather Klinck of Union Springs, Ala., for stepping in at the last moment and judging the trial. Without you we would have really been in trouble.

Ray Allen and family were present and helping with the trial. He was mounted a couple days along with daughter Evoane McGinty. Mr. Allen’s son Clark was on site a couple days assisting where possible. Robert Moorer and Harold Johnson were mounted as marshals all three days. Joseph Witherspoon was also mounted bringing up the rear. Willie “Byrd” Owens handled dog wagon chores every day. All of you were a big help and we can’t thank you enough.

Our sponsors for the weekend were a big help and absolutely invaluable.

Purina and Greg Blair threw in a big assist as well as supplying gift bags for the youth handlers. Thanks to Jimmy Cook of Cook Chevrolet/Ford in Elba, Ala., for all of his support as well as prizes for all the youth handlers. Becky Blanton helped out rounding up lunch for Saturday. Beck Johnson of the Hilltop Grill handled lunch Sunday. Eli Richardson also was a big help with his contribution. We also want to thank all of those who made monetary donations to the trial. All of the proceeds go directly to Hartley Carter Memorial Scholarship Fund.

Frank Rutland had a big weekend at Cross Keys, garnering first and third with his entries. Of the 22 dogs that toed the line, Rutland’s Panther Creek Wild Thing emerged the winner. Sugarknoll Bushwacker for Pete and Chris Del Collo, with Pete at the helm, took second with his efforts Saturday afternoon. Also competing on Saturday afternoon was Panther Creek Snow Queen which garnered third. All winners were placed on their efforts on the ground along with acceptable bird work.

The judges indicated there were a number of other dogs that were impressing before the wheels ran off for one reason or another. In no particular order: Miller’s California Dreamer for Fran Miller, Phillips Wind Line for Ray Pinson and Gail for Eli Richardson.

The winners and their particulars are appended.

The winners were not available for photos due to the Region 16 Amateur Championship that was being held at the same time.

Fitzpatrick, Ala., November 10

Judges: Heather Klinck and David Lovern

AMATEUR SHOOTING DOG CLASSIC [One-Hour Heats] — 19 Pointers and 3 Setters

1st—PANTHER CREEK WILD THING, 1650019, pointer male, by Whippoorwill Wild Agin—Sparrowhawk. Frank Rutland, owner and handler.

2d—SUGARKNOLL BUSHWACKER, 1657006, pointer male, by Sugarknoll Snow Warning—High Desert Dream. Peter & Chris Del Collo, owners; Pete Del Collo, handler.

3d—PANTHER CREEK SNOW QUEEN, 1662903, pointer female, by Game Strut—Panther Creek Delta Dawn. Frank Rutland, owner and handler.

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