American Field

Dr. Rick Love Has Died

By Darron Hendley | Jan 16, 2020
From left: Bill Goolsby, handler Billy Wayne  Morton, Purina Award Winner Lehar’s MainTech, and Dr. Rick Love.

Dr. Rick Love of Montgomery, Ala., passed away on January 7 at the age of 64.

Dr. Love was an otolaryngologist by trade, but his real passion for many years was all-age field trial dogs.

He started out like many who are now in the field trial game, upland game hunting. He grew up walk hunting setters and evolved into running in amateur horseback shooting dog trials.

In the late 1990s, he came across a dog of a lifetime! One that most can only dream of owning. Dr. Love and his friend, Bill Goolsby, purchased a white and liver pointer female affectionately known as “Betty”, more widely known as Lehar’s Main Tech.

Under the hands of professional trainer-handler Billy Wayne Morton, Lehar’s Main Tech became the only female at the time to win two consecutive Purina Top All-Age Dog Awards. They occurred in 1999 and 2000.

Betty gave it her all every time she was put down. In fact, Betty died during a brace of the 2001 National Championship at Ames Plantation. What a way to go.

When Betty’s career ended, she had accumulated 38 open placements, twelve open championships and eight open runner-up championships.

Lehar’s Main Tech was elected into the Field Trial Hall of Fame on the very first time she was on the ballot of leading nominees in 2001.

I’m a firm believer that dogs go to heaven. If God allows smoking in heaven, Rick is probably puffing on a cigar and petting Betty on the head right now.

Dr. Love was a true southern gentleman who was loved by many, in particular his many patients left behind. He will be sorely missed.

Dr. Love was preceded in death by his parents, Robert and Shirley Love.

He leaves behind his loving wife Candance and two children, Gannon and Kirsten, and one sister.

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