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Field Trial Report

Duplin County (N.C.) Gun and Dog Club

By Daisymae Wells | Nov 21, 2020

Warsaw, N. C. — Saturday, October 10, the Duplin County Gun and Dog Club hosted its fall trial at the B and J Hunting Reserve, better known as “Boy Scout Lane,” in Warsaw, N. C.

The Open Puppy Stake was scheduled to begin at first light. But a gray overcast and a heavy fog in our area reduced the visibility and changed the starting time to 8:00 a.m. With temperatures at 61° and no breeze, it would prove to be another unusual weather day in North Carolina.

The puppies, eager to show off their skills, enjoyed a 20-minute run around the course. In the first brace, Gypsy, a pointer female handled by Sean Melvin, and Buddy, a setter male, handled by Calvin Curnette, were off to a great start. Both displayed an interest in the big sand field, crisscrossing the open field, moving swiftly forward to finish in record time. Next were Dwight Ingram with Hat Creek Green Lady, a Red setter female, and Curnette’s Nitro, a pointer male which completed the course within the allotted time frame. No notable skills were displayed by either of these pups; however, they were eager to please.

Mr. Brown’s pointer female (Sean Melvin) was braced with Jen, pointer female handled by “Buckshot” Whaley, owned by Bill Faust. Jen proved to be the better puppy in showmanship and took home  first place. At the completion of brace No. 3, the judges took a short break to cool and  water the horses.

As the day progressed, it had a lazy fee as the heat rose and the sun shone through the clouds.

G.B. Hatcher's pointer female Libby was picked up 12 minutes into the brace. Bracemate Hat Creek Red Tail, red setter female, owned and handled by Ingram completed the 4th brace. The fifth and final brace began at 9:30 with Buckshot handling “Becky” and Curnette,  Hondo. Mr. Faust always enters the Open Puppy stakes, which increases the experience of both the handler and the puppies. He is pleased to acknowledge that “Buckshot,” an up-and-coming youth handler, made an appearance in the winners' circle.

At 10:00 a.m., the Open Derby was off and running. Eight dogs made up the stake, four pointers and four setters. Temperatures were on the rise, now a comfortable 65° as Bill Adams with Hays, and Jerry Raynor handling Midget, both pointer males, were entusatically out of the gate. Midget had three nicely spaced  find in the Cedar Field, in the back loop and near the deer stand near the end of the course, in one of the new feed patches.

The second brace had pointer male Rooster, owned by Mr. Brown and handled by Melvin, and Ingram’s Hat Creek Big Time, red Setter female. Rooster had one find, also in one of the new feed plots.

Brace No. 3, Hitch, a setter male, handled by Curnette was picked up early. Ingram’s Hat Creek Tug, a Red Setter female produced no bird work and the brace concluded at 11:15. The final brace of the Open Derby began at 11:20 with Joe Edwards' Delta, a female Red setter and C C’s Smith, owned by Faust, a pointer male.

Dwight Ingram stated he was happy to be able to run this trial, but was looking forward to spending the balance of the weekend with his kids and seven-year-old grandson. As soon as possible Dwight was loading up dogs and horses to venture home and onto Virginia for a family visit.

A tasty lunch was catered by Bland’s BBQ. Everyone practiced social distancing, adhering to the guidelines of our state, by following the three W’s. Bottled water and sodas were available as an extra source of safety. A special thanks to the Bland’s team for putting together this meal and going the extra step to protect those in attendance.

The Open Shooting Dog Stake began at 12:30 p.m. with Moonshine, setter male, owned and handled by Sean Melvin, braced with Shooter, setter male, owned and handled by Curnette. Both dogs were picked up before time.

Brace No. 2, started by 12:57; Bella a pointer female handled by Melvin, braced with Reb, owned and handled by Bill Adams, pointer female. Bella had an unproductive and one find. It was noted that Reb had been injured several weeks prior to this trial, but showed no evidence of soreness or lack of interest. She ran a great race, but no bird work.

Tommy Brigman’s pointer male Joe and Curnette’s setter Jack made up brace No. 3. Jack had a find in at 1:24, backed by Joe, with another find at 1:32 on the final leg of the course in the Pine Tree thicket.

No. 4  consisted of pointer males, Curnette’s Storm and Jerry Raynor’s Dusty. Storm run up a convey and was picked up, while there was no bird work from either dog. Dusty showed much interest in the Cedar field area with an extra few moments in search of birds near the duck pond. This brace concluded at 2:11.

No. 5 started at 2:20, Bill Adams' J C L's  Dal,  pointer male, braced with Trump, Red setter male. Trump had two finds, one at the Duck Pond and again in the Big Loop. Dal had a find in the Coyote Field.

Brace No. 6 started at 3:09. The heat had set in for the day with no breeze and no clouds to hide the sun. With the increasing temperatures, the birds were no longer active.Pointer female Brown’s Sally was picked up, and Jimmy, a setter male, handled by Curnette had a find at 3:09 at the duck pond. Dogs and horses were beginning to show signs of exhaustion as the temperatures continued to rise.

Brown’s Rambo, pointer male, and Ben, handled by Curnette were off to a good race at 3:12 pm. Rambo had one find and one back. Ben was picked up when he moved on the bird in the final leg of the race.

Lady Sole, a Red Setter, female and Brown’s Stormy, a Red setter male were down in the final brace of the Open Shooting Dog. Stormy was picked up in the back loop at 10 minutes. Lady Sole completed the race but was not able to produce any bird work.

The Open Shooting Dog was concluded at 4:10 p.m.

With strong winds and heavy rain in the forecast for Sunday, club officials and judges decided to continue with the trial even if it was later than normal in the evening completing the event.

The Open All-Age began at 4:20 p.m. after a 15-minute break to rest the horses. The first brace was Adams with Dal, pointer male which suffered an unproductive, and Curnette's Missy, a setter female which was birdless. Missy produced an overall good race.

Ben, a pointer male (Curnette) and Skip, a setter male (Whaley) searched the new feed patches in earnest. The three new feed patches proved to be an asset to the trial, providing coverage throughout the day’s event.

No. 3. Curnette with Hope, a setter female, and Whaley with Cil, a pointer female. Neither dog were able to experience the thrill of the find; however, the thrill of the hunt was there.

As the trial finished up, and the judges named their winners. It was apparent that Curnette would have winning dogs in two of the three places.

The events of the day were now memories and the fellowship of the trial brought smiles and congratulations to those attending.

The following was penned by Frank Rhodes, a visitor who took time from his day to experience a horseback field trial for the very first time.

“Nestled down a quiet shady gravel road, just a few miles from the town of Warsaw, is a sport that is breathtaking to watch. Sportsmen using horses to follow far-ranging pointing dogs until they locate and lock-on point coveys of quail.

"The land is as beautiful as your eyes will allow you to see and the majesty of the horses and the dogs is only outshone by the stories told by the sportsmen  . . .

"I had the best time I have had in a long time, feeling like I was watching old and new friends enjoy the outdoors as it is intended to be enjoyed.”

In short, the chatter of the handlers, the distant hum of the road traffic, the melody of the native birds and insects, the excitement of the dogs and the earthy smell of the horses, gave the day a natural rhythm.

A heartfelt thank you to the judges, John Outlaw and Donnie Faust, to Pat for taking time to bring out the lunch and make sure everyone was served.

A special thank you to G.B. Hatcher and Bill Faust for working the grounds and releasing birds to provide a great place to have a field trial and making sure every dog had the same fair advantage to find birds.

Winners received leashes for each placement and first place winners received a 50 lb bag of  Nutrena dog food product.

Warsaw, N. C., October 10 — One Course

Judges: Donald Faust and John Outlaw

OPEN PUPPY — 7 Pointers, 1 Setter and 2 Irish Setters

1st—JEN, unreg., pointer female, breeding not given. Bill Faust, owner; Bladen Whaley, handler.

2d—HONDO, unreg., pointer male, breeding not given. Calvin Curnette, owner and handler.

3d—BECKY, particulars not given. Bill Faust, onwer; Bladen Whaley, handler.

OPEN DERBY — 4 Pointers, 1 Setter and 3 Irish Setters

1st—BROWNTOWN BREAKAWAY, 1690829, pointer male, by Fast Forward’s B K Gunner—B K Why Not Handous. Auddie Brown, owner; Jerry Raynor, handler.

2d—ROOSTER, unreg., pointer male, breeding not given. Mr. Brown, owner; Sean Melvin, handler.

3d—C C’S SMIT, 1691638, pointer male, by L C Smith—Quickmarksman Brave Heart. Bill Faust, owner; Bladen Whaley, handler.

OPEN SHOOTING DOG — 9 Pointers, 1 Setter and 6 Irish Setters

1st—HARBOR CITY CRUZ, 1655653, pointer male, by Brown’s Tom Tom—Erin’s Lady Luck. Thomas E. Bridman, Jr., owner and handler.

2d—SANDLAND JUMPING JACK, 1663268, setter male, by Grouse Woods Skeeter—Sandland Miracle Maggie. W. Mills Hodge, owner; Calvin Curnette, handler.

3d—TRUMP, unreg., Irish setter male, breeding not given. Joe Edwards, owner and handler.

OPEN ALL-AGE — 3 Pointers and 3 Setters

1st—ERIN’S WOODLANDS WARRIOR, 1679600, pointer male, by Erin’s Redrum—Erin’s Painted Lady. Bob Angen & Arrow Ferguson, owners; Calvin Curnette, handler.

2d—SKIP B, 1686861, setter male, by Mohawk Mill Lucky Charm—Z Z Top. Bill Faust, owner; Bladen Whaley, handler.

3d—MERRITT’S MISSY, 1662614, setter female, by Merritt’s Zackery—Merritt’s Hope. Terry Merritt, owner; Calvin Curnette, handler.

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