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Readers Nominate Candidates Deemed Deserving of Hall of Fame Honors

Field Trial Hall of Fame Endorsements

Jun 09, 2017
Kenneth C. Raney

Herewith is the fourth installment of endorsements from readers for candidates they considered should be recognized by election to the Field Trial Hall of Fame.

 

Kenneth C. Raney

Once in awhile someone is overlooked for their deserved place in the Field Trial Hall of Fame during their lifetime. Such is the case with Kenneth C. Raney of Longview, Tex. (June 14, 1926-February 4, 2000).

Kenneth spent nearly fifty years in pursuit of his passion for bird dogs and field trials.

After returning from his tour of duty as a B-17 gunner in the U. S. Army Air Corps and graduating from Baylor University, his love of bird dogs began in 1950 and never waned throughout the remainder of his life. He started with a loyal English setter and began hunting the beautiful woods and fields of East Texas. During that time East Texas was still blanketed with pea farms, cotton farms and various other row crop operations that provided the ideal habitat for bobwhite quail. Along the way Kenneth and his colleague Jim Anderson befriended Carl Duffield and a setter pup out of Ch. Hightone Red Rocket would become the prize of his kennel. That puppy, Hightone R, would go on to produce the dam of Ch. Commander’s Jet Stream and set Ken Raney on his course to a new level in the bird dog world. During this time he also was the owner of some fine Quarter Horses. It was only natural, then, that horseback field trialing would be the perfect fit for a man that loved both dogs and horses and was willing to work to bring out the best in both. So, Kenneth became interested in field trial competition as well as enjoying days in the field hunting over his dogs which by this time included both pointers and setters. He soon started applying his talents for leadership by helping revitalize the Longview Field Trial Club with his friends Dr. John Vaughn and Ed Skinner. What started as a local hobby soon became a national passion. His mark on the sport of field trialing survives him in countless ways, be as a handler, a breeder, a judge, an owner, club official, a patron, a competitor, a friend or a mentor to newcomers, Kenneth Raney made a significant difference for the better through his presence and participation in field trials. He did all of this while also being an outstanding husband, father and grandfather.

As it is with men of high character, Kenneth also stood as a pillar in his community, serving for many years as a deacon and elder in the First Presbyterian Church of Longview, while building a successful career as vice-president of oil and gas production for R. Lacy, Inc. of Longview.

It would not be possible to list all of his and his dogs’ accomplishments in field trials here but among the more notable highlights are his five champions: Lipan, Smackover R, Rodessa, Hunton and Buckrange. These five captured the titles of National Champion at Ames in 1995; 1994 Free-For-All Champion; 1987 National Open Shooting Dog Champion; 1979, 1982, 1993 Texas Open Champion; 1991 Colorado Open Shooting Dog Champion; 1987 Midwest Open Shooting Dog Champion.

He raised and campaigned four dogs that qualified for and competed in the National Championship at Grand Junction. Three of his dogs, Ch. Smackover R, National Champion Lipan, and National Open Shooting Dog Champion Rodessa, have been inducted into the Texas Field Trial Hall of Fame.

As an amateur he was always appreciative of the professional handlers, Tony Terrell, Richard Woolever, Jack Herriage and Gary Pinalto, for their dedication and efforts campaigning his dogs to significant wins. He also enjoyed handling his own dogs in the highest level of competitions. He handled Ch. Smackover R to the 1979-1980 Oklahoma All-Age Dog of the Year and the 1981 Region 7 Amateur All-Age Championship. With his five champions alone, he won or placed in over 40 amateur field trials.

As a club official and patron, he served for many years as a director of Region 7 (Amateur Field Trial Clubs of America) and of the Texas Championship. He served as secretary and president of the Longview Field Trial Club and was a co-organizer of the Red River Circuit within Region 7.

He was available for numerous judging assignments including the 1986 Region 7 Amateur All-Age Championship as well as local club trials.

I first met Kenneth in 1982 after being transferred to Longview by the recreational vehicle company I was working for at the time and I had a side business selling a popular brand of dog food. Kenneth began buying his dog food from me and it was several months before he even mentioned any of his accomplishments in the field trial world. He was that sort of person, never one to boast or brag, he just let his dogs do the talking for him.

He was also the kind of man who was always willing to help a newcomer to the sport or a new club trying to get started.

After Lipan won the National Championship he came to one of our East Texas Bird Hunter trials just to socialize and after more than an hour he had not even mentioned Lipan’s win, so I announced to everyone there what she had just accomplished. Of course everyone was more than impressed but perhaps most impressive was his humble way of accepting their congratulations.

Kenneth Raney is the only person in field trial history to have owned and campaigned both a National Open Shooting Dog Champion (Rodessa, 1986) and a National Champion at Ames (Lipan, 1995), but he let others do the bragging about it.

Kenneth C. Raney was a true gentleman and sportsman. His contributions and dedication to the sport of field trialing and bird dogs were rare. It’s time to enshrine him and his legacy in it’s proper place, the Field Trial Hall of Fame.

Ray Cooper, Longview, Tex.

 

Ch. Shalimar

In the mid-1970s, seven-time Champion Shalimar was known by everyone. Early in his life, he was tabbed as “The Great White Dog”, and great he was. For probably ten years he was in the top ten with the voters for the Field Trial Hall of Fame. One year he got the third highest number of votes, just missing election.

I got “Bud” from Pete Buie of Sarasota, Fla., through John S. O’Neall, Jr. He was only seven months old but even then looked great. I remember well his first point at Hernando, Miss., where I trained for seventeen years. He was running down a hill, jumped a log and in mid-air pointed, coming down solid and beautiful.

We won several Derby stakes with him and placed him second in the American Field Pheasant Dog Futurity (1971). He would have been first except for a mistake on my part. He backed outstandingly. After two great finds, and a powerful race, his bracemate pointed. I tried to “show him off” and let him go in there, and for the first time in his life he passed the dog and stole point. I was so surprised, I said nothing to him. I won the Futurity with 6x Ch. Fast Astro Boy, and Bud was second.

In the South that winter, Bud was brilliant, and we passed up some trials getting him ready for the National Derby Championship. His owner, Mr. W. T. Jowett of Upper Marlboro, Md., showed up for the trial; two days before Bud ran he came down with a bad case of limber-tail, so we scratched him, a great disappointment for Mr. Jowett and me. The limber tail hung on for over a month, but finally straightened out and he had several spring Derby wins.

When he turned all-age that fall he changed, and no longer was a strong running, classy dog. He turned into a powerful all-age dog, running to the limits and then some. Many times we would lose him, but when we finished him and he pointed a bird, he won. He had some truly spectacular performances.

The year he won the International Pheasant Championship he ran a huge race, and scored five perfect finds, then we lost him. We hunted everywhere for him, and finally with only one minute to go in his allotted time, I spied him over a half mile away standing on private land. Since you could not ride a horse on the private land, I walked the long distance to his find, while the judge, Verle Farrow, watched intently. I flushed a wild covey of quail, and sealed the verdict by a mile. Verle Farrow said later, “David, that is one of the greatest performances I have ever seen.”

One year at the Pacific Coast Championship he rendered a brilliant race with two finds and an unproductive, then he vanished. We rode for about fifteen minutes and there he stood a half-mile to the front. Just as the judge topped the hill, a big rooster pheasant got up and I called the flight of the bird. The judge said, “Sorry, David, I didn’t see it.” Then a voice boomed out, “I saw your birds, David. Shoot your gun.” It was the other judge, George Thomas, who had cut across the course after Bud’s bracemate had been picked up. That was the first of three times that Ch. Shalimar won that Pacific Coast Championship.

In the Winnemucca All-Age in Winnemucca, Nev., there were 72 dogs entered; conditions were horrible, no rain, all dust, and no water. Few dogs finished the hour heats. They ran four braces in the morning and three in the afternoon. Bud ran in the fourth brace, and all the dogs had been picked up that morning as the temperature sat at 85°. I think they only had four dogs with bird work until Bud ran. He took off like a bullet in the extreme heat. We found him five times straight to the front on wild chukar, then he disappeared. I rode for almost four miles and he was in the Winnemucca city limits, still going strong and hunting hard. I put him on my saddle and rode the long ride back to see someone sitting on the side of a mountain. It was the judge, Bud Epperson, who said right, “I don’t know what the big hurry was David, you still had a whole minute left.”

Bud performed in the National Championship four times, and each and every time we lost him, but he ran a herculean race in the National Free-for-All Championship one year and should have won it with six perfect finds, and with 45 minutes to go in the three hours injured his leg and ran the final 45 minutes on three legs.

As a producer, he sired quite a few field trial winners, and several shooting dog champions. We got runner-up twice in the United States Open Championship with a daughter of his, Memory Maker, owned by Wayne Anderson of Hernando, Miss.

David Grubb, Lake Orion, Mich.

 

Gordon Hazlewood

I whole-heartedly nominate Gordon Hazlewood to the Field Trial Hall of Fame. Qualified and deserving of this honor? Anyone who knows Gordon would agree that serious consideration is in order.

Most who read The American Field are familiar with Gordon’s accomplishments. I will not elaborate here. It is his dog-training gifts and his admirable character that I feel I can share.

A newcomer to horseback shooting dog stakes in the early 1980s, I had the privilege of working with Gordon. Always willing to share his knowledge and philosophy in training then and now, he continues to be a help-mate to the up-and-coming trainers in our sport.

I have enjoyed watching Gordon develop a dog, perhaps one that some might not go on with, into a beautifully- finished specimen threatening his competitors in every trial entered. Foremost, through Gordon’s expert leadership, his dogs show themselves to be consummate bird-finders that love him and eagerly go with him. I cannot recall many dogs developed by Gordon found to be AWOL.

Gordon’s dogs exhibit consistency and class while running, on point and after the flush. They remain,through the years, almost mirror-images of one another, a testimony of his consistency and talent.

Not only is Gordon an excellent respected dog trainer, but he is a top-notch “hand” at riding and training horses. Gordon Hazlewood defines the word horsemanship, typifies the description “born in the saddle.”

With clever wit and open-hearted friendliness, Gordon stands as a universal patron of the sport. He gives whole-heartedly. Be it training dogs or horses, organizing field trials or serving as a judge or organizer of field trials, his efforts are admirable and respected, no better way, than being inducted into the Field Trial Hall of Fame.

Chuck Stretz, Blackwater, Mo.

 

John P. Russell

Born in far Western Kentucky in the small community of Kevil, about five miles from what is now the West Kentucky Wildlife Management Area.

From birth, there was always a bird dog in the family and John truly grew up with bird dogs. An often told family story is that a bird dog pup would chase John as a toddler through the house pulling his diaper down as he tried to escape.

John grew up hunting quail in the fields around Kevil and when the West Kentucky Wildlife Management Area was formed often quail hunted on the area. The late sixties and early seventies were spent in education culminating in a PHD in Engineering from the University of Florida in 1973, following which he joined the faculty at Western Kentucky University in Bowlin Green.

Returning to Kentucky in 1973 brought John back into the vicinity of the WKWMA. Resuming his quail hunting activities in the area, he came once again to the attention of J. D. Boss. The WKWMA manager. Realizing that it would be easier to recruit John than catch him poaching on the field trial courses, Mr. Boss encouraged John’s early field trial activity. First attending the Quail Championship Invitational in 1974, John’s association of that trial continues today.

Beginning with the most menial of activities, wrangling horses, hauling feed and hay and any other activities that were needed, John quickly proved to be dependable help and became a protege of Arthur Curtis and J. D. Boss, both honorees of the Field Trial Hall of Fame, with activities associated with the West Kentucky Field Trial Club and its major trials, John ascended to the presidency of the club and the chairmanship of the Invitational Championship in the mid-1990s. He continued in those roles until 2016 serving for twenty years. In that time, his leadership of the club helped to maintain the prestige of the events.

John, bred, raised, and developed his own dogs. He produced such dogs as White’s Redemption Jim, A Big Secret, Hilltopper Tooter, Solid Hilltopper, and Hilltopper Duke Boss, all winners in major circuit trials.

He first visited the northern prairies in 1981, joining Arthur Curtis in Saskatchewan. He continued “going north” in Saskatchewan, Manitoba, North and South Dakota and continues today, anticipating this year’s trip with some new puppies. He developed and handled his own dogs in open and amateur competition with good success. His competitive activities were limited during the 1990s until about 2005 as his beloved spouse, Kayelene, battled the ravages of advanced breast cancer.

As the range of activities provided the requisite qualifications, John began judging field trials. Beginning with the local trials, he advanced in assignments to more major events. He has judged major open and amateur field trials on the prairies, in California, and throughout the Midwest and Southeast. Among the major trials he has judged are the Florida Championship (five times, the North Carolina Championship (four times), the National Free-for-All, the Missouri Open Championship and Open All-Age, the Masters Open Championship, the Southeastern Championship, the Southland Championship, the U. S. Chicken Championship (two times), the Southwestern Championship (two times), the California Bird Dog Championship, the Alabama Open Championship (three times), the National Amateur Chicken Championship, the Amateur Invitational Championship, the Pheasant Futurity, and many others. He continues active in judging major trials.

John has contributed to the sport in many ways. He has served as a club officer, a circuit officer, chairman of the Quail Championship Invitational, and as a judge of major events. He has been a horse wrangler, field marshal, and trial reporter. He has been a regular contributor to The American Field and other publications. He is currently writing a history of the Invitational Champions to ensure that the history of the importance of the Quail Championship Invitational is property chronicled.

The breadth and depth of his contributions in more thatn forty years of activity is significant.

Ray Warren, Lake City, Fla.

 

Ninnescah Nicole

In Ninnescah Nicole’s short career, she tallied ten championships, nine runners-up and the coveted Purina Dog of the Year (2011) as the nation’s top shooting dog.

Smart, with the bonus of intuition and focus; strong, with the added measure of grace and style; consistent and driven, and oh what a pleasure to watch all of this! Nicole had it all in the just-over six years in which she competed.

An agile white and black pointer female weighing 40-45 pounds, she could out-run and out-maneuver dogs almost twice her size. Versatile in her ability to perform, she showed as easily under the direction of her owner, Dr. Richard Steckley, in the amateur competitions as she did under her trainer Chuck Stretz in the open shooting dog championships.

Nicole concluded her career at the age of eight, the result of an injury that sent her home to finish her days in the comfort of Dr. Steckley’s air-conditioned kennels where this lady rested free and easy.

It is hard to explain the greatness of a dog like Nicole without being a bit sentimental. Losing her was like losing a dear friend who was also a respected person. In a eulogy there is the desire to make a solid, unquestionable impression of the individual’s worth as well as their accomplishments, so none of it is forgotten. And so it goes with Nicole. I will try my best to share the evidence for my case of nominating Nicole to the Field Trial Hall of Fame.

A total of 20 placements in her career including:

Runner-up, 2007 Region 17 Amateur Walking Shooting Dog Championship ; winner, spring 2009 Oklahoma Open Shooting Dog Championship; winner, 2009 Region 17 Shooting Dog Championship; winner, 2009 Missouri Open Shooting Dog Championship; runner up, 2009 Illinois Shooting Dog Championship; winner, 2009 Missouri Open Shooting Dog Championship; runner-up, 2009 Southwest Missouri Open Shooting Dog Championship; winner, 2010 United States Shooting Dog Invitational; winner, 2010 Ozark Shooting Dog Championship; runner-up, 2010 Oklahoma Shooting Dog Championship; runner-up, 2010 Midwest Shooting Dog Championship; runner-up, 2010 Ozark Shooting Dog Championship; winner, 2010 U. S. Complete Mid-South Open Shooting Dog Championship; runner-up, 2010 Arkansas Shooting Dog Championship; winner, 2011 Oklahoma Shooting Dog Championship; winner, 2011 Missouri Open Shooting Dog Championship; winner, 2011 Illinois Open Shooting Dog Championship; runner-up, 2011 Region 17 Amateur Shooting Dog Championship; winner, 2011 National Amateur Shooting Dog Championship, Nicole’s versatility was evident, performing as easily as an all-age dog navigating the Oklahoma prairie, as near her handler in a walking stake. She was unassuming and relaxed in the kennel; then come time to turn her loose, she became focused with all senses, intense and ready for the game.

As a Derby, Nicole ran in Mississippi at CedarOak Plantation in front of David Taylor of Texas, a man who judged some of the most prestigious trials. After five finds his prediction that she would have a great future, certainly rang true.

During the Southwest Missouri Open Shooting Dog Championship in the fall of 2009, Nicole ran in the last brace with 76 dogs in the running and two dogs sitting nicely in champion and runner-up seats. The busy-ness of pointing five finds left the judges wanting to see more in the way of a race, to see if she had it in her. Encouraged thus, she pulled out the stops with a fleet-footed finish that changed the outcome of the trial. From here on, it may have been noted that no trial was over until Nicole had run.

Remarkable dog that she was, Nicole was bred twice with complications leaving her sterile. Sadly, she has no descendants to carry on her winning character and reputation. Please consider carrying her spirit by remembering her with your vote to the Field Trial Hall of Fame.

The following is a list of well-respected, knowledgeable individuals who have lent their names to be included in Nicole’s quest for the Field Trial Hall of Fame.

Gordon Hazlewood, Bud Moore, Norman Basilone, Matt Basilone, Harold Ray, Doug Ray, Desarae Steckley, Marla Stretz, Meredith Stretz, Charles Aspensen, Harold Gearhart, Larry Meek, Bud Stone, Floyd Cagle, Ken Bailey, Jerry Hailey, Virgil Moore, Drew Zink, Dr. Dorwin Hawthorne, Chuck Taylor, Jeff Wagoner, Garvin Collins, Mike, Jeanette and George Tracy; Mary Tracy, Johnny and Rita Ornsby; Les Rowell, Harold Woodward, Dr. Jim Mills, Dr. Pat McInteer, Tom Sawyer, Herby Alt, Joyce and Johnny Taylor; Steve Messick, Jimmy and Kay Lawless; Clyde Gross, Scott and Charlie Beeler; Russ Blankenship, Bob and Catherine Reynolds; Chris Livingston, Tom Milam, Bill Stubblefield, Kendell Schmidt, George Hill, Hank Jansen, Jim Jackman, Jason Williams, Mark Livingston, Andy Daugherty, John (Buz) Daugherty, Shawn Kinkelaar, Mike

Hester and Larry Chamberlain.

 

Tommy Davis

Well, it’s time now to vote for the Field Trial Hall of Fame. It takes a lot of hard work, dedication and loyalty to deserve this honorable nomination and I don’t know of anyone who loves it and works any harder at it than Tommy Davis.

Tommy has won the National Championship in Grand Junction, Tenn., four times, a great achievement. His first was in 1983 with El Sauz Doll; his second was in 1986 with Bluff City Mike and then twice with Whippoorwill’s Rebel (1987 and 1989).

He has awon 54 championships in his career while running in the all-age circuit and brought a National Shooting Dog Championship title home.

Tommy has the distinction of winning the American Field Pheasant and Quail Futurities in 1978 with the same dog! Giveaway Penny.

While putting these championships under his belt it gave him the upper hand to achieve Purina Top Dog Award five times and Handler of the Year once.

These accomplishments do not come from working Monday to Friday 8-5. He dedicated his whole life looking between a horse’s ears.

He began quail hunting when he was 12 years old to help put supper on the table and has provided ever since. Tommy began learning under Tommy Olive when he went to Canada for the first time at age 19. He was totally bitten by the bug and had dogs and horses running through his veins. Not only did he breed and create a number of champions, he also helped mold other people into making their own and teaching them a lot of the tricks of the trade on how to bring on young dogs and horses. The average person would call this work but for Tommy it was his life. To see a dog rolling from hilltop to hilltop pointing birds was pure addiction and love for this sport.

Tommy created many champions but in his eyes they made him one. To watch him run a dog is pure poetry in motion!

Laura Davis, Albany, Ga.

 

History speaks for itself. Tommy Davis competed in his first field trial at age 19, and he is still in the winners’ circle today.

We first met Tommy when he won the National Championship in 1989 with Whippoorwill’s Rebel. After meeting him we immediately became fans. In 2005 we put our first dogs in training with Tommy. After that summer he has campaigned our dogs to this day. One of the more notable dogs is 2x champion and 6x r-u champion Hendrix’s Outlier. In February, 2016 she made her debut with Tommy at the National Championship. She completed the three hours with a remarkable performance. Regrettably, in the winter of 2016 she tore her achilles tendon and underwent surgery forcing an early retirement.

Tommy is one of only a few handlers today to have won all the endurance stakes. Not only did he win the National Championship four times, he also has won the National Open Shooting Dog Championship.

Tommy not only campaigns our dogs on the open circuit, but is also a great friend. If you have ever been around Tommy you would know he’s always willing to lend a helping hand with others’ dogs and horses.

Please join us in support of Tommy for the Field Trial Hall of Fame, a most deserving candidate.

Guy & Burke Hendrix, Hernando, Miss.

 

John D. Seawright

When the Hall of Fame comes to mind our choice should be one of importance. This year’s clear choice is just that, John Seawright! John has put more than fifty years into the sport and is still going strong today. I first met John in the spring of 1984, just moving to Arkansas the fall of 1983. We happen to share the same office building. One day I was on my way home and happen to see a truck and trailer with tie outs on it. I knew that he had to be some kind of dog man. Our conversation started up and that started a friendship. I had read The American Field since I was about nine years old, so to find such a friend as John with ties to Camp Robinson, well, it was a good day to say least. John learned from the greats; Old Cov was one of his favorites.

John has spent a lifetime bettering the sport. He took field trials here in Arkansas to a new level. He’s old school.

He wants the dogs to win not the handler. For some fifty years he has hosted the Arkansas Shooting Dog Championships and the Southwestern. He started what is known as the United States Invitational Shooting Dog Championship which has become the elite of elite. He brought the big name dogs to his beloved Camp Robinson — Miller’s Chief, The Kansas Wind, Arrival, Little Diamond. The more modern ones would never think of missing a trip to the Arkansas or the Southwestern. The Elhew bitches, the Barshoe greats, the list goes on an on.

With great expensive to himself he had the opportunity to move the Southwestern up north, so he did. He loves the prairie like no other, seeing a running dog do their thing on native game. In his eyes it just doesn’t get any better.

His work with the Arkansas Game and Fish is irreplaceable. His desire to improve Camp Robinson still goes on today. When Perry Mikles developed the Blue Mountain grounds John was called once more. You need to only make one trip to Arkansas and it’s easy to see his involvement has bettered the sport we love!

John has campaigned dogs on the major circuit for many years with his friends, Bill Heard, Bob Craig and the late Barry Saunders. Marshall Loftin served as captain, which he would swear they were the “four stooges”. That gang was a good time for all who dared to enter!

John is one of the best at evaluating a dog. His knack of seeing all is unmatched. He has judged from the prairies to the South, West and East. He was sought to ride for all the majors.

John is a stickler for sportsmanship. When you participate at one of his championships he expects you to show sportsmanship and act like a lady or gentleman. He will not tolerate anything else. You will not harass the judges or officials; it just won’t happen on John’s watch.

Now let me end on a personal note. The Hall of Fame should be preserved for someone you can count on. John is just that person. Some twenty years ago I lost my wife. John was in South Dakota. He had just competed the day Gwen passed away. I called to tell John. He said three words: “On my way.” That’s the man we need in the Hall of Fame. Please join me in electing John D. Seawright.

Steve Messick, Greenbrier, Ark.

 

I feel very fortunate to have met John Seawright in 1996. I thought then that he must certainly have been a member of the Field Trial Hall of Fame, not realizing there was an age requirement. Having just learned that he has not received this recognition, I feel that there is a need to make sure we give him his well-deserved place in the Field Trial Hall of Fame.

John Seawright has been involved with field trials for over 45 years. His involvement not only involved campaigning his own open and amateur all-age dogs, John had always been there to contribute to the sport in every way possible.

John has judged a large quantity of trials, from major championships and Futurities, National Championship qualifying trials, to regional amateur stakes. He has reported trials for over 30 years, painting pictures with his words that made reading the reports almost as exciting as being there. John has stepped in to assume the responsibility of hosting many championship trials including the Arkansas Open Shooting Dog Championship, the Southwestern All-Age Championship and put together a championship in 1978 that became the United States Invitational Shooting Dog Championship.

I have found in my time spent with John that he is not only interested in the dogs, but he has worked to make sure that those attending feel welcome and know that his trials are being run fairly and consistently in such a way that all of the dogs are given a chance to shine. John has not only strived to promote the all-age dog, his personal passion, he has given his time, experience and know-ledge to help others in their pursuits with shooting dogs. When you spend time with John, you feel his deep appreciation and love for the dogs, the history of field trialing and enjoyment of the camaraderie of the sport.

Please join me in casting a vote for John Seawright. It is a small way for us all to show our respect and thanks for all he has given the sport.

Tracy Haines, Broomfield, Colo.

 

I have known John Seawright since the middle 1970s as a good man, a field trial judge, and producer of first-class field trials. When you come to one of John’s trials, you were welcome at the first and last brace of the trial, and at lunch time you never paid for your lunch, be a trainer, an owner or just stopped by to say hello to everyone. It was on John.

Join me in electing John to his just place.

Gordon Hazlewood, Dardanelle, Ark.

 

N. G. (Butch) Houston

We are strongly endorsing Butch Houston for the Field Trial of Fame. Our hope is you will join us with your vote and support.

He is most deserving. We have known Butch for over 35 years. He is a very kind, gentle, humble, giving gentleman that we will vouch for. He has and is giving to our sport in so many ways. He puts on many trials on his Shadow Oak Plantation, giving back 100% on all proceeds, furnishing meals, lodging, manpower, and always wanting to know what else can we do for you. No taker here, always a giver.

Butch has had several trainers throughout the years. Among his great dogs are 2006 Hall-of-Famer Joe Shadow, the legendary setter Shadow Oak Bo, two years in a row National Champion (Ames Plantation).

Bo’s pups are showing great promise and are super bird dogs making the future for setters powerfully bright.

Butch’s dogs compete in the toughest competition on the major circuit. He will tell you it is not about my dogs, it’s all about the best performance in the field trial to be in the winners’ circle.

He has influenced many young men and women to come into the dog world in a good and positive way.

We believe the sport is better for having Butch Houston involved.

Please join us with your vote and support for Butch Houston.

John Rex & Diane Gates, Hickory Valley, Tenn.

 

It is with great pride and respect that I ask for your consideration to vote for Mr. Butch Houston to be elected into the Field Trial Hall of Fame. Mr. Butch has certainly met all the criteria to be inducted and he really stands out as a patron of our sport.

Oftentimes with a young man and a field trial dog it is difficult to get anyone to support and encourage them to be successful in this sport. Mr. Butch has done this in many ways, with me and certainly many others. I have had the opportunity to run and co-own several dogs over the years with the help of Mr. Houston, including multi-time winners Payback’s Hell, Street Talk, Back Talk, Holy Joe, and Shadow’s Bewitched, to name a few. Most of these were descendants of Mr. Butch’s late Champion Joe Shadow.

Mr. Butch had always been there to help in any way and enjoys knowing he has played a major role in the success of any dog or person. He has campaigned numerous dogs on the major circuit for over forty years and has opened his Shadow Oak Plantation for use of field trials. The list could go on and on with the contributions he has made to the field trial community.

Mr. Butch far exceeds the qualifications worthy of a person being elected into the Field Trial Hall of Fame. I ask that you join me along with many others to induct this great man into the Field Trial Hall of Fame this year.

Woody Watson, Leesburg, Ga.

 

Torben Hansen

Twenty-five plus years ago Colvin and I had the pleasure of meeting Torben. We flew to Reno, Nev., to compete in the Bay Area Bird Dog Club’s field trials. It was quickly apparent that the driving force there behind the scenes was this man with the biggest smile. Through the next dozen years we returned to compete, judge, and report the trials. The giving attitude of Torben Hansen never varied. He absolutely saw nothing as a problem or work. He kept that great attitude as he toiled day and night to ensure the success of the club. His kind and giving nature is genuine.

Torben is an accomplished dog trainer and has competed in amateur and open stakes amassing countless wins. He is a humble winner and a gracious loser. He has campaigned dogs with professionals for years. He has and still holds offices in different field trial clubs. He is on the Purina Awards Committee, serves as an AFTCA trustee, and currently is the president of that organization. He has encouraged so many young people in this sport and is so quick with a remembrance for older patrons.

He has judged many championships across the United States and Canada. He brings with him the eye of experience and confidence in what he is doing.

He has traveled to Broomhill, Manitoba through the years to judge the trials that we host. He and his wife Debbie have formed many friendships there with our Canadian neighbors. Not once would he take any compensation for his expenses; he would donate this to the Broomhill Field Trial Foundation a scholarship program for the children of three municipalities there.

Torben Hansen is a giver; he has passion for this sport, and has proven just this in so many ways for decades.

It is an honor to endorse this man for the Hall of Fame. He is worthy and deserving.

Colvin & Mazie Davis, Minter, Ala.

 

Scouts: Forgotten Contributors

I don’t know how long I have been reading The American Field, but some of the dogs names I remember reading about were Oklahoma Flush, A Rambling Rebel and Riggins White Knight and others of that time. Seeing the names of some of the handlers — John S. Gates, Bill Rayl, Fred Arant, Leon Covington, and John Rex Gates — took me to those championship stakes, even though I never attended in person. Just reading about them was fascinating. The stories of the dogs reaching so far ahead of their handlers, and the handlers singing to their dogs to maintain contact (being in sync with each other), demonstrated the handler’s and dog’s bond and ability. It was magic to me.

But, there was something about the skills of the scouts that really caught my attention. How did they know where to search for a dog? How did they know where to look for those “big” running dogs? Reading about Ben (Man) Rand, Joe Odom, Tommy Long, Joe Bush, and others piqued my interest about their wisdom on dogs. I learned from reading to get an all-age dog around the course is a real team effort. Good dogs, outstanding handlers, skilled scouts and strong, smart horses (blessed with dog sense) are the equations that equal success in field trialing.

For years I have believed that some of the great scouts should be in the Field Trial Hall of Fame (in addition to Ben “Man” Rand). It was very refreshing to read Robert Franks article, “The Era of Scouts” in the 2016 Christmas edition of The American Field. This acknowledgment of the contributions that the scouts brought to field trials is overdue, in my opinion.

I had the pleasure of meeting both Joe Odom and Joe Bush at major all-age stakes here in New Jersey. They were both generous to share some of their insights and experiences with a newcomer like me. This is how field trialing grows and improves. For me, it was like meeting the Cleveland Browns’ Jim Brown, and baseball’s Willie Mays. They shared with me stories about some of the other scouts, Peck Kelley and Tommy Long and their outstanding scouting abilities. Joe Odom asked me if I would like to ride his horse; he had that horse park out for me, which I thought was amazing!

After those meetings I read everything I could find about the scouts and even wrote to some of the people who reported on them in The American Field. I was told that to work for John S. Gates and son John Rex, their scouts were better than good. So, Peck Kelley and Tommy Long become my heroes. They were the road scouts. They attended all of the championships. I know today that it’s too expensive for most of the handlers to employ full-time scouts. With the advent of electronic tracking and GPS capability to locate dogs, the use of full-time scouts is less. This does not diminish the skill and contributions of the scouts of the past that the sport of field trials were built upon.

Scouts were significant members in the history of field trialing during that era. Think of hearing a scout call “point” from a distance, he had to convey to the handler the location of the dog. They had to be able to find a dog by tracking him, or using their skills to know where to look for him. The scout knew that to win you must have a dog at time. Peck Kelley and Tommy Long were two of the best scouts, and worked for two of the best handlers of all time. And, yes, sometimes the scouts displayed some showmanship.

John Rex has said that handling is part showmanship, so Peck and Tommy will be getting my votes for the Hall of Fame. Please consider them when you cast your vote. The scouts are often overlooked and forgotten for what they have helped to build during that great era of yesteryear.

Thanks again to Robert Franks for his outstanding article, enlightening the field trial public. It is my hope that others will recognize the dedication and contributions of scouts to the sport of field trialing.

Doug Ramseur, Bridgeton, N. J

 

John Ivester

As summer approaches and field trials/hunting season ends, one more related item is at hand — the Field Trial Hall of Fame. Not only does the English Setter Club have its own Hall of Fame, but for those of you who subscribe to The American Field, you will soon receive ballots toward the Hall of Fame in Grand Junction, Tenn. Numerous nominations will appear of qualified individuals and dogs. I ask that you consider John lvester of Charlotte, N. C.

John started with Brittanys and later became involved with English pointers.

His accomplishments and contributions to our sport are as follows:

Won the National Championship with Marques Gold Rush; placements in National Amateur and Open Pheasant Championships, placements in National Amateur lnvitational Championships, placements in National Amateur Quail Championships as well as numerous regional championships.

Supported numerous professionals: John Ray Kimbrell, Fred Dileo, Colvin Davis, Lefty Henry.

AFTCA Trustee, Region 3; AFTCA officer; past president North Carolina Field Trial Association; director, National Field Trial Champion Association, as well as donates a silver pin to winning handler of the National Championship

Benefactor of the 20th Century Print Program, anonymous benefactor of North Carolina Field Trial Association, allows three South Carolina Clubs to hold trials yearly at his Sawtooth Plantation at no charge to the clubs; has judged numerous open and amateur trials at the national, regional and local level; allows many different individuals, both amateur and professional, to train on his grounds; has bred and raised numerous champions at his “Marques” kennel.

As you can see, John is well qualified and truly contributed greatly to our sport.

He is well deserving of this honor. Thank you for your consideration

Hunter Wilcox, Lumberton, N. J.

 

Hard Driving Bev

I am writing to give my unreserved support for the induction of Hard Driving Bev into the Field Trial Hall of Fame. I won’t comment on her successes or production record, as others have covered those details thoroughly and well. Rather, as a “foreign” observer, I will be commenting on the attributes of the dogs, birds and venues where grouse trials take place.

I met Bev in 2011, a couple of years after her retirement, and I will never forget the ease with which, as a 12-year- old dog, she ran and the number of finds she racked up, while being handled by an 8-year-old girl in a youth stake.

Traveling from Utah to Marienville, Pa., to judge the Armstrong-Umbel Endurance Classic, I knew I was in for some field trial culture shock. My background is horseback field trials and hunting wild birds in the wide-open spaces of the West, so this was new and different in almost every way. Two-hour heats gave ample time to watch, listen and learn about the dogs, birds, and terrain that make up field trialing in the grouse woods.

Two hours is a long time for a dog to run under judgment; in thick, gnarly terrain that challenges a dog’s mind and body; it’s an uncommon test. The dog’s ability to stay to the front and with the handler, at distances where the bell was a faint tinkling that faded away and then, awhile later, still to the front, was there again, was uncanny. (I can just imagine the time and talent of both Bev and her handler, Joe McCarl, it took to develop that kind of rapport.) Not only was the distance from dog to handler vast but the inability for either to see the other made it even more challenging. The unsure footing, the changes in contour and elevation and the nasty cover was something completely new and gained my   about the second time I dismounted my horse to follow a handler to a find. For a variety of reasons, but in different ways, the venues these dogs run in are every bit as tough as where I chukar hunt at home in places too steep and rugged for a horse.

Late season chukar, Huns, sharptails and sage grouse are very tough birds for most dogs to handle. I am used to wild wary birds and what it takes to get them pointed. But nothing could have prepared me for the judicial task of actually trying to detect a bird that explodes from dense cover and flies at mach speed out of sight. Wild birds, yes. Phantom birds, a bit harder! The dogs that got grouse pointed and held were remarkably athletic, shrewdly smart, and eerily patient.

Most dogs with impressive field trial records are worthy of recognition, regardless of where they compete. In my opinion, dogs that win on wild birds have something special to contribute. And females with impressive field trial records that win on wild birds are especially significant. Their chances to compete are often less than their male counterparts, and their reproductive contributions cannot be as numerous. When a female such as Bev has the ability to impact and change the field trial world, the swath she cuts is wide and deep. The effect is already being felt by all venues, from the grouse woods, to the prairies, to the piney woods of the South, and everywhere in between.

In closing, it’s my hope that each member of the HOF committee carefully considers the rare and valuable contributions of Hard Driving Bev and elects to induct her into the Field Trial Hall of Fame.

Kim Sampson, Santaquin, Utah

 

Chasehill Little Bud

When reviewing a dog’s qualifications for the Hall of Fame, I find that Chasehill Little Bud is definitely a candidate. His record of 19 championships and 19 runner-up championships speak loud and clear! When you look closely at those accomplishments you will notice that he has open and amateur wins in walking, cover dog, horseback and all-age stakes. Check out his record! He has sired several successful offspring, not just weekend winners, but several titles as well. Last I knew his offspring record was 59 winners with 391 placements.

We had two litters sired by Chasehill Little Bud, resulting in seven dogs having one or more wins, plus four titles. Among these are Caird’s Little Brynn, Bud of Piney Woods, Upper Ten Tucker, as well as Stoney Run’s Bud, Double Trouble, Deacon Jones, Big Enuff, and Last Waltz.

I was present and riding for Chasehill Little Bud’s second place finish in the New England Shooting Dog Futurity. As a matter of fact, I was riding with one of the judges, Keith Severin. Although I knew there had been a discussion between the judging partners before Little Bud was named second, I learned two years later in a note from Keith that he lived in regret for having conceded to his judging partner in placing Little Bud second and not first. He went on to say that Chasehill Little Bud continues with his greatness. Were he living, I know Keith would be voting for Chasehill Little Bud.

Earl and I ask that you join us in voting for Chasehill Little Bud for the Hall of Fame.

Earl & Margaret Drew, Hoffman, N.C.

 

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