American Field

Final Endorsements for Candidates; Voting Deadline is July 17

Field Trial Hall of Fame

Jul 06, 2017

The Field Trial Hall of Fame nomination process is underway. The issue of June 24 carried the first official nomination ballot and a second is included with this issue.

The ballot affords voters the opportunity to place in nomination two candidates in each of the two categories — Dogs and Persons.

[Two ballots are made available to voters on the premise that there is more than one party in a household desiring to vote.] The voting deadline is Monday, July 17.

When all nomination ballots have been received and counted, the names of the top ten nominees in the two categories will be forwarded to the members of the Election Committee who are charged with voting for two Dogs and two Persons for the Field Trial Hall of Fame.

Nominees for the Hall of Fame must receive a preponderance of Committee Member votes for election to the Hall of Fame.

Nomination ballot is carried between pages 16-17.


It is an honor for me to endorse John D. Seawright for the Field Trial Hall of Fame.

I can remember way back reading about John and his dogs; then I think it was Kreole, in The American Field.

If memory serves me, I first met John when Mike Wrenn and I went to run in the Arkansas Open Shooting Dog Championship and United States Shooting Dog Invitational Championship. John chaired the Arkansas Championship and we were to run what was called Seawright’s Cut. Some of the local trainers never liked it and wanted to change it when we came to that area of the course.  Guess how we ran it, Seawright’s Cut, which was the right thing to do.

John has owned trial winners, championed, competed, started and hosted some of the most prestigious trials in the history of field trialing and continues to do so year after year.

Besides all of the above, what sets John apart as a patron, judge, reporter and club official over the years is as Dr. Ron Deal mentioned, his insistence on “doing the right thing” and “doing it in the right way”.

Again, I say, John it is my honor.

Mike Hester, Mebane, N. C.



I can still remember the first time I saw Chasehill Little Bud. I was over at the Setter Club of New England trial on the cape (Cape Cod). John (Stolgitis) was running him in a Derby stake. I turned to my buddy next to me in the gallery and said, “Man, I like the way that dog of John’s moves!”

Over the course of his illustrious career and lifespan I would have the privilege of judging Bud many times, running against him, seeing him in workouts, and hunting over him.

Bud’s win and production record speaks for itself but I have witnessed first-hand the impact that this dog has had on the breed. On many occasions, after judging a trial, I have asked a handler, “What’s the breeding on that pointer? I really like the way it moves!”

With no exaggeration, every single time I have asked that question, the reply has been “Bud”. I just chuckle to myself and say, “I should have known.”

Bud passed on his athleticism and bird sense. They just have a certain way about them. He has truly left his mark on the breed and all venues of field trials. Bill Bonnetti  Marstons Mills, Mass.



If contributions to the sport of field trialing are paramount in electing someone to the Hall of Fame, Butch Houston should go in. His accomplishments as an owner and breeder of outstanding field trial dogs are well documented. He has supported top trainers by keeping some of the sport’s best canine athletes in their strings.

There is no way of knowing the countless puppies that have found their way into new homes by way of Butch’s generosity with absolutely no strings attached, no fees paid, just a simple hope that the person on the receiving end gets years of enjoyment from the gift.

Butch Houston’s southern hospitality and love for the sport is shown every fall when he hosts the Shadow Oak trial on his grounds near Nashville, Ga. He goes out of his way to make sure everyone feels welcome and has a great time while competing on some of the most beautifully manicured and bird-laden grounds in the South.

At a time when we are loosing grounds to run and enjoy this sport, Butch has stepped up and put his use of his own place aside so others can enjoy what he loves so much.

The question is asked; is the sport better for having this person involved? That is a no-brainer. Absolutely! Butch deserves election to the Hall of Fame.

Fran & Jack Miller, Barwick, Ga.



Many others have written about her accomplishments and production record, both Hall of Fame worthy, but I believe there are two additional points that made Bev stand out.

First of all, not only was she at the top of her game, but she also changed her game. In terms of range and endurance, she consistently raised the bar and took her game to a new level.

The second factor, and most important, in my opinion, is that Bev did her winning on wild birds. Not only wild birds, but the most difficult wild bird for a dog to pin down, the elusive ruffed grouse. The greatness of a bird dog is truly proven on wild birds, and Bev more than proved herself.

History has proven the difficulty of dogs competing outside the all-age realm to gain entry into the Hall of Fame. Only the best in their game have been able to achieve success. Bev was the best at her craft and deserves enshrinement.

Todd Babbel, Dunbar, Neb.


I managed to buy a bitch from Hard Driving Bev by Erin’s Tin Soldier which I then gave to Chelsie Conroy. Karen wanted a bitch to start Chelsie in field trials with so I gave her Tin Soldier’s Bev. I told them that she was one of the prettiest dogs on point that I had ever seen. Chelsie started running her in walking stakes and won immediately. As Bev grew older, her range increased and so she was switched to horseback stakes where she continued to win. We bred her to The Lobbyist and I have two Futurity puppies out of her that you will see in the fall.

Hard Driving Bev’s blood is carrying on as others have said. And in all venues. She was a great bitch and I believe that she belongs in the Hall of Fame! Please support her!

Harry Blaine, Traverse City, Mich.



The South Carolina Association finds many reasons to consider John Ivester as a Hall of Fame candidate.

He has resurrected our sport with his generosity and has created world class field trial grounds in the process. A man willing to serve in any role with enthusiasm, whether he is judging, running or hosting.

We ask the sage readers of The American Field, is there truly a more deserving person to enter the Hall of Fame other than John Ivester? We respectfully submit that no one person has done more to benefit our sport and the Association of South Carolina Field Trial Clubs than John Ivester.

Join all of the members of our Association in supporting John Ivester’s election to the Field Trial Hall of Fame class of 2017.

Julie Kimbrell, Secy., Assn. SC FTC


We are endorsing John Ivester for the Field Trial Hall of Fame.

John has been a supporter of field trials and dog trainers for many years. He is still very active in several capacities with field trials. He has been very active and competitive in amateur and open trials with his Brittanys first, then English pointers. He has been very successful with many wins to his credit.

John is a well-respected field trialer, professional man, and is sought after and often called upon to judge field trials. He is a very generous person with his Sawtooth Plantation. He allows three clubs yearly to have their trials on this venue. Without his generosity these club may not have had grounds to continue the sport. He also is hospitable in letting others use his grounds to train their dogs.

John fulfills all the criteria to be elected to the Field Trial Hall of Fame.

John Ray, Mary Kimbrell, & Fort Mill FTC



It all began over fifty years ago when I first noticed Tommy. I was visiting his grandfather, Walter Davis, who lived about two country miles just north of where I was raised. As the old saying goes, we came from the same neck of the woods. His grandfather was also a dog trainer. That is where I first saw Tommy. Tommy’s uncle, Martin Davis, with whom I had a close relationship, also trained bird dogs. Martin managed a sizeable land hunting lease for T. Jack Robinson. At that time it was some of the best bird hunting grounds in the country (a lot of native quail). Northeast Mississippi at one time was said to be the bird dog capital of the world.

Randy Downs (a first cousin of Tommy) now lives in the same area I was raised in . . . I like to think that I was instrumental in both Tommy and Randy’s getting a start in field trials. Tommy spent one summer in Canada with me and Randy two summers.

This I have to tell. Before I started training for the public I hunted with a pair of unregistered pointer pups. That would have been in the season of 1956 and 1957. I was approached by Martin Davis and two other friends, Dick Brown and Bill Morton (father of Billy Morton of Wrapup and Allure fame).

I was working at the Booneville newspaper at the time and they pressured me into taking one of the pups to the North Mississippi Field Trial just north of Tupelo. I tried to talk my way out of it but they wouldn’t take “no” for an answer. When I approached the starting point a fellow came leading his horse and handed me the reigns. “Do I have to ride a horse?” The answer was “Yes”.

I turned the puppy loose in a huge bottom just full of trash birds and my puppy tried to catch all of them (I had shot birds over him all season). I was so embarrassed. I finally caught him and chunked him in the turtle hull — he rode up front with me on the way to the trial.

Later in the afternoon Martin came in the side door to the print shop where I worked. He had his hand behind him and had a silly grin on his face. I thought, “What is going on?” When he approached me he brought his hand out with a silver goblet in it. “What is that?” I asked. He said, “Man, you won first place in the Puppy Stake.” That is how I started my field trial career.

At the “Luncheon with the Legends” at the Field Trial Hall of Fame in Grand Junction, Tenn., in May, I received another silver cup with the writing on it: “Living Legend”. I thought what a blessing to end my career this way — with two silver cups — one being the Alpha and the other the Omega. I wouldn’t trade those cups for all the money in the world and I give a heartfelt “thank you” to all who helped make it come to pass.

Yes, it was in Tommy’s genes to train bird dogs and what all he has done. His record speaks for itself. I know his grandfather and his uncle would be proud of the way he has carried on the family tradition.

I will not get into Tommy’s win record. I do know it is impressive and well documented. Tommy gets my vote.

D. Hoyle Eaton, Booneville, Miss.


I first met Tommy, I believe, in the early 1970s at Killdeer Plains in Ohio. He was running in the International Pheasant Championship. I liked his personality, demeanor and knowledge of bird dogs and horses. I predicted a great career for him, and it surely eventuated.

He was always a gentleman, win or lose. I have admired him as a man and as one of the all-time great bird dog trainers.

Tommy started and trained many great champions, and he still does. Please join me in putting this Hall-of-Famer in the Hall of Fame this year.

David Grubb, Lake Orion, Mich.

Comments (1)
Posted by: Jack A Hayes,Jr | Jul 12, 2017 19:24

How do I vote for hall of fame inductees as an emember?

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