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Some Historical Notes and Memories

Fifty Years of the Masters Open Quail Championship

By Andrew Campbell | May 13, 2019
The Winners in the 1987 edition of the Masters Quail Championship. Wallace Reichert with The Rebel Call, Joe Bush with Fiddler’s Pride, Freddie Rayl, Winnie Jean Rayl, and Susan Rayl. Behind: Garland Priddy and Tom Shenker.

This year marked the golden jubilee of the Masters Quail Championship, a streak of 50 years only broken by the trial’s cancellation in 2007 due to the severe drought in the Southeast. This renewal was also the first time that, due to damage from Hurricane Michael in October, 2018 — a storm that left 90% of Albany Utilities Authority’s customers without power — the Championship was unable to run over fabled Blue Springs Plantation.

Originally assembled by W. C. Potter in 1929, and after succeeding W. Alton Jones and Paul Mountcastle and family, the property now lies in the custody of Mr. Witt Stephens, Jr., and the Southern Club hopes that the legacy of one of the great wild bird trials in the country will be able to continue there for the coming years.

The Southern Amateur Field Trial Club was founded in 1932 — the first triumvirate of officers, Ambassador Robert Worth Bingham as chairman, Richard Tift as president, and Joseph Rosenburg as secretary-treasurer. Bingham was, of course, the owner of Pineland Plantation at the time and lived there until the early 1930s. Upon his death in 1937, the plantation sold to Lambert Johnson of Evansville, Indiana, who continued to expand it, and who hired Ed Farrior to come over from Union Springs, Alabama, to manage it. Pineland, in turn, would be sold to General Richard King Mellon in “ . . . the last two weeks of hunting season in 1949,” as longtime Pineland employee C. J. Trice remembers.

While he would ultimately claim The Oaks for his own, Richard Tift was an early specialist in the marketing and sale of quail plantations, entering into partnership with Herbert Lee Stoddard in 1936. (In recognition of his decade-long efforts to stimulate and preserve hunting and fishing, Tift would be named chairman of the Georgia Fish and Game Commission in 1959. For his part, Stoddard had already established his commitment to game stewardship, publishing his foundation work “The Bobwhite Quail: Its Habits, Preservation and Increase” in 1931 — drawing on the experience and practice of generations of plantation managers.)

Joe Rosenberg represented long-standing local business interests as president of Rosenberg Bros. Department Store in Albany, originally opened in 1898 before finally closing in 1991. The Southern Club, then, embodied the full spectrum of devotees: the second generation of Yankee plantation owners (the first having purchased properties in the quail belt between Thomasville and Tallahassee around the turn of the century), plantation managers, and local businessmen, all with their own particular appreciation of impeccable dog work and the great outdoors.

When Dick Dodd composed his “short history of the Southern Amateur Field Trial Club and the Grounds at Albany’’, published in the December 3, 1960 issue of The American Field, he noted that: “The local field trial club, the Southern Amateur Field Trial Club, has made available to the Amateur Field Trial Clubs of America sixty thousand acres of extremely desirable hunting land . . . It is made possible through the splendid cooperation and generosity of the owners and managers of five adjoining plantations. They are Pineland, Blue Springs, Nilo, The Oaks and Wildfair. John Grant, president of the local club, observes that his organization is indeed fortunate and grateful in having patrons like these sportsmen-owners who make available the most important elements in having a successful field trial — the proper quail territory.”

As Dodd notes, by 1934 the Southern Club was not only hosting its own slate of amateur trials, it was also hosting the National Amateur Quail Championship (which it would do itinerantly until at least the mid 1980s) and what was then known as the Continental Subscription Stake (which would run in the Albany area until its move to Geraldine M. Livingston’s Dixie Plantation in 1937). Writing of the 1961 edition of the National Amateur Quail Championship in the March 20 issue of Sports Illustrated, Virginia Kraft would note: “The 48,000 acre area over which the National was run is one of the finest quail habitats in America. Dwight Eisenhower shoots here regularly, and the enormous numbers of wild birds which may be found have attracted sportsmen from all over the world. An average day’s hunt on any of the three plantations used for the trial — Richard K. Mellon’s Pineland, W. Alton Jones’ Blue Springs and John Grant, Jr.’s Wildfair — will turn up 30 to 40 coveys of quail.”

The winner of the National Amateur that year was Pineland Johnny with six finds in torrential rain. His owner, Murray C. Fleming, a local tractor dealer, also owned Pineland Kate, the winner of the first edition of the Masters in 1970, having already qualified and run at the Quail Invitational in 1968.

(That same year George Moreland also handled Pineland Grace for owner and long-time Southern Field Trial Club member Norman J. Ellis.) It is no wonder then that the Southern Field Trial Club, with all its connections and commitment to maintaining the highest quality of quail habitat, had also been the germination point for what we know now as the Quail ChampionshipInvitational.

 

John P. Russell’s recent book, The Invitational Champions, provides a bevy of useful information into the origins of both championships and their connection to the Southern Amateur Field Trial Club.

To quote Russell: “There remained a question for some, however, could there be a format that would more conclusively test the qualities of the contestants, a test that would be more comprehensive in its scope, that would ameliorate the vagaries of luck in determination of the outcome? A group of sportsmen in Albany, Georgia undertook to answer this question in 1940 . . . They held the inaugural event, the Quail Championship, in 1941 and again in 1942.”

World War II would stall the Quail Championship until 1964 when it would resurrect as the Quail Championship Invitational to be held in Paducah, Kentucky.

That first year of the Quail Championship (1941), the competitors ranged easterly across Dwight Ellis’ Maridor Plantation, Lambert Johnson’s Wildfair and Pineland Plantations, and on to W. C. Potter’s Blue Springs Plantation; the second year, they ranged through Pineland, Wildfair, and Blue Springs. As William Brown wrote in The American Field of that first running: “It is ideal bird country, among the best natural quail territory to be found in the land and ideal shooting grounds.” (Maridor’s 15,000 acres would sell to John Olin in 1955 and become what is still known as Nilo Plantation.) To avoid any confusion, from this point on in the article, I will refer to the Quail Invitational as such — even if I am referring to either of its first two runnings in the 1940s.

The quality of the hunting grounds that had inspired and made possible the marathon of the Quail Invitational would also serve as the starting point for the Masters Quail Championship.

As legendary reporter Bill Allen wrote in his appraisal of the fourth edition of the Championship in 1973: “There are some very high titular stakes being run in this country that are run on funny birds, sick birds, wet birds, half-drowned birds unable to fly, stakes run on courses that are deserts except for plastic covered feeders and unnecessary watering bottles, with dogs pointing caged birds to win big purses. Many of us were raised going to field trials and running dogs on wild birds that could handle these birds briskly enough to make the hair stand on end, and handle them every time a chance was presented.”

Indeed, a common maxim frequently appearing in the Masters Championships’ advertisements in The American Field in the 1980s was: “Enjoy running your dogs over the beautiful grounds of South Georgia Plantations, where the conditions for Field Trials are definitely unexcelled.”

 

While the Quail Invitational has always relied upon two one-hour heats and then a second, two-hour finals for its top dogs, it is interesting to note that the first two editions of the Masters also featured a two-stage format: one-hour qualifying heats and a ninety-minute finals. There were also several second-series run-offs in the first decade or so of the Championship — perhaps most notably the one in 1981 that gave Robin Gates his first win at the Masters with Barshoe Crossup, owned by Dr. J. Dan Bateman — although this, too, has fallen out of practice.

Since its rebirth in Paducah, the Quail Invitational has relied on a panel of three judges — including one professional handler — but for its first two runnings there were only two. In his “short history”, Dick Dodd remembers the first two runnings of the Invitational and, in particular, the second: “Space does not permit going into the complications that arose in the final judging of this last Quail Championship.” This was 1942, the last year of a two-judge panel, and for Dodd what looked like the second and final running of the Invitational. Nevertheless, there is an echo thirty years later: in the third running of the Masters in 1972 there were, for just one single year, three judges employed (one of whom was professional handler Ed Farrior). The report for the 1971 edition makes it clear that the two judges’ decision that named Possess, handled by Bill Rayl, as champion, and Warhoop Dapper Jack, handled by Collier Smith, as runner-up, had been a contentious one.

At this point in history, I can only speculate whether that controversy had also contributed to the demise of the two-series format for the Masters.

 

In the very first report of the trial in the March 3, 1970 issue of The American Field, Fane Dykes established the connection between the two Masters tournaments held in southeast Georgia: “Thousands come to South Georgia to see the Masters Golf Championship; the Masters Open Quail Championship is its counterpart in the world of field trials.” And there are numerous connections to be made. Blue Springs Plantation, originally gathered together in 1929, took its name from the elaborate systems of caverns and hot springs adjoining the Flint River — and in which radium had been discovered in 1925. In addition to a casino built overlooking the hot springs, the Radium Springs Golf Course opened in 1927 designed by legendary golfer Bobby Jones and Van Kleek. Jones played an exhibition match with the club’s first professional, Joe Kirkwood, in June, 1927 to celebrate the opening of the course — a game Kirkwood would win with 5 up and 4 to play and a course record 65. (They would both leave immediately afterward to compete in the British Open, Jones winning his second consecutive British Open title, Kirkwood tieing for fourth.)

But Jones was also an avid quail hunter — and, for a time, owned Eleconee Plantation (which hosted the Continental Championship in 1936). Eleconee, in turn, would be absorbed into Pineland Plantation under the ownership of Lambert Johnson — one of the original hosts for the inaugural running of what would become the Quail Invitational. Similar to the original Quail Championship, the Masters Tournament is also unusual in that, unlike all three other golf majors, entry is only by invitation — even if those invitations are extended according to certain clearly established performance criteria. (The color “blue” is also reminiscent in the origins of the Masters Golf Tournament, the Augusta National Golf Club established on the grounds of a 19th century indigo plantation.)

 

Blue Springs Plantation has been the anchor point for the Masters Championship since its inception — and up through the 48th running of the trial in 2017, Blue Springs had also been owned by a single family, the Mountcastle family; one of its prominent managers, Ralph Bruner, is remembered on a plaque at the screened-in clubhouse where lunches are served during the Championship. Its original owner, William C. Potter, is memorialized by what is now formally named as the Potter Community Center, the modest, white clubhouse originally built in 1958 with donations from several of the area’s major plantation owners including John Olin, Richard King Mellon, John Grant, and Robert W. Woodruff.

The sale of Blue Springs to Witt Stephens, Jr. in 2017, therefore, came with a half-century of history of one of the great field trials in the sport’s history. It should be noted that while Blue Springs has shared hosting duties for the Masters with Nonami Plantation since 1984, Nonami comprises over 6,000 acres of the old Blue Springs “North End”, i.e., north of Wildfair Road. To this day the headquarters and main house for Blue Springs remain to the northeast of the intersection of Wildfair and River Roads and are a landmark for beginning the turn roughly halfway through the first afternoon course.

As popular legend has it, when Tom Cousins purchased the parcel in 1984, he struggled to invent a name for his new quail plantation. His wife, Ann, threatened to call it the great “No Name” plantation, inspiring the tongue-in-cheek “Nonami”. Long-time friends and business partners, when it came time for Tom Cousins to move on, Nonami passed to Ted Turner and, in fact, represents his largest landholding in his native state of Georgia. The Southern Club is eternally grateful to the owners for the use of these incredible properties for both the Masters Quail and the Masters Shooting Dog Championships.

 

The current trophy for the Masters Quail Championship bears the name of Norman J. Ellis, a past-president and longtime board member of the Southern Club. Indeed, Norm Ellis also served as the reporter for the Championship three times between 1972-1976. He passed away between the fifteenth and sixteenth editions of the trial leaving reporter Peter Flanagan to note in his recounting of the event published in The Field on May 11, 1985: “The passing of former president Norm Ellis leaves a gap that will not soon be filled. Norm was a key figure in the early development of the prestigious Masters events, often augmenting his presidential duties by admirably filling the role of reporter and his colorful renditions were always much appreciated. His interest was unflagging until the end, with Norm a fixture on the community center scene when physical limitations curtailed his riding in the latter years.”

The Memorial Trophy was first presented by Norm’s wife, Dottie, and the Southern Field Trial Club in 1987 — its first winner, The Rebel Call, owned by Pete Frierson, and handled by Garland Priddy. By then, Pete Frierson had already been inducted into the Hall of Fame, his induction in 1979, Garland Priddy joining him in 2012.

The remarkable coda for this golden jubilee was that for all of Garland Priddy’s wins at the Masters (outlined later), his scout had been Wallace Reichert, one of this year’s judges.

 

Among the celebrated handlers who have won the Masters, Billy Wayne Morton remains the only one to have won the Masters three years in a row (with a cumulative total of five), the feat more remarkable because he won all three with two littermates out of Hollywood Kid ex White Lightning Bee, bred by Ray Hamilton: Peacemaker in 2001, and Mississippi Kid in 2002 and 2003.

Garland Priddy came close winning three out of four with The Texas Sage (1984), Spy Hill Buddy (1985) and The Rebel Call (1987) — although he would have over a decade’s success at the Masters, taking runner-up with Jester’s Babe (1980), The Texas Sage (1981) and Mac’s Reelfoot Chief (1992).

In recent history, Mark McLean has won three out of four — and in fact four out of the last six runnings of the Masters. Nonetheless, the all-time winningest handler at the Masters remains Robin Gates having won his first of six titles in 1981 with Dr. J. D. Bateman’s Barshoe Crossup, and his most recent in 2013 with Dr. B. J. Kelley and Dr. Everett Crouch’s Big Sky Pete.

Amongst the canine winners, only one single National Champion has ever won this prestigious event — perhaps no surprise as the three-hour marathon at Ames, let alone the extensive preparation for it, generally concludes within two weeks of the Masters. To imagine that even the best conditioned athletes could rebound enough to win in the often-warm weather of south Georgia after the often-wet, muddy fields of southwest Tennessee is perhaps too much.

As I noted with nothing other than admiration of Shadow Oak Bo’s performance in 2014 after he had won the National for the second time, he had been slow to warm up, but his final half-hour was as remarkable as anything already run.

Keeping that in mind, Native Tango, owned by Jack Allen and Dr. David Kuykendall, handled by Collier Smith, would claim the National Championship in 1984, the winter after she won the Masters — although it is perhaps little surprise to note that her sire was White Knight’s Button, also handled by Collier Smith, one of just a handful of dogs to win this event twice.

That bevy of dogs includes, as already noted: White Knight’s Button (1973, 1975) and Mississippi Kid (2002, 2003); along with Dominator’s Rebel Heir (2015, 2017), handled by Jamie Daniels; and Touch’s White Knight (2016, 2019), by Mark McLean.

In my seven years’ experience as reporter at the Masters, I have been fortunate to watch six National Champions compete (Shadow Oak Bo and Lester’s Sunny Hill Jo, of course, being two-time winners).

It was my pleasure to meet Carl Bowman for the first time this year, even if recalling the memory of his 2010 National Champion, In the Shadow, getting lost at time in the 2013 running was bittersweet. His blistering, four-find race in the afternoon heat on the final course on Nonami came as close to a repeat of Native Tango’s two-win achievement as I have yet seen; that one of In the Shadow’s sons would claim runner-up in this year’s 50th running seems appropriate.

 

Native Tango was a remarkable dog — that National Championship and her win at the Masters contributing to her also being named the Purina All-Age Dog of the Year for 1983-84. She was subsequently inducted into the Field Trial Hall of Fame in 1996.

Winning at the Masters has contributed to the hard-earned records of several other Purina All-Age Dogs of the Year: White Knight’s Button (1974-75), owned by Jack Fiveash; Dr. Everett Crouch’s Silverwood, the alleged inspiration for the license plate profile seen on so many field trial trucks, who twice earned the title first in 1996-97 and then again in 2001-2002, coming back miraculously from a broken back; and Touch’s Mega Mike (2017-2018), owned by Eddie Sholar and Ted Dennard.

 

Winning at the Masters also contributed to the accolades of several other future Hall of Fame inductees: White Knight’s Button was inducted in 1984; Texas Fight, owned by Edwin Brown, and campaigned by John Rex Gates, would win in 1976 and be inducted in 1982; as mentioned, Native Tango was inducted in 1984; Bisco Big Jack, owned by Barry Carpenter, and campaigned by Pete Hicks, won the Masters in 1988 (he had also taken runner-up in 1985), would be inducted in 1998; under Robin Gates’ guidance, Silverwood would win in 1997 and be honored in the Hall of Fame in 2008; Lehar’s Main Tech, owned by Bill Goolsby and Dr. Rick Love, and handled by Billy Wayne Morton, would win in 1999 and be inducted in 2001; and Funseeker’s Rebel, owned by Mercy and Frank Fonseca, and piloted by Fred Dileo, won the Masters in 2007 and was inducted in 2016.

 

To return to the beginning in a fashion, with the origins of the Masters Quail Championship in what became the Quail Championship Invitational, it is perhaps of little surprise to know that four Invitational champions and two runners-up also won at the Masters: Texas Fight won the Invitational in 1972; Lehar’s Main Tech won in 1994 with Andy Daugherty at the helm; Silverwood would take runner-up in 1996; Funseeker’s Rebel would win the Invitational in 2007 with Andy Daugherty handling the dog, a mere eleven days after the tragic accident that claimed Fred Dileo’s life — the only one in this group to win the Masters before winning at the Invitational; South’s Late Night, owned by Dr. David Dickey, and handled by Rick Furney, would win the Masters in 2010, after taking runner-up at the Invitational the year before; and finally, and as with South’s Late Night, Touch’s White Knight, owned by Eddie and Carole Sholar, and handled by Mark McLean, would win the Quail Invitational in 2015, the year before his first of two wins of the Masters.

Nevertheless, the Masters has never been won by anything other than a pointer.

 

I can only add that reporting the Masters Quail Championship is the highlight of my year, and however much work these reports have taken, the opportunity to watch some of the finest dogs compete against each other, and against the plentiful populations of wild birds, is a reward quite unlike any other.

Each year, I have tried to capture at least one ideal picture of the divine magic that draws dogs to birds and holds them there and the men and women who never tire of watching them: Decision Maker’s final find in the 2013 edition, standing tall, the birds pinned in a small scrub of brambles and shinnery oak, Tom Shenker readily flushing them out over the red dirt road; in 2016, Funseek’n Hit Man on the far slope above the Bay Pond backlit by the warm, golden glow of the morning, the birds lit off ahead of him out of the broomsedge; or indeed, Robin Gates flushing a large eight-point buck nested down ahead of Shadow’s Full Throttle in 2017 and then, as seemingly nonplussed as the dog, getting in front of him to flush the still-sat covey of birds off the shoulder of the hillside.

 

In his fabulously deep, rich book, Landmarks (2015), Robert McFarlane writes: “In both [the Scottish island of] Lewis and Arizona, language is used not only to navigate but also to charm the land. Words act as compass; place-speech serves literally to enchant the land — to sing it back into being, and to sing one’s being back into it.”

There is something timeless in this great sport of field trialing — it after all requires just a dog, a handler, and a witness. It might be too far to imagine whether the quail have any memory from year to year — whether they recognized the particular mouth music of Bill Rayl singing out to Ted Baker’s Bill Possessed, or indeed Freddie lilting to Butch Houston’s Lady Addition in that same deep baritone.

The voices are there to be heard — longtime reporter Barbara Teare recounted that she would forever hear legendary Blue Springs employee Sam Ellis’ rich beautiful voice calling “Cos’ to de lef an’ straight ahead!” — and the names to be remembered: the Booger Field, Rabbit Bluff, and Cat Pond among many others. Sam’s house is now gone, and his body lies in the cemetery overlooking the Flint River up in the old “North End”, but his memory still persists in the names and tales of these 50 years of the Masters Quail Championship.

Year Winner Breed/Sex Sire Dam Breeder Owner Handler

1970 Pineland Kate PF Pineland Rippy Pineland Ruby Pineland Plantation M. C. Fleming George Moreland

1971 Possess PM Possessed Miss Frenchie W. F. Rayl D. C. Moses W. F. Rayl

1972 Bill Possessed PM Possessed Mayora Everglade Belle Dr. T. O. Kennard E. L. Baker W. F. Rayl

1973 White Knight's Button PM Riggins White Knight Satilla Peggy Otis Gulled, Sr. J. C. Fiveash Collier Smith

1974 Palariel Stormy Clown PM Palariel Stormy Pat Missy From Plano J. H. Harrington J. H. Harrington J. R. Gates

1975 White Knight's Button PM Riggins White Knight Satilla Peggy Otis Gulled, Sr. Jack C. Fiveash Collier Smith

1976 Texas Fight PM The Texas Squire Barlane Babe J. C. Meek Edwin Brown John Rex Gates

1977 Judy Warhoop PF Cottonhill Allowe Dolly H. G. Ingram H. R. Ingram &  G. D. Moreland George Moreland Geroge Moreland

1978 Builder's Free Boy PM Builder's Risk Bearwallow Babe Dewey Mullins Robert L. Napier Freddie Rayl

1979 Tar Hill Ranger PM Oklahoma Flush Sentry's Flirtation Gary Taylor S. H. Vrendeburgh J. R. Gates

1980 Jerry's Recap PM Tarcap Scarlet Ribbon J. R. Gates Jerry Brown Bobby Watson

1981 Barshoe Crossup PF Crossmatch Barshoe Cuz L. R. West Dr. J. D. Bateman Robin Gates

1982 Librarian's White Cloud PM Miller's White Cloud Librarian Dr. R. P. Knowles Dr. Peter T. Fagan J. R. Gates

1983 Native Tango PF White Knight's Button Cotton States Kate T. H. McNeal Jack D. Allen &  David Kuykendall Collier Smith

1984 The Texas Sage PM The Texas Sage Hayride Topsey Pete Frierson Pete Frierson Garland Priddy

1985 Spy Hill Buddy PM Addition's Go Boy Fiddler's Gal W. F. Rayl Pete Frierson Garland Priddy

1986 Paper Rosie PF Evolution Addition's Lou T. J. Robinson E. L. Baker Joe Hicks

1987 The Rebel Call PM The Rebel Rouser Genny's Freedom Greg Forehand,

Newt Hughes & R. O. Berryhill Mr. & Mrs. Pete Frierson Garland Priddy

1988 Bisco Big Jack PM Bronzini Bisco Tat Pete Hicks Barry Carpenter Pete Hicks

1989 Lady Addition PF Builder's Free Boy Builder's Scarlet Larry Vorhies N. G. Houston III Freddie Rayl

1990 Jedi Pilot PM Merryway's Blackbelt Blackbelt's Penny Freddie Epp Ruthann E. Summerall Mark Henley

1991 Liveoak's Bo PM Flatwood Bill Six L's Dot Robert Gates Butch Houston Robin Gates

1992 Red Necked Woman PF Buzzsaw's Stormy Bud Woods Master's Clown L. P. Weaver Larry Corbin & L. P. Weaver Bubba Moreland

1993 Nightcall PM Bonner Fiddler's Junebug Tony Terrell Jimmy Hinton, Jr.  & Billy Wayne Morton Billy Wayne Morton

1994 Chacoan Hummer PM Texas Hummer Fiddler's Junebug J. L. Sanders J. W. Simpson Fred Dileo

1995 Spy Hill Bullett PM Miller's Silver Bullett Boy's Texas Sugar Floyd Hankins Dr. John Purvis Fred Rayl

1996 Fiddler's Pride's Iris PF Fiddler's Pride Bayou's Judy Holladay R. O. Berryhill Dan W. & Marge Bonaguidi Fred Rayl

1997 Silverwood PM Flatwood Jake Flatwood Nailtat Frank Cox Dr. Everett Crouch Robin Gates

1998 Ultra Crude PF Black Crude Southern Lil F. C. Inno Larron Copeland Larron Copeland

1999 Lehar's Main Tech PF Go Boy's Shadow Hendricks First Lady J. D. House Bill Goolsby & Dr. Rick Love Billy Wayne Morton

2000 Million Dollar Man PM Miller's Silver Bullett Sabre's Edge Patches G. P. Lester Larry Lee, Georgia Salva  & Ralph Berryhill Fred Dileo

2001 Peacemaker PM Hollywood Kid White Lightning Bee Ray Hamilton Jimmy Hinton Billy Wayne Morton

2002 Mississippi Kid PM Hollywood Kid White Lightning Bee Ray Hamilton Charles & Heather Klinck  & Bill Goolsby Billy Wayne Morton

2003 Mississippi Kid PM Hollywood Kid White Lightning Bee Ray Hamilton Charles & Heather Klinck & Bill Goolsby Billy Wayne Morton

2004 Funseeker's Rebel PM Double Rebel Sonny Funseeker's Gem F. J. & Mercy Fonseca F. J. & Mercy Fonseca Fred Dileo

2005 Wild River PM Whippoorwill Wild Card Scrabble R. O. Berryhill R. O. Berryhill, Larry Lee  & Georgia Silva Fred Dileo

2006 Lester's Thunderbird PM Miller's White Powder Gardner's Addition Jill Becky Gardner Tommy & Ellen Liesfeld Lefty Henry

2007 Cancelled

2008 Distant Shadow PM Miller's White Powder Doerr's Claire's Shadow Dr. Hubert Doerr Ted Dempsey &  Tom Nygard Hunter & Robin Gates

2009 Phantom's Last Dime PM Nemaha Dime Jack's Storming Lady Dan Hendrickson Larry Lee, Larry Carter  & Ralph Berryhill Robin Gates

2010 South's Late Night PM Miller's White Powder Wiggins Miss Sammie Donald Wiggins Dr. David Dickey Rick Furney

2011 Lester's Jacked Up PM Lester's Snowatch High Noon Jana William L. Griffin Gary Lester Gary Lester

2012 Clovis Point Chism PM Whippoorwilld Wild Agin Wiggins Miss Sammie Donald Wiggins Scott Griffin Rick Furney

2013 Big Sky Pete PM Rock Acre Blackhawk Shotgun Elhew Attitude Bob Walthall Dr. Everett Crouch  & Dr. B. J. Kelley Robin Gates

2014 Lester's Skywatch PM Lester's Snowatch Teddy's Pick Sam Robert M. Wynn Carole & Eddie Sholar Mark McLean

2015 Dominator's Rebel Heir PM Rivertons Funseek'n Scooter Pearl Again Jamie Daniels Jim Hamilton Jamie Daniels

2016 Touch's White Knight PM Lance's Last Knight Prairieland Lucy Dwight Grace Eddie Sholar Mark McLean

2017 Dominator's Rebel Heir PM Rivertons Funseek'n Scooter Pearl Again Jamie Daniels Jim Hamilton Jamie Daniels

2018 Touch's Mega Mike PM House's Ring of Fire Touch's Blaylock Bess Keith A. Wright Eddie Sholar Ike Todd

2019 Touch's White Knight PM Lance's Last Knight Prairieland Lucy Dwight Grace Eddie Sholar Mark McLean

[Author’s Note. I am grateful to Freddie Rayl for first inviting me to report, and to the Southern Club for their ongoing hospitality.

Thanks, too, go to Steve Standley and Barbara Teare for providing stories and sources for this short essay, and to Tonya Brotherton and the staff at the Bird Dog Museum for allowing me extended access to the library and photocopier. A. C.]

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