American Field

C S Coldwater Rex Named Champion; Shadow Oak Doc is Runner-Up

Gulf Coast Open Shooting Dog Championship

By Allison Stewart | Feb 07, 2018
The Winners. From left: C S Coldwater Rex with John David Smith, Doug Ray, Shadow Oak Doc with Cole Henry and George Tracy. Behind: Tony Gibson, Judges Frank Rutland and Gary Futch, and Pat Varner.

Union Springs, Ala. — Once again the gracious hosting of Becky and Tony Gibson was offered for the Gulf Coast Shooting Dog Championship which began on Monday, November 27, at Conecuh Station Plantation in Union Springs, Ala. It must be said again that the generous hospitality of Becky and Tony Gibson cannot be overstated and their tireless devotion  to running field trials in the Southeast is incomparable.

Frank Rutland of Fitzpatrick, Ala.,  and Gary Futch of Statesboro, Ga., presided over the running. Pat Varner, who grew up riding the grounds at Conecuh Station, diligently marshalled. He knows every turn of the courses.

The roar of the bird dog buggy each morning and evening alerted participants that Kenneth Newman was on his way up the road. He made sure that everyone had plenty of snacks and drinks between braces.

Longtime Bullock County residents George Cole, Jimmy Duncan and Tommy Mote, no stranger to the field trial community, greeted everyone early each morning with warm, fresh southern breakfasts.

Lunches were provided by Judy Maddox and her daughter Alicia. Among the delicious suppers, Tony and Becky made their outstanding spaghetti.

We would like to thank Purina, whose assistance along with gracious donations for the winners was greatly appreciated.

Wednesday’s lunch brought a special visit by the friendly faces of Dorothy and John Hyder of Hatchechubbee, Ala., to honor Becky Gibson’s Conecuh’s Pressure Test with the presentation of the Elwin Smith Setter of the Year Award. Congratulations to Becky and her handler, Doug Ray, on this grand achievement!


The honor of champion went to C  S Coldwater Rex, owned by Becky and Tony Gibson and handled by Doug Ray. Rex is a stylish white and orange pointer male out of My Mustang Sally.

Rex and his bracemate broke away in the 12th brace with a determined forward charge up the wooded hill to the open field and made a wide right exploring the edges before bounding over the pond dam and into the pines. Rex showed the gentlemanly manners honoring a find at 14 and continued on course in a forward manner.

As the gallery was coming down the hill out of the woods, Rex made an eye-catching cast across the little green field before turning toward a thicket with determination to signify birds, his tail high with confidence at 24. Rex continued to demonstrate fine shooting dog ground application and marked birds again at 40 with his bracemate backing the mighty covey that flew down the line of switch grass. Rex ended his first-rate bird work with a strong covey rise at 53 and completed the hour with his handler pointing him out topping the hill in flickers of sunshine to end the day.

The runner-up position went to Shadow Oak Doc,  handsome white and orange setter male by Shadow Oak Bo, owned by Allen Linder and Great River Kennel and handled by George Tracy.

Doc hit the course in the 14th brace with commanding speed and found the country to his liking. He was pointed out flying into green field on a beautiful cast at 27 just before bounding into the valley with his bracemate. They exhibited brilliant speed past the great spirit oak, hunting the cover and burning through the course like wildfire. Doc topped the hill and crossed the road by little pond at 38. He hit the open field at 43. Doc used the edges intelligently around the left side and flew across the pond dam, casting into the pines.

As we crossed behind the pond, scout Cole Henry’s determined cry of “Point!” came atop the hill. After a fast climb, Doc was found facing a thicket, nose and tail to the heavens with the utmost confidence of a covey to end his brace.


Skies were sunny, temperature 31° as Burrow’s Trip My Trigger (Jason Willams) and Phillips Wind Line (Doug Ray) came to the line. Just before the downward slope, the two pointers scored a divided find at 3, then hit the green field together at a high rate of speed. As we made the turn in the first open field, Wind Line pointed at 11. Both dogs made a forward cast through the course. At 15 Williams found Trip My Trigger on point but movement was made at shot and he was up. “Sam” continued on course through the pines to be found on point at 36 and again at 45 in the plum thicket. Sam pointed a wild covey at 51 showing excellent manners at flush and shot before finishing the hour in front.

Miller’s Miss Calamity Jane (George Tracy) and Conecuh Station Shoe Shine (Ray) were fast and forward from release. Jane pointed the first covey of the brace at 11 in the cover. Shine followed with handsome bird work at 13 and another flush at 42 just past the great spirit oak amidst the pines. Though the increase in temperature showed less bird work, both dogs exhibited nice hunting skills and a fine finish.

Mayhaw’s Turn the Page (Trey Mills) and American Pharoah (Williams) showed strong forward races but no productive bird work.

Miller’s Unbridled Forever (Tracy) and Erin’s Prometheus (Ray) broke away into a warm afternoon with pleasing forward races. Forever marked two finds. Prometheus carded a find at 25 but bounded into the briars upon relocation on a find and was up at 36.

Conway Twitty (Tracy) and Gates Road Mike (Williams) were released with speed and big moves on their minds. Conway Twitty showed in front at 14. Though he was big running and strong, his handle proved to be a bit difficult and he was up at 30. Mike followed his nose with a remarkable cast across the chopper field at 31 and was found on point atop the hill at 39. Birds were flushed with all in order. Mike was out front at time.

Miller’s Creative Cause (Ray) and Jamback’s Johnny B Good (Tracy) ended the first day’s running. Cause made a quick point at 2 but it failed to produce birds. The pointers continued the course in a forward manner and  Cause carded a find at 9 in the cover near the duck pond and cabin. Johnny B Good marked birds at 15 but his determined search went unrewarded. Cause was picked up at 21.

Tuesday’s breakaway started another blue bird Alabama day, temperature at 33° and a breeze from the east.

Touch’s Two Step (Williams) and Charitable Deed (Tommy Rice) were on the line. Two Step ran the course with enthusiasm, carding finds at 19, 22, but moved at 34. Rice requested the retrieval device at 28.

Ironstone Talladega (Ray) and Sedgefields Power House Turbo (Bill Lee)  made a notable climb up the first hill, both steadily forward at 8. Power House hunted the edges through the pines.

Handlers pointed out their  dogs as we crossed the power lines before they bounded into the cover of the next hill. Ironstone pointed at 19 just before little green field; no birds were produced. Power House was pointed out ahead at 26 just before making an energetic cast across the hill. The pointers were hunting the cover in front at 39 before they were picked up at 44 and 46, respectively.

Brace No. 9 began at the chopper field with Seekin A Thrill (Rice) making a quick stop at 2 but no birds flew. Cory’s Easy Holy Water (Tracy) made a graceful cast across the green field before the pair leapt down into the valley and topped the hill into the pines with a wide cast. Course crossed road at little pond at 25 with Thrill making a push to the front. Both bounded up the hill into the wide open field and hunted the edges before flying over the pond dam with a tremendous pace to make a strong cast over and through the pines. Dogs were cooled down at 47 as temperatures rose before heading into the woods above the kennels. Easy Water pointed at 54 but was unsuccessful in getting birds up. Thrill pointed at 58 with a beautiful covey rise to end the morning.

Gone with the Wind (Williams) pointed at 8 and 25 but no birds were found and his bid ended. Conecuh’s Pressure Test (Ray) exhibited strong swings through the countryside and was quite poised on point but neglected to show a covey and after a long absence he was picked up by his handler.

Just Thrilling (Rice) found birds in the first minute and again at 4 in the thick cover, while Miller’s Honor Code (Tracy) hunted the edges before bounding into a green field to the right of the course. As we topped the hill to follow the course to the left, Tracy took an instinctive right turn to find Honor Code pointing at 20 with a nice flush. Just Thrilling followed with bobwhite rising at 28. As we turned into the chopper field both dogs bounded up the hill where Honor Code pointed in the cover on the left side but it was unproductive. Just Thrilling marked a pleasing find at 56 and both ended the hour in front.

Sedgefields Shadow Rises (Lee) and C S Coldwater Rex (Ray). Rex’s success was mentioned above. The pair broke away with a forward charge up the wooded hill to the open field and made a wide right exploring the edges before bounding over the pond dam and into the pines. Shadow Rises carded a stylish find at 14 with Rex backing neatly. Shadow Rises suffered an unproductive at 27. After honoring point at 40 and a second unfortunate unproductive at 49 his handler thanked the judges.

At Wednesday morning’s breakaway the temperature was at 51°, the fog lifting when Nyquist (Ray) and Thrill Me (Rice) hit the ground running. Nyquist was pointed out as we came into the first field but was not seen again and handler requested the retrieval unit at 20. Thrill Me pushed through the cover and over the green field at the power lines to mark birds at 20. Back into the pines, Thrill Me continued to blaze the course and carded finds at 26, 36, 42, and again at 45 finishing the hour forward.

No. 14 had Ironstone Sue (Ray) and Shadow Oak Doc for an exciting hour. Doc’s success was noted above. Sue carded an unproductive at 11 and continued on, hitting the cover and coming up the hill at 17. The pair made brilliant speed past the great spirit oak hunting the cover and burning through the course like wildfire. They hit the open field at 43. Sue was out of the race at 53.

The Black List (Bobby Hartwig)  pointed at 4 but no birds flew. Lovern’s Red Lace (Tracy) followed the same pattern at 8. Both were in front at 12 as we came through the woods by the old catch pen and Black List marked birds with a thick covey rise at 17. Red Lace followed suit with a mannerly honor by Black List at 20 but Red Lace exhibited slight movement at flush and was out of contention. Black List pointed at 27 by the little pond with an exciting flutter of quail, and remained in front for the balance of the hour as temperatures rose.

The afternoon’s first brace began under cloudy skies, temperature near 70°.

Erin’s War Creek (Tracy) and Conecuh Station Joe Kid (Ray) beat through the countryside enthusiastically. Joe showed  out front at 24. With clouds parting and the temperature rising, handlers thanked the judges at 27 and 39.

Mobile Strike (Ray) and Pineywoods Jackpot (Darron Hendley). These two setters had bird work on their minds as they made impressive casts across the hill. Jackpot pointed at 7 to reveal birds before a strong push into the cover. Strike’s owner Doug Hinton was also in the gallery to enjoy his stylish setter which carded his first find at 9 before diving into the woods to continue his hunt. He pointed again at 17 with unwavering confidence. Both were in front at 23 before making a short cast in green field then moving down into the valley where Jackpot made a dashing cast up the far right side of the hill finding birds at 36. Mobile Strike was back in front showing valiant speed across the dam and carded stylish finds at 52 and 56 to end his hour in a forward effort. Scout was heard calling point at 51 down below the pond dam. Jackpot marked the birds neatly. Unfortunately, upon release, a quail got in his way and he was up at 56.

Ironstone Chad (Ray) and Miller’s Vanilla Snow (Tracy) started behind the kennels and the pair crossed the creek and bounded up the hill to left before Vanilla Snow was found standing on point with Chad backing handsomely. Handler relocated but ultimately decided to move on. Vanilla Snow redeemed herself with a find at 15, Chad backing. Chad located a covey at 20 with Vanilla Snow honoring. Vanilla Snow twisted around on another covey at 28 and maintained the statuesque pose as birds flew. Chad’s pattern was not suiting his handler and he was up at 43.

Touch’s Mae Mobley (Tracy) and Conecuh Station Bo Rose (Ray) started off Thursday morning. Mae Mobley was covering the countryside in a forward fashion at 20 before diving into the cover. Rose was up at 24. Mae Mobley came out in front at the plum thicket bounding down the hill to point at 38. She maintained a nice forward effort as she crossed green field and flew to the hill to hit the cover and end her race with determined hunting skills.

Conecuh Station Trump (Ray) and Neely’s Paint the Town (Tracy) began the second brace of the morning painting the cover before Trump pointed at 11 with a back by Paint but no birds showed. Trump again applied to the cover and followed with a successful find at 19, and flew down the edges above the chopper field before the classy setter found birds again at 28. Trump completed a smooth, pleasing race topping the hill past the great spirit oak to end the hour.

Conecuh Station Lil Ann (Ray) and Miller’s Handsome Ransom (Tracy) cut through the countryside and bounded into the open field with Lil Ann hunting the edges. Handsome popped out in front at 10 and both flew over the pond dam and through the pines but ended their hour early with no bird work.

Sugarknoll War Paint (Tracy) and I’ll Have Another (Williams) ran the countryside but unproductives ended their bids early.

Union Springs, Ala., November 27

Judges: Gary Futch and Frank Rutland


[One-Hour Heats] — 34 Pointers and 10 Setters

Winner—C S COLDWATER REX, 1651605, pointer male, by Cassique’s Portwood—My Mustang  Sally. Tony Gibson, owner; Doug Ray, handler.

Runner-Up—SHADOW OAK DOC, 1644034, setter male, by Shadow Oak Bo—Bohannon’s Elizabeth. Allen Linder & Great River Kennel, owner; George Tracy, handler.

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