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Cole Train Wins Open All-Age; Touch’s Gallatin Fire is Derby Winner

Hobart Ames Memorial Classic

By Jim Atchison | Feb 12, 2018
Open All-Age Winners. From front left: Ed Buford with Cole Train, Nick Thompson with Las Animas Fancy and Joey McAlexander with Misty Morn Masked Man. Standing: Matt Cochran, Dr. Fred Corder, Joe Thompson, Piper Huffman, Daniel Bolden, Larry Huffman, Judges Ronnie Miller and Larry Garner; Otis Ozier, Charles F. Bryan, Tracy Tomlinson, Pat Bryan, Cory Rinehart and Dr. Rick Carlisle. [Photos by Vera Courtney.]

Grand Junction, Tenn. — The 65th renewal of the Hobart Ames Memorial Classic was run on Ames Plantation January 8-11, ending just shortly before a winter storm paralyzed much of the nation, from Memphis to Bangor.

Cole Train, pointer male owned and handled by Dr. Fred Corder of Corinth, Miss., won the Open All-Age competition which drew 30 entries. Second and third placements were awarded respectively to Las Animas Fancy, pointer female owned by Dale Bush of College Station, Tex., and handled by Larry Huffman, and Misty Morn Masked Man, pointer male owned and handled by Joey McAlexander of Holly Springs, Miss.

First in the 12-entry Derby Classic was pointer male Touch’s Gallatin Fire, and second was pointer male Touch’s Malcolm Story, both dogs similarly bred, owned by Alex Rickert and handled by Ike Todd. Third was Button Up, pointer female owned by Pat and Julie Roach and handled by Steve Hurdle.

Larry Garner and Ronnie Miller judged both the All-Age and Derby Stakes. Both Garner, from Oak Point, Tex., and Miller, from Fort Smith, Ark., were repeat judges. Miller judged the All-Age Classic with Les Rowell last year and Garner has judged and fulfilled other field trial related responsibilities numerous times at Ames. Both men have owned dogs, sponsored and competed in field trials for decades and capably executed their judicial challenge throughout both stakes.

Dr. Rick Carlisle, superintendent of Ames Plantation and secretary/treasurer of the sponsoring Hobart Ames Memorial Field Trial Club, initiated the beginning of the event as he welcomed those attending the drawing to his office at 7:00 p. m. on Saturday, January 6. He was assisted with the drawing by his wife Kay Carlisle and Charles F. Bryan, who is vice-president of the club. Ryan Braddock, one of the directors of the club, and several more people attended the drawing. He first thanked the trustees of the Ames Foundation for continuing to permit the running on the National Championship courses of Ames. The trustees are Mr. Oliver Spalding, Mr. Robert H. Frey, Ms. Augusta Haydock, and Ms. Dian Quinn who represents Bank of America, N.A. Dr. Carlisle also thanked Purina for their continuing generous sponsorship, announced the judges, reporter, others assisting, and the schedule of events and activities that would follow. Marshalling with Dr. Carlisle were Ryan Braddock, Chris Weatherly and William Smith; the latter three also tended to the horses used by the official party.

Assisting were Vera Courtney, photographer; Joe Thompson, dog wagon and security; Aubrey Green, security; lunches by Tom Stewart from Holly Springs, and daily sausage and biscuits compliments of Otis Ozier.

An annual highlight of the Classic is the Wayne Tate Memorial steak dinner held on Tuesday evening and sponsored by the Dr. Frank McKnight Family, The Bank of Fayette County, and the Hobart Ames Memorial Club. Mrs. Pat McKnight and Sam and Holly McKnight represented the McKnight Family; Rex Brotherton represented the bank, as did Pat Bryan, who served as an employee and officer of the bank for 35 years. Several officers and directors represented the sponsoring club.

Weather caused no delays and only minimal inconveniences during the three and one-half days. The courses were dry on Monday but became wet on Tuesday with varying degrees of mist and light rain throughout the day. Temperatures were in the 30s and 40s Monday and Tuesday and reached into the 50s on Wednesday and Thursday with continuing mist at times.

OPEN ALL-AGE WINNERS

Cole Train, white and black pointer male coming six years of age on February 20, won first place in the All-Age contest with his strong, forward and stylish performance on Tuesday morning in the eighth brace. He had one excellent find for Dr. Corder, which came at 22 shortly before crossing the National Championship Road near remnants of Kyle Wilbourn’s barn.

Throughout the hour the winner was handsome on the edges as he ran huge casts during the hour. Cole Train was independent but intelligent as Dr. Corder trusted the accomplished veteran that fully used the course but repeatedly popped out, demonstrating that the owner and his dog were working in concert with one another.

Las Animas Fancy, white and liver pointer female which will three years of age February 18, owned by Dale Bush, ran a big all-age race as she won second for Larry Huffman. Fancy was strong and animated throughout the hour while she achieved one find which came in a feed plot at 50 during the seventh brace. Both the dog and handler were enjoyable to watch as she ate up the fields and Huffman demonstrated his trademark handling style wherein he rode in front of the judges with minimal movement or noise as he let his dog do what she was well prepared to do.

Third place was won by three-year-old white and orange pointer male Misty Morn Masked Man for Joey McAlexander. McAlexander is a true amateur and a younger competitor, by field trial standards as the age of participants continues to increase and the number of participants decrease. Masked Man had finds at 30 on the left before crossing the Turner Lake levee and at 46 near the south end of the Bates tract. He ran a strong race and used the country fully causing him to finish north of the National Championship Road on the Mary Scott Loop.

OTHER ALL-AGE ENTRIES

This was an unusual All-Age Stake in that so many of the 30 dogs made mistakes and were picked up, became lost causing handlers to request retrieval units, or were picked up early for other reasons. Many of the entries were outstanding dogs with long histories of winning performances and their brief hour in this Classic did not represent their overall capabilities.

Southern Renegade, owned by Arizonan Ric Peterson and handled by George Newcomb, was braced with Whippoorwill War Dog, owned by Earl Connolly and handled by Larry Huffman, in the first brace. Earl Connolly was in the gallery while War Dog competed and had an unproductive at 7 before crossing Buford Ellington Road. As the match continued, Renegade then had an unproductive which War Dog backed. The competition ended at 42 when War Dog pointed and Renegade backed briefly before continuing to hunt. But when Huffman flushed the birds War Dog marked flight and advanced enough to cause him to be picked up.

Matt Cochran loosed Washita River A T, owned by John Jacoby, in the second brace with Cassique’s Boss, owned by Rick Stallings and handled by Steve Hurdle. Washita River pointed at 45 in the field on the left just past the Keegan gate but moved while Cochran was flushing. Cassique’s Boss produced a good effort throughout the hour but found no birds.

Whippoorwill Forever Young hunted alone throughout the third hour and finished, but had no birds.

Weldon Bennett had Coldwater Stoner, owned by Dr. Lee Butler, and Scott Beeler had Erin’s Snowy River, owned by Bill Vest. Stoner became lost and Bennett got his retrieval device at 28. Snowy River had unproductives at 7 and 32 so the hour ended early.

Setter male Stardust Chaz, owned by Bob and Sarina Craig, Scott Kermicle and John Sayre, was the only dog to finish the hour and also successfully have game contact throughout the first day. He hunted for Steve Hurdle for 54 minutes before pointing in the fifth brace. No birds were raised initially but a relocation proved the birds were running and had moved at least 100 yards. Hurdle flushed the birds at the end of the excellent relocation. Beeler’s Quick Step, owned by Charles and Scott Beeler, became lost and Scott Beeler asked for his retrieval unit at 28.

Mountain Music and S F Bandwagon were the last pair to run on the first afternoon. Larry Huffman had Bandwagon, owned by Larry Smith, but the excellent dog erred during a relocation effort at 24 in the Jack Harris field and was picked up. Mountain Music, owned by Larry Esterline and handled by Steve Hurdle, had birds at 59 but was flagging during the flushing effort and moved causing the birds to fly. The day ended as Hurdle turned to the judges and said, “Thank you.”

On Tuesday morning, Rebel Maiden, owned and handled by David Williams, was braced with Las Animas Fancy in brace No. 7. Maiden had a find at 3 deep into woods on the east side of the breakaway field. She continued until 50 when she moved while backing her bracemate and was picked up.

B K’s Ransom, owned by Brad Kennedy and handled by Steve Hurdle, competed in the eighth brace, paired with Cole Train. He did not finish the hour.

Attitude’s Iron Will, owned by Dennis Beauford and handled by Steve Hurdle, was braced with Hendrix’s Signature, owned and handled by Burke Hendrix, in the last brace before lunch. Hurdle got his retrieval device at 25. Hendrix’s Signature did not finish the hour either.

Quicksilver Gold Dust, handled by Hurdle for Rick Stallings, was the top dog in brace No. 10, running with Miller’s Kentucky Blu, owned by Jim and Stephanie Bickers and handled by Huffman. Blu finished the hour, while Gold Dust did not. During the hour Blu had finds at 20 and 32 and an unproductive at 39. His bird work was enjoyable but his race fell short of that expected from an all-age contender.

Coldwater Thunder and Coldwater Odyssey. Thunder’s owners, Doug Arthur and Rachel Blackwell, were in the gallery to watch her performance for Steve Hurdle. Odyssey ran for his owner-handler Weldon Bennett. Neither dog finished the hour.

Game Bo, owned by Dr. Corder and handled by Larry Huffman, and Dazzling, handled by Hurdle for Bob Walthall and Thorpe McKenzie. Bo had a nice race with a stylish find at 8 but got lost near the end of the hour and Huffman asked for his retrieval device at 55. Dazzling pointed at 18 and Hurdle flushed a large covey during relocation. She then had an unproductive at 44. Her finish was impressive while she ran a distant edge in mist and fog as darkness would soon end the misty/rainy day.

On Wednesday morning Skyfall, owned by Walthall and McKenzie and handled by Hurdle, was braced with Misty Morn Masked Man. Skyfall pointed at 36 in the field between the Turner pines and Turner ditch. Hurdle oversaw a long relocation effort that ended unproductive but then carried the dog on to finish and to find birds twice during the remainder of the hour.

Mega Blackhawk’s Progeny, Steve Hurdle for Bob and Sarina Craig and John Sayre, went next, in brace No. 14, with former National Champion Whippoorwill Justified, handled by Larry Huffman for Ronnie Spears. Unfortunately both dogs were lost early causing Huffman to ask for his retrieval unit at 16 and Hurdle to ask for his at 18.

The final brace of the All-Age Classic also ended early. Steve Hurdle had Kennedy’s Chocolate Chip Man, owned by Brad Kennedy, and Larry Huffman had Whippoorwill Assault, owned by Jim and Stephanie Bickers. Huffman got his retrieval device at 10 and Hurdle got his at 22.

Grand Junction, Tenn., January 8

Judges: Larry Garner and Ronnie Miller

OPEN ALL-AGE [One-Hour Heats] — 28 Pointers and 2 Setters

1st—COLE TRAIN, 1651709, pointer male, by Lance’s Last Knight—Quinton’s Pretty Baby. Dr. Fred Corder, owner and handler.

2d—LAS ANIMAS FANCY, 1665126, pointer female, by Mr. Mac’s Billy Boy—Mr. Mac’s Brook. Dale Bush, owner; Larry Huffman, handler.

3d—MISTY MORN MASKED MAN, 1667341, pointer male, by Miller’s Dialing In—Mac’s Inspiration. Joey McAlexander, owner and handler.

DERBY WINNERS

The Derby Classic drew twelve entries and first place was awarded to Touch’s Gallatin Fire, white and orange pointer male owned by Alex Rickert of Bozeman, Mont., and handled by Ike Todd. The Derby ran an outstanding one-hour brace and had beautiful finds at 21 and again at 29. Gallatin Fire did much more than prove that he would have all-age potential. He proved he already had it and was ready to compete at most any level in the sport.

Touch’s Malcolm Story, also owned by Rickert and handled by Todd, won second. The white and orange pointer male looked almost identical to the first place winner and ran a nice race to finish the hour. He covered the country well to finish on the Mary Scott Loop in brace No. 4 which was the first brace run on the last morning. He had an unproductive stand at the time of pickup.

Button Up, owned by Pat and Julie Roach and handled by Steve Hurdle, won third. She had no birds during the hour but performed nicely and definitely demonstrated all-age promise.

OPEN DERBY CLASSIC [One-Hour Heats] — 12 Pointers

1st—TOUCH’S GALLATIN FIRE, 1675102, male, by House’s Ring of Fire—Touch’s Sandy. Alex Rickert, owner; Ike Todd, handler.

2d—TOUCH’S MALCOLM STORY, 1675103, male, by Touch’s Knight Rider—Blackhawk’s Sunflower. Alex Rickert, owner; Ike Todd, handler.

3d—BUTTON UP, 1672908, female, by Skyfall—Lips Sealed. Pat & Julie Roach, owners; Steve Hurdle, handler.

Conclusion

The 65th renewal of the Hobart Ames Classic proved to be a challenge for the outstanding dogs that competed. Yet, as always, the days on Ames Plantation were outstanding and memorable.

The officers and directors of the Hobart Ames Memorial Field Trial Club, Dr. Carlisle and key members of the plantation staff, and many others worked tirelessly on the historic property to ensure that every facet of the production went flawlessly.

Trustees, sponsors, judges, owners and handlers all supported the effort which tested the skills of 42 outstanding dogs and recognized the best three in each of the two stakes.

J. A.

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