American Field

Field Trial Report

Hobart Ames Memorial Classic

By Jim Atchison | Feb 06, 2020
Open All-Age Winners. Front, from left: Korry Rinehart with Coldwater Thunder and Stegan Smith with Terry’s Third Chance. Behind: Ryan Braddock, David Russell, Billy Blackwell, Rachel Blackwell, Judge Chris Rider, Pat Bryan, Charles F. Bryan, Judge Scott Johnson, Otis Ozier, Randy Anderson, Joe Thompson, Chris Weatherly, Kay Carlisle and Dr. Rick Carlisle.

Grand Junction, Tenn.. — The 67th renewal of the Hobart Ames Memorial Classic, run on the National Championship courses of Ames Plantation January 13-16, drew 45 entries. They included 34 All-Age and 11 Derbies.

Coldwater Thunder, owned by Rachel and Billy Blackwell, David Russell and Doug Arthur, was handled by Billy Blackwell to win the All-Age Stake. Second was Terry’s Third Chance, owned by Dr. Chris Cornman, handled by Randy Anderson. Under the whistle of his owner, Joey McAlexander, Misty Morn Masked Man won third.

All three of the Derby winners were skillfully handled by Ike Todd. Touch’s Breakaway Fred, owned by Eddie Sholar and Ted Dennard, earned first. Second was awarded to Knight Moon, owned by Scott Griffin, and third went to Touch’s Joy Ride, owned by Keith Wright.

Judges for both stakes were Scott Johnson of Winfield, Kan., and Chris Rider of Smithfield, Pa. Both judges are very involved with and well-known among those who are associated with training and competing Brittanys. Johnson trains Brittanys professionally. He was accompanied by his wife, Harlene, who manages several out-patient medical clinics. Rider’s working career has been with utilities, both electric and natural gas. He judged this classic in 2014 and returned this year to be braced with Johnson in the judicial saddles. Working together, the pair proved themselves excellent judges and their services were appreciated.

Dr. Rick Carlisle, serving as secretary-treasurer of the sponsoring Ames Amateur Field Trial Association, oversaw every facet of making the four days of running go smoothly. On numerous occasions he expressed appreciation to Ames Foundation Trustees, Mr. Oliver Spalding, Mr. Robert H. Frey, Ms. Augusta Haydock, and Ms. Dian Quinn, for the use of Ames’ property and facilities. Purina was the official sponsor of the classic and their generosity was recognized numerous times, as were the services of the judges and reporter, the marshalling of Ryan Braddock, Chris Weatherly, and William Smith. Dr. Carlisle also recognized Joe Thompson who operated the dog wagon and Aubrey Green who oversaw security at the road crossings.  First Baptist Church of Somerville was thanked for providing sausage and biscuits that were distributed at the end of the first brace each morning by Aubrey Green, a longtime member of the church.

Hospitality and good food were abundant throughout the running. On Tuesday evening Mrs. Pat McKnight and her family, The Bank of Fayette County, and the Hobart Ames Memorial Field Trial Club hosted the Wayne Tate Memorial Steak Dinner in Bryan Hall. On the other evenings either Dr. and Mrs. Carlisle, William and Tommi Smith, or Chris and Amy Weatherly hosted dinners for the judges, reporter, and accompanying wives. Outstanding lunches were catered daily in the Rhea Building by Tom White, the owner of the Southern Eatery in nearby Holly Springs, Miss. The hosts’ dedication and commitment to being exemplary planners and hosts was apparent and much appreciated by those who were the beneficiaries of the many courtesies.

Overall, the weather was excellent throughout the week; especially when compared to the many tough weeks experienced in mid-January previous years. Daily temperatures fluctuated from the low 30s into the low 50s at different times of the week. Running was delayed two hours on Tuesday morning because of dense fog. Significant rain came on Tuesday and Wednesday nights but had little to no effect on the running of the following days.

All-Age Winners

Coldwater Thunder was run by Billy Blackwell after Steve Hurdle was unable to handle her because of a medical situation he experienced. She won because she mastered all the all-age qualities for which the judges were looking.

Competing in the 16th brace, which was the last run on Wednesday afternoon, Thunder had her first find at 35 where she was in cover so dense Judge Rider dismounted and waded into the cover in order to gauge her style in such difficult terrain. On relocation in the overgrown bicolor and briars, Blackwell fired. Throughout the hour the winner ran nice casts, maintained strong ground speed, was often gone but came back at appropriate times and showed well on each return. Thunder cinched her win with a find in a feed strip at 60, after crossing to the west side of Buford Ellington Road. Rachel Blackwell was in the gallery to enjoy Thunder’s win and Doug Arthur was nearby in the road gallery.

The second and third place winners, Terry’s Third Chance and Misty Morn Masked Man, respectively, were braced together in the tenth brace. The two excellent males complemented each other and produced an enjoyable hour to watch. Third Chance stayed out front for Anderson, who rode to the front with confidence that his dog would be where he needed to be. The second place winner appeared to have his heart in the effort as he hunted in the right places and did not appear to just run the paths to burn 60 minutes. His efforts were rewarded with a stylish find in the last two minutes of the hour, after crossing to the west side of Ellington Road.

Misty Morn Masked Man ran a really pleasing all-age race and never let up during the hour. His high tail enhanced his appearance while he was aggressive, yet responsive to McAlexander’s bidding. Waiting 60 minutes to find birds did not diminish his interest as he was found on birds, with good style and manners, after time was called. Masked Man’s find marked the end of the second day, which was the day when only four braces were run because of the morning fog.

Other All-Age Contenders

With the temperature in the 30s and under cloudy sky, Lester’s Jazz Man, owned by Dan Hensley and handled by Randy Anderson, and Hendrix’s Touch Up, owned by Guy and Burke Hendrix and handled by Steve Hurdle, were loosed at 8:00 a. m. on Monday morning. Neither dog pointed birds nor finished the hour. Anderson asked for his retrieval device at 29. Hurdle elected to pick up at 53.

Miller’s Hot Rod and Mercer Mill Grand were paired in the second brace. Hot Rod, owned by Raines Jordan and handled by Randy Anderson, pointed at 11 but jumped forward during the flushing effort and was put into his harness. Grand, handled by Billy Wayne Morton for Remy Trafelet, had an unproductive at 14 on the north side of the Avent house. He finished the hour, achieving the first find of the stake when he pointed and Morton flushed birds at 46.

Steve Hurdle had Swift Justice, owned by Brad Kennedy, running solo in brace No. 3. The dog scored a nice find at 28 along the edge of Turner Road and continued to finish the hour and the first half day of the stake.

Boxwood Vortex, owned and handled by Michael Shears, and S F Stetson, owned by Larry Smith and handled by Larry Huffman, were paired in No. 4. Huffman flushed birds at 16 near a gravel drive that is crossed on the north side of Ames Road early on the first afternoon course. Stetson had a second find along the chute at 37, which was soon followed, at 42, when Vortex pointed and Shears flushed the fifth covey of the day. Both dogs stood again, almost immediately, when Stetson pointed at 45 and Huffman flushed while Shears stood with Vortex, which backed his bracemate. Both dogs continued to hunt and finished the hour near Ames Road.

Allie, setter female owned and handled by Greg Poole, and S F Fullcolor, handled by Steve Hurdle for Jack Montgomery and Traci Hammond. Allie had an unproductive at 20 and then became lost. Fullcolor hunted hard and looked nice during two finds which she achieved, at 23 and 31, as she worked nicely for the remainder of the hour.

Valiant and Coldwater Spectre were braced together in the last hour of the day. Valiant was handled by Randy Anderson for owner Jay McKenzie, but he did not finish the hour. Weldon Bennett had Spectre, with the dog’s owner, Gary McKibben, scouting. Spectre used the country well and demonstrated strong rapport with Bennett. Well to the front, he had a find at 34 and then had an 01unproductive at 37. He continued to finish the hour, but had only the one find.

After the two-hour delay on Tuesday morning because of fog, Touch’s Spaceman, owned by Matt Griffith and handled by Randy Anderson, was paired with Las Animas Fancy, owned by Dale Bush and handled by Larry Huffman, for the seventh brace. Spaceman produced nice coveys of birds at 15 and again at 37 while continuing to finish the hour. Fancy became lost during her effort and Huffman got his retrieval unit early.

Tuesday afternoon was warm for Touch’s Fire Away and Woodville’s Yukon Cornelius. Yukon Cornelius, owned by Carl Owens, had birds for Ike Todd at 46. The covey was large and flew well from dense briars while Cornelius stood. Simultaneously, Fire Away, owned by Dr. Greg Adams, had a nice covey for Randy Anderson. Both dogs then completed the 60-minute contest.

Next, Matt Cochran handled Whippoorwill Forever Wild for Ric Peterson, while Larry Huffman handled S F Sweet Water for Jeff Busby. Unfortunately, neither dog produced any birds during the hour.

Scattered thunderstorms were forecast for Wednesday, but the rain held off until 5:30 p. m. enabling six braces to be run with only a few light mists throughout the warm, cloudy day. Due to Steve Hurdle’s medical situation, Burke Hendrix handled Hendrix’s Copperline that he co-owns with his dad, while Ike Todd handled Touch’s Breakaway Fred, owned by Eddie Sholar and Ted Dennard. Copperline produced birds at the southwest corner of the Morgan field at 13, and again at 24 on the north end of the Turner house field. He was stylish and to the front during his performance. After crossing the Turner ditch, Breakaway Fred had an unproductive at 46. Both dogs continued onto the Mary Scott Loop near the end of the hour and both stood at 56 but the handlers did not attempt to flush and the hour was done.

Touch’s Blackout and Whippoorwill Rip Cord. Anderson had Blackout, owned by Ric Peterson, and Huffman had Rip Cord, owned by Dr. Terry Terlep, Kyle Krause, Carol Palmer and Stan McDonald. Blackout ran well and had birds at 2 along the north edge of the breakaway field, followed by another find at 17. Yet, Anderson got his retrieval unit at 48. Rip Cord erred on game at 24 and was up.

The last brace before lunch —Miller’s Justifiable, Randy Anderson for Jay McKenzie, paired with Game Bo, Weldon Bennett for Dr. Fred Corder. Justifiable finished the hour and had birds at 25, followed by an unproductive at 31. Game Bo had no birds; Bennett picked him up just before the end of the hour.

The first of the three afternoon braces saw Larry Huffman handling Whippoorwill Wild Assault and Weldon Bennett with Stardust Chaz (in the absence of Steve Hurdle) for Bob Craig. Wild Assault had an unproductive at 5. Chaz had birds at 25 in a strip of mature bicolor. However, Bennett picked up at 45, and Huffman followed suit at 48.

Miller’s Select Call, handled by Randy Anderson for Don Stroble, and Coldwater Odyssey, handled by Weldon Bennett for Andrew and Debra Agnew in brace No. 15. Odyssey had birds along the upper side of Turkey Bottom at 25. Both dogs hunted most of the hour but were both picked up during the last 10 minutes of the hour.

Whippoorwill Mayhem, owned by Ric Peterson and handled by Larry Huffman, competed in brace No. 16 paired with the winner, Coldwater Thunder. He shared a divided find with her at 35 and ran nicely until pointing again at 56, up to the right and some distance from the last bottom on the third hour afternoon course. During a relocation effort a bird flew and Huffman put Mayhem into his harness as the hour and third day came to their end.

Ransom’s Jack Flash, handled by Billy Blackwell for Rachel Blackwell and Doug Arthur, and Whippoorwill Vette, handled by Larry Huffman for Earl Connolly, were loosed at 8:00 a. m. Thursday morning. Vette had birds at 12 in the unlikely location of the middle of the Morgan field. Then Jack Flash had a find at 43, while Vette simultaneously had a find quite some distance away, but still visible from where Jack stood. When Vette’s birds were flushed, he made an error and was picked up. Jack finished the hour, thus ending the All-Age competition.

Grand Junction, Tenn., January 13

Judges: Scott Johnson and Chris Rider

OPEN ALL-AGE [One-Hour Heats] — 31 Pointers and 3 Setters

1st—COLDWATER THUNDER, 1655558, pointer female, by Coldwater Warrior—Thunder Bess. B. K. & Rachel Blackwell, Doug Arthur & David Russell, owners; Billy Blackwell, handler.

2d—TERRY’S THIRD CHANCE, 1679842, pointer male, by Miller’s Speed Dial—M K New Vision. Dr. Chris Cornman, owner; Randy Anderson, handler.

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


Ike Todd maintained his reputation as “Derby King” handling all three of the Derby winners, sweeping that contest.

Touch’s Breakaway Fred won the Derby with his nice work in the first brace. Competing on the second hour morning course, he and his bracemate had birds at 1. Continuing until 38, Fred perfectly backed bracemate’s unproductive stand, and finished the hour reaching out and demonstrating his natural great looks and also his discipline and rapport with his handler.

Knight Moon won second place in the first hour after lunch, producing a big covey at 26 soon after crossing Ames Road. He later had an unproductive but ran smoothly and looked good each time he pointed. He ended the hour with a nice finish.

Third place Touch’s Joy Ride, which produced a nice back in the last brace, appeared to be an advanced Derby as he projected his mastery of the traits desired in a promising young dog.

OPEN DERBY CLASSIC [One-Hour Heats] — 11 Pointers

1st—TOUCH’S BREAKAWAY FRED, 1680750, male, by Touch’s Mega Mike—Touch’s American Baby. Eddie Sholar & Ted Dennard, owners; Ike Todd, handler.

2d—KNIGHT MOON, 1687204, male, by Mercer Mill Moon—Morton’s Carolina Rose. Scott Griffin, owner; Ike Todd, handler.

3d—TOUCH’S JOY RIDE, 1688106, male, by Touch’s Smooth Rider—Touch’s White Assault. Keith Wright, owner; Ike Todd, handler.

A Postscript

Good dogs, excellent judges, and favorable weather, coupled with the commitment to excellence of the management and staff of Ames Plantation, in cooperation with the officers of the Ames Amateur Field Trial Association, made the 67th renewal of the Hobart Ames Memorial Classic a great experience for those privileged to enjoy the long running competition.

J. A.

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