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Hall of Fame Handler

Marshall Loftin Has Died

November 30, 1932—July 23, 2021
By John D. Seawright | Jul 26, 2021
Marshall Loftin

Bigelow, Ark. — It is my sad duty to inform the field trial community of the passing of not only a friend but a friend and supporter of the field trial sport — Marshall Loftin.

Marshall died Friday, July 23, at age 88. The past few years he had resided in a facility, but on occasion his sons, Billy and Stoney, picked him up and took him to the home place in Centreville, Miss., for a visit.

Marshall's career on the major circuit (all-age) spanned more than four decades. He began his field trial journey in 1944, and won his first championship, the Southern, in 1962 with Rudy's Wonsover, and captured that title again in 1966 with Wonson.

The gifted writer and field trial correspondent Bill Allen wrote that Marshall helped the veteran Bill Cosner. "I recall he was helping Bill with those wonderful setters and you could read the date and see 'In God We Trust' on the dime in the hip pocket of his jeans," noted Bill Allen. Bill Cosner came down to Mississippi from Ohio and spent the winters on his father's farm working dogs, Marshall helping him.

Many of Marshall and Myrtle's summers were spent in South Dakota on the Johnson Ranch near Trail City, where eventually the Southwestern Open Championship was moved and contested.

Among his headliners were Monte Bello Peggy, Man's Sailin Anne and Kreole, all three major circuit winners for the Mississippi pro.

Marshall and Myrtle McRaney were married in 1952. Marshall acknowledged her whole-hearted support of his bird dog career. They had two sons, William Guy and Marshall Jr. (Stoney).

When Marshall "hung up his handler whistle," he joined Pet Products Plus (Kasco), now Royal Canin. His input and insight prompted that firm to support field trials and the professional handler.

Marshall was always a welcomed guest speaker at season-end awards programs, holding listeners' attention with his informative and humorous anecdotes.

Elected to the Field Trial Hall of Fame in 2002, he noted, "It's a hard life for the professional handler, but those who chose this way of life do so because they enjoy it. I would not do anything to change the pleasures and moments I have had in this sport."

 

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