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R J’s Deicer Named Champion; American Pharoah is Runner-Up

Mississippi Open Shooting Dog Championship

By Ken Blackman | Feb 14, 2018
R J's Deicer Winner of the Mississippi Open Shooting Dog Championship

Holly Springs, Miss. — After a hiatus of several years, this Championship found a new home in 2014 on the Hendrix Family Farm, south of Holly Springs, Miss.

Since selling their successful John Deere franchise, Guy and Burke Hendrix have devoted a great deal of time and money to enlarge the farm, implement a CRP/WMP plan, institute a nest predator trapping plan, groom the courses, cut timber and plant quail friendly cover to support an aggressive bobwhite quail pre-release program, giving the birds a chance to repopulate.

This part of North Mississippi has a rich history in hunting and sporting traditions. Riding the courses that cover nearly 2,000 acres, you can see that the program has successfully taken hold. In addition to the quail, you’ll see some very nice racks on whitetail deer, healthy and meaty rabbits and squirrels and lots of songbirds that are always a sure sign of a healthy environment.

Alongwith their “hands on” approach to developing the farm, Guy and Burke have Elton Bray of Holly Springs and Perry Fesmire as on-site managers. Elton, one of the Holly Springs “gang”, has a well developed and solid reputation as a judge and reporter. He  apprenticed with Gary Lester, working dogs and learning the ropes. He recently took on a small string of his own and is competing in amateur stakes in the Mid-South area.

Perry is a “neighborhood kid”. His family originally owned and worked much of the area that’s now part of the Hendrix Farm. When he’s not running a dozer, mowing, or making the courses much more dog friendly, Perry is (mostly) a deer hunting outfitter. He shepherds groups of hunters to states in the Upper Midwest of the U. S. Ask him to show you some of the pictures he took last year.

With Elton in the saddle and Perry behind the wheel of the dog wagon, handlers, judges and spectators can enjoy the trial with little chance of problems.

The Hendrix Farm hosts a number of Region 6 trials each year. Namely the Marshall County and Como Amateur Trials. Along with the 2018 Region 6 Amateur Shooting Dog Championship (which rotates to a different state each year), the Mississippi Open Shooting Dog Championship has found a first-class home in the Laws Hill area of Marshall County. The scenic rolling hills and pine stands provide a scenic view in this trial rich area. With the Fitch Farms and Tom Honecker’s Cedaroak Plantation bordering it, the Hendrix Farm continues the legacy of hosting major championship pointing dog field trials.

This year’s Mississippi Open Shooting Dog Championship lured several of the U. S.’s top shooting dog pros to compete. Virgil Moore (Oklahoma), Bobby Vaughn (Alabama), Eddy Taylor  and Steve Hurdle (Mississippi),  Jason Williams (Georgia), Shawn Kinkelaar (Illinois) brought their strings to challenge for this year’s title.

Judging this field of 20 pointers and six setters was Jack Harang of nearby Moscow, Tenn. Jack is a well-known lawyer who raises and hunts with his setters in Texas and Michigan. A member of the Board of Directors of the Bird Dog Foundation, he’s also the owner of several competitive setters on the cover dog circuit.

Partnered with Jack, we were able to entice Mike Hester from North Carolina to look at our entries. Recently qualifying a setter for the National Championship at Ames Plantation, Mike was truly able to figure out which entry would meet his standards for the championship placements.

THE WINNERS

After looking at the 26 entries, Mike and Jack had to sort out the winning performances that met the standard for championships.

Shawn Kinkelaar guided R J’s Deicer, six-year-old white and liver pointer female, to the win. She’s owned by Reagan and Kristen Moisson of Milton, Wis. With little scouting, this daughter of Ch. Great River Ice dug in and showed on five evenly spaced finds over the hour. With her bracemate up at 15 minutes, she had the course to herself and showed the judges and gallery a ground race and manners that exhibited style and class throughout. Her race was always to the front and with an obvious connection to Shawn.

I was told that the judges spent a good deal of time going over their notes in their books to sort out a few dogs that on any other day could have been placed. After a lengthy discussion, the arbiters selected coming four-year-old white and liver pointer male American Pharoah as runner-up.

Owned by Harold Johnson of Shorter, Ala., trained and handled by Georgia pro Jason Williams, this youngster showed he could handle and find birds outside of his comfortable grounds in the Georgia piney woods. This son of Elhew G Force ran in the first brace of the second day, to show his stuff on three covey finds. While not counting finds, his race was as forward and purposeful as the champion’s. However, his style and finish weren’t quite up to that of Deicer. A few years on the circuit will certainly give him that polish and more finishes “in the money”.

Along with the sincere thanks to the Hendrix family and manager Eddy Taylor, this event wouldn’t be as successful without the support our friends at Purina Pet Products provide. Thanks to Greg Blair for his help. As this Championship goes forward, we welcome all the pros to come to North Mississippi and have the fun and competition this great venue offers.

Holly Springs, Miss., January 10

Judges: Jack Harang and Mike Hester

MISSISSIPPI OPEN SHOOTING DOG CHAMPIONSHIP

[One-Hour Heats] — 20 Pointers and 6 Setters

Winner—R J’S DEICER, 1644506, pointer female, by Great River Ice—Calico’s Kiss This. Reagan & Kristen Moisson, owners; Shawn Kinkelaar, handler.

Runner-Up—AMERICAN PHAROAH, 1669445, pointer male, by Elhew G Force—Byrdman’s Half Moon Dott. Harold Johnson, owner; Jason Williams, handler.

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