American Field

N. G. “Butch” Houston Honored

By Bruce Mercer | Jan 04, 2018
Robin Gates (left) and Hall of Fame honoree N. G. “Butch” Houston (right) with Field Trial Hal of Fame scroll, emblematic of his membership in the Hallowed Hall.

The main lodge at Shadow Oak Plantation was filled recently with family, close friends and field trial enthusiasts to celebrate the induction of Mr. N. G. “Butch” Houston into a group of field trial elite better known as the Field Trial Hall of Fame Fraternity.

Becoming a member of the Field Trial Hall of Fame acknowledges dedication and decades of exemplary support of field trials as dog owner, competitor, sponsor and trial host.

Mr. Butch’s journey with bird dogs and field trials began in the 1970s when he and Eddie Rayl campaigned the setter Silky Sullivan to numerous wins. After successful years in the shooting dog stakes teamed with Eddie, Mr. Butch soon gravitated to dogs with more extreme range and all-age stakes, teaming with handler Robin Gates.

Of Mr. Butch’s numerous champions was multiple champion Joe Shadow, a super-fast, hard driving competitor that was a threat every time Robin blew the whistle. Of the most favorite venues of choice, Mr. Butch leans to the Continental Championship on Dixie Plantation. Also favored is the Southeastern Championship on Abigail and Chickasaw Plantations.

In 2008, Mr. Butch teamed with the late Dr. John Dorminy, a dear friend from Fitzgerald, Ga., and acquired a young setter male they named Shadow Oak Bo, which went on to win back-to-back National Championships (2013 and 2014).

During the late 1990s Mr. Butch began to assemble tracks of property currently known as Shadow Oak Planation, now comprised of over 2,000 acres in Nashville, Ga.

Field trialers of today enjoy the fruits of Mr. Butch’s labor as he opens his Shadow Oak Plantation each year for one of the most sought after field trials in South Georgia.

We highlight Mr. Butch’s accomplishments and accolades because of his generosity he shares to assure field trials continue. Sharing and caring are second nature to Mr. Butch Houston. You ask why Mr. Butch was elected to the Field Trial Hall of Fame; it’s truly because he is a field trial ambassador.

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