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Redland’s Jacked Up Wins 2018 Running; Sugarknoll Bushwacker is Runner-Up; Sedgefields Power House Turbo Top Qualifier

National Amateur Free-for-All Championship

By Morgan Brewer | May 10, 2018
Redland's Jacked Up Winner of the National Amateur Free-for-All Championship

Union Springs, Ala. — The National Amateur Free-for-All Championship commenced on its traditional date, February 22, on the celebrated Sedgefields Plantation in Union Springs, Ala.

The Free-for-All is a premier amateur stake in the field trial community, the “Super Bowl”, the “Grand Finale,” if you will.

This prestigious trial would not be possible without the generosity of Raymond and Kathryn Harbert. They offer their immaculate bird haven to the field trial community year after year and they have kept the Amateur Free-for-All tradition alive.

The stake would not be the annual success that it is without the directors on the board. They are present, in the know and all hands are on deck.

It would also not be a success without the support of Jason Howard, Bill Lee, Harrison Lee and Chance Kelly.

They work year-round to prepare these exquisite grounds and their preparations never disappoint.

Sponsors for this spectacular trial were Purina, Garmin, AFTCA, Gibson’s Furniture and Gifts and Accessories, and AmeriFirst Bank.

Purina donates four bags of dog food to the champion, three bags of dog food to the runner-up and two bags of dog food to the top qualifying dog. Garmin donates a retrieval unit to the champion as well as the runner-up. Gibson’s Furniture and Gifts and Accessories donates the gifts for the judges and the reporter. There can never be enough thanks for the graciousness of the sponsors.

Judges for this celebrated trial are never easy to find. It is difficult to find an individual who can donate their time to look at all the canine athletes. Rick

Furney of Thomasville, Ga., and Pat Varner of Montgomery, Ala., took on the task and to say they did an excellent job would be an understatement. They both were very attentive and rode hard to give each dog and handler an equal opportunity. There are not enough thanks to give these two for judging this year’s Free-for-All Championship.

Named to the winners’ circle was Redland’s Jacked Up, five-year-old white and liver pointer male owned by Trish and Joe Rentz of Fayetteville, Ga. Runner-up was Sugarknoll Bushwacker, white and liver pointer male coming five (June 29), owned by Pete and Chris Del Collo of Pamplin, Va.

Sedgefields Power House Turbo, four-year-old white and orange pointer male owned by Sedgefields Plantation, was name top dog from the Qualifying Series.

THE RUNNING

The first brace kicked off on Thursday morning, February 22. It was 65° at breakaway when Miller’s Hennessy (Eli Richardson) and Smokin Joe’s Rambo (Joe Bruner) came to the line. Hennessy, went out of pocket and the handler asked for the retrieval unit at 23. Rambo had an unproductive at 10 and was voluntarily picked up at 28.

Neely’s Paint the Town (Allen Linder) was picked up at 27. Neely’s Rock and Roll (John Neely) had one clean find at 22.

Jack and Fran Miller’s Miller’s Unfinished Business and Bill Owen’s Lonetree Showbiz were in the third brace. Both went birdless but finished the 45-minute brace.

The fourth brace was after lunch on Thursday. It was 85° at breakaway when C S Power Play and Walden Ridge Play Boy came to the line. Power Play, owned and handled by young enthusiast Ted Roach, had one picture-perfect find at 35. Play Boy went out of pocket at 15 and David Steele asked for the retrieval device.

Erin’s Rebel Rum (Mike Moses) and Pineywoods Fire Storm (Darron Hendley). Moses picked up at 15 and Hendley asked for the retrieval unit at 18.

Sioux Showboat (L. J. Lunsford) and C S Lil Ann (Tony and Becky Gibson/ Ted Roach) kicked off the sixth brace. Showboat had a clean find at 22 and was ordered up after a wreck on a relocation at 38. Lil Ann had a stylish find at 37.

The second day of running started with Miller’s Armed and Dangerous (Harvey Crosby) and Sedgefields Shadow Rises (Hunter McDuffie). It was 62° at breakaway. Dangerous had an unproductive at 13. Rises went birdless but finished the 45-minute brace.

Conway Twitty (Alan Atkins) had an unproductive at 33 after a lengthy relocation. High Drive Ranger (Linder) went birdless but finished the 45-minute brace.

Lonetree Splish Splash (Owen) had a clean find at 5 but was voluntarily picked up at 18. Richardson asked for the retrieval unit at 28 for Little White Lies.

It was 83° at breakaway for the 10th brace, first brace after lunch —Walden Ridge Country Girl (Steele) and Windy Hill War Creek (Buddy Morrison). Creek had a clean find at 5. Both handlers asked for their retrieval units at 37.

C S Pressure Test (Gibson/Brian Peterson) and Ironstone Lone Star (Richardson) were in the 11th brace. Peterson asked for the retrieval unit at 16, and Richardson asked for his at 37.

Quicksilver Blue Jade (Rick Stallings) had a picture-perfect find at 6 and was voluntarily picked up at 21. The Black List (Bill Goodwin) was picked up at 6.

Paint The Town and his handler Lance Servais made their debut Free-for-All performance braced with Jessie’s Bojangles (Claudia McNamee) for the 13th brace, the first brace of day No. 3. Town was raised by Addison McDuffie, the formally undefeated Alabama Youth Handler. He didn’t have any bird work, but he turned heads for the 45-minute brace. McNamee picked up at 34.

Bill Mason came from Greensboro, Ala., to run his Erin’s Trace. He was braced with Miller’s Just Plain Rowdy (Jack Miller). Trace had a stylish front running race but didn’t have any bird work. Rowdy was nipping at his heels with a front running race as well as one perfect find at pickup.

Both Mosaic (Mike Moses) and Rentz’s Fire and Ice (Joe Rentz) had no bird work but finished the 45-minutes.

It was 80° at breakaway when Redland’s Jacked Up (Rentz) and Hawk’s Line Up (McDuffie) came to the line for the 16th brace. Jack had a perfect find at 38. McDuffie asked for the retrieval unit at 40.

Miller’s Unbridled Forever, owned by Brian Sanchez and Neil Walker and handled by Jack Miller, and Zumbro Stinky Pete (Jeff Gilbertson). Miller picked up at 40. Gilberton picked up at 28 after a long relocation without birds.

Sedgefields Power House Turbo (McDuffie) put on a show with a scalding race and three classy finds at 4, 28 and 38. Dubose’s Daddy Boy (Bobby Dubose) wasn’t too far behind him with a nice front running race, a find at 31 after a lengthy relocation and a clean find at 38.

Day No. 4, Sunday, started with the 19th brace, Miller’s California Dreamer (F. Miller) and Backcountry Tornado (Joyce). Dreamer had a find at 11. Joyce asked for the retrieval unit at 40.

Thomas Adirondack Turbo, owned by Jim and Nadine Thomas, and Pinson’s Image (Ray Pinson). Thomas asked for the retrieval unit at 24, and Pinson asked for the retrieval unit at 18.

High Drive Awsum Justice (Linder) and Marques Lucky Charm (Greg Strausbaugh). Both handlers asked for their retrieval units at 37.

Smokin Joe’s Bandit (Bruner) and Sioux Yankton (Lunsford). Bruner asked for the retrieval unit at 17. Yankton had an unproductive at pickup.

Erin’s Rain Man (Stallings) went birdless. Pineywoods Jackpot went out of pocket and Hendley asked for the retrieval unit at 19.

Great River Survivor (Sanchez) and County Line Bo, owned by Robert Moorer and handled by Keith Bollendorf. Sanchez picked up Survivor at 15. Bo went birdless for the 45-minute brace.

The fifth day began at 9:00 a. m. with the 25th brace due to weather conditions. The birds must have been moving for Pete Del Collo’s Sugarknoll Buzz Saw and Jim Hughes’ Dragonfly. Saw had a picture-perfect find at 33. Dragonfly had stylish finds at 38 and 42.

C S Joe Kidd, owned by Ben Chancellor and Ted Roach and handled by Ted Roach, and Smokin Joe’s Boz (Bruner). Kidd pointed a dead bird at 30 and Roach picked him up at 32. Bruner picked up at 28.

McRee’s Glory B, owned by Pat McPherson and handled by Susan Wells, and Knight’s White Lady (Owen) both went birdless.

Daniels Creek Whitehawk (Owen) and Elhew G Force (Tim Moore). Hawk had an unproductive at 27 and a back at 40. Force had a back at 27 and a clean find at 40.

Cassique’s Boss (Stallings) and Miller’s Upgraded Version (F. Miller). Boss was ordered up after getting a little too close on a bird after the relocation. Miller asked for the retrieval unit at 30.

Panther Creek Snow Queen (Frank Rutland) carded two classy finds at 18 and 32. Sassy Creek (Joe McHugh) had an unproductive at 20 and was picked up at 28.

It was 49° at breakaway on Tuesday morning for the 31st brace — Wait Til Midnight (Crosby) and Miller’s Miss Calamity Jane (Linder). Midnight pointed a big covey of birds at 20. Jane went birdless.

Lester’s Prime Poison Lane (Peterson) and Great River Mackenzie (McNamee) went out of pocket right after the breakaway and both handlers asked for their retrieval units at 30.

Erin’s War Paint had a nice find at 9 and Linder was handed the retrieval unit at 35. Chief’s Rising Sun (John Mathys) was picked up at 12.

Miller’s Locked and Loaded (F. Miller) and Erin’s Country Thunder (Linder). The retrieval units were given to the handlers at 31.

Seekin A Thrill (Ross Leonard) and Born On Fourth July (Gilbertson) kicked off the 35th brace. Thrill scored a nice find at 28 and the retrieval unit was given at 40. July had an unproductive at 18 and was ordered up at 28 for not being steady during the flush.

North Country Girl (David McKay) was a bye dog for the 36th brace. Girl had an unproductive at 28 and was given the retrieval unit.

Day No. 7 started with Erin’s Prometheus (Mathys) and Bad Bourbon (Strausbaugh). Prometheus had two perfect finds at 9 and 20 and was picked up after an unproductive at 38.

Wildhawk (Moses) and Lumen (Chip Pendergrass) kicked off the 38th brace. Wildhawk had a clean find at 24. Pendergrass called it at 25.

C S Shoe Shine (Gibson/Bo Brewer) and At’a Boy Roy (George Kimbrell). This was Brewer’s debut handling performance but unfortunately he asked for the retrieval unit at 40. Roy had an unproductive at 19 and a clean find at 42.

Great River Bayne (Sanchez) and Phillips Wind Line (Pinson). Sanchez picked up at 25. Line had an unproductive at 32.

Sugarknoll Bushwacker (Del Collo) ran a nice front running race and had two picture-perfect finds at 10 and 33. Northwoods Charles (Owen) had a back at 33.

The last brace Wednesday afternoon was one to remember. C S Coldwater Rex (Gibson/Brewer) and Shadow Oak Doc, owned by Great River Kennel and handled by Brian Sanchez, came to the line for the 42nd brace. Brewer redeemed himself debuting as a handler and squalled like a seasoned professional, impressing many who were in the gallery. Rex hung in there with Brewer for awhile, but he asked for the retrieval unit at 35. Doc ran a scalding shooting dog race and had two picture perfect finds at 5 and 34.

American Express Lane (Peterson) and Miller’s Handsome Ransom (Linder) kicked off the 43rd brace Thursday morning. Lane ran a classy front running race and had a stylish find at pickup. Linder asked for the retrieval unit at 35.

Meadowwood’s Fast Break (Roach) came to the line as a bye. Break had a find at 3 but was picked up for not being his stylish self.

CHAMPIONSHIP FINALS

It’s time to get serious folks. The first brace of callbacks commenced Thursday morning after the qualifying series.

Last year’s winner, Sugarknoll War Paint, owned by Pete and Chris Del Collo and Allen Linder and handled by Brian Sanchez, and Redland’s Jacked Up, owned by Joe and Tricia Rentz and handled by Joe Rentz, were the first brace up. Breakaway was across the road from Bill Lee’ s driveway. War Paint, white and orange pointer male, failed to make it across the pond dam and Sanchez asked for the retrieval unit at 25. Jack was named champion for his stellar performance. Team Rentz, husband and wife, has been on a roll this year. Jack ran a front running race for the books and laid down two perfect finds at 29 and 84 and had an unproductive at 76.

The second brace of callbacks started Thursday afternoon with Sugarknoll Buzzsaw, owned by Pete and Chris Del Collo and handled by Pete Del Collo, and Sedgefields Power House Turbo, owned by Sedgefields Plantation and handled by Hunter McDuffie. Buzzsaw was picked up at 36. Turbo had been named Top Qualifying Dog from the initial series. He didn’t do as well in the callbacks and was ordered up at 38 for a breach of manners.

Dubose’s Daddy Boy (Dubose) and Dragonfly (Hughes) broke away from the Coke barn. Boy, a young white and liver pointer male, went out of pocket right after breaking away. Dragonfly, white and liver pointer male, was putting on a show with two perfect finds at 45 and 54 but his luck ran out at 72 when he got a little too close on a bird during a relocation.

The fourth callback brace started Friday morning. Sugarknoll Bushwacker, owned by Pete and Chris Del Collo and handled by Pete Del Collo, and Shadow Oak Doc, owned by Great River Kennel and handled by Brian Sanchez. Sugarknoll Bushwacker was named runner-up for his performance. The white and liver pointer male had a back at 8, two classy finds at 19 and 72 and an unproductive at 80. Doc, white and orange setter male, had the gallery on their toes with a front running race and two stylish finds at 8 and 17; unfortunately he went out of pocket and Sanchez requested the retrieval unit at 60.

C S Power Play (Roach) and American Express Lane (Peterson). This was the first time Roach had been called back and he is the youngest handler to be called back. Play didn’t get too far and Roach asked for the retrieval unit at 50. Express Lane wasn’t getting it done and Peterson requested the retrieval device at 44.

Union Springs, Ala., February 22

Judges: Rick Furney and Pat Varner

NATIONAL AMATEUR FREE-FOR-ALL CHAMPIONSHIP

[Forty-Five-Minute Qualifying Heats; Ninety-Minute Finals] — 86 Entries

Winner—REDLAND’S JACKED UP, 1657294, pointer male, by Q P K Ben—D’s White Chaser. Joe & Tricia Rentz, owners; Joe Rentz, handler.

Runner-Up—SUGARKNOLL BUSHWACKER, 1657006, pointer male, by Sugarknoll Snow Warning—High Desert Dream. Pete & Chris Del Collo, owners; Pete Del Collo, handler.

SOME SIDELIGHTS FROM SEDGEFIELDS

The running would not go as smoothly without a seasoned and knowledgeable dog wagon driver as Mr. Kenneth Newman. He and Mr. Charles Klinck delivered dogs and kept the braces going, all while putting a smile on everyone’s face.

Words cannot adequately express appreciation for our barn helper Marcelleno. He was a sight for sore eyes at the end of the day and it was a relief knowing our animals were well taken care of.

A scrumptious breakfast was served daily, prepared by two lovely ladies sponsored by the Bullock County Tourism Council. Numerous businesses, field trialers, and well-wishers  make donations to the Tourism Council to cover the cost of all the food, hiring the lovely ladies, as well as the welcome signs and banners in town.

The nightly social events kick off on Thursday evening at the home of Bootie Smitherman. This is the cocktail party of the season. Miss Bootie has been hosting this party for many decades and her Southern hospitality is as fine as it comes.

The Union Springs Country Club hosted the dance and drawn down on Friday evening. David and Jenny Allen do an exceptional job running the country club and they serve the finest food in Bullock County.

The steak dinner and dance hosted by Raymond and Kathryn Harbert was held Saturday evening. The steaks were something to write home about, and the fixings were phenomenal. Mr. Joe Moorer and Robert Moorer cooked every steak to perfection.

A dedication ceremony was held prior to dinner honoring the late Captain Bill Perry. What a joyous occasion it was reminiscing about the unforgettable memories that individuals hold in their heart for such a special man. A revolving trophy was presented in honor of Mr. Bill that will go to the champion at the closing of the trial. This trophy will be kept in the AmeriFirst Bank in Union Springs along with the Bill Hembree, Tobe Stallings, and Bill Goolsby memorial revolving trophies.

The owner-handler party commenced on Sunday evening.

This dinner honors the owners and handlers who have worked endless hours preparing their dogs for this prominent event. Without the owners and handlers we wouldn’t have this sport. David and Jenny Allen prepared a delicious meal once again for this event and their culinary skills satisfied everyone’s palate.

It is only fitting for the week of social events to close with the Friends Party on Monday evening. Hunter and Addie Smith opened their home for the second year in a row to host this splendid affair. Their home is nothing short of beautiful and the hosts that sponsored it are as well.

Catherine and Jimmy Bassett, Chris and Pete Del Collo, Maureen and Kevin Joyce, Heather and Charles Klinck, Jane and Jim Klingler, Sue Ellen and Tom Lanier, Colleen and Frank Rutland, Brooke and Brian Sanchez, Sandra and Jim Smith and Laura and Winston Way were all hosts of the party and a wonderful time was had by all.

M. B.

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