American Field

Field Trial Report

National Amateur Shooting Dog Invitational Championship

By Cayla Key | Jan 13, 2021
The Winners. In foreground, from left: Chris Catanzarite with Beckworth's Firefighter, and Carolina Leonard with Seekin A Thrill, Standing (left to right): Sanders Walker, Piper Huffman with Loretta Cayla Key; Neil Walker, Cayla Key, Judge Sean Hauser, Alan York, Ross Leonard, Christy Swearingen, Judge Will Dunn and Tracy Swearingen.

Leslie, Ga. — Amateur Field Trial Clubs of America held its 40th running of the National Amateur Shooting Dog Invitational Championship December 11-13 on the beautiful grounds of Round Pond Plantation. The top twelve dogs with the most Invitational points earned were invited to come and compete for championship honors.

Beckworth’s Firefighter, nine-year-old white and orange pointer male owned and handled by Alan York of Louisville Ga., was declared the true champion. Seekin A Thrill, five-year-old white and liver pointer male, owned by Ross and Caroline Leonard of Cloudland, Ga., claimed the runner-up title.

Unlike last year the rain held off and the weather was beautiful and the temperatures were just perfect. The crowd gathered Thursday evening for a steak dinner hosted by Brian Sanchez and Neil Walker honoring the 2019 winner, Miller’s Unbridled Forever. A special thank you to both of Brian and Neil.

We also thank the Walkers for allowing AFTCA to host this event on their beautiful plantation.

The judicial saddles were ridden by two well-known and very successful in the bird dog world. Will Dunn of Lebanon, Ky., and Sean Hauser of Thomasville, Ga. This great duo judiciously watched all the contenders during the two and a half days of the competition. Their time and effort to come out and judge was greatly appreciated.

We would also like to thank Piper Huffman for all she does for this trial and the AFTCA. Also thank you Cayla Key for riding and reporting this trial.

Round Pond was in wonderful condition. There were plenty of bobwhite quail throughout the entire plantation. Tracy Swearingen and Neil Walker did a great job getting the plantation ready for this trial.

The AFTCA is very fortunate to have Purina as their sponsor along with Garmin collars and Bruce Fox Plaques. We would like to thank them for all of the support and all they do for the AFTCA. We are greatly appreciated. dog food was awarded to each handler. Each handler was also presented on Friday night with Bruce Fox plaques.

Many thanks goes out to the Swearingen family; Tracy marshalled every brace with the help of Luke Eisenhart. Thank you Al Swearingen for taking the time to drive the bird buggy, as well as McArthur Heard for keeping the dirt roads closely monitored so all horses and dogs were safe.

Christy Swearingen and Debbie Hofer helped prepare all of the meals. Purina sponsored Friday night's dinner, which was prepared by Christy and Debbie as well as preparing wonderful meals for lunch and appetizers on Saturday evening.


Beckworth’s Firefighter  topped the field finishing the last day of the callbacks in dramatic fashion earning the championship title. His performances throughout the three days kept you high up in the saddle as he impressed with each step. The judges never wanted to take their eyes off of him. Each step displayed strength, high style, and lots of class.

He hunted diligently and pointed birds with a strong style and perfect manners. He had a strong forward race and always stayed to the front of the gallery. Day one, he pointed at 11 and 48. He also had an unproductive at 5. During this brace, he also backed his bracemate at 29.

Day two, he scored at 1,6, 39, and 54. During this hour, he had a strong and beautiful divided find. Callbacks, he chalked up five finds with a strong race and was very consistent. Every find on all three performances displayed high style and impeccable manners. At the end of his performance the bar had been set and a true Invitational Champion was on top.

Seekin a Thrill was very solid throughout the competition, hunting with each step he took. He was all class with an overall nice performance throughout his three day competition. He had impeccable manners and stood beautiful on all three days.

Day one, he had two finds before the 30-minute mark. One of those finds was a divided find with his brace mate. He had three more finds at 48, 51, and 56. He finished the hour strong and never skipped a beat. Day two, he scored at 29, 31, and 34. He also had an unproductive at 39. He had a strong forward effort and never disappointed.

In the callback, he backed his bracemate at 4 and again at 9. He had his first find at 14 and a second find after pickup at an hour and three minutes. He also had an unproductive at 15 and 53. He had a good forward race claiming the Invitational runner-up title. His performance was very consistent all three days.


Day one, the weather was very cool in the morning and warmed up some in the afternoon.

Bromance, with Jon Humphrey, stepped out quickly with a find right at breakaway. It was an all good find at 2 with perfect manners. He also had a divided find with Fran Miller’s dog at 25. Miller’s Special Edition had a divided find with Bromance at 25. Fran also had a find at 55, she relocated him and he had a stop to flush. Both dogs had all good finds with nice style.

Lawless Speck (Jim Lawless) was away quickly to the front end, failing to return.

Lester’s Prime Poison Lane (Brian Peterson) impressed with a strong come back at 18. He was solid in his hour scoring at 24, 36, and 48.

Neely’s Party Girl (John Neely) showed class in the hour. She scored at 35 and 44. She also suffered an unproductive at 44.

Waybetter Billy (Tom Brigman) was fast from breakaway with a quick find at 12. He also scored at 28 and 50. He stayed strong with a fast and forward race.

Ten Oaks Annie (Jeanette Heise) is a snappy female, was classy and quick on her feet. She had a nice back at 22, 51, and 56. She also had a beautiful divided find with her bracemate, Seekin A Thrill, at 25.

Backcountry Bruiser (Chris Catanzarite) impressed with a strong, reaching ground race complemented by a nice find at 19. He had another beautiful find at 29 and an unproductive at 48. He displayed high style and perfect manners.

Miller’s Unbridled Forever (Brian Sanchez) put down a strong ground race with bird work at 5 and 35. He also suffered an unproductive at 18.

Upfront’s Southern Star (Lance Schulz) had bird hunting on his mind. He scored at 15, 18, 33, 50, and 54. He also backed his bracemate, Miller’s Unbridled Forever, at 5 and 35.

All of these dogs displayed excellent manners and we want to thank them for coming out and showing all the hard work and dedication you put into your dogs.

Leslie, Ga., December 12

Judges: Will Dunn and Sean Hauser


CHAMPIONSHIP [One-Hour Heats on Two Consecutive Days;

One-Hour Finals] — 12 Pointers

Winner—BECKWORTH’S FIREFIGHTER, 1645188, male, by Erin’s Brave Heart—B W Molly. Alan York, owner and handler.

Runner-Up—SEEKIN A THRILL, 1661543, male, by Just Irresistible—Snow Thrill. Ross Leonard, owner and handler.



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