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Field Trial Report

National Open Shooting Dog Championship

Senah's Back in Business Wins 2021 Title
By Heather Klinck | Feb 16, 2021
The Winner. In foreground, Jamie Daniels with Senah's Back in Business, Standing, from left: Judges Jonathan Burch and Jim Davis; handler Joel Norman, owner Benjy Griffith, Anne Bragg and Judge Mike Jackson.

Union Springs, Ala. — The 2021 National Open Shooting Dog Champion is Senah’s Back in Business. Nate, as he is called, is a white and orange four-year-old pointer male, sired by the 2018 National Open Shooting Dog Champion, Miller Unfinished Business. Joel Norman handled Senah’s Back In Business as well as his sire.

This father/son win has only happened one other time in the sixty-year history of the Championship. Pine Acres Joe won in 1970. His sire, Snipes Delivery Jim, won in 1963.

Nate’s dam is Miller’s Dialing For Dollars. Both parents originated with Jack and Fran Miller and are winning field trial dogs. All three dogs are owned by Benjy Griffith. Senah Plantation bred and raised the litter that produced Nate. Joel Norman said Nate was a big puppy and a late bloomer as he had to grow into his skin.

He placed third in the Shadow Oak Open Derby and later won the Southeastern Open Shooting Dog Championship. Senah Plantation kennels about  forty dogs. Four to six field trial dogs, puppies, young dogs and plantation hunting dogs. Joel Norman is fortunate to be able to train them all exclusively on wild birds. The southeast is the extent of their field trial travel.

The Championship is held on Sedgefields Plantation, also the home of the National Amateur Free-for-All Championship. Sedgefields had been in existence since the 1920s and was originally put together by Lewis B. Maytag. Raymond and Kathryn Harbert, the gracious owners, allow these two National Championships to run on their land during the month of February, giving up several weeks of prime quail hunting season.

Not only do they allow the use of the land, but also the Field Trial Headquarters, which includes a new 48-stall barn, a large party pavilion, the Fieldhouse, with a full kitchen, dining area for a crowd, living room, participant restrooms, and comfortable, private reporter and judges quarters.

And that’s not all. Plantation employees help every day. Manager Jason Howard mans the first road crossing, Bill Lee keeps the field trial running smoothly, Chance Kelly marshals every brace. A Sedgefields truck and trailer hauls fifteen or so horses to the breakaway and picks them up from miles away if the morning braces finish short.

Purina has been a loyal and generous sponsor of the National Open Shooting Dog Championship for many years. We were fortunate to have Greg Blair with us for the first two days. He rode in the bitter cold all day Monday and again on Tuesday afternoon. This was the first trial he had been approved to attend since the Covid pandemic restricted business travel. Purina not only helps monetarily, but also provides judges and winners gifts, dog food, extras for participants and this year, the ever needed hand sanitizer.

Five Star donates custom saddle pads for the winning handler and scout. Garmin donates a Pro 550 unit. Dan’s Hunting Gear donated chaps for the winner and scout. Custom-made knives and belt buckles are given to the owner and handler as well as silver trays and a large rotating trophy. The owner also receives a trooper saddle. This year it was custom-made by Kevin Parrish of The Saddle Guy.

Judging the Championship were three knowledgeable and attentive men. Mike Jackson of Battle Ground, Ind., was back for his third assignment. Jim Davis of Pavo, Ga., came for a second year. Jonathan Burch of Holly Springs, Miss., joined the trio this year. Their method was consistent, top dog, bottom dog and roving judge, and their positions switched daily. They shared responsibility equally and all three were fully attentive of each contestant.

The braces are 90 minutes long. The judges have the option to ask dogs to be picked up early if they feel that they are not beating a previously run performance of another contender.

During this renewal, we witnessed some impressive conduct by participants that would make anyone proud to call these women and gentlemen friends. I also witnessed the opposite. As a valued friend once told our women's bridge group, “In every game, there has to be a loser.” Some hold their heads high and move on, some, unfortunately, do not.

The morning courses run on the wild bird side of Sedgefields. Mostly on the east side of County Road 23. The first course starts near the entrance gate and heads east. It crosses County Road 23 with the help of Jason Howard, Charles Klinck, Steve Hutto and two Game and Fish agents to stop any cars for everyone’s safety. The course continues eastward and makes a turn to the north, passing the head of the Big Lake, the main driveway and runs parallel with County Road 23 for a bit before swinging back eastward to cross the Big Lake dam. Near the hour mark, it heads away from the Coke Barn and through the pineywoods. It crosses plowed fields and the head of the lake from the other side. Towards the end there is another left turn and the usual finish is at the end of the pineywoods coming into some open fields. The first course seemed to be the hottest this year with an average of ten coveys found a day.

The second course starts from the Coke Barn heading northeast through open pines. It makes a left turn and hits a more open area for a while, plowed fields with small stretches of pines. The Varner line is to the right as the course heads uphill from the creek line. It crosses County Road 164 or Hutto Expressway and heads into an area called the Triangle. Triangle birds are pre-released birds from October and January. The area is a little thicker and holds birds well. The first part is young pines but then it opens up into mowed fields and pine strips. It’s a wide area and the course makes a wide horseshoe turn near the Clearview line. Then comes the brickyard crossing and to the left, away from the flow of the course is the Oak Tree, a horse trailer pick up area off County Road 23. If the brace makes it past the brickyard crossing and heads deeper into the triangle, it passes the Buzzard House. The powerline crossing on County Road 23 is another spot for trailers to pick up horses and no dog made it farther than this. To cross the road here, means you’re in contention. It didn’t happen this year.

The afternoon courses run on the pre-release side of the Plantation and breakaway from behind the barn heading west. In the second plowed field, the course eases northward passing Reservoir Lake to the left, then topping a hill behind Bill Lee’s house. It turns west again and heads down to a rock crossing then back up the hill, tuning north at the deer feeder before making a wide horseshoe turn on the top of a ridge. It crosses Bill Lee’s driveway the first time heading southeast and into the pineywoods. Dogs want to keep going south, but the course turns right going through Shawn’s ditch. Bill Lee’s driveway is crossed again and westward we go into hog country. The hour mark is near here and if not picked up, the dogs head onward towards the Avant Line where the course turns south through a large plowed field. Before it hits the old County Road 130 there are some more pineywoods and another low area crossing and the end of Bill Lee’s driveway is in sight ahead. Once in this renewal, a dog was allowed to cross the driveway and finish near the Ladies Restroom.

The final afternoon course starts on the other side of the road from Bill Lee’s driveway and heads south to Duck Lake. It crosses the Duck Lake dam and makes a left turn going through the pineywoods. These pineywoods have some hills and some easy turns. The course runs north and then almost at the old County Road 130, not far from the morning breakaway it eases west and to the Moccasin Crossing which opens up into the pines with the Field Trial Headquarters to the left. If a dog is still on the ground, getting something done, the course crosses the old county road and continues north along the Stone Line. This year, we covered this ground only once.

Places referred to year after year are sometimes questioned by youngsters or newcomers. Many are recently gone, many are long gone. The Coke Barn, Oak Tree, and Ladies Restroom are landmarks that remain only in memory.

THE WINNER

The champion, Senah’s Back In Business, callname Nate, ran in the 17th brace, the first one on Friday morning. It rained overnight and Friday morning had everyone in raingear. The rain quit by 8 a.m. but it was sloppy.

It was a quiet morning, not many deer moving and not many song birds tweeting. But the quail had their scent turned on. Senah’s Back In Business (Norman) and Upfront’s Southern Star (Kinkelaar) put on a show. Star scored her first covey at 5 behind the church near the road edge. Coming into the turn north, Star was up front and Nate was not seen. At 23 point was called from the deep by scout Jamie Daniels. Nate had made a far cast when the course turned left and found a covey near the road that heads to the main kennel side of the Plantation. At 25 Star scored a second covey near the head of the lake. At 31 Star was pointing again to the right of the plowed field before the main driveway and Nate backed nicely. Released, Star ran a few hundred yards and pointed again. Everyone expected it to be a single from the last covey, but Kinkelaar flushed a covey of quail. At the same time, and up the hill, Nate pointed stylishly again, his second find. The birds were turned on for this brace.

After they crossed the driveway, both dogs were standing to the left in sight of the county road, a divided find. At 47 both dogs were stopped again in the cover to the left before the pond dam. They were about a football field away from each other and neither could see the other. Nate, standing tall at the top of the hill, had a covey in front of him. Star was closer to the dam and Kinkelaar flushed to no avail taking an unproductive after an attempted relocation.

At the right turn heading away from the Coke Barn, neither handler had their dog. Moments later, the call of point was heard. The scout had found Star on point and she scored yet again. The covey count was moving into the double digits and we were only at the hour mark. As the course eased to the right, Nate was found up front pointed at 1:04 on a well located covey. At 1:09 Nate scored again in the sedge before the plowed field and in sight of the lodge. His birds were well located and he looked fantastic. At 1:13 Nate was standing tall and stylishly at the lake head crossing and Star came into the area and backed mannerly.

The course then continued through the pineywoods with Nate covering the ground strongly, he required little scouting to keep him up front and responded well to Norman’s calls. With four minutes left in the brace, the course made a left turn and both dogs were out of pocket. Star had gone into the pineywoods to the right and was returned from the hill side, hit the front and made a cast on the edge of the plowed field to the right. Her finish was nice, but her style was not to caliber at times.

Time was called and Nate was still not in sight. Norman headed into the pinewoods to look and several minutes later, Nate returned on his own. It was certainly an exciting brace full of bird finding and running dogs.

THE RUNNING

The 2021 renewal began on a cold and windy morning. Overcast with 15-25 mph north winds didn’t help the lower 40s feel any warmer. The ground was wet from rain showers over the previous days and made for tough conditions for people and animals.

Miller Unfinished Business, the 2018 champion (Norman), and Miller’s Record Heat (M. Tracy) started promptly at 8 a.m. Both dogs ran strong and were gathered at the road crossing, Heat took the right fence edge as the course headed east and Business headed more directly forward before turning right towards the road to hunt. Near the head of the Big Lake, Heat found a covey at 23 with Business backing, both dogs were classy and well mannered. At 32, before the main driveway, Business had a find with Heat backing. Unfinished Business scored a second find at 36 and a third at 43, far to the front just before the pond dam. At 45 Heat was pointing on the left side of the Big Lake dam, Tracy flushed about five quail and hiked back up to the dam road. In the meantime, Business made his way quickly to the end of the dam and scored another find near the watershed marker. At 1:04 Heat suffered an unproductive;  a second unproductive at 1:12, ended the bid. Business disappeared, but the scout found him pointing to the far right, standing high and tight at 1:15, and Norman flushed the birds from right in front of him. The gallery was silent as Business finished the last bit of his ninety-minute bid. In the field trial world, a silent gallery says a lot. It says they are watching intently, knowing a good performance is taking place. Norman called point up front at 1:28, a risky call nearing the end, but necessary due to location. Once again, birds were well located and flew quickly. He turned Business loose for the finish. He made a good forward cast, the risk of losing him at this point was not of concern. Judges called time just as we topped the hill and saw him to the front. The first brace of the trial certainly made for an exciting start, even with the cold, strong wind.

Unfortunately, Charitable Deed (Rice) was not seen after the breakaway from the Coke Barn. LF Silver Belle (Ray) had an early covey at 2. She then had an extended absence until near the Clearview line, heavy scouting in the right spots returned her at 24 and she pointed at 27, but it was a barren stand with a strong wind and three relocations. Twenty minutes later, with no other bird contacts, Ray elected to pick her up as we came to Hutto Expressway with the dog wagon present and the trailers close by.

At 1:15 p.m. the temperature may have risen 2°, but the wind was stronger and it felt much colder than in the morning.

True Choice (Kinkelaar) hit the first plowed field, crossed it and found a covey at 3 in the sedge. Choice scored her second covey at 9. She found birds again with Sandwood Creek (Raynor) backing, it required a relocation, but she pinned the birds with great style. True Choice caught the front at 18 and Creek was pointed, and Choice backed. Unfortunately, no birds were produced even after relocating. Creek redeemed herself at 22 and again at 24. The latter having birds flushed over her and tempting her staunchness, in which she passed the test of steadiness. However, she succumbed to a second unproductive at 28 as the course headed up the hill from the bottom. Just past the deer feeder, Choice scored her fourth find. Choice pointed at the top of the hill just before the sharp left on the course at 33. She was facing into the wind, which was every bit of 25 mph. No birds were produced and it was a tough spot in the wind. She ran a consistently large race and scored again at 41. She stopped again in the low ditch at 56. It was full of briars and cold water. Birds were produced in a wet tangle of briars, taking Kinkelaar down into the muddy water. Luck was on his side, as a hard right turn that often gets dogs pulled to the left then lost, had Choice on point at the bodock tree in the turn. This was her 7th bird contact and it was an hour and six minutes into the brace. She finished headed to the trucks near Bill’s driveway.

Bo Bunda (Martino) and Just Thrillin (Rice) were turned loose in the coldest conditions of the day. Both dogs were erratic in their races. The wind was tough but they crossed the Duck Lake dam and as soon as the course turned left off the dam, Bo was pointed at 17. Thrillin also had a good find at 19 just up the way. Bo stood amongst a nice covey at 31, while Thrillin was out of pocket. Bo had a third covey at 38, standing very stylishly. Far to the left at 40 minutes, the scout called point for Thrillin. After a long ride to the dog, Rice flushed a pair of birds. Turned loose, she ran forward and pointed again 45. Thrillin was hard headed as the brace went on, not wanting to cross the Moccasin crossing where the rest of the field trial was to cross. Rice got her back to the front in time for the road crossing just before the hour. As neither dog was in contention and the course would direct away from headquarters, the judges ended their bids.

Tuesday morning was frigid but sunny and the wind was still blowing, although not as strong as Monday.

Grand Prairie Thrill (Rice) and Chelsea’s Thunder Bolt (Kinkelaar) ran fast and forwards towards the road crossing. Turned loose on the other side of the gate both dogs went out of sight. Rice gathered his by the time he needed to make the north turn. Kinkelaar turned without knowing where Bolt was, squalling his 911 call and shortly thereafter, at 23, his scout called point east of the gravel road and he scored his first covey. Turned loose, Bolt ran a few hundred yards and pointed another covey at 25. It was a ride to catch the front after two finds, but after doing so, the scout called point for Bolt deep to the right for a third covey. Thrill had been absent again but thankfully returned from the right just before the Big Lake dam crossing. At 47, Bolt was standing at the end of the dam, just down the hill from the monument, his fourth covey. With Thrill absent again, Rice called it quits at 53. Nearing the hour mark, just before the plowed field across the lake from the lodge, Bolt pointed his fifth covey. His sixth and final find was at 1:26. His race was big and he required heavy scouting in the strong wind.

Miller’s High Heat Index (M. Tracy) found birds right off the bat at 6 minutes. Dominator’s Ghost Rider (Ray) and Heat both ran forwards and were gathered up at the creek line big rock crossing before being whistled on into the open country. At 31 Heat had a second find in the pines just before the top of the hill coming towards Hutto Expressway. Rider was headed into the same area but was gathered and whoa’d before he could reach the danger zone. After crossing into the Triangle, Heat scored a third covey at 48 before the horseshoe turn. At the same time, Ray asked for his GPS. Heat ran well toward the brick yard crossing and Tracy was handed his GPS at 56 and we rode to the Oak Tree parking area.

Waybetter Rocky (M. Tracy) and Miller’s Stray Bullet (Norman) broke away after lunch with more pleasant weather, not as cold or as windy as it had been in the morning. Rocky had a find at 15 with Bullet backing. Both ran the country well and at 26, to the right of the deer feeder, Bullet scored a covey with Rocky honoring. Both dogs had run straight ahead, deep into the county and had to be gathered to make the right turn near Shawn’s ditch on the way to the driveway. Rocky found a third covey at 56 that required a relocation and on the way to where he re pointed, birds were ridden up. The judges elected to pick up both dogs; they could not beat the performance of previous contenders.

Dragonfly (Hughes) pointed straight off the breakaway, standing tall and staunch. In Swami’s Shadow (Kinkelaar) pointed at 3 with Dragonfly coming in for a back. Kinkelaar did not flush, but relocated his dog and when Shadow pointed again, he made a minor flushing attempt before announcing that birds had flown before the judges arrived, and took his dog on. He ran a few hundred yards, crossed into the pine tree strip and point was called. Shadow stood tall and Dragonfly was further up the strip honoring. Kinkelaar flushed in front of Shadow to no avail. He tapped him on to relocate and Shadow hunted up the pine strip. As Kinkelaar walked into the mowed strip, a covey flew from the other side of the strip behind where Shadow had been originally pointed. Kinkelaar harnessed Shadow, as with this unfortunate situation, and already having one unproductive, it would be hard to win. Dragonfly was turned loose again at 7 and that was the last we saw of him. Arriving at the Duck Lake dam, with no dog to cross it, the judges waited and waited. Finally Hughes returned for his GPS and it made for an unfortunately early afternoon.

Wednesday morning was the lowest temperature of the week but not nearly the coldest. There was a heavy frost on the ground and ice on the wet spots. The sun was out and there wasn’t any wind, so it was much more pleasant than the previous two mornings.

Touch’s Two Step (Rice) had a covey pointed behind the church before we crossed the paved road. Pinson’s Imagine That (Ray) backed. At 26, with neither dog in sight, point was called from the scouts from behind us and two ridges over. As we topped the first ridge, we could see the dogs moving and the scouts moving faster. Ray gathered his dog and headed back to the front. Two Step was hard headed and Rice had him running in front of the judges by 36, but he just didn’t want to play nice today. Rice asked for his GPS shortly thereafter. Imagine headed to the cover on the right of the course and also had lost some handle. At 43 Imagine pointed just after the driveway on the left side, in view of the county road. It was a barren stand and Ray harnessed him after an unsuccessful relocation attempt.

It was warming up when we broke away from the Coke Barn. Shagtime Scout (Kinkelaar) had an unproductive yards off the breakaway. Miller’s Heat Seeker (M. Tracy) ran a bold, forward race. Shag had a short absence but was found pointed at 13 to the far right with Heat backing. Both dogs continued to run well and Heat had a perfect find at 28 near the Varner line. We crossed the road and headed into the Triangle, where both dogs hunted the country but did not point any birds. The judges elected to end their bids near the brickyard crossing.

Swift Justice (Hurdle) pointed a covey at 6 but was harnessed after taking three steps forward at the flight. Miller’s Unbridled Forever (M. Tracy) ran a reaching, forward race. Not much was seen of Unbridled in the first 20 minutes, but at 28 he was found ahead pointed near the deer feeder. At 42 he scored his second find. He continued to run a bold forward race that required little scouting. At 1:11, coming down the Avant line field, he pointed again in a strip of sedge bisecting the plowed fields. He continued his bid, and finished near the Ladies Restroom.

Cheyenne Jack (M. Tracy) suffered an unproductive in the high area to the left of the road before the duck pond dam. He scored a covey at 27 but then had a second unproductive at 31. Silver W Jill Z (Kinkelaar) was out of pocket much of her bid. She had no birdwork and Kinkelaar conceded at 48.

Thursday morning was cold again with cloudy skies and some humidity in the air.

North Country Girl (M. Tracy) ran a good race and was on point at 31 near the head of the big lake. After an extensive relocation, no birds were produced. Miller’s Miss Kitty (Taylor) had a find at 53 past the big lake dam monument on the right side. Both dogs were asked up at 58.

Miller’s Locked and Loaded (M. Tracy) ran a bold and forward race while Hale’s Kickstarter (Taylor) required scouting to keep him on course. Both were found pointing at 31 but no birds were produced. As we crossed Hutto Expressway, Kickstarter was not with his handler and never made it into the Triangle. Loaded continued his forward race and pointed a large covey near the horseshoe turn at 54 in the pine strip. He scored a second time at 1:06 behind the Blackmon’s before the culvert crossing. He boldly hunted the cover and had a third find at 1:14 near the Clearview line. He disappeared for a bit after that, but returned from the side near the deer house. He was picked up just before time at the powerline

Bittersweet War Cry (M. Tracy) located a covey on top of the hill behind Bill Lee’s house. Tug O’War (Kinkelaar) was pointed across the driveway from Bill’s kennels at the hour mark, but when no birds were produced, Kinklaar harnessed his dog. War Cry continued to hunt well, running a good forward and reaching race but was asked up early without further birdwork.

Sedgefields Legacy (G. Tracy) ran the first fields well, but took a right before the dam. Retrieved by his handler, he crossed the Duck Lake dam then checked out on the other side, Tracy asked for his retrieval unit at 31. Chelsea’s Mae West (Kinkelaar) was lateral at times. While being gathered by his handler at 32, she locked on a covey and scored a find. At 36 the handler called point, his dog standing far ahead. On the way, he called flight of birds that were not seen by the judges. Upon arrival Kinkelaar decided to make an unlikely flushing attempt. Without producing birds, he harnessed his dog.

It rained overnight and Friday morning had everyone in rain gear. The rain quit by 8 a.m. but the ground was sloppy.

Brace 17 is previously reported.

Bail Me Out (Tracy) made a nice cast as we came into the open fields and then came back down the same line. Midway down, he crossed over from the first field to the second. He pointed in the sedge draw there at 22 and the birds flushed easily. Talloka’s Sun Dial (Rice) pointed at 31 in the pines before the hill headed towards Hutto Expressway. Both had pleasing forward races but with no further bird contact, they were asked up at the hour.

S F Fullcolor (Hurdle) had a find at 9 but was abruptly harnessed by his handler at 14. Osceola’s Seminole Wind (M. Tracy) had a covey at 17 behind Bill’s house and another at 21 at the top of the hill before the turn. Wind suffered an unproductive at 36. She ran a good race and scored again 50 with birds flying as the judges approached. She was asked up at the hour.

As Hillhavyn’s Wild Child (J. Tracy) and Hale’s Southern Touch (Kinkelaar) broke away, the temperature dropped. Both dogs were standing at the end of the dam at 14, then one ran around the other and stopped again. When we got there, Kinkelaar harnessed his dog and Tracy flushed a covey for hers. Heading up the hill at 18, Tracy called point and flight of birds. Birds not being seen, she carried Child on. Child covered the ground well, hunting the right places and was rewarded at 25 and 31. She had an unproductive at 35 and another at 53, ending her bid.

Saturday morning was cold and damp with some light drizzle at times.

CS Trump (Brewer) pointed the covey behind the church at 8 but was harnessed with an error. Miller’s Upgraded Version (Miller) had some absences and scored a covey at 42. The judges called it quits at 56 before the lake dam.

Miller’s Bushwacker (Norman) went off on his own early and GPS was given at 20. Miller’s Extreme Heat (M. Tracy) made some nice casts. Tracy called point at 25 and his dog was far to the front on top of the hill. Tracy flushed to no avail and the dog did not pin any birds on relocation. She was picked up at Hutto Expressway.

Saturday afternoon was considerably colder with a steady drizzle and some light showers. It was miserable.

Reedy Creek Dial Tone (M. Tracy) had a find at 37. Hillhavyn’s Major Tom (Martino) was a handful and at the turn into Shawn’s ditch, both dogs were out of pocket. Martino’s scout came for his GPS and Dial Tone was gathered from the pineywoods. As we hit Bill’s driveway, the judges asked Dial Tone up as well.

Panther Creek Merlin (F. Rutland) had his first covey pinned right off the breakaway. At 4, Armstrong Mountain Dustie (M. Tracy) pointed at the end of the first pine strip. At 12 Dustie had an unproductive on the side of the Duck Lake dam and the judges asked him up for a slight infraction on his earlier find. Merlin crossed the dam and stood tall on another covey at 14. The temperature was dropping and the birds had turned on. Merlin scored again 20, the birds well located in front of him. Merlin was proving quite the bird finder. He also had quail pointed at 25, 34 and 36. He suffered an unproductive at 38. He covered the country easily but without further bird work. He was asked up at the Moccasin crossing just before the hour.

Sunday morning was overcast and cold. Last year’s champion, Osceola’s Rebel Chief (Loper) pointed at 7 at the road crossing in full view of the crossing guards and Miller’s Covergirl (Miller) backed. The scout found Chief pointing at 20 deep in the cover straight ahead from the hard left turn. He scored his third covey at 35 up the draw as we approached the driveway. His race was bold and he handled well. Covergirl required a little more scouting. At 37 Chief scored again, this time with Covergirl backing. At 48 both dogs were gathered up for the Big Lake dam crossing. At the hour mark, Chief made a large cast to the left and was called to the front with ease. Covergirl had a covey pinned at 1:05, at the head of the lake crossing and another up ahead at 1:15 that was called by the gallery. Past the horseshoe turn, both dogs got birdy in a mott up ahead. Covergirl pointed and Chief backed nicely. Both dogs covered the ground well toward the finish and at 1:29, Miller’s scout called point for Chief on the left side while Loper and his scout looked towards the right. Loper flushed a nice covey in front of Chief to end the brace.

Steel City Karen (J. Tracy) had an unproductive at 6. At 12 Mayhaw’s Perfect Storm (Mills) stood tall on top of the hill for a covey. Both dogs had their moments on the ground but were asked up at 43 at Hutto Expressway.

Bully Rock (M. Tracy) had his scout calling point at 4 from the draw past the first plowed field. He ran a big race and was seen pointed far ahead at the top of the hill where the course makes a left turn at 18. Renrav’s Mr. Tony’s Shag (Martino) was seen sparingly but at 39 both dogs were pointing ahead for a divided find. A fine act of sportsmanship occurred at 58. Mike Tracy called point for Rock;  as he got off his horse, Shag was entering the area. Tracy stood by and whoa’d Shag carefully and quietly. He stood in front of Shag with his hand up to make him stay until Martino could get to his dog. Tracy then made an unsuccessful flushing and relocation attempt. The judges had seen enough of both dogs and they were harnessed.

Union Springs, Ala., February 1

Judges: Jonathan Burch, Jim Davis and Mike Jackson

NATIONAL OPEN SHOOTING DOG CHAMPIONSHIP

[Ninety-Minute Heats] – 51 Pointers and  3 Setters

Winner–SENAH'S BACK IN BUSINESS, 1681501, pointer male, by Miller Unfinished Business–Miller's Dialing for Dollars. Benjy Griffith, owner; Joel Norman, handler.

SOME SIDELIGHTS AT SEDGEFIELDS

It was a tough year for the Board of Directors in these days of COVID-19 regulations and planning. The Fieldhouse was open only to the judges and club officials.

The Tourism Council of Bullock County provides breakfast on the grounds and breakfast biscuits were served at the barn and from the dog wagon. Boxed lunches were provided free of charge in the Pavillion. Unfortunately, no evening activities were held. There is great hope that things will be back to normal next year.

Many owners were able to travel to watch their dogs compete. Some local and some from far away. They included Allen Linder, Tony Gibson, Mac Stidham, Dr. Tom Jackson, George Hickox, Dr. Debbie Ozner, super scout Casey Foster Hollander, Muriel and Bill Primm, Carl Bishop, Joe McHugh, Karen and Ernie Saniga, and Joe Varner. We had many gallery riders as well and would have had more with better weather.

We are thankful to have the help of Steve Hutto on the dog wagon. He knows where to go and when to be there and was diligent with the snacks and water. Todd Montgomery provided excellent barn help, saddling, unsaddling, and washing the judges and reporter’s horses as well as keeping hay and water in their stalls. It was a burden lifted on long days.

Charles Klinck made sure the road crossing was safe for dogs and horses and provided safe, Covid free transport to the judges from the morning pick up. He also carried “judges only” coolers of drinks and snacks that kept them distanced and safer at the breaks.

Hunter McDuffie marshalled every day and without his knowledge and assistance, several handlers would have been lost. Harold Johnson rode every day and helped marshal and transport horses as well.

The 2022 Championship will begin on Monday, January 31, 2022. Qualifying trials can be viewed on www.nationalopenshootingdog.com

 

 

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