American Field

Field Trial Report

NBHA National Amateur Championship

By Bruce Mercer | Apr 10, 2018
Amateur Derby Winners. Front, from left: Bobby Taylor, Chelsie Conroy with Kentucky Sundown, Bruce Mercer with Premier’s Assassin and Kolby Mercer with Premier’s Rocket Man. Behind: Mildred Taylor, Judge Harvey Crosby, Terry Amberson, Judge Jimmy Gentry and Oscar Whitt.

Cedartown, Ga. — Near perfect conditions greeted handlers, spectators and field trial committee to kick off the National Bird Hunters Association National Amateur Championship. J. L. Lester WMA in Cedartown, Ga.,  once again was the site of this prestigious amateur trial.

Above average rainfall over the past several months has left the course with several areas of standing water for dogs and handlers to navigate. Temperatures for the duration of the trial offered lows in the upper 30s with highs reaching mid 50s to low 70s.

Sunday morning provided severe fog postponing the championship’s final series followed by light scattered showers before the trial was completed.

We were again able to secure two very experienced judges in Harvey Crosby of Prattville, Ala., and Jimmy Gentry of Hixon, Tenn. Both men have campaigned shooting dogs for several decades and are very familiar with the competition field trials offer, and both possess the ability to separate championship performances, by evaluating all aspects of the game.

I want to take time to thank our field trial committee which again excelled in their responsibilities, making the event flawless. Terry Amberson and I served as trial co-chairmen, organizing and addressing details to keep the trial

moving at an acceptable pace. However, this task was not accomplished without the help of Marty Robinson, who greeted arriving parties, provided scouting when needed, made sure coffee was hot and fresh each morning and assisted with lunch clean-up.

Oscar Whitt played a major role planting birds each brace, assuring each dog had equal opportunity to point plenty of quail. Stanley McCain, with the help of Dave Emert, provided dog wagon duties which is a much appreciated task, allowing handlers and dogs a ride back to the clubhouse after a lengthy brace.

Terry Amberson not only co-chaired the event and helped with just about every duty, he is a master in the kitchen assuring lunches were hot and served in a timely manner. This group has worked together for several years hosting major championship trials as efficiently and flawlessly as possible.

We give special thanks to Dean Reinke at Purina for all he and Purina do for the NBHA. Without hesitation, Purina continues to support NBHA

trials year after year, providing the best high performance dog food available. We can’t express enough how valuable Purina is to the NBHA organization.

Our other national sponsors also play a major role in supporting the NBHA in a way second to none; they are Garmin, Gun Dog Supply and Gun Dog Central. Each of these sponsors provide product or gift certificates for winners and participants of our trials.

We want to thank each participant who entered dogs and supported the NBHA National Amateur Championship. In attendance from Georgia were Marty Robinson, Stanley McCain and Bruce Mercer. Bobby Taylor represented the state of Alabama. Tennessee was represented by Ronnie Rogers. Jim Duncan and Gary Vitali represented the Bluegrass State of Kentucky, and Ken Black the Prairie State of Illinois.


The first three braces were ill-fated.

Packin A Punch (Marty Robinson) and Premier’s Ultra (Bruce Mercer); Thor for President (Ronnie Rogers) and Beach Creek Iron Jill (Stanley McCain);  Daphne’s Gage (Rogers) and Vitali’s Grouse Ringer (Rizzle) all suffered infractions and did not complete the hour.

In No. 4, Kozican’s Blown Away (Bobby Taylor) finished the hour without bird work. Crow Creek Sugarbaby (Ken Black) was not seen past 15.

After lunch, Shak’s Star Power (Taylor)  and  Duncan’s War Chief (Jim Duncan) had a good start. War Chief was credited with one find before unknowingly being left on point and out of judgment. Star Power was credited with one find, a back and a nice forward race consisting of casts to logical objectives.

Paint Me Gold (Taylor) recorded  three finds, a back and nice shooting dog race, finishing strong. Trooper’s Money Boy (McCain) was credited with  four finds, one back and one unproductive. Money made very strong casts responding well to handler.

Vitali’s Grouseringer Tony (Vitali) recorded one back and an unproductive and put down a nice smooth swinging forward race. Guard’s Two Dollar Bill (Rogers) had two finds before catching a bird at 35.

Enhancement Southern Bell (Bruce Mercer) carded three finds and a back with a big forward stylish race. Shak’s Special Deal (Taylor) recorded one find and two backs, a nice forward race.

Championship Finals

Sunday morning greeted us with cool temperatures and a fog thicker than soup, lasting until late morning followed by moderate rain for the next four hours. A window appeared in the weather around 2 p. m. to begin the final series of six dogs.

Enhancement Southern Bell  recorded a find 6 on the far right of the first feed patch. All was in order for flush and shot. Shak’s Special Deal suffered the “wet bird syndrome” farther forward at another feed patch and was leashed. Bell went on to have another quality find with all in order. Bell was later found in the corner beyond the dove field standing. The bird was soaked and in a hole.

During flush, or chase, temptation caused Bell to take a step as the bird ran away. Released on down course, Bell was again found pointed in the triangle field. She also became victim of the “wet bird syndrome” and was removed from competition for a retrieving infraction.

Vitali’s Grouseringer Tony  and Paint Me Gold followed. Gold scored first with a find at 6 with Tony backing mannerly. All was in order during flush and shot. At 9 Tony scored a find with all in order. Bird No. 3 again caused mishap as both dogs were seen chasing a wet bird, but Tony received credit with the retrieve.

Shak’s Star Power and Trooper’s Money Boy were off to a good start and Money  recorded a find with all in order. Later Money suffered an infraction  and was ordered up. Star Power continued along the course working at a moderate pace but was unable to record bird work as conditions continued to decline and wet birds were on the rise.

The championship placements were withheld due to lack of championship performance. The judges’ decision was well received by participants, trial committee and gallery.

Awarding a National Championship title deserves a quality dog performance which was not witnessed during this stake. However, we cannot express enough the appreciation and dedication our judges provided during these miserable conditions.

Cedartown, Ga., January 25 — One Course

Judges: Harvey Crosby and Jimmy Gentry


[Placements Withheld]


The Amateur Derby  drew six dogs for the thirty-minute stake which ran Saturday morning. Chelsie Conroy handled her super nice pointer female Kentucky Sundown to first place with multiple finds, continuous forward casts with superb handling. Second was Premier’s Assassin which also had multiple finds and a quick snappy race. Third was Premier’s Rocket Man which did not have bird contact but rendered a big forward race.

An addition to this year’s program was the Puppy Classic which drew eight starters, also including a few new faces to the area.

Travis Brady of Luttrell, Tenn., and Jim Broadnax of Hawkinsville, Ga., are newcomers we hope to see more of in the future.

Dave Emert traveled from Greer, S. C., to run his setter male Emert’s Hyrock Samson which laid down a forward stylish race and was never scouted, always showing up in the front. Second was Lavon King with King’s for Pete Sake which made several nice forward casts with snap and responsiveness. Third was Bruce Mercer with Babe On Parole, handled for owner Terry Amberson. Babe’s race was a bit more independent but finished in the front with a snappy gait.

Special thanks to our participants who braved some of the unforgiving conditions, but enjoyed our time together. The trial chairmen sponsored a Saturday night dinner where everyone seemed to have a blast.

We hope to see you again next season as we bring more NBHA trials to J. L. Lester WMA.

NBHA AMATEUR DERBY — 5 Pointers and 1 Setter

1st—KENTUCKY SUNDOWN, 1676402, pointer female, by Erin’s Kentucky Gambler—Erin’s Wild Adventure. Chelsie Conroy, owner and handler.

2d—PREMIER’S ASSASSIN, 1677322, pointer male, by High Drive Rocky—Enhancement Southern Bell. Bruce Mercer, owner and handler.

3d—PREMIER’S ROCKET MAN, 1667096, pointer male, by Great River Ice—Premier’s Shark. Bruce Mercer, owner and handler.

NBHA AMATEUR PUPPY — 6 Pointers and 2 Setters

1st—EMERT’S HYROCK SAMSON, 1675279, setter male, by Erin’s Hidden Shamrock—Hytest Horizon. Dave Emert, owner and handler.

2d—KING’S FOR PETE SAKE, 1676876, pointer male, by King’s Force—McRee’s Scarlet. Lavon King, owner and handler.

3d—BABE ON PAROLE, 1674271, pointer female, by Walden’s Ridge Shadow Dancer—Walden’s Ridge Chatter Box. Terry Amberson, owner; Bruce Mercer, handler.



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