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Mobile Strike Wins Title; Touch’s Mae Mobley is Runner-Up

North Carolina Open Shooting Dog Championship

By Margaret C. Drew | Jan 11, 2019
Runner-Up Champion Touch’s Mae Mobley is posed by Hannah Russell. In foreground, from left: Mike Tracy and Mary Tracy. Second row: Judge Dave Hughes, Eric Russell and Sandra Stone. Back: Ted Riley, Dwight Smith, George Tracy, Earl Drew and Judge John  Outlaw. Champion Mobile Strike and handler Doug Ray were not present when photo was taken.

Hoffman, N. C. — The North Carolina Open Shooting Dog Championship has been a fixture at the Robert Gordon Field Trial Grounds of the Sandhills Wildlife Area in Hoffman, N. C., for several years.

In the past, this Championship was preceded by the United States Quail Shooting Dog Futurity; however, about ten years ago the National Shooting Dog Championship ran at Hoffman uprooting this stake’s place on the trail schedule at Hoffman. When the National returned to Sedgefields in Alabama, the Atlantic Coast Championship was given the January date on the calendar and the North Carolina Championship reinstated at Hoffman in a December slot.

Despite a date close to Christmas, 62 dogs were drawn for the 2018 renewal.

Three-year-old setter male Mobile Strike, owned by Doug Hinton of Dacula, Ga., and Dr. Chet Layne of Corpus Christi, Tex., was handled by Doug Ray to this championship title.

The judges felt that this white, tan and ticked setter applied himself consistently in a side-to-side forward pattern. He required very little scouting, always rolling along in fluid motion. He made a few stretching casts, always returning in the front to continue on with handler Ray in charge. At 6 he stood with impressive intensity as birds were flown. His smooth hour had impressed the judges in this eleventh hour and although some threatened, no dog surpassed him.

Touch’s Mae Mobley, four-year-old pointer female belonging to Muriel and Bill Primm of Cream Ridge, N. J., was named runner-up.

She was held in briefly on the breakaway, then allowed to hunt once we turned the corner by courses No. 3 and No. 6. She was pointed out to the front at 8, 12 and 18 making snappy forward casts. At 38 Basilone called point with both dogs being found standing. Handlers attempted flush and both asked dogs to relocate. Mae Mobley turned to the left where she reestablished point twice. The call of flight rang out; however, the judge had not seen a quail so Touch’s Mae Mobley was asked to relocate again. By now it was 43 minutes as a quail was flown, with judge indicating five more running.

Touch’s Mae Mobley had a determined hunting race, sometimes close and sometimes ranging, with handler keeping charge, therefore allowing her to be tapped for the runner-up position.

Chairing the Championship were Earl and Margaret Drew, both having assisted past chairman Dwight Smith over the years. Dwight was on hand to represent the North Carolina Field Trial Association under whose umbrella this Championship resides.

Purina provides ad assistance, as well as food and hats, while sanctioning this Purina Dog and Handler of the Year trial. Purina rep Jim Smith from Minnesota was in attendance at the North Carolina Championship for two days.

Lunches were provided daily by Margaret Drew and Gretchen Adsit, with Earl Drew, Susan Fox, Maggie Maier, Roger and Suzie McPherson assisting with serving. John Adsit was the cleanup chairman, assisted by Sandra Stone and the Drews on Saturday.

Larry McDonald drives the dog and people wagon, picks up and delivers dogs, makes the coffee for break and always has a large box of cookies in the backseat of his truck. Oh, I forgot, also he has a cooler filled with water and some soda. On inclement weather days he allowed your reporter to ride as well.

The Running

Southbound Mad Max (PM/Doug Ray) came to the line for an 8:00 a. m. breakaway with Jayhawk Thunder (PM/Matt Basilone). Both dogs were eagerly off the line and bending left as the course turns the three-way crossroad corner. Scouts were deployed, although both dogs were soon back with handlers. Thunder checked in from the front at 6 and Mad Max pointed out to the front at 8. Both dogs were seen hunting in front at 18, followed by an absence by both. At 26 Thunder returned and moved forward, passing the bunkers at 49 before finishing out his hour without any bird contact. Mad Max was picked up at 32.

L S Silver Bell (PF/Ray) and Miller’s Honor Code (PM/George Tracy) complemented each other as they swung back and forth through the warm season grasses at 22, each independent and pleasing in their forward path which led to the road crossing below the barn and clubhouse. As the group rounded the hill onto the road, both dogs were out of sight. Silver Bell was later located via a retrieval device, while Honor Code was gathered up by handler and finished his hour going away.

Reedy Creek Dial Tone (PM/Mike Tracy) hunted through the woods at 15 with a snappy gait. C S Little Anne (PF/Ray) checked in from the front before happily searching through the high grasses. Both dogs moved along the course, each working the woods and grass areas in appropriate fashion. At 30 a single quail was ridden up in the path, as both dogs hunted the sides. By 49 Anne was standing along the edge of a heavy grass area. As handler approached and began to flush, Anne loosened up a little, then failed to relocate any quail. She was encouraged to return to hunting. At this time a bit excitement occurred, a military helicopter buzzing to the left of the course as well as a judge and reporter riding up a large covey on the right hand edge at 57.

Following lunch, Tommy Rice brought pointer female Charitable Deed to the line with Ravenwood Charlie, setter male with Matt Basilone. Charliereturned first at 12, with Charitable Deed seen on the left just ahead. Both hunted within range, each displaying hunting sense and good body movement. Charlie pointed at 36. As the hour ended Charitable Deed was not observed, although soon bracemate’s handler Basilone returned with both dogs on a lead.

Zip Tye (PM/Ray) ran with a powerful gait and an equally determined attitude of independence. At 30 he settled into hunting with handler, although by 50 a retrieval device was requested. Cory’s Easy Money (PF/G. Tracy) was seen at good intervals, although at pickup he was well to the front and required handler and scout to round him up.

Mamma’s Broken Heart (PM/ Basilone) was quickly off the line with a determined hunting pattern. He scored solid stands at 8 and 19, head and tail high, body frozen, although no quail could be flown or seen. His hour ended at 23 following the second unproductive. Miller’s Braveheart (PM/G. Tracy) ran with speed in a somewhat erratic pattern. He did complete his hour, albeit without bird contact.

The second day dawned a bit brisk, some areas of frost observed during the first hour.

Thrill Me (PF/Tommy Rice) and Chelsea’s Thunder Bolt (PM/Shawn Kinkelaar) were rapidly out of sight, Thrill Me hunting through the woods and stopping at 21. No birds were produced and she was taken on when a relocation attempt failed. At 42 she was pleasingly catching the left edge and taking it out of sight to the front. Thunder Bolt had a large covey find at 26, handling everything perfectly for this feeding covey in the mowed lane. At 42 she was watered and then tapped on to hunt. As we crossed the area of the old bunkers she was pointed out by hander well to the right and forward. Birds were seen lifting from a plum thicket, although no dogs were in the area. As time was called near the water hole and road crossing Thrill Me was called in. We waited for the remaining 2 for Kinkelaar to hopefully locate Thunder Bolt. As his time elapsed the retrieval device was used to locate him in the woods near the plum thicket.

Just Thrillin (PM/Rice) and Miller’s Miss Calamity Jane (PF/G. Tracy) moved forward with a wide range, each taking several turns of being gone for lengthy periods of time. As the hour neared completion we crossed the road below the barn when soon “pick ’em up” rang out. After a brief wait Calamity Jane returned on a rope. Just Thrillin required a retrieval device after his allowed grace period was up.

Ridge Creek Lou (SM/Kinkelaar) reached deep first to the right and then to the left. He popped out to the front a few times, although by 37 a retrieval device was needed to draw him in. Bail Me Out (PM/M. Tracy) had a snappy gait, at a medium range, while hunting appropriate locations; however, all was to no avail as he did not point quail. He scored an unproductive at 17.

L F Dialing Samantha (PF/Ray) presented a good 15 minute hunting demonstration before impaling herself on sharp stubble of some sort. She was taken to the wagon and given a ride back. Hoos English Ivy (SF/Basilone) looked promising as she searched all the apparent right spots, albeit found nothing to point. As she moved along through the heavy grasses she had a close encounter with a few quail, did not stop quick enough this warm afternoon. She was up at 42 as quail lifted and she was slow to a stop.

Mobile Strike was previously covered. Jamback’s Johnny Be Good (PM/G. Tracy) did not adhere to his name, the retrieval device requested at 18.

Brace No. 12 completed the day’s running with a very exciting hour. Miller’s Heat Seeker (PM/G. Tracy) and Hale’s Southern Touch (PF/Kinkelaar) were spirited in motion, swinging happily side to side and forward at moderate range. Heat Seeker showed more independence, making several wider casts with good gait and speed. Southern Touch traveled forward in a spiral pattern, often checking where bracemate had just gone. At 16 both dogs pointed. Southern Touch was on the right edge of a long rose thorn patch, Heat Seeker on the opposite side of the plum thorn bramble several yards to the front. Southern Touch had a single flown, while Heat Seeker had three flown. All was in order for both. The pair continued a snappy cadence, with Heat Seeker standing at 29 and Southern Touch coming in for a back. Tracy claimed to have seen a rabbit; however, neither judge saw it. The afternoon was much warmer than the morning and the dogs were watered a few times as they hunted often in tandem. At 48 Heat Seeker stopped on a slight knoll pointing a clutch of puffed-up quail. They did not fly and barely moved when poked. Shot rang out, the dog was taken on. Just ahead Southern Touch hunted happily through the tall grasses. Time ended behind the barn turn.

Everyone headed back to the barn and trailers to feed up and prepare for dinner hosted by last year’s winner, Sugarknoll War Paint. The Adsits were transporters and servers of this feast from Smithfields.

Wednesday morning rolled around to the third perfect day for running dogs at Hoffman.

Grand Prairie Thrill (PF/Rice) and Backcountry Tornado (PF/M. Tracy) were on the line and ready at 8:00 a. m. sharp. The pair was quickly forward with a determined attitude, seen rounding the corner as if programmed for this course. To the far front we found the pair standing at 37, with Thrill receiving an unproductive and Tornado a back. In hindsight it seemed as if both dogs had lifted their heads in the tall grass and stopped to honor each other in a standoff. Their spirited races continued on, Tornado reaching forward in a wide swinging pattern. Thrill was classy and hunting in the right places, although at a more moderate range. At 59 Thrill hunted happily through the woods to the right and forward, while Tornado hunted down the upper left edge of the broom straw well to the front. She stopped in the center of grasses, well buried up and difficult to see. Despite a valiant relocation attempt through the grasses and into the nearby woods, no birds were found.

In Swami’s Shadow (PF/Kinkelaar) ran a brisk race with some difficulty in handling. At 24 she had the find of the stake as scout found her standing off course along the edge of a very thick swampy area. As handler approached, awaited the judge’s arrival and began to flush, a large covey burst skyward. Swami’s Shadow was staunch from the tip of her nose to the tip of her tail! However, the rest of the hour deteriorated fast with an unproductive at 35 and a second at 42 sealing the deal. C S Pressure Test (SM/Ray) ran a merry race, checking with handler at times while showing great hunting intelligence, although no birds seemed available. He had an intensive back with style to spare at 35, as well as an unproductive at 46.

Ravenwood Gem Stone (PF/Basilone) checked in off the breakaway at 8, then continued to cover the territory with ample style and appropriate range. Unfortunately she had two unproductives in seemingly birdy areas. Sugarknoll War Paint (PM/G. Tracy) ranged farther out, not checking in until 15. He had a great forward race with ranging casts. By 40 he was well on his way to the end of the sixth course. Crossing a small brook he appeared to get a drink and then step toward the brush and swamp as he stiffened up. Handler approached, assessed the situation, dismounted and proceeded to thrash through the brush and water. When handler failed to flush or see game, the dog was asked to relocate. No birds were flown. As time was called handler and scout rode forward to locate and return the dog to the waiting dog wagon.

Steve Browder was up from South Carolins to run pointer female Panola’s Lady Jane in the 16th brace. She hunted the country, staying mainly in the woods, although did check in whenever the cover took her to the field or pathway. At 40 she locked up near a thick green area along the swamp. Handler searched long and wide, although without success. Lady Jane stood obediently throughout the long search and was happy when handler gave her permission to attempt a relocation before moving forward to rejoin her bracemate. Miller’s Lock and Loaded (PM/G. Tracy) handled easily, toured much territory with frequent checking in, or choosing the easy lane forward. He scored the second best find of the Championship at 56. Lock and Loaded had been missing a short time when scout found him well off course in a tall wiregrass stand. He handled the flush and shot well.

Steel City Alabama (PM/Basilone) and Pension Imagine That (PM/Ray)not only looked alike in coloring, but thought alike in where they should run. When they were seen they were mostly together, even being with a scout together at one point. When separated at 37 and seeming to not be listening, Alabama was picked up. Imagine That settled in to listen to handler for the next 10 minutes; however, after speaking to the judges Ray leashed his charge by 47.

Sean Melvin brought Reverend Brown’s pointer male Ace to the line joining Neely’s Paint the Town (PM/G. Tracy). At 8 Ace stood with promising poise, albeit handler was unable to produce any quail. After catching the front, Melvin and Ace passed his bracemate buried in the downed oaks on the right before the old candy cane tree area and the road. Pushing his dog to the front, Melvin cut across a wiregrass patch to get a better view of his dog, thereby flushing a covey. The dog had not been in this area and no penalty incurred. After his unproductive, Paint the Town continued to move forward, although he was picked up at 42. At the same time, Ace had point called a short distance uphill. Although he stood with a positive indication, once again no birds were produced and he was leashed as well.

Thursday morning dawned overcast as predicted; however, the rain arrived a little earlier than expected at 8:00 a. m. With a light mist falling, Mike Tracy with pointer male Bully Rock and Shawn Kinkelaar with pointer male Smuggler’s Society Buck. Bully Rock moved with good action, although not quickly off the line. At 25 he stopped with unsure posture. He did not finish his hour. Society Buck disappeared off the starting line and had handler calling for his retrieval unit early on.

As the mist increased, brace No. 20 was whistled away — Deerfield Game (PF/Basilone) and PF, Miller’s Vanilla Snow (PF/G. Tracy). Deerfield Game headed forward and swung off in a spiral cast, returning at 15 to hunt the remainder of the time with handler. Her report from the judges was an inconsistent race with two long absences, an  nproductive at 23 and after crossing the road by a water hole had a nice find at 28. Vanilla Snow had a great hunting race with plenty of animation as she searched all the normal birdy objectives. However, her bird score today was zero, therefore eliminating her chance to receive recognition.

Big Time Boy (PM/Steve Browder) and Cheyenne Jack (PM/M. Tracy) had nice animation as well as a good hunting range. Big Time Boy had an unproductive at 39. During his last 20 minutes he hunted at a closer range through the back of course No. 6 where warm season grasses grow as nice ground cover in this open area with well spaced trees left to enhance the course. Jack is a large pointer with a matching stride. He covered the course at ample range and good eye appeal. Both judges noted that if he had bird contact things might have been changed.

Thursday afternoon’s running was cancelled due to heavy rain and winds. By Friday morning the rain was replaced by a brisk wind and fast moving clouds.

Moonlite Yellow Jacket (PF/M. Tracy) took the right edge of the woodsline to the road crossing before rounding the corner and heading into the woods on a forward cast. Southern Star (Kinkelaar) bounded off the starting line, crossed into the field adjacent to this course, although she was quickly rounded up by scout and sent down the far left edge of the field. Both dogs were ahead, Yellow Jacket hunting with occasional guidance from handler. Southern Star was difficult to handle and required strong scouting for the first thirty minutes. Southern Star scored a nice find at 11, standing staunchly as a large covey lifted from the grass. In expectation of good things, Kinkelaar called and coaxed his charge to hunt with him. Consequently, when at 55 Southern Star stood once again the gallery anxiously watched. However, this time she had lost all intensity, which in the end cost her a placement. Yellow Jacket finished an hour of pleasurable hunting with good style, although a lack of bird work took the dog out of contention.

Nyquist (SM/Ray/Shawn Kinkelaar). Doug had left Thursday afternoon for hand surgery Friday morning. Mike Hester had been on the grounds daily to serve as Ray’s scout, so he again stepped up and was the scout. A very heavily marked white and orange setter, Nyquist was off the line at the first command; however, his casts frequently brought him back to the handler, appearing to be looking for his normal handler Ray. He did have a nice back at 15, a good forward cast following, although soon checking for handler once again. Waybetter Rocky (PM/M. Tracy) was seen at the far end of the field at 14 following a drink at 9. Rocky pointed at 16 with good style and in a likely thick grass area. Following a lengthy relocation attempt an unproductive was scored. His second unproductive came at 26 leading to an early pickup.

Miller’s Just Plain Rowdy (PM/G. Tracy) and Erin’s Prometheus (SM/Kinkelaar). (Prometheus was another of Doug Ray’s dogs.) At 15 both dogs were casting forward in the woods on opposite sides of the course. After crossing the road below the barn, handlers returned and requested their retrieval devices. Both dogs were found to the front after their lengthy absences.

Following lunch, some clouds had rolled in as Backcountry Bonnie (PF/ M. Tracy) and R J’s Deicer (PF/Kinkelaar) were whistled away for brace No. 25. The pair hunted with ample style in  ppropriate quail spots; however, once again no birds were seen. At 43 as the course passed below the clubhouse and barn, Deicer pointed. When no birds were located, handler took Deicer to the trailer. Bonnie completed a good hunting hour without the reward of game . The last six minutes of this brace was a bit scary as a threatening cloud rolled in, a lightning strike being seen and thunder loudly warning all.

Due to a brisk wind, threatening clouds and some rain, we waited 20 minutes while assessing the situation as the storm rolled to the east.

After the storm had passed, George Tracy had pointer male Miller’s Unbridled Forever with Phil Stevenson’s pointer male Broken Arrow. Unbridled Forever seemed very apprehensive with the strong winds, although ventured away from George with a few unsure casts before being leashed at 34. Broken Arrow reached away, seldom seen, which necessitated Stevenson taking the retrieval device as we crossed the road beyond the old candy cane tree. Broken Halo returned before Stevenson could get the device activated, although the dog was not picked up for another 15 minutes. We had a cookie and beverage break while waiting for his return.

When it appeared that Stevenson would not be returning to scout for Sean Melvin with pointer female Miss April, Eric Russell was designated to serve as scout. Mike Tracy’s pointer male Bully Bragg was up at 20. Miss April was leashed when the skies opened up and she returned to handler as if asking, “Why are we hunting in this rain?”

The remaining five braces were run on Saturday.

No. 28 was off at 8:00 a. m., George Tracy with pointer female Touch’s Mae Mobley and Matt Basilone with pointer male Urban Fantasy. The pair was quickly out of sight, then both pointed out to the front at 8, 12 and 17, each hunting the woods, as well as the wooded areas to the side in snappy forward casts. At 38 Basilone called point, both dog found standing. Both handlers attempted flush and both asked dogs to relocate. Fantasy swung to the right and with handler headed toward the plum thick to the left. Mae Mobley was covered above with the winners. The hour proceeded with both dogs pleasing the judges.

Touch’s Rocketman (PM/Kinkelaar) was eye catching with a high head and tail accentuating his very white body. At 16 point was called; however, being a young dog and scenting conditions needing some adjustment this week he stood proudly in the middle of a large covey. As handler dismounted and approached, quail erupted in a full 365 degrees. Rocketman stayed put, although having some happy feet. Miller’s Handsome Ransom (PM/G. Tracy) looked reluctant from dog wagon to starting line; however, when he heard the whistle to hunt, hunt he did. He carries himself with good style and range, letting down a little at 44. As we crossed the road below the clubhouse Handsome Ransom found himself a puddle.

Zorra (PF/Kinkelaar) did a nice job, stayed in the woods a lot to hunt beneath the piney woods and scrub oaks, which eventually led to the retrieval device at 44. Coosawhatchie Smooth Ride (PM/M. Tracy) had new sneakers on and was not seen after the breakaway.

Following lunch, the final two braces were prepared for the 1:00 p. m. breakaway.

Oakridge Platinum (PM/Kinkelaar) broke away down the left side and out of sight, eventually needing a retrieval device. Walden’s Ridge Shadow Dancer (PM/M. Tracy) was taken to the far right on the breakaway where he made his way slowly forward, acting birdy before establishing point at 6. This stand was uneventful; handler picked the dog up.

Erin’s Country Thunder (PM/G. Tracy) had a rapid breakaway, perhaps even an all-age departure. He was seen sparingly until once again a relocation device was used. Adjusted Attitude (SM/M. Tracy) ran with plenty of energy and style, being pointed out well to the front several times. He pointed below the clubhouse and did not relocate the quail which were then flushed by the gallery as we headed to the clubhouse.

Hoffman, N. C., December 17

Judges: Dave Hughes and John Outlaw

NORTH CAROLINA OPEN SHOOTING DOG CHAMPIONSHIP

[One-Hour Heats] — 56 Pointers and 6 Setters

Winner—MOBILE STRIKE, 1669162, setter male, by Barbaro—Daisy Duke. Doug Hinton & Dr. Chet Layne, owners; Doug Ray, handler.

Runner-Up—TOUCH’S MAE MOBLEY, 1659267, pointer female, by Touch’s Pond Dam—House’s Proud Mary. Muriel & Bill Primm, owners; George Tracy, handler.

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