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North Carolina Open Shooting Dog Championship

Auddie Brown’s Pointer Female Sand Wood Creek Annexes Crown
By Dwight Smith | Apr 08, 2021
The Winners. Front row, from left: Jerry Raynor, Jeff Ruth with Sand Wood Creek, Jack Kimbrell with Reedy Creek Dial Tone, and Mike Tracy. Second row: Donna Ruth, Judges Whitley Stevenson and Gary Futch. Third row: Jim Emerson, Sandy Stone, Margaret Drew and Earl Drew.

Hoffman, N. C. — Sand Wood Creek, five-year-old pointer female owned by Auddie Brown of Kingstree, S.C., and handled by Jerry Raynor, was named winner of the 2021 North Carolina Open Shooting Dog Championship by Judges Whitley Stevenson and Gary Futch. Runner-up laurels were awarded to Reedy Creek Dial Tone, pointer male owned by Joe McHugh and handled by Mike Tracy. There were 42 entries in the Championship.

The North Carolina Shooting Dog Championship was the last trial to be conducted on the Robert Gordon Field Trial Grounds in the 2020-2021 field trial season. It usually runs in late December, but scheduling due to the way the calendar fell in 2020 caused a change in the Championship’s time slot. The late March date probably cost several entries. Plans are to put the North Carolina's premier shooting dog championship back in the December time slot in 2021.

The Sandhill Wildlife Area was a busy place in March. The U.S. Complete Southeast Championship, a walking event, was held the first weekend in March, followed by the Southern Pines Celebration, then came the North Carolina Open All-Age which was followed by the North Carolina All-Age Championship, then the North Carolina Open Shooting Dog Championship.

As the last of the bird dog field trialers were leaving the Robert Gordon grounds, the Sedgefield Fox Hunt Club was getting ready to move in for a horseback fox hunt. In the meanwhile, the Special Forces of the United States Army held training exercises on the grounds.

All this is noted to point out what a great job the North Carolina Wildlife Commission does in managing the Robert Gordon Field Trial Grounds.

Lee Crisco and Brady Beck, Crisco boss, and staff manage to handle it all and they seem to take it all in stride. The amazing thing is that there are no field trial facilities in the country better than those at Hoffman, in most people’s opinion.

Not included in the above activities, some bird watchers were around. No one can argue that the Robert Gordon grounds aren’t multi-use. Another amazing thing is that no outdoor activity interfered with the other.

The quail population might have been down a little from the December count, but as Mike Tracy said, “There’s plenty of birds here for a field trial.”

It takes a lot of people to put on a class trial and there seems to be plenty of talent in the area for that. Ray Joye, president of the North Carolina Field Trial Association, had everything organized. John Atkinson was  Trial Chairman, and rode every brace until Mack Hilliard stepped in to give the retired South Carolina banker some relief.

President Joye had to go home, so John and Gretchen Adsit took over the kitchen and clubhouse chores. They, along with the Drews, Edmunds, Foxes, McClure are folks who moved into the area and decided to stay a while. They are more than welcome to stay.

Weather throughout the three days was constantly changing. There was no rain of significance; however, temperatures changed from a low of 53° to 80° during running time.

One of the smartest things President Joye did was engaging judges for this Championship. Whitley Stevenson, an eastern North Carolina agriculture businessman, and Gary Futch, businessman from Georgia, gave up five days of their busy lives to promote field trials. They were attentive, knowledgeable and acted responsibly in discharging their duties. They earned the respect and gratitude of all who attended the Championship.

This report might seem short for a major open shooting dog championship, but the writer sees no point in saying over and over “good race, no birds.” Of the 42 entries, only ten of them pointed game. There were a few outstanding races and they will be noted later in this report.

THE WINNERS AND OTHERS

Sand Wood Creek, from this point on referred to as Creek, ran in the third brace and on course No. 1. This course at Robert Gordon has a variety of terrain that presents all kinds of hunting and handling challenges. There are places that have high cover and others that are open and long stretches of open country with about three-quarter-mile long edges. Creek negotiated the course with Jerry Raynor handling.

From the breakaway in front of the clubhouse, Creek reached into the bottoms below, then showed a time or two before the elbow where she was scouted, but showed ahead of her hander. In the bowling alley country, Creek reached the limits except at one point she quartered the course for a short time then made the turn toward the clubhouse showing on the hills ahead of the gallery, impressing with her range and application.

In the bottoms below the clubhouse, Creek made the turn toward the old cemetery area and on to the regular starting point of course No. 2.

The white, liver, ticked pointer was gone for a while; Raynor kept riding with confidence ahead of the judges and gallery. Creek was nowhere to be seen, then Judge Futch called point and pointed out Creek standing in the neighborhood of a plum thicket. Raynor rode back to the stylish female and flushed. All beautifully and correctly done with the manners and style desired in a finished shooting dog. An excellent piece of birdwork.

Creek’s finish was strong and forward, across the creek before the turkey pens.

Auddie Brown is the present owner of Creek. He is an automobile dealer in South Carolina, among other businesses. Auddie is a strong supporter of field trials who campaigns both all-age and shooting dogs. Two weeks earlier Creek placed in an Open All-Age stake according to her former owners, Jeff and Donna Ruth.

The Ruths were in the gallery during Creek’s performance and at the clubhouse when the judges’ decision was announced.

Tears flowed from Donna Ruth’s eyes when the announcement was made. That’s one of the things that makes field trials unique. The love of a good bird dog stays with one a long time.

Raynor entered two dogs in the Championship. He seems to have a gift of entering just a few dogs and winning the big prize.

This reporter remembers when he entered one entry, Cock N Fire Maggie, in the National Open Shooting Dog Championship in 2017 and carried away the $20,000 check and the Championship title.

The late Billy Martin did similar things in the late 1960s and 1970s with The Illinois Ranger and Ridgeland.

Reedy Creek Dial Tone was named runner-up. He too ran on course No. 1, and in the first brace of the trial. Dial Tone set the bar early on in the trial and it was only reached and surpassed one time during the remainder of the event.

Urban Fantasy was Dial Tone’s bracemate, both rendering strong races, Dial Tone getting the nod if things had come down to the race factor. The pair of pointers seemed to feed off each other as they hunted the open country around the bowling alley, each searching for game, neither able to contact quail. It was an odd situation, not even the so called “little birds” were feeding in the afternoon sun.

The turn in the bottoms before the clubhouse was made, Dial Tone going into the heavy cover where he was found pointing by scout Jack Kimbrell, all good at the flush.

Dial Tone was sent on toward the beginning of course No. 2 and the white and black pointer responded by fading into the pines near Ledbetter Road. He finished far ahead and strongly. It was a good start for a field trial.

Miller’s Extreme Heat was the only entry to have more than one find; she had two. She might have been given a stop to flush on one of her game contacts.

The following entries also contacted game: Miller’s High Heat Index, Waybetter Rocky, Miller’s Extreme Heat, Ravenwood Gemstone, Raw Law Sugar Trouble and Sandland Shooter were credited with a divided find, My Perfect Illusion and Bittersweet War Cry. Hopefully all were counted by this writer.

Among the better ground races, in the reporter’s opinion, were: Snapback, Quickmarksman’s Tom Tekoa, Miller's Unbrided Forever, and Urban Fantasy.

Hoffman, N. C., March 22

Judges: Gary Futch and Whitley Stevenson

NORTH CAROLINA OPEN SHOOTING DOG CHAMPIONSHIP

[One-Hour Heats] — 33 Pointers and 9 Setters

Winner—SAND WOOD CREEK, 1673395, pointer female, by Cover Up Woodie—Sandhill D O T. Auddie Brown, owner; Jerry Raynor, handler.

Runner-Up—REEDY CREEK DIAL TONE, 1673570, pointer male, by Miller’s Dialing In—White Diamond Sally. Joe McHugh, owner; Mike Tracy, handler.

 

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