American Field

Virgil Beasley, Sr. Memorial Amateur Shooting Dog Classic

Old Hickory Field Trial Club

By Jeff Blackwell | Feb 14, 2020
Amateur Shooting Dog Winners. Front (l-r): Derek Bonner with Neely’s Seal the Deal, Chris Clayton with Lester’s Ritz and Scott Little with Warioto’s Baby Ruth. Standing: Mr. and Mrs. John Neely, and Judges B. J. Wright and Dereck Layne.

LaVergne, Tenn. — Thirty-Three amateur shooting dogs, the most ever drawn, answered the call at the 2020 Virgil Beasley, Sr. Memorial Amateur Shooting Dog Classic at Percy Priest WMA in LaVergne, Tenn. Three full days of running, when including the eight dogs drawn in the Derby, began Friday, January 17.

Judges for this year’s renewal were B. J. Wright of Robards, Ky., and Dereck Layne of Chapel Hill, Tenn., the latter filling in for advertised judge Eric Barrett when Eric had a family emergency and could not judge.

Fifteen different handlers ventured from Tennessee, Kentucky, Alabama, Georgia and North Carolina to compete for top honors.

Pointer male John Wesley Harden earned first place in the Derby Stake with three finds at 14, 20 and 25 in the 30-minute running. John is owned and handled by Arnold Hall and is undefeated at Percy Priest WMA this season with five wins in five starts. Heard Hill’s Best Behavior, pointer female, took second place honors with a nice ground race and a divided find, with the winner, at 25. South Georgia handler Lynn Heard guided her beautiful female through the course with husband Buck manning scouting duties. Phil Morgan took third place with pointer male Morgan’s Out On Parole which had three bird contacts during his running.

After a shortened first brace of the VBC due to a breach of manners and a lost bracemate, all enjoyed a barbeque lunch provided by long-time supporter of this trial, Tennessee Farmers Co-Op. The Co-Op has supported this trial since its inception over 10 years ago and again supplied a 26 quart Orca cooler for the first-place winner. Thank you Tennessee Farmer’s Co-Op.

The final brace on Friday propelled the stylish Lester’s Ritz, pointer male  handled by Derek Bonner, to the top spot in the judges’ eyes.  Ritz had three high-headed, 12 o’clock tailed finds and backed his bracemate once. He would hold the top spot until Sunday.

As forecast, rain and windy conditions covered middle Tennessee as the 5th brace of the VBC kicked of Saturday morning. Breach of manners of various kinds and becoming lost claimed the next six competitors in shortened braces. Eight braces were put down on Saturday without a performance to knock the top dog off his throne.

Sunday, the Lord’s Day, was sunny and cold with five braces left to sort out the top three finishers in the 33-dog field, and brace No. 16 did just that.

Neely’s Seal the Deal, pointer male for owner-handler John Neely, and Warioto’s Baby Ruth, pointer female owned by Scott and Lisa Little, handled by Scott, showed up in a big way with an exciting hour which produced six finds and three backs total. Mr. Neely called point at 13 just before the banana field’s entrance and Baby Ruth honored the point.  At 20 Baby Ruth was on point at Martin Lane with Seal the Deal backing.  The second find for the pointer male at 40 was in the small field coming out of the back and once again the female honored. Both handlers’ hats were in the air at 43 in the big field before the pond dam. All was in order on the divided find and when turned loose Baby Ruth took the left edge and Seal the Deal took the right. Baby Ruth wheeled and pointed for her last find at 47 on a separate bird about fifty yards away from the previous find. Seal the Deal effortlessly took the edges of the course, showed up at all the right spots for the final minutes of the brace and finished well to the front going away.

The final dog had the course to himself in brace No. 17 and made a good showing with two finds and an unproductive but could change the judges’ minds.

The winners were announced as follows:

Earning first was Neely’s Seal the Deal, owned and handled by John Neely of Albany, Ga. Placed second was  Lester’s Ritz, owned by Scott Griffin of Charlotte, N. C., and handled by Derek Bonner of Mooresboro, N. C.  Warioto’s Baby Ruth, owned and handled by Scott Little of Woodlawn, Tenn., was third.

The Old Hickory Field Trial Club thanks all competitors who made this year’s trial one of the best ever.  We are a team of five that enjoy hosting this trial each year as well as the fellowship and food we share.

A special thank you to Buck and Lynn Heard for leading our Sunday morning devotion! Thank you Harry Layne for the job you do on the dog wagon. We couldn’t do it without you.

LaVergne, Tenn., January 17

Judges: Dereck Layne and B. J. Wright

OPEN DERBY — 6 Pointers and 2 Setters

1st—JOHN WESLEY HARDEN, 1682536, pointer male, by High Drive Rocky—Cedar Rock Rose. Arnold Hall, owner and handler.

2d—HEARD HILL’S BEST BEHAVIOR, 1687228, pointer female, by Sugarknoll War Paint—Heard Hill’s Misbehavin. Buck & Lynn Heard, owners; Lynn Heard, handler.

3d—MORGAN’S OUT ON PAROLE, 1686994, pointer male, by Miller’s Dialing In—Lester’s Wild Sally. Phil Morgan, owner and handler.

VIRGIL BEASLEY, SR. MEMORIAL AMATEUR SHOOTING DOG CLASSIC [One-Hour Heats] — 27 Pointers, 4 Setters and 2 Irish Setters

1st—NEELY’S SEAL THE DEAL, 1676480, pointer male, by Erin’s Redrum—Neely’s Ramblin Rose. John O. Neely, owner and handler.

2d—LESTER’S RITZ, 1655446, pointer male, by Miller’s Dialing In—Muddy Water Kate. Scott Griffin, owner; Derek Bonner, handler.

3d—WARIOTO’S BABY RUTH, 1678337, pointer female, by Dominator’s Rebel Heir—Hawk’s Sun Crest Belle. Scott & Lisa Little, owners; Scott Little, handler.

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