American Field

Field Trial Report

Ozark Open Shooting Dog Championship

By Steve Messick | Mar 14, 2019
Hale's Southern Touch Winner of the Ozark Open Shooting Dog Championship

Conway, Ark. — With the coming of fall all eyes turn to the famed grounds of Camp Robinson. These hallowed grounds have witnessed some of the best. Each fall the Ozark Open Shooting Dog Championship leads off three of the top shooting dog stakes in the country.

This year we were privileged to have the services of pro Gordon Hazlewood of Dardenelle, Ark., and local top amateur Jim (the hammer) Martin of Greenbrier, Ark., riding to give their utmost attention in evaluating the winners.

This year’s winner emerged in the form of Hale’s Southern Touch, eight-year-old white and liver pointer female owned by Dr. Jeff Hale of Russellville, Ark.  Bess, as she is known to her much adoring family, Dr. Jeff and his band of girls! I’ve witnessed her on many occasions and frankly she must be one of the smartest and finest bitches I’ve ever seen. Pro Shawn Kinkelaar had the privilege of piloting her this year. Bess recorded two topnotch finds, the quality only a championship requires. Her race is always the running hunting type; no wasted steps for this queen. The many who have been involved in Bess’ development into a champion should all be proud of a job well done. I’ve lost count of the championship placements she has to date. I think it changes weekly with many more to come.

The runner-up also was another pointer female, this time for the proud husband and wife team fondly known as the Taylors. Johnny and Joyce, best known for the outstanding job they do hosting the U. S. Invitational Shooting Dog Championship. Their winner emerged in Absolute Diva, fast nine-year-old white and liver female known for her bird-finding ability. On this day she found her quarry three times. Her first was under severe conditions right off the breakaway; her last was the field trial type which sealed the deal. She was fast and forward throughout. Johnny was the handler this day, and proud he was. A good job was turned in by the winners.

Several performances were knocking on the door but just couldn’t get in. I would be blind if not mentioning pro Harold Gearhart who has been so close the last three years to getting in the winners’ circle. His time is coming; his hard work keeps showing up.

Camp Robinson has always been blessed with great area managers. With the retirement of Roger Martin in March his sidekick was promoted. Josh Fortner has done an outstanding job of really taking the reins and is on his way to making his mark on continuing the excellence here at Camp Robinson. His efforts are much appreciated and our support is behind him all the way.

Our sponsors each year are so important. What Purina does for the field trial game goes without saying, a godsend. Greg Blair is always great to work with and the pride he displays in his job is greatly appreciated. The Purina product is top quality in all aspects. Thanks Greg; you’re the best!

New this year was another quality company, SportDog and Jim Morehouse. What a topnotch professional. They supplied their best for the winners in top quality training collars. We hope Jim will come and visit us in person sometime. We really appreciate your support Jim!

In closing, in all the years we have run we have been so proud that each year it truly seems we are blessed to have championship performances. I can say we have never had to select winners by feeling they were best we had. I hope  the tradition continues. Thanks to all the handlers and owners for supporting the Ozark, Arkansas and Derby Classic. Without each other it wouldn’t be the same. Hope to see all next fall.

Conway, Ark., November 30

Judges: Gordon Hazlewood and Jim Martin


39 Pointers and 6 Setters

Winner—HALE’S SOUTHERN TOUCH, 1644260, pointer female, by Whippoorwill War Dance—Whippoorwill G M A. Dr. Jeffrey Hale, owner; Shawn Kinkelaar, handler.

Runner-Up—ABSOLUTE DIVA, 1623426, pointer female, by Erin’s Tin Soldier—Absolute Sensation. Johnny & Joyce Taylor, owners; Johnny Taylor, handler.

Comments (0)
If you wish to comment, please login.