American Field
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Season's Final Standings

Purina Handler of the Year Award

Mark McLean Earns Top Honors for 2020-2021
May 06, 2021

THE Purina Handler of the Year competition, similar to the Top Dog Award, went down to the proverbial wire with the final stake of the points season determining the winner.

Just 61 points separate the winner from the second place handler in the standings, and the second place handler is a mere twenty points ahead of handler No. 3.

Mark McLean of Doerun, Ga., emerged as the 2020-2021 season's Top All-Age Handler of the Year, an honor he also deservedly won for the 2017-2018  and 2019-2020 seasons.

His 2020-2021 season was marked by ten Purina Points placements with five different dogs. Mark won the Blackbelt Open All-Age, runner-up in the Southeastern Open Championship and winner of the Masters and Western Open Championships with Touch's Malcolm Story.

Touch's Mega Mike won the Florida Open Championship and a third in the Central Carolina Open All-Age. Touch's Gallatin Fire contributed two points placements — a third in the Lee County and a second in the Dixie Open All-Age stakes. Setter male Woodville's Yukon Cornelius won first in the West Tennessee Open All-Age, and Touch's Breakaway Fred added a third in the North Carolina Open All-Age.

Alex Rickert of Bozeman, Mont., owns both Touch's Malcolm Story and Touch's Gallatin Fire. Touch's Mega Mike is owned by Georgians Eddie Sholar and Ted Dennard. Woodville's Yukon Cornelius is in the ownership of Carl Owens of Awendaw, S.C. Touch's Breakaway Fred has a coterie of owners: Eddie Sholar, Ted and Marsha Dennard,  Bruce and Karen Norton, and Becky and Gary Futch.

The appended roster carries the names of 42 points-earning handlers, evidence of the keen competition that unfolded in the 2020-2021 field trial season. Securing the 33rd Annual Purina Award, his third, is surely among the highlights of Mark McLean's bird dog handler career.

ALL-AGE HANDLER AWARD STANDINGS

Mark McLean 1481

Gary Lester 1420

Steve Hurdle 1400

Andy Daugherty 1316

Randy Anderson 1304

Luke Eisenhart 1289

Allen Vincent 1150

Larry Huffman 792

Jamie Daniels 411

Tracy Swearingen 351

Ike Todd 316

Lefty Henry 265

Larron Copeland 255

Tommy Davis 244

Sean Derrig 231

Derek Bonner 195

Matt Cochran 183

Tom Shenker 178

Frank LaNasa 175

Joel Norman 162

Alex Mauck 160

Scott Jordan 159

Robert (Lefty) Henry 155

Burke Hendrix 150

Jim Ledington 146

Weldon Bennett 135

Jim Hughes 135

Judd Carlton 129

Jerry Raynor 117

Michael Eads 110

Mike Hester 100

Jarry Walton 96

Sean Kelly 95

Scott Griffin 93

Lori Steinshouer 80

Eddy Taylor 74

Matt Pendergest 60

Tim Schillereff 57

Dr. Marion Brown 48

Bubba Spencer 48

Brian Gingrich 40

Tom Griffin 24

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