American Field

Random Notes . . .

Oct 12, 2018

Recuperating at home in Lake Orion, Mich., after a horse mishap sidelined him, David Grubb sent the following, recollecting about the mid-October pheasant trials in Ohio.

"I ran my first dogs in major circuit competition at Killdeer Plains, Ohio in the inaugural International Pheasant Championship in 1961. I was fortunate enough to win runner-up with a great young dog named The Arkansas Violator. I have run in every single offering. Unfortunately, due to an accident, I will be unable to run in the 58th offering.

"Over the years we have placed runner-up several times and won it seven times with some great dogs: triple champion Air Control, owned by Bill Till of Sandusky, Ohio; five-time champion Fast Astro Boy, owned by Bernard Girard of Flint, Mich.; three times by the pheasant dog supreme, five-time champion Violet, owned by Mike Burgwin of Vancouver, Wash., and just two years ago with Champion Scottish Glory.

"Throughout all of it, some of the best field trial men have put it on. Starting with Horace Hodge and then Curtis W. Miles, and then Tommy Honecker and now Dr. Fred Corder. All have done a great job of carrying it on.

"Air Control ran in it for six years and each year his owner W. W. “Bill” Till would postpone a trip to the West for elk hunting. Finally, Bill decided to go West and that is the year (1970) ‘Bud’ won it!

"When Ch. Fast Astro Boy won it, Perry E. Grey judged it. Boy scored a far-off find at 10 and, as usual, when I flushed I rode fifty yards ahead of him to cut off the bird. After flushing it, the judge admonished me for riding ahead of the dog, and stated, ‘David, if you want to win under me, do not ride ahead of the dog like that.’ I didn’t for the next five finds, and won it.

"Who will forget the next time I won it with 7x champion Shalimar, the “Great White Dog”. A tremendous race and five perfect finds only to lose him with eight minutes to go. However, I spotted him standing a quarter mile standing over on the private land. Verle Farrow was judging and I pointed the dog out. Since we could not ride on the private land, I walked the quarter mile to him and luckily the wild covey of quail flew back toward Verle, and he saw them.

"Then the pheasant dog supreme, six-time champion Violet, came forth and won it three different years for a record that has not been broken.

"Then, finally two years ago, Scottish Glory won it with a super effort for Larry Esterline of Clarkston, Mich.

“I remember each and every one like it was today.

"Yet, all the great men who put it on, and the outstanding trainers who competed there: Fred Arant, Paul Walker, Roy Jines, Bill Cosner, Marshall Loftin, and in recent years, Larry Huffman, Tommy Davis, Collier Smith, Rich Robertson, Ray Warren, Luke Eisenhart, Mike Hester, Toby Tobiassen, and, of course, my very good friend Lefty Henry and his lovely wife, Coleen, who ‘Lights up every trial’ she goes to.

"So, after 57 years I will miss all of it, and wish them a great International Championship this year."

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