American Field

Remembering Jack Hires

By Dave Fletcher | May 02, 2019
Jack Hires

Morrice, Mich. — Roscoe A. Hires, better known to his field trial friends and others as Jack Hires, passed away in hospice care Sunday, April 28. Jack was 93.

Born July 6, 1925, in Elwood, Tex., Jack found employment as a young man and moved to Battle Creek, Mich., where he launched a thirty-year career with Clark Equipment Company as a hydraulic cylinder tester.

In retirement, Jack relocated his residence to the Ionia, Mich., area in 1980, building a home on the south edge of the Ionia Field Trial Area on David Highway where he resided with his wife Ruth until her demise in 2013, and alone afterward.

Jack served in the U. S. Army, 101st Airborne Division, during World War II and beyond, in Germany where he met and married his wife Ruth in 1951. He was a recipient of the Purple Heart medal.

Ruth became very active in field trials as a secretary or treasurer of many clubs and associations.

Jack was a bird dog owner and bird hunter at an early age, and in 1958 joined the American Brittany Club, over the years serving that body on the Hall of Fame, Long Range Planning and Dates Co-ordination committees. He was instrumental in forming the Western Michigan Brittany Club.

Jack began running pointers in 1980 with a pup from Dale Hernden named Hires Buddy, sired by Little John Boy with which Dave Grubb had success. Buddy was the winner of more than forty placements.

Jack began judging field trials in 1966, primarily Brittany events in the early years. In fact, that is where scribe met Roscoe Hires when we shared a judicial assignment at a Brittany trial. It was several years later that I learned everyone called him Jack. He went on to judge many important classics, Futurity and  championship trials, Brittanys to begin but major pointer and setter stakes, and a host of breed championships over many years.

Approaching the early 1970s with the Highland grounds growing up, and other Michigan trial venues not able to host championships for lack of multiple or in fact three one-hour courses, preferable to host championships, the search began for bigger and better grounds in Central Michigan.

The Mid-Michigan Field Trial Association was formed and enlisted the Michigan United Conservation Clubs group as an ally and sought grounds near  Ionia which, if developed,  would meet the need of the Michigan trialers. Names like Jim Norwood, Jim Logan, Wayne Warners, Wayne Adams, Chuck Langstaff, Carl Berghouse, Jack Hires, Bernard Girard, John Elford and Oliver DeLuca put their shoulders to this project and made it happen. I joined in and attended many of the meetings with the Michigan DNR.

The grounds at Ionia, developed properly, would be capable of hosting premier championships in the pointing dog field trial world.

After building his home on the south edge of the grounds, Jack Hires came to a prime leadership role in the development of the Ionia grounds. He helped form the Ionia Field Trial Grounds Committee, and became chairman of that group. He was at the forefront of getting the clubhouse and the horse barn built. He could be seen working on parking lots, installing culverts, putting up fences, attending meetings, building bridges. Whatever needed doing, Jack was there seeing that it got done.

This long process, under the leadership of Jack Hires, was decades in execution. Those who attend trials and compete at Ionia owe a great debt to Jack Hires when he, for many years, faithfully served field trials on the Ionia grounds with great dedication.

Rest in peace great friend. Your efforts will be well remembered.

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