American Field

Dixie Open Shooting Dog Classic

Sedgefields Field Trial Club

By Allison Stewart | Jan 09, 2020
Open Shooting Dog Classic Winners. Front (l-r): Jim Hughes with Dragonfly, Terry James Chastain with Just Thrillin and Tommy Rice with Osceola’s Rebel Chief. Standing: Steve Hutto, Mike Cheely, judge; Allison Stewart and Joe Rentz, judge.

Union Springs, Ala. — The 2019 Dixie Open Shooting Dog Classic began November 4 at Sedgefields Plantation in Union Springs, Ala. Spanning nearly 10,000 acres, Sedgefields boasts some of the best quail hunting grounds in the South and provides many open opportunities to see the bird dogs as they run the courses.

The Sedgefields Field Trial Club, along with our competitors and onlookers, thank Raymond Harbert for allowing us the privilege of running this fine sport on such premier grounds.

Thank you to Jason Howard as well as Bill Lee for their esteemed management of the plantation.

A gracious thank you to our judges Mike Cheely and Joe Rentz who maintained a respectful and watchful eye over each and every dog throughout their time.

Thank you to Chance Kelley for riding every brace to ensure participants charted courses properly and the reporter familiarized herself with names of nearly every inch of the plantation.

The club  also thanks Purina for their support of this classic and the sport of field trials as well as Jim Morehouse for his donation of SportDog collars to our winners.

Enjoyable breakfasts were kindly provided by the Bullock County Tourism Council and deliciously prepared by Ms. Savannah and Cierra. Lunches were well-prepared each day by Becke Evans Blanton along with Jane Rutland, both of Bullock County.

It goes without saying that we the residents of Bullock County enjoy hosting and entertaining and this scribe must note that some of the finest hostings, entertainment, camaraderie, laughter, and memories happen  during the field trial season. Friends gathered to share stories in front of the fireplace at the Sedgefields clubhouse one night. Appetizers by Joe and Shirley Varner were devoured and many onlookers kept Steve Hutto company outside as he cooked up an outstanding fresh fish fry that was thoroughly enjoyed with Becke’s famous cheese grits.

We also gathered at the Union Springs Country Club and were kindly hosted at 82 West by Jan  and  Mike Green.


The winner of the 2019 Dixie Open Shooting Dog Classic was Dragonfly,  forward running and sturdy white and liver pointer male owned and handled by Jim Hughes of Bessemer, Ala. Dragonfly exhibited strong hunting skills and an onward race, blazing the edges as he made his way through the countryside.

He carded his first find at 16 with a successful covey rise before the Reservoir Lake. Dragonfly made fine use of his time hunting the course with strong casts on both sides of the Green Road. He bounded over creek bed with his bracemate and charged up the hill to find a covey at top in the cover as the course curves to the right. Dragonfly was posed like a statue at 34 in thicket of Horseshoe Bend with all in order and found success again at 40 in brush just as course drops down hill. As the gallery came up hill point was called again on left edges for our winner with his bracemate backing courteously.

Dragonfly’s last find was at 55 in small thicket just before the Lee driveway displaying the gentlemanly manners that he had carried for his hour and was dashing in front with plenty of charge left in him when time was called.

Just Thrillin, white and liver ticked  pointer male  owned by Keith Finlayson of Tallahassee, Fla., and handled by Tommy Rice, took home second place honors with his demonstration of fine shooting dog ground application and forward hunting manners from beginning to end.

Thrillin earned his first find in the pines just before the Duck Pond Dam at 9 with stylish composure and  handsome at flush. He hunted through the field over Moccasin Ridge and made great use of the edges, pointing at 28 with birds up and successfully again at 30 in Sweet Gum Field. He made a wide cast over hill at East Duck Lake at 48 to be found on point on other side with all in order. Just Thrillin crossed road above field house and tore through the field with a mighty charge to the bottom treeline, hunting edges behind barn to complete his hour.

Osceola’s Rebel Chief, white and liver pointer male with liver ears owned by Ted Roach of Union Springs, Ala., and handled by Jason Loper, earned third marked by a continuous fervor in the last brace of the first day. “Bill” ran a consistent shooting dog race, handled kindly from start to finish and was well scouted. Bill marked his first find at 2 on left edge with noble form. He hunted the course with dashing casts before crossing Duck Pond Dam to card a divided find at 17 at the corner edge of Moccasin Ridge.

Bill and his bracemate dashed ahead across the ridge and made a wide cast into the pines where he exhibited fine manners with a stop to flush. Bill was found standing firm again at 26 and a wise relocation resulted in bevy taking flight. His tail could easily be spotted in high regard as Bill continued the hunt with another successful rise at 36 and again at 45 in the brush with all in order. Bill crossed the road above the field house at 55 with gallant strides and made a mighty run through the field. Point was called just before time with a rise of birds to end his hour behind the barn.


County Line Bo (PM/Bobby Hartwig) began the trial alongside Dragonfly (Hughes), whose race was previously detailed. Bo pointed at 16 but his handler elected to take him on. He carded a find at 33 with all in order.

Cherokee War Paint (PM/Hartwig/ McDuffie) and Postage Paid (PM/ Shenker). After an absence, Hartwig requested his retrieval device at 20. Shenker collared Postage Paid at 35.

Pineywoods Belle Aire (PF/Darron Hendley) and Sunbelt Awesome Wonder (PM/Michael Martino). After a fast push down the line, hunting with spirit, Belle pointed at 4 in the brush. Wonder pointed at 34 but birds were not found. Belle was found on point at 35 but no birds were produced and handler ended her hour. Wonder was collared at 50.

The afternoon began with cloud cover and temperatures rising to near 70° when Bo Bunda (PM/Martino) and Northwoods Charles (SM/Bill Owen) came to the line. After a quick cool off in the Reservoir Lake, the bracemates made pretty casts up the hill, hitting the cover. Bo bounded across field and made a determined stop to find birds at 17 with Charles backing. The pair continued onto the Green Road with pretty casts amongst the pines in the curves before bounding down hill before creek bed. Charles was hunting edges around curve and pointed on left edge at 33 with a large number of birds rising. Martino requested the retrieval unit at 48. Owen conceded and thanked the judges at 50.

Sugarknoll Bushwhacker (PM/Pete Del Collo) and Osceola’s Gunsmoke Man (PM/Loper). No time was wasted as these two bounded into brush on right for a successful divided find at 3 for the mannerly pointers. Man carded his second find at 10 with a successful rise and handsome stance. His third find was marked at 24 on left edge of Avent line. Bushwhacker’s pattern was not suiting his handler and he was up at 33. Man continued his stride through the course and pointed at 58 just before crossing the road and ended his time with a short cast in front to finish.

One Penny More (PF/Martino) started her hour with aforementioned Osceola’s Rebel Chief in the field across from the Lee Driveway. Penny dashed into edge cover of the pines on left for an orderly find at 3. She hunted the fields until crossing the pond dam with her bracemate to mark a divided find at 17 at corner edge of Moccasin Ridge. She continued her course to make a wide cast into pines and carded a find at 23 followed by an honorable back 26. Handler elected to pick up at 34.

Grand Prairie Thrill (PF/Tommy Rice) began the second day with Senah’s Gold Shavings (PF/Joel Norman). “Sadie” pointed at 15 to right of the Green Road but no birds were produced. She raced on around curve and bounded down hill and hunted treeline on right before crossing creek bed. She raced up hill and cut right through cover. Norman found Gold Shavings on point at 37 as we made the right at Horseshoe Ridge with all in order. Sadie was found standing a hundred yards in front of bracemate on point with birds rising upon flush. Sadie crossed the Lee Driveway at 49 and pointed but did not maintain her composure and was picked up. Gold Shavings pointed at 56 but moved on and ended in front.

Motor Dude Special, a German Shorthair pointer, was scratched due to unforeseen travel circumstances. Charitable Deed (PF/Rice) broke away at ladies restroom and made a mighty cast in front across Skid Steer Hill. She pointed at 23 on edge of Avent line with nice style. Deed continued her course and made a cast around edge at 39 before crossing over road. Deed raced up hill on left and made a wide cast to the right on Turkey Ridge at 45 with  mighty speed. Unfortunately, she was passed by on point and the retrieval device was requested. Hillhavyn’s Drug Money (PM/Martino) was collared at 20.

Panther Creek Merlin (PM/Rutland) and Bombs Away (PM/Rice) began the afternoon with cloud cover giving way to sunshine and rising temperatures. Bombs pointed at 10 at Reservoir Lake but no birds were produced. Merlin marked his first find at 11 at edge of Reservoir Lake. After an excellent relocation to the water’s edge a covey was marked. North of Reservoir Lake the twosome made quite a handsome pair hunting together on both sides of the road and casting down hill and over the creek bed. Bombs carded a nice find at 29 on top of hill on right rise and pointed again at 33 on Horseshoe Ridge. After a relocation Rice thanked the judges. Merlin carded his second find at 44 at end loop of Horseshoe. He continued on with a cast down hill on treeline to left, crossed over to right at top of hill and was found on point at 51 with a rise of birds and ended his time in front.

Tallokas Sun Dial (PF/Rice) and SV Always Dreaming (Owen) began their hour hunting together in the left field of Avent. Warm weather made bird work very challenging. After an altercation with a sow, “Ruby” elected to end her time early.

Senah’s Pearl (PF/Norman) and Knight’s White Lady (PF/Owen), both in season, began their brace in field just across from the Lee Driveway. Lady found a small covey at 5 in pines on left of field. The pair crossed the Duck Pond Dam and Pearl revealed a nice covey at 25 with Lady following suit at 26. Pearl carded another find at 36 in Sweet Gum with a quail rising right under her chin as she maintained her stance. Lady continued on and took a sharp right to find a thick covey at 38 with all in order. Pearl was collared at 54. Lady’s handler requested the retrieval unit at 55.

The weather was sunny and cool for a short while on Wednesday as we began the 13th brace with Sedgefields Legacy  (PM/Bill Lee) and Town Creek Hardaway Jill (PF/Martino). Legacy pointed at 8 with successful rise on lower left of second field before Reservoir Lake. Both crossed in front on Green Road gliding down right edge and raced toward lower creek bed before crossing back and up the hill. The pair shared a divided find at 34 just before the course goes down the hill on Horseshoe Ridge with all in order. They continued together going up right treeline, crossed driveway at Sorry Gap at 54. Legacy was out front to end. Jill finished on point with flush at ladies restroom.

Melrose Rebel Heart (PF/Terry James Chastain) and Lone Tree Splish Splash (PF/Owen), the latter in season, made nice forward casts from ladies restroom. “Fannie” pointed at 8 but only feathers could be found. She crossed driveway at 13 and cast across Skid Steer Hill to right. After an absence Owen requested the retrieval unit at 17. Fannie went on to hunt left edges of green field. Chastain elected to pick up at 44.

Irresistible Thrill (PF/Rice) and Senah’s Back in Business (PM/Norman) broke away down left edge of field across from Lee Driveway. Thrill pointed at 11 just before pond dam over a tremendous feather pile. She went on to have a successful find in cover on left after crossing over Duck Pond Dam below Moccasin Ridge. She continued to run hard and pointed covey in Sweet Gum Field at 32 with a fine flush. Thrill and Business climbed hill at East Duck Lake at 42 and hunted the edges. Norman harnessed at 55.

Sehoy’s Mack (PM/Hartwig/McDuffie) pointed at 8. Handler found stance to be displeasing and picked up. Sedgefields Shadow Rise (PM/Lee) pointed in field edge thicket at 15 above the Reservoir Lake with all looking good. He crossed straight over field into woods to card another find at 18. Shadow Rise pointed at 42 after coming up the hill on left with a large number of birds lifting. Judges and gallery topped hill to find him pointed at 50 down on left with all in order. He pointed at 54 with birds up before crossing the Lee Driveway. Shadow Rise was running forward up lane past Sorry Gap when time was called.

Sowega (PF/Rice) and Quail Roost Accolade (PM/Martino) shared the 17th brace on Wednesday. Quail Roost carded a find at 5 with all in order. Sowega pointed at 22 after we crossed into Avent Field. Upon relocation no birds were produced. Proceeded on course and pointed again at 30 but thanked the judges due to lack of birds.

Tommy Rice II and Tommy Rice III shared in some friendly competition for our last brace of the day. Peggy (PF/Rice II) and Thrill Me (PF/Rice III) began their brace with a divided find in the pines on left edge of field at 4. Thrill went on with a lovely cast across front edge of field and into the thicket. Peggy wasted little time as she carded another find at 9 at the corner edge. The pair crossed Duck Pond Dam with fiery gaits and Tommy III was heard calling point down in field below Moccasin Ridge. Thrill stood a bit too and birds had seemingly moved on. Peggy carded a find halfway up ridge from Thrill at 20 with a handsome flush and followed with find at 25 on edge of Big Curve Corner. Thrill found birds at 31 going up hill before Sweet Gum Field with a favorable rise of quail. Peggy pointed once again at 33 at bottom of Sweet Gum Field in thick cover with birds up and carded another find at 38. She was seen moving through pines with ease at East Duck Lake and finished out front.

I’ll Have Another (Lee) was scratched. Boy (PM/Rice II) began our Thursday with a point just over driveway to the right of Reservoir Lake at 10 with birds up. He went on to find a bevy of birds and a handsome flush on right of Green Road at 19 while Boy stood stylishly. Boy made forward strides and nice casts on right before crossing creek bed and flying up hill. He came around Horseshoe Ridge in bottom field hunting the line. He stopped on right at hilltop of Horseshoe Ridge at 50 but failed to produce birds. Handler elected to pick up at 54 after another unproductive.

Union Springs, Ala., November 4

Judges: Mike Cheely and Joe Rentz

DIXIE OPEN SHOOTING DOG CLASSIC [One-Hour Heats] — 35 Pointers, 1 Setter, 1 Irish Setter and 1 German Shorthair

1st—DRAGONFLY, 1669453, pointer male, by The Crowd Pleaser—Miller’s Calamity Jane Lady. Jim Hughes, owner and handler.

2d—JUST THRILLIN, 1661536, pointer male, by Just Irresistible—Snow Thrill. Keith Finlayson, owner; Tommy Rice, handler.

3d—OSCEOLA’S REBEL CHIEF, 1682755, pointer male, by Dominator’s Rebel Heir—Hilltopper Debutante. Ted Roach, owner; Jason Loper, handler.


Winning the Dixie Open Shooting Dog Derby was Town Creek Hardaway Jill, white and orange pointer female owned by Bill Clem of Hardaway, Ala., handled by Michael Martino and scouted by Anthony Martino.

Jill ran an outstanding race from start to finish landing her in the first place position. Upon her release she flew down into valley left and right and topped hill before driveway to discover birds and card her first find. Jill made strides down the lane to cross driveway with tenacious speed. She hunted edges of open field and crossed over road by Lee Driveway. Jill hunted the woods and in front at time just before dam.

The third brace of the Derby had C S Redlight Run and Beckworth’s Firecracker (Sally),  fashionable pointer female owned by Alan York of Louisville, Ga., and handled by Tommy Rice.

The bracemates broke away in the field above field house. Sally pointed at 5 at bottom of hill at edge of green field with Red backing. When birds rose Red showed a little youth and fluttered with the wings. The pair crossed creek bed behind the barn. Sally bound into cover on right and cast in front while Red ran up left edge and crossed over. The pair made nice use of edges and Red pointed corner fence at Stone Line at 18 with Sally backing. The pointers came up hill on Green Road and were dashing in front as we crossed creek bottom to complete their time.

The first brace of the Open Derby began at the top of last hill on Horseshoe Ridge before the field leading toward the Lee Driveway, Stella’s Belgian Brew (Rice), white and black pointer female in season, braced with Town Creek Hardaway Jill, whose race was previously detailed. The pair flew into the valley and hunted the edges. Stella made some notable casts during her time.

The second brace had Buck (Tommy Rice), white and liver and pointer male, and Hillhavyn’s Drug Runner (M. Martino), white and orange pointer male.

Brace No. 3 was noted above.

Melrose Ramblin Man, pointer male handled by Terry James Chastain, was down with pointer female Water Catcher (Martino).

OPEN DERBY — 9 Pointers

1st—TOWN CREEK HARDAWAY JILL, 1681246, female, by Touch’s Game Point—Jamback’s Amazing Grace. Bill Clem, owner; Mike Martino, handler.

2d—C S REDLIGHT RUN. [Placement Voided].

3d—BECKWORTH’S FIRECRACKER, 1682324, female by Raag’s Rocks N Rye—Debutante. Alan York, owner; Tommy Rice, handler.

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