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Winall Cleans the Clock — Just About

Southern Pines

By Dwight Smith | Mar 31, 2021
Amateur Derby Winners. From left: I'm Southern Smoke with Whitley Stephenson, Mohawk Mill Bad Boy and Gary Winall, and Mohawk Mill Legacy's Pride and Ellen Clements. Second row: Johnny Atkinson, Nida Giddens, Sammy Giddens, Margaret Drew, Ray Joye, Tim Ruff. Third row: Judge Bruce Conover, Jim Edmunds, Sandra Lee, Dwight Smith and Earl Drew.

Hoffman, N.C. — The second annual Southern Pines Celebration was held starting March 12 on the Robert Gordon Field Trial Grounds near Hoffman, N. C. The three-stake program had a full slate of entries for the three days. The Celebration celebrated its second birthday with another successful “bird dog trial,” as  the late Dr. Alvin Nitchman often said.

The goal of the Celebration is to honor a true amateur all-age performance with placement and that goal was achieved this year with the placement of all entries that were recognized.

Weather during the three days varied from warm to hot, 59°  to about 80,° with no rain to speak of.

Game was scarce throughout the trial, but conditions were not favorable for quail hunting.

Club officials did an outstanding job of conducting the event. Johnny Atkinson, Grayson Francis and Ray Joye are the main cogs of the organization's wheel, but it was Ray Joye who went beyond the call of duty. He prepared lunch each day, paid for by himself, helped organize the clubhouse and kept the visitors entertained. He was a one man show.

Ted Riley took care of morning and afternoon snacks and driving the dog truck.

Purina provided support, as they so often do with dog food and other contributions. The Richmond County Tourism Authority made a strong contribution to the bird program. They also make it easy for field trialers to eat, buy supplies, and find motels in Rockingham, only thirteen miles from the grounds.

All in all, the 2021 Celebration went off well.

Facilities at Robert Gordon are among the finest in the country, thanks to the North Carolina Wildlife Commission and their local staff.

Tim Ruff of Irmo, S.C., and Bruce Conover of South Boston, Va., judged the entire trial. They conducted themselves the way judges should and were attentive at all times. Both have analytical minds to make sound decisions. Their decisions were well received.

The Celebration was the final amateur trial on the Robert Gordon grounds this season. The wonderful Sandhills venue, the friendly sportsmanship, the overall success of the trial makes one look forward to next fall.

OPEN DERBY

The first stake was the Open Derby with nineteen entries in the 30-minute heats. Early morning temperatures were cool and a little damp, but before the day was over temperatures reached 70° with a bright sun shining down on the sand.

Mohawk Mill Bad Boy was in the first brace and showed more potential than most Derby-age dogs. Shortly after breakaway Boy pointed; Winall flushed, a single quail flew. The white and liver Winall pointer displayed the proper manners. Other riders in the gallery reported seeing six or eight more quail flush from the area.

Boy’s ground work, in this reporter’s opinion, was mature. He had the chance to reach the long edges and open areas in that open country, and he took advantage of the situation.

I’m Southern Smoke was placed second on the basis of a truly outstanding ground effort. Matter of fact, his race might have been the best overall ground effort of the entire trial. He moved with speed, class and maturity. The Giddens-Brown setter seemed always to be in front, reaching faraway places to hunt, but was also mindful of his handler.

Mohawk Mill Legacy’s Pride was placed third on his race also. He is a stylish white, liver and ticked pointer male that is full of potential to the eye of seasoned field trialers. We will be seeing his name in print a lot, this reporter predicts.

There might have been one other covey of quail seen during the Derby but no more than the one pointed by Bad Boy was seen by this reporter.

Hoffman, N. C., March 12

Judges: Bruce Conover and Tim Ruff

OPEN DERBY — 17 Pointers and 2 Setters

1st—MOHAWK MILL BAD BOY, 1689634, pointer male, by Stoney Run's Buddy—Miller's Fancy Lady. Gary S. Winall, owner and handler.

2d—I'M SOUTHERN SMOKE, 1690108, setter male, by Awsum In Motion—Cape Point Millbilly. Sammy & Nida Giddens & A. Q. Brown, owners; Sammy Giddens, handler.

3d—MOHAWK MILL LEGACY'S PRIDE, 1685787, pointer male, by Mohawk Mill Pirate's Legacy—Mohawk Mill  Zeva. Gary S. Winall, owner and handler.

AMATEUR ALL-AGE WINNERS

The flagship stake of the Southern Pines Celebration is the Amateur All-Age. The true all-age contender is sought to be awarded with placement honors and that plateau was reached when Judges Ruff and Conover’s decision was announced naming Mohawk Mill Image the winner of the 2021 Southern Pines Celebration Amateur All-Age.

Image drew what is usually referred to as the Naked Creek Country, or course No. 6. He showed how the first part of the open sedge and pines covered area should be hunted — taking in the far hills along the edge of the field trial area.

Winall kind of gathered Image up and sent him into the pine forest part of the course where he looked really good. One could get sight of him up ahead as he hunted through the pines. Then he was gone for a few minutes. Image was found pointing near the Bill Andrews water hole in high cover. He exhibited all the style and manners expected of an all-age performance.

A large gallery was on hand and had surrounded Winall and Image, so Winall smartly took Image to the other side of the course and sent him toward Drowning Creek. The remainder of the hour was spent with Image searching for game, reaching to the far hills that had cover but his hunting determination didn’t pay off. No other quail were seen during the hour. Image had put forth a strong effort on the ground and one find.

Second place honors went to Mohawk Mill Trail Warrior. He ran in the first brace on the second morning of the trial and what is normally course No. 4.

The course is made of long edge country with several sharp turns. Warrior seems especially adapted to the Hoffman grounds and one has to remember his performance in the Tar Heel Championship last October. Warrior hunted the long edges of the old loop and the new loop, crossed Fire Tower Road, and went into tall cover. Winall rode to find him standing, all good at flush. The white and liver five-year-old pointer finished his hour strongly in temperatures that would eventually reach 80°.

Third place was awarded to Bonner’s Excalibur, owned and handled by Derek Bonner. He drew the area from the start of the regular second course breakaway to the McGee’s Castle area. The Bonner pointer had a classic race before and after the Army camp. Army personnel were walking in every direction but they didn’t distract Excalibur from hunting or reaching for more places to hunt. One of the many things that impressed one about his race was that he never ran the roads, was always, it seemed, in the cover. And there are a lot of roads on that part of the grounds.

Past the army camp Bonner showed Excalibur as he topped a hill and seemed to disappear. Bonner then pointed out the white and orange pointer standing in a thicket near the creek before McGee’s Castle — all good at flush and shot. Bonner and scout Scott Griffin gathered everything up and headed toward McGee’s Castle. At times, Excalibur had to be ridden far, but was returned to the official party in plenty of time. He had one of the better races of the stake and a sure enough good fine. It was an exciting hour.

In the ninth brace Show Girl’s Mike and Mohawk Mill Gangster got the gallery’s attention with a strong race and a beautiful find far to the front by Gangster and a back by Mike.

AMATEUR ALL-AGE [One-Hour Heats] — 18 Pointers

and 4 Setters

1st—MOHAWK MILL IMAGE, 1657438, pointer male, by Mohawk Mill Pirate—Bevy's Mean Girl. Gary S. Winall, owner and handler.

2d—MOHAWK MILL TRAIL WARRIOR, 1676193, pointer male, by Stoney Run's Buddy—Miller's Fancy Lady. Gary S. Winall, owner and handler.

3d—BONNER'S EXCALIBUR, 1680103, pointer male, by Ransom—Miller's Martha White. Derek Bonner, owner and handler.

AMATEUR DERBY

There were ten entries in the Amateur Derby and the quality of the performances was high.

The winner was I’m Southern Smoke, a setter male that placed second in the Open Derby. Smoke had rendered an outstanding race in the Open Derby and he repeated the same type of performance in the Amateur on a different course. The Giddens-Brown setter drew the first part of the normal No. 3 course and he took it all in. He especially appealed in the S turn area where there are several sharp turns. Smoke made them all, seemly appearing far up front all the time.

He had the only bird work in the stake. It happened in the Kerry Field and was handled in acceptable derby fashion.

Smoke was one of the stars of the trial. A great ground performance in the Open and Amateur Derby he had.

Sammy and Nida Giddens have been in charge of his development. He spent the summer in Luke Eisenhart’s camp before his Derby season.

The Giddens team seems to have a special relationship with Smoke. He is co-owned by longtime setter supporter Skip Brown and was scouted by Whitney Stephenson this trial.

Mohawk Mill Bad Boy was placed second on his race. He had won the Open Derby with a good ground effort and bird work.Here he had another good effort on the ground, but no game. He has a bright future ahead of him.

Mohawk Mill Legacy’s Price placed third with no game contact but the same type of performance ground wise as the two places above him. Winall just keeps bringing on the good ones.

AMATEUR DERBY — 8 Pointers and 2 Setters

1st—I'M SOUTHERN SMOKE, 1690108, setter male, by Awsum In Motion—Cape Point Millbilly. Sammy & Nida Giddens & A. Q. Brown, owners; Sammy Giddens, handler.

2d—MOHAWK MILL BAD BOY, 1689634, pointer male, by Stoney RUn's Buddy—Miller's Fancy Lady. Gary S. Winall, owner and handler.

3d—MOHAWK MILL LEGACY'S PRIDE, 1685787, pointer male, by Mohawk Mill Pirate's Legacy—Mohawk Mill  Zeva. Gary S. Winall, owner and handler.

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