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Open Shooting Dog Classic

Tootsie Hurdle Field Trial Club

By William Smith | Feb 05, 2020
Tootsie Hurdle Open Shooting Dog Classic Winners. Back, from left: Bryan Wood, Tommy Rice with Touch’s Two Step, Korry  Rinehart, Steve Hurdle with S F Fullcolor, William Smith, judge; Eddy Taylor with Tallokas Sun Dial, Stan Noble, judge; Edmond James and Jack Griffith, joined in foreground by fans and supporters.

Blue Mountain, Miss. — The 30th renewal of the Tootsie Hurdle Field Trial Club’s annual event began on December 28 at the Hell Creek Wildlife Management Area near Blue Mountain, Miss.

This year’s affair, however,  had a different twist. Prior to this year, this competition has been known as the Tootsie Hurdle Open All-Age. It is now an Open event for shooting dogs.

This year’s entry tallied 20 hopefuls —19 pointers and 1 setter. The companion Derby was cancelled.

The club extends appreciation to the handlers who came and the owners who approved their handlers entering the trial. Eddy Taylor, Tommy Rice and Steve Hurdle made up the handlers’ contingent.

With the change from all-age to shooting dog, a new date for the trial will be investigated in order to avoid conflicting with other trials at this time of the year.

Stan Noble traveled 200 miles from Santa Fe, Tenn., to officiate. This marked Stan’s first visit to Hell Creek and he was impressed with what he witnessed and experienced.

Stan has been involved in field trials for many years; he is certainly qualified to judge the performances. He was attentive to every competitor and he looked for the good qualities and not the bad ones. His focus was to award the best performance and not to award a sub par performance. I have worked with Stan before and look forward to working with him again.

The state of Mississippi provides the grounds, the clubhouse, a forty-run concrete kennel, and the forty-stall barn and outside corrals for the public to enjoy field trials. These grounds and facilities are some of the best in the nation.

Jack Griffith, employed by Mississippi Game and Fish, drives the dog wagon and provides protection at the road crossings. Jack makes sure that things run smoothly and the grounds and facilities are ready for the next trial. Our thanks to Jack for all that he does for field trials at Hell Creek.

Sportsman’s Pride dog food sponsored this trial and they provide sponsorship for several other trials in Region 6.  Sportsman’s Pride is manufactured by Sunshine Mills located in Red Bay, Ala. Their sponsorship is a real boost for our sport. In addition to the gifts of hats, pens, dog food, etc., their willingness to participate is very much appreciated by all. A little known fact is that Sunshine Mills was the first company to sponsor an amateur field trial. They have supported our sport for many years. Thank you sales representative Brad Kennedy and Sunshine Mills for all you do.

The noon meal on Saturday and Sunday were provided free of charge to all who came. A southern style barbecue was served on Saturday complete with baked beans, slaw, potato chips, and an array of desserts. Steve Hurdle’s daughter, Whitney, and her husband, Brad Wood, made a delicious stew for the Sunday fare, and Steve’s wife, Karen, supplied cornbread muffins to complete a southern tradition. There were many compliments for the food and the service provided by all the volunteers who helped with the meals.

Saturday’s weather brought scattered showers throughout the day. Sunday saw a steady rain that was uncomfortable for man, equine, and canine, but in spite of the conditions there were several good performances rendered.

THE WINNERS

Tommy Rice brought Touch’s Two Step to the competition from Georgia to run in the fifth brace for owners John and Cathy Burrow of South Fulton, Tenn.

Three times during Two Step’s bid he was found dead to the front standing rigidly on birds. His first find was at 7, his second at 14, and his last at 18. He suffered an unproductive stand at 32, but this did not detract from his powerful race or his intensity and style on his game. His performance was one that was even more impressive because of the rain.

Owners Jack Montgomery and Traci Hammond of Greensboro, Pa., were rewarded when their entry, S F Fullcolor, was named to the runner-up spot. Steve Hurdle handled in the sixth brace. The coming three-year-old white and orange female made the mud fly and the water “rooster tails” splash as she traveled over the muddy, wet course.

In the long bottom she held the edge to the end and turned into the huge soybean field south of the clubhouse. She scored her first find at 43. The elements had not taken a toll on her. She was still running strong at 58 when she nailed a covey in the pines behind headquarters. She was high and tight on both of her finds and stood for the shot.

With only a little more than a minute left, she took the east edge of the bottom out of the pines. At time Hurdle rode a long way to get her.

Tommy Rice was back in the winners’ circle when Tallokas Sun Dial was named to third for Tallokas Kennels in Thomasville, Ga. Dial ran in the fourth brace. As with all the braces, conditions were not favorable to having a good performance or to locating the elusive quail, but Dial succeeded to beat the odds. Just past the halfway mark at 32 the first find was in the books. Ten minutes later, at 42, the second and last find was tallied.

A lot of ground was covered in this hour. Dial kept his composure throughout the hour despite the conditions. His stamina was never in question. His style was picturesque when Tommy fired over the motionless hunter. He finished on a huge cast along a feed strip going away proving he had not lost any desire or speed during the hour.

Blue Mountain, Miss., December 28

Judges: Stan Noble and William Smith

TOOTSIE HURDLE OPEN SHOOTING DOG CLASSIC [One-Hour Heats] — 19 Pointers and 1 Setter

1st—TOUCH’S TWO STEP, 1661246, pointer male, by House’s Ring of Fire—Touch’s Sandy. John & Cathy Burrow, owners; Tommy Rice, handler.

2d—S F FULLCOLOR, 1675689, pointer female, by S F Bandwagon—S  F Rushhour. Jack Montgomery & Traci L. Hammond, owners; Steve Hurdle, handler.

3d—TALLOKAS SUN DIAL, 1673609, pointer female, by Miller’s Dialing In—White Diamond Sally. Tallokas Kennels, owner; Tommy Rice, handler.

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