American Field

Valiant — Deserving Candidate for the Hall of Fame

By Kevin Dixon | Jun 10, 2021

Sulphur Springs, Tex. — Whoever coined the phrase “the good die young” certainly knew what they were talking about. The truly great ones always leave us wanting more when so much more seems left to give.

No better example of this is a dog given the ideal name: Valiant.

Royal Open All-Age Field Trial blood filled his body and he lived up to that standard in the highest of order.

Sired by Champion Miller’s Happy Jack out of Tina’s Tear Drop, bred and whelped by Pat Kammerlocher in Norman, Okla., with help from Larry Garner; Valiant was the pick of the litter by his handler Randy Anderson and original owner Scott Griffin.

From the time Valiant arrived at Cross Country Kennel’s in Vinita, Okla.; Randy knew he had a special prospect with high potential for success. In April, 2014 Scott Griffin sold Valiant to Jay McKenzie of Eureka, Kan. Perhaps no owner has ever shown more support or displayed more affection for his dog as Jay did for Valiant. Jay’s love, support, pride for and devotion to Valiant was always clearly on display and it was reciprocated in grand style. Rarely, if ever, regardless of travel distance, did Jay miss an opportunity to watch his great dog compete and win at the highest level.

Valiant was a top twelve Derby and invited to the American Derby Invitational. He collected 22 career placements during his short career. His first Open All-Age Championship was the 2017 Oklahoma Championship at Inola, Okla., and we knew he had more in store, much more.

Valiant’s epic run of dominating brilliance began in August, 2019 on the prairies of Canada when named Manitoba Champion. In October, 2019, he was back in Inola for his second win of the Oklahoma Championship. Early November, 2019 found him declared Southland Champion with no runner-up named. Later that same November he ran away from the exclusive field of contenders at the prestigious Quail Championship Invitational in Paducah, Ky., and was named champion of that endurance stake. To cap this amazing run of brilliance he won a fifth title at the Southern Championship in early 2020, also an endurance stake. During this stretch of dominance it should be noted that he also took two firsts at the Pelican All-Age and the Prairie All-Age.

Valiant was the 2019-20 Purina Dog of the Year and also won the prestigious 2019-20 Joe Hurdle Award.

Certainly this run of dominance is historic to the highest level of competition in the sport of field trialing and will forever be difficult to duplicate. Additionally, he held runner-up championships of both the Oklahoma and Border International.

As unbelievable of an accomplishment as the  five championship wins are for that short stretch of time, perhaps it will be the one that he didn’t win that immortalizes his name forever. Very few times in life does a person witness unforgettable greatness. If you were fortunate to be riding in the afternoon gallery February 18, 2020 at Ames Plantation for the National Championship, you witnessed it. In absolute miserable conditions — driving rain, high gusting winds, sloppy deep mud and bitter cold — Valiant endured and delivered a stellar three-hour performance. A performance alone worthy of this endorsement.

In closing, may my writing of this be cast away and quickly forgotten while a valiant effort, given by a valiant champion, worthy and deserving of everlasting memory, be forever enshrined in the Bird Dog Hall of Fame for all to acknowledge a dog aptly named . . . Valiant.

Two-time Oklahoma Champion; Manitoba Champion; Southland Champion; Quail Championship Invitational Winner; Southern Champion; Oklahoma R-U Champion; Border International R-U Champion.

It is my honor and privilege to endorse Valiant for the 2021 Field Trial Hall of Fame.


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