2013 Sunflower Open All Age Classic
Karen Hurdle with Mega Black Hawk Progeny, Luke Eisenhart with Erin's Foolish Pride. Back row: Jack Griffin, Steve Hurdle, CW Bud Moore (judge), Tom Curtsinger (judge), Steve Coleman.
2013 Sunflower Open Derby
Karen Hurdle, Austin Mann with Dazzling, Lee Phillips with Lester's Jazz Man, Ike Todd with Touch's Black Out, Blair Todd, Patty Moore (judge). Back row: Steve Hurdle, CW Bud Moore (judge), Gary Lester.

OPEN DERBY (30 minutes) Winners:
1st: Dazzling, handler Steve Hurdle, owner Sunny Hill Plantation
2nd: Lester's Jazz Man, handler/owner Gary Lester
3rd: Touch's Black Out, handler Ike Todd, owners Ike Todd/Keith Wright
Judges: CW Bud Moore, Toronto, KS and Patty Black Moore, Toronto, KS

OPEN ALL-AGE (1 Hour) Winners:
1st: Mega Black Hawk Progeny, handler Steve Hurdle, owners Bob & Serena Craig/John Sayre
2nd: Erin's Foolish Pride, handler Luke Eisenhart
3rd: Miller's Dialin In, handler/owner Gary Lester
Judges: Tom Curtsinger, Collinsville, OK and CW Bud Moore, Toronto, KS
Reporter and Trial Chairman: CW Bud Moore, Toronto, KS

Hell Creek on a clear November day is, for a field trialer, beautiful! This writer has never seen the grounds in better shape. Summer mowing by Steve Coleman and his staff has opened up much of the piney woods in such a way as to offer vistas not seen for a long time. We needed a frost for great bird work, but plenty of birds were pointed, and many more seen.   One of our judges had a truck breakdown and could not make the trip; so this writer filled in to judge. Patty and Bud Moore judged 20 derbies and what a stake! Judge Patty wrote in her book of the winner: “great find at 20, good forward race, good finish, pretty, take her home!” I think that is what we are all looking for, the one you want to take home.  

We placed Dazzling first for Steve Hurdle; Lester’s Jazz Man second for Gary Lester; and Touch’s Black Out for Keith Wright and Ike Todd, third. All had all-age races combined with good, well-handled bird work; and it was very obvious that the males were young fall derbies. Four other derbies had good bird work, but lacked enough to move these three off the leader board.  

In the All Age, Mega Black Hawk Progeny handled by Steve Hurdle continued his winning ways. His finish separated him from Erin’s Foolish Pride handled by Luke Eisenhart, named second. Both dogs had great first 30 minutes, but Pride shortened the last little bit, probably bird hunting the late afternoon feeding scents. Progeny finished in the big bottoms below the brick house, and Hurdle wisely blew him out around and through the harvested corn fields.  

Gary Lester wisely piloted Millers Dialin In around the second afternoon course with a big, big race and one find in standing Egyptian wheat where only one quail was seen, but others heard. The dog nice under trying conditions. If you have ever heard a gallery ride through standing dry grain, you understand. This fine piece of bird work earned him third in a tough stake.  

Ferrell Miller and his wife were riding this beautiful afternoon. It was wonderful to see the master innovator again. One can never be around him without learning much. Others in the gallery were Bob and Serena Craig and John Sayre to see their Star Dust Chazz and Progeny. They were not disappointed. Several of the locals came and many rode the dog wagon. Dutch, Hoyle and John especially were welcomed. John Rex and Diane Gates were welcome visitors also. Dr. Huffman looked great.  

Enough cannot be said about Hell Creek. Jack and Steve ramrod the crew. Not a stone is left unturned. Even my judging partner, Tom Curtsinger kept remarking about the presence of the two W.M.A. trucks, and Jack pulling the dog wagon along with all the road crossings being monitored. Bonnie and Bill Plowman came every day to feed us hot lunches. It’s wonderful to be catered to in this way.  

Tom’s coming to judge was greatly appreciated. Tom came up through the ranks of the N.B.H.A. having won several national titles and events. After he graduated to the horseback trials his success continued. On his way home from Hell Creek, he stopped at Inola, OK and won the Region 8 Amateur All Age Championship. Congratulations Tom and Victor.   My thanks to Patty for helping judge the derby and for keeping me running. To Steve and Karen Hurdle for being friends and front “men”. To John Rex and Diane. To the law enforcement team that came and fixed a true southern fish dinner with all the trimmings, co-sponsored by Gary Lester, for last year’s winner, Lester’s White Out. If I missed someone, my apologies. It was unintentional. If you have not attended a trial at Hell Creek, shame on you. You have missed out on a little piece of heaven.  ~Bud

The 2013 Sunflower Open All Age Classic
Hell Creek W.M.A., Blue Mountain, MS, November 10-13, 2013
Kansas Bird Dogs