The Sunflower Open All-Age Classic and Derby
November 11th. 2017, to conclusion, Hell Creek WMA. Blue Mountain, MS. Judges: Dr. Stan Wint, of Gardner, KS and Mr. Eddie Berendzen of Columbia, MO.
Our trial was generously sponsored by Brad Kennedy, and Sportsman’s Pride, dog food.
Brad was here at the trial, every day, rode, helped scout, and was available to do whatever was needed. Without sportsman like Brad, to help, both financially, and in person, along with the corporate sponsorship, trials will soon be history.
Miss Patty, my pretty, strong right arm, once again, spent long hours, making sure everything got done from taking care of our animals to setting out lunch.
Steve and Karen Hurdle, our local Mississippi contingent, always make putting on a trial 600 miles from home much easier.
We drew 12 dogs in the derby, but it was a quality field, and both the first and second placed dogs pointed birds. Ike Todd placed Touch’s Malcomb Story first for Alex Rickert of Bozeman, MT, with a strong ground race, and two finds. Second was Game Storm for Dr. Fred Corder, also handled by Ike. Storm had a strong to the front race, with one find. Third was Button Up for Julie Roach, handled by Steve Hurdle. Button Up is fast, classy, and ran a powerful out front race, however, without known bird contacts. Weather for the derby was clear and mild to hot. The grounds needed a killing frost to make the birds more accessible to the dogs. Cover after a wet summer is high and thick. Jack Griffin, Hell Creek WMA manager, had the grounds well groomed, and the crops were all out. The three spacious courses at Hell Creek all afford the dogs equal opportunity to win.
In the Classic, the weather was variable, and a high came through making bird finding difficult. Lester’s Sunny Hill Joe, ran Sunday afternoon in the sixth brace, on the big bottoms below the brick house. Joe put on a clinic of how to show in big, big, bottoms. He ran just inside the edges, with speed and determination. The fields are huge, the edges long, and he never came out. Not on one cast. Always just inside the edges, field after field, always just one field ahead of the handler, judges, and gallery. He would be coming out of the far edge as we entered from the near side. Always to the front, in constant communication with his handler, Gary Lester. As time was running out, the tension was mounting, would he find birds? After crossing the steel bridge, making the dog leg, he rimmed the last field south of Hell Creek, and disappeared. Both handler and scout, Mark Haynes, rode to explore. Joe came out from the old closed road, and pointed in river cane, just before the wooden bridge. The Marshall was asked to ride to the road side, to observe, and spied birds running off, down the ditch, as Lester was crashing in the cane. The shot was fired, and Joe watered and taken to the front. The time was 57 minutes, Hell Creek was crossed, and Joe sent down the far edge to finish on a big swing.
Whippoorwill Foto Op, owner Ken Blackman, for handler Larry Huffman, ran the second brace, Monday morning. She showed power and speed, and was not shown much the first 30 minutes. Coming out of the church pines, she was found buried in heavy green cover, a covey in front of her. Her race the last 30 minutes was a more moderate controlled, out front exhibition to gain her second in this large stake. Ken in the road gallery, watching, all smiles. A sigh of relief for Larry and scout Nick Thompson at pick-up.
Third was Mega Black Hawk Progeny for Bob Craig, and handler Steve Hurdle. Hawk drew the same course as Sunny Hill Joe. On any other day, his race and birdwork, could have won. But not today. His race was very similar to the winners, and his bird work came in the first big field after crossing the north/south ditch. Steve sent him around the right hand edge, and after turning at the far end, pointed under the oaks along the edge. He also ran the bean edges to perfection, pushing out the front end on cast after cast. His finish was out front and he still had gas in the tank.
The stake drew 44 dogs, 41 pointers, 3 setters. Handlers in attendance were Ike Todd, Steve Hurdle, Larry Huffman, Jamie Daniels, Mark McLean, Weldon Bennett, Dr. Fred Corder, and Gary Lester. These gentlemen made the trial enjoyable as they helped one another, and pitched in to help when needed. The club furnished sandwiches for lunch every day .
Jack Griffin also drove the dog wagon every day. We much appreciate the State of Mississippi and the Hell Creek WMA.
The 2017 Sunflower Open All Age Classic
Hell Creek WMA, Blue Mountain, MS.
Generously sponsored by Brad Kennedy & Sportsman's Pride
Starts Saturday, November 11, 2017 until Conclusion
National Championship Qualifier, Purina Points
OPEN DERBY (30 Min.), $150
Judges: Stan Wint, Gardner, KS and Eddie Berrington, Columbia, MO
OPEN ALL AGE (1 Hour), $325 *
Judges: Stan Wint, Gardner, KS and Ed Berrington, Columbia, MO
*Includes $20 NFTCA fee
DRAWING ON Thursday, November 9, 2017
6:30 PM @ Clubhouse
Entries to: Steve Hurdle, 662-471-0415 or Bud Moore, 620-750-0361