2023 Hall of Fame Nominations - Updated Weekly
Submitted by peers in the field trial community
June 2, 2023
Source: Dinora Wellmann
Department: UKC Hunting Ops/American Field
Pictured above are the 2022 inductees: David Johnson, Fred Rayl, Miller's Happy Jack, Just Irresistible. Read more on the 2022 inductees on page 2 of the December UKC Field Newsletter
Nominations received as of 6/2/23. Nominations are updated weekly, each Friday.
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HALL OF FAME / FIELD TRIAL PERSONALITY
Submitted by Jack Griffin
During the twenty years I have known and observed Gary Lester, I have come to appreciate his knowledge and dedication to the sport. Gary has won six National Championships. He conducts himself as a gentleman and is always willing to help others. Gary is qualified and deserving to be in the Field Trial Hall of Fame. I ask you to join me and honor Gary Lester's dedication and success by voting for him to be elected into the Field Trial Hall of Fame.
Submitted by Joe Don House
I would like to nominate Gary Lester for the Field Trial Hall of Fame. I have personally known Gary for over twenty-five years. He more than meets the qualifications for this honor. He has much knowledge about handling champion birddogs and is always willing to share his insights with others. Gary has campaigned many champion dogs in his distinguished career. He is consistently giving back and showing his dedication to the continuation of the sport of field trialing which he has been involved with for the past twenty years. Gary has won most of the larger trials in the United States including the National more than once. He has been involved in managing trials and judging field trials at all levels.
Submitted by Dr. Ron Deal
Gary Lester has contributed to our sport as a competitor, a breeder and developer of young dogs and before turning pro, as a sought-after judge.
Significant achievements include six National Championship titles with five different dogs plus developing two more dogs that won the National title. Lester's Snowatch, Gary's first National Champion, is in the Hall of Fame.
Gary has handled the Purina Dog of the Year twice and Amateur Dog of Year once. His dogs have excelled in endurance stakes, winning thirteen open titles with heats over an hour. Lester dogs win in the piney woods and in their more familiar edge country.
Gary Lester has won three National Derby Championships, the Continental Derby Championship, plus multiple All America Derby and Invitational Derby Championships.
Gary also has an impressive amateur record. He won both the National Amateur Quail Championship and the National Amateur Invitational Championship plus multiple regional titles.
A major contribution of Gary's has been the breeding and development of dogs with stamina that run and point birds with style. These dogs are continuing to improve the pointer breed.
Gary Lester deserves to be in the HOF for his multiple contributions over time.
Submitted by Robert Pettit
Casting my vote for Rich Robertson. An honorable man who believes in fair play and the best dog wins. I competed against Rich in the seventies and eighties. As a trainer/handler there's none better. As a friend he's at the top of the list. He's developed and handled many Champions in top flight competitions. There are many people deserving of the Hall Of Fame but Rich Robertson should be at the top of that list.
Submitted by Alex Mauck
I would Like to Nominate Richard Robertson Jr. for the Hall Of Fame. I have known Rich for over 40 years. Rich's first trip south and to The National Championship was around 1985. Rich was 25 and I was 28. Tekoa Mountain Hope, granddam to HOF Tekoa Mountain Sunrise was one of two dogs Rich had qualified. That trip left us with a lifetime of stories but more importantly launched Rich's career as one of the best trainer/handlers of all time. Rich would take English Setters to the National for over thirty years as well as many prominent pointers. Two of those setters are in The Hall of Fame, Tekoa Mountain Sunrise and Hick's Rising Son. Over 90% of setters that have made it to the National from 1988 through 2023 will have Tekoa Mountain Sunrise in their pedigree within 4 or 5 generations. Rich played a big part in many of their breeding's.
Rich has won over 150 Championships in 17 states as well as two Canadian Provinces. Who knows how many Champions he has scouted, often beating himself. He has judged many major trials and offered his ranch now owned by Keith and Bobby Richardson for trials. Rich is well known to always being available to mentor or help anyone in the sport.
However, with all of Rich's accomplishments and contributions to our sport what is of equal importance to me is his and his wife's Penny's generosity and willingness to open their house and hearts to anyone in need of a helping hand, often when being so generous created a financial hardship for them.
I cannot think of anyone more deserving to be in the Hall Of Fame than Richard Robertson Jr.
Richard Robertson, Jr.
Submitted by Stephen Asher
This letter is in support of the nomination of Richard Robertson, Jr. for the Field Trial Hall of Fame. I have known Richard for over 40 years during which he has demonstrated qualities not only as a trainer and handler, but also as a mentor, judge, club member, and trial organizer. We were together on the Canada prairies where I saw his wizardry with the dogs he later campaigned throughout the U.S.
His skills have led to 32 appearances at the National Championship, where he has handled 64 separate dogs, including Tekoa Mountain Hope, Tekoa Mountain Knikki, Tekoa Mountain Sunrise, Hick's Rising Sun, Alamance Little Rock, Brick Church Sundrop, Desert Rambler, Pacesetter's Equinox, Tommy B, T's Gunrunner; two of these are now in the Field Trial Hall of Fame.
Although he has competed with other pointing breeds, Richard's dedication has been to the all-age English Setter. As a result of the Robertson's breedings, their dogs have become the foundation of the modern setter. He has been a sound and encouraging voice for novices to the sport and a resource of wisdom for those more knowledgeable.
Richard Jr. represents the best qualities that serve to perpetuate the essence of field trialing.
Rich Robertson, Jr.
Submitted by Emily, Penny and April
When I think of bird dogs and hard work there are a few names that come to mind, and while this may come off as biased, the first that comes to mind is Rich Robertson Jr. He has trained two Hall of Fame inductees and it's time he joins them.
Rich has a growing win record of 150 championship wins and that is not counting the ones he has helped other trainers win. Rich isn't just a trainer he is one of the most selfless humans on this planet. He is always one of the first to lend a hand whenever one is needed.
From the west coast to the east coast, the prairies of Canada and everywhere in between this man has won or placed in just about every trial possible. He took a short retirement before coming back. That is the thing about legends, you can't keep them away from doing what they love.
I have waited my entire life to write this nomination. So, please join my family and all of his friends in this journey of inducting Rich Robertson Jr. There is no one more deserving of this honor.
Submitted by Christy Swearingen
We would like to nominate Sandy Walker for Field Trial Hall of Fame. He has been not only a competitor but a huge supporters for our sport for over 30 years and continues to this day as a supporter. Even though we lost Sandy in 2022 his wife and son still carry on his tradition. There are 3 trials held on his grounds. Tha National Invitational Shooting Dog, Robin Gates Memorial and the "big" derby as well as Round Pond Amateur Shooting Dog Classic. Even with Sandy's passing the tradition is still being carried on. Please join us in nominating Sandy Walker for Field Trial Hall of Fame.
Submitted by Jim Atchison
I have known David Williams for more than 30 years. I believe he is one of the most passionate people about field trialing I have ever known. In fact, I think he "checks every box" for induction into the Field Trial Hall of Fame and hope you will join me in supporting his nomination. In this limited space (200 words or less) I would like to mention some of those numerous contributions he has made to this sport. They include the outstanding field trial venue he has created and which he generously shares with numerous other clubs and organizations. Additionally, David has served a leader who has held many elected and appointed offices on the local, regional, and national levels. He breeds, raises, trains, and successfully campaigns his dogs of the "Rebel" bloodline. He judges, scouts, marshals, and freely helps many individuals and clubs. He supports the professional counterpart of field trialing. And finally, David's character, demeanor, and hospitable ways are most admirable. His love for his family, his reputation as an honorable man, and his welcoming and hospitable ways add immeasurably to field trialing. Please help secure this Hall of Fame recognition for our friend, David Williams.
Submitted by Lisa Corinne Suiter Little
Throughout my field trial experiences, I have had the honor of meeting many fantastic people. But I believe it is difficult to find a field trialer that gives more generously to our sport than David Williams. I would like to draw your attention to two examples of that generosity that I have personally witnessed. In the summer of 2020, military personnel at Fort Campbell Military Installation informed me that we would no longer have access to the grounds. In response to the situation, David invited us to permanently move the American Quail Classic Open All-Age field trial, along with the Clarksville Pointer & Setter and the Clarksville Bird Dog amateur field trials to the Huntingdon, TN grounds. Those three trials would no longer be in existence if it wasn't for this wonderful gift. In May of 2019, I was elected to the position of the Region 6 Secretary. During my tenure I have relied upon David's insight and wisdom in various situations. I could not have asked for a better friend, mentor, counselor, and fellow competitor. I encourage each of you to support the nomination of David Williams into the Field Trial Hall of Fame.
Submitted by Allison Williams Daniels
I have had the amazing privilege to have been exposed and encouraged to participate in our great sport since I was born. I am forever grateful and have my father, David Williams, to thank for laying that foundation in my life.
My father's passion began at a young age quail hunting around his home in West Tennessee. Since the 1980s, he has taken great pride in breeding, developing, training, handling, scouting and judging dogs in Amateur and Open stakes, in both the Shooting Dog and All Age circuits. He has given endless time and effort, volunteering on numerous boards and committees over the years -- my dad has always served without hesitation.
The most significant and beloved part of my dad's involvement in this sport is hosting field trials at my family's farm in Carroll County, Tennessee. Since the early 90s, he has graciously hosted in excess of 100 stakes on this land that he put together. The time, enormous financial commitment and devotion to this part of his hobby is all for his love of the sport.
Through his extraordinary efforts, my father has been a true ambassador to field trials in every aspect for nearly the past half century. I proudly nominate and ask for your support in electing this very deserving man, David Williams, into the Field Trial Hall of Fame.
Submitted by Gary McKibben
I bought a setter puppy from David Williams in 1979. Our first conversation was about bird dogs and over the last 44 years 99% of our conversations have been about bird dogs. I'd wager our last conversation will also be about bird dogs. David is and has always been dedicated to the advancement and preservation of field trials and bird dogs. To look at the field trial grounds he has bought and developed in Carroll Co Tennessee are proof. David has participated in all aspects in the field trial world. He breeds, raises, trains and runs most of his dogs. He has offered his time and energy in many different capacities as officer in numerous clubs including past president of the AFTCA. David has exhibited all of the qualifications that are expected of someone that is enshrined in the Field Trial Hall of Fame. Please join in his support of this honor.
Submitted by Quintin Wiseman
Before I met David Williams I had heard of his Carroll County grounds and all the work and money he puts into them and his pre-release program to ensure a top quality field trial. Fast forward to when I went there for the first time to judge the Carroll County Open All-Age. I could instantly see there had been a lot of time and money invested into the grounds. The way I was treated by David while there judging was unbelievable. About the time I thought we judges were being treated special, I took notice he was treating everyone with the same respect! David Williams is the epitome of the HOF as he has selflessly given as much or more back to the sport as anyone involved and never asks for anything in return. He and I had lengthy talks and he was a big supporter getting the United States Amateur Derby Invitational off the ground and he was full of advice when asked. I enthusiastically support David Williams for HOF!
Submitted by Michael Shears
I would like to nominate David Williams for the field trial Hall of Fame. David was one of the first people I met when I began field trialing in 1987. My first trip to North Dakota was with David. I have ridden many horseback miles along side David. David scouted my dogs many times over the years, often with more enthusiasm than the dogs. I have often judged with David, and spent many nights on the road with him chasing placements. I know David. David has been a club official, regional officer, National Trustee and past president of the AFTCA and Region 6. His family farm supports numerous club trials and has hosted Regional and National Championships. David prepares these grounds immaculately each year at his personal expense. David is humble and generous and asks nothing in return. He allows many to train on his grounds.
There are many contributors to our sport, and all are to be celebrated. But, at this time, I believe it would honor our sport and the HOF to recognize David Williams who has committed a lifetime to the betterment and support of field trials and trialers.
Submitted by Ike Todd
People like Mr. David are what halls of fame are designed for. His unselfish devotion to field trials over such a goodly period has been widespread. He has campaigned dogs with professionals and as an amateur, raised and developed many noteworthy dogs. He has served as Region 6 Trustee, a director and past president of the AFTCA as well on the boards of countless field trial clubs and organizations. He has repeatedly served as an impartial judge. His generosity in providing some of the finest field trial grounds in the country may be his most important and lasting contribution. On top of all that, Mr. David is a genuinely nice person, nurturing relationships with newcomers and veteran field trialers alike. It's a privilege and honor to formally endorse Mr. David Williams for Field Trial Hall of Fame.
Submitted by Keith Wright
For the last 20 years I have had the pleasure and opportunity to participate in field trials all over the country. In that time I have been to some wonderful places and met some wonderful people. Of all the places that I have been and all the people that I have met there is nobody who has contributed more to the sport of field trialing than David Williams.
He has bred dogs, supported trainers and handlers, judged countless field trials, served the AFTCA, and hosted countless field trials on the farm in Carroll County, Tennessee.
There has never been anyone more qualified for admission into the Field Trial Hall of Fame than David Williams.
Occasionally a person becomes eligible for admission who is so deserving that one picks up the telephone and asks the question, "what can I do to help?" This is a prime example of that case.
Please join me in voting for the enshrinement of Mr. David Williams into the Field Trial Hall Of Fame.
Submitted by Joe and Tessa Hughes
Joe and I are delighted to recommend David Williams for the Hall of Fame. He has supported the Alabama Field Trial Club for many years by not only attending our trials but also by often judging and scouting. He also supports championships run in our and other regions.
David works hard to ensure his grounds at Carroll County are impeccable and full of birds and that everyone in attendance at trials held there feels welcome. David also generously welcomes other clubs to use his grounds to host their trials or championships.
David is a leader in our sport, having served as President of the Carroll County FTC, a R.6 officer, and an AFTCA Trustee and President. In this role, he has often been a quiet voice of reason for those who have raised concerns regarding sportsmanship and other rule disputes.
David has also served as an adviser to many of us and possesses a wealth of knowledge on rules and how to run a trial and championship.
For all of these reasons there is no better candidate for admission to the Field Trial Hall of Fame.
Submitted by Kent Walker
There are givers, and there are takers in this sport. David Williams has given his time, his land, his money, his support and his absolute dedication to the betterment of bird dog field trials. His commitment to the AFTCA and Region 6 are well noted. His perpetuation of the Rebel bloodlines are noteworthy. His support of the amateur and the professional field trailer is well documented. David is both a giver and a doer. This is what the Hall of Fame is all about.
Please join me in support of David Williams for the Field Trial Hall of Fame.
HALL OF FAME / FIELD TRIAL DOG
No nominations received yet as of 6/2/23
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