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Result: Sunflower Field Trial Club

Location: Blue Mountain, Mississippi

Post Date: Feb 8, 2024

Submitted By: Rachel Russell

Sunflower OAAF23

Sunflower Open All-Age Classic Winners (l-r): Karen Blackwell holding granddaughter Olivia Russell, Melanie Shenker, Korry Rinehart with Southern Thunder, Tom Shenker, Billy Blackwell with Como Rain, Morgan Brewer (judge), Melissa Green with Lester's Storm Surge, Gary Lester, Elton Bray (judge), Ferrell Miller, and David Russell.

We enjoy hosting the Sunflower Classic Open All-Age and Derby every year at the beautiful Hell Creek Wildlife Management Area just outside of Blue Mountain, Mississippi.

The All-Age was judged by Morgan Brewer of Union Springs, Alabama, and Elton Bray of Holly Springs, Mississippi. It began on Saturday, November 4, under sunny skies and temps in the 40s, rising to the mid-70s in the afternoon.

The Running
Coldwater War Cry (PM/Weldon Bennett) and Lester's Front Porch (PM/Gary Lester) turned loose at 8:00 a.m. Front Porch had a UP in the pines across the first road crossing at 15. Another UP followed for War Cry at 39 in the big bottom before the second road crossing at CR 75.

Brody Byrd handled Superstition's Jake (PM), and David Russell handled Haney's Hurricane Seeker (PM). Seeker acquired his first UP at 10 at the end of the long bottom before the first road crossing before the grain bin field. Jake and Seeker had a divided at 28, followed by a UP for Seeker at 41, and he was picked up. Jake finished the hour.

The third brace began back at the clubhouse, with David Russell handling Como Rain (PM) and Weldon Bennett handling Coldwater Odyssey (PM). Rain had a find at 23 in the first field across Hell Creek, followed by a back for Odyssey at 35, where he scored his first find. Bennett asked for the tracker at 45. Rain acquired his second and final find just before pick up at 58 before crossing Hell Creek to head back to the clubhouse.

Haney's Silver Dollar (PM/Chris Cagle) and Lester's Storm Surge (PM/Gary Lester) turned loose after the lunch break for the fourth brace. Silver Dollar was picked up at 10 for a breach of manners, and Storm Surge went on to have a find at 53 in the grain bin field before he finished the hour.

Korry Rinehart handled Bonner's Hot Rize (PM), and Chris Cagle handled Haney's Storm Warning (PM) in the fifth brace that turned loose at the road crossing behind the old house. Hot Rize had a UP at 3 behind the old house, and Storm Warning had a productive find at 7 in front of the house on the right before completing the hour.

Rock Acre Yellow Hawk (PM/Brody Byrd) was braced with Beeler's White Knight (PM/Scott Beeler). Knight had a UP just before crossing Hell Creek, and the afternoon wrapped up without any more birdwork.

The seventh brace turned loose the following morning with Haney's Pure Joy (PF/Chris Cagle) and Como Thunder (PM/David Russell). Joy acquired her first find at the end of the pines just across the first road crossing at 21. Thunder acquired a UP at 25 just before crossing the mile-long bottom, and both dogs went on to finish the hour.

Late Hit (PM/Tom Shenker) and Lester's King Post (PM/Gary Lester) were braced together for the eighth brace. Late hit acquired a UP at 06, with a back from King Post.

Mike Lemons scratched Arkansas Threat due to a horse-related injury, so the bye dog, Beeler's Texas Jig (PM/Scott Beeler), moved into the ninth and final brace to be braced with Southern Thunder (PM/Tom Shenker). Beeler picked Jig up at 20, and Shenker took Southern Thunder on to showcase a big, front-running race with one perfect find at 35 after crossing Hell Creek the second time.

Southern Thunder, handled by Tom Shenker and owned by Chris Campbell, was awarded first place. Second place went to Como Rain, handled by David Russell and owned by Billy Blackwell, and Lester's Storm Surge, handled by Gary Lester and owned by Tommy and Bonnie Hamilton, earned third place.

Blue Mountain, Miss., November 4
Judges: Morgan Brewer and Elton Bray
SUNFLOWER OPEN ALL-AGE CLASSIC [One-Hour Heats] - 19 Pointers

1st-SOUTHERN THUNDER, 1695471, male, by Lester's Storm Surge-Bryson's Dialing On Line. Chris Campbell, owner; Tom Shenker, handler.
2d-COMO RAIN, 1687713, male, by Skyfall-Catch Me Dot. Billy & Rachel Blackwell, Doug Arthur & David Russell owners; David Russell, handler.
3d-LESTER'S STORM SURGE, 1681624, male, by Ransom-Beane's Line Dancer. Tommy & Bonnie Hamilton, owners; Gary Lester, handler.

Open Derby
The Derby stake started after lunch on November 5 under sunny skies and highs in the low 70s.

Haney's Last Call, a pointer male handled by Ike Todd, and Lester's War Cry, a pointer male handled by Gary Lester, had the first hour and finished without any birdwork.

Erin's Firehouse Waitress, a pointer female handled by Ike Todd, was braced with Miss Arkansas, a pointer female handled by Mike Lemons, but he had to scratch due to a horse-related injury, so she ran as a bye dog. Sue acquired two flawless finds and finished the 30 minutes to the front.

The third brace was run by Bandit Hills Robert, a pointer male handled by Ike Todd, and his bracemate, Western's Second Chance, a setter male handled by Scott Beeler. Robert had a find down from the church on CR 825, and both dogs finished the hour.
Brody Byrd handled Superstition Super Duty (PM), and Ike Todd handled Game Star (PF) in the fourth brace. Ike Todd handled Haney's Southern Angel (PF), and Gary Lester handled Lester's Front Porch in the fifth brace.

The fourth and fifth braces did not have any birdwork. Haney's Easy Money, a pointer male handled by Ike Todd, and Como Raptor, a pointer male handled by David Russell, had a divided find at 10.

Game Heiress, a pointer female handled by Ike Todd, went birdless. Erin's Firehouse Waitress, a pointer female handled by Ike Todd, was awarded first place. Haney's Easy Money, handled by Ike Todd and owned by Chris Cagle, received second place, and Lester's Front Porch, owned and handled by Gary Lester, earned third place!

The winners received bags of Purina dog food along with their winnings, and we want to extend a "thank you" to Greg Blair and Purina for their sponsorship.

Judges: Morgan Brewer and Lowry Strickland
OPEN DERBY - 12 Pointers and 1 Setter

1st-ERIN'S FIREHOUSE WAITRESS, 1705989, pointer female, by Erin's Redrum-Erin's Little Faye. Gordy Jones, owner; Ike Todd, handler.
2d-HANEY'S EASY MONEY, 1702602, pointer male, by Dominator's Rebel Heir-Haney's North Star. Chris Cagle, owner; Ike Todd, handler.
3d-LESTER'S FRONT PORCH, 1705484, pointer male, by Lester's Storm Surge-R W Susie Q. Gary Lester, owner and handler.

Sunflower ODF23

Open Derby Winners (l-r): Chris Cagle Sr., David Russell, Isaiah Todd with Erin's Firehouse Waitress, Ike Todd, Chris Cagle Jr. with Haney's Easy Money, Morgan Brewer (judge), Gary Lester, Melissa Green with Lester's Front Porch, Ferrell Miller, Billy Blackwell, Lowry Strickland (judge), Anniston and Parker Russell, and Jannie Chapman.