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Event: Haney's All In Named Champion; Game Surge, Runner-Up
Result: Continental Open All-Age Championship

Location: Greenville, Florida

Post Date: Mar 7, 2024

Submitted By: William S. Smith

Continental OAA ChS24

Continental Open All-Age Championship Winners (front row): Jerry Raynor with Haney's All In, Mark McLean, Woody Watson with Game Surge, Rita Corder, Julie Ripley, and Jacob McCormick. (Second row): Maria Bassham, Tommi Smith, Steve Croy,Stacy Croy, Haley Moreland, Dr. Fred Corder, Mike Jackson (judge), Gail Childers, Lamar Childers (judge), and Randy Floyd. (Behind): Well-wishers and participants.

Good dogs, good horses, good people, and a great place, Dixie Plantation. What better combination could anyone ask for to witness the running of the Continental Championship? Dixie is now known as Livingston Place, but to field trialers, it will always be known simply as Dixie. Dixie is not unusual as to the Live Oaks, the multitude of pine trees, or the rolling terrain, but Dixie is set apart because of its history. Field trials have been contested on Dixie since 1937. Legendary dogs and renowned handlers have competed for the coveted title of Continental Champion. A few of these dogs and handlers are now enshrined in the Field Trial Hall of Fame. To win this Championship, it takes a dog of grit, stamina, endurance, and courage to take to the rough country and forsake the easygoing. It takes a handler who, above all, has trust in the dog to obey his commands and to stay obedient to his training. The Continental is on the list of every owner and handler as one of the best to win.

The call "there they go" when used in conjunction with field trials was probably called out for the first time in a field trial in America when the first field trial was held in 1874, just east of Memphis, Tennessee. After that, the call spread from coast to coast, from border to border, and into Canada. The first recorded field trial was held in England in 1866. When the sport made its way to America, it was readily accepted. It was a sport that the well-to-do and the less fortunate could participate in. The sport did not explode on the scene and expand rapidly. The first few years, the growth was slow.

The decade following World War I probably was the time when field trials achieved the most growth, according to W. F. Brown's report in his book "Field Trials." The sport continued to develop even during the World War II years. When field trials were first introduced to America, they were confined to local areas. When the competition increased to the point that a more challenging contest was desired, the sport converted to a traveling entity. As trials sprang up across the country, dogs were transported to those locations where owners sought to compete against the best of that region. Field trials flourished in great numbers after World War II. The popularity continued through the turn of the century. However, regrettably, the zeal for the sport does not exist today as it did in previous decades. To be quite frank, the sport is on a rapid decline. Many of the historical venues are not available today. The so-important prairie trials of Canada have disappeared from the field trial agenda. Only one prairie trial has been held on the Dakotas plains in the past several years, and that trial was not held in 2023 because of the loss of grounds. The Southwestern did run in South Dakota in 2023 but had not run in the previous four years. Prairie trials that once were so important for conditioning and evaluating are on the brink of oblivion. Field trial grounds are at a premium. Those clubs that are still functioning are working diligently to preserve the sport. They are dedicated to the task. One such club is the Continental Field Trial Club. As they see the decline in the sport, their efforts to continue the Continental All-Age Championship do not flag.

The Continental Club is one of the oldest, if not the oldest, field trial clubs in operation today. The organization was founded in 1895. Randy Floyd is the president of the Continental Club; Larron Copeland is the vice president. The Directors are Dr. Terry Terlep, Joe Rentz, Bob Walthall, Jason Williams, Clay Sessions, Dr. Ron Deal, Dr Kent Cantrell, Julie Ripley Livingston, Dr. Robert McDavid, and John Thompson. Their efforts are to be commended. Their endeavors should be mimicked for the betterment of field trials.

Randy Floyd manages the grounds of Livingston Place with the help of John McCormick, Ben Melvin, and Vince Little. A strong windstorm last September toppled a great number of trees on the plantation and caused a lot of work to clear the affected areas on the field trial courses. Another strong windstorm only a week before the trial began caused more limbs and branches to be broken off and fall on the courses. The crew did a commendable job of removing most of the debris from the courses.

Randy has devoted 32 years to Livingston Place and has decided to retire in April. In the time he has been there, he has amassed a wealth of knowledge concerning all aspects of plantation management. His efforts to maintain and improve the property have had great results. The plantation is a showplace with the Live Oak trees, the piney woods, and the agricultural fields, a testimony of Randy's labors throughout his years to make this plantation special. He will be missed, but he will still be available for consultation concerning the day-to-day function of the plantation and the operation of the field trials conducted there. Long-time assistant to Randy, John McCormick, will move into this management position. Our best wishes go to both men.

Livingston Place is located in Greenville, Florida, but it has not always been totally in Florida and known as Livingston Place. When the plantation came into being, it was christened Dixie and once encompassed some 18,000 acres: 9,000 acres in Georgia and 9,000 acres in Florida. Gerald Livingston purchased a property known as the Cedars Plantation in 1926 and changed the name to Dixie. Gerald continued to purchase adjoining parcels of land when they became available and eventually put the 18,000-acre plantation together. Dixie became one of the premiere quail hunting plantations in the United States. Gerald's penchant for quail hunting led him to the field trial arena, where he was successful as a competitor and breeder. Gerald's champion, Lucky Strike, was featured on the cover of Life Magazine in 1946. Gerald preceded his wife, Eleanor, in death, and Eleanor was bequeathed the property. Gerald and Eleanor had two daughters, Mary and Geraldine. When Eleanor passed, the two daughters inherited the plantation. Mary took the Georgia parcel and soon sold the property. Geraldine's part was the land in Florida, which she kept until her death. The land then went into a trust. Years later, the trust was dissolved for financial reasons, and the property was gifted to Tall Timbers.

The National Championship ran for the first time in 1896 in West Point, Mississippi, and was accepted as the elite trial in that day, but there began to be talk of a more rigorous event to test the stamina and overall qualities of a bird dog. An event was organized with one-hour qualifying braces and a mandatory second series that would run for three hours. This affair was called the Free-for-All Championship, and the inaugural was held in 1916. Today, the callback is only 90 minutes. Another endurance trial came on the scene in 1935. It was the Continental Championship. The qualifying series was one hour, and the second series was one hour and 50 minutes. Those times have not changed. They have remained the same since 1935. In the prior generation, handlers such as Colvin Davis, Hoyle Eaton, Freddy Epp, John S. Gates, John Rex Gates, Billy Morton, Bud Daugherty, etc., wanted to win the National, but all agreed that the Continental was a greater test of stamina and conditioning. The Continental is a trial that is not to be missed, and to win showcases a handler and his dog. The luster of the trial has not faded in its 129 years of competition.

The Continental's rich history is unsurpassed in the field arena. The inaugural running took place in Morris, Manitoba. The trial operated in Minnesota, Mississippi, North Carolina, and Georgia before Gerald Livingston brought the trial to Dixie Plantation in 1937, where it has remained. The American Field recognized the Continental as a championship event in 1939 when Lester's Enjoy's Wahoo was crowned the winner. John S. Gates was the winning handler. This year marks the 86th running on Dixie Plantation, counting the two years before it was recognized as a championship and discounting 1978, when it was not held because of a death in the family.

Seventy-six have won the coveted Continental crown. Only one dog has won the event three times--The Texas Ranger and he did it convincingly (1942, 1943, 1944). Ranger, as exceptional as he was, did not win the National. Six have won the title twice: Shore's Brownie Doone (1949--1951); Stanton's Victory (1955--1956); Red Water Rex (1965--1966); Flatwood Hank (1985--1986); Silverwood (1996--1998); and Showtime Sam Houston (2019--2021).

Twelve dogs have won the Continental and the National Championship. Lester's Enjoy's Wahoo won both crowns in the same year, 1939. Sierra Joan won the Continental in 1948 and the National in 1949. Shore's Brownie Doone won the Continental in 1949 and 1951 and the National in 1950 and 1953. Home Again Mike won the Continental in 1957 and the National in 1960. War Storm won the Continental in 1961 and the National in 1964. Red Water Rex won the Continental in 1965 and 1966 and the National in 1969. Safari reversed the trend by winning the National first in 1966 and the Continental in 1967. Crossmatch won both titles in the same year, 1974. Flatwood Hank won both titles in 1985 and came back to win the Continental again in 1986. Cypress Gunpowder took the Continental title in 2004 and followed it up by taking the National Crown in 2005. Miller's On Line won the National first in 2004 and the Continental in 2008. Shadow Oak Bo won the Continental in 2011 and then went on to win the National in 2013 and 2014.

In addition to winning the Continental, seven of the champions have also garnered runner-up placements: Cross Smoke (1956 & 1957), Blackbelt (1980), Flatwood Hank (1987), Miller's Southern Pride (2002), Miller's On Line (2003), Silverwood (1997 & 2000), and Shadow Oak Bo (2012). Sixty-eight different dogs have gained the runner-up spot in the Continental. The runner-up spot has been withheld 13 times, the last time being in 1995.

Handlers with two wins each are Paul Walker, Fred Arant, Bud Daugherty, Hoyle Eaton, Freddie Epp, Garland Priddy, Luke Eisenhart, and Laron Copeland. Jack Harper won three consecutive years with The Texas Ranger. Mark Mclean's win this year puts him in the three-win category. Howard Kirk, George Evans, and Andy Daugherty all accumulated four wins. Father and son John S. and John Rex Gates each took home the marbles five times. Robin Gates, the winningest handler of all time, won the coveted title 11 times. Robin and Jack Harper are the only handlers to win in three consecutive years.

The drawing for the 129th running took place on Friday, January 12, at 6 p.m. at the Plantation Office. Thirty-eight were drawn to compete: 33 Pointers and five Setters. The All-Age competition began Wednesday morning, January 17, at the conclusion of the Derby stake. The trial is sponsored by the Continental Field Trial Club and Purina. The trial is a Purina Points and a National Championship qualifying trial. Purina sponsored a fish fry on Wednesday during the noon meal, and as usual for Purina, the fare was delicious and much appreciated by all who attended.

Mike Jackson of Battle Ground, Indiana, and Lamar Childers of Cleveland, Georgia, filled the judicial saddles. They judged the Continental Derby last year and were requested to return this year to determine the winners of the Championship. Both men are seasoned arbiters; they have seen it all during their long experiences in field trialing. Their decisions are respected, and their deportment was always above board as they looked for the best performances. Their constant attention to the handlers and their dogs was noticed and appreciated.

We would be negligent if we did not acknowledge the sponsors of this event. Their support is critical to the continuation of the Derby and All-Age Championships. The heartfelt thanks by the Continental Championship Club are extended to each sponsor.

In the Derby Championship, lunch on Monday was sponsored by John Kohler and Associates. Tuesday's lunch was sponsored by Dr. Dale Hodges.

The sponsors for the All-Age Championship lunches are as follows: Wednesday, Purina sponsored a fish fry; Thursday, Agpro Company Store in Thomasville, Georgia (Eric Smith, manager); Friday, The Wright Company (Hunter Drew); Friday night Prime Rib Dinner (Julie Ripley Livingston); and Saturday, John Mathys.

The Agpro Company Store continued their support with a monetary contribution, and they furnished two John Deere Gators for use during the trial.

In addition to the Purina-sponsored fish fry, Purina donated certificates for Pro Plan to the winners, and they supplied their logo caps and the championship logo caps.

This year's water tank sponsors are Larron and Laura Copeland, Jim Hamilton, Hancock & Sons Construction, John Mathys, Bruce and Karen Norton, Dixie Trace Field Trial Association, Alex Rickert, Ron Deal, Kent Cantrell, and Mike and Laura Shea.

We also thank Tall Timbers for allowing the trial to operate there.

The Qualifying Series
Brace 1. Boumeester's Duramax (Mathys; Scout Carlton) and Game Heir (Corder; Scout Watson). A rare hard-freeze warning was issued for most of northern Florida for the night of the 16th. The cold temperatures prevailed throughout the night, and it was 26 degrees at 8 o'clock when the first brace kicked off. A small herd of deer in the breakaway field was a temptation for both dogs, but their training prevented a chase. Duramax was handled by his owner, John Mathys, and Heir was handled by his owner, Dr. Fred Corder. Both dogs were seen by Preacher's Pond and headed into the pines. Heir was seen on the south side of the wheat field on a long cast, hugging the edge. Duramax was on the north side. Duramax was on the board when he had a nice covey find at 22 just past the morning road crossing. At 24, both dogs were standing facing each other across a weedy patch south of the Big Garnett field. Mathys elected to take a back, and Corder flushed but could not put anything to wing, and Heir was credited with a barren stand. They went by Cadillac Pond, up #4 field, and on to Pikes Peak. Mathys's cap was in the air again at 49 and on Pike's Peak, and Duramax scored his second find on another nice covey. Corder took the retrieval device at 50. The brace ended in the pines west of the Manor House.

Brace 2. Dixie Heir (Phillips; Scout (Mills), and Touch's Lone Dominator (Cantrell; Scout Judd). Kent Cantrell is the owner of Touch's Lone Dominator. They broke away on Acorn Hill and were hard to see through the Chimney field. They were quickly by the Wye and on through the wheat field. Both dogs were spotted before heading into the Gene field. Phillips requested the retrieval device at 23. Scout Carlton found Dominator standing in a feed patch close to the state line at 29. Cantrell flushed a big covey with no exception taken to Dominator's manners. Dominator crossed the road at the Boy Scout Cabin and went up the hill. Carlton located Dominator standing again at 47 north of the Boy Scout Dove field and notched his second find with everything in order. Four minutes later, at 51, he was pointing again north of the Long Pond before crossing the road. He had the birds located perfectly, and his third find was in the books. His bid ended east of the Long Pond before going into the Brown Jug field.

Brace 3. Country On (McLean; Scout Jerry Raynor) and Dominator's Wild Bill (Daniels; Scout Carlton). They started in the Brown Jug field and were quickly out of sight in the pines. Scout Raynor called point for On, deep in the pines. When McLean arrived, he put the birds in the air and shot. On remained motionless. It was a good job by Raynor and On. Jack and Sarah Schwartz were mounted to support their dog, Wild Bill. As they ranged through the woods, both dogs were seen sparingly. They were both by Boyd's corner and seen heading into the Brown fields. They both showed on casts around the cultivated field before turning north. Daniels went to look for Bill and found him standing at 28 in the Brown field south of the Hagan House. Daniels flushed a single quail, and Bill watched it fly away. The rest of the hour, both dogs ranged far and wide. At time, Bill was seen making a nice cast in the Hunter field. Time was called soon afterward. Both handlers took their retrieval devices.

Brace 4. Haney's Silver Dollar (Cagle; Scout Mathys) and Erin's Code of Honor (Eisenhart; Scout Carlton). It had warmed up to 47 degrees when the afternoon competition began at 1:45. Chris Cagle, the owner of Silver Dollar, had a bunch of bad luck when Dollar was lost off the breakaway. The gallery called point for Honor at :04. When Eisenhart arrived, he was told that the birds had gone. When the judges informed him that the birds were not seen officially, he took the dog ahead. Honor ran to the front, sometimes lateral, but always returned to the front. He was standing at 29 when Eisenhart spied him. When the birds took to wing, they were just under his nose and to his side. Honor remained solid in all the commotion and at the shot. He was by Cyprus Pond, the Long Pond, and the Boy Scout Dove field at a quick pace. Scout Carlton found Honor standing on Hickory Hill at 45. Eisenhart put Honor's second covey to wing with Honor motionless as the shot reverberated through the pines. Honor worked on through the Esquire Pines and then through the short woods to the road crossing. He was out of sight when Eisenhart went north toward Windham Lake, where he found Honor standing at 60. Honor's third covey was put to wing, and the brace ended on a high note.

Brace 5. Erin's High Note (Carlton; Scout Eisenhart) and Game Surge (Corder; Scout Watson). Owner Mike Sweet was riding to watch his entry, Erin's High Note. Dr. Fred Corder is the owner of Game Surge. The brace started at the water tank west of the Manor House. They traveled by the Hay Field and made the turn at the end of the field. They were together when they went by the Cadillac Field. They made the turn toward the Plantation Office, and Scout Watson called point for Surge at 17. He was standing in a mowed strip at the south end of the Cadillac Field on the north side. Corder flushed the covey, and Surge watched them fly away. They went into the Oil Drum field together. Note broke off and started backward around the Flat Pond. About halfway around, he slammed into a point. When the judge and scout were almost to Note, he corrected, turned around, and went back the way he had come. It was a long ride to regain the gallery. Surge was standing southeast of the Oil Drum field. Corder could not produce feathers, and a barren stand was credited here. We went by Moccasin Crossing and into the field behind the Plantation Office. Both dogs went over the levee at Rodgers Pond. Note was standing at the base of Kudzu Hill. When the judge arrived, Carlton informed him that the birds had flown. Both dogs went over the hill, and Carlton saw Note standing again at :58. He was on the north side of Kudzu Hill and had a covey located perfectly. The brace ended in the long field north of Kudzu Hill.

Brace 6. Erin's Rambling Fever (Eisenhart; Scout Carlton) and Hunt's Rollin' The Dice (McLean; Scout Raynor). The brace started at the water tank below the Quail Lodge. They went through the Horse Shoe Branch, with both scouts riding very wide. Dice was ahead in Cocklebur Bottom and notched his first find at 05. Eisenhart discovered Fever standing at 10 under a majestic Live Oak. Eisenhart could not flush anything and asked Fever to relocate. The relocation proved to be fruitless, and Fever was credited with a barren stand. Dice was stacked up again at 15 east of Windham Lake, with Fever backing a good distance between the dogs. This was a barren stand for Dice. Dice was standing again at 24. The birds were not officially seen, and McLean fired over the standing dog. They ranged ahead, each hunting the likely places. Eisenhart called point for Fever at 36, but when he got closer to Fever, he summoned McLean because Fever was backing Dice. Fever was given a back here. When McLean could not fly anything on the initial flushing attempt, he asked Dice to relocate. The relocation resulted in Dice's second barren stand, ending his bid. Eisenhart decided to save Fever for another day.

Brace 7. Pine Straw Half N Half (Philips; Scout Mills) and Erin's Atlantic Way (Eisenhart; Scout Carlton). It was 37 degrees when Pine Straw Half N Half and Erin's Atlantic Way were loosed. Lady Luck turned her back on Way as he was lost on the breakaway. Half went into the pines past Preacher's Pond and then into the wheat field. He crossed the main road, and Phillips watered him there. Phillips sent him ahead, and he was pointing into thick grass and weeds at 19. After a lengthy relocation and no birds were produced, an unproductive was given here. Half was short afterward, and Phillips decided to pick up at 28 at Moccasin Creek.

Brace 8. Haney's All In (McLean; Scout Raynor) and Erin's Perfect Storm (Eisenhart; Scout Carlton). Eisenhart had not returned from looking for Atlantic Way, and after waiting for 20 minutes, the decision was made to have Carlton handle until Eisenhart returned. Daniels scouted for Carlton. The brace began just past Moccasin Creek. All In went into the Big Garret field and carried it to the far end. Storm took the weedy side and took it all the way to the end of the field. Neither dog was in sight through the Peanut field before reaching the Number 4 field. At the 0:12 mark, Eisenhart returned with Atlantic Way. Carlton took the dog to the dog wagon, and Eisenhart took over the handling duties. Both dogs went over Pike's Peak, with McLean pointing out All In. Storm was not seen. All In went along the edge of the Cadillac field, turned into the woods, and headed to Acorn Hill. Eisenhart requested the retrieval device at 24. All In crossed the front at the old Thomasville Road. The gallery spotted All In to the north of Acorn Hill, and when McLean went to investigate, All In made a big swing that brought him to the water tank on the hill. All In ranged ahead through the Chimney field, and McLean whistled him on. McLean pointed him out at the Wye, but he was not seen officially. McLean spotted him standing at 48 on the southeast edge of the field just south of the Wye. McLean put the covey to wing, and All In stood motionless. The brace ended northeast of the Gene field.

Brace 9. Haney's Storm Warning (Cagle; Scout Mathys) and Miller's Blindsider (Daniels; Scout Carlton). Blindsider's owner, Nick Berrong, was in the saddle to watch his entry, the current National Champion. Warning was handled by his owner, Chris Cagle. They turned loose just out of the Gene field and headed toward the state line field. They went by the state line, with Blindsider making a big swing on the north line. Warning turned south past Turkey field. Cagle saw Warning standing at :09 east of the Turkey field standing in a field road looking into a grassy area. Cagle flew the birds with no exception taken to Warning's manners. At the Boy Scout Cabin, Warning was on course. Daniels was looking for his charge. Warning was in front past the Boy Scout Dove field, and Blindsider came in on the right side. They were together north of the Long Pond as they headed for the road crossing. They crossed the road, Blindsider in the lead, and both pointed on the east side of the Long Pond and headed toward the Brown Jug field. They went into the Big Woods, and Warning went east and Blindsider continued south. Blindsider was seen at Boyd's Corner, and Warning came soon after, minus his handler. Larron Copeland took over the handling duties until Cagle returned. Neither dog was in sight through the Brown field, and they were still absent in the agricultural field on the south side of the row of pines dividing the field. Carlton got Blindsider back to the front in the field south of the Hagan House just before the brace ended. There was a lot of gallery talk regarding Blindsider's failure to locate game.

Brace 10. Luke's Gospel Truth (Mauck; Scout Raynor) and Nighthawk's Rebel (Swearingen; Scout Carlton). The brace kicked off at 1:30. Truth was standing at :03 just out of the breakaway field. Rebel was backing in a pretty pose. Mauck's efforts to flush were fruitless, and Truth was given an unproductive here. Rebel was on board with a pretty find just southwest of the Hagan House at :08. Both dogs made the turn toward the Big Woods at Boyd's Corner. Out of the Big Woods, Rebel was seen going away to the front. Truth was out of pocket. Both handlers and scouts were out at Cyprus Pond. Rebel was spotted in the woods to the north past Cyprus Pond. Truth had not returned, and Mauck took the retrieval device at 37. Rebel made the turn at Hickory Hill and headed toward Esquire Pines. Swearingen watered Rebel at the tank at the road crossing. Rebel was MIA southeast of the Gene field but was back at Ben's Hog Pond, and Swearingen whistled him on into the Long Field. The brace ended in the Long Field.

Brace 11. Touch's Dancing Nancies (Cantrell; Scout Carlton) and Mayhaw's Georgia Time (Mills; Scout Phillips). Nancies was handled by her owner, Kent Cantrell. They were loosed about mid-way of the Long Field. Time took the left side and toured through the high weeds. Nancies went into the open field and cut across to the north edge. They were together when they crossed the road at the water tank north of the Manor House. Nancies went north toward the Chimney field as Cantrell continued to call on her. Both dogs were out of pocket at the west end of the Hay field. There was no sign of either dog by the Cadillac field, but both dogs came to their respective handler at the east end of the field. They made the turn, and Cantrell's hat was in the air at 26. Nancies had a covey located and stood solid at the shot. Time was seen on the road edge going away, and Nancies made a loop in the field and headed toward the Oil Drum field. Nancies was in the Oil Drum field, and Time joined her there. They were seen at the south end of the Oil Drum field as they entered the pines. Time went into the Big Garret field, and Nancies was missing. Both dogs were out of pocket at Moccasin Creek. Time connected with Mills in the field at the Plantation Office. Both dogs were picked up early at 57 at Rodgers Pond.

Brace 12. Touch's Malcolm Story (McLean; Scout Raynor) and Miller's Heat Advisory (Carlton; Scout Eisenhart). John Mathys was riding for his entry, Miller's Heat Advisory. The brace began at the base of Kudzu Hill. The gallery spotted Story standing on the side of a hill at :08 northeast of Kudzu Hill. It was a pretty picture as we rode to Story, standing on the hillside. He wasn't lying; the covey was under his nose. McLean caught the front at the water tank crossing below the Quail Lodge. Both dogs crossed together, Advisory went north, and Story went through the Horseshoe Brach and crossed Cocklebur Bottom. Scout Eisenhart found Advisory standing at 17 just south of Windham Lake. Carlton flushed a large covey with everything in order. Advisory caught the front at Ben's Hog Pond and raced away toward Hickory Hill. Both dogs were absent at Hickory Hill. McLean took the retrieval device at 37. Advisory was back with Carlton as they went over Paul's Hill. Advisory crossed Cemetery Road south of Chinaberry Hill and went ahead at a good distance, running strong. The brace ended under the Power Line.

Brace 13. Showtime Game Changer (Copeland; Scout Daniels) and Notorious Immortal (Mathys; Scout Carlton). Larron and Laura Copeland own Showtime Game Changer. Immortal is owned by John Mathys. The two owners were handling their dogs. They paid no attention to the deer at Preacher's Pond and raced ahead into the pones. Immortal was standing east of Cindy's Oak at :10. The initial flushing attempt did not produce any birds, and the lengthy relocation was also barren. An unproductive here. Charger made a good showing in the wheat field, and the dogs crossed the road together. They passed Moccasin Creek into the Big Garret field, and Immortal showed on the north edge. Changer was out of pocket. Carlton found Immortal standing at 32 in sage grass. Birds could not be produced, and a second unproductive was charged to Immortal, ending his bid. Copeland hooked up with Changer at the south end of the Oil Drum Field, and they headed to Pikes Peak. Charger passed Cadillac Pond and Cadillac Field, and Copeland pointed him out almost to the Hay field. He passed the old Thomasville Road and was seen near Acorn Hill when time was called.

Brace 14. Rester's Cajun Spirit (Carlton; Scout Daniels) and Rester's Johnny Ringo (Eisenhart; Scout McLean). They started on Acorn Hill and ranged ahead through the Chimney field. The handlers pointed them as they traveled by the Wye and into the peanut field east of the Wye. Both dogs showed in the field and were pointed out. In the second peanut field, Ringo went to the right up the hill into the pines. McLean called point at 14, but the birds lifted before they were seen officially. McLean sent Ringo forward to the front, but Ringo was pointing again at 19. When Eisenhart arrived, McLean advised that birds had flown a short distance away. Eisenhart elected to flush. While flushing, he saw the birds behind Ringo and put them into the air. Eisenhart said that was the first time he had seen wild birds on the ground in that situation. Ringo crossed the Gene field, and just north of the field, he scored his second find at 23. Both dogs were running hard at the state line when Spirit swapped ends at 26, and Ringo honored with a pretty back. Both dogs remained high and tight when the birds flew. Two minutes later, Ringo was standing again at 28. A nice covey erupted when Eisenhart walked in front of Ringo. Ringo was standing again in a mowed strip at 32. Eisenhart reported a deer had left in front of Ringo and he took the dog on. They made the turn at Turkey Field, passed the Boy Scout Cabin, and crossed the road. Both handlers waited at the road crossing until the judges caught up. A nice jester on their part. They were together by the west leg of the Long Pond, crossed the road again, and turned up the east side of Long Pond. The brace ended in the Big Woods with both dogs in the front.

Brace 15. Touch's Midnight Rider (McLean; Scout Raynor) and Shadow's Lord Magic (Eisenhart; Scout Carlton). Vivian and John Milton were mounted to watch their entry, Touch's Midnight Rider. They started in the Big Woods. Both dogs were hard to track as they roamed through the thick timber. Magic was with Eisenhart at Boyd's Corner when he was watered. Through the Brown field, Magic was in sight as he covered the ground at a fast clip. Rider was missing. Rider was back with McLean at the intersection of courses 3 and 4. We crossed east of the Hagan House with both dogs ahead. Both dogs crossed between the Double Ponds and turned into the woods. Eisenhart requested the retrieval device at 34. Rider is MIA by the Cyprus Field. Rider joined McLean at Paul's Hill and was running away to the front when the brace ended under the power line behind the barns. No birdwork this hour.

Brace 16. Mauck's Wyeast Owyhee Dallee Scout Copeland) and Supreme Confidence (Eisenhart; Scout Carlton). Alex Mauck owns and handles Dallee. Dallee scored a covey find at 14 west of Boyd's Corner with everything in order at the flight and shot. Confidence had been gone since the breakaway, and Eisenhart took the retrieval device at 25. Dallee was taken up at 27. Confidence's owner, Claudia McNamee, was riding to watch her entry.

Brace 17. T S Jet Airliner (Henley; Scout Phillips) and Touch's Shadow Rider (McLean; Scout Raynor). There once was a personal hygiene station at the location where brace 17 started. The plantation employees know the location as "where the Outhouse used to be." Kathy Vignos is the owner of Airliner. Co-owner Karen Norton was riding to watch Rider. They were together down the field road past the south end of the Long Pond. Henley went left at Cyprus, and McLean stayed to the front. Neither dog was in sight by the Boy Scout Dove Field. Airliner cut across a slew and was back with Henley at the entrance to Esquire Pines. McLean found Rider standing at the top of Esquire Hill. When the judge arrived, he asked if the birds had been seen. The answer was negative. When McLean shot, a sleeper flew out of the brush. A find was noted here. Raynor had not returned, and Woody Watson went out to scout until Raynor returned. Watson found Rider pointing at 32 west of the Gene Field. It was a long ride to the dog, but it was a very good find by the dog and the scout. Back in the Long Field, Rider went into the pines on the left, and the scout was sent out. Airliner was absent for a time, and Henley took the retrieval device at 45. Rider crossed the road at the water tank at the Manor House, and he was watered there. From there, he was sighted at the west end of the Hay Field and was next seen at the Cadillac Field. The brace ended southwest of the Quail Lodge.

Brace 18. Touch's Blue Knight (Watson; Scout Corder) and Touch's Breakaway Fred (McLean; Scout Raynor). Co-owners Becky and Gary Futch and Mrs. Karen Norton were in the saddle to watch their entry, Breakaway Fred. Bruce Norton could not be here today. Knight was handled by his owner, Woody Watson. The brace started on the hill northeast of the Cadillac Pond. Neither dog was seen through the first planted field and were not seen at the turn toward the Oil Drum Field. We turned into the Oil Drum Field, and Watson pointed out Fred and summoned McLean. Knight was back with Watson halfway through the field, and both dogs took the turn northwest of the Big Garret Field and went into the pines. Knight was standing in a mowed strip at 19, and Fred was backing. The stand proved to be barren, and when the dogs were turned loose, they raced ahead into the Big Garret Field. Fred went west in the Big Garret, and Knight went east. Fred crossed Moccasin Creek, but Knight was out of sight. Scout Corder called point for Fred at 29 east of Moccasin Creek. McLean flushed into the thick jumble and managed to flush a single bird. Fred was seen in the field behind the Plantation Office and went across the levee at Rodgers Pond. Fred made the turn at Kudzu Hill and went down the other side. He crossed the road at the water tank and was out of sight when the brace ended in the Horseshoe Branch.

Brace 19. Chief's Rising Sun (Carlton; Scout Eisenhart) and Touch's Gallatin Fire (McLean; Scout Raynor). Chief's Rising Sun's owner, John Mathys, was mounted to watch the action. They were fast through the breakaway field and by Preacher's Pond. McLean called point for Fire at :10 in the wheat field, standing near Cindy's Oak. McLean flew a nice covey, and Fire was on the board. Sun made a nice showing through the wheat field, and Carlton called point for Sun at 15 south of the morning road crossing. Fire was also standing about 25 yards south of Sun. Carlton advised the judges that the birds had flushed wild and took Sun on ahead. After a lengthy relocation, Fire was credited here with a barren stand. They crossed the road together, and Sun was next seen in the Big Garret Field. Fire was missing. Sun was standing on the west end of Big Garret at 31. The stand proved to be barren, and Carlton decided to save Sun for another day. Fire was not seen until he hooked up with McLean at the #4 field, and McLean elected to pick up there.

The callback dogs were Touch's Lone Dominator (Cantrell), Erin's Code of Honor (Eisenhart), Erin's High Note (Carlton), Game Surge (Corder), Rester's Cajun Spirit (Carlton), Rester's Johnny Ringo (Eisenhart), Touch's Shadow Rider (McLean), Haney's All In (Mclean), Miller's Heat Advisory (Carlton), and Haney's Storm Warning (Cagle).

The Winners
After a very competitive competition, Haney's All In was crowned the 2024 Continental Champion. His winning is admirable, judging by his performance and the fact that he is only 2 years and 10 months old. He handled the tough conditions of the courses like an old pro. He ran to the extreme but was always subservient to his handler. He did not have a period when he was not running hard and going to the likely places to locate his quarry. He was out of sight at times, but McLean remained in front of the judges, confident that All In was where he was supposed to be. He was not disappointed because when All In was seen, he was always on course. His race in the fourth callback brace is documented below. His stand on his one find was pure class. He was found by his scout, and McLean had to ride to him. In the time it took for his handler to arrive, he may have blinked his eyes, but that was the only part of him that moved, including when the quail burst from the sage under his nose, and the shot reverberated through the pines. This win qualified Haney's All In to run in the National Championship.

Game Surge was named the runner-up champion. This was the year of the juveniles. Surge is only 2 years old. These young dogs have the potential to have great careers, provided their time is not cut short by illness or injury. Surge ran in the second callback brace and set the bar for winning. His race is documented below. Surge's pace was one that allowed him to investigate a lot of country in a short time. He was not intimated by the terrain or the rough going. He handled it like an older dog would have. He scored three finds and was rock solid on each one; he was picture-perfect. His performance might have placed him first in almost any other trial. His time will come.

The Championship Series
Brace 1. Touch's Lone Dominator (Cantrell; Scout Watson) and Erin's High Note (Carlton; Scout Eisenhart). Owner Kent Cantrell was handling Dominator, and owner Mike Sweet was riding for Note. The first brace of the callback began at the crest of Pikes Peak. They wasted no time getting into the pines and out of sight. Dominator came to Cantrell at Cadillac Pond, and Carlton was looking for Note. Note joined Dominator in the Cadillac Field, and both handlers pointed them out. They went by the west end of the hay field and turned into the woods. Scout Eisenhart found Note standing at 16 west of the hay field. Carlton reported wild pigs departing the area, and he took Note on. Cantrell went toward the hay field looking for Dominator, and Carlton stayed on course toward Acorn Hill. Note was standing at 22 south of Acorn Hill, and Cantrell was summoned because Dominator was backing. The long flushing attempt and extended relocation proved to be fruitless, and Note was awarded an unproductive, and Dominator was given a back. They both made the turn at Acorn Hill and took the north side of the Chimney field. The handlers quickened their pace to stay in touch with their charges. Note was with Carlton at the Wye, and Cantrell was searching along with Scout Watson for Dominator. Note went through the two fields east of the Wye, and when Carlton pointed him out, Judge Jackson rode out to see Note. Dominator had not been seen since Acorn Hill until Scout Watson found him standing at 52 on the hill south of the Gene Field in a mowed strip. Cantrell flushed a nice covey with everything in order. Eight minutes later, Dominator scored his second and last find at 60 at the state line. Dominator showed on a good cast before turning at Turkey field. Both handers raced ahead to the road crossing at the Boy Scout Cabin to gather their dogs. Cantrell called point for Note at 1:15, east of the Boy Scout Dove field. Note garnered his second unproductive when Carlton could not put anything in the air. Judge Childers told Carlton he could continue. They made the turn at the east side of the Long Pond, raced ahead to the Brown Jug field, and disappeared in the Big Woods. Both scouts were out in the Big Woods, and neither dog was in sight at Boyd's Corner. Time was called in the Brown Fields. Watson called point for Note at 1:58 near Boyd's Corner. Carlton was not present, and McLean collared Note. Dominator was back in time.

Brace 2. Erin's Code of Honor (Eisenhart; Scout Carlton) and Game Surge (Corder; Scout Watson). Game Surge was handled by his owner, Dr. Fred Corder. Honor was the Top Dog in the qualifying series. The brace started at the regular afternoon starting point. Both handlers raced ahead after breakaway to gather their dogs at Wiggins Creek. Surge crossed the front once, and that was the only sighting of either dog before reaching Boyd's Corner. Eisenhart called point for Honor at :18. Honor was in the Big Woods standing on the morning course. Just before Eisenhart arrived, Honor corrected and went ahead. We passed the huge Live Oak at the top of the hill, and Surge was seen ahead, headed toward Long Pond. Honor was absent. Scout Watson found Honor standing at 30, west of the Long Pond. Honor was standing on a ditch bank with his front end lower than the rear. Eisenhart put a nice covey up with no exception to Honor. Six minutes later, at 36, Surge penned a covey just off the horse path north of Cyprus Pond. Scout Carlton found Honor standing at 43 on Hickory Hill at the Esquire Pines. Surge was backing. Another nice covey lifted when Eisenhart stepped in front of Honor. They crossed the road together and worked through Esquire Pines. Out of the pines, Corder was in the woods to the north, and Eisenhart was ahead when we passed Ben's Hog Pond to the south. In the Long Field, Eisenhart pointed out Honor across the road in the adjacent field. Surge was on the north edge of the Long field, crossed over to the south side, and went into the pines. Surge was strong through the pines and crossed the road at the water tank southeast of the Manor House at 1:10. Honor was still out of pocket. Scout Watson found Surge at 1:20 southwest of the hay field, and Corder put a nice covey up. Eisenhart requested the retrieval device at 1:22. Surge passed the Cadillac field and quickly made the turn southwest of the Quail Lodge. East of the Cadillac Pond, Scout Watson turned Surge off the main road and headed him back to the front. Surge showed well before making the turn toward the Oil Drum field. Surge was not in view in the Oil Drum field. Corder kept to the front, confident Surge would appear. Scout Watson found Surge standing on the east side of Pikes Peak at 1:48. It was a long ride for Corder to get to Surge. Watson knew there was no way in the time that was left to get Surge to the front without Surge coming in from behind. It was a gutsy decision to call point, but it was the right choice. Corder arrived and put the birds up as time expired.

Brace 3. Rester's Johnny Ringo (Eisenhart; Scout Carlton) and Touch's Shadow Rider (McLean; Scout Raynor). Dr. Ruben Richardson is a co-owner of both dogs in this brace. He is a co-owner of Ringo with Holly and Cecil Rester, and he is a co-owner with Bruce and Karen Norton with Shadow Rider. Dr. Richardson was in the road gallery. The Resters and Karen Norton were in the saddle to watch the action. They began east of the Oil Drum field on the hill. When loosed, they went through the pines and down the hill into the Big Garret field. The handlers passed Moccasin Creek, but both dogs were missing. Ringo was with Eisenhart when they made the turn to the Plantation Office field. Ringo made a swing through the field and then crossed the levee at Rodgers Pond. Rider had not returned. Eisenhart called point at 23 on Kudzu Hill. Ringo was in tall sage, and the birds were perfectly located. Ringo went off Kudzu Hill and showed to the front in the fields headed to the road crossing. Eisenhart watered Ringo at the water tank south of the Manor House. McLean asked for the retrieval device at 34. Ringo was on the north side of the Horseshoe Branch, and he scored another find at :41 north of Cocklebur Bottom. Ringo was missing in action, and we waited at Hickory Hill while Eisenhart and Carlton searched for Ringo. Eisenhart got Ringo at the Esquire Pines and brought him to the front. He went down the hill and turned and went up Paul's Hill. Eisenhart found him standing at 1:12, west of Hunter's field. The birds flushed wild, but they were officially seen. We crossed Cemetery Road at 1:24 and turned hard left at the Power Line. From this point on, Ringo was not in sight. Eisenhart requested the retrieval device at 1:48.

Brace 4. Rester's Cajun Spirit (Carlton; Scout Eisenhart) and Haney's All In (McLean; Scout Raynor). Co-owners Steve and Stacy Croy were in the road gallery to cheer on their entry, Haney's All In. The brace started at the morning breakaway field. Carlton found Spirit standing in the pines south of the breakaway field at 11. Carlton informed Judge Childers that the birds had gone, and he took Spirit ahead. Both dogs used the wheat field to their advantage. Both handlers gathered their dogs at the morning road crossing and watered them. They left the road crossing, went past Moccasin Creek and All In showed in the Big Garret field. Spirit was missing. All In made a big swing through the Big Garret field west of the Oil Drum field. All In toured the Oil Drum field and then went into the #4 field. He was seen on the north edge of the field going west to east. Spirit had been gone since the road crossing, but he connected with Carlton on the south end of #4. Both dogs turned into Pikes Peak. They were not seen until All In came to McLean at Cadillac Pond. McLean saw All In standing at the southeast corner of the Cadillac field. All In was in high weeds, and when Judge Childers arrived, McLean informed him the birds had gone, and he elected not to flush. When released, All In went to the west edge of the hay field, and he was moving at a pace that covers a lot of country in a hurry. Spirit had not shown. All In went deep into the woods northwest of Acorn Hill. Scout Raynor found him standing at 1:03 in a mowed strip. It was a long ride to get to him. Raynor had gone a "fur piece" to find him. The country was ideal for quail, but despite a long flushing attempt and an extended relocation the quail were not home today. It was another long, fast ride to get back to the front. All In regained the front at the Wye. Carlton requested the retrieval device at 1:10. All In made quick work of the two fields between the Wye and the Gene field. All In continued his ground-eating performance as he raced toward the state line. Scout Raynor found All In a second time on point. He was standing at the state line in a mowed strip at 1:33. He looked like a concrete dog when the birds boiled out of the sage. He made a nice cast down state line before making the turn at Turkey field. He was pointed out at an all-age distance before reaching the Boy Scout Cabin. The brace ended at the road crossing, and McLean rode for All In. It was a strong race and a very good finish. He looked strong enough to continue for another hour.

5. Miller's Heat Advisory (Carlton; Scout Eisenhart) and Haney's Storm Warning (Cagle; Scout Mathys). The brace began at the Boy Scout Dove field. An unusual occurrence happened during this brace. John Mathys is the owner of Advisory, and he was mounted not to watch his dog but to scout his opponent. He was scouting Warning for his owner and handler, Chris Cagle. Carlton saw Advisory stand at 13 northwest of the Dove field. The stand proved to be barren. They went by the west leg of the Long Pond, crossed the road, and turned up the east leg of Long Pond. At :20, Carlton spied Advisory standing east of the Long Pond in sparse cover. The initial flushing attempt was barren, and Advisory was asked to relocate. Advisory made several instances to stop and point and then move on. He finally had the running covey penned, and Carlton put them to wing. It was a very good piece of birdwork. Warning has not been seen since the road crossing. Advisory was quickly through the Big Woods, and Scout Eisenhart found Advisory standing at 32 east of the Double Pond. Carlton flushed the birds, and Advisory was staunch at wing and shot. Cagle asked for the retrieval device at 40. Advisory had another unproductive stand at 42 southwest of the Brown field. Advisory was ahead through the Brown field and went by the intersection of courses 4 and 6. At 55, Carlton was informed that he was not beating what the judges were carrying, and Advisory was picked up. This ended the 129th running of the Continental Championship.
Greenville, Fla., January 17
Judges: Lamar Childers and Mike Jackson
CONTINENTAL OPEN ALL-AGE CHAMPIONSHIP [One-Hour Qualifying Heats; One-Hour & Fifty Minute Finals] - 33 Pointers and 5 Setters

Winner-HANEY'S ALL IN, 1698756, pointer male, by Ransom-Haney's North Star. Steve Croy, owner; Mark McLean, handler.
Runner-Up-GAME SURGE, 1700091, pointer male, by Lester's Storm Surge-Game Maggie. Dr. Fred Corder, owner and handler.