Now accepting Hall of Fame nominations! See news section for more details.

I Accept

United Kennel Club (UKC) is an international dog registry celebrating bonds, rewarding ability, and preserving the value of a pedigree. We use cookies to capture information such as IP addresses and tailor the website to our clients' needs. We also use this information to target and measure promotional material. Please see our Privacy Policy for more information.

Skip to main content
Facebook Instagram YouTube

Result: Alabama Open All-Age Championship and Open Derby

Location: Blue Mountain, Mississippi

Post Date: Mar 25, 2024

Submitted By: Tessa Hughes

Alabama Open ChS24

Alabama Open All-Age Championship (front, l-r): Mark Haynes (judge), Nick Thompson with Nosam's Sweet Water, Larry Huffman, Piper Huffman with Whippoorwill Vette, Jeremy Taylor (judge), and Joe Hughes. (Back, l-r): Korry Rinehart, Chris Cagle Jr., Ike Todd, Greg Bain, and Brad Kennedy.

The Alabama Amateur Field Trial Club ran its 2024 Alabama Open All-Age Championship Trial at Blue Mountain, Mississippi, as usual, on the beautiful Hell Creek Wildlife Management Area grounds on February 3-6, 2024. As always, we first want to thank Mississippi Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks for the amazing effort they put into these immaculate grounds to make them so hospitable for our sport. We very much appreciate the time and effort the state of Mississippi puts into its natural resources so that its citizens can enjoy the outdoors at sporting events like field trials. The Club would also like to thank its sponsor, Nestl Purina, for sponsoring our trial.

Purina donated Purina Pro Plan dog food to each winner and provided $600 in Purina goods to the club at its Purina Online Store. The Club also thanks Sportsman's Pride Dog Food for its continued support of our trial. The Club enjoyed delicious meals each day provided by Melissa Bain and Carolyn Page and appreciated all the help provided by various folks, including marshals Lowry Strickland, Brad Kennedy, Secretary Greg Bain, and our president, Joe Hughes. We are also thankful for club member Ronald Thrasher, who drove our dog wagon every day.

This year, we were also happy to welcome two excellent judges, Mark Haynes of Brownsville, Tennessee, and Jeremy Taylor of Rienzi, Mississippi. They kindly judged our Championship and our hour-long Open Derby stake for us. We cannot overstate how much the Club appreciates the time and careful attention each judge gave to the entries in front of them.

The Open All-Age Championship
The Winning Brace

This year's Championship stake was won by Nosam's Sweet Water, a beautiful white and liver pointer male owned by Dale Bush of College Station, Texas, and run by Larry Huffman of Michigan City, Mississippi. Sweet Water was braced with Game Surge, a pointer male handled by Dr. Fred Corder, on the third hour of Saturday morning. Conditions were overcast and in the 60s at the breakaway. Game Surge and Sweet Water set a rapid pace away from the clubhouse to the right. Both dogs cast in the bear trap field to the left, and Sweet Water had the judges sitting up and paying attention as he brought the cast all the way around the big field. The dogs set a fast pace down through the pines and were on across Hell Creek by 30, with both casting well on the left-hand side of the big farm fields. Sweet Water again showed well, as did his bracemate. At 47, Huffman called point for his dog before the steel bridge on the right, and Sweet Water looked perfect on his birdwork, head and tail held high. He stood like a statue for wing and shot, as well. Moving on, he swept through the last fields before crossing the creek, and both dogs were back across Hell Creek and to the front again as we climbed up the other side of the creek bed. As we came back into the bear trap field from the other side, both dogs showed again, with Sweet Water moving strongly on the left-hand side and at an extremely fast pace. Game Surge went through the road gap of the bear trap field, and Sweet Water kept going, casting all the way around the big field and went through the far gap. As we moved through the same gap, we discovered both dogs on point on the other side of the hedge row in a divided find. Both dogs looked beautiful on their birdwork, and all was in order for the flush and shot. This concluded the winning brace.

The Runner-up Brace
Dale Bush and Larry Huffman had a great weekend at Hell Creek because they also secured the runner-up honors, with Whippoorwill Vette, a white and liver pointer male, also handled by Huffman and owned by Bush. He was in the fifth brace of the Championship, along with Touch's Cocaine Blues, a pointer male, handled by Randy Anderson. These dogs broke away at the rock road at the second hour on Saturday afternoon from the rock road with conditions still holding in the 60s. Vette scored a beautiful find at 9 on Rock Hill and looked magnificent when we reached him, standing beautifully for wing and shot. Both dogs were moving through the country at a fast pace thereafter, and we were back across the rock road and through the pines fairly quickly. As the dogs were moving through the lines of pines, Vette could be seen streaking on the right at an extremely fast pace. We then swept down across Hell Creek and up the other side. At this point, things got really wild, and here is where Vette secured his trophy as Vette turned and went down the long "airplane field" bottom and carried it all the way around. Scout Nick Thompson eventually went in pursuit, and Huffman rode down the chute and into the bear trap field, calling as he went. As the gallery reached the bear trap field, Anderson had Blues at some point. Then, amazingly, after a few minutes, Vette swept into the far opening of the field where we go out on the first hour, with Thompson eventually following in behind. Vette did not look like he had run approximately 2,200 yards or more in a few minutes; he did not even look winded; he looked as strong as he did when he started. He seemed to gain speed as he dipped around through the edge of the pines on the far-left side of the field. He never wavered from the front and finished strong in the field in front of the clubhouse at pickup. Cocaine Blues also finished in the same field but did not have bird contact in his hour.

The Running
We opened Saturday morning to partly sunny/partly overcast conditions in the 40s that quickly warmed into the low 60s. I'm Gallant, pointer male (Anderson), and Haney's Hurricane Seeker, pointer male (David Russell), were in the first brace leaving to the left of the clubhouse. Both dogs started off at a fast clip, and Hurricane Seeker scored a beautiful find at 32 at the end of Hell Creek before the long bottom, looking beautiful on his birds. He held well for the wing and the shot. Anderson called point for his dog at 48 on Rock Hill, and after relocation, moved birds for Gallant. All was in perfect order for Gallant, who also looked very nice. At 51, Hurricane Seeker had another find before we reached the rock road. Again, his manners were impeccable. Both dogs finished the brace.

In the second brace leaving from the rock road were Miller's Wide Out, pointer male (Anderson), and Lester's Storm Chaser, pointer male (Lefty Henry). The Club was pleased to have John Ivester of North Carolina, Storm Chaser's owner, also join us in the gallery for the morning's braces. Both dogs started out strong from the breakaway and moved quickly past the old home site on the left. At 36, Wide Out scored a find in cover on the left at the plum tree thicket before we turned sharply to the left to head toward the rock road. He looked beautiful on his birds, and all was in order for the flush. Unfortunately, Wide Out could not be located at pickup, and although Storm Chaser finished well in the far field at pickup, he went birdless.

The third brace was the championship brace and has been covered.

The fourth brace was comprised of Haney's Last Call, a pointer male (Chris Cagle Sr.), and Painted Owyhee Toad, a pointer male (Bridget Ledington). We were again away strong on the left from the clubhouse on Saturday afternoon with conditions in the 60s. Cagle called point for his dog at 7 in the first field on the right. Last Call looked beautiful on his birds, and all was in order for both wing and shot. Continuing on, Last Call again struck birds before we reached the rock road with a find at 12 with Toad backing. Both dogs looked very nice and held well for their birdwork. Both dogs then showed well through the pines, and we moved on into the fields to the left side of Hell Creek. At 36, Chris Cagle Jr. called point for Last Call again on the left beside Hell Creek with Toad again backing, and all was in order. At 53, Chris Cagle Sr. requested his tracker. At 54, Toad suffered an unproductive, but he quickly moved down the same hedgerow and found birds. Unfortunately, he was in the harness thereafter.

The fifth brace was the runner-up brace covered above.

Game Heir, pointer male (Corder), and Ascension, pointer male (Korry Rinehart), finished the first day of running. Ascension had a find at 3 in the first field and then quickly rejoined his bracemate as they moved into the bear trap field. After we crossed over Hell Creek, Game Heir crossed over into the right farm fields with Strickland, his scout, pursuing him. Ascension brought up the left farm fields. At the far end of the course, before we made the small crossing and started to turn back, Rinehart called point at 29 for his dog. However, Ascension went with the birds and was in the harness thereafter. Game Heir then scored a beautiful find at 47 before the steel bridge and held well for wing and shot. He continued on running hard and struck birds again at 53 before we made the creek crossing. Dr. Corder flushed birds for his dog, and Heir stood well, holding for the shot and the flight of the birds. Heir finished the hour in the bear trap field.

Sunday's running did not take place due to hard rain and thunderstorms in the area.
We resumed running on Monday with cooler and very muddy conditions. Touch's Fire Away, pointer male (Anderson), and Haney's Silver Dollar, pointer male (Cagle Sr.) started us off. At 36, point was called for Fire Away at the end of the island, and on relocation, birds were flying. Although Anderson called point for his dog again at 50 on Rock Hill, relocation did not produce birds. Fire Away finished the hour strong. Silver Dollar went birdless and was lost at pickup.

The second brace of the morning was comprised of Miller's King Poast, pointer male (Rinehart), and Como Rain, pointer male (Russell), leaving again from the rock road. Como Rain scored a find on Rock Hill at 15 with King Poast backing, and Como Rain looked very nice on his find. He then had another beautiful find at 33 before the lines of pines and again held well for wing and shot. Rinehart requested the tracker at 42. Como Rain scored another find at 46 before the road crossing, handling his birds quite well, and finished his hour.

The third brace on Monday was made up of Haney's Storm Warning, pointer male (Cagle Sr.), and Bonner's Bulletproof, pointer male (Anderson). These dogs moved at a rapid clip away from the clubhouse on the right and were in the bear trap field quickly. They made beautiful casts there and then were not seen for a short time. Both were to the front once we were across Hell Creek, with Bulletproof having a find at 23 with Storm Warning backing on the far side of the farm field at 23. Continuing on, the show was really on, as Storm Warning does something a few notable all-age dogs do: when he casts at top speed, he occasionally spins back to check what he scents. When you see it from a distance at places like Hell Creek, when he is running in wet fields, he throws up "rooster tails" of water because he moves so fast. So, Storm Warning was sending up rooster tails of water as he skidded across the far side of the last field on the backside, hunting at top speed, and Bulletproof was no slouch either, as he is a fast dog and was moving at a rapid pace, as well. Both dogs swept on across the far end and were sighted several times in the next fields over, heading always to the front. As we were heading back, at 37, we found them before the small ditch crossing before the fields open back up, with Storm Warning pointing and Bulletproof backing from several yards. No birds were produced at first by Cagle Sr., as he was stomping in heavy briars and stating that the birds were moving away, and then Bulletproof moved on the back and was up. Although the judges then were able to and did move up to assist Cagle Sr. in trying to see birds, no birds were flushed for quite some time, and Storm Warning still stood motionless through all the pressure. However, when Cagle went back to secure his dog, a bird flushed in Storm Warning's face, and Cagle thereafter picked him up.

For our last brace of the championship, we had Bonner's Hot Rize, pointer male (Rinehart), and Miller's Speed Dial, pointer male (Anderson). This pair of dogs left on the first breakaway strong and were running hard. They crossed the rock road and were through the pines quickly. They were found on point together at 32 in heavy cover before we moved into the Rock Hill field. However, on the flush, they suffered a breach of manners and were in the harness, thus concluding the championship.

Blue Mountain, Miss., February 3
Judges: Mark Haynes and Jeremy Taylor

Winner-NOSAM'S SWEET WATER, 1682042, male, by Whippoorwill Mayhem-House's House Fly. Dale Bush, owner; Larry Huffman, handler.
Runner-Up-WHIPPOORWILL VETTE, 1682323, male, by Whippoorwill Justified-S J Kentucky Sue. Dale Bush, owner; Larry Huffman, handler.

The Derby
Out of a field of 10 talented derbies, Full Ride, a pointer male handled by Randy Anderson, secured the first-place trophy. We were pleased to have its owner, Kevin Dixon of Sulphur Springs, Texas, join us in the gallery and ride to watch his dog compete. Full Ride ran on the third hour course, made some exciting casts in those big fields, and scored a beautiful find at 40. He put down a strong forward race for his hour and showed great potential as an all-age dog. Quail Woods Pine, a pointer male also handled by Randy Anderson, ran a happy-going race for his first brace hour and scored an excellent find to seize his second-place honors. Lester's Front Porch, a pointer male handled by Rinehart, ran in the second brace after lunch on Monday and also did a handsome job, scoring one find in his hour to secure his third-place honors.

OPEN DERBY - 8 Pointers and 2 Setters
1st-FULL RIDE, 1702143, pointer male, by Dixon's Rolling Stone-Dixon's Girl's Got Rhythm. Kevin Dixon, owner; Randy Anderson, handler.
2d-QUAIL WOODS PINE, 1701043, pointer male, by Touch's Fire Away-Wynona's Valiant Rosietta. Gregory Adams, owner; Randy Anderson, handler.
3d-LESTER'S FRONT PORCH, 1705484, pointer male, by Lester's Storm Surge-R W Susie Q. Gary Lester, owner; Korry Rhinehart, handler.

Alabama Open DerbyS24

Open Derby (front, l-r): Kevin Dixon and Bridget Ledington. (Back, l-r): Brad Kennedy, Greg Bain, Mark Haynes (judge), Randy Anderson, Jeremy Taylor (judge), Joe Hughes, and Ronald Thrasher.