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Event: Smoke Rise Jake adds a fourth Championship Title
Result: 41st U. S. Complete National Open Shooting Dog Championship

Location: Hoffman, North Carolina

Post Date: Mar 26, 2024

Submitted By: Margaret C. Drew

U. S. Complete Nat ChS24

U. C. Complete National Championship (front row, l-r): Mark Hughes (scout) with champion Smoke Rise Jake, David Huffine with Sweet Grass Skipper, Fred Rose holding owner's tray, Lefty Henry (judge), Margaret Drew (reporter), Gary Miller (judge), Margie Ervin, Vicki Grantham, Cliff Monroe, Tony Bingham, Bob Young, Daryl Grantham, Earl Drew, Colin Ervin, Lynne Leitch, Gretchen Adsit, Greg Robinson, J. D. Waters, and John Adsit.

Once again, February brought the U. S. Complete National Open Shooting Dog Championship to the prestigious J Robert Gordon Field Trial Area in Hoffman, North Carolina. These 950 acres designated for field trials by the N C Wildlife Resources Commission began its development in 1949, with the first trial being held in 1954. Since then, additional courses were added to comprise the present six equal one-hour courses. A systematic plan is in place for mowing, clearing, and planting strips over the approximate 32 miles of course. The courses are now marked every mile for assistance should an emergency occur. Course one is orange, followed in numerical sequence with green, red, white, yellow, and blue. The newly updated map in the clubhouse allows folks to see the intricate six courses as they weave through the countryside. All of the main connecting dirt roads now have names and road signs. There are horse corals, dog kennels, a horse barn with stalls, running water in several areas, electrical hook-ups, and a first-class clubhouse facility. The lands were originally acquired by a federal government grant for the preservation of wildlife and forestry, especially longleaf pine. Each course has some man-made water holes, and a few have brook crossings, with cleared strips 70 yards wide, which are bound by piney woods. These strips have planted crops to invite wildlife. Since 1981, the wildlife has worked with the North Carolina Field Trial Association to release quail in October. The association has purchased a tractor and feed hopper to feed the six courses weekly. The wildlife crew at the local wildlife maintenance depot is in charge of burning, clearing, planting, and mowing the courses. A big thank you does not cover the work done on these grounds by Lee Criscoe and the area NC wildlife crew.

The U. S. Complete Walking Shooting Dog Association was founded in 1981 by Robert Lee, Jack Myrick, and Gerald Shaw. Their combined talents made the organization a success. In 1983, the American Field awarded the group a championship. The runner-up in the inaugural championship was handled by W. Mills Hodge, who was in attendance at the Saturday, February 10, 2024, Purina Handlers' dinner at the Hoffman clubhouse. In the 1983 championship, Hodge's dog, "Star," had 10 well-handled shooting dog finds. (In the early days, a dog also had to retrieve.) Hodge told the gathering that his vest was full of quail that day. (The champion of the inaugural championship was a PM, "Jack," handled by Graham Parker.) In 1995, the requirement for a dog to remain steady to wing and shot, and retrieve was changed. Since 1995, dogs only have to be steady to wing and shot. Of course, then and now, a dog's pattern on the ground, their style running, and pointing are all part of what judges consider when naming a champion. The U. S. Complete is a family-orientated field trial association. As of 2023, the first scholarship was awarded to graduating students. For more information about the scholarship, visit the U. S. Complete website or contact an association officer.

This National Championship was brought to the J Robert Gordon Field Trial grounds in Hoffman in 2018 by Ted Riley. Ted was the sitting president of this southeast region at the time and had many close relationships with the founding families. At the first Purina dinner at the Hoffman venue, scrapbooks were on display to show the history, as well as many family members present, as founder Bob Lee had recently passed. The event has remained in this prestigious location as founded by the state of North Carolina. As you can see, the state of North Carolina wanted the "sandhills" to be preserved for generations to come, where people can enjoy the land.

Hoffman Field Trial Grounds in the Sandhills of North Carolina
In early 1968, the Wildlife Commission proposed a 10-year development plan for 950 acres obtained by the Federal Government for wildlife and forestry. About 87 acres of these blocks were within the proposed 31-mile planted strips. At the end of the initial proposed 10-year time frame, this 31-mile planted strip would contain 782 acres of sericea lespedeza and 84 acres of rye and millet for a total of 950 planted acres.
As indicated, the first trial was held in 1954, which precipitated the completion of plans for a barn and circular dog kennels in 1955.

By 1970, the NC Wildlife Commission expressed that the area had developed a favorable environment and wanted to attract more outsiders. They set out to promote the hosting of national and large regional events.

In 1971, additional dog kennels were built, as well as horse corrals and water made easily available. In 2022, with outside funding, the NC Wildlife staff erected red horse corrals where water is readily available. Additional electrical outlets were also installed.

In the '70s, wild quail had declined, and the field trial association petitioned the NC Wildlife Commission to allow the release of quail in the fall before the field trial season began. The trial schedule is decided in July at the summer association meeting, with trials held from October through the end of March. As of July 2023, the number of days trials may be held each year is 19. With the cooperation of NC Wildlife's area staff, the grounds are kept mowed, roads are kept passable, and water holes are maintained. The NCFTA is responsible for purchasing and releasing of quail in September. The association purchased a tractor and added a new spreader in 2024 so that the birds can be fed and water provided. Since 1981, quail have been released and fed at the Hoffman Field Trial grounds.

The 1985 plan introduced improved seed crops by the state, with the NCFTA adjusting its feeding program to augment the planted crops. The clearing and maintaining of courses was continued, as were the five-year plans for burning. The Redheaded Woodpecker was also part of the 1985 plan for the preservation of trees where woodpeckers were making their homes. Visitors will see white-painted bans on trees; these are woodpecker protection trees.
In the early 2000s, an additional loop was added to the acres behind the clubhouse. Some folks called it the Dr. Bill Andrews Loop or Naked Creek Loop, course 6. Early trials were all walking, regardless of the dog's range. As time progressed, horseback was introduced. Today, the grounds attract walking, horseback shooting, and all-age events. Each group adapts to the grounds with slight "tweaking." The birds and the courses are good for all bird dogs.

Today, there are six fairly equal courses, all well marked where to begin or end. In 2021, the state put up road signs on main dirt roads to allow folks to get around better. Three courses begin in front of the clubhouse and finish three hours later behind the clubhouse. Three more courses begin behind the barn and traverse in a loop so as to cross near the clubhouse in about an hour and 45 minutes before setting out on the loop that will end an hour later once again behind the clubhouse. Each weekend, clubs alternate the morning and afternoon courses starting place.

No quail hunting has been allowed since the beginning of field trials on these NC State Wildlife grounds. However, this is a large area, and many hunters have not taken the time to read the wildlife handbook, so violations have occurred. The local game wardens cover a large area and have limited success finding those in violation. The NC Wildlife staff has stepped up to assist in solving this problem. Large orange signs with bold lettering are being posted, indicating NO HUNTING. Additional signs concerning vehicle traffic are placed on key access roads. The clubhouse has a posted list of game warden and wildlife staff to assist trialers in reporting any violations they observe. It is recommended that photographing the license plate is very helpful.
The state maintains a dog/people wagon. This unit allows handlers and spectators not riding a horse to see much of the trial. The wagon even has cushions if you look in the storage departments. Beneath the people sitting, there are 10 wire dog kennels, so dogs are readily available when their brace is called to the line. Each club provided a driver for this wagon. The club is assessed $185.00 daily for this service. Also included are beverages and snacks for the field trial participants and water for the dogs.

The quail covey count for these three-and-a-half events was as follows: Thursday (7) coveys, Friday (4), Saturday (7), and Sunday (only one). Remember, you must keep in mind if you are hunting in your favorite bird cover, you are not always successful. Weather, time of day, and other factors interfere with the amount of birds seen.

The prestigious location, with all amenities within 15 miles, makes these wildlife grounds a field trialer's dream. This nearly natural hunting environment is here whether you are a shooting dog on horseback, an all-age horseback, or a walking participant. Dogs have ample bird availability so that these well-trained bird dogs will adapt to the cover, therefore setting their range and speed to whatever they are placed in. The training they have received will rise to the top. The trainers come to championships, always bringing the great dogs together. For people, there are new friends to meet and old friends to greet.

Judging this 41st renewal were veteran area bird dog folks. Professional dog trainer Robert Lefty Henry is well known for his success with bird dogs, especially with his national champion Marques Gold Rush in 2000. Lefty is also involved with the bird program at Hoffman. Assisting Lefty was Gary Miller, well known for his bird dog involvement for several years. Gary is the 2023-24 feeder of the released quail. So, as you can see, both of these guys not only know dogs but also understand the elusive quail at Hoffman. Their attention to all dogs and assistance to handlers was well received.

Friday evening, a dinner in honor of last year's winner, Glassilaun War Paint, was served by owner Jamie Nee from Massachusetts. Forty-one people crowded into the clubhouse for a festive evening. Jackets were presented for the 2023 Dog of the Year to handler Tony Bingham, who also accepted Hirollins Gone and Doneit's jacket for owner Warren Parrott. Again, on Saturday evening, a group of 43 gathered for a Purina handlers' feast prepared by Todd Williams. Todd served smoked salmon and smoked chicken, along with three sides. Birthday cake and ice cream followed as we celebrated Julia McClurg and Earl Drew's birthdays. The McClurgs are from Ohio, although winter here in Hoffman. Earl relocated to Hoffman about 23 years ago. Daily lunches were prepared and served by Gretchen Adsit, assisted by Lynne Leitch, Ginny Emerson, and Susan Fox. These ladies are all New Englanders who winter in the Hoffman area to watch their bird dogs. John Adsit is the best clubhouse sweeper ever! Gretchen made a menu and gave chairman Tony Bingham a shopping list. Of course, with tremendous evening meals, a few leftovers were available for Saturday and Sunday.

At Hoffman, a gallery/dog wagon is an essential part of the trial. Greg Robinson hooks his "old blue" truck up to the state wagon every morning at 7:30. He then follows the drawing sheet and picks up the six morning dogs. A dog wagon driver is much more than you would expect. He makes sure the water tank is full, the dogs are picked up, the latches are locked, and a safety bolt is fastened. He purchases snacks and water for break time, even coffee for the morning. Ever aware of people's needs, he also has bananas, oranges, and mints on board. The state wagon has plastic-wrapped seat cushions under the seats beside the 10 dog crates. Needless to say, as Greg picks up dogs, so too are folks climbing aboard for the three-hour trip.
Drawing details for the National Open are handled by the national secretary, Jameson Crandall, via text and e-mail. Copies are posted and sent to entrants, and Dave Huffine makes copies for handouts in the clubhouse. Judges' books were donated by Calvin Curnutte of Drowning Creek Bird Dogs.

Purina sent hats and feed for entrants and winners, along with hats. Garmin sent a no-bark collar and a Pro 500. Without the support of Purina, our organization would not be as successful. Purina delegate Kelsi Toth was in attendance on Friday and Saturday.
The winners received an engraved silver tray and a letter from Purina for feed to be delivered to their homes. Twelve bags for the winner and six for the runner-up. All entries received two-pound bags. The winner will receive an oil painting to be presented at the National Annual Meeting in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, this summer. As judging complications and 3 inches of rain required the derby to be canceled, the judges were asked to name three dogs for honorable mention. These dogs were presented with 37.5-pound bags of Purina feed. Those dogs were Miller's Special Upgrade (PF), owned by Carlos Escalante with Mark Hughes; Tenacee Franklin (PM), owned and handled by Greg Isenberg; and Dun Rovens Midnite Ike (ESM), owned by Peter Millett and handled by Robert Ecker.

The Winners
Named champion was Smoke Rise Jake (PM), owned by Fred Rose and handled by Tony Bingham. It was great to have Fred present for the announcements. Runner-up went to Sweet Grass Skipper (ESM), owned and handled by David Huffine. Jake was scouted by Mark Hughes and Skipper by J. D. Waters. Smoke Rise Jake and Sweet Grass Skipper ran together in brace 9, so I will write the brace as it went. It was a very active and exciting brace.
Jake is a strong liver and white male pointer with a few body spots. He is powerful on the ground and keeps a forward-searching pattern for the full hour. He runs with style, with a pleasing appearance in action, which is even more intense when on point. The dog and handler are partners, and their teamwork is smooth. On the breakaway, Jake was quickly to the far right along the wooded edge, where he snapped into a staunch point. Handler approached, and a large covey lifted, which stretched Jake a little higher and further put his mind on hunting with handler. Both dogs were watered several times during their hour. Jake's race was head and shoulders above the rest.

Sweet Grass Skipper is a white and orange classy moving male setter who attacks the cover with intelligence and independence in his search to find quail. He kept busy attacking birdy spots and was rewarded at 9 with a large covey deep in the grass near "Jacob's corner" adjacent to Derby Road before heading right around the bear claw loop. His find was backed by Jake, requiring Skipper to wait even longer for flush as the second handler approached. It was unfortunate that Skipper had an unproductive at 22, although it was in a very birdy area with bird droppings spotted. Neither dog required much scouting and had plenty of energy to space as the hour ended.

The Running
Brace 1 was whistled away after announcements by Margaret Drew and a prayer by Greg Robinson. Mark Hughes was on the line with Double Deuce Zeke (PM), owned by Doug McMillen, as bracemate for Ralphy's Chasehill Rip (PM), owned and handled by Brian Ralph. These two liver and white male pointers were eagerly forward, with Rip having point called in two minutes on the far-left side of the breakaway beyond the corner behind the barn. Handler did not immediately put birds to flight, but birds did lift as he approached the dog as if to request a relocation. The judges thought Rip did not fully have the scent where he stood. After shot was taken, Rip marched proudly forward through the heavy broomstraw, stopping again by 3 minutes. However, no birds were flown, requiring an unproductive to be scored. His pointing style and steadiness were not his best this morning. Handler and dog were briskly to the front, leaving the six-vehicle gallery behind, as the two caught the front where a small horse-mounted gallery followed. At 19, Rip did locate and point a second smaller covey. He remained in good hunting mode for the hour; however, he was faulted for his hesitant or unsure poise while pointing today. Zeke marched forward through the light frosted grass and reached the sand path to continue on before turning into the cover for a consistent hunting hour. He maintained a good range and displayed a positive attitude.

Brace 2 called Warren Parrott to the line with Hirollins B K Bulletproof (PM) as bracemate for Sweet Grass Skeeter (ESM) with Dave Huffine. The breakaway on this course is hidden from the gallery wagon, so your reporter relied on the judges for comments to cover the first 15 minutes. Bulletproof said goodbye to Warren after five minutes; therefore, a location unit was taken at 25. Skeeter hunted pleasantly along the course with handler, and found no birds, even when he made a few deeper lateral casts before finishing his time on course.

Brace 3 was down by 10:40 with two black and white pointer females. Mojo's Remington Steal, whose owners Nick and Renee Moelders were present to watch, was handled by Mark Hughes. The owners had made the trip from Franklin, Massachusetts, to participate in the championship. Santee River Pawley Girl, owned by Mike McKinney, was with Tony Bingham. Remi had enough body ticks to keep our eyes on her, while Pawley Girl wore a blue collar. We did not see much of Pawley Girl, and a location device was required at 26. Remi moved in a spiral pattern, although at a close range, and was returned to the wagon at 37.

Brace 4 followed lunch, with breakaway below the clubhouse where course 1 heads toward course 2. J. D. Waters from Illinois was present to scout his dog, My Way Little Bud (PM), as Tony Bingham handled. Mark Hughes was up again, this time with A Distant Spec (PF). Spec is owned by Mike Husenits, who had just been on the phone to check the trial's progress just before the breakaway. The wagon was loaded for the afternoon tour, with an increased horse gallery as well. Little Bud had his running shoes laced tight, and his mind set on locating those big coveys he had heard were being found at Hoffman this season. When the location device was taken and turned on, his owner found Little Bud standing, although no longer under consideration. Spec had a hesitant start, although his race and range increased as he continued. He was seen to stop in deep grasses; however, moved on before handler could approach for flush. After crossing the sand road, he covered the two fields adjacent to the old chicken coop area, where he picked up some sand spurs. Handler removed them and sent him on; however, he was returned to the wagon before his hour was up.

Brace 5 called Tony Bingham to the line with Dave Emert's Emert's Sho Me Mo (ESM) as bracemate for Buck of Piney Woods (PM) with Robert Ecker. Buck's owner, Rich Warters, was present and high on the wagon to view the hour. Sho Me Mo's dark body is pleasant on the eyes as he stretched forward with several sideward casts. He maintained a good hunting range as he hunted all the appropriate areas. At 32, he stopped in a birdy area but decided nothing was home for handler to shoot, so he moved on. At 51, he stopped again, with bracemate joining for what looked to be a back, although both dogs were whistled on. Buck is a strong young pointer who presented the judges with a strong race, showing much potential, scored an unproductive at 16, with no other bird work.

Brace 6 was on the ground by 3:48 with Mark Hughes in charge of Redrum Rosie (PF), owned by Robert Martson, as bracemate for Rebel's Southern Gentleman (PM), owned by Jeff Allen with Tony Bingham. Rosie was not interested in working with handler Mark, although he and his scout did keep her with them. She had some bird contact at 36; I am not sure what happened. She hunted on until 43, when she was leased. Southern Gentleman was seen swinging through the high grass and then bouncing in and out of the woods, taking him around the small oaks. At 16, a sizable covey lifted in two rounds, with Gentleman bouncing around with plugs in his ears. He was rounded up at the next corner and returned to the wagon.

Brace 7 opened the second day with Doodle Ridge Elroy (ESM), owned by Bruce Mueller, with Mark Hughes as bracemate for Marty Fester's Blue Ribbon's Harper Bella (PF) with Robert Ecker. Both dogs were animated and forward, showing a good pattern as they hit possible bird locations. Doodle Ridge had guests present to watch. At 58, Elroy stopped with a nice poise; however, as handler was attempting to flush, he moved in to assist. This being a "no-no," he was leashed. Blue Ribbon's Harper Bella had everyone on the wagon or mounted watching her cover all the logical places birds should be waiting. She hunted extremely well with a thorough coverage of the ground. Had she pointed a covey, things may have been different.

Brace 8 had owners of both dogs on the wagon. The Granthams from Tennessee were here to watch Attakullakulla (ESM) with Tony Bingham as bracemate for Norm Meeder's Mulberry Fields Molly (ESF) with Mark Hughes. These two had the whole wagon standing and eagerly watching. Attakullakulla had a very snappy animated ground race with several wide-forward casts. He scored two unproductives, which led to an early pick-up. Molly runs with a bubbly bounce forward at an acceptable pace. At 57, she pointed, although did not remain staunch, but moved several times before she was picked up.

Brace 9 is covered with the winners: Smoke Rise Jake (PM) with Tony Bingham and Sweet Grass Skipper (ESM) with David Huffine.

Brace 10 found Robert Ecker with Dun Rovens Midnite Ike (ESM), owned by Peter Millett, as bracemate for T's American Outlaw (ESM), owned by Dennis Beauford, with Tony Bingham. Ike is a very white with some orange setter who covered the ground with speed, style, and at a consistent range. He made good casts and returned when and where he should. He had one find at 21, just beyond the sign, which indicates the beginning of heat 2. Your reporter heard the shot ring out; however, the judge reported that he had some tail failure with this find. Outlaw may need to be renamed, as from the breakaway, he was erratic and independent. He quickly took to the country with no concern of handler. At 21 handler took the relocation device.

Brace 11 was a match with Twiggy (PF), owned and handled by Cliff Monroe, and the Emert's Grouse Ringer T (ESM) with Tony Bingham. Often, Dave and his wife make the trip to trials, and Dave runs his own dogs; however, this week, Bingham was in charge. Twiggy bounced away with her usual speed and snappy gait. She was forward and out of sight, with handler just walking briskly on with confidence that he'd soon see Twiggy. At 19, she was found tucked under a plum thicket where the cover opens up before a water hole. A lengthy 4-minute flushing attempt produced no quail, and Twiggy was released to hunt. Ringer T made several lengthy forward and wide casts; however, returning frequently. These two did not have bird work while under consideration.

Brace 12 called Tony Bingham to the line again. Mohawk Mill War Hawk's owner, J. D. Waters, was mounted to scout for his pointer male, as braced with Sweet Grass Slim (ESM), owned and handled by Dave Huffine. This last brace on day two was short. Sweet Grass Slim was in high gear and never looked back on a course he had once won on. Mohawk Mill War Hawk located and handled a covey in less than 2 minutes; however, he did not follow through with spirited and intelligent hunting for his hour.

Brace 13 was on the ground by 8:05 on Saturday morning, following a blessing for the day. Mark Hughes brought his Braggabull (PF) to the line as bracemate for Ash Creektug (ESM) with Robert Ecker. The opening casts went well; however, being directionally challenged, their hunting direction did not meet the judges' expectations.

Brace 14 called upon Greg Isenburg from Tennessee with Tenacee Rowdy (PM) to be on the line with Mark Hughes and Miller's Special Upgrade (PF), owned by Carlos Escalante. The pair laid out reaching races to begin their hour, purposefully hunting with rhythmic cadence at a good pace. At 35, Miller's Special Upgrade had a find, either shared or backed by Tenacee, who stood adjacent to Upgrade. The flushing attempt by both handlers put birds to flight; however, birds were well behind Tenacee. The dogs were taken across the sand road before being given the whistle command to return to hunting. Their hour failed to produce more bird contact, and their ground pattern lessened.
With shortened braces, the wagon driver returned to the clubhouse to pick up brace 16, as brace 15 was collared and unleashed. Gary Whitworth's Lincoln County Buddyboy (PM) was under the whistle of Tony Bingham, with Cliff Monroe handling Cottonwood Bucket List (PM). These two handlers are well versed in the sport of field trials and dog expectations; however, these two dogs did not hit the cover or exhibit positive ground applications today. At 5, Cottonwood Bucket List had an unproductive, nicely backed by Lincoln County Buddyboy. Cottonwood was picked up shortly after this while Buddy Boy continued forward. He made some good casts; however, returned frequently, leading to an early pick-up at 35.

Brace 16 had owners George Najor and Rich Warters on the top of the wagon to watch Bo of Piney Woods (PM) with Robert Ecker, who was braced with Rebel's Orange Crush (PF) under the guidance of Tony Bingham. The pair broke away spiritedly with barking before turning mostly forward. Bo was far to the front with proper drive; however, he failed to check in or make the correct turns, leading to the use of a location device by 35. Orange Crush, separated from bracemate, was not handling for Bingham but rather made a straight-away driving cast before being picked up.

Brace 17 found Greg Isenburg on the line again with Tenacee Franklin (PM) as bracemate for Mark Hughes with Carlos Escalante's pointer female, Miller's Hopped Up Version. This brace was busy with two dogs jumping purposefully forward, covering the edges of the woodline and crossing through big broomstraw patches, showing their intelligence of where game should be waiting. Franklin stood perfectly sure of himself at 19; however, handler was unable to produce birds. He did have a nice covey at 46. He hunted the course with in and out casts at a short to medium range. Miller's Hopped Up Version navigated the course with good style and purpose at a medium range. At 50, he approached handler and stopped chewing at her foot. Hughes checked it out before whistling him on. Shortly thereafter, she was picked up for an apparent foot injury.

Brace 18 culminated Saturday's running with two favorites. Roger McPherson was mounted to see Suemac's Sashay (PF) with Mark Hughes. Pedja Kazic was down from New York to guide his English setter male, Island Fantasy. The wagon was fully packed with spectators with a 2:27 breakaway. Suemac's Sashay stretched toward birdy objectives with efficient quickness of step. She stood tightly at 14; however, no birds were flown. Not beating the previous marks achieved by earlier dogs, she was leashed early. Island Fantasy was forward; perhaps way forward would be the correct term. We saw him sailing out of sight, again crossing the far knoll and then not seen again. The report was that the location device found him a little over 2 miles to the front.
Brace 19 called upon a favorite U. S. Complete competitor, Bobby Phillips, from Tennessee. He is also a Hall of Fame honoree. Today, he had Bob's Elhew Sage (PF) as bracemate for Erin's Battle Cry (PM) with Tony Bingham. Battle Cry is owned by the amateur team of Beauford, Timmerman, and Cook. These look-alike liver and white pointers were able to be distinguished between as Sage had an orange collar and Battle Cry had a blue and an orange collar. Sage also has a slightly smaller frame. Both were immediately into hunting mode as they traveled independently through the high grasses and along the wooded edges. Sage swung happily side to side but did not reach the edge and march forward. Handler chose to pick her up early. Battle Cry did not handle well for Bingham, choosing an out-of-pocket race at a moderate range. He returned to the wagon early.

Brace 20 ran on the closing morning of this 40th running of the U.S. Complete National Open Championship. Cliff Monroe tapped Treasure Chest (PM) loose at 8:10 beside Smoke Rise Hanna (PF), owned by Fred Rose, under the whistle of Tony Bingham. Treasure Chest was fast and animated as we watched him to the front and crossed the distant hill. By the time we reached the corner, he was no longer in sight. At 40 minutes, Monroe called for the location device. Smoke Rise Hanna scampered to the left, where everyone thought there would be birds; however, we did not see her again until the scout located her via a location device at nearly 30 minutes.

Brace 21 was turned loose at 9 a.m. with Aaron McAfee's pointer male, Crow Creek Redbud, with Tony Bingham to be braced with Mark Hughes's sister Ann's Wayward Flyin Tomato (ESM). This was an active brace for 48 minutes despite the beginning of rain. Wayward Flyin Tomato was flying determinedly out front, swinging sideways and up far to the front in a good stretching motion. Crow Creek Redbud covered the ground with a good attitude, hunting where he should at a good hunting range. Shortly after the breakaway, 12 deer were seen darting from the field in front of the dogs. No dogs were seen behind them. Redbud checked in frequently and became birdy in several spots. Tomato lessoned his casts when he found no birds and began hunting closer. By 48, both dogs were returned to the wagon.

The final brace was a bye-dog, Lincoln County Jack (ESM), belonging to Daryl and Vicki Grantham from Tennessee. Despite the rain, the owners were on the top of the wagon to watch as Tony Bingham attempted to bring them a championship. The big, classy black and white setter traveled on air, showing good ground intelligence as he rolled forward, reaching side to side. He stood tall and proud at 20; however, no quail were flown. He continued with nice ground action as the hour progressed, having a few long absences. Once returned to the handler, he cast determinedly toward the clubhouse. A scout was sent to pick him up via a location device, although deer hampered his speedy return.

Hoffman, N. C., February 8
Judges: Lefty Henry and Gary Miller
U. S. COMPLETE NATIONAL OPEN SHOOTING DOG CHAMPIONSHIP [One-Hour Heats] - 28 Pointers and 15 Setters

Winner-SMOKE RISE JAKE, 1684876, pointer male, by Stoney Run's Buddy-Smoke Rise Mariah. P. F. Rose, owner; Tony Bingham, handler.
Runner-Up-SWEET GRASS SKIPPER, 1698209, setter male, by Sweet Grass Slim-Tower Hill Zoey Zee. David Huffine, owner and handler.

Judges U S Natl ChS24

(L-r): Judges Robert "Lefty" Henry and Gary Miller.