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Result: West Tennessee Open Field Trial Club

Location: Dancyville, Tennessee

Post Date: Mar 27, 2024

Submitted By: Jim Atchison

West Tennessee Open Field Trial Club

Open All-Age Winners (front, l to r): Kyle Graves with Miller's King Poast, Jerry Raynor with Touch's Breakaway Fred, and Ike Todd with Haney's Storm Warning. Others (l- r): Kim Todd, Elizabeth Leatherwood, Molly McCarley, Chris Mullin, Isaiah Todd, Marty Todd, Julia Currie, Allen Currie, Crutcher Stoots, Korry Rinehart, Tony King (judge), Hailey Moreland, Stacey Croy, Steve Croy, Alex Rickert, Gailen Cooper (judge), Mark McLean, Carl Owens, Bill Currie, J P Hathcock, Ann Forrester, and John Todd.

The first sight and sound this reporter heard when arriving at the West Tennessee clubhouse the day before the club's Open stakes were to begin was Bill Currie with a chainsaw cutting wood for the fire that burns continually during each field trial held there. The fire has frequently been referred to metaphorically as representing the energy, heat, light, hospitality, and enthusiasm that are projected by the members of that club. This 2024 gathering, somewhere near the 70th year of field trialing on the Currie Farm and adjoining grounds near Dancyville, Tennessee, was no exception.

Thirty-five all-age dogs and 17 derbies gathered for the four days of competition, held February 16-19, and were judged by AFTCA President Tony King and Purina Consultant Gailen Cooper. Tony King is from Audrain County, Missouri, and manages public water supply districts there. Gailen Cooper, who lives near Hazelhurst, Mississippi, works for Purina, dealing specifically with the Hound and Police K-9 Divisions of the company.

Speaking of Purina, the Nestl Purina Company again generously sponsored the field trial, as they have done for many years. The company's commitment to dietary research and the production of quality pet foods is respected and appreciated, and thanks for Purina's sponsorship was voiced by the club's leadership.

Copying the saying, "It takes a village to raise a child," one might paraphrase, "It takes a community of generous landowners to provide the wonderful three courses, each one hour or more in length, which are a part of the West Tennessee grounds." Those landowners include Bill and Allen Currie, who own the clubhouse and surrounding land, which has been in their family for five generations. Other owners include Skip Taylor, Mrs. Jan McCloud, Ed and Alice McClanahan, Dr. and Mrs. Gene Spiotta, Gordie Jones, Larry and Janell Humber, Ike and Marty Todd, and Alex and Bryana Rickert. All were invited to a Saturday night barbeque, recognized, and thanked for their support of the sport.

Numerous officers and club members were constantly on hand, cooking, cleaning, hauling horses, manning the dog wagon, and doing the many other things that are part of each field trial. They included Bill Currie, Allen Currie, J P Hathcock, Chris Mullin, Ike Todd, Crutcher Stoots, Dale Pool, Gary Brown, and Curt Waddell.

First place was won by Miller's King Poast, owned by Jannie Chapman of Memphis and handled by Korry Rinehart from Rienzi, Mississippi. The winner competed in the 13th brace, which was run the first hour on Sunday morning with the early temperature at 19 degrees. King Poast pointed first at 29 on the far back side of the Taylor/McCloud land and again at 42 back near Blalock Road. He looked great on his birds each time Rinehart flushed and shot, but his win was definitely earned by his awesome race. His determination and power were evident for the full hour and were much appreciated by the judges and the small number who watched him on that cold morning.

Now, more about Rinehart. He scouted for and worked with Gary Lester prior to Lester's experiencing serious health problems during the past year. He has stepped up and is doing a great job with Gary Lester's dogs while Gary is still very much in the sport and continuing to improve with the good wishes and prayers of leagues of friends who miss him and wish him the best.

Touch's Breakaway Fred, owned by Bruce and Karen Norton and Gary and Becky Futch and handled by Mark McLean from Doerun, Georgia, won second place. Fred's placement was earned in the seventh brace with the morning temperature at 24, which marked the beginning of a cold day with a disagreeable north wind. He had one find, which came at 48, shortly before crossing Blalock Road near the end of the first hour course. He handled the flush and shot well, then proceeded to the north side of Blalock Road and had an unproductive stand at 56. Fred ran a strong and forward race, yet missed his opportunity to demonstrate a strong finish as time ran out during the unproductive at the end of the hour.
Haney's Storm Warning won third place under the whistle of his owner, Chris Cagle from Woodlawn, Tennessee. A nice, forward race with plenty of style and three finds earned the win for the 4-year-old Pointer. Those finds were at 16, 24, and 39 as he competed in the second brace of competition and navigated the tight turns, road crossings, and vastly different types of terrain that make up the second hour course.

Miller's Blindsider, the 2023 National Champion, owned by Nick Berrong and handled by Jamie Daniels, was braced with Superstition's Jake, owned by Ric Peterson and handled by Brodie Byrd, who ran in the first brace of the contest. Blindsider was picked up shortly before the end of the hour, having found no birds. Superstition's Jake pointed the same covey twice, first at 17 and again at 46, with a large circular sweep around the Taylor/McCloud acreage between the two stands and far to the front of his handler on the second stop. He then finished the hour.

Cochise B, one of four English Setters in the competition and handled by his owner, Dr. Marion Brown, competed in the second brace, paired with the third-place winner. The Setter had a find at 22, backed his bracemate at 39, and finished the full 60 minutes under judgment.

Coldwater War Cry, owned by Paul Melton and handled by Gary McKibben, and Dominator's Wild Bill, owned by Nick Berrong and Jack and Sarah Schwarz and handled by Jamie Daniels, were braced together in the third brace. War Cry had a find at 22, and Wild Bill backed. During the following minutes, War Cry became lost, and McKibben asked for his tracker. At that time, Daniels elected to put Wild Bill in his harness, so the brace ended early.

Brace 4 brought Woodville's Saddle Tramp, owned and handled by Carl Owens, and Touch's Midnight Rider, owned by John Milton and handled by Mark McLean, to the 1 p.m. breakaway. McLean asked for his tracker at 31. Saddle Tramp had unproductives at 42 and 49 and was picked up.

Touch's Malcolm Story, owned by Alex Rickert and handled by Mark McLean, and Coldwater Odyssey, owned by Andrew and Debra Agnew and handled by Gary McKibben, were then released near the double bridges to compete in brace 5. But both dogs were picked up early, at about 25.

Brace 6 started on the Humber property with Miller's White Reign, owned by Ric Peterson and handled by Brodie Byrd, running alone. With threatening rain looming throughout the hour, White Rain produced the largest number of finds of any dog in the competition. He had five finds at 8, 19, 27, 37, and 58. While his race fell short of making the best impression, his performance really made the hour interesting, in that there was lots of racing from point to point and, also, that he proved there were lots of birds on the courses. Oh, and about the rain, it started in earnest within a few minutes after the hour ended.

The following day was raw, with a cold north wind and the temperature moving from a low of 24 to a high of 37. Texas Wild Rex, owned by Aaron Bolli and handled by Allen Vincent, went in the first brace, No. 7, with the second-place winner, Breakaway Fred. Rex had birds at 10 in the area of a cedar tree, approaching the well, but then got away afterward, and Vincent asked for his tracker at 25.

Brace 8 had Sandridge Big Iron, handled by Allen Vincent for Dr. James Mills and Steve Lytle, paired with Lester's Shockwave, owned by Tommy and Bonnie Hamilton and handled by Korry Rinehart. Big Iron had a stop to flush at 7 that was backed by Shockwave. A short while later, Vincent picked up his dog. Shockwave continued to hunt until he had a find at 26. However, Rinehart lifted him from a low crouching position before flushing and afterward was given his tracker by a judge.

Andy Daugherty loosed Westfall's Power Trip, owned by Bill Westfall, and Mark McLean loosed Touch's Shadow Rider, owned by Dr. Reuben Richardson and Bruce and Karen Norton for brace 9. Andy elected to pick his dog up early, and Shadow Rider did not find any birds during the hour.

After lunch, in brace 10, Daugherty had Westfall's Pioneer Pete for Bill Westfall, and Rinehart had Lester's Storm Surge for Tommy and Bonnie Hamilton. Storm Surge found birds at 17, and Pete backed, but there was no other game contact.

In brace 11, Westfall's True Grit, owned by Ryan Westfall and handled by Andy Daugherty, was braced with Woodville's Yukon Cornelius, owned and handled by Carl Owens. True Grit had birds at 27 but was then picked up. Yukon Cornelius was lost in the first half hour, and Owens got his tracker.

Westfall's Wheels Up, owned by Bill Westfall and handled by Daugherty, hunted next, paired with Haney's All In, owned by Steve and Stacey Croy and handled by Mark McLean. Daugherty asked for his tracker at 21, while Haney's All In finished the hour but found no birds for McLean.

With the temperature at 19 and lots of frost, Westfall's River Ice, owned by Brad Calkins and handled by Andy Daugherty, was braced with the first-place winner. Andy picked his dog up at 9.

Allen Vincent had Wynona's Nickleback Sugar, owned by Brad Tolson and Bruce Sooter, in brace 14 paired with Haney's Silver Dollar, owned and handled by Chris Cagle. Silver Dollar had birds at 18, backed by Nickleback Sugar. Later in the hour, pointed, but following a long relocation effort, the stop proved unproductive. There was no other action during the remainder of the hour.

Valiant Heir, owned by Robby Robinson and handled by Vincent, went next braced with Westfall's Mandalay, owned by Dr. Jim Santarelli and handled by Daugherty. Mandalay pointed at 3, but Daugherty was not able to flush any birds. Then Mandalay pointed again at 13 with Valiant Heir backing. Both dogs handled both the flush of a single and the shot well. No other birds were moved, and Vincent asked for his tracker before the end of the hour.

Mayfield Storm Charger and Dream Chaser were paired in brace 18. Vincent had Storm Charger, owned by Jake Davis and Scott Mason, while Daugherty had Dream Chaser, owned by Brad Calkins. Dream Chaser found birds at 7, but then both handlers elected to pick up their dogs at 18.

Dunn's True Reign, owned by Norris Sims and handled by Allen Vincent, and Nosam's Sweet Water, owned by Jeff Busby and handled by Larry Huffman, were the last pair to compete in the all-age competition. The action started when the dogs had a divided find at 23. Then True Reign pointed again, and birds were flushed with Sweet Water backing. True Reign had a final find at the extreme south end of Ike and Marty Todd's property. Huffman put Sweet Water in his harness at 49, and True Reign found no more birds in the remaining minutes of the hour.

Dancyville, Tenn., February 16
Judges: Gailen Cooper and Tony King
OPEN ALL-AGE [One-Hour Heats]- 31 Pointers and 4 Setters

1st-MILLER'S KING POAST, 1702090, pointer male, by Lester's Storm Surge-R W Susie Q. Jannie Chapman, owner; Korry Rinehart, handler.
2d-TOUCH'S BREAKAWAY FRED, 1680750, pointer male, by Touch's Mega Mike-Touch's American Baby. Bruce & Karen Norton, Gary & Becky Futch, owners; Mark McLean, handler.
3d-HANEY'S STORM WARNING, 1691416, pointer male, by Valiant-Haney's North Star. Chris Cagle Sr., owner and handler.

Haney's Easy Money, owned by Steve and Stacey Croy and handled by Mark McLean, won first place with his performance in the third brace. His first stand was at 16, which proved to be unproductive. He then produced birds at 26, east of the deer stand on Gordie Jones, and finished shortly thereafter. He ran aggressively and looked good throughout the half hour.
Lester's War Bird, owned by Gary Lester and handled by Korry Rinehart, won second with his 9th brace performance wherein he found one covey at 16 about 50 yards from a Johnnie house on the second hour course of Dr. Spiotta.
Wild Covey Sundial won third place. He was handled by Andy Daugherty for owner Brad Calkins. Sundial competed in the fifth brace and found one covey at 19 shortly before leaving Alex Rickert's property when crossing Fayette Corner Road northward back onto McClanahan.

OPEN DERBY - 13 Pointers and 4 Setters
1st-HANEY'S EASY MONEY, 1702602, pointer male, by Dominator's Rebel Heir-Haney's North Star. Steve & Stacey Croy, owners; Mark McLean, handler.
2d-LESTER'S WAR BIRD, 1705485, pointer male, by Lester's Storm Surge-R W Susie Q. Gary Lester, owner; Korry Rinehart, handler.
3d-WILD COVEY SUNDIAL, 1701529, pointer male, by Miller's Speed Dial-Wild Covey Jackie. Brad Calkins, owner; Andy Daugherty, handler.

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Open Derby Winners (front, l-r): Jerry Raynor with Haney's Easy Money and Kyle Graves with Lester's War Bird. (Behind, l-r): Matthew Forsythe, John Todd, Kim Todd, Ike Todd, Elizabeth Leatherwood, Molly McCarley, Chris Mullin, Allen Currie, Mark McLean, Julia Currie, Isaiah Todd, Stacey Croy, Hailey Moreland, Steve Croy, Tony King (judge), Korry Rinehart, Alex Rickert, Gailen Cooper (judge), Bill Currie, Carl Owens, Julia Currie, J P Hathcock, Crutcher Stoots, and Ann Forrester.