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Event: Youth Trial
Result: Southern Field Trial Club

Location: Albany, Georgia

Post Date: May 14, 2024

Submitted By: Maria Bassham

Southern YouthS24

2024 Southern FTC Youth Trial Winners (r-l): Blaine Beane and Kevin Beane with Tank, Addison McDuffie with Lou, and Sawyer King with Stan. (Second row): Matt King, Hunter McDuffie, Mindy Taylor McDuffie, and Steve Wiley (judge). (Third row): Jesse Graffam (judge), an unidentified spectator, and Roger King. [Photo by Chris Mathan]

The Southern Field Trial Club held its first youth field trial on the splendid Nilo Plantation in Albany, Georgia, on March 16. We were so excited to have 16 kids compete with their dogs on that glorious Saturday; some for their first time. There were 19 Pointers and two English Setters that ran with their young handlers. All the kids did a superb job and were supported by a spectacular gallery of 82 riders and two dog wagons loaded with spectators. We ran six braces that morning and then stopped to enjoy a wonderful lunch the Southern Field Trial Club provided. After a nice break, we headed back out for the last braces and ended the day with a bye-dog in the 11th brace.

We want to thank Steve "Kudzu" Wiley, of Dawson, Georgia, and Jessie Graffam, of Pavo, Georgia, for judging these young field trialers and inspiring them to keep doing what they love. Thank you to Tim and Polly Moore for all they did to make this special trial happen. Thank you to Garrett Jones and the entire crew at Nilo for ensuring this beautiful day ran smoothly. The Youth Field Trial Alliance provided rosettes for the top three winners and participation ribbons and dog biscuits for the winners. Goodie bags from the Southern Field Trial Club were also given to all the kids. The judges were presented with Strideaway-published books as a thank-you for their time in the saddle. Youth Field Trial Alliance's Chris Mathan photographed the fabulous day. She sent 8x10 winners' prints to all three winners as well as a large 10x20 print of the entire crowd that included all the youth handlers, their dogs, the judges, the Nilo crew, and the enormous gallery as a thank-you gift to Nilo Plantation for hosting such a special day. This Dixie Trace Field Trial Association points trial was spearheaded by Nilo Plantation's manager, Garrett Jones. He was eager to give his son, Payson, and other local children the opportunity to run a dog in a youth trial. Hall of Fame handler Tommy Davis had been giving Payson some handling tips. Tommy spoke to Youth Field Trial Alliance director Claudia McNamee, who, in turn, spoke to Dixie Trace Field Trial Association president Joe Rentz. It was decided that the Southern Field Trial Club would be the most appropriate organization to ask to host the event.

Our first exciting brace of the day was run by Kaidence Cumbie with her English Setter female, "Lady," and Loretta Cook with her male Pointer, "Pickles." The wild birds were in abundance for Lady, having two finds and two backs. Pickles also stopped and honored Lady on one of her finds. Loretta, in her tiny chaps and pink cowgirl hat, enjoyed her 20 minutes with her grandfather, Tracy Swearingen, helping her along the way.

In the second brace were Addison McDuffie with her second-place-winning female Pointer, "Lou," and first-time youth field trialer Skylar Riley with her male Pointer, "Tom." Lou ran an impressive race with five finds in her 20 minutes on the ground. Tom had one find with birds up and one back. Skylar, who runs barrels on most weekends, was enthusiastic about her first experience as a field trialer and being braced with Addie, a seasoned winner. It was an exciting brace for the two girls and their Pointers.

The third brace was our first-place winner, Blaine Beane, with his male Pointer, "Tank," and Harper Wiseman, with her male Pointer, "Ike." It was fun watching first-timer Blaine, with his grandfather, Ronnie Beane, by his side, have two impressive finds. He was thrilled to raise his little cap gun high in the air while Tank held steady to wing and shot. His scout, Kevin Beane, could not have been prouder of his son. Ike had a nice run with one find and one back. It was a pleasure watching Harper, who is normally in the show ring, run her bird dog with her dad, Quintin Wiseman, as her scout.

In the fourth brace were Pearce Garland with his female Pointer, "Patsy," and Kira Jenkins with her female Pointer, "Bess." Pearce got to experience his first trial with his grandfather, Ray Pearce, at his side. Patsy had one classy find during her time on the ground. Bess also had one find for Kira with a nice covey up.

The fifth brace was Evelyn Taff with her male Pointer, "Mud," and Griffyn Long with her female Pointer, "May." Evelyn enjoyed her time in the saddle with her grandfather, Tim Moore, helping her. Both dogs stopped, with May honoring Mud. The Pointers continued their race and finished their 20 minutes for their young handlers.

The sixth brace was Harper King with her female Pointer, "Rose," and Loretta Cook with her male Pointer, "Patches." Rose, no stranger to field trials, had two finds in her 20 minutes, and Patches had a stop to flush with birds up. The girls enjoyed being braced together and watching their dogs run.

In the seventh brace were Kira Jenkins with her male Pointer, "Buzz," and Montana McLean with her English Setter female, "Sally." Montana had the assistance of her dad, Cody McLean, while she ran Sally. Both dogs ran an impressive race and handled well for their young field trialers.
The eighth brace was Payson Jones with his Pointer female, "Jill," and Kimbrell Durr with her Pointer female, "Abby." Kimbrell enjoyed her 20 minutes riding with her mom and having her grandfather, Ray Pearce, guide and encourage her. Her pointer, Abby, had one back honoring Jill. Both dogs stopped when time was called just in time to flush a bunny from the brush. This was the first youth trial for both Payson and Kimbrell, and they did an incredible job handling their dogs! Payson, who had been riding up front the entire day watching and learning, gave 100% during his time on the ground.

The ninth brace was our third-place winner, Sawyer King, with her male Pointer, "Stan," and Harper Wiseman and her male Pointer, "Jake." The girls had an exciting brace, with Stan having three impressive finds and one back. Jake had a stop to flush with one bird getting up and one additional find.

In the 10th brace was Payson Jones and his male Pointer, "Big," and Denim Dalton with her female Pointer, "Sally." Big ran an impressive race for his young handler. Both dogs had a stop to flush a nice covey rise. Payson and Denim shot their guns while the dogs held their classy points. This was Denim's first time experiencing the thrill of running a bird dog.

The 11th brace was a bye-dog for Addison McDuffie and her female Pointer, "Dot." Dot ran her solo race, stopping to point with mere seconds remaining. She was relocated, but to no avail. The pointer from Alabama wrapped up a fun and exciting day for these kids that got to experience field trialing with some of the best. We were lucky to have Field Trial Hall of Famer Tommy Davis help scout for the kids. I think he had the most fun out of all of us! It was a thrilling day and one that won't soon be forgotten!