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Result: National Amateur Pheasant Championship

Location: Berea, Kentucky

Post Date: Dec 20, 2021

Submitted By: Jim Pendergest

National Amateur Pheasant Championship

The Winners. From left: Matt Pendergest with Pendy's Good Grace and Tim Hammons with Game Rebel. Behind: Jim Pendergest, Buster Tucker, Judges Joe Hopkins and Jon Lam; Dr. Fred Corder, and Chris Cagle.

The 90th consecutive renewal of the National Amateur Pheasant Championship concluded on Sunday, November 14, with Judges Joe Hopkins and Jon Lam naming Pendy's Good Grace the 2021 champion. Grace is owned and handled by Matt Pendergest of Georgetown, Ky., and successfully defended her title from 2020.

Game Rebel, owned and handled by Dr. Fred Corder of Corinth, Miss., was named runner-up champion.

The National Amateur Pheasant Championship is the second oldest of the sixteen National Amateur Championships, following only the National Amateur Quail Championship.

A comprehensive review of the history of the National Amateur Pheasant Championship was included in the report of the Championship last year. As a brief recap, the inaugural running was held in 1933 in Oneida, N. Y., then moved to Buffalo, N. Y., until 1946 when it moved to Cranbury, N. J., until 1952. It was held at Indiantown Gap, Pa., for one renewal and Woodland, Calif., for one year and then to Baldwinsville, N. Y., until 1963 when it moved to Killdeer Plains Wildlife Area near Harpster, Ohio.

From 2010 through 2020 it was held at Dresden, Ohio. Due to the decline in entries at the Dresden location the decision was made to move the trial this year.

Originally plans were to run the Championship at Pyramid State Park in Pinckneyville, Ill., from November 18-21. Despite the fact that those dates were originally granted for the trial at that area, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources later rescinded the dates due to deer hunting season. After some juggling of club dates at the Central Kentucky Wildlife Management Area, November 12-14 were made available to host the trial.

Judges for this renewal turned out to be as problematic as obtaining the grounds. Joe Hopkins of London, Ky., was an original invitee and he was fortunately able to complete the assignment. Don Wiggins initially agreed to judge, but a knee started acting up during a prior judging engagement and he was forced to withdraw.

Sandy Maclean of Grand Blanc, Mich., agreed to step in to replace Don and then he had a horse spill the weekend before this trial and had to withdraw as well.

Fortunately Jon Lam of Carbondale, Ill., was able to fill in on very short notice. Both Joe and Jon are experienced judges and both train and handle their own dogs. They gave each dog their full attention and the results were well received by all. The AFTCA and the participating members putting on the trial appreciate their service to the sport.

Special thanks also go out to Pam Tucker for arranging the lunches and snacks for the dog wagon, including making delicious sausage sandwiches on French toast.

Thanks to Buster Tucker and Tim Hammons for releasing pheasants and assisting with marshalling. Thanks to Kristine Hammons and Matt Pendergest who also assisted with marshalling as needed.

Special appreciation also goes to AFTCA Secretary Piper Huffman for handling the ad for the trial and the drawing, as well as many other details.

As always, these trials would be nearly impossible without the support of Purina and Greg Blair. Purina dog food was awarded to both the winner and runner up and were received with great appreciation to Purina.


Pendy's Good Grace got things started with a bang in the first brace of the stake with a strong three-find performance.

Breaking away from the clubhouse, she was sent to the right along Dreyfus Road. She showed to the front along the Mullin's property and continued her big swing across the far treeline at the end of the bottom. Pendergest had her gathered at the concrete weir, sent her forward and showed her at the top of the hill at the round woods.

Grace was next seen on point just across the gravel road the old barn location where she had a pheasant pinned with excellent style and manners. She continued her showy race in the big bottoms below the 20th Century Fund hill and through the back corner of the area. After crossing Muddy Creek Road, she was again found pointing along the feed strip at the Goose Pond woods. All was in order here with another pheasant find at 47.

Pendergest sent her to the left around the woods toward the Goose Pond. The course swung back to the right and after several minutes the call of point came from scout Buster Tucker in the distance past the Agee house where she recorded her third pheasant find at 56. She finished ambitiously in the Agee bottom to set a standard that would not be met.

Dr. Fred Corder's Game Rebel was loosed in the fourth brace, also from the clubhouse in the first brace after lunch. He made the big swing past the Mullins property and showed well to the front as the party topped the hill. Corder gathered him at the creek crossing and sent him left to hunt the tree line leading to the round woods. Rebel was absent for a spell here, showing just past the old barn location. Corder then showed him to the left on an impressive cast in the big bottom. He continued to show well around the back corner of the property and made a nice swing around the sow pond field before crossing the creek.

Across Muddy Creek Road, the call of point came and Rebel scored beautifully on a much needed pheasant just before the Drive In field at 41 minutes. Rebel continued to excel on the ground as the course made the turn at the Agee house and was rewarded with a find on quail at 56 near the Mail Box breakaway. Turned loose headed toward the shooting range Rebel finished with plenty of energy.


Pendy's Good Grace (Pendergest) with Little More Shine (Hammons). Grace was reported above. Shine took the liberty of a few steps at the flush of a pheasant at 12 and was up.

Blue Eyed Dream (Turner) with Crouse's White Dragon (Crouse). Dream was off to a fast start with a pheasant find at 5 in the Drive In field and another at 9 by the Clubhouse woods. Dream made some impressive swings through the country and was attracting everyone's attention, but a third pheasant find at 19 proved to be too tempting. Dragon was making good use of the country and showed well through the hour. After an absence of about 15 minutes he showed to the front and scored on pheasant at pick up time.

Dialed In (Pendergest) scored nicely on a covey of quail at 6 and then was gone with the retreival unit being requested at 22. Buckeye White Knight (Brown) backed at 6 and had a stop to flush on a covey of quail at 12. At 28 he scored on a pheasant with all in order. At 52 Knight was on point again, with another pheasant resulting and Knight marking flight before completing his hour.

Game Rebel (Corder) has been described. Crouse's Tennessee Game Kate (Crouse) was showing well initially and then had an absence from 22 until 56 where she was backing Rebel on his quail find. She finished headed toward the shooting range.

The Waco Kid was a handful for Brown from the start and was seen sparingly throughout. He finished the hour. Crouse's Equalizer (Crouse) was gone at 18, with the retrieval device requested at 58.

Game Wardon (Corder) ran the front with purpose, but suffered unproductives at 30 and 42 to end his bid. Cocklebur King Tut (Pendergest) was a handful for substitute handler Pendergest today. After a 19-minute absence he was found pointing at 26 where a pheasant was produced with all in order. At 32 as he caught the front, Wardon was on point and Tut found the excitement too much to bear and was up for failing to back.

Storm's End (Pendergest) with Haynes Endless Summer (Cagle). End was making big swings to start this brace and scored on quail at 12 just across the concrete weir with all in order. Point was called again at 14 and a relocation was required. A second stand produced a running cock pheasant that was finally put to wing for the shot. End continued making big swings through the back of the course and required some work to keep in touch. Just across Muddy Creek Road, she scored again on a divided pheasant with Summer, both with excellent manners. Summer was strong throughout the hour, keeping Cagle on his toes to stay in touch. After the divided find at 42, he finished strong through the Agee bottoms.

Shagtime Max (Cagle) was gone early and the retrieval unit was requested. Casey Creek Ice Crystal (Tucker) was contending for consideration with an excellent find on a covey of quail at 12, followed by an impressive pheasant find at 22. She suffered an unproductive at 32, scored on another pheasant at 45, then was not seen again during the hour.

Game Heir (Corder), as a bye, was gone from breakaway, the retrieval device requested at 23.

National Amateur Pheasant Championship

Berea, Ky., November 13

Judges: Joe Hopkins and Jon Lam


[One-Hour Heats] -- 14 Pointers, 2 Setters and 1 Irish Setter

Winner--PENDY'S GOOD GRACE, 1664858, pointer female, by Reloaded--Dialed In. Matt Pendergest, owner and handler.

Runner-Up--GAME REBEL, 1691929, pointer male, by Dominator's Rebel Heir--Game Creek. Dr. Fred Corder, owner and handler.

National Amateur Pheasant Championship