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Result: Atlantic Coast Open Shooting Dog Championship

Location: Hoffman, North Carolina

Post Date: Feb 26, 2022

Submitted By: David Huffine

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Miller's Lock and Loaded, a six-year-old white and orange pointer male owned by New Jersey patrons Bill and Muriel Primm, took top honors in a field of 43 of the best shooting dogs in the country to win the 2022 Atlantic Coast Open Shooting Dog Championship held at the Robert Gordon Field Trial Grounds in Hoffman, N. C., on January 23 .

The champion, fresh from a win at the Georgia Open Shooting Dog Championship, was handled by Mike Tracy and scouted by Jack Kimbrell. He is by Just Irresistible and Miller's Bring the Heat.

Runner-up was Reedy Creek Dial Tone, white and black pointer male, by Miller's Dialing In and White Diamond Sally, owned by Joe McHugh and also handled by Mike Tracy with Jack Kimbrell scouting.

Judges for the Championship and accompanying Derby were Tony Bingham of Shelby, N.C., and John Outlaw of Warsaw, N.C. Tony is a professional trainer/handler with many years of experience training and trialing bird dogs. John has trained and trialed his own dogs and has been a fixture judging field trial championships around the southeastern United States over the past ten years.

Birds were plentiful for three days of the Championship with eighteen coveys moved the first day and fifteen the second day. The third day produced a strong north wind and birds were hard to locate. Thursday morning produced adequate numbers of birds.


The champion was released in the second brace on course No. 2 at 9:20 a.m. and was paired with Brown's Miss April, handled by Sean Melvin. Monday morning weather was perfect for running with temperatures in the mid-30s.

Patch had a bold, blistering race, showing to the front consistently and stylishly. Patch's finds were spaced throughout the hour and he was found standing at 10, 27 and 50, all with high tail and head and all in order. His early performance made it clear to all that observed that it was going to take an exceptional performance to best him and made the judges' work easier as they had a dog they could carry. April had a steady performance with a find at 38 but could not match the race nor the bird production of Patch.

The runner-up ran in brace No. 20 which began the Thursday morning competition. "Cody" and his bracemate, Saddleridge Thunder, a setter handled by Jeanette Tracy, broke away at 8:04 a.m. in 26 weather. Cody broke to the front immediately and ran a wonderful, consistent and continuous forward race, establishing a perfect Hoffman shooting dog range and returning to the handler only for water or as directed by Mike. Jeanette called for the retrieval unit at 22, leaving Mike and Cody with the majority of course No. 1 to themselves. Cody had a flawless find at 45 which gave him the birdwork necessary for the runner-up placement.


The Championship began on a Monday morning with dogs breaking away on course No. 1 at 8:10 a.m., temperature of 35 . A snow and ice storm from the preceding weekend had made Sunday conditions difficult but warming temperatures on Sunday afternoon had melted most of the snow and left good moisture and scenting conditions in the sandhills of Hoffman.

The first brace matched Racy's Rich and Rare (PM/M. Tracy) with Fort River Lucky Charm (ESM/Matt Basilone). Mike's dog had a stop to flush at 11. Neither his race nor birdwork were pleasing his handler and he was picked up at 19. Matt's dog had a moderate, forward race with an unproductive at 38. He finished his hour.

The second brace had the winner.

Courses 2 and 3 hosted the third brace for Pine Straw Sweet Tea, a fetching setter female handled by Jeanette Tracy, and Osceola's Seminole Wind (PF/M. Tracy). Jeanette's dog looked good on the ground but had unproductives at 18 and 31. Mike's dog went AWOL early and he called for the retrieval device.

Monday afternoon brought Miller's High Heat Index (PM/M. Tracy) and Deerfield Game (PF/Basilone) to the line on course No. 4 for what proved to be perhaps the most entertaining brace of the Championship. Mike's dog had an early find at 14 which was followed by an unproductive at 25 following a long relocation attempt. He had a divided find at 35, a stop to flush at 48 and another divided find at 58. Matt's dog had a divided find at 35, a find at 50 and a divided find at 58. The divided find at 58 was particularly scenic with both dogs standing beautifully on a small knoll as both handlers successfully flushed and fired. Both dogs performed exceptionally but possibly without the race the judges rewarded for the winners. There were lots of smiles in the gallery about the birds produced during this brace.

Waybetter Rocky (PM/M. Tracy) and Steel City Alabama (PM/Basilone) began brace 5 at 2:10 p.m. under comfortable conditions. Rocky was up at 21. Matt had an unproductive at 23 but produced no birds for his time on the course.

The last brace of the day was Brown's Ace (PM/Melvin) and Miller's Braveheart (PM/M. Tracy). Sean's dog had a divided find at 9 and a back at 33. He showed a moderate, forward race with some very nice casts, especially on the hillside to the north on Course No. 5. Tracy's dog participated in the divided find at 9 and an unproductive at 33. He ran a good race and finished his hour.

Unfortunately, the trial reporter had truck problems and missed the Tuesday morning braces. The information below comes from gallery wagon and judges' reports as opposed to personal observation.

Tuesday morning's brace No. 7 began at the clubhouse with a temperature of 41 . Hard Truth (PM/Doug Ray) and Bronco Bully (PM/M. Tracy) broke away at 8:04 a.m. and were only seen for a short period of time after the breakaway. Both handlers called for their retrieval units early.

Brace No. 8 featured Absolute Dominator (PM/D. Ray) and Southpoint Hog Wild (PM/M. Tracy). Dominator highlighted a good race with finds at 33 and 49. No information was available on Mike's dog.

Hatteras Storm Surge (SM/D. Ray) and Cheyenne Jack (PM/M. Tracy) were in the ninth brace which broke away at 10:04 a.m. in a comfortable 44 . Storm Surge went missing and Doug called for the retrieval unit. Jack had a modest race with an unproductive before the Army Camp and a find shortly after the Army Camp. Times were not available to the reporter.

The 10th brace featured Bittersweet War Cry (PM/M. Tracy) and the Derby Two Spot Tommy (PM/D. Ray) which was competing against the big dogs. War Cry was up early. Tommy produced a find at 24 and finished his hour.

The afternoon braces began at 1:03 p.m. on course No. 4 with the reporter back in place. No. 11: The Secret (PM/J. Tracy) and Miller's Unbridled Forever, the 2021 Champion (PM/M. Tracy). Jeanette's dog proved to be quite the bird-finder with finds at 26 and 34. He was standing again at 46. Jeanette's meticulous flushing attempt produced no birds; she relocated her dog. Upon relocation, scattered birds exploded from areas where Jeanette had flushed and areas the dog had covered with the dog stopping at the flush. Mike's dog had a find at 6 and a spectacular, forward race.

Brace No. 12 began at the road crossing with Harbor City Sure Shot (PM/M. Basilone) and Answered Prayers (PM/M. Tracy). Mike's dog wasn't beating what had been on the ground and was collared at 18. Matt followed suit at 20.

Miller's War Bonnet (PF/M. Tracy) and Hatteras Riptide (SM/Ray) broke away at 2:54 p.m. to begin the thirteenth brace. Tracy's dog was wide and Mike collared him early. Riptide was long and linear to begin his run but scored a find at 39 in a feed patch near the end of course No. 5. Thereafter, Riptide settled into a beautiful, flowing race along the edges of the long leafs and wiregrass of course No. 6. He finished the hour with no additional bird work.

Wednesday morning brought sunshine, a northwest wind and temperatures in the high 30s as Land Cruiser Benny (SM/J.Tracy) and Dominator's Ghost Rider (PM/Ray) were loosed at the clubhouse breakaway on course No. 1. Benny jetted away and Jeanette called for her unit at the Beaver Pond. Ghost Rider has had significant success at this Championship the prior two years but this year was not his year. He had an unproductive early and was lost from sight. Doug called for the device and ultimately located him near the BP station on Highway 1 in the town of Hoffman.

Doug's absence created an unusual scenario for brace No. 15. Doug was to run I'm Spartacus (PM) with Miller's Record Heat Index (PF/Tracy), but Doug was an hour away roading his dog in from the previous brace. Jeanette had been helping Doug and Doug directed her to handle the dog in his absence. Jett Ferebee, the dog's owner, was called into service to scout his dog. Both turned in magnificent performances with Jeanette handling the dog as if it were on her string and Jett in all the right places at the right times. Both dogs ran wonderful races but birds were not moving in the wind. Had either dog had birdwork, the ultimate placements may have been altered.

After the excitement of the first two morning braces, handlers were back with their own dogs with Miller's Extreme Heat (PF/M. Tracy) and Double Dee Deeva (SF/J. Tracy) breaking away at approximately 10:30 a.m. Scenting conditions were difficult and birds were not on the course. Mike had an unproductive at 23 and picked up at 35. Deeva had an unproductive at 27. Her second unproductive at 42 ended her morning run.

Afternoon conditions did not improve with a bluebird day and a robust north wind.

Faithful (PF/M. Tracy) was a bit short and erratic. Mike put her in the harness at 30. Jeanette's dog suffered in the poor scenting conditions and was up at 16 after a second unproductive.

The family rivalry continued in the 18th brace with RQs Saddle (PM/J. Tracy) and Miller's Blazing Hot Chick (PF/M. Tracy). Chick had a rare Wednesday find at 1 but the dogs then settled in to a birdless journey. Both handlers opted to collar their dogs at 48.

Rocky River Showmaster (PM/M. Tracy) showed bird-finding ability in the last brace of the day with finds at 18 and 24 but they were sandwiched by unproductives and he was up at 36. Hillhaven's Wild Child (PF/J. Tracy) had reluctant backs on Showmaster's finds but was lost left and Jeanette conceded.

The 20th brace is described in the winners' summary above.

Doug Ray loosed setter male Hatteras Sand Storm and Mike Tracy uncollared pointer male Bully Rock at 9:14 a.m. for the 21st brace. The setter Sand Storm had a moderate race and shared a find with his bracemate at 12. Storm finished his hour. Mike's dog followed the find at 12 with unproductives at 29 and 43 and was harnessed.

Showtime Dominator (PM/Ray) ran as a bye to complete the Championship. He had a find at 19 but a breach of manners finished his morning.

Hoffman, N. C., January 24
Judges: Tony Bingham and John Outlaw
[One-Hour Heats] -- 35 Pointers and 8 Setters
Winner--MILLER'S LOCK AND LOADED, 1674986, pointer male, by Just Irresistible--Miller's Bring The Heat. Bill & Muriel Primm, owners; Mike Tracy, handler.
Runner-Up--REEDY CREEK DIAL TONE, 1673570, pointer male, by Miller's Dialing In--White Diamond Sally. Joe McHugh, owner; Mike Tracy, handler.


The Championship was followed by the Atlantic Coast Open Derby. Entries were sparse with nine dogs.

Doug Ray confirmed that he has a nice string of young Derbies by sweeping the placements. Wiggins Pree Dawn Reward, pointer female owned by Katie Lyons of Sebastian, Fla., took first place. She was followed by Two Spot Tommy, pointer male owned by Jett Ferebee of Greenville, N. C. I'm Spartacus (PM) was third. Spartacus is owned by Harold Ray and Jett Ferebee.

OPEN DERBY-- 9 Pointers
1st--WIGGINS PREE DAWN REWARD, 1690453, female, by Wiggins War Trace--Wiggins Elhew C. Katie Lyons, owner; Doug Ray, handler.
2d--TWO SPOT TOMMY, 1690417, male, by Zip Tye--Cedar Ridge Shopper. Jett Ferebee, owner; Doug Ray, handler.
3d--I'M SPARTACUS, 1695668, male, by Miller's Upgraded Version--Miller's Special Addition. Harold Ray & Jett Ferebee, owners; Doug Ray, handler.


Bill Faust is the heart and soul of the Atlantic Coast Open Shooting Dog Championship. Bill is 89 years old. He plans, worries and frets over the Championship for each full year. His incredible "dog memory" recalls almost every good performance he has seen at the Championship since its inception and it is a treat to ride in the dog wagon truck with him to hear his stories.

Carolyn Quinn is the unseen constant that makes everything work. She helps with the drawing, keeps notes on all braces, cooks, serves meals and fills in as secretary/treasurer for the club as the elected official is often absent and unreliable.

Greg Robinson ably drove the gallery/dog wagon and provided coffee, soft drinks, water and snacks at the morning and afternoon breaks. Greg has a wealth of bird dog knowledge and is quite helpful to absent reporters.

The club commends the North Carolina Field Trial Association for its diligent work implementing and continually improving the bird program at Hoffman.

The reporter also commends all of the handlers for their good sportsmanship. Breaks were always fun with the friendly banter back and the laughs produced.

Finally, this Championship would not survive without the support of Purina and the club expresses its full gratitude for the sponsorship.