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Result: Continental Derby Championship

Location: Greenville, Florida

Post Date: Feb 24, 2022

Submitted By: Steve Standley

No Image Results

The 2022 Continental Derby Championship was contested over the historic grounds of Livingston Place as forty young hopefuls vied for the coveted title.

Livingston Place, previously known as Dixie Plantation, is forever linked to wild quail and the commitment to high bred field dogs that pursue this quarry. Decisions as to what dogs are worthy of furthering the breed begins here, over these revered fields and woodlands.

The history is well-known, but we would be remiss without mentioning the great gift put together and shaped by Gerald Livingston as he followed his passions in these interests. The care and stewardship that his wife Eleanor and daughter Geraldine subsequently maintained and brought these grounds to this point in time are also well-known, but no less of great historical significance.

We are grateful to Tall Timbers Research Station for their important research and "boots on the ground" work to assure that wild bobwhite quail continue on these grounds. Venues like these, that allow field trials to be run, are few and far between. Great appreciation is extended to the Tall Timbers' officers and Board members.

Thanks, are also extended to Clay Sisson, director of Livingston Place Research and Research Biologist Alex Jackson for their important work in wild bird propagation and survival. Manager Randy Floyd has been devoted to this property for 28 years. His commitment to its betterment is without question. Staff members, including Assistant Manager John Michael McCormick, Shannon Braden, Gloria Hagen, Deb McCormick, Ben Melvin and Thomas Rogers, are important to the success enjoyed here. Dan McCormick did an excellent job having the dog wagon in the needed spots.

The Board members of the Continental Field Trial Club are integral to the success of this Championship. Board member Larron Copeland is and has been a driving force in the success of this Championship for years.

Judges for this renewal were Lee Phillips of Dixie, Ga., and Kent Patterson of Franklin, Tenn. Both men brought the necessary experience and skill to this Championship to render these worthy placements in the time-honored tradition. We thank Lee and Kent for their keen eyes, time in the saddle and desire to get it right.

Lee Phillips grew up in the Thomasville, Ga., area, the son and grandson of bird dog trainers. His time in the fields of the southeast paired with 23 summers of dog work in South Dakota, beginning with Garland Priddy and Marshall Loftin, along with Fred Dileo, Tom Shenker, and Wallace Reichert, et al., prepared him for this role. Dogs like Addition's Go Boy and Spy Hill Buddy and countless others that followed helped shape his graduate education in true field trial quality dogs.

Kent Patterson grew up in Mississippi around bird dogs and the pursuit of quail. His professional education evolved into his career as a biomedical engineer. The analytical skills that he acquired in his profession seems to have followed him into his interest with bird dogs. He has been part of a team that consists of breeders, trainers, and handlers involved with Brittanys. He describes his role as one who assesses dogs to look for those who are "special."

Kent expressed that seeing Livingston Place has been on his bucket list for a long time. By the end of the trial, he confided to this writer that his experiences on these grounds were everything that he had hoped them to be.

Both judges were enjoyable to ride with. They were entirely focused on selecting the best dogs and were fair to all entries. Their efforts are respected and appreciated.

Large water tanks are located on the courses for the dogs and horses. These are available for sponsors to show their support of this great event. We are grateful to this year's sponsors: Larron and Laura Copeland for Showtime Sam Houston, Dr. Ron Deal for Flush's Wrangler, Dixie Trace Field Trial Association, The Livingston family, Jim Hamilton for Dominator's Rebel Heir, Kent Cantrell, DVM, Doyle Hancock and Sons Construction, Karen and Bruce Norton, Alex Rickert, and Mike and Laura Shea.

The magnitude of Purina's support and generosity for field trials and this important Championship is beyond measure. Their sporting dog representative, Greg Blair, spent several days with us. Purina's financial contributions, official party gifts, hats, signs, and a wonderful catfish lunch are all appreciated.

Ag Pro, of nearby Boston, Ga., supplied three new John Deere Gator side by sides for use in the barn/headquarters area. They also supplied much valued financial support.


The champion and the runner-up performed on the first morning course. This course leaves the breakaway below the office and heads southeast as it leads to a right turn heading west across Livingston Road and in an arc leading toward the Aucilla River swamp boundary and an ultimately northward over Pike's Peak, past Cadillac Pond and on to the Acorn Hill finish.

The champion, Erin's Perfect Storm, owned by Brad Woodie and handled by Luke Eisenhart, ran this course on the second day in the seventh brace of the trial.

Greg Blair, from Purina, joined us for a frosty 30 Tuesday morning breakaway under clear skies.

Erin's Perfect Storm and Touch's Bull Durham (McLean) were off in good form as the pair offered big, fresh, forward races. Point was called on the left after the crossing at 17. The stand was toward the swampy bottom and both dogs were there. Perfect Storm stood in a lofty form as Luke flushed his birds and McLean accepted the back for Touch's Bull Durham at 20.

At 30 we made the northward turn between the Big Garrett and the Little Garrett field. Both dogs hunted ahead as we continued north with the Aucilla River swamp on our left. As we climbed Pike's Peak, Bull Durham offered an attractive stand with clean work near the weather station at 42.

Storm was the more forward in his ground application as Eisenhart sat easily in the saddle and sang to his charge. At 46, in what this writer calls Robin's Bottom, Perfect Storm stood with perfect form. This was in the low area on the left before Cadillac Pond. These birds often require relocation efforts. I remember Robin Gates going through three relocations as his birds ran farther and farther toward the swamp. Robin eventually raised his birds in that by-gone time just as Luke did on this occasion, after a single relocation.

We continued our northward trek and the sun remained bright. The dogs hunted strongly ahead. As we climb the rise going to Acorn Hill at 59, a chopper path runs at 45 degrees to the course on the right in the direction of the chimney. This drew Storm's interest. The pointer hunted this chopper trail to its logical conclusion. It was here that Storm's perfect find closed this great brace. A worthy champion was on the board.

After Storm's covey was flushed, and time was called, Luke took his dog's collar and turned as another wild covey lifted close by. Such is the magic on Livingston Place.

Runner-up champion appeared the next morning at 8 a.m. on the same course as the winner. It was 34 and there was a good frost on the ground as Dominator's Rebel Queen (Daniels) and Erin's Grey Justice (Sean Derrig) broke away. Action occurred quickly as the pair went past the first turn and styled up in heavy cover. Jamie took the back as Sean shot for his dog with perfect manners all around. At 24 we passed the No. 1 crossing with Derrig blowing his whistle at his dog across the Big Garrett field. Jamie road at a flat walk and let his dog roll. Daniels was rewarded with a strong forward find at the end of the field south of the climb to Pike's Peak at 31.

Upon her release, Queen took the right field edge and made a driving cast in an arc as Jamie blew her on. The backdrop of Pike's Peak was on up the line. Scout Judd Carlton was in position to assist if needed but Queen swung on her own in commendable fashion.

Meanwhile Derrig was on the left near the timber and his dog made it to the fore as well. Jamie stopped his horse to wait on the judges and pointed his dog out. After we crested the hill point was called for the youngster at 41. Scout Judd Carlton called flight upon our arrival. Queen was posed in a breath-taking fashion, high tailed and shiny. Birds were acknowledged and the shot was fired to complete an excellent find.

We crossed the dam at the Cadillac Pond. Derrig never had his dog after this point. Queen made beautiful use of the country through the gridded quail woods and on to her finish at Acorn Hill. The runner-up laurels were well-earned.


There was a bright full moon the night before the Continental Derby Championship began on Monday, January 17, 2022. A clear 37 morning met us at 8 a.m. with moist soil conditions promising good scenting conditions.

Can't Fight the Moonlight (Mark Haynes) and Dominator's Queen Bee (Jamie Daniels) excitedly applied themselves to the breakaway field as they drove toward the first section of pines. Both dogs were out of sight for several minutes when Moonlight was found posed, attractively, in the cover just before the right turn. This covey, often called the phantom covey for their tendency to leave the scene before our arrival, was home on this occasion and the flush and shot were excellent.

Moonlight connected again at 14 at the end of the field heading toward the road crossing. This too was "all in order." Both dogs were at the road crossing at 18 and Haynes shot over his dog again.

The pair of pointers continued to hunt the course, driving hard as the handlers rode in an easy gait letting the dogs continue to show to the front. Nick Berrong of Maryville, Tenn., was in the saddle and his enthusiasm for the sport was apparent. Nick has four Derbies in Jamie's string.

Both dogs finished at Acorn Hill without any further significant contact.

It was very windy on the hill as B K's Ironclad (Tracy Swearingen) and Rester's Powered Up (Luke Eisenhart) hunted the gridded cover through the mature pines on the way to the Y. Luke had a good find on the left at 6 with Powered Up and we continued. At 17, as we approached the Gene Field, Luke called flight of birds on the edge of the field. Upon arrival on the scene, and with no official acknowledgement, he took his dog on. At the half both dogs were watered near the big oaks before the Turkey Field.

Powered Up suffered an infraction on a scattered covey at 58 and was up at the Long Pond. Ironclad was in view as he hunted ahead toward the Brown Jug in excellent form, but no game was produced by this attractive pointer before time expired.

Lester's Storm Chaser (Gary Lester) and Northern Confidence (Eisenhart) were off in No. 3 on their way towards the Big Woods. Storm Chaser's owner Jannie Chapman of Collierville, Tenn., was in the saddle for her pointer. At 21 Lester's charge suffered a barren stand on his way to the Brown Field.

Both dogs ranged deeply and often out of touch with their handlers. At 45 point was called at the far end of the Cyprus Field. The handlers rode in that direction. Ultimately Eisenhart had a find with Northern Confidence and Lester threw in the towel. The brace ended at the site of Joe's Oak without further action.

It was 50 and sunny as we began the fourth brace with Browntown Doc Holiday (Jerry Raynor) paired with Dominator's Maybelle (Daniels). At 16 both handlers had their dogs at the turn near the Boyd Corner. Near the south Double Pond Raynor rode back from the front and went back in the direction of the turn to see if he had left his dog behind. By 27 Jamie felt like his dog had difficulty running into the wind and withdrew his entry. Raynor did not return to the fore and the brace was ended.

Owners Claudia McNamee and Joe and Tricia Rentz were mounted to see their Rentz's Hijacked (Eisenhart) begin No. 5 with Touch's Lone Dominator (Judd Carlton). At 16 both handlers rode at a flat walk as we continued south of the Boy Scout house before the old 11 o'clock crossing. Shortly thereafter Luke had an excellent find with Highjacked near the small marshy pond. A large covey was put to wing. At 26 Carlton rode up on his dog posed high and tight. A strong find was quickly in the books. It is worth noting the extreme composure that Judd's dog maintained even after the flush.

Both dogs were out front past the long field. They continued behind the hay field in front of the big house and remained ahead through the Cadillac Field. Carlton finished his dog after this point and Luke rode to collect Hijacked.

The last brace of the day featured Dunn's Ever and Onward (Tracy Swearingen) with Erin's Code of Honor (Sean Derrig). The course moved from East of the Cadillac toward the Oil Drum Field and both dogs were to the fore.

There was a 2.5-inch rain Saturday night into Sunday morning before this Monday afternoon. Sections of the fields had been under water. The cotton field that we crossed had been replanted in a cover crop of oats. It was noted that the handlers horses were throwing up dust as they walked ahead through the field.

Code of Honor had a world class find under a live oak just before the water tank at the Oil Drum field. At the top of the hill overlooking the Big Garrett Field Swearingen called for his retrieval unit.

Derrig rode the east side of the Garrett Field and soon the call of point rang out from scout Judd Carlton at 20. The Erin entry stood in a weed field as the covey of twelve or so birds were flown with all in order. At 22, as Sean was taking his dog on, his dog froze as a half dozen quail flushed. The pointer remained staunch as Derrig dismounted and shot with all good. We crossed Moccasin Creek and Sean pointed out his dog, near the beehives, going to the front at the half hour. The dog was stopped and watered behind the office and healed across the dam at Rogers Pond to be released toward Kudzu hill. The dog was out of sight as we entered the forward field. A large covey took flight at the field edge and Derrig rode to look. His dog was not in the area.

Sean continued to look for his dog and Code of Honor appeared to the front at 52 near the road in front of the lodge. We crossed the road at the tank going into Horseshoe Branch. Point was called at 56 and all was good. Shortly, Derrig asked if the judges had seen birds fly. After a negative response, he continued toward Cocklebur Bottom. Derrig called point at 58 and had an unproductive. Rather than spending the closing minutes trying to relocate his dog he released his dog for the last 30 seconds.

Brace No. 7 featured the champion as previously described in the Winners section.

No. 8 included Notorious Front Range (Mathys) and Rester's Cajun Justice (Eisenhart) as we ran toward the Y. The heavy frost of the early morning left plenty of moisture on the ground. The judges pointed out Front Range on the east side of the Y on the field edge. Eisenhart rode ahead looking to his left at the woodsline. At 19 we were in the Gene Field and a gallery rider called sight of a dog on the left in the woods. As we climbed the rise at the old beehive area at 26, the distant faint call of point was heard back and to the left. Judge Patterson and Eisenhart turned back toward Bear Corner and the high wire at the Georgia line to locate scout Tracy Swearingen and Cajun Justice. Front Range showed up and turned to follow Luke back. He was stopped and redirected to the front.

Some minutes later Luke regained the front followed by Judge Kent Patterson who advised of a clean find at the high wire fenceline with Luke remarking that he was "glad the birds were on our side of the fence." Scout Tracy Swearingen did an excellent scouting job in locating the stand for Cajun Justice. By 37 both handlers gathered their charges at the road crossing past the Boy Scout house. Both dogs finished ahead without further contact.

Brace No. 9 began just before the Brown Jug with Supreme Confidence (Eisenhart) and Touch's Midnight Rider (McLean). It was 44 and a bluebird sky as the dogs hunted toward the Big Woods and the Boyd Corner. Owner John Milton was in the saddle for Ride who showed well in the Brown Field. Both dogs came in past that point and seemed to pair up in their drive toward the Double Ponds.

Mark stopped to water his dog at 32, and Supreme Confidence took this opportunity to pin a covey at the pond's edge about 125 yards to the fore. The birds flew low and away as Confidence owner, Claudia McNamee, enjoyed the scene. Both dogs applied themselves in good order with the McNamee entry showing well across the Cyprus Field and ahead to his finish. Two unproductives in the closing quarter hour ended Midnight Rider's bid.

After lunch, Flak Jacket (Carlton) and Touch's Shadow Rider (McLean) were away. Jacket had a find at 8 which was honored by Shadow Rider. Shadow Rider is co-owned by Bruce and Karen Norton along with Reuben Richardson. Karen was riding and Bruce was in the truck gallery. The pointer had a find at 33 near the Long Pond in thick gridded cover and all was good as the covey flew out over the pond. Flak Jacket was out by the time we crossed the road at 46 at the Flush's Wrangler water tank and finished the brace with no further action.

At the Long Field we released Erin's Lost Creek (Eisenhart) and Phillips Linebacker (Nathan Phillips). After we crossed the main road the call of point sounded from the far right toward the wood line. Eisenhart and Judge Phillips rode to see the events. Upon their return Judge Phillips advised of an excellent find.

Nathan took an unproductive across from the Quail Lodge at 26. Moments later we proceeded past the Flat Pond on our left with both dogs out of sight. We rode on to Moccasin Creek at the Touch's Malcom Story water tank with both handlers and dogs to the front. At 55 Luke and Tracy called point ahead behind the office. It was a great find on a large bevy. Lost Creek was out of sight at time and Eisenhart called point at 1:03. Luke called flight; when the birds were not seen officially, he shot his gun and ended his time.

The last brace of the day featured Dunn's Sneakin' In (Swearingen ) and Mayhaw's Storm Chaser (Trey Mills). Trey's dog quickly styled up attractively, but no game was produced. At 40 we passed the Dominator's Rebel Heir water tank at Paul's Hill and Sneakin' In returned after a long absence. He pointed at 43 and after a relocation was empty, Tracy called it.

The runner-up champion performed in the 13th brace as noted in the Winners section.

No. 14 left Acorn Hill with Southern Confidence (Eisenhart) and Westfall's Power Trip (Daugherty) on the way to the Y. The Westfall entry showed well past the Y and into the Gene Field. Luke called point at 30 near the Turkey Field and the dog looked magnificent. When Luke could not flush game, Confidence saw his bracemate move through the area and decided to go on. Eisenhart took the unproductive. Southern Confidence was withdrawn at the sand road past the Boy Scout house. Power Trip was strong and forward during the early part of his brace. Game remained elusive as he was finished at the Long Pond.

It was 10:15 when Erin's Southern Comfort (Derrig) and Erin's High Note (Carlton) began. High Note's owner, Mike Moses, was in the saddle as we passed the south of the Long Pond. Both dogs were ahead leading up to the Boyd Corner at which point they were watered. The dogs ran the country, but the birds had "shut off" and the brace ended without any fanfare.

After lunch, Cold Creek Single Malt (Daniels) and Speed Dial Rona (Vincent) were off. The pair made the turn at the quarter hour corner. It was a bluebird sky as Single Malt stood at 23 with great style, but no game was produced. The pair stayed out front on the way to the road crossing and ahead. Jamie suffered his second barren stand at 51 to end his bid. Vincent's dog finished without game in sunny, dry conditions.

Pineywoods Legacy left the beginning of the Long Field with owner Darron Hendley in the gallery and handler Tommy Rice on the whistle. Legacy pointed at 5, was relocated, and carded an unproductive at 5. Bracemate Cold Creek Sam (Daniels) put down his best efforts for owner Ian MacTavish. At 22 Legacy stood for the flush and shot across from the lodge with all in order. Southeast of the Cadillac Pond Legacy pointed at 33, but he got into the birds and was on the rope. Jamie withdrew Sam shortly thereafter.

Navajo Nation (Eisenhart) and Wynona's Nickleback Sugar (Vincent) began near the oil drum field. At the north end of the Big Garrett Field both dogs were ahead running the diagonal toward Moccasin Creek crossing. It was just past that crossing, only a couple of grids, that Luke's dog pointed and successfully handled a running covey at 10 minutes. We continued behind the office, around the turn at the Rogers Pond dam and up and over Kudzu Hill at 26. Up the field edge, Nation pointed. The birds flushed early, from someone riding too close in the area. This was in full view of the official party, and Luke dismounted, fired his gun and carried his dog on.

At 35 Navajo Nation pointed in the flat chopped area near horseshoe branch. Shortly thereafter he was in the harness after a relocation that appeared to be disturbed by a moving horse. At 47 minutes we passed the east side of the big lake and turned eastward as Vincent pointed out his dog out ahead. Allen reached for his rope at 51 on our way to Ben's Hog Pond. Birds were elusive for the setter.

It was in the mid-40s on Thursday morning as Dominator's Wild Bill (Daniels) and Til You Can't (Haynes) were released at 8 a.m. Can't was stacked up at 3, Mark had to work to flush the covey, but the find was quickly in the books. At 10 minutes in the grid before Cindy's, Wild Bill had a picturesque find. Haynes' entry looked stylish, but no birds could be raised at 15 just before the road crossing. Over the number 1 crossing Haynes was blowing the whistle for Can't as the orange pointer looked good on the right, across the Big Garrett Field.

Jamie put his dog on the right in the big field leading to Pike's Peak and Haynes had his on the left. The pair of pointers went through the country with strong and smooth determination in their quest. At 37, just past the crest of Pike's Peak, Til You Can't stood high and tight for a strong Florida covey. Moments after the above events Bill pointed on the left for Jamie. No birds could be produced after a relocation. Some one hundred yards away Til you Can't offered a stylish stand which proved empty, and he was out.

At 52 we were across from the lodge and Bill was in the bottom near the Thomasville Road fork, the Dominator entry was pointed out, then quickly out of sight and shortly thereafter Judge Phillips pointed him out, at a great distance, climbing toward Acorn Hill. He used all of that country. The judges stopped and the dog swung on his own, beginning the No. 2 course and finished ahead.

The 20th brace had the final pair--Wynona High Finance Rita (Vincent) and Osceola's Red Clay (Jason Loper)--leaving the hill on their way to the Y. They looked good on across the main road crossing. Rita caught our eye as she traced the right field edge past the Y. Clay was on the left plying his trade. Jason soon called point on the left near the high wire. He came back at 20 with his horse in a run to regain the front. Vincent picked his dog up near the half. Loper made every effort to show Red Clay and the Osceola entry responded with a most pleasing race. This is an attractive dog that made a stylish and strong effort, but it was not his day as we finished near the old Brown Jug site.

Greenville, Fla., January 17
Judges: Kent Patterson and Lee Phillips
CONTINENTAL DERBY CHAMPIONSHIP [One-Hour Heats] -- 39 Pointers and 1 Setter
Winner--ERIN'S PERFECT STORM, 1692323, pointer male, by Chelsea's Thunder Bolt--Erin's Bet On Me. Brad Woodie, owner; Luke Eisenhart, handler.
Runner-Up--DOMINATOR'S REBEL QUEEN, 1691687, pointer female, by Miller's Blindsider--Pearl Again. Nick Berrong, owner; Jamie Daniels, handler.


As most now know, the United Kennel Club has acquired the American Field and the Field Dog Stud Book. It was nice to see UKC Vice-President Todd Kellam in the field with us.

National Championship reporter William Smith and his wife, Tommi, were down from their home in Moscow, Tenn. It was a pleasure to ride with William and to learn a bit about them both.

Hope Dolittle of nearby Boston, Ga., rode with us on Monday. She is with the well-known veterinarian practice, Clanton, Malphus, and Hodges Animal Hospital of Thomasville, Ga.

Jamie Daniels' mother, Penny Daniels, rode the dog wagon on the final day of the Derby. She always comes to the Continental in support of her son.

Julia Livingston Ripley represented her family and these namesake grounds. She enjoyed her time afield.

John Michael McCormick was of great assistance to this reporter during this trial. He carried my digital recorder a few times to make comments. His knowledge of the grounds and the preparations involved in this Championship are noteworthy. The following is a quote of his off-the-cuff comments. They were made after the turn past Moccasin Creek, into the bottom behind the office, across the dam at Rogers Pond and onto Kudzu Hill:

The woods, I'll tell you look good. I don't know if they could be any better. It looks like every chopper trail, every weed field, everything is done to perfect the field trial business here. I don't know if I have the words to describe the intricacies of what is going on at Livingston Place 2022. It is a world class operation.

These comments were honestly made by a man who has a passion for these grounds and the work at Livingston Place. They speak volumes, not only for him, but the entire staff here as they all have a love of this special place.

A note from this writer. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation to the Continental Field Trial Club. The Club is a 501(c)3 charitable organization. The donations will be used on The Livingston Place and in direct support of this Championship. These grounds and this Championship are a gift to the lover of wild bird field trials, one that we all need to value and nurture. Donations of any size are welcome. The mailing address is 1583 Livingston Rd., Greenville, FL, 32331 and the office phone number is 850-997-1957.