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Result: Southeastern Quail Championship

Location: Sasser, Georgia

Post Date: Mar 17, 2021

Submitted By: Dr. Don Deal


Southeastern Quail Championship Winners. Front row, from left to right: Mark McLean holding the trophy, Cody McLean posing Touch's Malcolm Story, Tommy Davis with Dunn's True Reign, Claudia McNamee, and Luke Eisenhart. Back row, from left to right: Dr Ron Deal (reporter); Lamar Childers, Ricky Furney (judge), Candus Knapp, Wilson Napier, and Lee Phillips (judge).
SASSER, GA. -- The thirty-first renewal of the Southeastern Quail Championship got underway on March 3 after almost four inches of rain necessitated a one-day delay.

Thirty-nine entries were drawn but three had to be scratched when the lost day caused conflicts with prior obligations.

Touch's Malcolm Story, owned by Alex Rickert of Boseman, Mont., and handled by Mark McLean was named Champion. Dunn's True Reign, owned by Claudia McNamee and Norris Sims of Atlanta, Ga., and handled by Luke Eisenhart, was named the runner-up. Both the champion and runner-up ran in the third brace on the first morning. It was a closely contested hour during which each dog had two individual finds plus one that was shared.

The Southeastern was once again fortunate in obtaining qualified judges to adjudicate the trial. The qualifications of each are well known. Ricky Furney grew up on Tallassee Plantation and was the dog trainer there before becoming the manager of Southern Heritage Plantation when it was split off from Tallassee. Later, Ecila Plantation was also spun off Tallassee which subsequently was sold and renamed Abigail Plantation.

Ricky was instrumental in the founding of the Southeastern Field Trial Club. He left Southern Heritage to have a successful career on the all-age circuit. Included among his wins are four titles in the Southeastern.

Lee Phillips also has a long association with the Southeastern. He judged one of Ricky's wins here before becoming the manager-trainer on Chickasaw for a decade. He also enjoyed success in the trial, winning the title once and the runner-up once. Both judges know what should win here and are both are still able to ride and look for it.

Ample rain during the spring and summer resulted in higher than usual cover early in the hunting season. Later, numerous heavy frosts and rains reduced the cover first to near ideal conditions and later to thin in some areas. Excessive late rains filled the wet weather ponds and forced the birds to higher ground. The hunting season was a good one although late in the season premature rises made shooting challenging. The only prior trial held on part of the Southeastern courses was the Region 16 Amateur All-Age Championship on Chickasaw in December when, under ideal conditions, over thirty coveys were moved the first morning. Twenty-nine groups were seen on a hunt one morning in mid-February. There are plenty of birds on the grounds but whether they move or not depends on a lot of factors.

The club has a multitude of people to thank. Of special note are Richard Burke for the use of Abigail, Frank Foley for providing grounds on Ecila, and the Deal family for the use of grounds and facilities on Chickasaw.

The club is also indebted to Greg Blair and Purina for their continued support. They paid for the ad and sponsored the barbecue luncheon as well as provided dog food for the winners. Garmin, represented by John Rex Gates, once again send an e-collar system for the winner. Christy's Feed and Seed and Bennett's Supply each sponsored a lunch.

Lamar Childers, a founding member and long a stalwart of the Southeastern Championship, returned to course direct. Lamar was presented a well-deserved Life Achievement Award during the trial. It had been scheduled to be presented at the Dixie Trace meeting last spring which was cancelled due to the pandemic.

Wilson Napier (Chickasaw) once again drove the Bird Buggy, handled the refreshments, and made sure the dogs got to the line. Michael Jackson (Chickasaw) took care of the barn. Willis Wright (Abigail) brought extra horses. Cody McLean, the manager of Ecila, provided much appreciated assistance there.


Touch's Malcolm Story, the 2021 Southeastern Quail Champion, is no stranger to the winners' circle. The dog placed six times as a Derby. He was the top qualifier at the 2019 Florida Championship, has won the Dixie Open All-Age stake twice, and the Blackbelt once.

Alex Rickert, his owner, won the Region 16 Amateur All-Age Championship with him in 2019. The biggest prior win was the title in the 2020 Continental Championship.

Dunn's True Reign had numerous placements as a Derby. He lost most of his first all-age year with Lyme disease. Will Dunn sold the dog to Claudia McNamee and Norris Sims in September, 2020. True Reign has had several good performances this season, but this is the first win in titular competition. The young dog has a bright future ahead for his new owners.


Touch's Malcolm Story (McLean) and Dunn's True Reign (Eisenhart) were released just beyond the creek crossing on Abigail. Claudia McNamee was mounted to support True Reign.

Both dogs showed a lot of ambition on the ground in the early going. Eisenhart got True Reign across the water crossing onto Chickasaw at 10. McLean soon followed with Malcolm Story. True Reign went straight ahead and had a good find in the open woods at 14. The dog was stylish and mannerly for the flush and shot. McLean got Malcolm Story back from the right and both dogs made the rock crossing at 18. McLean showed Malcom Story going straight forward on a cast that culminated in a good find at 24. McLean regained the front after the find at 26. True Reign was last seen at 25 going deep to the front near the fallen down tenant house. The call of point was heard for him at 29. True Reign had birds and handled them well. Malcolm Story continued to take in a lot of country and made a good swing in the big field on the right after crossing the clay road. Eisenhart regained the front with True Reign at 32. Both dogs continued to run well and show often enough. Malcolm Story had his second find at the end of an extended cast at 46. The dog was about twenty yards off the feed trail on the right. McLean flushed a big covey directly in front of him.

Both handlers made the turn with their dogs, but McLean got confused about the course and let Malcolm Story get sideways for a few minutes before getting the dog redirected. Both dogs were soon well ahead and were credited with a divided find at 56. Birds were in front of each dog and each handler shot. Malcolm Story and True Reign each finished far ahead on the other side of the next big pond bottom and were visible from where the judges called time. It was obvious at pick up that these were the dogs that had to be beaten.


Nearly four inches of rain fell on the grounds the day before the start of the trial. The temperature was 41 and a brisk north wind was blowing as Dominator's Bull Market Bud (Daniels) and Sandwood Creek (Raynor) began the action. Jim Hamilton was on the Bird Buggy to support Bud which was found pointing on the right at 10 and had birds. Raynor searched the left side of the hourglass field and made the gap with Creek. Daniels regained the front and had his second find with Bud on the left just before the chute. Birds flushed prematurely but were seen in judgement. Daniels shot and Bud showed good manners. Raynor asked for his retrieval device at 20. Daniels got Bud across the water on to Abigail at 22 and through the creek crossing at 32. Point was called by the scout at 35, but nothing could be flushed. Bud had a third find at 41. Birds were put up and everything was in order. Ecila was entered at 53. Bud was out at time but returned in judgment.

The second brace pitted Miller's Heat Advisory (Daniels) against Confident Nation (Davis). The brace began a few minutes into Ecila. Nation had a find at 5 and was honored by Heat Advisory, everything in order. Nation nailed another covey at 13 and handled it with style and manners. Both dogs were classy going and quick but neither reached out as much as needed in the early going. They did improve their application as the hour progressed. Nation had a third find at 36, a fourth at 38, and a fifth at 42. The dog was beautiful on all of them. Nation was not seen at pickup time. Point was called after time expired, but Davis elected not to flush when a deer ran out. Heat Advisory missed the turn about 40 and Daniels got his retrieval device.

Brace No. 3 has been described.

Touch's White Water (McLean) and Rebel Cause (Daniels) began the first brace of the afternoon (No. 4) under more pleasant conditions than existed earlier. Cause had a covey find on the near side of the big pond at 3. The dog handled it well and Daniels got back to the front at 5. Both dogs were shown deep in the front ringing the hourglass field at 6. The handlers continued to ride the course and depended on their scouts. Rebel Cause returned from around Watt's pond at the beginning of the chute. Point was called for White Water at 14. A relocation effort proved unsuccessful. As the judge was leaving, one bird flushed followed by the whole covey. The dog stopped to flush. McLean continued until 20 before deciding that he could not beat what he had. Cause was shown deep in the chute and returned from the right just before the water crossing at 22. Daniels kept his charge in front through Abigail and had a find a few minutes after the creek crossing at 32. Rebel Cause was seen occasionally throughout the final portion of the heat. The dog was out at time but returned in judgment.

The fifth brace consisted of True Confidence (Eisenhart) and Aces R Wild (McLean). Wild got out of pocket early. McLean asked for his retrieval unit at 20. Eisenhart kept True Confidence longer but got his device at 30.

The last brace of the first day began still on Ecila. Wild Hawk (Carlton) and Erin's Lone Star Law (Eisenhart) began ambitiously. They carded a divided find at 8. The dogs were separated by about twenty yards. Each had birds in front and each showed good manners for the flush and shot. Both dogs made some good swings before they got out of pocket. Handlers conceded and ended the day just before the dirt road separating Ecila and Abigail.

The first brace of the second morning matched Touch's One Night Standard (Haynes) with Sedgefields Legacy (Eisenhart). The temperature was 41 and the sky was clear. Legacy got into birds almost immediately and was put on the wagon at 2. Standard is a young Derby bitch. She is quick and stylish and showed her ability to find birds with multiple finds, all of which she handled with style and all age manners. Her first covey was at 14. Her next find was on the right near the Southern Heritage border were two coveys lifted. Her third encounter was shorter at 32 but again well handled. Her last find was on the left side at 45. Her ground application was less extreme than required to place in the stake so Haynes elected to stop at 50.

Dominator's Rebel Heir (Daniels) and Woodville's Yukon Cornelius (McLean) began brace No. 8 just on Ecila. Jim Hamilton was present for Rebel Heir. Both dogs ran well. They suffered a double unproductive stand at 11. Rebel Heir had a good find at 18 after not being seen for a while. Birds were flushed directly in front and the dog showed good manners. Point was called for Cornelius shortly thereafter. It proved nonproductive and the dog was put in harness. At 24, Rebel Heir was found pointed. After an unsuccessful attempt at relocation, he was charged with a second unproductive event and put on the wagon.

The third brace of the morning pitted Erin's Three Leaf Shamrock (Eisenhart) against Touch's Folsom Blues (McLean). Karen Norton was mounted to support Folsom Blues. The brace began about 27 minutes into Ecila. Point was called for Shamrock at 4 but the birds lifted before the judge arrived and Eisenhart decided not to flush. However, an unproductive ensued while the setter was regaining the front. Shamrock had a good find at 31, but suffered a second unproductive at 34 and was picked up. Meanwhile, Folsom Blues proved to be a handful and McLean got his unit.

The last morning brace (No. 10) consisted of Erin's Wild Atlantic Way (Eisenhart) and Dogwood Bill (Daniels). Atlantic Way was shown making a nice swing at 3. Both dogs showed well in the green field just across the road on Abigail. The creek was crossed at 12 and the water crossing onto Chickasaw was made at 22. Atlantic Way had a good find on the right front at 25. As the judges crossed the rock crossing, Atlantic Way was shown ringing the pond ahead on an impressive swing. Dogwood Bill was also seen deep to the front before being lost. Daniels got his tracker at 37. The setter had his second find at 48 and handled it with style and manners. Atlantic Way made it to the big fields across the clay road but failed to take advantage of the country offered him and was picked up.

Senah's Back In Business (Norman) and Touch's Joy Ride (McLean) were brought to the line after the lunch break. Karen Norton was in the mounted gallery for Joy Ride. Back In Business went right and ringed the entire big pond before returning to the beginning of the hourglass field at 8. Joy Ride ate up the country straight ahead. Both dogs took in the hourglass field. The handlers went through the open gap on course and depended on their scouts. The call of point was heard from Norman's scout at 13. A long ride ensued. Back In Business had a good find with birds well located and handled it with style and manners. McLean showed Joy Ride well ahead in the chute. Norman caught the front in the mid-chute area. Both dogs made the water crossing onto Abigail at 22. Business got on the far side of the wet weather pond at the first turn and was found by the scout pointed at 28. It was another good find. Norman regained the front at 31. Joy Ride had been gone since the water crossing. McLean asked for his tracker just before the creek at 35. The scout called point again for Business on the right at 43. This time nothing could be put up and an unproductive was charged. Norman returned to the front at 49. Business made a good swing along a field edge to the right front at 50. On Ecila, the dog shown going straight ahead at about 57. He was not seen at time but came to the gallery from the right side within the grace period. Back In Business had two really good finds and made some good casts. Circumstances did not favor the dog the last part of his bid.

Touch's Mega Mike (McLean) and Awsum Country Justice (Eisenhart) comprised brace No. 12. Both dogs ran big and were shown on some impressive casts. Both handlers rode well ahead to maintain what contact they could. After prolonged absences by both dogs, retrieval devices were handed out at 36.

Miller Unfinished Business (Norman) and Touch's Breakaway Fred (McLean) followed. Gary Futch and Karen Norton, part owners of Breakaway Fred, were mounted to support their entry. Unfinished Business was gone off the breakaway but returned at 9. McLean had Fred early then the dog got out of pocket, but was returned at 14. Abigail was entered at 18. Both handlers had their dogs after the county road. Unfinished Business was seen on the right before the creek crossing at 26. McLean made the crossing with Fred. Norman got his retrieval unit at 29. McLean continued in judgment until 36 when he crossed the water back onto Chickasaw.

The first brace of the final morning paired Touch's Gallatin Fire (McLean) against Shadow's Lord Magic (Davis). Owner Carl Bowman was riding in support of Lord Magic. Both dogs went straight forward. Gallatin Fire had a find on the right toward the near edge of the first big pond at about 6. The dog handled it well. Gallatin Fire had a second find on the left just before the chute at 12 and again handled it well. Lord Magic returned to the forward party from his cast around the hourglass field in the mid-chute area. Both dogs crossed the water onto Abigail at 22 and both made the first left turn. McLean got Gallatin Fire through the creek at 30. He continued with the dog until 45 when Ecila was reached then called it quits. Davis brought Lord Magic back in harness.

Dominator's Rebel Squire (Daniels) ran in No. 15 as a bye. Jim Hamilton was in the road gallery for Squire. The dog was released at the hitching rail just across the road onto Ecila. At 10 Daniels called point on the edge of a drain. He called flight of birds but none were seen by the judges. Daniels continued until 27 then put the dog in harness.

The last brace of the morning consisted of Lester's Georgia Time (McLean) and Erin's Silver Lining (Daniels). They were released just across the road. Both dogs made goods swings and were shown enough the first 17 minutes or so. McLean called point at 18 deep in what was the front before the left turn in the course. Birds were produced and a shot was heard. Point was called for Silver Lining deep in at 19. He had birds as well. Both finds were "good ones". Both dogs continued to show well on the ground. Abigail was entered at 32. The handlers gathered up their dogs for the creek crossing at 36. The turn toward Chickasaw was made at about 39 and the water crossing was made at 48. The brace ended behind the barn without any more bird work.

Dominator's Rogue Rebel (Daniels) ran as a bye in No. 17. Jack and Sarah Shwarz were mounted for Rogue. Their dog was found standing between two longleaf patches on the right at 3. A nice sized covey lifted in front of the mannerly dog. Daniels returned to the course at 5. The hourglass field was entered at 8. Daniels rode the course and the scout handled the hourglass field. Rogue was returned in the mid-chute at 16. Daniels called point in the end of the chute but could only produce feathers from a hawk kill. The water was crossed at 23. Daniels picked Rogue up just before the creek at 38.

Dunn's Tried'n True (Eisenhart) and Miller's Stray Bullet (Norman) were paired in brace No. 18. They were released on the edge of the first field after the creek. Point was called for Stray Bullet at 8. The dog had birds and was mannerly for the flush and shot. Ecila was entered at 14. Norman returned to the front at 15. Tried'n True made some good swings. Point was called for him at 21 on a hill across a wet area on the right. It took some navigating to get to the find, but the birds held tight and the dog was credited with a good one. Eisenhart returned to the front at 24. Both dogs were in front at 28 and one was shown far to the front just where the course bends toward the right. Eisenhart pointed his dog out ahead at 34 going left to right. Norman got Stray Bullet back from the left just as the main party crossed the road about 37. Both dogs were seen briefly, then they disappeared again. Eisenhart searched deep on the right side and Norman did the same on the left side before they requested their trackers at 51.

The final brace of the trial paired the 2020 winners. Touch's Red Rider (Eisenhart) and Miller's Blindsider (Daniels) began their bid on Ecila. Nick Berrong was mounted for his Blindsider. Daniels sent the dog straight ahead off the breakaway. Eisenhart put Red Rider on the left to set dog up for the coming left turn. Daniels dispatched his scout to retrieve Blindsider. Red Rider was shown on a good swing and then point was called at 10. Blindsider came up and backed. When a relocation was required, Daniels moved on with his dog. Eisenhart took an unproductive and then caught the front. Both dogs continued to cover a lot of ground. The road crossing on to Abigail was made at 20. Daniels called point for Blindsider in the rough on the right at 23. The dog had birds and stood for the flush and shot. The gallery held up for Daniels to get Blindsider through the creek and back to the front. Both dogs continued their impressive ground application. Eisenhart was able to gather Red Rider and made the water crossing back onto Chickasaw at 32. He called point for his dog on the left at 35. Red Rider had birds and was well mannered for the flush and shot. The dog then made a strong cast to the right front that culminated at 40 in the call of "Point!" on a distant hill. If he had had birds there, the final results might have been different. However, none were produced after several attempts at relocation and the dog was put in harness. Meanwhile, Blindsider returned to Daniels at 45 in the open woods heading toward the rock crossing. Blindsider continued to run and show well, but after a brief conference with one of the judges at 50, the dog was picked up to end the trial.

A good crowd gathered at the barn for the announcements.

Sasser, Ga., March 2

Judges: Ricky Furney and Lee Phillips


[One-Hour Heats] -- 36 Pointers and 3 Setters

Winner--TOUCH'S MALCOLM STORY, 1675103, pointer male, by Touch's Knight Rider--Blackhawk's Sunflower. Alex Rickert, owner; Mark McLean, handler.

Runner-Up--DUNN'S TRUE REIGN, 1680537, pointer male, by Dunn's Tried'n True--Dunn's Get Out Sue. Claudia McNamee & Norris Sims, owners; Luke Eisenhart, handler.