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Event: West Tennessee Field Trial Club
Result: West Tennessee Field Trial Clubs Open Stakes

Location: Dancyville, Tennessee

Post Date: Mar 8, 2022

Submitted By: Jim Atchison


Open All-Age Winners. (Kneeling, l to r:) Johnny Weekly, Steve Hurdle holding Anniston Russell; David Russell with Como Thunder, Hailey Moreland with Touch's Malcolm Story, and Billy Blackwell with Como Rain. (Standing, l to r:) Nathan Phillips, Andy Cline, Marty Todd, Judges Ike Todd and Mike Jackson; Nolen Autin, Dr. Owen Tabor, Jr., Bill Hunt, Mike Small, Jerry Raynor, Gary Brown (almost hidden holding sign), Alex Rickert, Mark McLean, Bill Currie, Rachel Russell, Allen Currie, Crutcher Stoots, Dale Poole, and J P Hathcock.

DANCYVILLE, TENN. -- Owners and handlers of 32 All-Age dogs and 19 Derbies gathered February 18-21 at the field trial grounds of the West Tennessee Field Trial Club near Dancyville, Tenn., for the annual renewal of the club's Open trials which have been run there for close to seventy years.

The outdoor bonfire burns continuously anytime the club gathers and again was brightly burning. Metaphorically speaking, that fire has often been said to represent the light, energy, warmth, hospitality, and fellowship possessed by members of that club and which were again abundantly shared with all who attended. More information about the club and the community of property owners who contribute to the success of this club will be shared in "Sidelights" at the end of this report.

The first and third place winners of the All-Age competition were Como Thunder and Como Rain, respectively. The three-year old littermates are owned by Doug Arthur, Billy Blackwell, and David and Rachel Russell. Both were handled by Steve Hurdle.

Touch's Malcolm Story, owned by Alex Rickert of Bozeman, Mont., and handled by Mark McLean won second.

In addition to owning one of the winners, Alex Rickert and his wife, Brianna, now own the land on the east side of Coffee Gap Road which is used for most of the first half of running on the third hour course. All of the owners of the winning dogs attended the trials to enjoy watching their dogs compete.

Ike Todd handled both the first and third place winners of the Derby. First place was won by Excalibur's Ice Blade, whose name is being changed to Knight's Hill Ray and is now owned by Scott Griffin of Charlotte, N. C. Third was Touch's Too Much, owned by Keith Wright of Covington, Ind. Second was C S Smoke Roll, setter male owned by Tony Gibson and Buddy Smith of Union Springs, Ala., and Collierville, Tenn., respectively, and handled by Steve Hurdle.

Judges for the All-Age competition were Mike Jackson of Battle Ground, Ind., and Ike Todd, who lives in the Dancyville community. In fact, Ike and his wife, Marty, now own a significant portion of the of the second hour course -- the land lying south of the Fayette Corners Road and west of Coffee Gap Road. Mike Jackson also judged the Derbies with Chris Sellers of Selmer, Tenn.

Purina was again the sponsor of the field trial and generously contributed to its success by footing the advertising expenses and awarding handlers of the winners with bags of their premier product, Pro Plan, which is used and trusted by so many owners of field trial champions.

Hard rain and the threat of severe weather accompanying the rain came on Thursday before the trial started on Friday. But the weather for the four days of running was excellent and the three one-hour courses were in great condition. Mornings were cold with slightly frozen ground and frost, but overall, the days were chilly and near perfect for field trialing.


Como Thunder won first place by scoring four excellent finds in the eighth brace. He stopped a fifth time and birds were flushed nearby, but the birds came from an area behind where he was pointing. The timing of his bird work made the hour continuously interesting, with birds raised at 9, 15, 22, 44, and 51. The winner was responsive to his handler throughout the hour and looked great on his game each time Hurdle flushed. He ran a consistently forward ground race and looked just as stylish running as he did each time he stood on game.

Touch's Malcolm Story earned his second place win in the last hour, brace No. 16. Under Mark McLean's whistle, he ran strongly during the entire hour while pointing feathers and a woodcock egg at 28 and achieving an excellent find at 55, just prior to producing an outstanding finish in a place which afforded him the perfect opportunity to impress the judges. He had an unproductive at 42. Malcolm Story appeared strong and was good both good looking and good moving throughout the hour.

Como Rain ran a forward and smooth race consistently for Steve Hurdle in the second brace. He produced a huge covey on Dr. and Mrs. Spiotta's land at 14 and another at 35 on land owned by Larry and Janeal Humber. His performance easily earned him a place in the winners' lineup with his litter mate, Como Thunder.


Erin's Tie Breaker, owned by Ted Roach and handled by Steve Hurdle, was braced with Mac Golva B, setter owned and handled by Dr. Marion Brown, in the first brace. The pair shared a divided unproductive at 43 and finished the hour, but no birds were moved.

Miller's White Rain, owned by Ric Peterson and handled by Brody Byrd, was the bracemate of the third place winner in the second brace. Byrd elected to pick him up at 24.

Coldwater Spectre, owned by Gary McKibben and handled by Weldon Bennett, was braced with Dakota Nation, owned by Julia and Pat Roach and handled by Steve Hurdle, in the second brace. Coldwater Spectre was picked up at 36. Dakota Nation finished the hour and had birds one time, near a Johnny house at 36.

Touch's Fire Away, owned by Dr. Greg Adams and wife, Carmen, was handled by Randy Anderson and loosed in braceNo. 4 with Game Ice, handled by Jerry Raynor for Audie Brown. Raynor asked for is retrieval unit at 24. Fire Away finished the hour but found no birds.

Both Coldwater Odyssey, handled by Weldon Bennett for Gary McKibben, and Touch's Whitey Ford, owned by Nick Cummings and handled by Mark McLean, finished the hour and found birds in the fifth brace. Coldwater Odyssey had birds at 20 and again at 31. Whitey Ford backed the bracemate's superior position at 31 and also had an earlier independent find at 25.

Superstition Jake, handled by Brody Byrd for Ric Peterson, and Touch's Breakaway Fred, handled by Mark McLean for owners Bruce and Karen Norton and Becky and Gary Futch, went next. Jake had birds which were flushed at 25, but Byrd asked for his retrieval unit at 42. Fred finished the hour and had birds for McLean at 27.

Neither Superstition's Final Touch, handled by Brody Byrd for Ric Peterson, nor Mauck's Wyeast Owyhee Jack, owned and handled by Alex Mauck, finished the hour; as both handlers got their devices early.

Jerry Raynor had Sand Wood Creek, owned by Audie Brown, braced with the winner in the eighth brace. Raynor elected to pick her up early in the hour, at 11.

Whippoorwill Vette, owned by Dale Bush and handled by Larry Huffman, finished the ninth brace and had one nice find, at 49, while backed by his bracemate, Mauck's Wyeast Owyhee Dallee, owned and handled by Alex Mauck from Oregon. In addition to the back at 49, Mauck's setter produced birds at 26, 35, and 44.

Both Touch's Folsom Blues and Nosam's Sweetwater were picked up at 6 in the tenth brace. Folsom Blues, owned by Bruce and Karen Norton and Howard Brooks, was handled by Mark McLean, while Larry Huffman handled Sweetwater for Jeff Busby.

Matt Dillon, co-owned by Ric Peterson and Keith Bollendorf went next, handled by Brody Byrd. Bracemate was Lester's Georgia Time, handled by Mark McLean for Baker Hubbard and Jim Clark. Byrd got his retrieval unit at 23 in order to locate Matt Dillon. Lester's Georgia time finished the hour and McLean flushed birds at 20 and again at 33.

Woodville's Yukon Cornelius, owned by Carl and Ashley Owens and handled by Mark McLean, was nex, braced with Erin's Silver Lining, owned by Audie Brown handled by Jerry Raynor. Both dogs finished the hour with one find each.

On Sunday morning, Lester's Storm Chaser, owned by Jannie Chapman and handled by Gary Lester, was loosed with Ascension, owned by Ted Roach and handled by Steve Hurdle. Both dogs finished the hour. Storm Chaser did not locate any birds and neither did Ascension. However, Ascension had an unproductive at 31.

Lester's Another Shockwave, handled by Gary Lester for Tommy and Bonnie Hamilton, went next, braced with Erin's Prime Time, owned by Audie Brown and handled by Jerry Raynor. Shockwave found a big covey at 7 and finished the hour. Prime Time had birds and 27 and again once more later in the hour.

Bonner's Hot Rize, owned by Jannie Chapman and handled by Gary Lester, was paired with Touch's Joyride in No. 15. Joyride, owned by Bruce and Karen Norton, Kate McLean Summerlin and Howard Brooks, was handled by Mark McLean. Neither entry finished the hour.

Game Rebel, owned and handled by Dr. Fred Corder, was braced with the winner in the final All-Age brace. Game Rebel finished the hour and backed his bracemate in an unproductive stand at 42.

Dancyville, Tenn., February 18

Judges: Mike Jackson and Ike Todd

OPEN ALL-AGE [One-Hour Heats] -- 28 Pointers and 4 Setters

1st--COMO THUNDER, 1687714, pointer male, by Skyfall--Catch Me Dot. B. K. & Rachel Blackwell, Doug Arthur & David Russell, owners; Steve Hurdle, handler.

2d--TOUCH'S MALCOLM STORY, 1675103, pointer male, by Touch's Knight Rider--Blackhawk's Sunflower. Alex Rickert, owner; Mark McLean, handler.

3d--COMO RAIN, 1687713, pointer male, by Skyfall--Catch Me Dot. B. K. & Rachel Blackwell, Doug Arthur & David Russell, owners; Steve Hurdle, handler.


Excalibur's Ice Blade, owned by Scott Griffin and soon to renamed Knight's Hill Ray was handled by Ike Todd. The young dog ran a strong and forward race which ended with a strong finish. Although he found no birds, the judges were impressed and felt he deserved the first place award.

C S Smoke Roll, setter male owned by Tony Gibson and handled by Steve Hurdle, placed second with a performance that very much mirrored that of the first place winner. Both the first and second place winners were braced together in the sixth brace of the derby stake, which enabled the judges to compare both dogs more easily than would have been possible should they not have been braced together.

Touch's Too Much, owned by Keith Wright and handled by Ike Todd, won third. He produced a strong race and was found pointing just shortly after time was called by the judges. Todd flushed a covey that had been found earlier by dogs in the All-Age Stake.

Judges: Mike Jackson and Chris Sellers

OPEN DERBY -- 15 Pointers and 4 Setters

1st--EXCALIBUR'S ICE BLADE, 1691647, pointer male, by Bonner's Excalibur--Santee River Iced Crush. Ray F. Anthony, owner; Ike Todd, handler.

2d--C S SMOKE ROLL, 1688866, setter male, by Merritt's Bear--A Tarheel Miss Bo. Tony Gibson & Buddy Smith, owners; Steve Hurdle, handler.

3d--TOUCH'S TOO MUCH, 1697545, pointer male, by Touch's Grey Street--Touch's American Baby. Keith Wright, owner; Ike Todd, handler.


Property owners and residents of nearby Brownsville warmly welcomed field trialers to their community and generously permitted the three one-hour courses to be laid out on their land. Some also welcomed visiting field trialers to stay in their homes. Landowners included Bill Currie and Allen Currie, the Honorable Skip Taylor and his mother, Mrs. Jan McCloud; Dr. and Mrs. Gene Spiotta, Jr., Rich Boumeester, Mr. and Mrs. Larry Humber, Ike and Marty Todd, Alex and Brianna Rickert, and Mr. and Mrs. Ed McClanahan.

Dr. and Mrs. Spiotta and Mrs. Bettye Butler welcomed visitors to stay in their homes. All of the above were invited, and many attended, the dinners held each night at the clubhouse.

* * *

Three meals a day were provided during each day of the trial. Breakfast sandwiches were brought in by club members each morning. Sandwich or burger type lunches were prepared by members of the club each day. Great dinners were served to large crowds on Friday and Saturday night, with plenty of leftovers for Monday night.

On Friday night Fernon Ferge prepared pulled barbeque pork and his wife, Connie, prepared all the sides and several cakes and pies. On Saturday night Carl Owens and Chris Mullin shared in the preparation of a great dinner. Carl, from Awendaw, S. C., and the owner of Woodville's Yukon Cornelius that won this All-Age stake last year, brought forty pounds of shrimp from South Carolina. The shrimp, coupled with smoked sausages, potatoes, corn on the cob, and Old Bay seasoning produced a great Frogmore stew, a South Carolina delight frequently called low country boil in other parts of the country. Chris Mullin, a hardworking member of the West Tennessee Club, grilled 45 ribeyes for the same dinner.

So needless to say, everyone enjoyed sumptuous repasts each night.

* * *

Attending a field trial at the West Tennessee clubhouse is different from most other trials and a wonderful experience. While the trial is old and highly respected, going there is also almost like going to a reunion or homecoming. The clubhouse is old and rather small but filled with plaques, trophies, photographs, and memorabilia dating back through the many decades of the club's existence. Most of the social activity, with the exception of meals, takes place outside around a campfire that rarely goes out as everyone sits on rustic plank benches to socialize. Going there is always wonderful and one leaves with eager anticipation of returning the next time.

* * *

Many persons contributed both to the success of the field trial and to the welcoming atmosphere and hospitality that prevail. Bill Currie is president of the club. Allen Currie is vice-president. The Currie brothers own the clubhouse which is located on land that has been passed down through generations of their family, having come to then through the Edwards lineage of their grandmother, Mrs. Tom Currie. J P Hathcock is secretary and Crutcher Stoots is treasurer. Ike Todd, Chris Mullin, Gary Brown, Dale Poole, and other friends, families, and neighbors all joined together to make the West Tennessee the wonderful club that is so much enjoyed and appreciated.