Result: Georgia-Florida Invitational Field Trial Club
Location: Boston, Georgia
Post Date: Jun 16, 2022
Submitted By: Jason Williams
The Spring 2022 running of the Georgia-Florida Invitational was run March 12th thru 14th on Mayhaw Plantation and Seminole Plantation, South of Thomasville, Ga. We would like to thank the Crozier, Smith and Knox families for the use of these beautiful grounds. Both of these properties have been groomed for many years and were in top shape this year. They are typical South Ga., North Fla. Plantation grounds, rolling red hills with pines and big, beautiful live oak trees. The wild birds, while plentiful were hard to find and handle, typical for March. They have been hunted all season and are well educated by March. They act like someone has been trying to shoot them.
Trey Mills, manager of Mayhaw and Wallace Reed, manager of Seminole were the course marshals. They have together 11,000 acres so there is plenty of ground to work with. Their crews were there every day as well, from daylight until dark to attend to all details. There was never a hitch as both these men and their crews work very well together to ensure a well-run trial. Club President John Fuller and his secretary daughter, Amy did all the pre-trial work as well as anyone could ever do. They had some family commitments during the weekend but were there when possible. Their jobs are truly "labors of love." Wallace and Trey have to be commended as well, their places were truly spectacular and that's a tougher job than ever due to "labor shortages."
This trial always has catered lunches that are paid for by the Ag Pro. This renewals' lunches were done by Red Hill's Catering and they were really good and on time, perfect. This club's sponsors are too numerous to mention here but everyone who does business with Plantations knows the importance of the trial and the plantation industry as a whole to this area, many thanks. There used to be a Saturday night party but I don't think it's a tradition anymore, too bad.
Billy Henley and Wayne Dodson piloted the dog wagon in the afternoons on Seminole, this pair knows their way around every property in Thomas county and surrounding counties as well. Billy, at 84 years old worked so many years on several places including Seminole. He told me that he had hunted several days this year and was working 7 or 8 young dogs, pretty impressive.
This trial is very special because its members are plantation managers and dog trainers from the area. It's always run on wild birds and big open country. As always with wild birds, the numbers of birds will fluctuate with many factors, mainly the weather in mating and nesting season. There are great years, good years and tough years, all are taken in stride. The crews on these properties work 365 days a year to ensure a good hunting season in all years. The 3 main jobs for quail management are burning the woods, trapping varmints, and feeding the quail. There are so many more things to be done as well every day of the year, cleaning kennels, feeding dogs and cleaning barns to training the dogs. The number one chore in the Fall is chopping the woods. All these grounds are mowed or chopped in a grid style, every inch, a tough chore.
This trial has been won by many famous plantation trainers and by trainers who have been "on the road" as well. Billy Henley, Terry Chastain, Tommy Rice II and III, Jason Loper, Ray Pearce, Greg Shepherd, Tommy Davis, Lee Phillips, Roy and Ed Epp and Phil Napier are just a few names that stand out to me right now. That's a pretty impressive list.
My old friend Rick Furney and I judged this renewal and we were in total agreement about every dog. Rick was training dogs way before I was and I started in 1986 so our experience wasn't questioned. We were looking for a field trial shooting dog that was fast, forward and fancy, a dog capable of winning championships.
The winner emerged in the first brace after lunch on Sunday. Mayhaw's Perfect Storm, handled by Trey Mills had 2 finds, an unproductive and a big, forward race. He was searched for after time was called and was found soon after. Erin's Tough Grit, handled by Tommy Rice III was awarded second place due to a good, forward race, two finds and an unproductive.
Whip, handled by Eric Small won third for his two find effort and a really nice race. His first find off to the right of the course was a beauty.
The derby stake drew 20 quality entries and was run on Monday. There were several nice performances and we liked Reba, handled by T. Rice III for first place. She was forward with a really good find. Her brace mate moved but Reba showed her training and remained steady. Pete for Jason Loper was second with a good, swinging ground effort and a great limb find. Ike, handled by our South Dakota buddy, L. J. Lundstrom had the race of the stake. Point was called to the front after pickup and if his bird work had been more clearly defined, he would have been first.
This trial is very impressive. It always runs on wild birds, on lots of country, almost always has large galleries, and everyone exhibits great sportsmanship.
Boston, Ga., March 11
Judges: Rick Furney and Jason Williams
OPEN SHOOTING DOG [One-Hour Heats] - 24 Pointers
1st-MAYHAW'S PERFECT STORM, 1673566, pointer male, by Lester's Storm-Dominator's Flo. Mayhaw Plantation, owner; Trey Mills, handler.
2d-ERIN'S TOUGH GRIT, 1687105, pointer male, by Westfall's True Grit-Erin's Kiss and Tell. Thomas E. Rice III, owner; Tommy Rice, handler.
3d-COLD CREEK WHIP, 1693607, pointer male, by Dragonfly-Cold Creek Ms. Kay. Horseshoe Plantation, owner; Eric Small, handler.
OPEN DERBY - 19 Pointers
1st-CHEAP THRILL, 1699020, male, by Just Thrillin-Charitable Deed. Thomas E. Rice III, owner and handler.
2d-OSCEOLA'S RED CLAY, 1696157, male, by Erin's Redrum-Osceola's Small Cake. Osceola Kennels, owner; Jason Loper, handler.
3d-SIOUX BULL RUN, unreg., male, breeding not given. L. J. Lundstrom, owner and handler.
From right to left: Trey Mills with Mayhaw's Perfect Storm, Tommy Rice with Erin's Tough Grit, Erik Small with Cold Creek Whip. Joined by participants.