Result: Dixie Field Trial Club
Location: Ochlocknee, Georgia
Post Date: Jun 21, 2022
Submitted By: Andrew Campbell
Open All-Age. Front row: Luke Eisenhart and Judd Carlton with Erin's Wild Atlantic Way, Jerry Raynor with Woodville's Yukon Cornelius, Flint Hendley with Touch's Malcolm Story. Back Row: Ed Chance (judge), Billy Wayne Morton, Charles Morton (judge), Mark McLean, Gary Futch, Patty Ewer, ArlieMae Hendley, Chip Jenkins, Kira Jenkins, Jeff Arnold, Maria Bassham.
The Dixie Field Trial Club held its annual spring trial - comprising a National Championship qualifying Open All Age stake and a National Derby Championship qualifying Open Derby stake - at the beautifully managed Burnt Branch Plantation. Originally slated to start on Friday, March 11th, the entire trial was postponed for a day due to the threat of severe weather - and concluded on Monday, March 14th. The judges, once more, were the respected Charles Morton from Thomasville, Ga., and Ed Chance from Albany, Ga.
The Club is grateful to the landowners, Eddie and Carole Sholar, not only for the use of their grounds and their dog wagon, but also for their tremendous hospitality in providing meals of all shapes and sizes throughout the weekend. As is obvious from the winners' pictures, the combination of the Dixie Field Trial Club and Burnt Branch Plantation ensured that this was very much a family event - with eager youngsters riding in bunches to enjoy the surroundings and the quality of the dog work. And there was plenty of bird work despite the trial falling at the end of the quail season as it does. Kudos should therefore also be given to Burnt Branch manager, Greg Shepherd, to prepare and maintain the grounds to support great bird habitat as well as that of his principal assistant, Kojac Wynn.
From a field of 26 starters, 21 pointers and 5 setters, the judges would name Erin's Wild Atlantic Way, owned by Sean Derrig, and handled by Luke Eisenhart as winner, his bracemate Woodville's Yukon Cornelius, owned by Carl Owens, and handled by Mark McLean, as runner-up, and Touch's Malcom Story, owned by Alex Rickert, and also handled by Mark McLean in third place. These results would provide Wild Atlantic Way's first championship win and re-qualify Yukon Cornelius for the 2023 National Championship.
The judges also held the performance by Miller's Heat Advisory (Carlton) in particular high regard.
Erin's Wild Atlantic Way (Eisenhart) would run in the 11th brace drawn with Woodville's Yukon Cornelius (McLean). The two dogs were turned loose from the entry gate on the west side of Egg & Butter Road on the regular second course, breaking west over the first berm and down through the muddy bottom into the heart of the property. The action would begin quickly with Wild Atlantic Way initially swinging out to the left before arcing back towards his handler, coming to stop at 0:02 in the little stand of pines on the other side of the muddy bottom, a decent-sized covey rising ahead of the stylish, young dog. Swinging around the Jurassic Park turn, Wild Atlantic Way would swing out along that long lower edge while Cornelius would punch out over nearside ridge before Hill #1 and disappear from view for some time. Coming down off the dry hill, Wild Atlantic would push down the right side and come to a stop at 0:24 roughly 100yds from the cut-through into the woods below the Mule Pasture. For his part, Cornelius had been working the lower draw, approaching the cut-through from the other side - and coming to a stylish honor on the other side of the main trail as soon as he recognized his bracemate on point. A sizable covey would be easily flushed out over the woodline for Wild Atlantic Way. From that point, the brace began to take on a different air as the excitement of a handler who knows he is getting something done became palpable carrying the attention of the judges and gallery alike in his wake. With Eisenhart regularly raising his arm to point, all were eager to see the dog push through the woods, all hanging on the handler's every gesture, eager for a glimpse of white against the dun wiregrass and broomsedge, or the elusive flicker of either of the two black-ticked setters in the shady draws of Burnt Branch. Both dogs would work their way around the lower edge below the Palmer Shed before tackling the rifle range, Cornelius climbing up over the hump of the ridge and tackling the draw on the far side. He would be found at 0:43 on the low shoulder roughly three-quarters of the way between the shooting house and the backstop, a large group of birds flushed out of the broomsedge and oaky thicket ahead of him. The pace did not seem elevated during the brace - and I can only assume that both dogs' consistently forward, focused pattern simply carried them further down the course. Time would be called a full half-mile further northeast from the usual first-hour pick-up, Wild Atlantic Way having clearly outstripped Cornelius over the final fifteen minues, and especially in his strong finish into the very northeast corner of the property. And yet, Yukon Cornelius had also contributed to and been carried forward by that tremendous momentum that had slowly built since the two dogs had been together below the Mule Pasture.
Two bracemates had also come closest to these performances - and had in fact set the early bar out of the fifth brace. Touch's Malcolm Story (McLean) would be braced with Miller's Heat Advisory (Carlton) also on the second course at Burnt Branch. Both dogs would establish a nice ground race to start, both moving smoothly down through the wooded glades in the heart of the property. As the gallery approached the first muddy crossing, Malcolm Story would be seen swinging out hard on the next shoulder to the left and then dropping out of view. Point would be called from out on that side a couple of minutes later at 0:09, the dog stood looking up into a cover strip some 350yds to the south of the main course. Sadly, without knowing whether the birds had simply left in the interim, the subsequent flush and relocation generated nothing. Coming down to the turn southwest at Jurassic Park, Heat Advisory had come to a stop of his own on the outside of the turn at 0:12, although this too proved fruitless. Both dogs would move smoothly up over Hill #1 and down over the dry hill towards the southwest corner of the property. Malcolm Story would come to a stop in the feed trail some 250yds from the culvert corner at 0:29, although birds would be readily flown from the 50yd-wide margin of scrubby grass and out through the screen of trees. Malcolm Story would come to a stop at 0:41 just after the turn down the rifle range, but when the judge could not confirm the flight of birds from the oaky thicket, McLean would opt to simply take him on. With Malcolm Story dropping over the ridge of the rifle range, he would be found standing down in the oakey thicket at 0:47, a large covey of birds put out ahead of him. Heat Advisory for his part had pushed down past the backstop and out towards the southern edge of the Black Pond where he would be found standing at 0:49, another large covey sent skyward of this also-very-stylish dog, too. Through the Island, both dogs would be blown out hard to finish on the lower shoulder of the next rise, Malcolm Story moving a little further and a little smoother at the call of time.
The first brace drew Rogue Rebel (Daniels) alongside Touch's Joyride (McLean) on a cool blustery morning that felt as though the rain had not entirely left the area. The action would begin early: having pushed out into the woods to the southeast at his earliest opportunity, Joyride would come to a stop at 0:02, looking into the young, oakey thicket in the center of that wedge of woods, a large bevvy of birds pushed out of the prominent green patch. As the gallery passed the 'Field Trial House' on the other side of Egg & Butter Road and prepared to climb the low rise the call of point for Rogue Rebel would come from the woods to the east at 0:09, the birds bursting out of a low, bramble thicket ahead of the stylish dog. He would come to a stop again on the backside, looking downslope into the southwesterly breeze at 0:22, but despite a brief relocation nothing could be produced ahead of him. Rogue Rebel would stop once more in the final tongue of woods parallel with the parking area where the course eseentually does a U-turn at 0:30. He would be found roughly three hundred yards up into that tongue with Joyride honoring in stylish fashion, although this too would prove barren and Daniels would end his bid. McLean would also decide that this was not his young dog's best day and elect to pick up at 0:33.
Now over on the big side, the second brace drew Touch's Breakaway Fred(McLean) alongside Confident Nation (Eisenhart). Coming over the initial berm down into the muddy hollow, Confident Nation would immediately swing out to the right. He would be found at 0:06, roughly 175yds out to the north on a little point, standing in the feed trail, but picturesquely framed by young palmettos, the birds perhaps 15yds out ahead of him in the low oaky thicket. In the meantime, Fred had come to a stop of his own roughly 300yds further down the course, looking up into the desiccated remnants of a tall feed strip at 0:07; sadly, despite a relocation attempt this would prove fruitless. Just through the muddy chute and up into the wiregrass to the left, Confident Nation would come to a stop at 0:10, with Fred honoring respectably, the birds easily produced ahead of him. The roles would be reversed not too far further on at 0:12, McLean able to produce a single from the tufts of grass. While Fred would appear to shorten up some around 0:35 as the course came down off the dry hill, Confident Nation would be seen punching up the slope towards the Mule Pasture - however as the gallery passed around that rounded hill and move out towards the rifle range, Eisenhart would come in for his tracker at 0:40. Fred would move valiantly through the next section of woods, but by the time the gallery had reached the Island Field, McLean would come in for his tracker at 0:59.
The third brace featured Shadow's Lord Magic (Eisenhart) alongside Erin's Prime Time (Raynor). Both dogs had moved well through the first half of the second course down the northern edge of the property bordered by Willingham Road, although surprisingly without any bird contact. Both would also appear to make the counter-clockwise turn below Hill #2 - but by the time the gallery had reached the weather shed near the Black Pond, both dogs had been gone for several minutes. Swinging northeast past the schoolbus, under the crop field, while looking for his own dog Raynor would actually locate Lord Magic standing on the far, northern edge of that field at 0:36 and alert the other handler to his presence. Who knew how long he had been standing there - and sadly, all flushing and relocation efforts would prove fruitless. Raynor would finally admit that his strong dog had given him the slip and come for his tracking unit at 0:46. Lord Magic would continue to move well through the second half of the course, and as the gallery moved under the first tall berm beneath the entrance way, he would be seen standing in the main feed trail just out to the right by one of the judges at 0:57, a pair of birds pushed out of the low, scrubby oak by the roadside. He would be finished up around the edge of the crop field just to the north of the field trial house.
The fourth brace brought Late Hit (Shenker) to the line with Bull Market Bud (Daniels) for the first brace after lunch. It had warmed significantly after the wet front had moved off with the wind seeming to blow hard from the west. Both dogs would move well through the course, Late Hit consistently forward of his handler, Bud outmatching him from time to time with the range of his casts. Not long after coming through the muddy chute just before the cypress pond, Shenker would call point for Late Hit at 0:53 in the final arm of woods; sadly, though, neither flushing nor relocation efforts would prove fruitful. And as both handlers approached the parking area, both handlers would ask for their tracking receivers at 0:57.
The fifth brace featuring Touch's Malcolm Story (McLean) and Miller's Heat Advisory (Carlton) is already covered in the placements.
The sixth brace drew Touch's Midnight Rider (McLean) alongside Miller's Blindsider (Daniels). Both dogs would break away smartly up along the fenceline towards the entrance gate before breaking hard out to the west at its crest. They would be found together at 0:08, perhaps 125yds off the southwest corner of the Duck Pond. Both handlers would elect to flush, although when neither could produce anything, both would then elect to relocate. Midnight Rider would then set up on the back side of the nearest cover strip, Blindsider establishing a stylish honor - although this renewed flushing effort would also yield nothing. Coming down to the Jurassic Park edge, Blindsider would come to a stop midway between the main trail and the dark swamp edge at 0:23, although sadly neither flushing nor relocation would produce anything - at which point, Daniels would pick up his charge. Midnight Rider would continue to arc smoothly counterclockwise as the course began to turn southeast under Hill #2. As the gallery followed the slow climb of the main path, Midnight Rider would punch up the shoulder of the hill but come to a solid stop above the main bend to the right at 0:29, looking downslope and up into the southwesterly breeze. Birds would flush from the oakey thicket on the other side of the main trail almost immediately as flushing began. Nevertheless, despite a successful find, McLean would opt to ask for his tracking receiver shortly afterwards at 0:31.
The seventh brace featured Game Ice (Raynor) head-t0-head with Erin's Three Leaf Shamrock (Swearingen). Both dogs would break away hard down the first tongue of woods and disappear out of sight. The distant call of point would come at 0:11 as the gallery passed parallel to the Field Trial House, the dogs found down on the pond dam below the picnic shed. More accurately, Shamrock would be down in the hollow of the drainage draw, Game Ice off to the side slightly, but up on the pond dam proper. Both handlers would elect to flush - and with the flapping of wings from the dense, dry grass, both would fire. Shortly after the cypress pond crossing into the back side of the course, Shamrock would come to a stop low on the rising, piney slope at 0:26 - as Game Ice swept past him some 25yds further upslope. Swearingen would make an initial flushing effort and then ask his dog to relocate, birds rising during this process, the dog stopping on their flight. Nevertheless, the dog was adjudicated to have crowded the birds ending his bid. Point would be called at 0:30 for Game Ice up on top of that slope perhaps 150yds further nirth - and while birds were readily flushed ahead of him, Raynor was then advised that his dog had failed to honor Shamrock's previous stop.
The eighth brace drew Erin's Tin Star (Carlton), with owner Mike Sweet in attendance in support of his dog, along with Touch's Whitey Ford (McLean). Both dogs would move nicely through the gradual descent from the entrance way, with Tin Star coming to a stop just off the main feed trail to the right roughly 75yds before the muddy crossing into the wiregrass woods below Hill#2, Whitey Ford honoring nicely. Sadly, this would prove unproductive despite a valiant relocation effort. Coming to a stop once more at 0:16 out on the right side o the maint trail near the foot of the draw between Hill #1 and Hill #2, and with Whitey Ford honoring once again, Tin Star would successfully pin a sizeable covey of birds. Whitey Ford would then go on a short distance before stopping on his own at 0:19 between two dense, oakey strips - although when the initial flushing effort proved fruitless, McLean would opt to pick up his dog. While Tin Star would continue to move nicely through the woods below the Palmer Shed and out towards the rifle range, he would slip out of touch in the serpentine draws and woods leaving Carlton to ask for his tracking unit at 0:59 at the head of the deerstand field behind the Field Trial House. (He would be found pointing near the old van abandoned a little to the southwest of the house, the birds still in front of him. I mention this only to express some regret that this dog appears to be of the right caliber, but enduring a streak of hard luck.)
The ninth brace brought High Rollin Macho Man (Swearingen) to the line with Touch's Gallatin Fire (McLean). Turned loose from the Island, both dogs would easily make the first two casts - first east, then north - before pushing up over the rise past the entrance way, both moving directly out front as the course then dropped down to cross the first major drainage in the northeast corner of the property. Approaching the gap both dogs would swing down to the left following the obvious objective of the shady draw. As the handlers rode the edge of the crop field preparing for the swing down the northern edge of woods, Swearingen would successfully swing his dog through the woods ahead of him. The call of point would come from the dog wagon at 0:12 for Galltin Fire still standing down along the draw, although sadly neither flushing nor relocation efforts would prove fruitful. Moving smoothly through the woods, both dogs would make the Jurassic Park turn and begin their climb up towards Hill #2. Gallatin Fire would come to a stop in the same cover strip above the bend in the trail that Touch's Midnight Rider had the afternoon over at 0:29, beautifully backlit against the low morning sun, looking up into what seemed to be a northerly breeze. Sadly, however pretty the picture, neither flush nor relocation would produce anything, ending his bid. And as the gallery reached the picnic shed above the Black Pond, Swearingen came back for his tracking device at 0:34 bringing the brace to an end. With the three regular morning braces ending early, the judges elected to iummediately run the (odd) tenth brace over on the little side. (By 'odd,' I mean that there were 13braces of dogs entered in total - which meant that there was one extra beyond the normal 12 to fill two days of running.)
The tenth brace featured Nonami's Johnny Come Lately (Pearce) alongside Chief's Rising Sun (Carlton). Johnny would immediately break left along the edge of the wooded draw (out on the arm of woods the course normally comes back into camp on), while Chief would push out along the fenceline. He would nevertheless come to a stop roughly a quarter-mile down that line at 0:02 looking into the oakey, sometimes-damp depression below the path - although sadly, this would prove fruitless. Erudite scouting would locate Johnny at 0:10, standing in the weather-worn remnants of a cover strip out on the eastern edge of the woods opposite the Field Trial House - in the same general vicinity that Rogue Rebel had been found in the very first brace. The birds would flush easily from the folded and snapped stalks. Both dogs would move smoothly through the woods out into the back side of the course, Johnny establishing a slightly wide and more consistent pattern out front; nevertheless, approaching the turn-around at the head of the woods, Rising Sun would be spied down on the shoulder to the northwest at 0:28, a large covey of birds readily flushed from the brambles and multiflora ahead of him. Through the powerline turns, past the picnic shed, and through the muddy chute past the cypress pond, both dogs would move nicely through the woods to the left following the draw before angling back up towards the main feed trail - where they would come to a stop at 0:45, Johnny pointing and Rising Sun honoring. When Pearce dismounted a single bird would flush ahead of his dog, prompting him to fire, which in turn caused the remainder of the large covey to flush all around the two dogs. While everything had been in order, the handlers were informed that they were not beating what was already in the judges' books bringing an end to the brace.
The eleventh brace comprised of Woodville's Yukon Cornelius (McLean) and Erin's Wild Atlantic Way (Eisenhart) has already been described in the placements.
The twelfth brace brought Dunn's True Reign (Eisenhart) to the line with Erin's Silver Lining (Raynor). Both dogs would move smoothly down through the woods beside Willingham Road till they reached the Jurassic Park edge and began the counterclockwise arc back into the heart of the property following the draw between Hills #1 and #2, although by the time the gallery had reached the picnic shed by the Black Pond at 0:24, both dogs had been absent for some time. The gallery would hold up at the Schoolbus Corner while Raynor continued down the course and Eisenhart went up the southern edge of the deerstand field. Resuming their progress, however, by the time the gallery exited the Island and made its way along the next arm of woods, both handlers would come in for their trackers at 0:31.
The thirteenth and final brace drew Dunn's Ever N Onward (Swearingen), with owner Will Dunn riding in support, alongside Wild Bill (Daniels). Following the normal course
rotation, they would be turned loose over on the first course, Wild Bill would swing out to the left into the woods, while Onward would concentrate on the cover on the right side parallel to the fenceline. (Wild Bill would actually complete the inside cast through the woods and reunite with the handlers as they re-entered the woods along the southern edge of the property.) Swinging round and out into the back side of the course, both dogs would continue to move well - although birdwork would elude them both. Daniels would be the first to pick up his dog at 0:26 at the start of the turn-around tongue of woods, Eisenhart opting to pick up his own at its very top at 0:30.
Ochlocknee, Ga., March 12
Judges: Ed Chance and Charles Morton
OPEN ALL-AGE [One-Hour Heats] - 21 Pointers and 5 Setters
1st-ERIN'S WILD ATLANTIC WAY, 1684809, setter male, by Erin's Hidden Shamrock-T T's Southern Miss. Sean Derrig, owner; Luke Eisenhart, handler.
2d-WOODVILLE'S YUKON CORNELIUS, 1673091, setter male, by Caladen's Davinci-A Tarheel Miss Bo. Carl Owens, owner; Mark McLean, handler.
3d-TOUCH'S MALCOLM STORY, 1675103, pointer male, by Touch's Knight Rider-Blackhawk's Sunflower. Alex Rickert, owner; Mark McLean, handler.
From a strong field of 22 pointers, the same judges would proclaim Erin's Code of Honor, owned by Allen Lindner, and handled by Luke Eisenhart, winner with Rentz's HiJacked, owned by Joe & Tricia Rentz and Claudia MacNamee, also handled by Luke Eisenhart in second, with Clear Creek Jim, owned and handled by Clif Flowers in a well-earned third. As in past years, the entire Derby stake was run over on the big side of the property.
Erin's Code of Honor (Eisenhart) had run in the third brace with Till You Can't (Haynes), the dogs turned loose to the north at the conventional start for the second one-hour course. Both dogs would cruise up over the hill past the entrance way, and be found together over the rise down on the lower left shoulder at 0:04. Birds would be easily produced from the broomsedge, the manners perfect from both dogs. Through the gap into the northeast corner of the property, Till You Can't had turned hard left down the draw while Code of Honor had stayed high up along the field edge. Roughly 350yds along that upper edge, he would wheel back up into the northeasterly breeze to point at 0:08, a large covey of birds flushed skyward ahead of the stylish and perfectly-mannered dog. Down along the Willingham Road edge, Code of Honor would swing deep into the woods to the left, Till You Can't down the pine line paralleling the road. Coming down to the Jurassic Park edge, Till You Can't would swing wide through the counterclockwise turn back up towards Hill #2. He would connect with the obvious draw and come to a stop near its base at 0:25, although sadly despite an auspicious location neither flush nor relocation would produce anything. Code of Honor, in the meantime, had punched up over the hill and down into the next swale requiring a significant portion of his grace period to be returned to the judges waiting just beyond the Schoolbus at the call of time. With two finds and a race that had showed him particularly well in the middle of the brace, Code of Honor had shown a surfeit of potential as a broke dog.
Rentz's HiJacked had run in the very next brace, the fourth, drawn with Touch's Bull Durham (McLean). Both dogs moved well through the initial section of the course, navigating the S-bends and moving down into the heart of the property southwest of the little pond. At this point, HiJacked had begun to establish a wider, more searching pattern from his bracemate, appearing out on the rise below the back gate as the course began to angle back to the east. Approaching the Duck Pond, Eisenhart would send HiJacked out wide around its far northern edge while Bull, working consistently ahead of his handler, would swing up its nearside southern edge - and promptly come to a stop at 0:16 at the prominent bend in the feed trail, birds readily flown out of the oakey thicket ahead of him. They would push across the entryway at speed and take the Egg & Butter fenceline down across the head of the crop field before being gathered up, and taken through the woody gap roughly 100yds in. Punching out into the shady woods behind the Field Trial House, the two dogs would be found standing at the old fenceline near the abandoned van at 0:28, Bull honoring HiJacked, the birds readily flushed out ahead of them. (This would be where Erin's Tin Star would be found 'lost' during the All-Age stake.) Both dogs would be sent out for a final glorious finish, heralded if not propelled by the corybantic blowing of whistles. Bull Durham had taken some time to find his range and ultimately finished well, but HiJacked had come out strong from the start, handled and shown well - and perhaps if he had had the same course as Code of Honor might have presented an even closer challenge for the win.
Clear Creek Jim (Flowers) had run in the first brace with Navajo Nation (Eisenhart), the night and the morning cool enough that frost could still be found in the shady spots below the pine canopy. Certainly for the first 8 minutes or so, Navajo Nation would outstretch his bracemate in the long gradual descent into the heart of the property, Jim occasionally looping back a little as if from lack of experience. Nevertheless, as the placement confirms, what appeared to be an initial lack of confidence evaporated over the course of the brace as the dogs reached the Jurassic Park edge and began the swing under Hill #1. Jim would punch up the inside of the turn and then be seen standing some 25yds off the battered stalks of a feed strip almost at the shoulder's summit at 0:19, the birds readily flown ahead of the mannerly dog. Both dogs would move smoothly up over the rise and down off the dry hill, Navajo Nation the first to go through the cut at the bottom into the Mule Pasture woods - before then turning back up the draw to the northeast. He would come to a stop some 30yds further up at 0:26, although sadly neither the flush nor the relocation could produce any birds. Both dogs would finish up well, moving up around the Palmer Shed. Clear Creek Jim had taken a little to get acclimated and, as a result, had not challenged the top-two dogs - but had shown an increasing confidence and strong, forward pattern on the ground as the brace went on.
The first brace featuring Navajo Nation (Eisenhart) and Clear Creek Jim (Flowers) has just been covered in the placements.
The second brace brought Dominator's Maybelle (Daniels) to the line with Can't Fight the Moonlight (Haynes), two fairly evenly matched dogs for range and speed. Both would work smoothly around the hill below the Palmer Shed, Moonlight the first to go through the cut to the east at its conclusion. She would duck up the shoulder to the right and come to a stop at 0:08, a nice covey pinned, her manners perfect. They would start the rifle range arm together, although Moonlight would be sent off down to the left side, Maybelle the right although they would reunite and be largely together at the Schoolbus Corner and at the exit of the Island Field. Time would be called at the end of the final arm of woods at the conclusion of the regular one-hour course, both dogs consistent in their effort and forward pattern but without the same degree of punch as the winners.
The third brace featuring Till You Can't (Haynes) and Erin's Code of Honor (Eisenhart) has already been covered in the placements.
The fourth brace featuring Rentz's HiJacked (Eisenhart) and Touch's Bull Durham (McLean) has also already been covered in the placements.
The fifth brace drew Supreme Confidence (Eisenhart) beside Touch's Shadow Rider (McLean), with owner Karen Norton in the gallery. Turned loose from the gate on Palmer Road and sent off down the ridge of the rifle range, Supreme Confidence would come to a stop just off the main lane at the 125yd target holder at 0:03 looking into the broomsedge, the initial flush proving unsuccessful - although, to the young dog's credit, he would move up 25yds into the wind and come to a stop two lanes over under a live oak, successfully pinning a covey for his handler to flush. The course would then continue northwest past the Black Pond and down the lefthand edge of the draw between Hills #1 and #2. Supreme Confidence was beginning to live up to his name, climbing out hard up the nearside face of Hill#1 before appearing to turn back into his handler at his insistent call, outstripping the otherwise perfectly respectable Shadow Rider. Eisenhart would manage to turn him, although he would connect with the next eastbound draw and be seen pushing out into the woods to the right as the course now headed north. He would be found by his scout standing way out to the right on the far side of Hill #2 at 0:17 - although sadly, while the handler would call the flight of birds on his way over the ridge, their flight was unseen by the judge, at which point the dog would be simply taken on. He would stop once more roughly 150yds west and 200yds south of the top gate on Willingham Road at 0:24, looking into a weather-worn cover strip - although the flush and relocation produced nothing. At this point, the handle that Eisenhart had clearly worked on with such a strong dog appeared to come off and he would break hard to the south, to be pursued by his handler and scout and then wrangled forward. In the meantime, Shadow Rider had also come to a stop at 0:28 off the southwest corner of the Duck Pond although sadly this too, would prove non-productive. Time would be called with the dogs pushing out to the east, the gallery just passing the Lyre Pine and the grassy hollow behind it. While Shadow Rider had performed more than adequately, Supreme Confidence had likely required a surfeit of management to seriously challenge the otherwise strong, smooth races of the winners.
The sixth brace brought Notorious Front Range (Carlton) to the line with Erin's Lost Creek (Eisenhart). The dogs would be turned loose from the Lyre Pine and sent out into the woods in the northeast corner of the property. Front Range would be the first to break out of that swale and cross the little cotton field and drop into the arm of woods on its southern side. With the wind coming out of the northeast and largely on their backs, neither dog would seem to really make the initial punch the handlers knew they would need, both electing to pick up their dogs as the course passed the entrance way at 0:07.
The seventh brace featured Knight's Little John (McLean) and Erin's Perfect Storm (Eisenhart) turned loose from the entryway. Over the second berm just before the Jurassic Park turn and Little John would be seen making the turn along the southwesterly edge of Jurassic Park in preparation for the turn up over Hill #1. Both handlers would claim their dogs had punched over the rise, Little John at least appearing on the hill's crest to confirm McLean's raised hand; continuing to move down the western dge of the property, he would be gathered up in the culvert corner and sent up the lefthand draw below the Mule Pasture. With Perfect Storm hardly seen throughout the brace, he would nonetheless be readily gathered up at time. By contrast, the more-than-respectable Little John would be seen applying himself throughout the brace only to require most of his grace period to be gathered up at the call of time just below the Palmer Shed.
The eighth brace would comprise Erin's High Note (Carlton), with owner Mike Moses riding in the gallery, and Excalibur Ice Blade (McLean) and would be turned loose from the shoulder below the Palmer Shed. Swinging around the base of the Palmer Shed hill, Ice Blade would be the first through the cut and duck up to the right, coming to a stop at 0:03 in a similar location to Can't Fight the Moonlight in the second brace - the birds readily flushed ahead of him. Approaching the rifle range, Ice Blade would be sent over the rise to run along the wooded, upper draw with High Note initially starting low and then crossing over, as pretty a moving dog as one could hope for with its high-cracking tail. Both dogs would be together at the Schoolbus Corner, although High Note had established a more consistently forward race out along the upper edge of the field. Through the Island Field, High Note would also be seen on the far slope near the old thresher swinging forward nicely to his handler's call. Excalibur had been moving well, but his pattern was at times a little too immature - and McLean would opt to pick him up at 0:24 at the foot of the final arm of woods. High Note would climbing smoothly up the hill past the entryway; however, knowing what was in the books, Carlton would elect to end his dog's bid at 0:29 and take him across the road.
The ninth brace would feature Dunn's Ever N Onward (Swearingen), with owner Will Dunn riding in support, and Touch's Midnight Rider (McLean). They would be turned loose to the north just passed the entryway before angling down to the west parallel to Willingham Road. Midnight Rider would come to a stop towards the end of the grassy hollow on the left, standing up in the thick cover strip near the Lyre Pine, head turned up into the southwesterly breeze, the birds successfully flushed out ahead of him. Approaching the Top Gate, both dogs would be seen cruising up over the low knoll to the left and out into the shady heart of the property - and through the prominent muddy chute, Midnight Rider would be found standing out in the wiregrass out on the left shoulder at 0:13. Sadly, the powerful move would result in a barren stand despite an extended relocation effort. Swinging around the Jurassic Park edge, Onward would make a huge outside swing through the counterclockwise turn back to the east, cruising up and across the face of Hill #1 reuniting with Midnight Rider at the weather shed above the Black Pond. The call of point would come for Onward at 0:29, down in the oakey thicket some 75yds below the main trail running below the deerstand field - and upon arrival, Midnight Rider would also be found honoring his bracemate. Time would expire during the flushing effort, although sadly it and the relocation effort would prove fruitless.
The tenth brace drew Haney's Storm Warning (McLean), with owner Chris Cagle Jr. riding in the gallery, alongside Hauser's Rolling Thunder (Eisenhart), with owner Debra Hauser riding behind in support of her young dog. Turned loose just before the S-bends, both dogs would break away smartly as the course angled up to the north. With the Top Gate on Willingham Road just barely in view, Storm Warning would be seen far out to the left in the drain appearing to cross back across the front - but he would require a little management to bring him back in clear contact with his handler. Down through the woods beyond the entrance way, the call of point would come for Storm Warning at 0:18, with Rolling Thunder honoring - although both handlers would elect to end their charges' day when the flush and relocation would prove fruitless.
The eleventh and final brace brought Call Me Clyde (McLean) to the line with Gail (Wynn). If you wanted to see two handlers still having fun at the end of a trial, this was it. From the outset, McLean had his hands full dealing with the effusive showmanship of his bracemate, at times ironic, at times just plain enthusiastic. The call of point would come for both dogs at 0:06, stood proximate to each other near the abandoned van behind the Field Trial House, Clyde looking up at the old fenceline, Gail in the oakey thicket beside him. The covey would be successfully flushed with both handlers firing their guns. Through the cut into the Island Field, McLean would decide he was not beating what was in the judges' books and elect to pick up at 0:13. Wynn would continue on with gusto up into what was normally the final arm of woods in the first hour course, his baritone echoing through the pines, his whistle encouraging the dog to stretch out front. Nevertheless, as he and his dog began the climb back up towards the entryway, he would ask the judges how their performance was looking - and elect to pick up at 0:19.
OPEN DERBY - 22 Pointers
1st-ERIN'S CODE OF HONOR, 1696057, male, by Erin's Redrum-Erin's Mis Maggie. Allen Linder, owner; uke Eisenhart, handler.
2d-RENTZ'S HIJACKED, 1696866, male, by Redland's Jacked Up-F F Bit O'Honey. Joe & Tricia Rentz & Claudia McNamee, owners; Luke Eisenhart, handler.
3d-CLEAR CREEK'S JIM, 1696459, male, by Rebel's Last Straw-Just Irresistible Pearl. Cliff Flowers, owner and handler.
Open Derby. Front Row: Judd Carlton with Erin's Code of Honor, Luke Eisenhart with Rentz's HiJacked, Clif Flowers with Clear Creek Jim. Back row: Charles Morton (judge), Ed Chance (judge), Flint Hendley, Kojac Wynn, Wyatt Harris, Jeff Arnold, Patty Ewer, Maria Bassham, ArlieMae Hendley.