Result: International Pheasant Championship
Location: Berea, Kentucky
Post Date: Dec 27, 2022
Submitted By: William S. Smith
International Pheasant Championship. Front row, from left: Gary Lester Korry Reinhart with champion Lester's Storm Charger Fred Corder with ruch Game Heir. Back row, from left: Joy Lester Ross Leonard, judge, Tim Hammons Scott Little, judge.
The International Pheasant Championship was first contested in Baldwinsville, N. Y. It ran there many years before a change of venue took it to the Killdeer Plains for a considerable time. That venue became inaccessible for horseback field trials when horses were judged to be "detrimental to the grounds". The clubhouse, barns, and the corrals were bulldozed down before the ink dried on the termination paper, ensuring that field trials would never be allowed there again.
The trial was dormant until Dr. Fred Corder of Corinth, Miss., took control of the trial after his friend, Tom Honecker, passed away suddenly in March, 2010. Trial headquarters were moved to Dresden, Ohio where the trial was held on reclaimed strip mined grounds. Dresden was a challenging venue with little mowing done to the courses and high, dense vegetation. The steep hills were a test of stamina for dog, horse, and man. With little amenities from the Ohio Wildlife Department, entries declined to the point that it was not feasible to continue in Dresden. The trial was not conducted for a couple of years until the trial was resurrected in 2021 in Berea, Ky. at the Central Kentucky WWildlife Management Area.
The International Championship is the first of a "double header" followed by the National Pheasant Championship that begins at the conclusion of the International Pheasant Championship/Tom Honecker Memorial Derby.
The Kentucky Field Trial Association hosted the event again this year. Members of the Association are Buster and Pam Tucker and Tim and Kris Hammons. The trial was sponsored by the Pheasant Championship Club. Dr. Fred Corder is President of the club and Andy Cline is the Secretary/Treasurer. Mike Jackson and your scribe are Directors of the club. Dr. Corder is the driving force behind this Championship and the accompanying Derby stake. He has extended a great effort to ensure the continuation and success of these trials.
The trial is a Purina points trial for the Purina Top Dog Award, and the Purina Handler of the Year Award and it is also a National Championship qualifier.
Our appreciation goes to Purina for underwriting the ad on the UKC web site, for donating Pro Plan to the winners, and for sponsoring a Purina dinner on Saturday evening October 15. Everyone enjoyed the food and fellowship.
Many thanks go to SportDog for donating a model 2525 electronic collar for the champion and a model 1825 electronic collar for the runner-up. Their sponsorship is greatly valued.
Pam Tucker prepared sausage biscuits, bite-size French toast and link sausage that were available from the dog wagon between the first and second braces every morning. She also provided her signature snack, fried apple pies, that were the cr me de la cr me of all snacks. Needless to say, everyone looked forward to the end of the first brace.
Local resident, Charlie Jackson, piloted the dog wagon and also flagged at the road crossings. Charlie's first stop every day was to Pam's house every morning to pick the day's fare. In addition to the snacks, Charlie had hot coffee, cold drinks, and water available for the choosing. Charlie was always where he was needed and his service was not without notice.
Buster Tucker and Tim Hammons began their day long before daylight to release the pheasants. A total of thirty Pheasants were released for the trial. Additionally, they performed the duties of scouts and course marshals. They were always busy doing something to ensure the trial ran without any hitches. Their efforts were appreciated.
Scott Little from Clarksville, Tennessee and Ross Leonard from Chatsworth, Georgia officiated the stake, Both men have many years of field trial experience. They rode at a pace that enabled the handlers to show their dogs and gave their attention to each entry. Their diligence reflected their desire to "get it right."
Seventeen Pointers and 1 Red Setter were entered to challenge for the Championship.
Lester's Storm Chaser handled by Gary Lester for owner Janie Chapman emerged as the new International Pheasant Champion. He ran in the first brace and set the bar with a nice Pheasant find at 44. His race was pleasing as he used all of the course and then some. Game Heir owned and handled by Dr. Fred Corder was awarded the runner-up spot. Probably the only thing that separated the two was the fact the Heir was credited with two quail finds, but the champion must have a Pheasant find and Heir did not meet that requirement.
The International Pheasant Championship began on Friday morning October 14 under a cloudless azure sky. It was 44 degrees when the call to "turn 'em loose" was heard.
Brace 1. Dunn's Sneak N In (Will Dunn) and Lester's Storm Chaser (Gary Lester). The brace kicked off at 8:35. The conditions seemed perfect for a good day of hunting. The temperature was 44 degrees with a brisk breeze blowing. Sneak N In scored a barren stand at 35 and was picked up at 48. Chaser was credited with an unproductive stand at 7 after a relocation attempt. He had a Pheasant find at 44 and a find on a quail bevy at 55.
Brace 2. Knight's Little John (Gary Lester) and Rocky River Loaded (Phil Stevenson). Both dogs were picked up at 49 without the benefit of any bird work.
Brace 3. Game Heir (Fred Corder) and Broken Halo (Phil Stevenson). Heir had a quail find at 22 and 29. He also had a barren stand at 54, Halo was on the board first with a covey find at 10. Stevenson took the retrieval device at 54 after an extended absence by Halo.
Brace 4. Lester's Shockwave (Gary Lester) and Casey Creek Crystal Ice (Buster Tucker). Shockwave had a quail find at 11 after a searching relocation and a find on a single quail at 28. Crystal had a quail find at 4 and an unproductive stand at 52. She was picked up after her barren stand.
Brace 5. Game Rebel (Fred Corder) and Dunn's Ever N Onward (Will Dunn). Rebel was out of contention because of a medical issue. Onward suffered an unproductive at 4 and Dunn asked for the retrieval device at 46.
Brace 6. Morgan's Yellow Leadbetter (Phil Stevenson) and Excalibur's Ice Blade (Gary Lester). Leadbetter had a very pretty back at 25 and a quail find at 40. Ice Blade had a quail find at 25.
Brace 7. Imagine (Matt Pendergest) and Lester's Storm Surge (Gary Lester). Imagine had a Pheasant find at 35. He backed his brace mate at 55. He had a quail find at 57 and finished the hour with another Pheasant find at 59. Surge performed a back at 35. He had a quail find at 55 and backed Imagine at 57.
Brace 8. Lester's Boss Man (Gary Lester) and Game Wardon (Fred Corder). Man scored a quail find at 49 and finished the hour. Wardon was not suiting Corder and he was up at 15.
Brace 9. The Red Setter, Little More Shine (IS), (Tim Hammons) and Pendy's Good Grace (Matt Pendergest). Shine was given credit for a quail find at 10 and for a Pheasant at 20 and a second Pheasant at 50. Grace was up at 26 after some extended absences.
Berea, Ky., October 14
Judges: Ross Leonard and Scott Little
INTERNATIONAL PHEASANT CHAMPIONSHIP [One-Hour Heats] - 18 Pointers and 1 Irish Setter
Winner-LESTER'S STORM CHASER, 1697205, pointer male, by Lester's Storm Surge-R W Susie Q. Janie Chapman, owner; Gary Lester, handler.
TOM HONECKER MEMORIAL OPEN DERBY
Thirteen Pointers were drawn to compete. The Derby stake is an American Derby Invitational Championship points trial. Six of the contestants were sired by Lester's Storm Surge.
The stake began on Saturday mid-morning October 15 and concluded that afternoon. The stake was judged by Mike Jackson of Battle Ground, Indiana and your scribe. All placements were awarded based on race and All-Age potential.
Judges: Mike Jackson and William Smith
TOM HONECKER MEMORIAL DERBY - 13 Pointers
1st-MR. ARKANSASA, 1697808, male, by Game Warden-Coldwater Splendor. Mike Lemons, owner and handler.
2d-MAYFIELD STORM CHARGER, 1701588, male, by Lester's Storm Surge-R W Susie Q. Scott Mason & Jake Davis, owners; Gary Lester, handler.
3d-GAME CAKE, 1700579, female, by Touch's Grey Street-Game Belle. Dr. Fred Corder, owner and handler.
The remaining hopefuls were: Send the Buller (Stevenson), Miller's Family Tradition (Lester), Gigi's Broken Halo (Stevenson), Miller's Chairman of The Board (Lester), Ben, Pendergest, Game Mode (Corder), Lone Tree Bud (Stevenson), Game Surge (Corder), Arkansas Threat (Lemons), and Miller's King Post (Lester).
Tom Honecker Memorial Open Derby. Front row, from left: Mike Lemons with Mr. Arkansas
Korry Reinhart with Mayfield Storm Charger, Dr. Fred Corder with Game Cake. Back row, from left: Gary Lester, William Smith (judge), Mike Jackson (judge).