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Result: Bama Quail Youth Trial

Location: Tuskegee, Alabama

Post Date: Feb 22, 2023

Submitted By: Maria Bassham and Darron Hendley

Bama Quail YouthF22

Bama Quail Youth Trial Winners (front row): Claire Street, Katie Belle Varner, Hayes Green. (Back row): Bucky Street, Judges Bo Brewer and Anna Grace Thompkins, Shirley Varner, Joe Varner, Mindy McDuffie, and Justin Green.

Alabama started hosting youth field trials regularly 39 years ago. It all started with a small field trial in Fitzpatrick, Ala., with just four or five kids under 17. Alabama now has seven annual youth field trials. Last year's Shenandoah Classic had 26 dogs entered! Twenty years ago, Alabama placed a revolving trophy for the annual Alabama Youth Handler of the Year competition. In 2009, the Hartley Carter Foundation was founded to provide a $1,000 post-high school educational scholarship to each subsequent youth handler of the year. It has paid out $5,000 in scholarships so far. Just a few years ago, a revolving trophy for the runner-up youth handler of the year was placed in competition. Last year a $500 Hartley Carter Foundation annual scholarship was instituted for the runner-up handler of the year.

A Junior Division for handlers 12 and under has been started. Each youth trial will name a top dog in the Junior Division. The top Junior Division handler will be recognized and awarded for their success at the annual summer meeting.

Alabama has taken the lead in promoting youth field trials in America. Field trial clubs around this great country have taken note of its success in building the sport. If there is any doubt that it is making a difference, Michael Martino, a former Alabama youth handler, won the 2022 National Open Shooting Dog Championship. If a runner-up had been named, it would most likely have been Bo Brewer, another Alabama youth handler. Believe it or not, three current youth handlers competed and scouted for each other in the 2022 National Amateur Free-for-All Championship! Previous youth handlers routinely judge and report major adult stakes. The results of Alabama's efforts are undeniable.

Congratulations to all the kids who participated in the Bama Quail Youth Field Trial on Sunday, December 4, in Tuskegee, Ala. This was the 20th consecutive youth trail on these grounds beating out the Fitzpatrick Field Trial Club that ran for 19 years. We had a great turnout of support for the kids and the sport they love so much!

Thanks to the judges, Bo Brewer and Anna Grace Tomkins, both former Alabama youth handlers from Union Springs, Ala., for their time in the saddle! Thank you to Robert Tompkins for driving the dog wagon. Thanks to Morgan Brewer and Molly Darnell for the delicious pizza they served for lunch. We also want to say a great big thank you to Chris and Cindy Sellers for paying the entry fees for all the young participants. Winners' plaques and prizes were graciously donated by Buck and Lynn Heard, Darron Hendley, and Alabama Youth Field Trial Association.

Thank you to all the friends and parents of these kids that love and encourage them to keep this sport alive. There's nothing like watching the excitement of a young handler bounce back to his horse with a smile the size of Texas after his dog held steady to wing and shot.

First place was awarded to Cole, handled by Claire Street. Claire's younger sister, Shelby, recently won the Tommy Traylor Memorial Youth Trial at Conecuh Station. These two young ladies are on a roll! Second place went to Sam, expertly handled by Katie Belle Varner. Katie Belle's grandparents, Joe and Shirly Varner, were on hand to enjoy her big day. Jack earned third place with Hayes Green at the whistle. Hayes has come on strong this year under the tutelage of his father, Justin, and his grandfather, Mike Green. Hayes also handled the top dog in the Junior Division for handlers 12 and under.

The first brace of the morning was Addison McDuffie and Lulu, paired with Reese Green and Little Ann. Lulu ran a big race in her 20 minutes on the ground. Little Ann had one find with birds up.

Brace No. 2--Hayes Green and Bo with Shelby Street and Jenny. Bo had a back and a divided find. Jenny had a divided find and a second find with birds after relocation.

Brace No. 3--Katie Bell Varner with Sassy and Claire Street with Cole. Sassy had two backs. Cole had two good finds with birds up on both finds. He ran a big, clean race and handled well.

Brace No. 4--South Georgia native Daley Dalton and Sally ran with Claire Street and Lucky. Sally could not be located at pickup time. Lucky showed well with a good find on a large covey.

Brace No. 5--Kira Jenkins, from Thomasville, Ga., and Jag were braced with Reese Green and Josie. Jag ran a bit too big, and the tracker was requested. Josie completed his brace and handled well for Reese.

Brace No. 6--Katie Bell Varner with Sam and Hayes Green with Jack. Sam had two nice finds on good-sized coveys and ran a nice race. Sam was very responsive and handled well. Jack had three exciting finds with birds up and also honored Sam with a back.

Brace No. 7--Shelby Street with Belle and Addison McDuffie with Dot. Belle recently won the Tommy Traylor Memorial but got out of pocket on this day and was gone too long. Dot ran a big race to finish the day for these talented youth.

Anyone interested in participating in or promoting youth field trials may contact Darron Hendley, points secretary for the Alabama Youth Field Trial Association, at (334) 300-5836. Our annual fundraiser will be the last week of February. Donated items for a silent auction are greatly appreciated.

Bama Quail youth GreenF22

Hayes Green anxiously awaits the judges' decision.