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Event: Piney Woods Field Trial
Result: Associated Field Trial Clubs of Florida

Location: Punta Gorda, Florida

Post Date: Apr 18, 2023

Submitted By: Jim Womack

The Associated Field Trial Clubs of Florida (AFTCF) held another renewal of the Piney Woods Field Trial Jan 14-15 at the Cecil Webb Field trial area near Punta Gorda, Fla. The Webb area is comprised of almost 6000 acres of Florida Flatwoods, broad prairie-like savannahs, flag ponds, and pine and palmetto hammocks. The expansive grounds allow for six hours of continuous courses, separate tracks for morning and afternoon. This is strictly a wild bird trial, no pen-raised birds are ever released. There are plenty of birds but you won't find one under every bush, your dog will earn every covey it finds. If you haven't been to the Webb area, you need to add it to your bucket list, you won't be disappointed.

The weather this time of years can be unpredictable but for this trial, it was perfect. Saturday's low was 34 with a high of 65, Sunday was similar. Perfect for dogs, horses and handlers! Saturday evening brought yet another of our famous pot luck dinners. It was cool enough to move the meal from the outdoor pavilion to the warmth of the clubhouse indoors. We all enjoyed the good food and fellowship while reflecting on the memories of those members that had passed during the season. We lost Jim Goza, Don Wood, and Dr. Paul May during the course of the year. It's impossible to ride the grounds and not see them through the mist, doing what they loved. Godspeed gentlemen.

We were pleased to have several visitors from "up north" join us for the weekend. Tom Hennes traveled from Gordon, AL to run his dogs and do a bit of judging for us. Joe Hicks, Leroy Griffis, and Dakota "Doc" Hall came down to run dogs from "The Farm", Chester Stoke's beautiful plantation in Lake City Fla. Lewis "Bobo" Peterson brought some nice walking horses down from Bainbridge, Ga. Bobo is a well-known field trial horse trainer and you will see him practically every weekend of trial season on one of the many Florida, Georgia or Alabama plantations working his horses. Robert Franks joined us from Arkansas where he was avoiding another winter storm. Robert joins us often and we always enjoy his sojourns "down south".

The Running
Saturday morning dawned cool and crisp, bringing the start of the Open All-Age stake. The judicial saddles were ably filled by professional Tom Hennes from Gordon, Al and Vince Feltner of Punta Gorda Fla., a fine dog trainer in his own right. When the dust had settled, Myakka Maxed Out, owned and handled by Beth Brown took first with a nicely handled find and a forward, all-age race. Double Down on Dado, owned by Dave and Diane Vernasco and handled by Dave had two nice finds on singles and a nice race albeit not as far flung as Max. Myakka Lucy Diamond had a divided find, nicely handled and paired that with a forward race to claim third place.

Paul Daniel and Petie Brown graciously judged the Open Shooting Dog stake. They gave all the dogs their full attention and when it was over, Double Down Cruise, owned and handled by Dave Vernasco came out on top. Cruz had two finds and handled kindly, just what the judges were looking for. Just a Honky Tonk had a perfect find and a forward race, putting him solidly in second place. Honky Tonk, owned by Chester Stokes was ably handled by Leroy Griffis. The final placement went to Dave Vernasco who guided Double Down on Dado to third place to wrap up the stake.

The final stake of the weekend was the Open Derby, judged by Paul Daniel and Greg Poole. The first brace produced both the first and second place dogs. Cottonwood Bud, owned and handled by Tom Hennes took first on the strength of strong race and a single find. Vince Feltner's nice pointer female Tawna impressed the judges with her race and that was good enough for second place. Third went to John, owned and handled by Justin Muzynski. Justin always seems to have an impressive newcomer or two in his string.
Punta Gorda, Fla., January 14
Judges: Vincent Feltner and Tom Hennes
OPEN ALL-AGE [One-Hour Heats] - 12 Pointers and 2 Setters

1st-MYAKKA MAXED OUT, 1670323, pointer male, by Elhew G Force-Myakka Hey Jude. Beth Brown, owner and handler.
2d-DOUBLEDOWN ON DADO, 1685979, pointer male, by Erin's Tin Soldier-Erin's Margarita. Dave & Diane Vernasco, owners; Dave Vernasco, handler.
3d-MYAKKA LUCY DIAMOND, 1665013, pointer female, by Elhew G Force-Myakka Hey Jude. Petie Brown, owner and handler.
Judges Paul Daniel and Petie Brown
OPEN SHOOTING DOG - 9 Pointers and 2 Setters

1st-DOUBLE DOWN CRUISE, 1670311, pointer male, by Funseeker's Rebel Tex-Nacho Myakka Miley. Dave & Diane Vernasco, owners; Dave Vernasco, handler.
2d-JUST A HONKY TONK, 1690029, pointer male, by Honky Tonk Attitude-Just Irresistible Pearl. Chester & Linda Stokes, owners; Leroy Griffis, handler.
3d-DOUBLEDOWN ON DADO, 1685979, pointer male, by Erin's Tin Soldier-Erin's Margarita. Dave & Diane Vernasco, owners; Dave Vernasco.
Judges: Paul Daniel and Greg Poole
OPEN DERBY - 5 Pointers

1st COTTONWOOD BUD, pointer male, 1702591, male by Sandhill Stud and Cross Country Lexus. Tom Hennes, owner and handler.
2nd CHECKMATES COUNTRY SUNSHINE, 1702591, female by Nacho's Texas Rebel and Nacho's Drama Ma Ma. Vince Feltner, owner and handler.

Just A Honky TonkS23

Just A Honky Tonk Second in the Open Shooting Dog Stake.