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Result: Southeastern Quail Championship

Location: Sasser, Georgia

Post Date: Apr 26, 2023

Submitted By: Dr. Ron Deal

southeastern quail chs23

Southeastern Quail Championship Winners (kneeling): Michael Jackson with his daughter, Cheyenne. (Standing, from left): Davey Deal, Claudia McNamee, Judd Carlton, Jamie Daniels, Luke Eisenhart with Miller's Heat Advisory, Tierra Hadley, Cody McLean with Touch's Midnight Rider, Gary Hill (judge), Mark McLean, Ron Deal (reporter), Charles Morton (judge), and Willis Wright with the perpetual trophy.

The 33rd renewal of the Southeastern Championship began on March 1 and concluded on March 3. Although weather conditions were far less than ideal, judges Charles Morton and Gary Hill had multiple good performances to pick the winners. Miller's Heat Advisory, owned by Terry Graunke from Chicago, Ill., and handled by Judd Carlton from Cairo, Ga., was named the 2023 Southeastern Quail Champion. Heat Advisory combined an aggressive ground race with three good finds and a solid finish to get the nod. Two of his finds were exceptional. The new champion set the bar in the first brace of the stake. Runner-up honors went to Touch's Midnight Rider, owned by John Milton of Jacksonville, Fla., and handled by Mark McLean from Moultrie, Ga. Midnight Rider had two outstanding finds, a good race, and a strong showy finish. The dog ran the last morning on the second course.

Judges for the stake were Charles Morton and Gary Hill. Charles has been associated with bird dogs and quail plantations all his life. He has handled, and scouted dogs at the Southeastern and has judged multiple major trials. Gary Hill is a transplanted Oklahoma native with a long field trial pedigree. He judged the trial in 2004. Both rode hard and looked attentively at every contestant. The Club appreciates their effort.

Judd Carlton got his first taste of field trials working on Chickasaw and has scouted six champions and three runners-up on the Southeastern grounds. This is the first time he has handled the champion here, making the current win special.

Despite the hot, humid conditions for three days plus high winds on the last day, enough birds were moved for a good trial. The clearing done on Ecilla the past summer has made visibility on the last portion of the first course and most of the second course much better. Work has also been done on the portion of Abigail that the trial crosses.

The Club wants to thank the three landowners for allowing the use of their properties for the trial. They are Richard Burke (Abigail), Frank Foley (Ecila), and the Deal family (Chickasaw). Greg Blair and Purina also deserve special thanks for their support. Thanks also to Carol Hill, Gary's wife, for catering the lunches.

The trial is headquartered on Chickasaw, necessitating that most of the preparation is left to Wilson Napier and Michael Jackson. Wilson also stocked and drove the Bird Buggy and ensured the dogs got to the line. Michael took care of the barn plus whatever else was needed. Lamar Childers came down a few days early to help with the drawing and preparation. He served as course director, a task he has performed for the last 33 years. He and this reporter are the only originals still upright and involved in the trial.


Miller's Heat Advisory is a 5-year-old pointer male out of the blue hen bitch Miller's Bring The Heat. His sire, Just Irresistible, won here as a derby. Heat Advisory is a younger full brother of Miller's Blindsider, twice the runner-up here and the recent winner of the National Championship. Judd Carlton won runner-up at the Georgia Derby Championship in 2019 with Heat Advisory when Jamie Daniels was on maternity leave. Nick Berrong owned the dog as a derby. Judd purchased Heat Advisory and hunted him before transferring ownership to Terry Graunke. In 2022, the dog placed in the North Carolina Open All-Age and was called back in the National Free-For-All Championship.

Touch's Midnight Rider is a first-year dog. The dog qualified for championship competition with a North Carolina Association derby stake placement. The current placement is his first significant one in the all-age category. John Milton purchased the dog as a derby from Keith Wright, the breeder.
Numerous other dogs deserve to be mentioned. They include, in no specific order: Showtime Game Changer (Copeland), Erin's Code of Honor (Eisenhart), Touch's Malcolm Story (McLean), Miller's Blindsider (Daniels), and Chief's Rising Sun (Carlton).

The Winning Brace

The first brace of the 2023 renewal matched Miller's Heat Advisory (Carlton) against Showtime Game Changer (Copeland). The morning was warm and humid. Carlton called point for Heat Advisory just off the breakaway. A non-productive was charged. Likely the birds had lifted with all the near activity. Copeland showed Game Changer ahead at 4. Both handlers made the slight right turn off the hourglass field, heading toward the chute. At 13, point was called for Heat Advisory. The dog had a big covey well-located in the far-left corner of the hourglass field and showed good style and manners for the flush and shot. Carlton regained the front from the left in the mid-chute area at about 17. The water crossing onto Abigail was made at 22. Both dogs made the crossing and were running aggressively. Point was called at 26 for Heat Advisory from across the wet weather pond on the right. The dog had birds in front. Everything was in order. Carlton caught the front at 30 and showed his dog ahead. Both dogs went straight forward after the creek crossing. Game Changer had a good find at 36 deep in on the right and handled it well. Heat Advisory answered at 40 with his third good piece of bird work. It was also on the right side of the course. Both dogs continued to run aggressively and show enough. Point was called at 45 for Game Changer. The dog had birds several hundred yards in on the right and handled them appropriately. Both dogs crossed the county road at 50 and were shown going deep in at 52. The scout called point for Game Changer at 55. A long ride around a boggy area ensued. The birds held tight and were put up in front of the stylish dog. In the remaining minute, Game Changer showed an excellent finish in front of one judge. Heat Advisory had a good finish in front of the other judge.

The Runner-Up Brace

The second-morning brace of the third day (14) consisted of Touch's Midnight Rider (McLean) and Erin's Silver Lining (Eisenhart). Both dogs ran aggressively in the early going. Point was called in the distance at 10. Both handlers responded and seemed to ride forever to reach the find to the front before a right turn. Midnight Rider had a covey well located and showed both style and manners as they flushed, and McLean shot. Both dogs were returned to the course at 16. Midnight Rider had his second good find at 22. The dog was visible on point far to the front as the judges topped a little rise. Birds were produced with everything in order. Silver Lining was lifted at 27. Midnight Rider pointed again at 31. McLean called flight of birds, but none were seen, so he collared his dog without flushing. The dog made some excellent casts, then was not visible for a spell before showing for the crossing onto Abigail. Midnight Rider made a good swing before crossing the creek at 54. McLean put the dog on the right side of the course and got the response he wanted. Midnight Rider was seen far to the front at pickup time.

The Running

Brace No. 1 has been described above.

Brace No. 2 was released ten minutes into Ecila. Erin's Wild Atlantic Way (Eisenhart) and Touch's Shadow Rider (McLean) immediately started the action. Atlantic Way pointed on the right at 1. Birds were seen in judgment, and the setter exhibited good style and manners for the flush and shot. While Eisenhart was heeling his dog to the front farther right, McLean called point for Shadow Rider ahead at 2. Birds were seen, and McLean shot.

Both finds were equivalent. Atlantic Way pointed again just at the turn. Eisenhart called flight, but the judge did not see any birds, so no attempt was made to flush. Both handlers made the first turn at 6 and showed their dogs ahead at a good distance. Atlantic Way had a second find in an edge on the left at 22. Eisenhart regained the front at 24 and showed his dog ahead just as Shadow Rider returned from the left. Both dogs were running strong at this point. Atlantic Way scored again at 27. Shadow Rider answered at 28. Both dogs handled their birds in good fashion. At 30, both dogs were shown well forward. Point was called again at 32.

Atlantic Way was credited with the find, and Shadow Rider with a back. Both handlers returned with their dogs at 35. At 40, Eisenhart had a find with Atlantic Way on the left, and McLean had one on the right with Shadow Rider, where birds lifted early but in judgment. Eisenhart called point at 45, but when the birds left early, he elected not to flush. Shadow Rider pointed again at 49. McLean called flight and shot after the judge informed him that he had seen birds. Abigail was entered at 50. Both dogs made the creek crossing at 55 and finished ahead. Erin's Wild Atlantic Way had five finds. Touch's Shadow Rider was credited with four finds and a back. Karen Norton saw much action riding in support of her dog. Bruce was on the Bird Buggy with less visibility.

The last brace of the morning, No. 3, matched Erin's Primetime (Eisenhart) with Woodville's Saddle Tramp (McLean). The brace began on Chickasaw just beyond the big water crossing. Both dogs were put on the right side of the course. Point was called from the right side at 8. Both handlers responded, but it turned out to be for Prime Time. The dog had a non-productive at 10, followed by a find at 12.

Meanwhile, McLean got Saddle Tramp and sent the dog over the hill in front, where the setter carded a good find at 13. McLean regained the front at 15. Both dogs showed well in the country behind the barn and the fields heading toward the clay road, which was crossed at 22. The big fields across the drain were entered at 23, and Prime Time had a find on the right side of the middle pine rows at 25. It was followed by his second non-productive at 27. Saddle Tramp took in the country on the far side of the field on the right. The dog appeared in front at 30 and was put in a harness to end the morning.

Despite the poor conditions, 18 coveys were pointed in two and a half hours of running, and the judges had usable dogs.

The first-afternoon brace, No. 4, consisted of Notorious Dominator's Heir (Carlton) and Lester's Storm Surge (Lester). It was warm and humid. Heir was seen straight ahead at 2. Storm Surge swung around the large wet weather pond on the right and pointed on the far side at 4. Birds were in front. Lester fired his gun at 6, punctuating a good find. Storm Surge tallied another find at 9 on the near side of the hourglass field. Both handlers entered the chute ahead of schedule and rode aggressively to establish contact with their dogs. Storm Surge returned, and Lester crossed the water onto Abigail at 21 with the dog. Carlton got his tracker at 20. Lester showed his dog on the far side of the first pond at 26. Storm Surge returned to him at 28 and swapped ends in front of him at 28. The cover was sparse and unlikely to hold birds. Lester flushed and then asked for relocation before taking a non-productive. After the creek crossing at 34, the dog was sent up the right side of the course. Point was called deep to the right at 44. When Lester and the judge arrived, Storm Surge had corrected, so the dog was returned to the course. The dog had a second non-productive stand at 54 and was lifted.

Brace No. 5 paired Dominator's Queen Bee (Daniels) with Shadow's Lord Magic (Eisenhart). The dogs were cut loose at 3:04 on Ecila. Bee ran a good ground race. Lord Magic was less consistent. Neither had bird work. Daniels asked for his tracker at 32. Eisenhart called it quits at 30.

The final brace of the first day, No. 6, began on Ecila, heading back toward Abigail. Touch's Malcom Story (McLean) and Chief's Rising Sun (Carlton) started with ambition. Malcolm Story went straight in deep before the course turn. Carlton got Sun back at 2 and called point at 3. The dog had birds on the left and handled them well. McLean got Malcolm Story back at 6, and the dog had a good find on the right front at 8. McLean returned to the forward party at 12.

Meanwhile, Sun was showing well. The county road was crossed back onto Abigail at 17. Point was called for Malcolm Story at 19. The dog had birds. Sun backed from a considerable distance. Both dogs continued to show well. Malcolm Story covered the right side of the course while Sun was dead center. The final turn back toward Chickasaw came at 30. The water was crossed at 32. Point was called for Sun at 32. The dog was on the upside of the small wet weather area on the right. Sun nailed a large covey after a relocation effort. He maintained his manners for the flush and shot at 34. At the same time, the scout called point for Malcolm Story a good distance to the right front. When McLean requested Malcolm Story to relocate, the dog decided to move on. McLean caught the front at 38. Sun showed on the hill across the rock crossing at 39. Malcolm Story had birds on the left at 44 and handled them in fine fashion. McLean caught the front at 45.

Sun showed well ahead on the rise above the first field. McLean searched the left as the course passed behind the barn and got his dog back at 50. Point was called for Sun from the far right at 50. It proved non-productive. The clay road was crossed at 52. Malcolm Story went down the edge of the first field, crossed the lower pipe, and continued rimming the far-right side of the course. Sun was shown dead ahead at a good distance when pickup was called. Malcolm Story finished his big swing in front at pickup.

The first brace of the second morning, No. 7, consisted of Supreme Confidence (Eisenhart) and Late Hit (Shenker). The morning was overcast and warm. Claudia McNamee rode to support Supreme Confidence. Both dogs started on the right. Late Hit returned on the hill above the first pond at 4 from his initial cast. Confidence returned at 5. Both handlers had contact with their dogs heading through the gap toward the chute at 9. Shenker had Late Hit as he entered the chute area at 15 and showed the dog ahead at 17. Eisenhart searched extensively on the right before asking for his tracker at 20. Shenker crossed the water onto Abigail at 22. Late Hit made a big swing and was shown across the big wet weather pond on the right. The cast culminated in a good find at 32, which the dog handled well. The creek was traversed at 35. Shenker sent the dog straight ahead as he made the little left jog with the course. Late Hit was shown well ahead at 40 before returning at 44. Shenker decided to call it quits at 46 just before the road crossing onto Ecila.

Brace No. 8 matched Erin's Code of Honor (Eisenhart) with Miller's King Poast (Lester). Ferrell Miller and his two daughters were in the horse gallery. The brace was released just on Ecila. Both dogs went straight ahead. Eisenhart showed Code of Honor at a reasonable distance going right to left. Point was called on the right at 4 for King Poast. The dog had birds and handled them well. Eisenhart found Code of Honor pointed at 6. The dog was mannerly for the flush and shot. Code of Honor scored again at 8. Both handlers covered the right side after the first turn and sent their scouts left. Point was called for King Poast at 17. After a relocation, a single was flushed.

Meanwhile, about a hundred yards to the right, Eisenhart called flight of birds. They escaped unseen, so he did not flush. Lester and King Poast regained the front at 20. King Poast was charged with a non-productive at 23. The dog was seen deep on the right, then not for a time, only to be found straight ahead on point at 34. Birds were flushed.

Meanwhile, Code of Honor pointed a good distance in at 31. After a flushing attempt and relocation effort failed, Eisenhart collared the dog as the covey flushed. No credit or blame was charged. A divided find was tallied at 44. Code of Honor was seen standing in a mowed strip about 300 yards straight ahead at 44. Everything was in order for the flush and shot. As the dog was being returned to the course, another find was credited at 46. King Poast failed to back and was picked up. Code of Honor continued to make some good swings and finished across the road on Abigail. The dog had one divided find and four individual ones. King Poast had the divided find and three individual ones before his breach of manners.

Aucilla Jim (McLean) combined with Rester's Cajun Spirit (Carlton) for the last morning brace, No. 9. Gene Brown was on the Bird Buggy to support Jim. The judges allowed Carlton's horse a longer break than usual to recover from two scouting efforts. The dogs were released on Abigail heading toward the creek crossing, which both crossed at 3. Jim took the country on the right and Cajun Spirit on the left. Spirit returned from a good swing at 9. Point was called at 11 for Jim. The dog was standing in the border pines on the left. No birds were flushed. Carlton waited at the water crossing with Cajun Spirit and released the dog as the judges approached at 15. McLean caught the front at 17 and sent Jim to the right. The dog was seen at 25 and shown well ahead at 27. Cajun Spirit was picked up behind the barn at 30. Jim continued to run a strong race but had no bird contact. The heat ended at 47 with a second non-productive stand.

Confident Nation (Eisenhart) and Touch's Breakaway Fred (McLean) started the afternoon with brace No. 10. Scott Jordan was mounted for his 2022 Southeastern Champion, and Karen and Bruce Norton were present for Breakaway Fred. Both dogs took the right side of the course. The handlers rode the course and depended on their scouts. The hourglass field was entered at 7. Confident Nation returned and was shown going down the field edge at 9. McLean searched the right for Fred to no avail, but the dog did return at 13 from the left front and was shown making a good cast at 15. McLean called point on the right at 16. The judge saw something run out and advised the handler to shoot, but nothing flew. Both handlers crossed onto Abigail at 22. Fred was found pointed on the far side of the first wet weather pond on Abigail at 27. It proved non-productive.

Meanwhile, Eisenhart got his tracker at 28.Breakaway Fred continued to run sufficiently but had no definitive bird work. He was lifted at the county road crossing at 48.

Touch's Gallatin Fire (McLean) and Game Ice (Eisenhart) were turned loose to begin brace No. 11. Both dogs started aggressively and were shown well forward in the early going. The right turn was made at 7 with both handlers searching for their dogs. Game Ice showed in the front at 11 and was periodically pointed out ahead thereafter. McLean got his tracker at 20. Game Ice had a good find at 25 and handled it with style and manners. Point was called again for the dog at 44 on what would have been a tremendous find had there been birds. Game Ice continued to stay in front the rest of the hour but could not add to his bird score.

The last brace of the second day, No. 12, pitted Dominator's Wild Bill (Daniels) against Lester's Shockwave (Lester). The dogs were released just across the county road on Abigail. Both handlers kept their dogs for the creek crossing at 5. After that, Shockwave took in the country on the right, where Lester searched for him while Daniels rode the course. No dogs were seen until about 10 when both appeared ahead for the turn toward the water crossing back onto Chickasaw. The crossing was made at 14. Daniels called point for Wild Bill at 15. The dog was standing in the perimeter firebreak. Birds were in front, and Wild Bill handled the situation well. Both dogs were seen ahead at 21. Point was called from the right at 24. Both handlers responded initially, but the call was for Shockwave. The dog was credited with a good piece of bird work. Both dogs did well on the ground, but neither added to the bird score. Wild Bill was picked up at 57. Shockwave completed the hour.

The first brace of the last morning, No. 13, brought Rester's Cajun Justice (Eisenhart) and Erin's High Note (Carlton) to the line. A little rain had fallen overnight, and the wind was brisk. Both dogs started on the right. High Note showed on the hill above the big pond at 3. Both dogs were ahead as the hourglass field was entered at 7. The handlers rode the course, leaving their scouts to cover the hourglass field. Both dogs reappeared from the left in the mid-chute area at 13. Both handlers had their dog for the water crossing at 21. The handlers continued to ride in front of the judges and periodically showed their dogs to advantage. Ecila was entered at 42. Both dogs were doing commendable jobs on the ground without results until High Note pointed a good distance ahead at 46. The dog had birds and was credited with good bird work. Point was called for Cajun Justice on the right at 52, followed by the flight of birds. The judge returning from the previous find spotted an infraction and ordered Cajun Justice up at 56. Carlton rode ahead looking for High Note, but when the scout returned with the dog, he was put on a lease at 57.

Brace No. 14 has been described above.

Miller's Blindsider (Daniels) and Woodville's Yukon Cornelius (McLean) began their bid in brace No. 15 just onto Chickasaw. Both dogs, followed by their scouts, powered ahead on the right side of the course. Blindsider returned to the first field after the rock crossing. Both handlers had their dog behind headquarters at 14, and both dogs showed well. Cornelius showed again in the field before crossing the clay road at 19. Point was called deep to the right at 23. Both handlers shot as a big covey flushed, but Cornelius was slightly ahead when the judge arrived and received the credit for the find. Blindsider continued to show many heels. Cornelius was also running well. McLean showed Cornelius at 32. Daniels showed Blindsider well forward at 34. Point was called deep beyond the far turn for Blindsider at 38. A non-productive was charged after a relocation attempt was unsuccessful. McLean made the far turn with his dog at 40 and got around the next bend at 46. Daniels had to hustle to regain the front but did. Blindsider had an excellent find deep on the right front at 47 and handled it appropriately. The dog continued to run and show often enough. McLean elected to pick up Cornelius at 52. Blindsider continued and was seen well forward at pickup time.

The wind picked up for the start of brace No. 16. Knight's Little John (Lester) and Rentz's Hijacked (Eisenhart) were released behind the barn to begin the last afternoon of the stake. Claudia McNamee rode to watch Hijacked. Her dog started on the right and rimmed the edge of the big pond before returning from the impressive swing. Lester got Little John back before the hourglass field and had a good find at 7. Lester regained the front at 8.

Both handlers went through the gap at 9. Hijacked returned to Eisenhart at the beginning of the chute at about 11. Little John had his second find deep down on the near edge of the hourglass field. Lester returned from the left with his dog in the mid-chute at 15. Both dogs were ranging well at this point. Abigail was entered a few minutes ahead of schedule. Hijacked was out of pocket for a time, heading toward the creek crossing but returned in time to make it. Both dogs were shown ahead on the right at 30, and both handlers rode aggressively to maintain contact. Eisenhart got Hijacked back from the right at 39. Lester showed Little John far ahead at about the same time. Eisenhart crossed the county road onto Ecila at 41 and showed Hijacked making a good cast at 45. Lester showed Little John far to the right front at 47. Both dogs made the first right turn at 50. Little John was shown well ahead at 52. Both dogs finished the hour. Hijacked went birdless. Little John had two early finds.

The second-afternoon brace, No. 17, consisted of Rester's Powered Up (Eisenhart) and Til You Can't (Haynes). The dogs got underway deep into Ecila. Eisenhart asked for his tracker at 20. Till You Can't made some good casts early and had a find at 25. The dog shortened thereafter and was lifted at 30.

Erin's Perfect Storm (Eisenhart) ran as a bye-dog in the final brace of the stake, No. 18. The wind was brisk, and some rain was falling. The dog ran well and had a non-productive at 8 and a find at 17. Perfect Storm was lifted at 25 to end the trial.

Sasser, Ga., March 14
Judges: Gary Hill and Charles Morton
SOUTHEASTERN QUAIL CHAMPIONSHIP [One-Hour Heats] - 31 Pointers and 4 Setters

Winner-MILLER'S HEAT ADVISORY, 1685672, pointer male, by Just Irresistible-Miller's Bring The Heat. Terry Graunke, owner; Judd Carlton, handler.
Runner-Up-TOUCH'S MIDNIGHT RIDER, 1697542, pointer male, by Touch's Smooth Rider-Touch's Gold Dance. John D. Milton, Jr., owner; Mark McLean, handler.

southeastern quail judgess23

Charles Morton (judge), Ron Deal (reporter), Gary Hill (judge), and Lamar Childers. Photo by Chris Mathan.