For those 64 dogs who did not advance to the second round, a consolation trial was held for the first 32 dogs and handlers who wished to enter. This competition was held on "D" field. Trophies were given to the top three winners, along with an accessory beeper donated by Tri-Tronics(tm). The winners also received Quail Unlimited Gun Dog Championship points. When the smoke cleared at the end of the day, Alec Sutton’s male English setter Barr’s Chipper won with 928.33 points. Neil Roberts’ male pointer Coca-Cola Joe won second place with 914.5 points. Tom Daniel’s male English pointer Vest’s Tall Railroad won third place with 836.83 points. Even though he didn’t place, Greg Whitaker’s male setter West Lakes Bullett held onto the third place position with 799 points until Alec Sutton’s Chip took the field in one of the last braces of the day. Mark McAfee’s male setter Miami Valley Sun was the only other dog who scored over 700 for the day with 714 points.
After the competition on Saturday, everyone headed back to the clubhouse for dinner. The evening was co-hosted by the Butler County Ohio Chapter of Quail Unlimited and Albany Beverage Company.
With the field of 32 dogs, the competition on Sunday was guaranteed to be trying for those dogs who made it to the final rounds. Round three consisted of four half-hour braces on four fields; round four (16 dogs) consisted of four braces on two fields, round five (eight dogs) consisted of two braces on two fields, and round six (four dogs) consisted of one half-hour brace on two fields to determine third and fourth place. Then the final round was a one-hour brace on an expanded "A" and "B" field.
Several hours later, the sixth round was narrowed to the four dogs who ran for the prizes. Tom Daniel’s Daniel’s Cryin’ Babe and Roy Burchel’s Burchel’s Dutchman, who was handled by Dustin Crow, ran their brace on "A" field. Kyle Bowyer’s Joe’s Bozeann Mountain, a male English setter who was handled by Donald Bowyer, and Dr. Gary Ramsey’s Windswept’s Clay Bullet, who was handled by Nolan Huffman, ran their brace on "B" field. After this half-hour brace, Burchel’s Dutchman came away with the fourth place win with 508 points. He received a $500 check, a trophy and a three-month supply of Purina(tm) Pro Plan. Windswept’s Clay Bullet received the third place prize of $750 (sponsored by the Quail Unlimited and Dove Sportsman’s Society Midlands Chapter in South Carolina), a Tri-Tronics(tm) accessory beeper, a trophy and a three-month supply of Purina(tm) Pro Plan.
After a brief rest break for the handlers and the judges, the final brace began between Babe and Joe and 10 released birds. After a grueling hour, Daniel’s Cryin’ Babe had a final score of 1,061.66 points and Joe’s Bozeann Mountain had a final score of 997 points. Babe had five finds and retrieves, and Joe had five finds and four retrieves. Donald and Kyle Bowyer walked away with $1,250 in cash, a Tri-Tronics(tm) accessory beeper, a six-month supply of Purina(tm) Pro Plan and a trophy. Tom Daniel received the grand prize of $2,500, a Tri-Tronics(tm) Upland Special dog collar, a one-year supply of Purina(tm) Pro Plan, a trophy and the privilege of gracing this issue’s cover of Quail Unlimited magazine and promoting the 2003 Quail Unlimited National Championship Dog of the Year Trial. Bob West from Purina(tm) Pet Care presented the prizes to all the winners of the competition.
Everyone was sad to see the day come to an end. Harold and Janice Hufstetler did a wonderful job again this year, and a special thanks goes to them for their hard work and the use of their farm. Purina(tm) Pet Care also receives our gratitude for their generous donation of their time, name and support of this event. Tri-Tronics(tm), Albany Beverage Company and Coca-Cola(tm) contributed greatly to this year’s trial as well. The Midlands Chapter of South Carolina, the Butler County Chapter of Ohio, the Georgia State Council and the Albany Area Chapter of Georgia all lent tremendous support to make this year’s trial bigger and better. Thanks again on behalf of Quail Unlimited, Inc. to all of the volunteers who donated their time and effort to make the 15th Annual Quail Unlimited/Purina(tm) National Championship Dog of the Year Trial such a success.
Please make plans to join us next year at Hufstetler Farm in Bronwood, Georgia, March 13-16, 2003, for the 16th Annual Quail Unlimited/National Dog of the Year Championship. For more information on next year’s trial, please contact Kellie Rae Rangus at Quail Unlimited at (803) 637-5731, ext. 31, or send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.