FC Just Call Me Roy came out of the 15th brace running in the last brace on course three Wednesday afternoon. Roy was wide, hard charging and on the lines going forward throughout his hour, handled two covey finds, (one of the few dogs to have multiple finds),both pointed with lofty style and finished strong. A 4 year old dog, Roy was runner up last year in the National Open Championship and certainly has a great future in hour stakes. This big strong male was handled aggressively and smartly by Ken Cherry, this is the third time Ken handled someone else's dog to the National Amateur Championship title. He won it in 2000 with Roy's sire, Tom and Martha Greenlee's Piney Run Sam, and two years later won handling Ron Zook's Pistol Packin Walker. Ken came close to winning it in with one of his own dogs in 1997, with Keystone's Luck of the Draw in the runner up position. It is also the fifth time that a dog from Ben Lorenson's string of dogs has won the title in the past nine years. Roy is owned by his breeder Tom Ettinger from Vermont. As previously mentioned, Roy is sired by NAFC Piney Run Sam - and out of a daughter of NFCAux Arc's Mark. Roy is a worthy champion coming out of a field that produced some other Championship quality performances.
The runner up was DC/AFC Shady's Tia Maria, owned by Clem and Marilynne Little of Enumclaw, Washington. Tia came out of the 19th brace on course one, Thursday afternoon. Handled by Clem, Tia put in a strong bid for the title. The story of her performance though is almost a side bar-- the real story is that Clem suffered a debilitating stroke six weeks prior to this event. At the time he was unable to walk. His doctor told him that recovery would be long and slow, but Clem's determination to run his own dog in the championship made him will himself back to health. And he made it, although it was apparent he was weak. In the early going, Tia checked in occasionally to make sure Clem was with her. At 7 minutes, she stood with pride to the right in a known covey location. Clem flushed the birds with all in order, but required help from the gallery in tightening the girth on his horse and remounting. Once he was back in the saddle, Tia stretched forward in widening, smart casts, running an all age race, yet handling like she was on a string. As we approached the bridge, Tia was rimming the field on the right at great speed. To finish, we had to turn sharply left while she was far to the right, and so she was hung up behind momentarily. As soon as she realized the course had turned she got herself to the front with a lot of steam left for her finish. Tia is a 4 year old bitch, the youngest dual & amateur field champion in breed history, from the breeding of Nat.Ch. Dual Ch/AFC Tequila's Joker and FC Shady's Chik N Little, both worthy winners and producers.
The third place dog, FC Smarteyes Joker, was handled by his new owner, Steve Ralph. This was only the second time that Steve has handled "Jordan", as he is called. Since he purchased the 6 year old male in September, Jordan has come on strong. He won the Quail Classic, was runner up in the Pheasant Classic, and has a number of other hour placements. Jordan came out of the 14th brace running on course two on Wednesday afternoon. As fate would have it, he was braced with the handler (Ed Tillson) who had actually qualified Jordan for the championship, but Jordan willingly handled for Steve. He put in a solid hour on the ground, with a stylish divided find at 8 and scored on the 109 crossing covey again with lofty posture. Jordan is also sired by Tequila's Joker out of a daughter of National Ch. Microdot.
The fourth place dog, Ch. J & M's Clark's Trademark, ran Monday afternoon on course one, coming from the fourth brace. Clark is a 4 year old dog owned by James and Mary Crawford. Clark was hunting right from the start but not as wide as he would be in the second half of his hour. He has an eye catching way of going and began to apply himself to the far edges midway through the course. He grew stronger as the hour went on and had a class find at 58 minutes. Clark is the product of FC/AFC The Time Machine and DC/AFC DeLamont Bon Ami, and himself needs only a major to finish as a dual champion.
I was curious about how common is it for a winner of this stake to sire another winner of this stake.
It turned out to be a fairly regular occurrence. 7 National Amateur winners have sired National Amateur Champions. In addition to Roy and Sam, Jim de Bob's Sparks A Dan D sired Rebel's Tough Is Tyrone, and a three generation family exists of National Amateur Champions with two time winner Gringo de Britt (69 & 70) siring Gunrunner's Far Out, 1982 winner and he in turn siring Jake's Son of a Gun Runner, 1991 NAFC. CharLee ODee, the victor in 1971 sired twice winner (74 & 75) Hello Dolly Miss Kaer. 1967's winner Little Rapa Luke was sired by Rendevous Skipper who had won in 1965 before it was designated as a championship. And 1956 & 58 winner Ferdinand of Leeway sired the 1962 winner Ferd's Cannonball or Leeway. (Compare this to 4 National Open Champions siring a total of 4 National Open Champions.) So far, none of the bitches that have won either stake have produced a winner to follow in their footsteps.
Monday morning, November 22, we would breakaway at 8 am, under an overcast sky. Before long, a light mist of rain fell, continuing intermittently throughout the day.
Brace 1 - Sadie Fair Lady (Oliver) and J & M Ace High Jax (Crawford) This pair began our championship ducking in and out of cover on course one. Jax was hampered by an injured paw, and hunted at modest range. At 7 minutes, he pointed off the side of the road, but it was unproductive. Sadie was handling well for her owner and displayed maturity in her pattern. At 24 she stood pointing into a bright scarlet patch of sumac, in the second corner of the field 200 yards past Lick creek crossing. Despite her efforts no birds would be flushed here. Sadie was to have a second nonproductive in the cotton fields at 40.
Brace 2 - Briscoe Buddy Boy (Trimble) and Rovan's Dust Devil Dan Clark (Clark) Briscoe took an extended absence, returning across the road just as the clock was about to run out. He had the tendency to burrow deep into the woods, and one of these forays took him out of contention. He was found late in the evening in a local home. Dan ran a good, consistent and smart pattern throughout his hour. He was always forward, always hunting and handled kindly, perhaps more of a shooting dog than all age, but still a pleasant performance.
Brace 3 - Special Attraction- "Sly"- (Pool) and Jerob's Tradewind Clipper-"Chipper"-(Rollyson) Jere Hart was riding in the gallery to watch his Chipper run. Sly, a little roan bitch, began quickly moving out to cover, while Chipper, a good looking dog with a long stride dived into the line directly to the front following the breakaway on course three. Sly had a nonproductive stand at 12, followed with another at 22. Chipper had gotten himself hung up and in catching up, also had a non-productive at 22. Sly wore down in the last half of the hour, while Chipper was ruled out of contention after not being seen by the time we had reached the beaver dam.
Brace 4 - J& M Clark's Trademark (Crawford) and Apache-(Maxwell) Patch shot away down the hill along the road, with Clark working the cover well. At 6 a distant cry of point was heard, with the confusing situation of no one knowing which dog it might be. Clark solved this dilemma when he showed forward on the course. A long ride ensued to find Patch standing with style and intensity along the tangled hedgerow beside the road. A large covey was flushed, our first find of the championship. Since we were way off course, we met up with the other party near the Lick Creek crossing. Clark reportedly hunted well through this portion of the course, though not at wide range. Patch jumped into the cover to the right as we passed the metal gates and wasn't seen again for a long period of time. He would appear again in the cotton fields, narrowly beating the clock for staying in the game. He appeared to have lost his early steam and go power in the last 15 minutes of the stake. As we progressed down the course, Clark expanded his casts, gaining strength and covering more ground, using the wind and staying to the front. He has a fluid gait that is very attractive to watch. His diligence paid off at 58 minutes when he pointed a covey with impeccable style and manners.
Brace 5 - Tejas Iron Mike (Graves) and TJ's Single Shot of Scipio-"Emme" (White) Mike broke away fast to the front and would not be seen again for a long time. His handler showed great faith in his dog to show, riding on and Mike did appear, in the nick of time, 300 yards the other side of the first road crossing. Emme was fast and enthusiastic with a driving gait. She did some looping which distracted from her overall effort. No birds were worked this brace, with the only game seen a pair of deer midway through the hour. A scout rode birds up to the right of the 109 crossing.
Brace 6 - Blueridge Major Adventure (Downing) and Suka's Win Mini (Lincoln) Major started hunting hard at moderate range. At 15, he was spotted to the right of the trail inside of a vine-covered line, stylishly on point. A few birds from the covey flew directly at him and he took a whirl around to mark their flight. Mini had blasted away and taken a cast to the right that carried her out of pocket for a time. She was rode for and brought back, arriving to the forward party just after Major's find. Judge Barber reported she had made some nice moves on the way back. Major began to stretch out and run the lines in a smart, efficient fashion. At 30, a single flushed, and he applied the brakes for a good stop to flush. Both dogs were moving out well. Mini eventually lost contact with her handler- and in the end Major, too, was gone too long. The trackers were out by the time we got to the beaver dam.
Posted dogs - Apache, J & M Clark's Trademark
Tuesday morning, it had rained all night, heavy sheets of rain, with more predicted to fall. It held off til noon, but when it came it was accompanied by thunder and lightning. At first, the running was to be cancelled for an hour, but it was soon apparent that we would lose the entire afternoon running time. Deluges of rain continued through the afternoon.
Brace 7 - Traveller's Reign of Terra (White) and J&M's Pete's Turning Trix (Crawford) Terra started off strong, flashing into view through the bright autumn foliage as she tore through the course. Trixie's range was moderate in comparison. At 17, she pointed with positive demeanor right in front of Tom White's horse. Jim seemed unsure whether to call point as Tom had just rode through the area directly where she was pointing, but Trixie was staying put. A tight sitting covey was feeding in the grass, and flushed exactly where the dog said they were. Terra had vanished at the second corner of course one, not showing again until the Lick Creek crossing. She continued on with big moves, driving to the front, until she went missing past the iron gates. She would be ruled out of contention this time. Trixie remained at gundog range, hunting but not extending herself. Tom rode up the bridge covey and at that time; another covey had been spotted rising from the area of the pig pen.
Brace 8 - Tradewind's A Train-"Jet" (Rollyson) and Hi Point I Believe I Can Fly "Jammer"(Downing) Jet, a powerful dog, got of to a promising start-running hard and forward. He grew to be more of a handful as time went on and was out of sight before we made the turn at the first road crossing. At 7 minutes, the handlers rode up a big covey on the road. At 8, Jammer put a couple of deer out of the cover to the left and repeated this action when another pair of deer moved at 25. At 40 minutes the judges handed Steve his tracker for the still missing Jet. Jammer was thoroughly checking the cover, but not moving out as much as one would have liked to have seen from an all age dog. At 48, he stood at the 109 crossing, a known covey location, but no one was home today.
Brace 9 - Cheyenne Joker's Starbuck- (Cross ) and Bourbon XIII-"Al" (McGee) Buck and Al were on the tough third course; Buck had a bit of trouble staying forward. Al was wider and more consistently to the front. Both went the hour trying their best to connect with birds, however, had no luck.
No dogs were posted in the shortened day two.
Wednesday, November 24, we awoke to another wet morning, torrents of water having come down during the night. It was cold with a wind that cut right through clothing, and heavy mud to slog through for the dogs. Tough going in the morning!! In the afternoon conditions improved, as the wind died down, and birds began to move about to feed.
Brace 10 - TLM Missouri Red (Milam) and Tequila Jack II (Tillson) Red and Jack got down to the business of hunting right from the break away. At 15, point was called for Red to the right. She was standing pointing into heavy cover. When Tom had finally run the birds out the other side and was about to flush, Red realized she couldn't see and moved up to get a better look. She earned herself a trip to the dog wagon. Jack continued to run an appealing race, using the course well, and staying forward. At 59 and a half minutes, he pointed on the left side of the road in the vicinity of the bridge covey that we found nearly every time out. The ground in front of him was mostly under water, and a long relocation proved fruitless.