By: Mark Johnson and Tippe Fountain
The NVA Eastern Shooting Dog Championship and Derby Classic hosted the 2015 Renewal at DiLane Plantation near Waynesboro, Georgia. DiLane Plantation has a long history in the bird dog Field Trial Community and serves as the venue of choice for many well respected Championships. We are pleased to have access to the grounds and facilities for our events and extend a sincere "Thank you" to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources site management crew for the great program they have developed at this site. Specifically, Regional supervisor, Lee Taylor, and site supervisor, Henry Williams, availed themselves to us offering advice and assistance, as required.
Along with the grounds and facilities, the weather conditions held up well for our Championship. Sun to light cloud cover and temperatures ranging from 30-50 degrees prevailed. Heavy rain during the preceding week left water in creek crossings throughout the courses. DiLane has an ever expanding local quail population, which is supplemented with (banded) liberated birds released during the running of each championship. Every brace of our Championship had bird contact, as did the majority of our Derby Classic braces. Plenty of bird work contributes to a good Field Trial.
This year's Championship drew 18 dogs and 11 Derbies with attendees from as far as Missouri, and as close as East Dublin, Georgia. Mrs. Tippe Fountain, again, stepped forward to serve as secretary and was well supported by her husband and professional handler, Jamie Fountain, and stake manager, Mark Johnson. On addition to secretary duties, Tippe also put together a delicious Low County Boil dinner, which all enjoyed on Wednesday evening. Nestle Purina and Tri-Tronics Garmin continues to support our National and Regional Championships with their products. Purina representative, Terry Trzcinski and his wife, Kathy, were on hand. Thank you for your support Terry and Pat Lamantia and Thank you Warner Smith for Garmin's contribution.
Our 2015 Championship and Derby judges were Mr. Eric Waltz of Florida and Mr. Don Price, also a Floridian. Both of these gentlemen are well known and respected on the Southeastern bird dog circuits, both Shooting Dog and All-Age stakes. We were pleased to have them share their experience and attentive eye with us this year. Their demeanor and decisions were well received by all. Thanks Don and Eric!!
The Winner – 2015 Eastern Shooting Dog Championship DuRite's Covey Rise, "Hootie", is owned by Claude Roger Acuff Jr. and was handled by Carrie Syczylo in the 8th brace on Thursday morning. Hootie applied himself in a pleasingly consistent manner remaining forward fashion throughout the hour. He carded 3 evenly spaced finds displaying sound manners and style.
The Runner-up – Tibercreek Billy the Kid "Pete" is owned by Mark Calder and handled by Jamie Fountain. He ran in the first on Wednesday morning. Shortly after breaking away, Pete was found pointed at 8 near DiLane Road. Birds were flushed with all in order. At 30, Pete was again found pointed along a plum thicket near the mid-course water tank. After a wide sweeping flushing exercise, birds lifted from the edge. Pete was taken on and was seen along the pipeline. With judges, handlers and gallery continuing forward at the hours end, Fountain was asked to show his dog, who presented himself slightly after the hour.
The Derby Classic – The Derby Classic was won by DuRite's SureWin, "Surewin", who is owned by Claude Roger Acuff Jr. and handled by Carrie Syczylo. He ran in the 2nd brace of the Derby. He pointed birds 3 times while running an energetic and aesthetic race for the full 30 minutes. Second and Third place recognition went to two youngsters, owned and handled by Brian Fidler. Brian came all the way from Missouri to show us these nice Derbies. Second place went to Fidler's Fight to the Finish, "Diesel". He ran in the 4th brace and worked in a consistent and intelligent fashion for his handler. Third place, Fidler's CK Ragin' Bull "Ragin'", ran in the 5th brace, also, showing hunt and drive one expects to see in promising Derbies. Ragin' had a divided find at 10 and pointed birds again at 12.
Thank you to all who entered dogs and supported this trial and a specific Thank you to Melissa Thomas for running the dog wagon for the Derby.