See News section for exciting announcement regarding UKC/FDSB Developments!

I Accept

United Kennel Club (UKC) is an international dog registry celebrating bonds, rewarding ability, and preserving the value of a pedigree. We use cookies to capture information such as IP addresses and tailor the website to our clients' needs. We also use this information to target and measure promotional material. Please see our Privacy Policy for more information.

Skip to main content
Facebook Instagram YouTube

Result: Southeastern Quail Championship

Location: Sasser, Georgia

Post Date: Apr 3, 2024

Submitted By: Claudia McNamee

Southeastern Quail Ch.S24

Southeastern Quail Championship Winners (l-r): Lamar Childers, Judd Carlton, Dr. Dave Deal, Kirk Law (judge), Colt Copeland, Mike Jackson (judge), Willis Wright, Jamie Daniels with Miller's Blindsider, David Williams, Larron Copeland, Luke Eisenhart with Erin's Wild Atlantic Way, Melody Shenker, Claudia McNamee, Tom Shenker, Dr. Ron Deal, Cheyenne Jackson, and Remi Davis.

The 34th edition of the Southeastern Quail Championship began on March 1 and concluded on March 2. After two full days of running, Miller's Blindsider, a 7-year-old pointer male owned by Nick Berrong from Maryville, Tennessee, and handled by Jamie Daniels, was named champion. Erin's Wild Atlantic Way took runner-up honors. The 5-year-old setter is owned by Sean Derrig and was handled by Luke Eisenhart. A total of 25 dogs vied for top honors. Although this number was less than in many previous years, there was no shortage of talent. In fact, it seems that with fewer contenders came a much more competitive field -- with every dog a potential champion.

The task of judging this championship was in the capable hands of Mike Jackson of Battle Ground, Indiana, and Kirk Law of nearby Dawson, Georgia. Both are dog men with broad experience in field trialing and bird hunting and were well qualified to judge the 2024 renewal. They were quite impressed with the field of talent competing for top honors.

This event was run on three continuous courses charted across three different properties--Chickasaw, Ecila, and Abigail Plantations. The combined grounds consist of open piney woods interspersed with scattered fallow fields with edges of ground cover. This year, more than ample rainfall had the numerous wet weather ponds full. Recent tornado activity significantly affected this area, and much cleanup is underway. But despite nature's wrath, the quail population remains strong, albeit a bit more elusive in the afternoons. Both days produced multiple and similar numbers of bird scores. Every dog that completed the hour had birdwork, and most had multiple finds. Weather conditions were similar on both days-- overcast with light rain at times. Temperatures ranged between the low 50s and mid-60s, with a one-hour fog delay on the second morning.

The Southeastern Field Trial Club wants to give heartfelt thanks to the three landowners who so generously allow the running of this trial on their beautiful lands: the Deal family (Chickasaw), Frank Foley (Ecila), and Richard Burke (Abigail). Without their combined support, this event could not take place, and we are so very grateful. Also deserving of special thanks for their hard work and longtime commitment is the Chickasaw team: Dr. Ron Deal (event aficionado and director), Lamar Childers (entry/drawing oversight and marshaling), Wilson Napier (dog wagon and snacks), Michael Jackson (barn duties and cooking lunches with his wife Alexa serving daily lunches). Others who assisted with marshaling duties were Willis Wright (Abigail) and Tom Shenker, who jumped in when needed as well. And, of course, a big thank you goes out to Greg Blair and Purina for all they continue to do for our field trial sport.

The Winners and Honorable Mentions
Miller's Blindsider, a 7-year-old white and orange Pointer male, was named champion. This well-known contender was handled by Jamie Daniels, scouted by Judd Carlton, and owned by Nick Berrong of Maryville, Tennessee. Sam ran Saturday morning on Course 2 and had four finds evenly spaced in the latter 30 minutes of the hour. His race and hunting style was consistently bold and courageous, pushing the course limits and securing his place as top dog with his final and fourth find at pickup time.

Earning runner-up was Erin's Wild Atlantic Way, a 5-year-old white and black Setter male. "Cap" was handled by Luke Eisenhart, scouted by Judd Carlton, and is owned by Sean Derrig of Chicago, Illinois. He also ran on Course 2 but on Friday morning, the first day of the trial, and hunted up four coveys in the latter part of the hour. He was always forward, effortlessly casting long and wide the entire hour and finishing with style.

In addition to the named winners, five other dogs had memorable performances worthy of mention. In order of brace running, these notables are Touch's Shadow Rider (McLean), Rester's Johnny Ringo (Eisenhart), Woodville's Yukon Cornelius (McLean), Erin's High Note (Carlton), and Rester's Cajun Justice (Eisenhart).

The Championship Running
A total of 25 dogs were entered, and 25 competed in this year's championship (23 Pointers and 2 Setters). Nine handlers participated, including Mark McLean (7 dogs), Cody McLean (1), Luke Eisenhart (8), Jamie Daniels (2), Judd Carlton (3), Tom Shenker (1), Lee Philips (1), Larron Copeland (1), and Cliff Flowers (1). Owners present included Mike Sweet from Sebring, Florida, for Erin's High Note; Gene Brown from Florida for Aucilla Jim; Cecil and Holly Rester from Louisiana for Rester's Johnny Ringo and Rester's Cajun Justice; Dr. Ron Deal from Sasser, Georgia, for Coal Train; and Steve Croy from Savannah, Georgia, for Haney's Easy Money and Haney's All In.

Weather conditions were actually ideal for running bird dogs, with cool temperatures in the 50s and low 60s and just a hint of rain. Saturday morning fog delayed our start in the morning, and the day continued with a foggy mist. But this didn't seem to affect the morning's contest, as multiple, large coveys were hunted up by contenders on Course 2. The runner-up and champion both came out of morning braces on Course 2 on Friday and Saturday (B2 and B8), respectively.

In previous years, most winners have run on Courses 1 or 3. This year was different because, for the first time ever, both the champion and runner-up ran on Course 2. The second course is the only one this year that was run exclusively on one plantation--Ecila Plantation. Kudos to Frank Foley for the extensive cleanup on Ecila over the last few years, which has greatly improved both visibility and bird scores!

The Champion: Miller's Blindsider (aka "Sam")

A two-time runner-up champion here at the Southeastern, it was finally Sam's turn to be named champion. The second brace (Brace 8) on Saturday morning proved to be Sam's lucky strike! At 10:15 a.m.,
Miller's Blindsider for Jamie Daniels and Woodville's Yukon Cornelius for Mark McLean broke away with great spirit; they were both ready to make a bid for the title. Neither dog found birds in the first 15 minutes-- Blindsider was hunting wide and had to catch the front a couple of times, and Yukon was moving somewhat laterally, but then, at about 20 minutes, their games started to change. Yukon dug up coveys at 18 and 23 minutes, and he then pushed boldly forward with that fancy Setter-style and race he's known for. At about the 30-minute mark, Daniels gathered Blindsider up, and he, too, focused on the course's forward edge with his first find at 32 minutes. Daniels flushed a large covey as Sam stood proud and intense, much to the gallery's delight! At 42 minutes, Daniels' hat was in the air again as he pointed out his charge. Before he could flush, birds were in the air, and with the judge's nod, he shot his gun, and Blindsider's second find was recorded. Three minutes later, at 45, Yukon, on a fierce mission, dug up his third find with McLean loaded and ready...and game on! Blindsider answered at 51 minutes with his third prize, followed by Yukon again at 54 minutes for his final find. Blindsider then finished forward and strong with his fourth and final find at pickup.

The Runner-up: Erin's Wild Atlantic Way (aka "Cap")

Friday's second morning brace (Brace 2) also delivered a decisive winner, with Erin's Wild Atlantic Way pulling out all the stops for handler Luke Eisenhart. Bracemate Aucilla Jim didn't fare as well with his handler, Cliff Flowers, asking for the tracker around the 26-minute mark. Cap is no stranger to the winners' circle, and when he makes a strong bid, few Setters match his style and finesse in the field. In the first 15 minutes of the hour, Cap struck out far to the front, and then at 27 minutes, his handler spotted him standing with certainty that he'd pinned his game. Unfortunately, Eisenhart's thorough flushing and relocation of Cap didn't produce birds, and this marked an unproductive. As disappointing as this was, the gallery did see birds lift across the dirt field just beyond where Cap was standing, and one might think that these were Cap's birds that had moved across the way...just unlucky. But this team's luck would change over the course of the next 30 minutes! Cap then went on to have four beautiful covey finds at 33, 40, 48, and 58 minutes with a strong all-age ground race to match. This contender and his handler moved effortlessly through the country with very little, if any, scouting necessary. Cap hunted with intent and ran with purpose, aiming to please his handler and all who looked on!

The Other Contenders
At 8 a.m. on Friday morning, we cut loose the first brace of the Championship. Brace 1 (B1) paired Touch's Shadow Rider (McLean) and Rester's Johnny Ringo (Eisenhart). Both dogs broke away with determination and purpose, with Ringo securing the first find of the hour at 10 minutes. Rider then dug up a second covey at 16 minutes, with Ringo honoring him with a back. These two contenders knew there would be more game to find and sprung forth to continue forward on the course. Rider's hunting efforts were rewarded with another covey find at 20 minutes. Ringo continued to cover ground in true all-age fashion, hunting forward and far-reaching with his next success at 50 minutes. This would be the final birdwork of the hour. Both dogs finished strong and to the front -- this was a fine way to start the championship!

Brace 2 (B2) of the morning has been described.

Brace 3 (B3) presented derby Nonami's Smokin Joe (C. McLean) and Erin's High Note (Carlton). Both dogs took off from the breakaway with equal enthusiasm, but their high energy and hunting prowess wouldn't be rewarded until 37 minutes with a divided find. Standing intensely and with style, these contenders waited for their handlers to shoot and then were released again. Joe's overall race could've been a bit stronger, but he's young, has great potential, and is still learning his way. At 43 minutes, High Note stood again patiently and stylishly while his handler flushed, but even with relocation, no birds lifted and an unproductive noted. But this certainly didn't deter him from continuing his mission and running a strong ground race. Another 10 minutes passed, and these bracemates were both found standing at 53 minutes but in two locations. High Note stood staunchly while his birds were put into flight by Carlton. Joe, however, was a bit excited and couldn't quite keep his composure as McLean flushed and his title bid ended early. High Note went on to finish the hour in strong fashion.

Brace 4 (B4) let loose after lunch at 1:30 p.m. Weather conditions remained cool, and light rain had moved in. Touch's Breakaway Fred (McLean) and Erin's Code of Honor (Eisenhart) came to the line full of promise, but the birds were elusive. Fred took the edge of the first pond looking like the pro that he is. At 14 minutes, both dogs were hunting around the pond to the left and met up in front of their handlers -- exactly where they should be! At 28 minutes, McLean called point for Fred, and a single bird found deep in the cover was flushed high. This would be the only bird work of the hour. Code of Honor hadn't been seen since coming around the pond, and at around 30 minutes, Eisenhart asked for his tracker, believing we had left him standing somewhere, which, in fact, we had. Meanwhile, Fred hadn't been consistently up front at the 49-minute mark. At 54 minutes, he once again stood intensely for what we all hoped would be a covey, but even with a relocation, McLean wasn't able to flush out birds, and an unproductive was recorded. McLean opted to pick Fred up before the hour was complete.

Brace 5 (B5) matched Touch's Malcolm Story (McLean) and last year's champion Miller's Heat Advisory (Carlton). With high expectations, these two veteran competitors sprung forth to meet the challenge. At 7 minutes, scout Eisenhart called point for Heat Advisory far to the front. As Carlton approached his charge, birds lifted, but the judge didn't see the birds; hence, no find was recorded, and Carlton moved him on. Malcolm Story, around the 14-minute mark, wasn't consistently forward on the course and then wasn't seen again. At 30 minutes, McLean asked for his tracker. Meanwhile, Carlton raised his hat at 15 minutes while Heat Advisory stood tall and proud, but alas, it was a rabbit and not the intended quail. At 24 minutes, Carlton and Eisenhart gathered up their charge to run forward on the course. Found standing again at 35 minutes, Carlton was determined to flush a covey for Heat Advisory, but even with a relocation, birds remained elusive, and Carlton decided to pick up.

The last brace of the first day, Brace 6 (B6), paired Rester's Cajun Spirit (Carlton) and Southern Thunder (Shenker). Both dogs ran good races for the time they were on the ground, but neither had any bird work. Carlton asked for his tracker at 14 minutes, and Shenker did the same for Thunder at 35 minutes.

At the end of Day 1, the judges had four dogs to consider with multiple covey finds (in order of appearance): On Course 1, Touch's Shadow Rider (McLean) and Rester's Johnny Ringo (Eisenhart) had two finds each; on Course 2, Erin's Wild Atlantic Way (Eisenhart) had four finds; and on Course 3, Erin's High Note (Carlton) had two finds. A total of 12 coveys were pointed on Day 1, along with numerous other scout sightings.

On day 2, the running was delayed for about one hour due to foggy conditions. Although the fog did lift enough to start at 9 a.m., it never completely disappeared. Temperatures remained in the high 50s and low 60s with overcast skies through the completion of this event.

Brace 7 (B7) presented derby Haney's Easy Money (McLean) and Erin's Perfect Storm (Eisenhart) and let loose in light foggy conditions at 9 a.m. Both contenders sprang forth, and we watched as they ate up the course. A divided find was called at 9 minutes--these two were just about touching one another, side by side--both handlers shot their guns and gathered them up to continue. Perfect Storm stood again at 14 minutes, but Eisenhart wasn't able to flush birds even with a relocation, and an unproductive was noted. Easy Money's fate was the same at 43 minutes--no birds lifted, and after conferring with the judge, McLean picked him up. Eisenhart continued Perfect Storm's bid but lost his whereabouts and asked for his tracker at 54 minutes.

Brace 8 (B8) was described earlier.

Brace 9 (B9) consisted of Coal Train (Phillips) and Haney's Storm Warning (Eisenhart). Both contenders drove hard and fast off the breakaway, and it was almost immediately clear that Storm Warning had his own course in mind. We didn't see him again, and Eisenhart asked for his tracker early in the hour. Coal Train made a nice cast around the pond to the left but then took some time to show up front for Phillips. Scout Henley called point at 34 minutes deep in the cover, but the handler wasn't able to produce birds even after a relocation. Coal Train then made some nice moves going up towards the house but wasn't beating what was being carried, and Phillips took his tracker from the judges at 43 minutes. This concluded the morning braces on Saturday.

The second and final afternoon of the Championship consisted of Braces 10-13, with B13 being a bye-dog. The fog had entirely lifted, but skies were still overcast, and temperatures were slightly warmer in the high 60s.

Brace 10 (B10) paired Haney's All In (McLean) and Dominator's Wild Bill (Daniels). Both dogs powered ahead from the breakaway with one thing on their minds...finding birds! Wild Bill fared better than his bracemate with clean finds at 11 and 18 minutes. All In had no luck in his pursuit but ran a strong race. Both dogs ended their bids at 49 minutes--neither contender was beating previous performances, and handlers took their trackers from the judges.

Brace 11 (B11) consisted of Showtime Game Changer (Copeland) and Shadow's Lord Magic (Eisenhart). The dogs got underway, but Game Changer wasn't to be seen after the breakaway and Copeland asked for his tracker at 13 minutes. Lord Magic made some good moves but went birdless in the first half hour, with Eisenhart asking for his tracker at 31 minutes.

Brace 12 (B12) matched Touch's Midnight Rider (McLean) and Haney's Silver Dollar (Eisenhart), and this pair of contenders wouldn't have good luck in their quest either. Midnight Rider had an unproductive at 4 minutes and McLean asked for his tracker. Silver Dollar went a bit rogue on the course, and Eisenhart asked for his tracker at 16 minutes.

The last brace of the championship, Brace 13 (B13), with bye-dog Rester's Cajun Justice, aka Ike (Eisenhart), broke away around 3:30 p.m. on Course 3. Last braces in any field trial event can often be disappointing because judges have their winners in mind, and there's a bit of "trial fatigue" for all involved. But there are performances that end up breaking this mold and this last bid did just that despite being on a course difficult for showing a dog well. Ike had three finds at 9, 18, and 46 with a strong all-age race consistently forward and pushing the course limits throughout the hour. Eisenhart gathered him at points on the course where necessary so that the judges had the opportunity to see that this contender was where he should be. Ike's covey finds were well-placed and indicative of his hunting prowess, with the pinned covey at 18 minutes being a true limb find. A hushed excitement was palpable in the gallery as the hour went on, realizing a champion-worthy performance was underway, and perhaps the fat lady had not yet sung. Ike finished his title bid well out front with intensity. With another minute or two, he could have made it to the big fields for a more showy finish. Regardless, this final run was a performance to remember!

At the end of Day 2, the judges had three additional dogs to consider (in order of appearance): on Course 1 with four finds each--Woodville's Yukon Cornelius (McLean) and Miller's Blindsider (Daniels); and on Course 3--Rester's Cajun Justice (Eisenhart) with three finds. Three other contenders had birdwork but did not complete the hour (in order of appearance): on Course 1 with one find each--Haney's Easy Money (McLean) and Erin's Perfect Storm (Eisenhart); and on Course 1--Dominator's Wild Bill (Daniels) with two finds. A total of 14 coveys were pointed on the second day, with numerous other scout sightings. In total, the judges had seven dogs to consider after the two days of running were complete. This concluded the 2024 edition of the Southeastern Quail Championship.

Sasser, Ga., March 1
Judges: Mike Jackson and Kirk Law
SOUTHEASTERN QUAIL CHAMPIONSHIP [One-Hour Heats] - 23 Pointers and 2 Setters

Winner-MILLER'S BLINDSIDER, 1674983, pointer male, by Just Irresistible-Miller's Bring The Heat. Nick Berrong, owner; Jamie Daniels, handler.
Runner-Up-ERIN'S WILD ATLANTIC WAY, 1684809, setter male, by Erin's Hidden Shamrock-T T's Southern Miss. Sean Derrig, owner; Luke Eisenhart, handler.