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Result: Alabama Open All-Age Championship

Location: Blue Mountain, Mississippi

Post Date: Mar 9, 2022

Submitted By: Tessa Hughes


Alabama Open Championship Winners. L to R: Judge Mason Ashburn, Lowry Strickland, John Chandler Strickland, Randy Anderson, Ryan Eichelburger with Touch's Fire Away, Judge Mike Small, Joe Hughes, Billy Blackwell, Rachel Russell, David Russell, Korry Rinehart with Como Rain, Doug Arthur, unidentified attendee, and Brad Kennedy.

BLUE MOUNTAIN, MISS. -- The Alabama Amateur Field Trial Club ran its 2022 Alabama Open All-Age Championship February 5-8 on the beautiful Hell Creek Wildlife Management Area grounds, Blue Mountain, Miss.,

As always, we want to thank Mississippi Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks for the amazing effort they put into these immaculate grounds to make them so hospitable for our sport. We very much appreciate the time and effort the state of Mississippi puts into its natural resources so that its citizens can enjoy the outdoors at sporting events like field trials.

The club would also like to thank its sponsor, Sportsman's Pride dog food (Sunshine Mills), for its generous and continued support of our sport.

The club enjoyed delicious meals each day provided by Melissa Bain and Carolyn Page, and appreciated all the help provided by various folks, including marshals Kennedy, and our president, Joe Hughes. We also appreciate those who drove the dog wagon, including, our stake manager, Greg Bain, who is recovering from a knee injury and so was out of the saddle.

We are also pleased to welcome two new club members, two outstanding young me, John Chandler and Lowry Strickland of Holly Springs, Miss., who rode every brace, served ably as marshals, and were also on hand to scout, if needed.

This year we welcomed two excellent judges, Mason Ashburn of Trenton, Tenn., and Mike Small of Evansville, Ind. They kindly judged both our Championship and our hour-long Open Derby. We cannot overstate how much the Club appreciates the time and careful attention each judge gave to the entries in front of them.


This year's Championship was won by Touch's Fireaway, handsome white and orange pointer male owned by Greg and Carmen Adams of Norfolk, Va., and run by Randy Anderson. Fireaway was braced with Game Rebel, pointer male run by Korry Rinehart, in the third brace Saturday morning. (It should be noted that our club commented on the hard work and long hours put in by Mr. Rinehart, who filled in at the last minute for Steve Hurdle, and did an admirable job after Steve Hurdle fell ill. Mr. Rinehart stepped in to run several of Mr. Hurdle's dogs for him on short notice and did so in quite good form, particularly considering the circumstances).

The weather was sunny and calm but extremely cold, the ground frozen and icy when we broke away from the clubhouse headed to the right with both dogs running strong. Fireaway had a beautiful find at 26 across Hell Creek on the left. At the same time, Game Rebel had a find on the right at the other side of the same field. Fireaway then moved quickly and swept the next huge field in a beautiful cast, taking the next big fields in magnificent arcs for his handler, and having a very nice find at 34 in heavy cover. Anderson produced birds for him on relocation. Game Rebel also had a find at 34 on the right after the little concrete crossing, with all in order.

Both dogs went on, running a beautifully aggressive race, with everyone sitting up in the saddle. At 52 Anderson called point for Fireaway; Rebel failed to back and was up at the judges' request. Anderson flushed and produced birds for Fireaway which held tight and looked very nice. Fireaway then continued on aggressively, with Anderson then calling point again at 57. During flushing, he then pointed out that there were feathers on the ground. At that point, he took Fireaway on, and Fireaway then went on to finish strong in the horseshoe fields.

Como Rain, white and liver pointer male, handled by Billy Blackwell, and owned by Billy Blackwell, Rachel Russell, David Russell, and Doug Arthur, was runner-up champion. He was in the tenth brace with Miller's L'eletto, pointer male (Anderson).

They broke away from the clubhouse to the left in the first brace after lunch. Rain ran a strong, beautiful ground race, always hunting hard and to the front. He had an outstanding find behind the clubhouse on the left, standing high and tight on his game. He also had another find at 56 after we made the curve to go to game warden's house, again very elegant on his game. His bracemate was up at 35, after Anderson asked for his tracker. Rain finished strong after his second find to take the runner-up honors.


We opened Saturday morning to sunny, cold, calm conditions -- the first fields before the first road crossing were a bit like a skating rink for horses and dogs because the standing water had frozen almost solid. It was a little difficult riding for the handlers in the first hour brace. Due to a scratch, Burch's Set'em Up Joe, pointer male (Burke Hendrix) was in the first brace with Erin's Ice Breaker, pointer male (Korry Rinehart). They started strong, with Ice Breaker having a find at 14 on the left in the big field before the first road crossing. He did well, and continued on for another find in the pines at 17, which he also handled very well. Joe had a divided find at 35. All was in order, and both handlers flushed. After this, Joe was not in sight again, and Hendrix asked for his retrieval unit at pickup. Rinehart called point for Ice Breaker at 54 near the pine trees at the point near the curve in the road, birds were flying for the flush, but Ice Breaker marked flight after the flush. However, he continued on to finish his hour.

Bonner's Hot Rize, pointer male (Gary Lester), was in the next brace running as a bye, due to a scratch. (The ground was frozen, and Burke Hendrix feared his dog would cut his feet on the ice). Hot Rize left the game warden's house at a fast clip and had an immediate find on the right in the first field. He had beautiful bird work on relocation, doing some delicate footwork/"nosework" that reminded this writer of why she loves watching this sport. He produced birds for his handler, and we continued on. He made a beautiful cast in the Rock Hill field, and then suffered an unproductive in heavy cover and briars in the corner of that field. He was then up at 42 after an infraction.

The third brace was the winning brace and has been covered above.

The first brace after lunch started with Coldwater Odyssey, pointer male (Weldon Bennett), and Dakota Nation, pointer male (Rinehart). Both dogs were away strong. Odyssey had a find at 33 before the grass cover island where the course gets to the Hell Creek crossing, and Dakota Nation had a find at 34 right after the island. Both dogs handled their bird work impeccably and were on their way. Both dogs finished their hour strong without further bird work.

Lester's Another Shockwave, pointer male (Lester), and Misty Morn Masked Man, pointer male (Joey McAlexander), were in the second brace leaving from the game warden's house. Shockwave had a beautiful find at 15, and another at 34. Masked Man swept out of the course across Hell Creek to the third hour course, with his scout calling point for him there. When Joey got to him, he waved off the point, but Masked Man was already moving back on the third hour course making the cast to go away from the gallery. Joey, fearing he could not regain ground to rejoin the gallery, asked for his tracker. In the meantime, Shockwave had a find at 41 after relocation at the plum trees, which was also very nice. He went on to finish his hour very nicely.

Touch's Blackout, pointer male (Anderson), and Hendrix's Copperline, pointer male (Hendrix), were up in the second day of running, which was also extremely cold but sunny. Again, the fields in the first brace were frozen and icy, which made conditions difficult for horses, riders and dogs. Anderson picked up Blackout at the first road crossing after he proved difficult to locate. Copperline had an impressive find at 27 on the right by Hell Creek and made some excellent casts. Copperline also called point for his dog at 47 in the Rock Hill field but the dog suffered an unproductive. Copperline finished the hour strong.

In the next brace were pointer males Ascension, last year's champion (Rinehart), and Como Thunder (David Russell). Ascension ran a strong ground race and had a find at 44, which he handled quite nicely. He finished his hour. Como Thunder began an impressive ground race, but was not seen after 25, and Russell got his device.

Whippoorwill Justified, pointer male (Larry Huffman), and Bonner's Bulletproof, pointer male (Anderson), were in the last brace of the morning. Justified hunted hard and to the front like the great bird dog he is, having a find on the third hour at 38, but suffering an unproductive at 43, looking impressive on both. He finished the hour strong. Bracemate, Bulletproof, a handsome young dog, started off in lovely form but suffered an unproductive at 11. Anderson asked for his retrieval unit before the creek crossing when he was lost.

The next brace had the runner-up and is covered above.

Lester's Stemwinder, pointer male (Anderson), and Whippoorwill Vette, pointer male (Huffman), left strongly in the second hour from the game warden's house, but Stemwinder was up after an infraction. Vette had an impressive find at 15 in the lines of pines. However, he was also up after he an infraction. This concluded the running of the All-Age.

Blue Mountain, Miss., February 5

Judges: Mason Ashburn and Mike Small

Winner--TOUCH'S FIRE AWAY, 1679602, pointer male, by House's Ring of Fire--Touch's Maswood Anne. Greg & Carmen Adams, owners; Randy Anderson, handler.

Runner--Up--COMO RAIN, 1687713, pointer male, by Skyfall--Catch Me Dot. B. K. & Rachel Blackwell, Doug Arthur & David Russell, owners; Billy Blackwell, handler.

Twelve excellent dogs comprised our exciting Derby, and the judges found all three of their winners to be impressive. Haney's Storm Warning, pointer male (Ike Todd), took first place honors, with two divided finds shared with his bracemate, the second-place winner, Lester's Storm Chaser, pointer male (Korry Rinehart). Both dogs ran exciting ground races and were a joy to watch.

The third-place honors went to another dashing big young dog, Knight's Little John, pointer male (Todd), which had three finds in his hour, and a very impressive ground race to garner his third-place finish.

OPEN DERBY -- 11 Pointers and 1 Setter

1st--HANEY'S STORM WARNING, 1691416, pointer male, by Valiant--Haney's North Star. Chris Cagle, owner; Ike Todd, handler.

2d--LESTER'S STORM CHASER, 1697205, pointer male, by Lester's Storm Surge--R W Susie Q. Jannie Chapman, owner; Gary Lester, handler.

3d--KNIGHT'S LITTLE JOHN, 1697531, pointer male, by Lester's Storm Surge--Bonner's Platinum Doll. Scott Griffin, owner; Ike Todd, handler.