The Deep South Brittany Free-For-All Championship 2002

Kent D. Patterson

The winds of change are blowing. Creating waves of gold as it caresses broom sedge covered hillsides..…Winds that whisper through the piney woods and moan through pin oaks adorned in Spanish moss…Winds that sculpt a landscape in the cradle of the Deep South where the field trial sport was born. Century old winds that have filled the lungs of world class bird dogs and their handlers of great lore as they plied their trade over the fallow fields and edges that frame this country. This is the land of legendary English pointers molded by Clyde Morton and Man Rand, a land of stately plantations, beautiful women with molasses-like drawls and Tennessee Walking Horses close to the great "Midnight Sun". A small, white, weathered sign at the driveway reads "The Land of Milk and Honey" and welcomes the return of the American Brittany to Tara Hill Plantation for a test of intelligence, bird finding prowess, and endurance. It is a simple, modest sign that speaks volumes about the character, generosity, and hospitality of owners Alva and Katherine Caine. There is nothing pretentious about Tara Hill and all visitors are immediately aware of its' core spirit… is home…home for dogs, birds, horses, men and women that love the outdoors and pursue life with a passion.

As you ride to the breakaway down sandy Safford Road or along tree lines toward the Suttle Place, only the occasional barb-wire scarred sapling remind visitors of John and Mary Caine's cattle operation where Alva and his siblings learned at an early age the value in being good stewards of the land. Combined with Dr. Kenny Bramlett's lease of the Hamilton Place, this venue affords 4 courses over 3600 acres architected for no other purpose than to evaluate bird dogs. It can be brutally unkind to dogs that aren't smart about their application yet spotlight the magnificence of those special canine athletes gifted in gait, speed, and style. It can lull you to sleep as it swallows up ordinary performances yet leave you breathless and light headed when showcasing the extraordinary. It works horses and requires handlers that know their dogs. There are grounds that help dogs and handlers attempting to hide holes or flaws…. not Tara Hill…..there is no place to hide and the cream rises to the top.

Alva Caine is a field trial philanthropist. His love of this sport and the people that pursue its tradition laden past is unquestioned as he allows the running of The Charles Farquar Memorial, The Blackbelt Championship, The Buck-Tuck, and The Deep South Brittany Free-For-All on these grounds. He, with assistance from Dan and Arthur, drives the dog wagon, shuttles horses, and brings refreshments to visitors on the course. They've constructed corrals, stalls, and wash racks to accommodate their guests. From the kitchen of Ms Johnson comes the finest in southern food. Fried chicken, pork chops, greens, and banana pudding makes lunch a much-discussed subject during the morning braces and an even harder spot to leave under a warming noonday sun.

We had 2 individuals looking over the field of 50 that have seen more than their share of high quality bird dog flesh. Their charter dictated by the following American Field ad defining The Deep South Brittany Free-For-All standard: "The Deep South Brittany Free-For-All is seeking to name as a champion an individual who exhibits an intense desire to find birds, tempered by a maturity displayed through the proper application of speed, intelligently directed range, bird sense and nose. Responsiveness to his mounted handler is paramount, but he should hunt to the front in an independent manner without continuous direction. He should accurately locate game and indicate its presence by pointing with intensity, lofty style and staunchness. He must maintain this attitude while remaining steady to wing and shot and when afforded the opportunity, he should willingly honor a brace mate on rigid point."

The format calls for a 45 minute qualifying round with a 1-hour call back to acknowledge a bird dog of the first order. A bird dog whose application is in keeping with the country before him, his class and style befitting this regal game bird, his subservience to the gun and master never in doubt. A performance that elevates not only the winners but also a breed. A champion named for brilliance of overall performance rather than on the basis of errorless mediocrity.

John Henry Kitchens knows every square inch of this land as he grew up down the road as a cousin to Alva. As youngsters, they hunted and fished these lands in a Huckleberry Finn manner leaving few stones unturned. Nearing retirement from a career as an air traffic controller, he has been a tremendous asset toThe Deep South Championship Committee in establishing and planning this trial each year. He knows bird dogs having judged The Sedgefield Amateur, The Blackbelt Championship, and The Gulf Coast Shooting Dog Championship. Dennis Hood hails from Valley, Alabama and has judged numerous trials that qualify dogs for the big dance in Grand Junction. He is familiar with the Brittany having judged weekend trials for the Bama Brittany Club in the past. He has judged the National Amateur Quail Championship, Kentucky Open Shooting Dog Championship, Continental Derby Championship and The Buck-Tuck twice. It was a pleasure to ride with these two gentlemen all week as they gave each handler their full attention.

Sponsors are an important part of every trial and James Doherty, Dick Krause, and Vance Schlenker have done an excellent job in working with notable manufacturers to make this event the most lucrative brittany trial in America. The top qualifier from the first series receives a Tri-Tronics Upland Special Training Collar and each dog called back for the championship receives an equal portion of a $500 qualifying purse. For the champion, Haggis provides a saddle for the winning handler, Tucker follows suit with a saddle for the winning owner. The Champion received $1200 and runner-up gets $800. Warren Montgomery and Nutro provide trophies for both the championship and companion R.D. Hinson with Kasco supporting the advertising costs. Fred Cohen of TBI provided a Tracker System for the winning handler and owner. These sponsors are in this sport for the long haul and the Deep South Brittany Championship Committee greatly appreciates their annual support. We encourage all field trialers to patronize these fine companies and the quality products they provide to the sporting public.

The Winners

This year's champion was found in Shambo's Dark Shadow, a liver and white male that is no stranger to the winner's circle as he has annexed titles such as the 2001 American Brittany Club National Open All Age Champion and Runner-up in the 2001 U.S. Open Championship. Owned by Philip Dangerfield and campaigned by professional trainer Jim John of Yates Center, KS, he is a strong contender each time down as he consistently performs at a high level. The runner-up was Walker's Gunner an orange and white male owned by Jerry and Diana Kendrick of Grovetown, GA. Campaigned by professional trainer Ben Lorenson, Kid is another brittany that has been in the National spotlight as he captured the 1997 American Brittany Club's National Amateur Championship Title. Both dogs were braced together in the championship series. The following is an accounting of their hour.

Shadow and Kid were away from Safford Road in the Suttle 40 with Shadow taking the right edge to the corner with Kid crossing diagonally. Shadow made an extreme cast to the woods edge and out as Kid was on the right side of the course as we headed toward the hay bales and on toward the lake. Ben had his hat in the air at 12 for Kid on the right edge with a covey raised and all manners in order. Shadow was on the left margin as we passed the lake with Kid on a deep cast to the north. Both dogs were collected and taken down the hill toward the Suttle Place where Shadow headed to the western edge of course 1 and rimmed in eye-catching fashion leading to a find at 31 near the Suttle Place. Jim flushed birds going in and coming out with Shadow maintaining a lofty pose. Kid had crossed the big field and disappeared into the pines where he was found standing in the saw-tooth oaks at 38 with Ben flushing a single. Shadow stopped on a single as he was coming up a line of broom sedge at 40 with Jim sending the bird toward Hwy 21. We had both dogs through the gap toward Safford Road and found them standing side by side on an island of cover near Safford Road at 48 with both handlers firing as Jim kicked a single out. Both dogs moved well through heavier cover below the well pasture with Shadow being the wider. Both finished strong back toward Hamilton Road with Shadow on a line near the Sedgefield fence and Kid standing birds on a hill near the tractor shed with all manners in order at time.

Qualifying Series - 50 Entries

We had a beautiful cool morning with moderate frost as the crowd rode down Safford Road to the breakaway.

The Prodigy (Jim) - Kent Patterson
Pistol Pack'N Walker (Gator)-Ben Lorenson

Jim and Gator went straightaway and side-by-side to the woods cut where Jim flashed up a line to the left and Gator stayed right to the hog barn. At 15, Jim was seen briefly down near the deer stand going to the front with Gator working the pine thicket near the Suttle Place. Jim was out of pocket until the lake and finished down a line near Sedgefield with no bird work to his credit. Gator was rewarded for his forward race with a find at 35 on a covey near the lake and finished nicely near the tractor shed.

Hot Roddin Howie (Howie) - Ben Lorenson
Chancey Jackpot Lotto (Chance) - Tom Tracy, Jr.

We were away below the tractor shed with Chance taking a tree line to the right and Howie up the hill to the left. They were together at a large island of cover as we headed down the hill toward the well pasture where both made ambitious casts they kept them well to the front as the course turned back west. Both were dots on the horizon throughout their time down and were seen just briefly before their time was up.

Ed's McKissick of Possum Trot (Mac) - Dave King
Blaze's Rambling MoMan (Mo) - Rob Rohner
Both dogs were released to the south in the well pasture with Mo taking the right edge leading to an extended cast to the front as the gallery moved diagonally across the field. Mac was glued to the left edge and came across the front as we went through a tree-line gap that turns back west with dogs moving well over the first 15 minutes. Mac was found standing on the south edge of "Camp No Sleep, No Rest" with Dave having an extended flushing attempt that was barren. A relocation didn't produce and he regained the front where Rob was riding the tree line to the north and seen with his hat in the air for Mo. Upon arrival, Mo was standing stylishly with Mac some 20 yards east. Rob indicated the birds had left and both handlers fired. Upon release both moved well along Sedgefields with Mac seen under a covey at Hamilton Road to end his effort. Mo finished strongly below Hamilton Road.

Smoke's Hungry Heart (Boss) - Tom Tracy, Jr.
Linvel's Apple Dumplin (Dump) - John Kline

Boss and Dump were away toward the lake where both were seen intermittently as the gallery began the slow turn to the east. Dump consistently did a nice job forward on line casts that had him far to the front as Boss was a bit more stubborn and a handful at times over the 45 minutes. Both dogs were bird less in their time down.

Julry's Gem Dealer (Dealer) -- Tom Tracy, Jr.
Major Payne (Bobo) - James Doherty

Dealer and Bobo were away on course 1 showing nicely before the woods cut. Dealer was seen again at 5 streaking west and it would be the last time we saw him until Tom asked for the tracking receiver at 35. Bobo had everyone paying attention as he handled the early portions of the course with eye-catching appeal. Out of pocket from 10-20 his scout found him standing in the Suttle Place pine mott on a big covey that sailed west as James flushed. From that point until the end, he hunted all the likely spots digging in and shortening a bit.

Lobo's MicroDash (Dash) - Rob Rohner
Keystone's Part of The Plan (Annie) - Ben Lorenson

Dash and Annie shot away from the tractor shed to an island of cover near the Sedgefield fence. Rob had his hands full with Dash as he hung onto him over the first 20 minutes as we turned back west but at that point he had vanished and was not recovered until the end. Meanwhile, Annie had made showy casts that brought her to the front as we neared Safford Road. As we crested the hill, she was being put in a harness with a foot injury that had her on three feet.

Walker's Gunner (Kid) - Ben Lorenson
Lobo's Kodiak Cody (Cody) - Kent Patterson

Released from the well pasture, these two were throwing finds and casts like two heavyweights in Vegas. Cody made the first move as he blasted west up a line toward "Camp No Sleep" with Kid streaking east around the left edge of the pasture. At 17, Judge Kitchens spotted Cody below "Camp No Sleep" standing stylishly as birds were flushed with all manners in order. Both dogs were together going south and seen far to the front with Ben working hard to get Kid turned toward the tractor shed. As we came over the hill headed toward the Sedgefield alley, Cody was seen on a deep cast far to the front behind the tractor shed that brought him to the tree line parallel to Safford Road. At 25, point was called for Kid on a covey below the tractor shed as Cody was racing north through the Sedgefield Alley popping out and crossing over to Hamilton Road as Ben and Kid regained the front. Taken down the hill toward the well pasture both dogs were on the right feed strip edge with Cody showing first on the far end as we crossed Safford Road. At 43, Cody was standing with birds well located on a tree line below the lake. At 45, Kid was standing in cover near the hay bales with manners in order. Cody had been out of pocket since his last find but was finally seen flashing down a line toward Safford Road to end the brace.

Jake's War-Paint Brat (Brat) - Tom Tracy, Jr.
MoKan Razzle Dazzle (Razzie) - Rob Rohner

These two sprang away from the hay bales below the lake and were a handful early as we traversed the side hill and turned toward the Suttle Place. Brat had an extended absence from 10-25 and had to be recovered from deep on course 1 as Razzie was found standing below the saw-tooth oaks. Rob flushed and relocated her but no game was moved so we cast toward Safford Road. At 38, Brat was seen on the far edge of course 1 going back with Tommy riding hard to get her turned. Razzie made big moves up to Safford Road and finished in tighter country below the well pasture. Neither dog was credited with bird work.

Day 2

Clear skies and warmer with temps in the 40's for those gathered this morning.

TJ's Apache (Bandit) - Jim John
Cooper's Ozark Traveler (Coop) - Rob Rohner

Bandit broke hard left into the large open space while Cooper shot down the fence line along the horse pasture. At 8, Cooper was seen through the woods cut on the right side with Bandit having not been seen since breakaway. Bandit was recovered at 14 and we had both dogs and handlers as we turned behind the Suttle Place. Bandit made an impressive cast to the right that punched him out to the front as Cooper was in heavier cover to the west. On the backside of the lake, Cooper began to make game with birds lifting and he didn't hit the brakes soon enough to remain in contention. The remainder of Bandit's time kept the scout busy as he was stretching the course.

Cochief (Chief) - Kent Patterson
Pal's Southern Yankee (Yankee) - Bob Youngs

Both dogs were together down a line to the left from the gap at the tractor shed and then crossed to the big island of cover near Sedgefield. Yankee was the first to return on a line in front as we headed down the hill, with Chief coming through the tree line near the bottom of the hill. Yankee showed well going west up a feed strip back toward Hamilton Road as Chief was out of pocket but recovered at 20 from deep in the well pasture. Chief was on the right edge and collected at the top of the hill while Yankee had made a cast back down toward the Sedgefield gate with Bob working to get him back. Chief was standing at 29 in Egyptian wheat below the lake but no game was produced as we headed toward the Suttle Place. Point was called for Yankee at 31, deep on course 1 with all manners in order. Chief made big swings through the Suttle Place and both dogs finished in the Suttle 40 near Safford Road.

Country Road's Navigator (Andy) - Julianne Stout
Renegade's Double Trouble (Bud) - Bob Youngs

Both dogs were cast from Safford Road across the well pasture taking the right edge to the tree-line gap with Trouble the wider. Andy was handling kindly and hunting the likely cover as we crossed below "Camp No Sleep, No Rest". Trouble was recovered near the tractor shed as Andy was moving down the tree line on the right of the course. We entered the Sedgefield Alley and watched as Andy styled up on a large covey down the right side of the course with Julianne flushing and all manners in order. Trouble had taken the upper side of the course and we had both handlers together as we headed toward Hamilton Road. At 35, Andy's scout called point for him as a hard charging covey went toward the lake while Bob was working hard to get Trouble back on course from a cast across Safford Road. At 39, Andy pinned another single with style as Trouble was back up the hill standing birds as well. The brace ended back at the well pasture.

Diamond Hill Dan (Dan) - John Kline
OrthoAcres Goldberg (Goldberg) - Tom Tracy, Jr.

From time to time, one will see performances that are amazing and unfortunately for Goldberg he was with a veteran that on this day put down the finest 45-minute all-age performance this reporter has seen in a brittany. In summary, Dan was put down on course 4 but he chose course 1 to display his skills. From the different vantage points afforded on course 4, John would sing and Dan could be seen the entire brace at ¼ mile distances hunting the long lines of cover. He did not simply run the limits of course 1; he ran the limits of the property and was but a dot the entire time. His only mark being a nonproductive near Safford Road at the end of the brace. At 28, Goldberg was standing on the backside of the Suttle Place with Tommy flushing a large covey and credited with another find at 40 as both dogs finished below the well pasture.

Breeze County Clyde (Clyde) - John Kline
Lea's Running Jay Hawk (Jake) - Rob Rohner

Clyde and Jake streaked down the line along the horse pasture with Jake crossing over to a line to the west. Point was called at 6 with Jake standing a nice covey below the hog barn. At 8, John pointed out Clyde as he streaked north and it would be last we saw of him until near the lake at 21. Jake was a picture of consistency through middle portion of the brace, always forward, and moving well as we had both dogs across Safford Road at the Sedgefield gate. Clyde was careful as he pinned birds at 41 along Safford Road while Jake was finishing on a huge cast to the front below the tractor shed.

Bo's Lightning Bismark (Bismark) - Bo Ackerman
Chikamin's Double Trouble (Skip) - Bob Youngs

It didn't take long for this one to get started as Bismark shot right from breakaway and was standing at 1 with birds lifting as Bo approached. Both dogs continued down the line below the tractor shed and crossed to an island of cover as we headed down the hill toward the well pasture. At 20, Bismark had a covey pinned in cover below Hamilton Road with Bo flushing birds across the tree line. Skip's bid ended here as he failed to back. At 32, Bismark was stopped along Hamilton Road with an extended flushing and relocation effort producing a bird from the tree line on the opposite side of the road. Taken on, he moved well down the hill toward the Suttle Place and was absent as we waited in the big pasture. Scout found him standing near the saw tooth oaks with a big covey well located in a strip of broom sedge with all manners in place at flush and shot. Bismark finished his time near the Suttle 40.

Breton's Blazin Tough Co-Dee (Co-Dee) - Jim John
Linvel's Blazin SunSpot (Spot) - John Kline

We were away at 3:15 pm at the Well Pasture. Spot stayed right with Cody crossing diagonally with the gallery. Scout found Spot standing at 8 with John flushing a nice covey as Spot maintained excellent style. Co-Dee had been staying in touch and working the cover as we had both handlers together at 15 as Spot sailed over the hill near the tractor shed while Co-Dee was having trouble getting lined out. At 26, we were in the Sedgefield alley having not seen Spot since 15 and Jim electing to pickup at 29. We continued until 38 when John asked for the tracking receiver.

Locar's Double or Nothing (Clark) - Tom Tracy, Jr.
Johnson II - Vance Schlenker

Clark and Johnson were released in the Suttle 40 as we headed west toward the lake with Clark on the left and Johnson on the right down a strip of corn. Both dogs went back down course 2 for a bit but were collected at the big oak and sent up the hill. Clark showed well on the left edge as Johnson worked a feed strip on the right. Johnson worked the backside of the tree line as we headed down the hill toward the Suttle Place. Both made big moves deep on course 1 with Vance calling point for Johnson at 29. He was standing with his typical high style with all manners in order at flush and shot. Clark had continued his cast and was rewarded at 31 with a covey find. Johnson was again standing at 32 in the pine thicket with an extended flush producing no game, Vance electing to take him on. Both dogs were together back to Safford Road with a divided find at 41. Both finished below the well pasture.

Day 3

Gray skies and a stiff north wind greeted trialers this morning as a front had pushed through overnight.

Blaze Dakota Trucker (Trucker) - Rob Rohner
Boot's Tough Enough (Tuffy) - CM Mitchell

Both dogs were at similar range as they went through the woods cut and rimmed the right edge behind the hog barn. At 11, Tuffy had a stop to flush on a bird that left cover on the right side of the course. Rob called point for Trucker on a feed strip where he flushed for some time and elected to move him up….he took 3 steps and froze….Rob kicked birds that stuck tight during all the commotion. At 16, Tuffy had a barren stand behind the Suttle Place while Trucker had rimmed the field to the right and was found standing a covey near a feeder with all manners in order at flush and shot. As Tuffy was catching up she pointed some of the birds that Rob had flushed for Trucker with all manners in order. Trucker began to stretch the course as we went behind the lake with Tuffy shortening. Trucker had to be recovered from back on course 1 to end the brace.

Piney Run Sam (Sam) - Ben Lorenson
It's Great To Be Me (Toby) - Jim Hoyer

We released both dogs to the south from below the tractor shed as both dogs took some time to get oriented and lined out over to cover on the Sedgefield fence. As we turned east and headed down the hill both dogs were rimming an island where Sam stopped and Toby didn't as birds lifted from cover. Sam continued with nice casts along edges as the course turns back toward Hamilton Road. He was standing at 14 on a covey with all manners in order as Ben flushed and shot. We continued down the hill below the lake where he was out of pocket for some time back on course 1. Recovered, he shot toward the Suttle 40 where he was found standing will all manners in order to end the brace.

So Fun Dragon (Dragon) - Jim Hoyer
Make My Day Dude (Dude) - Jim John

They were side by side and racing from breakaway at the well pasture taking the right edge and showing down a line in front of the gallery. Both worked hard up through "Camp No Sleep, No Rest" where Dude took a line on the left with Jim working hard to get him out as we turned north. Red had been at moderate range as he worked the right side of the course. Both moved fluidly through the Sedgefield Alley were Dude went on point and Red backed nicely on the far end. No birds were moved and we rode through a gap toward Hamilton Road, where the scene was repeated with Dude pointing and Red backing. Relocated, Dude went 30 yards and pinned birds that Jim kicked out of the broom sedge cover. Jim waved off a point for Red at 35 as we headed down the hill toward the Well Pasture. The brace ended with both dogs down the right side of course.

The Prairie Tornado (Twister) - Jim John
Hi Scor Jac D Ruffian (Hank) - Ben Lorenson

Twister stayed left from breakaway with Hank starting left and then crossing over to the right side at 4 where he was stood a single that was lingering near the big oak. Cast away toward the lake, the judges road-up birds that flushed out over the dogs with Hank stopping on the right side of the course as he saw a bird land. Ben arrived, flushed for some time then fired. Upon release, Hank was standing at 8 on birds that were lounging in cover below the hay bales. Twister had not seen any of the action and had continued up and over the side-hill of the lake requiring Ben and Hank to ride hard to catch the front as we headed toward the Suttle Place. Twister made an ambitious cast to the west requiring some work on Jim's part to get him turned as Hank disappeared into the pine thicket. Both dogs were recovered as we rode toward the gap where Hank got out of pocket back up near course 4. Twister finished at moderate range below the well pasture as Hank was brought down the road and back to the course at time.

Hanging Jaze Howleluya (Luke) - Rob Rohner
Shambo's Dark Shadow (Shadow) - Jim John

Luke and Shadow were together to the woods cut where Shadow showed well going west up a line toward the Suttle Place. Luke stayed right and we had both dogs on the line behind the hog barn. Both dogs were on the extreme westward edge of the Suttle place field as the gallery rode south toward the lake. At 25, Shadow was found standing on a bank with birds below as Luke came in and stopped once he recognized the situation. Jim flushed birds with all manners in order and both dogs were released toward the lake. Both were moving ambitiously as we crossed Safford Road. Jim called point for Shadow at 36 as he stood birds that were seen running on the Sedgefield property. Luke was in the area and moving on the same birds farther down the fence line until he circled and pinned them. Jim fired and both dogs were cast toward Hamilton Road. Both dogs were standing on opposite sides of cover along Hamilton Road at 43 with both handlers firing on mannerly dogs. Both were cast away and immediately caught to end the brace.

Pineywood Sam (Sam) - Dick Krause
Red's Dust Buster (Buster) - Bob Youngs

Sam was the first to show from the tree line on the left as we cast away from the tractor shed as Buster crossed to an island of cover near the Sedgefield fence. Both dogs managed the first 15 minutes in fine fashion as we went east toward the well pasture and we made the big loop back toward Hamilton Road. Buster got on the far right line and was heading the wrong direction as Bob worked hard to get him turned. Meanwhile, Sam was making a showy cast along cover paralleling Safford Road. Sam's cast took him to a tree line where he was found standing deep in cover with Dick flushing birds down the line. Buster was stopped at 23 near Hamilton Road with Bob flushing birds to cover below the road with all manners in order. Released, Buster streaked toward Safford Road where he stopped in area that had been holding running birds all week. Bob's flushing attempt was a length event with several relocation that finally pinned birds down the line. Dick and Sam were 15 minutes ahead at this point with Dick electing to pickup at the Suttle Place as Sam was not pleasing his handler. Buster moved well back to Safford Road as the brace ended.

Home Acres Tradition (Jack)- Bob Youngs
Piney Run Dot (Dot) -- Ben Lorenson

Both dogs stayed on the high ground around the right edge of the well pasture then took the cut and headed west. At 5, scout found Jack standing along the creek with Bob flushing over a wide area to no avail. A relocation didn't produce and Bob road hard to catch the front as Dot was making eye-catching casts along edges toward the Sedgefield Alley. On the hill near the tractor shed, Bob did not have his dog as he road east to round him up. As he was bringing him to the front he stopped on birds near a feeder with all manners in order. Dot had a non-productive along the Sedgefield Alley and showed well through the Suttle Place portion of the course. She finished with two nice finds at 40 and 45 in the Suttle 40 with excellent style and manners.

Joker's Our Gang Alfalfa (Alf) - Jim John
Shady's Koala-T (Miss T) - Ben Lorenson

We broke away from the hay bales and crossed below the lake with both dogs moving well where Alf made a deep cast east while Miss T went far to the west along the limits of course 1. At 20, Miss T was stopped but the flush and relocation did not produce birds. Both handlers were together as we had dogs springing toward Safford Road where Miss T was found standing at 38 and Ben flushing birds for a bank on the opposite side of the creek. The course tightens as we finish the brace below the well pasture with no bird work to Alf's credit and Miss T having a non-productive at time.

Gilbert's Tiger Kat (Kat) - John Kline
Smart Eyes Joker (Jordan) - Jim John

Both dogs were out in the field on the left and gathered up as we headed to the woods cut with John waving off a point at 3 behind the hog barn. At 7, both dogs were standing in cover near a feeder with Jim kicking birds up and both handlers firing. Upon release, Kat went to the north side of the course and was out of pocket until his return at 20 in the Suttle Place field. Jordan made a deep cast to the west that put him in the right place to show well below the lake. As Kat moved down a feed strip at 24, he spun and stood displaying his "Beans Blaze" heritage that makes it hard to take your eyes off a dog that looks this good on his game. John flushed and fired, as Kat remained a statue. Both dogs went west on Safford Road with both handlers working hard to get them back. Jordan came out first with John using up the remainder of his time getting Kat back just as time expired.

Eight dogs were called back from the qualifying series. The TriTronics Upland special Training collar was awarded to the Top Qualifier, Lobo's Kodiak Cody owned and handled by Kent D. Patterson.

Championship Series

Hot Roddin Howie (Howie) - Ben Lorenson
Lobo's Kodiak Cody (Cody) - Kent Patterson

Cody and Howie were away at 8:07 along the horse pasture fence under gray skies and sprinkling rain with temperatures hovering around 50. Both shot straight away and side by side to the far end of the field where Cody banked left and made an eye-catching cast to the west. Howie showed on the right side of the woods cut as both handlers rode out in the field to catch a glimpse of dogs as they headed north behind the hog barn. At 20, Cody was seen on an edge behind the Suttle Place as Howie was on an extended absence to the south. At 24, point is called for Howie as he stood with manners on a tree-line edge near the Suttle place. At 26, Cody returned from his cast around the Suttle Place and made a deep move down a tight finger where he was seen crossing the far end and headed on course. At 35, Cody had not been recovered from his last cast as we rode behind the lake. Howie continued to move at moderate range and stood birds at 37and 45 near the tractor shed. The last covey of which Ben flushed them down the tree line to the east with Howie giving signs he wanted to go with them. At 51, Howie's scout was shouting point from a tree-line near "Camp No Sleep, No Rest" and the subtle signals from the previous find were displayed as Howie chased with gusto and the brace ended with Cody having never been recovered from the half way mark.

Lea's Running Jayhawk (Jake) - Rob Rohner
Chancey Jackpot Lotto (Chance) - Tom Tracy, Jr

We were away from the lake under clearing skies and both dogs broke hard right to a tree line that runs down the hill toward the Suttle Place. Both handlers worked hard over the first 15 minutes to get them back on course as the judges and gallery waited at the bottom of the hill. Chance was the first to return and crossed over to the pine thicket at the Suttle Place and was gone for another extended period until Tom found him standing under the canopy of pines at 35. The initial flushing attempt didn't produce and Tom moved him up. He searched wide in the area and a bird lifted on the far edge as he stopped while the gallery rode up a bird back in the area where he was originally found standing. Tom fired and we headed toward Safford Road. Jake had been recovered and brought on course at 20 where he made a deep cast down on the margins of course 1 where Rob and scout worked hard to get him turned and headed toward Safford Road. Meanwhile, the search for Chance was back in play, as he had not been seen from his cast from the Suttle Place. The scout found him standing in the Suttle 40 and performed as handler since Tom was to the east looking for his charge. All manners were in order and we had both dogs and handlers together as we cross the Well Pasture. Both dogs finished south of "Camp No Sleep, No Rest" with Chance on an extended cast to the left and Jake on the right.

Shambo's Dark Shadow (Shadow) Jim John
Walker's Gunner (Kid) - Ben Lorenson

See "Winners" above.

Hanging Jaze Howleluya (Luke) - Rob Rohner
Diamond Hill Dan (Dan) - John Kline

After a leisurely lunch, both handlers hit their whistles at 1:05 with the last brace of the trial. Both dogs shot straight down the course and were seen at the woods cut. At 13, Dan was standing with excellent style and manners on a finger of cover below the hog barn as John flushed birds to the east. Dan was released and shot south toward the Suttle Place as the course and gallery moved west. Luke was seen briefly as we came through the cut and was out of pocket until 25 as we neared the lake while Dan had not been seen since his release at 13. Luke crossed in front and over the hill behind the lake as both handlers and scouts were working hard to dogs in touch. At 50, we reached Hamilton Road without either dog and waited as all searches continued. The hour ended with both dogs out of pocket and the gallery headed back to the pavilion for the announcement of the winners.

The winds of change are blowing. Taking all "comers", looking for excellence, looking for your dog! Mark your calendars and plan to join us in February 2003 near the small, white, weathered sign welcoming the return of the American Brittany to the "Land of Milk and Honey".

Alberta, Al., February 9-13
Judges: Dennis Hood and John Henry Kitchens
Deep South Brittany Free-For-All Championship
[45 min qualifying heat] [1 hr championship heat]
50 Brittanys

Winner---Shambo's Dark Shadow, Brittany Male
by Cam Sham's Shambozo
X Starr's Aapricot Lulu; o Phillip Dangerfield, h Jim John
Runner-Up - Walker's Gunner, Brittany Male, by Chikamin's Mr. Walker X
Rimini's Blaze'n Chick; o Jerry Kendrick, h Ben Lorenson