2004 Deep South Brittany
Free-For-All Championship

By Kent D. Patterson

He was born in Dallas county Alabama….before e-collars, tracking collars, or 4 wheelers. His first job, opening the main gate for guests. Always, watching, listening, and learning. In the beginning, he helped by sneaking out of the one room schoolhouse whenever Mr. Holloway would ride up to the window and distract the teacher long enough for him to escape and crawl up the opposite side of the horse under the big hunting coat. They would work dogs with his responsibilities being keeping the horse close to the action and marking singles. As he matured, he learned from "Mr. Clyde", who learned from Mr. Shelley. He always started the puppies, handled the yard work and created a bond that allowed him to read dogs as if reaching into their souls. They would do things for him that no one else could comprehend much less accomplish. That special group of dogs genetically predisposed to endurance and bird finding, qualities paramount in the long-term goals of the owner. Training in a time when Mother Nature provided a classroom replete with wild birds, he had little formal education yet held a PhD in winning. A supreme horseman that could slip through the country in ghost-like fashion, he could track his dogs by their footprint knowing most major trial grounds like the back of his hand….each fence, creek crossing and covey haunt. He could squall and turn a dog a ¼ mile deep or quietly heel one a country mile to regain the front. He was part of a team that produced 13 National Champions, 19 Free-For-All Champions, 11 National Futurity Champions, and 10 Quail Futurity winners. The competition had no answer for Ben "Man" Rand, Jr.

Across the road from Tara Hill Plantation, Julia Mae Rand resides on 40 acres. The pictures and memories of her husband, field trial's greatest scout, filling the house with dogs, people and events that shaped their life. The highest honor coming in 1991, as Man became the first full time scout inducted into the Field Trial Hall of Fame. Born in 1917 on Mr. A.G.C. Sage's Sedgefield Plantation, the birthplace of the Free-For-All format, their focus was on the endurance dog. The canine athlete having that rare combination of brains, speed, style, and bottom… a supreme bird dog. Standards that transcend time and today form the foundation for the Deep South Brittany Free-For-All Championship. In this the 5th year of this championship, there are camp conversations dramatic in their impact. Conversations of breeding dogs specifically for winning this event…. conversations describing the qualities needed to be competitive at Tara Hill….conversations leading to one unmistakable fact…. this event is becoming a major influence in creating a better American Brittany. An event that causes people to work harder, breed selectively, and test rigorously. For those that saw the 2004 champion and runner-up, there should be no doubt as to direction of this championship and the type performance needed to win it all. It is not for the faint of heart, you better have good ones, good horses, a solid plan and a smooth buckeye in your pocket to cover all the stuff you can't or don't know about. The little white sign gets a bit more weathered each year but the Land of Milk and Honey can send you limping home rethinking your program in a serious way. As always, we invite you down to test your program and enjoy the Southern hospitality.

We always enjoy our time with our gracious hosts, Alva and Katherine Caine. Both were present along with son, William and daughter-in-law to be, Kelly Rigland. Family friends Brook and Tonya Jordan from South Africa enjoyed the festivities as everyone celebrated Katherine's birthday with the perfect meal, steaks and chocolate. The meal was compliments of James and Betty Doherty with James donning the chef's role and Betty coordinating everything in the house. The Tara Hill amenities improve each year and everyone in attendance enjoyed the spacious parking, corrals, and electrical hookups. The judges have all the space they need at the "big barn" and Ms Johnson always has the traditional Southern lunches ready for the hungry morning riders. As usual, Dan had the dog wagon in the right place throughout the championship with Alva ever present with the horse trailer for anyone wanting to avoid the ride to the house or put a fresh horse on for later in the day. Kenny Bramlett's generosity allows for use of his lease for a continuous course championship.

Mike Allison of Hurtsboro, Al and Jim Cole of Pensacola, FL looked over the field in 2004. Both men are veteran handlers, owners, and trainers. They were a pleasure to ride with all week. Each handler received their undivided attention as they pointed out dogs in both series of the championship. They used the Deep South standard as written and brought back dogs conforming to that standard. Mike is a soft-spoken gentleman with a wealth of dog and horse knowledge. His roots are in the Bill West training methods with a reputation for building a solid foundation under a dog that allows them to learn how to handle game properly. You better show him a dog that is stylish, confident, and focused. His wife, Karoleigh, is well known to American Field readers being a respected contributor of articles over the years. Jim Cole has trialed dogs in the South for nearly 2 decades. He has owned and seen his share of champions and is not likely fooled by pretenders. As Manager of Seldom Seen Plantation, Jim has worked diligently with the Florida legislature to demonstrate the benefits of a longer hunting season, as well as, increased hunter safety in the shooting preserve industry.

Each year, the Deep South Brittany Championship Association continues to improve the way in which this championship is conducted. The list of jobs and sponsors is lengthy but the core group of James & Betty Doherty, Richard Krause, Vance and Leah Schlenker, Bo and Renea Ackerman make everything work. Warren Montgomery and Nutro have been there since day one as a major sponsor. The champion receives $1200 cash, a Tracker Supra from Fred Cohen of Trail Blazin Innovations (TBI) and the engraved trooper style saddle from Jack Haggis Saddlery. The Runner-up receives $800 cash. Tri-Tronics provides the top qualifier with a 500 series training collar and all dogs called back for the championship series receive a $50 check.

We welcomed pro trainers John and Sharon Kline, Tom Tracy, Ben Lorenson, Rob Rohner, and Jim John. Amateur's running dogs included Dick Krause, James Doherty, Hans Borgeman, Kent Patterson, and Vance Schlenker. We enjoyed first time attendees Paul Pollock and Hans Borgeman, along with returnees Linda Zartarian and Dennis Harcom.

The Winners:

The Champion and Runner-Up were in the same brace. With Roy's early stand at 2 the field trial parties were separated and never rejoined. The following is an accounting of the finest championship hour in the history of this event.

Chancey Jackpot Lotto, owned by Vic Williams and Joyce Roberts of Cumming Ga, is a big strong dog that can cover ground with the best of them. Under the tutelage of professional Tom Tracy, Chance has been steadily rising through the ranks of competitors over the past two years. His effort at Tara Hill was the most impressive championship performance in the history of this event, the 2nd most impressive being his bracemate. From his release at Tara Hill, it was obvious he was dialed in. With his speed and dimension, he was only seen twice in the first quarter of the brace, but both times he was right where he should be ….dead on course. The 2nd glimpse was him standing proud on a tree line behind the Suttle 40 with birds right in front. Upon release, he went deep to the eastern edge of the course, smoked the fence line behind the Caine home place and crossed to Tommy at Safford Road where he rimmed the lower end of the well pasture. He disappeared out the front at the Camp No Sleep gate and was found standing on the Hamilton Knoll in picturesque style as Tommy scattered birds into a setting sun. He was glued to the bottom edge of the Sedgefield Chute and found some 7 minutes later on the hard flying Hamilton Road covey. He sailed parallel to Safford Road over the last 10 minutes looking as if he had been just turned loose. A veteran of this event riding in the gallery whispered, "Since the inception of this event, I've been waiting 5 years to see that kind of performance in the Championship series".

Just Call Me Roy seems like a rather unassuming name for young dog that has been knocking on the door of major wins all year long. Tom Ettinger bred his female, Mark's Pride of Savannah to Tom and Martha Greenlee's National Amateur Champion, Piney Run Sam, resulting in a big, powerful bird dog with a deceptively fast ground-eating stride. He started with the stand at 2, with only a rabbit being moved but upon release was much like a turbo-diesel coming up to speed, it just kept getting bigger and stronger as he went to the far western edge of the course pinning the limestone gully covey at 13. Seen far to the front on a windy day where the gallery couldn't hear the handler singing made it all the more impressive as he made swing after swing to the front end. He rimmed the creek edge leading to Safford Road and spun hard as he nailed a covey hiding on the bank. Ben did the honors. The well pasture cast was of particular note, as he was seen streaking 2 tree-lines over, his white body glistening in the afternoon sun. Continually showing to the front with little handling or scouting, you got the feeling the dog was showing off much like a true champion toys with lesser foes. Through the Hamilton pasture and into the Sedgefield Chute, he was standing on the upper edge as the judge and gallery pointed him out. Ben was in a low spot on the bottom edge of the course and could not see him. The judge saw birds lift as we were riding to him with Ben firing to end the hour. Another veteran of the Deep South Brittany Free-For-All was overheard saying. "That is the finest performance I've seen at this event in 5 years".

The Running

32 Dogs were entered in the preliminary series begun on Tuesday, Feb 3rd. We were
greeted with breezy broken cloud morning with a temperature hovering at 40 degrees.

Brace 1:
Lobo's Kodiak Cody (Kent Patterson)/ Hi-Proof Whizky (Ben Lorenson) Both dogs showed briefly at the woods cut and promptly disappeared to the front as the large gallery rode north. At 9, Cody was standing near the hogpen on what would become known as the "Trash Pile" covey. Excellent style and manners were in order. Whizy was seen south of the course at 15 headed west. Cody's scout called point at 20, with a covey well located near the lost pasture. Released, he hunted the western edge of the big broom sedge field and was stood a skittish covey at the limestone gully. Whisky's dimension had been building over the 1st half of the hour and the string broke at the halfway mark. Cody was seen along the Sedgefield fence at 35, out of pocket for 10 minutes or so before being recovered near Hamilton road, to finish the brace.

Brace 2:
Chancey JackPot Lotto (Tom Tracy)/Diamond Hill Dan (John Kline) We broke away in the Hamilton pasture headed south as both of these strong all-age dogs went deep into the country before swinging behind the pine island. The casts found Dan standing a covey on the north edge of island with perfect manners and Chance some 40 yards deeper on a separate covey. Upon release, both shot to a northeastern tree line that had them standing side by side at 15 with both handlers firing. Both made showy casts along the well pasture with Dan popping out along Safford Road leading to a picturesque covey find on a finger of cover. Both started showing their wheels over the remainder of the brace with Chance being out of pocket to 30 and recovered short of the Suttle 40 as Dan was strolling the eastern perimeter of the property.

Brace 3:
Pistol Pack'N Walker (Ben Lorenson)/ Linvel's Apple Dumplin (John Kline) We diagonally traversed the well pasture with Gator on the northern edge and Dump to the south. Both dogs were directionally challenged early as both handlers worked hard to get them on course. Both got lined out at Camp No Sleep with Dump rimming the northern edge of the course where he swapped ends. Gator had come across to the same tree line and was pulled back to the find as the gallery rode to Dump. He did a nice job of backing once he saw his bracemate. Upon release, both dogs were seen intermittently through the Sedgefield Chute with Dump get behind briefly and Gator being out of pocket to Hamilton Road. Both finished at the well pasture fence.

Brace 4:
Keystone's White Label (Ben Lorenson)/ TJ's Busting Loose (Jim John) We broke away in the Suttle 40 with Hank going to the western corner and crossing at the Big Oak. Buster took the northern edge at moderate range as we turned toward the lake. Hank was seen on a distant tree line with Ben pulling him through to the bottleneck as we had both dogs up the hill to the lake. Hank took a wide sweep behind the lake that took some work by the scout to get him back on course as Buster was hunting logical objectives. Buster was pointing in sparse cover at 16 below the lake, no birds were moved and he was taken on. Hank was flashy but a handful in the big broom sedge field as he streaked east in the waning moments of the brace. Buster had pointed at 42 on the backside of the Suttle 40 and was on relocation as the brace ended.

Brace 5:
Tequila Jack II (Jim John)/Ortho Acres Booker-T (Tom Tracy) Both dogs were excited to be loose and showed their wheels early as they raced down the fence line toward the woods edge. Jack made a nice cast to the saw-tooth oaks as Booker was out of pocket early. At the Tower of Power, we had both dogs back as Booker rimmed the northern edge of the big bean field. Booker's dimension was continuing to build making it harder and harder to stay connected with the handler. He was gone for good at 35. Jack was out of pocket for a bit near the lake and finished at moderate range down the Sedgefield fence.

Brace 6:
Johnson II (Vance Schlenker)/ Smarteyes Joker (Jim John) Both dogs left the Hamilton home-place in quick fashion as the explored the large space to the south. The handlers brought them through the pine island in good fashion where Johnson disappeared through a gap in a tree line to the east. Point was called for Johnson found standing with exquisite style at 10. All manners were in order. Both dogs did a nice job on edges along the well pasture and swung west as the course heads toward Hamilton Road. Johnson styled up at 18 at the end of a tree line, as Jordan didn't hit the brakes quick enough to stay down. Vance scattered a nice covey with Johnson posing for the gallery. A non-productive at 22 and another hard flying covey find at 30 got Johnson across Safford Road where he made flashy casts down the hill, through the big broom sedge field, and to the back side of the Suttle 40 to end the brace.

Brace 7:
Mr. B's Delta Dude (Hans Borgeman)/Nuf CED Herb Score (Tom Tracy) Herb and Dude were away from the red clay of Safford Road into the black soil of the well pasture as the slogging of horses drowned out singing handlers. Dude made a nice cast to the east and swung to the front with Herb disappearing in a tree line to the south. At 15, Herb's scout could be heard in the distance calling point. Tommy flushed and relocated a number of times but couldn't produce. Dude was in and out of pocket through Camp No Sleep with Herb pinning a pair of birds in a small island of cover, all manners in order. Both dogs were at moderate range and a bit bullish through the Sedgefield Chute with Dude going back on Hans near Safford Road and pulling Herb with him. Tommy recovered Herb for the remainder of the brace but Dude was gone.

Brace 8:
MoKan Razzle Dazzle (Rob Rohner)/ Brenton's Castle Rocket (Jim John) Both dogs were throwing mud as they left the Suttle 40 and streaked around the big oak as the gallery rode toward the lake. Razzie was starting to hit overdrive with extreme speed and range as Rocket was working cover to the south. Both dogs came through the bottleneck in fine fashion with Razzie pointing and Rocket backing on a tree line below the lake at 20. Rob put up a big covey as Rocket elected to get a closer look with Razzie holding up under the pressure of the chase. Upon release, she had the turbo whistling on big, wide swings through the broom sedge field leading to a smoking cast on the eastern edge of course 1. She finished with strength along Safford Road.

Day 2

29 degrees and broken cloud sky greeted the early risers gathered on Safford Road.

Brace 9:
Pineywoods Samiam (Dick Krause)/ Clyde's Micro Breeze (John Kline) Sam and Mike were wide and seldom seen over the first 10 minutes with Sam showing at the hog pen and Mike returning briefly at the first feeder, only to be gone again until the big sedge field. Sam rimmed the fields to the north of the course and was standing near the lost pasture at 20 on what turned out to be a nonproductive. Mike was seen briefly as we turned toward the lake and was not under judgment at the end of the brace. Sam had a strong, flashy, and forward ground race throughout.

Brace 10:
Cooper's Ozark Traveler (James Doherty)/Dakota Shakedown (Rob Rohner) Cooper and Tiger used all the space below the Hamilton Place as they went long down a tree line to the Sedgefield fence. It would be the last we would see of Tiger. Cooper made the inside edge turn and was recovered near Camp No Sleep where he took the western edge of a tree line toward the well pasture and was rewarded with a stylish covey. Cooper was eye catching through the well pasture, out of pocket near Hamilton Road, but found to the front near Safford Road. He was strong over the remainder of the brace finishing near the Suttle 40.

Brace 11:
Breeze County Clyde (John Kline)/Lea's Running Jay Hawk (Rob Rohner) Clyde and Jake were loosed at the well pasture opening with Jake take the right edge and Clyde the left. Jake ducked through the first tree line opening and showed to the front farther down the line. Clyde was wide and in cover to the east of the well pasture. At 10, Jake pinned a small covey at the single pine below Camp No Sleep with excellent manners. The handlers got separated at this point with Jake being strong through Sedgefield chute, a find at Hamilton Road, and a nice finish down the hill. Clyde was recovered for the early cast and seen intermittently over the brace. He was wide to Hamilton Road, disappeared toward the well pasture and found standing a covey in an island of cover near Safford Road.

Brace 12;
Hot Roddin Howie (Ben Lorenson)/ Locar's Double or Nothing (Tom Tracy) Away from the Suttle 40 with the sun peaking through, Howie took the right, Clarky the left, as the gallery rode diagonally to the big oak. Howie was standing with style at 4 on feeding birds in sparse cover. Ben sent them east as we had both dogs making nice moves through the bottleneck to the lake. Both traversed the lake hill in fine fashion. We turned down toward the big sedge field with Clarky being wide on course 1 as Howie was standing at 30 on birds that had already left the area. Clarky continued his wide swing and showed below the saw tooth oaks. Howie pinned a running bird below the Suttle 40 with excellent manners. Clarky stopped farther down the tree line and multiple relocations didn't produce any game. Both finished nicely at Safford Road.

Brace 13:
Royal Trace of Kid (Ben Lorenson)/ Brenton's Tough Co-Dee (Jim John) The first brace after a wonderful noon meal was brief. Trace decided the kildee's in the breakaway field were to his liking and they tortured him for quiet some time before Ben got his hands on him and waved to the judges. Codee seemed to miss the excitement and his bracemate as he was at moderate range over the first 10 minutes. He pointed in a plowed field near the hog pen with Jim not moving any game. A sticky relocation didn't improve the scenario so he elected to pickup.

Brace 14:
TJ's Apache (Jim John)/ Dakota Alley Cat (Rob Rohner) We release dogs at the coach's trailer and they explored the open space to the west with Bandit the first to return near from the saw-tooth oaks. Tiger remained unseen to 7 where he returned near the big sedge field and both dogs were strong and forward to the lake. We crossed Safford Road where Tiger managed to get through the Sedgefield Gate making it extremely difficult for his handler to continue. The party split at that point with Bandit continuing below the lake with consistent forward moves that were well timed and flashy. He went birdless but did a nice job over his time on the ground. Tiger was not returned to judgment from his journey on Sedgefields.

Brace 15:
Keystone's Double Shot (Ben Lorenson)/ Shambo's Dark Shadow (Jim John) We released both dogs into the Hamilton Pasture with both being forward to the far hill. Jim was slowly losing his voice and only using his whistle as Shadow got behind at the well pasture. Shooter blistered the well pasture line, showed far to the front, with Shadow being some 50 yards deeper and streaking up the Safford Road tree line. Shooter was standing at 25 with excellent manners as the course turns toward Hamilton Road. We had both dogs and handlers as we crossed Safford Road at the lake. A fallow deer was seen leaving the island of cover that splits the course; amazingly both dogs avoided the chase. We traversed the big sedge field with Shadow being down toward course 1 with Shooter flying down the southern edge of the space leading to back to back finds at 35 with the second requiring a lengthy effort from Ben. Both dogs finished well in the Suttle 40.

Brace 16:
The Prodigy (Kent Patterson)/Just Call Me Roy (Ben Lorenson) The well pasture provides a big open space for dogs wound up to get started and these two were coiled springs. Jim was a bit directionally challenged as Roy went to the far end of the field. Roy continued toward Camp No Sleep, as Jim was not seen until showing near the single pine. Roy was standing at 17 on a covey deep in a pine thicket with all manners in order. Both dogs were together on the western edge of the tree line leading to the Hamilton knoll, where Roy was standing with Jim backing on a pair of wary birds. Both continued with speed through the Sedgefield Chute where Jim cut the cast short to come across to the other dog. Kent elected to pick up. Roy continued a very strong race with a stop to flush at 40 and a wide finish to the well pasture.

The top qualifier from the initial series was Lea's Running Jay Hawk, owned by Bo and Renea Ackerman of Clermont, GA, handled by Rob Rohner of Plattsburg, MO.

The Championship Series

Ten dogs were called back :
Lea's Running Jay Hawk - Rob Rohner
Johnson II - Vance Schlenker
Just Call Me Roy - Ben Lorenson
Lobo's Kodiak Cody - Kent Patterson
Chancey Jackpot Lotto - Tom Tracy
Pineywoods Samiam - Richard Krause
Hot Roddin Howie - Ben Lorenson
Cooper's Ozark Traveler - James Doherty

Brace 1:
Diamond Hill Dan (John Kline)/ Keystone's White Label (Ben Lorenson) Dan and Hank were released behind the Caine home-place with John gathering Dan up from near Hwy 21 as Hank ran the eastern edge to the woods cut. Dan rimmed the cover to the hog pen and was found standing the "Trash Pile" covey at 10 with excellent style and manners. Hank continued to impress with forward and fast moves as we passed the "Tower of Power". John rode with confidence as Dan always showed to the front through the big sedge field where he was found standing below the new lake. A lengthy flush and relocation pinned birds running well out front. Hank made a big swing through cover at the limestone gully and popped out right where Dan was standing. He didn't hit the brakes in time and was done for the day. Upon release, Dan went over the hill toward the lake, hit a northbound line and was not recovered.

Brace 2:
Lobo's Kodiak Cody (Kent Patterson)/ Pineywoods Samiam (Richard Krause) Cody and Sam sailed down the hill from Tara Hill Lake and were just getting up to speed when Cody swapped ends on the eastern tree line. Kent put a large covey up with all manners in order. Cody was released at the base of the hill, hit a thick east-west tree line about 40 yds to the front and was not seen again for the remainder of the brace. Sam's hour continued with a flowing front-end effort through the big sedge field. He was flashy through the Suttle 40 up to Safford Road. He is a superbly gaited dog and showed well on the long edges of the well pasture and Camp No Sleep. On the Hamilton Knoll, he was working the northern edge when birds lifted and he was late on the brakes.

Brace 3:
Johnson II (Vance Schlenker)/ Cooper's Ozark Traveler (James Doherty) Johnson and Cooper were away in the Suttle 40 as we headed to the Big Oak. Both dogs were gathered up at the base of the hill and showed well through the bottleneck toward the lake where Cooper made a move down course 2 toward the island as Johnson traversed the side hill below the lake. Johnson began to open up as we hit the big sedge field making extended casts along the edges leading to the saw-tooth oaks. He was standing with his distinctive lofty style as Vance disturbed a covey hiding in the golden sedge grass. Upon release, he resumed his sweeping moves toward the hog pen. Cooper was reclaimed from his course 2 venture and was wide to the big sedge field where the scout's faint cry was hear on a tree line near the limestone gully. James put a nice covey airborne with Cooper staunch. As we exited the big sedge field, we had both handlers back together on the long tree line toward Safford Road. Both dogs were hunting the creek edge as we saw birds coming out with Cooper in pursuit to end his bid. Johnson was found standing, Vance fired and he finished the hour strongly near the well pasture.

Brace 4:
Hot Roddin Howie (Ben Lorenson)/ Lea's Running Jay Hawk (Rob Rohner) Howie and Jake were up in the 1st brace after lunch with both energetic in the early going. The fact that Jake was running at all was somewhat of a miracle as he and many other dogs in camp had be afflicted with a 24 hour virus that was going through most of the camp strings. Howie hadn't contracted the illness and was a handful. His race just kept getting bigger and bigger until the string broke at 20. Jake continued to drink water at every opportunity and seemed to feel better the deeper into the brace he went. He had a find below Hamilton Road with excellent manners. His second find was the find of the trial. While belly-deep in the creek drinking, he styled up, Rob kicked a piece of tin on the creek bank and a covey boiled out. He was getting stronger as we topped the Hamilton knoll, where he stood the ever- present covey to end the hour.

Brace 5:
Chancey Jackpot Lotto (Tom Tracy)/ Just Call Me Roy (Ben Lorenson) See previous summary.

The 2004 Deep South Brittany Free-For-All marks the 5th year of running. It has become one of the "majors" on the brittany American Field circuit. It is a championship on exquisite grounds revealing quality trial dogs. They must perform at a high level to move on to the championship series, where anything can happen. Congratulations to this years winners, they truly are champions.

Alberta, Al., February 3-6, 2004
Judges: Mike Allison and Jim Cole
Deep South Brittany Free-For-All Championship
[45 min qualifying heat] [1 hr championship heat]
32 Brittanys

Winner---Chancey Jackpot Lotto, Brittany Male, by Hired Gun Lucas
X Rooster's Little Bambino; Vic Williams & Joyce Roberts, h Tom Tracy

Runner-Up - Just Call Me Roy, Brittany Male, by Piney Run Sam X Mark's Pride of Savannah; o Tom Ettinger, h Ben Lorenson