Georgia Region Championships
13-14 March 2016
Gold and Grass Farm, Ball Ground, GA
Being so early in the year, we were hoping for some cool weather. It wasn't to be. The humidity and heat felt more like May, and the threat of severe rain on Sunday was hanging over our heads constantly. We qualified 48 dogs for the Regional this year. That's an outstanding number indicating the diversity of the Region, and we knew it would be a hard slog to get to the end- both for the dog and the handler.
We had a normal double trial on Friday, to enable the dogs to get adjusted to the fields- a pretrial, if you will. Of the four fields available, A and C were used because B was a swamp and D would be used in the Final Hour and was kept clean- no practicing, at all, on the field. Saturday was used to run two fields, 12 braces each, top half moving on. Sunday morning, we ran two fields, 6 braces each, with the top 3 dogs off each field making the cut. Then, we ran 3 braces on A Field and sorted everyone by score, the top 2 going on to the Final Hour on D field. Unusually, after the 3 braces on A Field, two dogs had tied exactly for second and third. Randy Schultz/Ruby and Terry Taylor/Belle went back out, yet again for 15 minutes and two birds put out. This was important, because the winner of the runoff would be the second dog in the Final Hour. Randy and Ruby edged Terry and Belle 1/1/B to 1/1. We broke for an hour to let the dogs rest (read: let the handlers get some oxygen.). Then Randy Schultz/Ruby (Brit/F) and Jared Roberts/Dice (GSP/F) (who finished first in the Final 6) took to D Field. The sun came out with a vengeance as they took off the line on the double sized field and double number of birds. An hour later, Randy Schultz and Ruby were declared the Georgia Champions for 2016!
First- Randy Schultz/Ruby, Second- Jared Roberts/Dice, Third- Terry Taylor (Linda Lowe)/Belle, Fourth- Brennan Greene/Toothpick.
Notably, we believe Brennan Greene at 12 years old, may be the youngest Final Four finisher in NSTRA. Congratulations, Brennan! Also, Ruby (Brit/F) is the first Brittany to ever win the Georgia Championships.
Saturday night, we held our yearly banquet and elected officers and passed out awards. Gene Pritchett will continue as President, Jeffery Keck, VP, Brenda Keck, Treasurer, and Dana Walker, Secretary. (We think Steve and Dana Walker are fine additions to our Region and we are lucky to have them.)
We had a raffle to raise money for the Shriner's Children's Fund with the winner to receive a complete training package from Terry Taylor worth well over $2000. The winner was Steve Crumble. (Need not be present to win.) Another draw of the raffle ticket was for a Three Day inclusive Pheasant hunt at Spring Creek Lodge in South Dakota, worth over $2000, as well. Judge Ron Huel won the hunt!
Our Region awards went to:
-Rookie of the Year- Brennan Greene for his fine showing throughout the year.
-High Point Dog- Taz and Brandon Pritchett-for his consistently fine performances.
-Judge of the Year- Bodie Ray- for his keen eye and sharp wit.
-High Point Female- Linda Lowe and Belle- who set the bar high for the female dogs in the Region.
-The Scott Clark Award was awarded to Keith Koon for his dedication to the Region and helpfulness at every trial.
-Most Improved Dog was awarded to Ken Buck and Chance and Mark Clore/ Rigby (these are two to watch in the future!).
We would like to thank, most heartily, our Judges Ron Huels, Ron Becker and Rick Bertinelli from the Illinois Region. Our Bird Planter Harold Hufstetler, Field Marshals Stan Perdue and Bodie Ray, and Trial Chairman- Gene Pritchett.
Lastly, we like to thank Gary Garrett and R.B. Garrett for their use of the family farm. What an incredible venue and we were competing with weddings, etc. for the date! Thank you again, Gary and R.B.
See you in the blind!