Report by Steve Messick
The tradition of the National Amateur Shooting Championship once again made its way to Camp Robinson Field Trial area. These two traditions kind of belong with each other, the finest amateur dogs in the country taking on the challenge of the famed grounds were the champions have run for more for more than sixty years. The excitement started with the National Amateur Shooting dog Derby Championship. The jewel for the young at heart got going in fine fashion. First to display championship quality you need eyes and wisdom, the judges. This year was an outstanding team, Dr. Jim Mills of Searcy Arkansas and Harold Woodard of near by Vilonia Arkansas. Harold filled in at last minute for Texan Evertt Brandon, you had a back injury which made him call it quits. We were fortunate to call on Harold. Dr. Mills brings a lifetime of experience starting with NBHA up to current love of the all age game . Recently top for the National Open Shooting Championship. Harold is a long time handler in the walking stakes and now to horseback events. He is a member of the NBHA HALL OF FAME his scroll is on display in the Bird Dog Museum in Grand Junction.
Millers Packing Heat emerged as the newest Champion, the fast moving female was handled by her proud owner Fran Miller. The Millers made the drive from Georgia to display her efforts . She was shown on the first morning and was credited with a two find performance. Her race was fast and at the moderate range her manners on her game was outstanding. The runner up came from the entry of Lance Servais, Southern Shadows T Rex. This was Lances first Championship and will not be his last. His hard work showed his charge had a divided find and an up front race to earn this Championship placement.
The shooting dog championship started on Friday with thirty nine hopefuls contending. When all had given their best the winners came from the senior class . No stranger to winners circle the champion name was Champion Hales Southern Touch . She is proudly owned by the Hale family, Jeff and girl squad never missing Being saddled up competing some where. Bess as is fondly known put on her consistent trademark she runs with intelligence and a burning desire to point game . On this day she did so three times all upfront with perfect manners she is know for. This has to be at least ten plus championship placement. It seems to change weekly, Shawn Kinkelaar keeps the tires burning showing her the open stakes.
The runner up also came in way of another well seasoned campaigner. Absolute Diva is one of the Taylors pride and joy. Johnny had the pleasure of showing her this day with wife Joyce taking on the scouting duties. Diva has her list of championships to her credit both amateur and open all put on her by the Taylor team. Today she delivered a hard charging race and chalked up two class finds to seal her deal. The two winners were of the same type both were well deserved.
An important stake of this nature requires a lot o preparation, Piper Huffman sees that all the i’s are dotted and t’s crossed. Her help was greatly appreciated. The field trial group in Arkansas all chipped in to man the work needed, I’ll refrain in trying to name for fear I’ll miss someone. Roger martin handled all the fog wagon duties and delivery of the morning and afternoon treats. His experience at camp Robinson is well known handling the management duties at camp for years before his retirement. The Arkansas Game and Fish deserves a big thank you for all the efforts in making sure the grounds were top order. Again the field trial group mans the bird program at camp as a group we still insist on keeping the tradition going. We believe a National event of this caliber needs to shown on wild or pre leased program to duplicate the wild ones.
The sponsors of the AFTCA were very on display and most appreciated by the entire field trial fraternity across the country. To frank without the Purnia company and the likes of Mr.Greg Blair well it wouldn’t be the same. They hosted a catfish dinner on Saturday night enjoyed by all. They rewarded the winners with their great product to ensure that these champions were well fed. The Garmin company also is an important clog in the wheel the winners received top training products, a big thanks to these two top notch companies. Well another two important championships are in the books we hope to honored to host these quality events in the future, it’s a pleasure to see old friends and meet new friends that have never been to camp Robinson before. Thanks again to all the people chipped in to help make this event so successful and a big thank you to all the companies and individuals that contributed to our fundraiser to help keep the bird program going. The field trial game is a great one and the sportsmanship on displayed is a good thing to experience. Good luck to all until we meet again!