2022 Muckalee Creek FTC Youth Stake ~ Report

2022 Muckalee Creek FTC Youth Stake ~ Report

May 23rd, 2022 | FT Results and Reports

The second annual youth stake hosted at Burnt Branch Plantation in Ocklochnee, Georgia was run during the Muckalee Creek FTC’s trial. Back to back trials are held on the beautiful grounds of Burnt Branch each spring through the generosity and hard work of Eddie Sholar with help from his wife Carole, Greg and Ashley Shepherd, and Kojac Wynn. The southwest Georgia field trial community is deeply grateful to Eddie for his love of and active support of our sport and his generosity providing these beautiful grounds, excellent facilities, and delicious meals for all who attend. The youth stake which was held during the Black Belt trial last spring proved to be enormously popular and so it was again well attended. Held on Sunday, March 20th we had the good fortune of a splendid spring day, sunny but still pleasant enough, temperature-wise, to be easy on the dogs, horses and people alike. 

Successful amateur and youth field trial enthusiast Lynn Heard judged the stake along with another Georgia field trialer, Herbert Tomlinson. Both gave the handlers and their dogs their full attention. Thanks to Buck Heard, another youth field trial supporter, for putting birds out. Six braces, the last one a bye, were run. Eddie kept everything moving smoothly, with handlers and their dogs at the breakaway with no delay, as in any other field trial stake. Kojac marshaled, as he so often does at Burnt Branch. A large gallery of supportive onlookers accompanied each of the exciting twenty minute braces. Watching these young handlers improve each season is astonishing and proof that youth field trails are well worth our efforts to help secure the future of our sport.

The Winners

First place went to attractive pointer female Polly who lay down an exciting multiple bird finding race, expertly handled by Daley Dalton in the first brace to set a high mark early in the stake which was not to be beat. Daley placed a dog third here last year. Second place went to another attractive female pointer, Ellie handled by Flint Hendley. Ellie and Flint were second in 2021. Third place went to another attractive female pointer, Sandy handled by first-time field trial participant Finn Campbell. We don’t have to ask whether we’ll see him again next year. He was smitten with the field trial bug!

 In the first brace Polly (Dalton) was braced with male pointer, Pepper handled by Noah Tomlinson, who handled the first place dog in last year’s Black Belt youth stake. Daley and Kira Jenkins teamed up to scout for each other throughout the trial as did Noah and Flint Hendley. The second brace swapped handlers and scouts with Flint Hendley running Ellie and Kira Jenkins handling Jag. Kira had been getting some great coaching by trainer Jeffrey Arnold who was on-hand to help. Both handlers did a great job, with some good bird work by Ellie. The third brace featured newcomer Finn Campbell running Sandy and another first time trialer Norah McGill handling Sam. Norah came to the trial with her grandparents, long-time field trialers Gary and Becky Futch. Both handlers did good jobs, with Sandy scoring on birds, Sam not lucking out this time. The 4th brace, handlers Noah and Daley were braced together again with Hank and Goldie. Birds were become wary and more difficult to get pointed as was the case in the last two braces with Kira running Fred and Arliemae Hendley running Rex as well as Flint Hendley and Ace running as a bye-dog in the last brace.   

Youth field trials are a big hit with the field trial community here in southwest Georgia, evident by the large galleries attending. Hopefully that bodes well for their continuance and support and that they inspire field trial clubs around the country to establish permanent youth stakes as part of their annual offerings.

Chris Mathan

Many more photos from the 2022 Muckalee Creek FTC Youth Stake can be viewed here.