Youth Field Trial Alliance held its first ever field trial training seminar on June 11, 2022 on the beautiful Shadow Oak Plantation in Nashville, Georgia. We are grateful to Field Trial Hall of Famer, Butch Houston for allowing us the use of his wonderful facility to conduct this well-attended event. We congratulate Butch on his great setter 2013/2014 National Championship winner, Shadow Oak Bo’s recent induction to the Hall of Fame.
We thank everyone who made this event a success: the youth handlers who participated, their parents, some who drove from far away with their kids to attend, professional trainer/handlers Judd Carlton, Jamie Daniels, Jason Loper and Chris Peek, SOP’s Caleb Hardeman and Deisy Rodas; Gail Melton, Patty Ewer Sanderson, Maria Bassham and Chip Jenkins…and everyone else who lent a hand.
The Seminar began with demonstrations by our four presenters — Jason and Chris brought a couple of pointers to first demonstrate handling techniques, then called on volunteer youth handlers to practice their understanding of the demonstrations. As the morning got too hot to continue with live dogs — as we expected it would down here in South Georgia — the youth handlers split up into 4 groups headed by the presenters using backing silhouettes in place of dogs to continue learning about handling techniques specific to dogs on point.
We enjoyed a wonderful lunch — burgers and hotdogs expertly grilled by Caleb Hardeman, his wife’s homemade slaw and all the fixings. The afternoon was spent in the nice cool Gameroom at SOP where the trainers told how they became involved with bird dogs followed by a general field trial Question and Answer period.
The Seminar honored Butch Houston and the great handler Robin Gates who was inducted into the 2021 Hall of Fame. Robin was, of course, Shadow Oak Bo’s trainer and handler. We watched some videos shot by Wisconsin amateur field trailer Dennis Lutynski in 2017 at SOP of Robin, Butch and Bo. Through the Eyes of Robin Gates
We concluded the Seminar with the raffle of a pair of youth chaps by Patty’s Custom Leather and Canvas, the proceeds donated to Youth Field Trial Alliance to help cover our expenses. Gifts were given to our 4 presenters and to all the youth participants.
As a side note, everyone new to Shadow Oak Plantation got a kick out of the zebras, emus, ostrich and other assorted exotic critters that make SOP their home.
We sincerely thank the following for their support of this event:
Shadow Oak Plantation
Greg Blair and Purina Pro Plan for purchasing the t-shirts.
Eli Richardson III
Dixie Trace Field Trial Association
Jamie and Allison Daniels
Patty’s Custom Leather and Canvas
U.S. Amateur All-Age Derby Invitational
Tom Word Books