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Ames Amateur Field Trial Dialed In Wins Prestigious Ames Amateur All Age


By Kent Walker; photos by Vera Courtney

What has for many years been arguably one of the most prestigious and competitive All Age events in the country, the Ames Amateur once again lived up to its storied past.  Drawing a field of 46 All Age contestants and 16 derby entries, the trial ran from Monday December 27 to Friday December 31, 2021 at the Ames Plantation, Grand Junction, Tenn.

Early morning and afternoon temperatures remained near 70 degrees with overcast skies throughout the entire trial. Only one half day’s running was delayed due to thunderstorms and heavy rain. 

Judging this year’s renewal were Elton Bray and Korry Rinehart.  Neither are strangers to the judicial saddle. Both are excellent horsemen and ride with a keen eye on each bird dog.

Veteran eight-year old-performer Dialed In, “Claire,” was absolutely ‘dialed in’ to the birds, as she carded three stellar finds while laying down a strong forward and responsive ground race under the whistle of Matt Pendegrast. With temperatures reaching 72 degrees, conditions were less than favorable as she was turned loose on the afternoon course on Thursday. Nonetheless, Claire responded with the toughness that has brought her to the winners’ circle on so many other occasions throughout her career.

Taking second place honors was Small’s White Charger for owner and handler Mike Small of Evansville, Indiana.  Charger was credited with one find well to the front and a forward and searching ground race. 

Third place laurels went to Game Rebel for Dr. Fred Corder.  Rebel had one limb find during his hour near the old agronomy shed, where he was discovered by the scout after a brief absence, as the course turned back south on the third afternoon. After a long ride back to the call of “point,” the handsome pointer was standing with style for wing and shot. He finished his hour well to the front at pickup.

In the companion Derby event, Matt Pendegrast was back in the winner’s circle once again – this time with Awakened. For first place honors, Awakened ran a good forward race, carding a stylish find near the end of her brace. Taking second was Phillips Linebacker for Mike Small.  Third place was awarded to a consistent winner on the derby circuit this season, Cocklebur Breaking Bad for Bubba, Amy and Colt Spencer. The second and third place dogs showed all age potential in their ground races.

As with most trials there are many people to thank.  This trial in particular has a great supporting cast, beginning with the Ames Plantation staff and the use of these historic grounds. The ongoing, much appreciated support of Sportsman’s Pride Dog Food, who has represented this trial and others throughout the Midsouth and Region 6, stepped up again this year donating dog food to all the winners. Club director Chris Weatherly of the Ames Plantation rode very brace and marshaled the trial.  Ken Blackman did yeoman’s work of driving the dog wagon, providing snacks between braces, assisting at road crossings and collecting entry fees. Southern Eatery and Linda Stewart provided tasty lunches throughout the trial. And special thanks to Vera Courtney for all the wonderful photography during this years’ Ames Amateur.  Ms. Vera has been capturing photos of the Ames Amateur for seventeen years. What a great crew!
Hope to see everyone again next year.

All Age winners:
First: Dialed In, Matt Pendergest owner/handler
Second: Small’s White Charger, Mike Small owner/handler
Third: Game Rebel, Dr. Fred Corder, owner/handler

Derby winners:
First: Awakened, Matt Pendergest owner/handler
Second: Phillips Linebacker, Mike Small owner/handler
Third: Cocklebur Breaking Bad, Bubba & Amy Spencer, owners/handlers

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