We met at RB and Gary Garrett's Gold and Grass Farm in Ball Ground, GA, 16/17 March, for the Georgia Regional Championships. The last few days were warm and many were hoping for some cool weather. When the sun came over the hill, it was still in the high 30's and the shorts-wearing crowd were re-thinking the strategy. The heavy dew and cool temps were perfect for a field trial, and then a light breeze came up, making the scenting even more outstanding. We drew the trial at 0700 and braces started immediately after that, with Ed Murdock and Sugar and Randy Schultz and Cap leaving the line at 0800.
Throughout the day, with a short break for lunch, the competition was stiff. All the dogs did a good job and most of the handlers managed to keep errors to a minimum. (Did he really turn his dog loose to have it pick the bird up?). At the end of the day, Keith Koon and his Skeeter (p/f) managed, not only First Place, but her first Championship! (Something tells us this will be the first of many!). Second went to Ed Murdock and Sugar, third to Gene Pritchett and Snicker.
That evening, after all the stories (some true), we got down to the serious business of electing officers and awarding outstanding performance throughout the year. RB Garrett was elected to President, with his brother, Gary, Vice President. Angela Healan was too tired to protest when we voted her is as Secretary/Treasurer for the 20th year in a row. (See, we told you it would only be a two year commitment.).
High Point Dog went to Tripp and Jeffery Keck. High Point Female went to Skeeter and Keith Koon. Most Improved Dog was Taz and Brandon Pritchett. Rookie of the Year is Bill Green (we are lucky to have him) and Sportsman of the Year is Dale Aldridge. Dale is also this year's Scott Clark Award recipient (signifying someone who will go the extra mile for NSTRA and/or the Region). Judge of the Year is Corey Perdue. Bodie Ray and David Healan were elected as Directors at Large.
Sunday weather was more of the same. Perfect, as we broke out the sun block but kept the jackets close in the morning. The competition was still fierce. In fact, by the Final Hour, we had a first for the Georgia Region, a father/son final hour brace. I'm not doing the research, but there is a possibility it might be the first in NSTRA. Johnny Murdock and Bo and Ed Murdock and Sugar took to the fields and didn't show any mercy, at all. In the end, youth had a slight advantage as JOHNNY MURDOCK and BO earned the title of Georgia Region Champion! Second was Ed Murdock and Sugar, Third - Jeffery Keck and Tripp (the 2011 and 2012 Champion), Fourth- Ricky Gunnyon and Smoke! Corey Perdue planted birds, Wesley Downs (Alabama) and Gary (TN) judged. Thank you all for making this possible!
|Johnny Murdock and BO