UKC/American Field Staff In The Field
March 9, 2022
One of our highest priorities at United Kennel Club since the American Field acquisition has been to get out to some events and meet the American Field customer base and learn as much as we can about the great sport of pointing dog field trialing. Our travel schedule has been busy, but we are accomplishing exactly what we hoped to. The adventure starts here.
National Amateur Grouse Championship Gladwin, MI
Todd Kellam (UKC VP) and Keegan Adriance (UKC Content Creator)
Keegan and I represented UKC / American Field on a beautiful, October day in northern Michigan for the running of the National Amateur Grouse Championship. What a beautiful field trial venue that Gladwin unit is! Enjoyed learning about the venue and getting the lay of the land from Bob Wheelock. We walked a brace with LeeAnn Parnell who was very helpful in describing how the cover dog trials work. Later around the tailgate I had the distinct pleasure of meeting Mr. Wayne Fruchey. Yes, I had many questions for him about the late, great English Setter Ghost Train. I do wish I could have followed that dog for one day in his prime. Being a grouse hunting enthusiast with English Setters of my own, I very much enjoyed spending a trialing day at Gladwin and there will be many days to come just like it in my future.
Quail Championship Invitational Paducah, KY
Todd Kellam (UKC VP)
The morning after a traditional Thanksgiving dinner with family, I headed south to take part in the Quail Invitational which would be my first experience with an open all-age event. It was all that I expected and more. Allen Benson was the first person I met, and we had a nice visit about the weekend to come. From there Mike Crouse and Mary Sue Schalk kept me on track of where I needed to be and when. I had some previous experience with the West Kentucky WMA having attended retriever events there in the past. It is certainly a great field trial venue with a storied history. My personal riding coach Cora Clarey guided me around the courses on my trusty mount brought out of semi-retirement to babysit me for the weekend. And I will say, Obe did a fine job in this respect.
Continental Open All-Age Championship - Greenville, FL
Todd Kellam (UKC VP)
Whether you know this treasure as Dixie Plantation, Tall Timbers, or Livingston Place, you certainly know how special of a venue this is for bird dog field trials. I apologize in that special does not do this property justice, but it is just so hard to put down in words! If you have not ridden in this trial put it on your bucket list. My thanks to Judge Sean Derrig for my mounts and putting up with my many questions. Randy Floyd and his crew were outstanding hosts and had the property in pristine condition. Thanks to Dr. Terry Terlep who I was fortunate to spend a day with and for the guided tour of this beautiful Red Hills Region. The bird dog tradition and history is so thick down there you can feel it. I will never tire of the stories of the great dogs from this region and the men who made their mark handling them.
The National Championship Grand Junction, TN
Todd Kellam (UKC VP)
I absolutely loved my time in Grand Junction, Tennessee. The first two days of activity at the Bird Dog Museum really sets the stage for the historical field trial that follows. Well done Tonya Brotherton and staff. And when you move from the Hall of Fame to the Ames Plantation, it feels like you are simply moving from one historical treasure to another one! If the two days that I rode braces on the Ames Plantation were not the most beautiful weather days to ride in the history of this event Id like to see the days that beat them! I was amazed at the diversity and the perfection of these grounds from a hunters perspective. Dr. Rick Carlisle does an amazing job in all respects. Charlie Frank Bryan doesnt do too bad either except he did burn the bacon one morning.
The National Amateur Free-For-All Championship Union Springs, AL
Domenick Muoio (Field Trial & Hunt Test Program Manager)
I had the pleasure of attending my first horseback field trial at the National Amateur Free-For-All Championship. The Sedgefields Plantation was beyond gorgeous with its rolling hills, picturesque lakes, and immaculate grounds. The history behind the trial and the significance of the February 22nd start date was so interesting to me. It is no surprise that American field events are surrounded by history and tradition but the history and stories behind the old Sedgefield Stakes and Mr. L.B. Maytag looking for his next dog, perfectly exemplify how deep the history runs in some of this sports staple events. It also comes as no surprise how involved this area is in youth events to continue the rich history for many generations to come. Id like to give a special thanks to Robert Moorer for the beautiful Accommodations at the Shenandoah Plantation and helping to acquire sure-footed and smooth horses for me. My wonderful time in Union Springs was made possible by the hospitality of many so thank you to everyone who played a role in making my experience it was and I look forward to seeing everyone at this event next year.
You will notice the one thing we did not mention specifically regarding each event above and that is the reception from field trialers that the UKC staff received while attending these events. There is a reason for that. We can sum up every event by saying your support was nothing short of amazing. Across the board it was heartfelt and very much appreciated. It gives us much hope for not only the continuation of this great sport but the opportunity to build upon this brand, known and loved as American Field, for generations to come. With the help of each and every one of you who took the time to introduce yourselves, and introduce us to your sport, we have all the faith in the world that we have the support we need to accomplish whatever we set our minds to.
Guided by the belief that dogs make a difference by being the best partner a human can have in the field, on the job, or in a competition event, UKC is a community for people and dogs to pursue excellence together. Founded in 1898, UKC has been dedicated to enhancing the lives of Dogs That Do More, and their owners, by providing essential resources to help owners and breeders make informed decisions. The dog-human bond is celebrated through family-friendly programs highlighting the instincts and heritage of purebred and mixed-breed dogs alike at over 18,000 licensed events annually.