The National Amateur Free For All Championship set in motion its highly celebrated field trial on February 22nd, 2021 on the impeccable Sedgefields Plantation in Union Springs, AL. Participants around the country anticipate this field trial year after year in hopes of capturing the most sought after title in the history of amateur field trials. Mr. Raymond and Kathryn Harbert offer their grounds annually to host this prestigious trial and if it weren’t for them this event would not take place. Their continued support as well as the board of director’s keeps the tradition alive. The Free-For-All Board is second to none and their efforts do not go unnoticed.
Each member plays a vital role in the success of the trial and as the saying goes, “if there are any complaints, see Bill Lee.” There is no telling the amount of man-hours it takes to groom the immaculate grounds, but Jason Howard, Bill Lee, Chance Kelley and the rest of the grounds crew have it down to a science. The grounds could not have looked better, and there are not enough thanks for their hard work. Chance Kelley rode every single brace and was very attentive at giving direction to each handler.
He, along with several board members, served as marshals and their assistance was greatly appreciated by each handler. Captain Charles Klink was greatly missed this year serving as co-pilot for the dog wagon; however Mr. Kenneth Newman kept the show running. He was the first smiling face seen between braces and all welcomed his participation.
There is not enough recognition for Marcelleno and all the barn help in taking care of the official’s horses. Every horse was washed and well taken care of for the duration of the trial. Last, but certainly not least, many thanks go out to our judges Elton Bray of Holly Springs, MS and Kevin Stuart of Schenectady, NY. Judges are hard to come by and good judges are a plus. Elton and Kevin rode hard and were very attentive to boths dog and handlers.
2020 was a strenuous year for the world to say the least; however the blessings that are bestowed upon a sportsman will never falter. Due to the ongoing pandemic the social events were altered. The Union Springs Country Club was open and welcomed field trial participants each night. The nightly social events might have been altered but the comradery shown during each and every brace was apparent. The fraternity amongst field trialers wasn't made at a dinner party; it was made in the heart of each and every participant that loves the sport. A worldwide pandemic cannot alter the beauty in the world of field trials.
It was 42 degrees at breakaway for the 1st day of the National Amateur Free- For- All Championship. Time Flies owned and handled by Mike Moses and Bella Bulli owned and handled by Ernie Saniga were in the 1st brace. Moses asked for the tracker at 41. Bulli had one unproductive at 25.
Miller's Special Eddition owned by Jack and Fran Miller and handled by Fran Miller turned loose as a bye dog in the 2nd brace. The orange and white pointer female had perfect finds at 19, 25 and 42.
Smokin Joe's Mojo, owned by Joe Brunner and handled by George Brown, and Duboses' Wonder Dog, owned and handled by Bobby Dubose, were in the 3rd brace. Brown voluntarily picked up at 18 and Dubose was given the tracker at 20 after being out of pocket since the breakaway.
Southern Shadow's T-Rex, owned and handled by Brian Peterson, and Lonetree Splish Splash, owned and handled by Bill Owen, came to the line for the 4th brace. Peterson picked up at 40. Splash had a clean find at 40 and finished the brace.
It was 70 degrees and sunny at breakaway for the 5th brace. Twin Willow Ice, owned by 13 year old Addison McDuffie and handled by Hunter McDuffie, and Electronic Warfare, owned and handled by Bill Goodwyn, came to the line. Twin Willow Ice known by Kat, 24 days after her second birthday was turned loose for her first championship.
She had 3 perfect finds at 9, 25 and 34. Warfare had a picture perfect find off the breakaway, a find at 13, 21 and a back at 25.
Joe Varner's Renrav's Mr. Tony's Shag and Ernie Saniga's Jubullee were in the 6th brace. Varner did an excellent job handling at the Free- For- All for the first time since the early 90s. Red, his setter male had stylish finds at 2, 9 and 19 and ran a front running race. Jubulle had a nice find at 9 and Saniga asked for the tracker at 29.
It was 40 degrees for the 2nd day of the National Amateur Free For All Championship. Lester's Prime Poison Lane (Peterson) and Miller's Heat Wave (Miller) were in the 7th brace. Peterson asked for the tracker at 30. Heat Wave, an orange and white pointer female had finds at 16 and 34.
Rester's Amazing Grace, owned and handled by Tony Gibson, and Miller's Record Heat (Miller) came to the line for the 8th brace. Grace had a nice front running race; Record Heat had an unproductive at 39.
Northwoods Charles (Owen) and Erin's Outlawed owned and handled by Rick Stallings turned loose from the Coke Barn for the 9th brace. Charles, a setter male had an unproductive at 14 and a clean find at 36. Outlawed had an unproductive at 14.
Alan York's Beckworth's Firefighter and Scott Jordan's Confident Nation were in the 10th brace. York asked for the tracker at 38 and Nation did not point any birds but finished the brace.
Smokin Joe's B (Brown) and Miller's Strolling For Gold (Miller) were in the 11th brace. It was 71 degrees at breakaway. B had a find at 30 and Strolling For Gold went birdless but ran a good race.
Rentz's Tipped Up, owned and handled by Joe Rentz, and Pineywoods Bellaire, owned and handled by Darron Hendley, turned loose for the 12th brace. Tipped up had unproductives at 17 and 35. Bellaire ran a strong race but didn't have any bird work.
CS Lil Ann owned and handled by Tony Gibson and Redland's Jacked Up (Rentz) came to the line for the 13th brace. It was 44 degrees at breakaway. Lil Ann had a nice front running race with a clean find at the pond dam. Jacked up had a strong race with a back at 43.
Conway Twitty, owned and handled by Alan Atkins, and Miller's Cover Girl, (Miller) were in the 14th brace. Twitty was out of pocket at the breakaway and Atkins asked for the tracker at 21. Cover Girl had a nice shooting dog race and had clean finds at 12 and 21.
Lance Servais's Miller's Top Recruit and Scott Jordan's Strut Nation turned loose at the Coke Barn for the 15th brace. Top Recruit, a liver and white pointer male did not have any bird work but finished the brace. Nation, an orange and white pointer male, went out of pocket at breakaway and Jordan asked for the tracker at 18.
Prime Passion Lane, owned by Addison and Hunter McDuffie and handled by Addison McDuffie, and Panther Creek Merlin, owned and handled by Frank Rutland, turned loose at the Big Oak for the 16th brace. Addison McDuffie is the youngest person to ever handle a dog at the National Amateur Free-For-All Championship. Dot, her orange and white pointer female handled like a dream, ran a good race and had a back at 8. Merlin had unproductives at 8 and 35 and picked up at 40.
It was 75 degrees and warm for the 2nd brace after lunch on day 3. Sandspurs Belle, owned and handed by Todd Montgomery, and Seekin A Thrill, owned and handled by Ross Leonard, were in the 17th brace. Belle ran a good front running race and had a picture perfect find at 27 and a back at 33. Thrill, a liver and white pointer male, had an unproductive at 22, a back at 27 and 2 stylish finds at 33 and 39. He took to the cover effortlessly and had a strong finish, landing him the position of Top Qualifying Dog.
CS Trump (Gibson) and Smokin Joe's Doc (Brown) were in the 18th brace. Trump, an orange and white setter male, did not have any bird work but ran tail high all over the country. Doc was absent since breakaway and Brown asked for the tracker at 32.
It was 55 degrees at breakaway for the 19th brace. Desolation Row, owned and handled by Dave McKay, came to the line as a bye dog. He went out of pocket after breakaway and McKay asked for the tracker at 34.
SB Always Dreaming (Owen) and Iron Bully (Saniga) were in the 20th brace. Dreaming, an orange and white pointer female, had a nice find at 22 and a find at pick up. Bully had 2 unproductives at 11 and 21.
Nickajack Pathfinder (Leonard) and 2019 Champion Crown's Black Ice, owned by Stephens Walker and Tracy Swearingen and handled by Brian Sanchez, came to the line for the 21st brace. Pathfinder, an orange and white pointer male, did not have any bird work but finished the brace. Ice had her running shoes on and Sanchez asked for the tracker at 38.
Wildhawk (Moses) and One Day Frost, owned and handled by Lane Hodges, were in the 22nd brace. Wildhawk ran a nice front running race. Frost, a black and white pointer male also ran a good front running race.
Cheyenne Nation (Jordan) and North Country Girl (McKay) turned loose behind the barn for the 23rd brace. It was 78 degrees and warm at break away. Nation had a back at 20. Girl, a liver and white pointer female, had a find right off the breakaway, a find at 13, an unproductive at 20 and a nice find at 25.
Erin's Johnny Walker (Stallings) and Native Leaf owned and handled by Justin Howard were in the 24th brace. Walker ran a good race but did not have any bird work. Leaf had a clean find at 7.
It was 66 degrees at breakaway for the 25th brace, the last brace of the qualifying series. Miller's Upgraded Version (Miller) and Miller's Unbridled Forever, owned by Neil Walker and Great River Kennels and handled by Brian Sanchez, came to the line. The orange and white pointer males had the judges on their toes the entire brace. Version ran a great front running race and had classy finds at 29 and 34. Forever covered the country and ran a strong front running race with a picture perfect find at 31.
2020 Champion, owned and handled by Jim Hughes, and Twin Willow Ice (McDuffie) were in the first brace of callbacks, it was 76 degrees at breakaway behind the barn. Dragonfly, a liver and white pointer male, burned up the countryside, had a find at 27 and went out of pocket. Hughes asked for the tracker at 55. Kat (Twin Willow Ice), the youngest dog in the line up, put on a show. She hit every edge, showed in every possible position and ran strong. The black and white pointer female had perfect finds at 84 and 89. Her performance earned her the title of 2021 National Amateur Free-For-All Champion. Kat is extra special to the McDuffie family. Ruthann Epp gave Addison McDuffie Kat as a puppy; it was she and her father’s Hunter McDuffie, first dog started as father and daughter.
Bobby Hartwig of Union Spring, AL played a role in polishing Kat; his kind hands are proven to make champions. Brian Sanderson of Cecil, AL scouted for McDuffie. He rode hard and was very attentive of her whereabouts. Team Cecil definitely showed up and showed out. McDuffie was recently quoted in a local newspaper, "I have been mighty proud of some of my dogs over the years, but I'll admit tears were in my eyes as we headed back to the dog wagon! I've never, ever been more proud of a dog! Period!".
Miller's Heat Wave (Miller) and Electronic Warfare (Goodwin) were in the 2nd brace of callbacks. Heat Wave, an orange and white pointer female, had perfect finds at 5, 17, 38, an unproductive at 84, and a find at 88. Warfare, an orange and white pointer male had an unproductive at 12, a find at 43 and asked for the tracker at 67.
It was 62 degrees Saturday morning for the 3rd brace of callbacks. Erin's Outlawed (Stallings) and Wildhawk (Moses) came to the line. Outlawed had a find at 46 and was ordered up at 50 after failing to remain steady around game. Moses was handed the tracker at 67.
CS Trump (Gibson) and Miller's Special Edition (Miller) turned loose at the Coke Barn for the 4th brace of callbacks. Trump ran a strong front running race with two perfect finds at 32 and 73. Edition had an unproductive at 14 after a lengthy relocation, a back at 32, and an unproductive at 56.
Top Qualifying Dog, Seekin A Thrill (Leonard), and Miller's Upgraded Version (Miller) were in the 5th brace of callbacks. It was 76 degrees at breakaway behind the barn. Thrill had 3 nice finds at 14, 23, 26 and two unproductives at 85 and 78. Version ran a strong front running race and covered the countryside. He had classy finds at 10 and 52 and 2 backs at 52 and 85. His great performance earned him the title of 2021 National Amateur Free-For-All Runner-up Champion.
Miller's Unbridled Forever (Sanchez) and Redland's Jacked Up (Rentz) turned loose across from Bill Lee's driveway for the 6th brace of callbacks. Sanchez asked for the tracker at 31 and Rentz was handed the tracker at 49.
Renrav's Mr. Tony's Shag (Varner) and One Day Frost (Hodges) were in the 7th brace of callbacks. Varner was handed the tracker at 64. Hodges had clean finds at 29, 57 and was handed the tracker at 64.
Congratulations to the 2021 National Amateur Champion, Twin Willow Ice (PF), owned by Addison McDuffie, handled by Hunter McDuffie, Runner Up Miller’s Upgraded Version (PM), owned by Fran and Jack Miller, handled by Fran Miller, and Top Qualifying, Seekin A Thrill, owned and handled by Ross Leonard.