Thursday, March 23, 2006
collapses after win, recovering
Steve Hurdle, originally of Slayden and one of only three or four handlers who have won the National Open Shooting Dog Championship, National Derby Championship, and National Championship at Ames Plantation, collapsed after final photos were taken in ceremonies February 28 and was taken to Memphis.
He underwent several hours of surgery at Baptist East and spent nearly two weeks at the hospital before release on March 10, according to Hurdles friend Elton Bray of Holly Springs.
Hurdle is staying at the guest house of a friend in Piperton, Tenn., while recuperating, to be near his doctors at Baptist where he can receive further monitoring for awhile, Bray said.
Bray, who writes articles and reports for American Field magazine, praised Hurdle, his mentor, for the win and for his recovery.
Hes the main one who got me started in this sport at age 15, said Bray. It meant a lot to me for one of my main mentors to have accomplished being the best of the best. The National Field Trials Championship is the Superbowl of the bird dogs.
Hurdle, handler/trainer of the 2006 Champion, Coin, has won each national championship with different dogs and also is a National Derby Champion winner.
According to Bray, it was Wayne Tate of Moscow, Tenn., who helped Hurdle get started as a handler/trainer.
Hurdle is also credited with helping start the Tootsie Hurdle Field Trial Club, at Hell Creek Wildlife Management Area near Blue Mountain, a qualifying trial for the national event.
Hurdle, 45, manages the Shell Creek Plantation near Catherine, Ala., where he has lived the past five years with wife Karen and two of their children. The couple have four children, Stephanie East, Whitney Hurdle, Anna Paige Cook and Ashley Speck.
Shell Creek Coin was born July 2003 and purchased by Bud Moore in the fall of 2004 from Gary Lester of Gracey, Kentucky.
Coin was named the 2005 National Derby Champion, and won the 2005 Tootsie Hurdle event and placed second in the 2005 Blackbelt Open, Bray said.
Billy Wayne Morton of Alberta, Ala., is scout for the Champion.
Hurdle also won the 2004 National Shooting Dog event with Spirits Blaze.
The total cash purse for the National Field Trial Championship was $16,000 this year. Hurdle also won a number of silver trophies and a saddle. Coins owner, Moore, will keep the silver. He also received a saddle.
Because of Hurdles medical situation, the Dixie Open All-Age Classic, scheduled to begin March 11 at Shell Creek Plantation in Catherine, Ala., was cancelled.
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