Thursday, July 8, 2010
Hurdle receives highest honor
Steve Hurdle, renowned bird dog trainer of national champion bird dogs, is a two-time Purina Award recipient. On June 5, Purina hosted its annual bird dog awards ceremony at the James Rainwater Convention Center in Valdosta, Ga. Hurdle was honored with Purina’s highest yearly bird dog achievement award, the 2009-2010 Top All-Age Handler of the Year.
In 2007-2008 he earned the Handler of the Year Award for his first time. That same year he trained/handled 2006 National Champion Shell Creek Coin, owned by David O’Connor of Bullard, Texas, to score the highest Purina points and receive the Purina Top Field Trial Bird Dog of the Year.
Hurdle’s awards were earned by competing his line of champion bird dogs in field trials across the United States and Canada. For each trial he attended, he accumulated points for each placement his competitive dogs received.
The fall of 2009 and the spring of 2010 competition season is when he acquired his 2,656 points to earn Purina’s top title in Valdosta, Georgia. He won 30 placements this past season with three championship titles, five runner-up champion titles and 14 first-place wins acquired with 10 of his circuit competitors.
Hurdle’s reputation to be a winner shows. He is among a select group of bird dog trainers/handlers whose resumes will show the National Championship, the National Open Shooting Dog Championship, the Purina Top All Age Handler of the Year, trainer for the Purina Top Dog of the Year and the Joe Hurdle Dog of the Year among their achievements.
The most recent achievement received June 26 during the Alabama Field Trial Association awards ceremony in Prattville, Ala. was the Alabama Open All Age Derby of the Year award with a pointer male named Game Plan.
Game Plan is owned by a father and son partnership, Guy Hendrix of Olive Branch, and Burke Hendrix of Hernando. Steve and his wife, the former Karen Thompson of Hickory Flat, now reside in Hickory Flat, where they own and operate their bird dog training/breeding business, Back Home Kennels.
The name for their kennel derived after they decided to move back to Mississippi from Catherine, Ala., where they had worked privately for a bird dog and walking horse facility, Shell Creek Plantation. Since they were moving “back home” what better name to choose than “Back Home Kennels.”
Their kennels house approximately 25 to 30 dogs on any given day with ten of those dogs wearing champion titles.
Each dog is represented by owners from states such as Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia, Florida, Texas, Kansas and Massachusetts who campaign their dogs with Back Home Kennels each year to qualify them for the National Championship held in early February at Grand Junction, Tenn.
The Hurdles’ hard work and dedication to the sport of field trials and Back Home Kennels have proven to be a success. For more information about Back Home Kennels, contact Steve or Karen Hurdle at (662) 333-9199.
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