Thursday, January 21, 2010
Fitch Farms hosts championship
The annual Fitch Farms-Galena Plantation Open All-Age and Derby was held December 14-17 on the historic grounds of the Galena Plantation in Holly Springs.
The plantation dates back to the pre-Civil War era and has since been cultivated into a prime hunting facility for wild game. The courses are groomed year-round to attract quail, deer and turkey – exceptional hunting for the exceptional hunter.
Mr. and Mrs. Bill Fitch have transformed the farm into a premier hunting preserve with an abundant quail population. The courses, tree lines and grounds are well-maintained throughout the year. The terrain consists of rolling hills, open pastures, creek bottoms with steep climbs and deep draws along the way. In addition to the beautiful landscape, Mrs. Fitch has restored numerous pre-Civil War cabins including the original home of General Nathan Bedford Forrest. Not only are guests drawn to the farm for hunting purposes, but every visitor enjoys a hearty breakfast, home-cooked meals and occasional live entertainment. Fitch Farms receives as many inquiries about Mrs. Fitch’s cooking as they do about hunts.
Competitors traveled from across the nation to vie for the championship. Handlers and owners desire to compete in the Fitch Farms-Galena Plantation Open All-Age because it is a National Qualifying Stake and receive points in the Purina Points Trial. The Derby Stake is also a qualifying points trial for the American Derby Invitational. There were 38 dogs in the Open All-Age and 13 dogs in the Derby vying for the crown.
This year’s trial was dedicated to Ben Stuart Adams Jr. of Kentucky. Adams grew up in the rural community surrounding Memphis, Tenn. He spent most late afternoons during quail season wandering around his community with his father’s pointers trying to kill a few a quail. In the mid-’60s, he received an urgent call to serve his country. Drafted as a private, he was soon able to parlay two years in college to the opportunity to attend Officers Candidate School and received a commission in the Corps of Engineers. He served 22 years in the U.S. Army with tours in Vietnam and Korea retiring as a Lt. Colonel in 1989 at 42.
He devoted the remainder of his life promoting bird dogs and the sport of field trialing. He served as president of the Clarksville Pointer and Setter Club for over 20 years during which time he oversaw the American Quail Classic, the Tennessee Shooting Dog Championship and other amateur trials.
Ben Stuart Adams, Jr. died in Hopkinsville, Kentucky, on October 20, 2009, of natural causes. Ben was a real friend to the field trial community and will greatly be missed.
Survivors include his wife, Natalie (Nat), two sisters, Cheryl Phillips of Olive Branch, and Jill McClure of Bolivar, Tenn., two nieces, one nephew, one great-niece and one great-nephew.
Open All-Age Winners
First Place, Thunder Snowy – handler Steve Hurdle; owner Doug Author.
Second Place, Amariadge – handler Randy Downs; owner Dr. Fred Corder.
Third Place, Hytest Sky Master – handler Ray Warren; owner Mary Beth Esser.
First Place, Lester’s White Out – owner Gary Lester; handler Ike Todd.
Second Place, Hendrix’s Headline – owners Burke and Guy Hendrix; handler Burke Hendrix.
Third Place, Sir Eaton – owners Sonny Childers, Eaton and Richard Tollison; handler Hoyle Eaton.
We would like to thank our judges, John Thompson of Camilla, Georgia, and Michael Shears of Franklin, Tenn., for an exceptional job. Another thanks goes to Purina for supporting the trial which is a qualifying trial for the National Championship and the American Derby Invitational.
We would like to thank our board members, officers, staff and everyone who contributed to the success of this trial. It is with exceptional gratitude that we thank our sponsors and advertisers for helping make this event successful. A special thanks goes to The South Reporter and their team for supporting all of our endeavors.
See you next year!
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