Thursday, January 12, 2012
Field trials dedicated to John Rex Gates
By SUE WATSON
The youngest man ever to be inducted into the Field Trial Hall of Fame was honored at the field trials at Fitch Farms December 14.
John Rex Gates grew up in the bird dog world and developed and trained many great dogs, enjoying yearly trips to Broomhill, Manitoba, Canada, with his family.
At age 38, Gates was inducted into the Field Trial Hall of Fame. He has six dogs he trained and handled in the Hall of Fame. His business, Gates Kennel, has 14 dogs in the Hall of Fame. His dogs have been winners of nearly 100 all age championships.
Today Gates is in the commercial hunting business.
It is a tradition to dedicate the Field Trials at Fitch Farms each year in recognition of his contributions to the industry, said Bill Fitch in recognizing Gates.
“John Rex has played a big part, going back several generations, and is a personal friend of mine,” Fitch said.
Gates, in accepting the dedication and a silver platter and other gifts, said Fitch has done much for the industry, much of which is not generally known.
“He has given a lot to the Hall of Fame and Bird Dog Museum,” Gates said. “Everybody here knows what he’s given. I could say for everybody who knows this man that we love him.”
Winner of the All Age was Stallion, a male pointer handled by Tommy Davis for owner Davey Deal. Second place was taken by Dillinger C, a pointer male handled by Randy Downs for owner John Holland. Third place went to Touch’s Adam County, a pointer male handled by Ike Todd for owner Keith Wright.
Winners for the Open Derby was Gamemaster, handled by Randy Downs for owner Fred Corder. Second place Derby winner was Dunn’s All Get Out, a pointer male owned and handled by Will Dunn. Third place was won by Touch’s Pond Damn, a pointer male handled by Ike Todd, one of the owners. The other owner is Keith Wright.
Twenty-five dogs competed in the Open All Age and 15 dogs in the Derby.
The field trials attract a nice size gallery and this year Betty Knight from Olive Branch and Robin Fisackerly from Senatobia made their first “Mecca.”
“It is my first ride in the gallery,” Knight said, “but it won’t be my last.”
She’s a trail rider and loves horses and dogs.
Fisackerly is also a trail rider and is learning about horses, she said.
“I do a lot with Have A Heart Rescue,” she said. “I’ve been riding since I was 8.”
Some others riding in the gallery or visiting during the field trials were Bobby Taylor, Ronnie Jones, Sonny Hawks, and Farra Brooks.
Judges were Kipp Linard of Wentzville, Missouri, and Dennis Auping of New Melle, Missouri.
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