December 27, 2012
The Fitch Farms All Age Field Trials at Fitch Farms-Galena Plantation drew a good crowd of spectators, and some fine bird dogs and handlers in December.
The trials are qualifying events for the National Field Trials in Grand Junction, Tenn., in February.
Winners were announced after lunch Wednesday, Dec. 12, in connection with the dedication of the trials this year to the late Frank Swords, who passed away in August 2012. He was an avid huntsman, conservationist, canine friend, storyteller and humanist. Swords contributed to the entire community but his interest in wildlife habitat, natural resources, and farm programs was unequaled for the county in which he resided and loved.
He is remembered for his love of Percheron horses, wagons and buggies and farming equipment and implements. He held an annual field day at his farm each spring to turn ground with old-style breaking plows and mule and horse teams.
Fitch Farms owner W.O. Fitch, who has loved the old way of living and recreated it at his 8,000 farm, hosted the event and the dedication of the field trial this year to Swords, a long-time friend. His employees like to introduce him as “Big Boss,” but Fitch quipped, “All I get to do is pay the bills.”
Fitch recognized the late Swords as “a great friend, not braggadocious, a person you would meet on the street and think he didn’t have a dime.”
Fitch offered appreciation to this year’s judges, Tim Hammons of Berea, Ky, and J.D. Bumpus of Clarksdale.
Thirty bird dogs were entered in the All Age category and eight were entered in the Derby, which concluded the trials Wednesday, Dec. 12.
To inquire about hunting packages for the 2012-2013 year – quail hunting, wild turkey and deer – and amenities, call Fitch Farms at 662-551-5601 or Sonny Jackson at 901-487-8054. Visit www.fitchfarms.com for additional information.
This year’s All-Age Field Trial was supported by local businesses.
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