Photo by Sue Watson
Steve Hurdle with “Whiterein” and Nick Thompson (back) are pictured at the recent Fitch Farms-Galena Plantation Field Trial.
Winners in the Fitch Farms-Galena Plantation Annual All-Age Field Trial were selected Tuesday, December 13. In front, from left, are Nick Thompson, Elton Bray, and Cheyenne Jones. Winners, from left, are first place - Cassique’s Boss, second place - Star Dust Chaz, and third place - Prodigy’s Bonfire. Shown, back row, from left, are Steve Hurdle, Judge Tim Hammons, Judge Bud Moore, Patty Moore, Billy Jones and Charles Eoff.
Front row, from left, are Mason Ashburn with first place Phillips No Sam Line; Joey McAlexander with second place Hendrix’s Trump Card; Nick Thompson with third place Clear Water Jim. Second row, from left, are Patty Moore, Bud Moore and Tim Hammons (judges), Mason Stoddard, Walter Bain, Bobby McAlexander, Burke Hendrix, Ronnie Jones, Stacy Tomlinson, Steve Hurdle and Buddy Smith. On porch, from left, are Charles Eoff, Sonny Jackson and Diane Dickerson.
Photos by Sue Watson
The Fitch Farms-Galena Plantation 2016 Annual Open All-Age Field Trial was dedicated to Robert “Bobby” Preston McAlexander. Shown in a group picture after the dedication are, from left, Stacy Tomlinson, Logan Bailey, Diane McAlexander Dickerson, Larry McAlexander, Bobby McAlexander, Jeff McAlexander, Bill Fitch, Joey McAlexander, Aleita Fitch, Ronnie Jones and Elton Bray.
Fitch Farms Field Trial
The Fitch Farms-Galena Plantation 2016 Open All-Age Field Trial was held in good weather with 16 dogs entered in the competition, both for the purse and for a qualifying stake in the National Field Trials at Grand Junction, Tenn.
The annual event was also a qualifier for the Purina Points Trial and Derby stake to enter the competition in the American Derby Invitational. Twelve dogs were entered in the derby.
Winners of the All-Age were:
• First Place - Cassique’s Boss, with Steve Hurdle, handler, and Rick Stallings, owner.
• Second Place - Star Dust Chaz with Steve Hurdle, handler, and Bob Craig, John Sayre, Raines Jordan and Scott Kermicle, owners.
• Third Place - Prodigy’s Bonfire, with Steve Hurdle, handler, and Betty Shearhouse, owner.
Sally Lockee Derby winners were:
• First Place - Phillips Nosam Line, with Nathan Phillips, handler and owner.
• Second Place - Hendrix’s Trump Card, with Burke Hendrix, handler and owner.
• Third Place - Clear Water Jim, with Steve Hurdle, handler, and Randy Smith, owner.
The field trial was dedicated to Bobby McAlexander, who has been involved in field trials for about 20 years.
“Everybody is involved with Fitch Farms to try to do the best we can and pick someone who has been big in the bird dog industry,” said W.O. Fitch, originator of the Fitch Farms Field Trial.
The trials are held every December and winners qualify to enter their bird dog in the National Field Trials in Grand Junction, Tenn.
Fitch said McAlexander was chosen for his long-time interest and involvement in the industry.
“It’s a real honor for you to do this for me,” McAlexander said. “You all have been so good to the field trial business. I love to see a dog point, and to ride a good horse.”
McAlexander was born in Marshall County in 1951. He is the son of a game warden and he learned about hunting at an early age. He loves to tell stories of walking home from school with his gun ready to hunt quail. In those early years, bobwhite quail were plentiful and a good way for a youngster to spend a Saturday morning hunting with a favorite bird dog.
He married Martha Louise Hurdle and became like a son to her father Joe Hurdle. Together he and his father-in-law began a long relationship with farming and field trialing. It was a way of life. McAlexander has passed this love on to his three sons, Joey, Preston and Jeff, and also to his four grandchildren.
McAlexander has served as a field trial judge in the Southern Championship, the Oklahoma Championship and others. He served as judge for 10 years at the National Championships at Ames Plantation in Grand Junction, Tenn.
He is a founding member of the Marshall County Field Trial Club and has spent unnumbered hours hosting and putting on trials. Many of the Marshall County Club members, like Elton Bray, give McAlexander credit for helping them get their start.
“Bobby got me started going with him when I was 12 years old,” Bray said.
McAlexander serves on several boards for several trials, works with his bird dogs and raises horses.
To learn more about hunting opportunities visit www.fitchfarms.com. Or call 662-551-2280.