2011 Tennessee State Field Trial

Hunter's Horn, March 2012THE RABBIT HUNTER – The 2011 Tennessee State Field Trial was held October 12-15 at the Tar River Fox Preserve at Creedmoor, NC.  When I arose at my house on Wednesday morning October 12, it was raining dogs and foxes. I had gotten up before daylight hoping to be able to rest a little better at the hotel on Wednesday night.

Finally at 7:30, the rain slacked up enough so that I could feed my hounds and get my bags loaded in the truck. I then loaded the five hounds that I was going to take and proceeded to hook up my trailer and load my Ranger for the trip to Granville County.

I arrived in Creedmoor around 11:30 AM and dropped my bags off at the hotel. There had been some good rain showers in the area and it was still cloudy and very humid as I pulled up to the pen.

After unloading my wheels, I kenneled my hounds beside my old friend Chris Johnson in Mike Smith’s private kennels. I enjoyed chatting with Chris and he helped me paint the numbers on my hounds. I was glad to see Mike Britt and James Clark from the Laurinburg area who were up to compete this week.

After finishing up my hound work, I headed over to Wally Johnson’s supply trailer. I needed some new collars and a few other items and enjoyed visiting with Wally while I was there.

From here, I headed into the entry room at the kitchen area. Here, the lovely Amy Summey was busy selling
t-shirts and caps as well as taking entries. I entered my hounds and headed up on the hill to visit with the many hunters who were up there. I enjoyed seeing my old friend Malcolm McCarson who had traveled down
with Coach Robert Seal. I was saddened to hear that Mike Hildebran would not be coming because of the passing of his mother.

I then went over to the lower kennels where I chatted with Timmy Davis and enjoyed meeting Clint Hamby. Clint is the owner of the popular Speeddogs web site and would be competing here. It was good to see Bobby Bryant, Jesse Cunio, Charles and Gary Short and Jerry Mason.

There was a big crowd under Gordon Sexton’s tent painting hounds. Some of them included Gordon, Obie Williams, Randy Wittenbarger, Henry Neese and Mayford Lunsford. I enjoyed meeting the school teacher, Stewart Miller who was up picking up some hounds.

Also, it was good to see Heather Miller and Lulu Ciejak who had a brought up a truck load of hounds to compete. Down on my end of the compound, Rodney Crisco, Danny Brock and Robert Lineberry had arrived. It was good to see Bill Routh, Austin Whatley, Frank Hall, John Neilson and Lamar Blaylock. Richard Hunt was also here with several of the powerful hounds off of two time Piedmont Champion
Hunt’s Fly. It was good to see Jay Craven, Shane Bonavita, Ronnie Norris and Laurie. Time blew by in a hurry with all this yacking that I was doing and I soon had to head over to the hotel for a shower before the bench show. When I returned, President Mike Summey called the show to order and introduced Master of Hounds Pete Warren. Pete said a prayer and gave us the needed info for the roll call time for in the morning.

Pete then turned the proceedings over to Buddy and Michele Taylor who would be serving as the Show Judge and Ringmaster.  While the show was progressing, I enjoyed seeing other folks that I hadn’t seen earlier. Some of them included James Ray, R. A. Keith, Claybon Ray, Greg Harrison, Greg Morrison and Allen (Jabber Jaw) Bishop. Several of the judges were also on hand including Jimmy Deans, Ralph Wolfe, Moose Haire, Ralph Smith, Kelly Meadows, Ray Owen and Wayne Smith.

I enjoyed sitting with Benny Bennett and Tyler, Josh Jacobson and Mike Loyd while the show was going on. As is usually the case when Buddy and Michele judge a show, things roll on smoothly and efficiently. Unfortunately, a brief, but intense rain shower interrupted the proceedings and sent everyone scurrying for cover during the Derby Female class. When the rain had subsided, the show resumed without any other trouble.

When all was said and done, Lamar Blalock’s show bred hound was declared the winner and we all headed to our respective beds for some rest before tomorrow’s cast. When I arrived at the kennels around 5 AM on  Thursday morning, I enjoyed seeing some of the other judges who would be helping at this hunt. Some of them included Walter Cleaton, Tony Deal, Jamie Vargo and Laurence Grinstead. I always enjoy seeing Donna Martin who feeds us so well during the hunts. I grabbed a cup of coffee and headed to my
kennel to get the blankets off my hounds before Laurence and Tony came through to check them in. Roll call went well and the 423 hounds that were entered were the most for the Tennessee State in recent memory.

It was extremely humid and cloudy as the 7:15 cast time approached. A few minutes before this, some hounds got loose ahead of time up on the hill. It sounded as though an atomic bomb had went off up there. At our end of the compound, we held ours back until Pete instructed us to cast them and we did with only a couple that couldn’t find their way out of the kennel area.

The running got off to a fast start. Judge Jimmy Deans was covering the lower gate and he got 10 or 12 crossings during the first hour of the hunt. As time went on, the hounds moved to the back of the pen and also over near the gazebo.

Because of the heavy humidity, we hunters could not hear the bulk of the running until a pack would swing by or pop up in hearing. Due to the fact that we saw very few hounds drifting by the gates, we knew that there was action somewhere.

I spent a large portion of the time chatting with many folks, a lot of whom I have already mentioned. My old friend Kim Perry and I had a nice bull session as did me and Alicia Bailey.

I enjoyed seeing Arnold Phillips for the first time in several years and also enjoyed seeing Curtis Lindsay who had driven out from Texas to join us. When the hunt was called off, everybody pitched in and we
gathered a ton of hounds up in the first hour. I didn’t have much luck even though I saw several hounds that weren’t ready to be caught.

When I went in to unload the few hounds that I did catch, I was happy to see four of my five entries already in the scratch pen. When I got them situated, I headed back out with my tracking box to see of I could get close to my Derby that I call Webster. I located him quickly, but he was not interested in quitting.

Furthermore, Webster was showing clear signs of being spooked. Since this was his first field trial, there was no telling what had happened.  In the meantime, the scratch and score sheets were posted.  There were 36 hounds that had been scratched the first day.

The score sheets looked pretty good, but certainly not up to Creedmoor standards. In the Derby, Springs Kennels 125 was the top hound with 30 points.  In Speed and Drive, Ronnie Norris’ 91 was on top with 235
points. Ronnie’s hound was also the top hound overall in the Derby.

In the All-Age, Jesse and Ellen Cunio’s 401 had 40 in Hunting and 100 Speed and Drive to lead in that category.  In Speed and Drive, Robert and Tommy Lineberry’s 440 was in front with 165 in Speed and Drive.

This was also the top overall score. After checking the sheets, I tried in vain to get my Derby in. Webster had been scared somehow and I was not able to get him in for any rest after the first day.

Thursday evening a weather front came through and the wind was blowing from the west when I got to the kennels.  I tracked Webster, but he was in the middle of the woods in the center of the pen.

I went back and was ready when Tony and Laurence came through at roll call.  Once again, the hounds were cast at 7:15. There were some good crossings at the gates early, but the winds that were howling out of the west kept us from hearing any appreciable running. Also, the winds were so stout that several of the tent canopies that the hunters had erected in front of their kennels blew over.

I enjoyed listening to Larry Tomlin during one bull session and had a nice chat with Jason Peters among the many other folks who were leaning on the gates trying to hear if there was any running going on.  When the hunt was called today, I caught a truckload of hounds at the second turn around including one of my Derbies. When I went in to unload these, I saw that my only All-Age hound was up, so I decided to try and get up with Webster.

Needless to say,Webster had all that he wanted for one trip. I located him and took my time in getting him to lay still while I tried to catch him. This time I was successful.

The Derby awards were given out at 3 o’clock.  Congratulations to Ronnie Norris on winning the Derby.
After the Derby awards, I tried to help Heather and Lulu as they had five hounds still out with two of them being All- Age. Since they were not familiar with the paths in the pen, I followed them in my buggy and we soon had both All-Age and one of the Derbies up. They got the other two Derbies before dark.

The All-Age score sheets said that the Cunio’s still had the top Hunting hound as their 401 now had 55 points.  In Speed and Drive, Shane Bonavita and Jay Craven’s 761 had 290 points to lead after two days. Overall, James Larch’s 513 was in the lead, but it was still anybody’s ball game.

Roll call Saturday morning was at 7 AM with 173 All-Age eligible to go. Since I only had one All-Age, I took two of Heather’s hounds and led them through as my E.C. dog had a fit. This was his first time being cast off the leash and he was all fired up. Pete cast the hounds at 7:12 and we had running very quickly.

I listened to some of it, but was forced to leave as I had three pups that Buddy Taylor had trained for me ready to be picked up at his house an hour up the road in Virginia. By the time I returned, there was about 1 hour left in the hunt.

There was still running going on. In fact, as Richard Hunt and I talked, a coyote slipped up the fence beside the compound. At 11:12, Mark and Heather Miller’s 746 led about 25 hounds after this game.  When the hunt was called and all the tabulations were complete, it was determined that Jay Craven and Shane Bonavita had won the 2011 Tennessee State. Congratulations to two fine fellows and tough hunters as well.

The Tennessee State is one of my very favorite hunts. I enjoy it so much because the fellowship is second to none and there is no politics involved. Association President Mike Summey and wife Amy take care of all the loose ends and the hunters are able to enjoy themselves as a result.

The judges at this year’s hunt did an awesome job. They were led by one of the best Masters of Hounds there is in Pete Warren. The other judges were: Jamie Vargo, Lawrence Grinstead, Tony Deal, Ralph Wolfe, Jimmy Deans, Kelly Meadows, L.D. Buchanon, Ray Owen, Walter Cleaton, Paige Allen, Moose Haire, Wayne Smith, Ralph Smith, Ronnie Winstead, Caleb Gilliland and Chris Martin.

All-Age HGA:

  • 1. B&C Dot (Ch. East Coast Holliday ex Ch. Hunt’s Fly), B&C Kennels, Meshoppen, PA;
  • 2. Hit N Run Hilda (Godfrey’s Cool Whip ex Garner’s Mollie), Robert and Tommy Lineberry, Sanford, NC;
  • 3. Hunt’s Penny (Ch. East Coast Holiday ex Ch. Hunt’s Fly), Richard Hunt, Ashboro, NC;
  • 4. Larch’s Tammy (Ambler Ridge Lookin Back ex Ambler Ridge Dolly), James Larch, Walton, WV;
  • 5. Crisco’s Beauty (East Coast Repo ex Garner’s Topsy), Crisco and Garner, Olivia, NC;
  • 6. Jag’s Carrie (Ch. Mare Branch Clorox ex Ch. Jag’s Flo), Jewel Harville, London, KY;
  • 7. Whisenant’s Hero B. (P.C. Woodchopper ex Crisco’s Heidi), Whisenant and Marshall, Ivor, VA;
  • 8. J&E Koolaide (Ch. East Coast Dylan ex J&E Cherry), J&E Kennel, Grantsboro, NC;
  • 9. T’s L’l Bouncy (Ch. East Holiday ex T’s Bouncy), T’s Kennel, Spout Spring, VA;
  • 10. Morrison’s Blu Boy (Round Mountain Alvin ex Round Mountain Presus), GCS Kennel.

Derby HGA:

  • 1. Norris’ Jill (Firehouse’s Marvelous ex Ch. Big Oaks Elle Mae), Ronnie Norris;
  • 2. Crisco’s Molly (Dangler’s Jesse James ex Blalock’s Blaze), Crisco and Garner;
  • 3. Tommy’s Squeak (PC Woodchopper ex Crisco’s Heidi), Robert and Tommy Lineberry;
  • 4. Dyer’s Pat (Ramsey’s Jerry ex Rector’s Fancy T.), Keith Dyer;
  • 5. Hankins’ Jerry (Ch. Valentine’s Gus ex Norris’ Mae), Hankins Kennel;
  • 6. Bond’s Magneto (Ch. Bond’s Maverick ex ex Huffman’s Shelby), Triple “B” Kennels;
  • 7. Brandy (TW Ch. Whisenant’s Jimmy B ex Front End Sadie), Smokey Mt. Kennels;
  • 8. Springs’ Rebel (Rockhill’s Closeline ex Crazy Sally), Springs Kennels;
  • 9. Austin’s Goldie (East Coast Dylan ex High Tenor Chocolate), Bobby Austin;
  • 10. Perry’s Jim A. (Round M Alvin ex Stretch Hide Gypsy), Kim Perry.

Derby Combination: Springs’ Rebel, Springs Kennel.


Best in Show: Ch. Kelly Mt. Bearly Legal, Lamar Blalock and Judy Rae.

Best Opposite Sex: Slady Bank Snickers, Randy Wittenbarger.

All-Age Male:

  • 1. Ch. Kelly Mt. Bearly Legal (Polk’s Special Effect ex Kelly Mt. Liberty Bell), Lamar Blalock and Judy Rae;
  • 2. T’s Boo Boo (Ch. T’s Boo Yah ex Hill City Mercedes), T’s Kennel;
  • 3. Jag’s Cash (Ch. Mare Branch Clorox ex Ch. Jag’s Flo), Jewel Harville;
  • 4. East Texas Houston (East Texas Hollywood ex Gibbs Annie Grace), Curtis Lindsey;
  • 5. Whisenant’s Major B. (Lakehill’s Ike ex Lakehill’s Jenny), Brandon Whisenant;
  • 6. Big D’s Red Top (Ramsey’s Jerry ex Ramsey’s Hannah), J&E Kennel;
  • 7. Morrison’s Buddy (PC’s Andy ex Todd’s Megan), GCS Kennels;
  • 8. Triple Bridge Tornado II (PC’s Andy ex Short’s Molly), Triple Bridge Kennel;
  • 9. Bond’s Ring (Bond’s Superman ex Huffman’s Shelby), Triple B Kennels;
  • 10. Summey’s Goliath M. (Ch. East Coast Hollywood ex Short’s Candy), Hopewell Springs Kennels.

All-Age Female:

  • 1. Slady Bank Snickers (East Coast Dylan ex Big D’s Silver Bell), Randy Wittenbarger;
  • 2. Dee (not given), LTM Sons;
  • 3. T’s Boo Z (Ch. T’s Boo Yah ex Hill City Mercedes), T’s Kennel;
  • 4. Al’s Milkshake (Kanon’s Ziploc ex Little Big of Trouble), Allan Bishop;
  • 5. Butterfly (Round Mtn. Hollywood ex Big D’s Red Head), GCS Kennels;
  • 6. Ray’s Tiny (Ch. East Coast Dylan ex Ray’s Susie), James L. Ray;
  • 7. Bukskin’s Ginger (Hammerin’ Down Ben ex Bates’ Goldie), Frank Patterson, Bukskin Creek Kennel;
  • 8. Whisenant’s Lexus B (Ch. Whisenant’s Jimmy B. ex Whisenant’s Sally B.), Brandon Whisenant;
  • 9. JC’s Dawg (Everett P ex WR’s Sally), James Clark; and
  • 10. Betty (Billy’s Dragon Fly ex Cherrie Hill Nubby), Smokey Mt. Kennels.

Derby Male:

  • 1. Cascade Rhymer (Hemphill’s Crazy Horse ex Cascade Whitney), Frank Hall;
  • 2. Springs’ Rebel (Rock Hill’s Clothesline ex Crazy Sally) Springs Kennels;
  • 3. Summey’s Max C (Summey’s Coppertop D ex Summey’s Anna M), Hopewell Springs Kennel;
  • 4. Triple Bridge Rock On (Opie’s Rock On ex Rose’s Lil Jewel), Triple Bridge Kennel;
  • 5. Round Mt. Mr. Clyde (Round Mt. Hollywood ex Round Mt. Molly), Gordon and Janice Sexton;
  • 6. MB’s Ace (Hammerin’ Down Ace ex Ballard’s Colby Jet), Mike Britt;
  • 7. Whisenant’s Romeo B. (Locust Grove Spud ex Fox Haven Fat Pat), Brandon Whisenant;
  • 8. Rowdy (Billy’s Dragon Fly ex Clark’s Janie), Smokey Mt. Kennel;
  • 9. Rocky (Round Mt. Alvin ex Stretch Hide Gypsy), Smokey Mt. Kennels;
  • 10. JP’s RJ (Ch. East Coast Dylan ex Owen’s Kitty), JP Kennels.

Derby Female:

  • 1. Whisesant’s Bailey B. (Kennedy’s John Boy ex Brown’s Holly), Brandon Whisenant;
  • 2. Austin’s Goldie (East Coast Dylan ex High Tenor Chocolate), Bobby Austin;
  • 3. Morrison’s Bonnie (Round Mt. Hollywood ex Round Mt. Molly), GCS Kennels;
  • 4. Austin’s Reba (Round Mt. Hollywood ex Round Mt. Molley), Bobby Austin;
  • 5. Brittany (TW (d) Ch. Whisenant’s Jimmy B. ex Front End Sadie), Smokey Mt. Kennels;
  • 6. Summey’s Sunshine M. (Summey’s Coppertop D. ex Summey’s Anna M.), Hopewell Springs Kennels;
  • 7. Cascade Scarlett (Hemphill’s Crazy Horse ex Cascade Sheri), Frank Hall;
  • 8. Marshall’s Angel (Ch. Whisenant’s Jimmy B. ex Trail Blazin’ Black Widow), Marshall Kennel;
  • 9. American Woman (not given), LTM Sons;
  • 10. Springs Shy (Rockhill’s Clothesline ex Crazy Sally), Springs Kennel.

Natural Carriage: LTM and Son USO, L&M Son.

Best Pair: Cascade Rhymer and Cascade Josh, Frank Hall.

Best Pack: Shine, Alicia, Max, SJ and Flawless, Back Road Kennels.

By Bill McGee and Amy Summey, 1839 Povo Road, Madisonville, TN 37354