2020 National Derby Champion Is a Labrador Retriever Named 'Tatum'
A calm, steady 22-month-old black Labrador Retriever named “Tatum” is the winner of the 2020 National Derby Championship Stake. It was a comeback for the impressive female who went into the stake as the low-point qualifier and for owner-handler David Graf of Medford, New York, who returned to field trials in 2020 after a 22-year hiatus to raise his family. NDC Oklahoma Sooner Be Tatum aced the 10th series with its challenging triple water marks one retrieve at a time, receiving an excellent score that was preceded by excellent scores in the 1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th series. “Tatum was on autopilot,” says Graf, a longtime retriever enthusiast. “She is a straight-running dog and has a good, steady pace. Her calmness helped me focus.” After retiring in 2018, Graf bought Tatum and a yellow male Labrador Retriever to train for competition. When the pups were only about 3 months old, Graf took them to hunt tests, sitting on the sidelines to help teach them to watch birds and be calm. Bred by Jarod Freeman of Oklahoma City, Tatum has two National Amateur Retriever Champions in her pedigree: Her paternal grandsire, NAFC-FC-AFC Texas Troubador, won in 2014, and her maternal grandsire, NAFC-FC-AFC Coolwater’s Hawkeye Legend, won in 2016. Tatum was fueled to her National Derby win by Purina Pro Plan SPORT Performance 30/20 Chicken & Rice Formula dog food.