2017-2018 Purina Top All-Age Handler Award

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Professional bird dog trainer and handler Mark McLean of Moultrie, Georgia, has attained his ultimate goal during his career spanning 30-plus years: winning the Purina Award. Not only did McLean fulfill that dream, he took home double honors in a single season, including the 2017-2018 Purina Top Field Trial Bird Dog Award with Touch’s Mega Mike, who was among McLean’s string of dogs helping him to capture the 2017-2018 Purina Top All-Age Handler Award. Spending six months of the year on the road traveling 5,500 miles to field trials across the country, McLean successfully campaigned four dogs to earn 2,722 points from 15 placements in all-age horseback stakes, topping 32 handlers. “It is an honor to win the Purina Handler Award and have my name appear next to all of the great handlers who came before me,” said McLean, who finished the yearlong race more than 1,000 points ahead of the runner-up. “This achievement is a total team effort and wouldn’t be possible without great dogs, owners and scouts, especially my son Cody McLean, who have been a big part of my success.”