2017-2018 Purina Top Shooting Dog Handler Award
Not even an emergency operation and hospital stay could keep pro bird dog trainer and handler George Tracy of Glenville, Pennsylvania, out of the winner’s circle. After taking an unplanned six weeks off for health reasons, Tracy returned strong to the highly competitive shooting dog circuit, capping the 2017-2018 season with the 30th annual Purina Top Shooting Dog Handler Award, besting 39 handlers. Tracy’s string of 14 bird dogs earned 2,920 points from 23 points-earning placements in field trials across the country.
“To be competitive in this sport, a handler has to have the support of great dogs and owners. I have the best, and without them, I wouldn’t be accepting this honor,” says Tracy, a Hall of Fame member who has won a record-setting 13 Purina Top Shooting Dog Handler Awards. “I am grateful to win the Purina Award, which perpetuates the highest level of sportsmanship among those engaged in this longstanding outdoor tradition.”