2011-2012 Purina Top Shooting Dog Amateur Award

Top Shooting Dog Amateur Award

‘Pepper’ Is Purina Top Amateur Shooting Dog

Through consistent performances, a 5-year-old white-and-black female Pointer named Neely’s Hot Pepper accumulated 10 placements and 2,155 points to capture the Purina Top Amateur Shooting Dog Award.

The Purina Award is the first for John Neely of Leesburg, Ga., who raised and trained “Pepper.” He bred Pepper’s litter, which includes the 2010 Purina Award winner, Heard Hill’s Queen Mary, owned by Buck and Lynn Heard of Moultrie, Ga. Pepper and “Queen” are the first littermates to become Purina Award winners. The bitches were sired by Erin’s Bad River, owned by Sean Derrig of Tiskilwa, Ill., out of Twin Lakes Wishbone, owned by Neely.

Along the way to winning the Purina Award, Neely handled Pepper to win the Region 14 Shooting Dog Championship in Saskatchewan, Canada, the one-hour Tail Feathers Field Trial in Leesburg, the Amateur Southern Field Trial in Albany, Ga., and the Henry Banks Field Trial in Thomasville, Ga.

“Pepper has a lot of natural pointing ability,” says Neely. “She also is a front-running dog. If I turn around in the field, she will cross whatever is in her path to get back in front.”

As the owner of the ninth annual Purina Amateur Award winner, Neely received an oil painting of Pepper by Ross Young, a silk banner and a year’s supply of Purina Pro Plan Performance Formula for one dog. He also received the traditional green blazer given to owners and handlers of the Purina Top Amateur Shooting Dog.