Awards & Recognition

Awards & Recognition

Do your dogs have what it takes to be the best of the best? Want to cheer

on some of the top dogs in the nation? Meet Circle of Champions and

Purina Sporting Dog Award winners

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“Luke,” a 2-year-old male Labrador Retriever, won the Purina Outstanding Derby Retriever Award with 86 points in the yearlong competition. Abby’s Physician of Antioch rounded out his derby-age career with a total of 98 points, including 14 wins. Owner-handler Dan Hurst of Bullard, Texas, says Luke is a highly intelligent dog with a strong desire to please. “He’s a phenomenal marking dog and as high rolling as he is, Luke is an absolutely wonderful team player,” Hurst says.

“Cutter,” a 4-year-old English Coonhound, sliced through the competition to become the 2015 Purina Outstanding Bench Show Coonhound. WSHOWCH NITE CH CCH GR CH ‘PR’ Kentucky Mtn Diamond Cutter wowed at more than 40 weekend bench shows throughout the yearlong competition. Breeder-owner-handler Penny Jessup of Rural Hall, North Carolina, describes the red-ticked male as “a once-in-a-lifetime hound.” A breeder of English Coonhounds for 23 years, winning this award is a lifetime achievement for Jessup.

A chocolate Labrador Retriever called “Ammo” gracefully sailed through the yearlong competition, earning 55.5 points, to win the Purina Outstanding Amateur Retriever Award. Capping off a phenomenal year, FC-AFC-CNAFC-CFC Upon the Wings of an Answered Prayer captured 15 all-age stakes in 2014, becoming the first and only dog to win four U.S. double headers in the same year. The 7-year-old female is owned by Bill and Micki Petrovish of Townsend, Montana.

Winning a record 12 Purina Top Handler Awards, veteran pro George Tracy of Glenville, Pennsylvania, is the 2014-2015 Purina Top Shooting Dog Handler. Tracy ruled the shooting dog circuit with 32 placements from 26 Purina Point field trials, earning 3,365 points. “It’s great to be recognized for doing well in this sport,” says Tracy, whose string of 11 dogs included “Duke” (Sugarknoll War Paint), the 2014-2015 Purina Top Shooting Dog Award winner, and “Bull” (Fast and Furious), the 2014-2015 Purina Derby Top Shooting Dog Award winner.

A 2-year-old liver-marked male Pointer called “Bull” is the winner of the third annual Purina Top Shooting Dog Derby Award. Masterfully handled by veteran pro George Tracy, the 2014-2015 Purina Top Shooting Dog Handler, Fast and Furious charged through field trials to earn 1,001 points, almost double that of the second-place finisher. “Bull is intelligent and eager to please, never attempting to outsmart you. He works with you, not against you. If he senses you’re upset, he works that much harder to make you happy,” says Tracy, of Glenville, Pennsylvania. Bred by W.

Surging ahead at the season’s end, a white-and-orange Pointer called “Duke” outperformed 313 dogs to capture the 33rd annual Purina Top Shooting Dog Award. Handled by the 2014-2015 Purina Top Shooting Dog Handler, veteran pro George Tracy of Glenville, Pennsylvania, Sugarknoll War Paint won five major stakes the last four weeks of the season, earning 2,080 points. “Winning the Purina Award proves your dog is a consistent champion, not a flash in the pan,” Tracy says.

A 3-year-old liver-marked Pointer called “Rip” tore through the competition to win the 12th annual Purina Top Shooting Dog Amateur Award. Lester’s Prime Poison Lane clinched the award by winning the National Amateur Free-For-All Championship and claiming 1,040 points of the 1,367 total he earned in the yearlong shooting dog stakes. Owner-handler Brian Peterson of Cecil, Alabama, says, “An important part of training is going to the field every day. Each day offered a new lesson to learn, even if it’s not what we expected.

A Pointer called “Spec” stylishly commanded the competition to capture the 52nd annual Purina Top Field Trial Bird Dog Award. Handled by owner Gary Lester of Gracey, Kentucky, Miller’s Dialing In earned an impressive 3,470 points, more than 1,200 points ahead of the second-place contender. At the height of his campaign this spring, the 5-year-old orange-and-white male tallied point-earning placements at the Continental All-Age Championship, West Tennessee Open All-Age, National Championship for Field Trialing Bird Dogs, Rend Lake Open, and Kentucky Open All-Age Championship.

Professional Luke Eisenhart of Albany, Georgia, is the 2014-2015 Purina Top All-Age Handler, which makes the third Purina Handler Award he has won in the past four seasons. Eisenhart commanded the all-age circuit during the yearlong program to earn 3,923 points, the second highest total in the award’s 27-year history. The only handler to win the Purina Award in both the all-age and shooting dog segments, Eisenhart also is a two-time Purina Top Shooting Dog Handler.

It was a happy ending for Saddle Up Sally, who escaped her kennel and survived a brutal Montana winter 35 miles away from home at just 1 year of age. The white-and-liver Pointer endured the odds before being live-trapped and rescued, then commanded the all-age circuit to win the eighth annual Purina Amateur Top Field Trial Bird Dog Award. “Sally is unique. Most dogs lost at such a young age would never survive, much less become a champion,” says owner-handler Larron Copeland of Bronwood, Georgia.

FCB Tilley’s Little Timmy, a 2-year-old 13-inch tricolor male Beagle, thrilled owner Joel Davis of Nottingham Township, Pennsylvania, when he clinched the 42nd annual Purina Outstanding Field Trial Brace Beagle Award. A first-time winner of the prestigious award, Davis says, “’Timmy’ is the best dog I’ve ever had.” Timmy out-tracked the competition to win his class at the last field trial, the Northeastern Federation. The win, his second, gave Timmy more points than three female Beagles that were close contenders.

FCB Steeler Town Stiletto, a 1-year-old 15-inch tricolor female Beagle, is the winner of the 10th annual Purina Brace Beagle Derby Award. Co-owned by Marty Parker of Taylorsville, Kentucky, and Niki Happel of Pittsburgh, “Stiletto” is sired by 2XNBC-FCB Bee Lick Braveheart, the winner of this year’s Purina Brace Beagle Champion Award and winner of the 2013 Purina Derby Award. “Stiletto’s best quality is her independence,” Happel says. “Whether she draws the front or back, she does well.