2018-2019 Purina Top Shooting Dog Award
An 8-year-old white-and-liver female Pointer called “Bess” lit up her field trial career under pro trainer/handler Shawn Kinkelaar of Effingham, Illinois, earning 2,612 points from 10 placements in field trials across the country, culminating with being named the 2018-2019 Purina Top Shooting Dog Award winner. Kinkelaar and Bess outperformed more than 90 dogs that also tallied points throughout the national yearlong competition to win the prestigious award.
“Bess is an easy and fun dog to run because of her willingness to please and desire to find birds,” says Kinkelaar, a now 17-time Purina Award winner who also picked up the Purina Top Shooting Dog Handler and Purina Top Shooting Dog Derby Awards for the 2018-2019 season. “She ran to her limit at each and every trial. We had very few outings in which she wasn’t in consideration for a placement.” Bess, whose formal name is Hale’s Southern Touch, was bred by Keith Wright of Covington, Indiana, and is owned by Dr. Jeffrey Hale of Russellville, Arkansas, who says, “Bess is one of the best dogs I’ve ever seen. I can only dream to have another dog like her someday.”