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A straight-tracking hound named “Adri” proved her keen desire to follow the rabbit’s scent by winning the 44th annual Purina Outstanding Field Trial Brace Beagle Award. The 2-year-old 13-inch tricolor female Beagle gave owner-handler Ben Smith of Vale, North Carolina, his first Purina Award in the sport that has his been his passion for more than 40 years. FCB Major Hill Miss Adri shot to the front of the competition at the last of six Federation field trials by winning her class.
A once-in-a-lifetime honor was bestowed on Jack Ruppe of Cowpens, South Carolina, when his 1-year-old 15-inch lemon-and-white male Beagle “Dillon” tracked to the front of the competition to win the 12th annual Purina Brace Beagle Derby Award. After more than 40 years in the sport of brace beagling, Ruppe was thrilled to win his first Purina Award. Handled by pros Bob and Lynette Coil of Bulls Gap, Tennessee, Ruppe’s Super Dillon showed his keen ability to track a rabbit by winning his class at the Mid-Dixie, Heartland and International Derby field trials.
Edging out the competition, a 15-inch red-and-white female Beagle named “Consuela” masterfully won the 12th annual Purina Brace Beagle Champion Award. Taking the lead midway through the competition, FCB Sunshine Consuela dominated with her slow and methodical rabbit-tracking style. Co-owners Pete Proctor of Vale, North Carolina, and Dennis Tressler of Valencia, Pennsylvania, took turns handling the 2 ½-year-old hound to her wins at the Mid-Dixie and Coraopolis Field Champion trials. Consuela placed second at the Loraine County Field Champion trial.
Capturing back-to-back Purina Awards, a white-and-orange Pointer named “Duke” won the 13th annual Purina Amateur Top Shooting Dog Award. Sugarknoll War Paint, handled by six-time Purina Award winner Brian Sanchez of Central Islip, New York, earned 2,020 points, outperforming 88 dogs, throughout the 2015-2016 season. Among his five point-earning placements, Duke won the prestigious National Amateur Shooting Dog Invitational and Free-for-All championships. “Duke is a machine in the field,” says Sanchez.
An independent, hardworking hound called “Mickie” led the pack to capture the prestigious 17th annual Purina Outstanding SPO Field Trial Beagle Award, a first for owners-handlers Joe Piercey of La Vergne, Tennessee, and Mike Reynolds of Readyville, Tennessee. FCGD Star R Mickie E, a 13-inch female, earned 168 points throughout the yearlong competition, more than 30 points ahead of the second-place finisher, having won five Purina Point field trials and placing in seven.
“Bullet” snagged his second consecutive Purina Outstanding Open Retriever Award, earning 52 points during the yearlong competition. NFC-AFC Robbers’ Stray Bullet’s achievement also marked a three-peat for handler Alan Pleasant of Black River Retrievers in Angier, North Carolina, who won in 2014 with Bullet and in 2013 with “Cane” (FC-AFC Ragin Eye Of The Storm). “Bullet is an exceptional marker and consistent on land and in water. He’s a total team player,” he says.