I am Tom Freeland, a lawyer in Oxford, Mississippi. The picture in the header is my law office. I'm on Twitter as NMissC

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An English Setter wins at Grand Junction

I think it’s fair to say that scout owner and dog in the picture above have had a good day, just on the evidence of the expressions alone.

The history is even better.  The dog is Shadow Oak Bo, the winner of the 114th Grand Junction Field Trial at the Ames Plantation in Tennessee.  This is the great contest of quail hunting dogs.  Shadow Oak Bo is the first English Setter to win at Grand Junction since 1970, and (according to my friend Jere Hoar, an aficionado of setters), only the third Setter in the last 80 years to win.  The job the dog did to win is impressive.

If you go to the museum at Grand Junction, you’ll see rich early history of the setters in the early years of the field trials.  For the last seventy-five years or so, pointers have dominated.

I grew up with English setters– a favorite dog of my youth was a setter named Bo from one of Jere Hoar’s dog’s litters.

This is an important sentimental moment for setter fans.

Our current setter, Hank the Dog, is pictured below.



The picture is of Shadow Oak Bo and his scout (whose function will be clear in the description, below) whose father is Shadow Oak Bo’s trainer.

Here’s the description of the win from the Ames Plantation site:

In the eyes of the judges, Bo’s performance in the 2013 National Championship came closer to meeting the Amesian Standard than any dog in the competition. His three hour performance began with a bang when at the two minute mark he was standing proud and tall in the cut milo field just to the right of the course. Braced with Rivertons Funseek’n Scooter, the handsome pointer and setter dualed it out for the next three hours.  When the dust began to settle with less than 15 minutes to go Bo had amassed a score of six perfectly handled finds and three backs of his brace mate who had managed five good covey finds. The icing on the cake for Bo came when he drifted out of sight to the front of the course as time was called. Within minutes Robin Gates’ hat was in the air with Bo once again standing proud and tall on his seventh and last find.  His birds were perfectly located, just as they had been on all his previous points and his manners were perfection to the wing and shot as Robin put the covey to flight!

Here’s a picture of Bo on point while his scout flushes the birds, also from the Ames site.  Apparently, they cut setters very close for the field trial in case there are icy conditions that could cause problems in their coat.

Here’s another picture of Bo

13 comments to An English Setter wins at Grand Junction

  • johnny hayles

    as a young gent in the early 60′s i remember driving with my father over from cleveland to dr. hoar’s house where my father on several occasions would purchase an english setter or two…the one i remember most…”Belle”

  • My uncle was the chief judge for the National Field Trials for a number of years. I remember as a college student going up to my dad’s office to type the speech he intended to give to the National Convention in San Francisco. In looking back, he was very kind to us in high school and before, and I guess he preferred asking me to type his speech than asking to have one of my dad’s secretaries do it.

    A writer from I think Outdoors magazine came down and did a story, and commented on how startling it is to hear a common expression used in its proper context for the first time, namely my uncle ordering, “Hold your horses, boys.” Later my uncle was interviewed and told of the most unlikely winner of the National field trial, and when asked how it came to be that he won, declared without attempt at humor, “Well, every dog has his day.”

    Shadow Oak Bo has had his day!

  • Ben

    Congratulations to Bo on his big day. I don’t know how or where they found quail for Bo to find … I have neither seen nor heard a bird out here in eastern Lafayette County, Mississippi, in more than 8 or 9 years. I don’t know what happened to our quail population. Readers who have never visited the bird dog museum Hall of Fame in Grand Junction owe it to themselves to check it out. Dogs … all dogs … together with horses, are God’s finest creations. The museum honors top hunting dogs appropriately. Good post, Tom.

  • Vicki Childers

    My dad preferred setters over pointers, and I fondly remember them, Joe and Bess. When I was a kid back in the 50s up in Tippah County, Daddy would go quail hunting and would bring back enough quail for everybody to have their fill, and my mother’s fried quail was the best. I can still hear a few quail calls around my house, and count myself lucky to have seen a covey of quail walk through the yard last year.

  • Terminator

    this blog has now officially gone to the dogs; meanwhile, an historic decision from the 5th Circuit goes without mention. why mention such when there’s exciting recipes and hounds to spotlight.

    I realize you’re busy making a living, just a little disappointed that this really fine site seems to be, well, declining. No offense meant to you personally, just like to see some topics that draw lots of comments and views, and lately, there are none.

  • In addition to what NMC said: ahem.

    … One problem with “debate” threads, to me at least, is that the same people have the same opinions, and things go south, so to speak, pretty quickly. And it’s tedious, not to say distasteful, to have to moderate such discussions.

    So, KITTENS! DOGS! RECIPES! Because when contention is literally what you do for a living, some days you don’t want to make it your hobby too. Just sayin’.

  • NMC

    Hey, if its going to the dogs, it’s going to wonderful dogs.

  • NMC

    Oh, and I think that the most recent post is a virtual sure thing for lotsa comments and argument. I was in the middle of it when I heard about the “historic Fifth Circuit case,” about which I may or may not post later. I will say this about it: I knew the court was going to make short work of the silly reason the Mississippi Supreme Court gave for ducking the question.

  • Anderson

    U so rite. There is some unwritten rule that no one who can grasp federal law stays on the MSSC for long.

    Anyway, the right ruling I think, tho more could be said about it.

  • Silence DoGood

    Dandy Duncan Jim was as worthless a setter if ever there was one, pointing flies on the porch all the while terrified of thunderclaps or heaven forbid a gun report. Too many generations removed from 1946 Birdog Champion Mississippi Zev to be anything other than a patch-eyed friend. And a good one he was.

  • charlieali

    Beautiful dog creature

  • Larry Stewart

    stud fee on bo

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