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Purina Awards Program


54 Years of Purina Awards

Excerpt from the June 6, 1964 edition of the American Field:

Ch. War Storm Receives Top Dog Award

Purina Awards_War Storm_3Field Trial dignitaries graced the occasion when presentation of the Top Dog Award was made on Monday, May 25, in St. Louis, Mo. The winner, War Storm, which captured three championship titles during the 1963-64 season to gain the coveted designation as America’s top hunting dog, accepted all the attention with good grace, perhaps a bit confused by the palavering, casting an occasional glance at his fond handler, John Gates, sort of inquiring, “What is all this about?”

What it was all about is well known to field trial and bird dog enthusiasts throughout the country, For about a year ago, the sponsors of this proposed annual award announced that competition for it would begin with the 1963-64 field trial season, designating outstanding trials wherein winners would earn points on a definite scoring basis. An Award Committee, composed of Clyde Morton of Alberta, Ala., William M. West of Miami, Fla., George M. Rogers of Mount Holly, N. J., Chester C. Coon of Los Angeles, Cal., and Dr. William Herbert McCall of Ashville, N. C. selected the trials and set the scoring method. Their wisdom is acknowledged, but none could have foreseen how beautifully it all would work out in the very first season! A recent tabulation showed a list of dogs that were point-getters in the competition and War Storm, the brilliant white and liver pointer dog, owned by Bethea McCall of Birmingham, Ala., handled by John S. Gates of Leesburg, Ga., which captured the Dominion Chicken Championship, the National Free-for-All Championship and the National Championship, finished as the Top Field Trial Dog.

Certainly the competition did exactly what its sponsor, Ralston Purina Company, and the Award Committee had in mind — give recognition to a consistently brilliant winner in the fastest of field trial competition.

Purina Awards_War Storm_1

If C. C. (Tex) Fawcett, director of Purina’s Dog Care Division, his close associates and the top brass of Ralston had wished for any special significance it was realized by the fact that War Storm, the decisive point leader, is the proud possession of B. McCall, a member of the Field Trial Hall of Fame, who is also head of Western Grain Company, makers of Jim Dandy Dog Food. The rapport of all in trying to do something constructively worthwhile and beneficial for the dog game was exemplified in the fact that Mr. McCall and his lovely wife were on hand for the presentation ceremonies to accept the beautifully designed bronze wall plaque, the gold and silver hat pin and other awards to commemorate War Storm’s victory.

Also present, of course, was the redoubtable handler of “Jake,” John Gates, who received recognition, a gold and silver hat pin and a cash award for having piloted the sterling son of Warhoop Jake and Satilla Little Jane to the Top Dog Award.

Purina Awards_War Storm_2

Presentation ceremonies took place in the DeVille Motor Hotel at a special luncheon on May 25. “Tex” Fawcett presided and handled each detail with the dignity expected on such a momentous occasion. Ray Rowland, president of Ralston-Purina, made the presentations to Mr. McCall and John Gates. George M. Rogers, on behalf of the Award Committee, expressed gratification on how the competition worked out during the last season, paid tribute to Mr. Fawcett and to Purina for its contributions to the field trial game by sponsoring the award, and congratulated the winners warmly. In a play on words, George Rogers said “The Committee had a relatively easy role. It simply fed the figures to a computer, the gears whirred like a WAR was starting, the GATES opened, and out STORMED the name of Mr. McCall’s brilliant pointer. Owner and handler have fine reason to be proud of War Storm’s achievement.”

An excellent cut-out of War Storm was displayed beneath a white satin banner extolling his feat, but it was “Jake” himself who when he was brought to the rostrum was the cynosure of all eyes as he received a standing ovation, leaving him a bit nonplussed; in any event, he failed to say a word, simply maintained a dignified silence.

For more on the announcement and award ceremony of the first Purina Award: Purina Awards_Inaugural

June 23-24, 2017 marks the 54th Anniversary of the Purina Awards. Today Purina is owned by the Nestlé Company who have continued this honorable Award Program. Since the inaugural award for the 1963-64 season, categories have been added for: All-Age Handler of the Year, Amateur All-Age Dog Award, Shooting Dog Award, Shooting Dog Handler of the Year Award, Amateur Shooting Dog Award and, for the first time this year, Open and Amateur Derby Awards.

Here is the list of the Top Field Trial Bird Dogs Winners in the All-Age Category:

1963-1964
War Storm
B. McCall, owner
John S. Gates, handler

1964-1965
Red Water Rex
W. T. Pruitt, E. B. Alexander Jr., owners
D. Hoyle Eaton, handler

1965-1966
Safari
S. H. Vredenburgh, owner
John Rex Gates, handler

1966-1967
Riggins White Knight
R. W. Riggins, owner
D. Hoyle Eaton, handler

1967-1968
Riggins White Knight
Dr. N. E. Palumbo, owner
D. Hoyle Eaton, handler

1968-1969
Red Water Rex
W. T. Pruitt, E. B. Alexander Jr., owners
D. Hoyle Eaton, handler

1969-1970
Johnny Crockett
H. P. Sheely, owner
W. C. Kirk, handler

1970-1971
Wrapup
J. T. Payne, Jimmy Hinton, owners
Billy Morton, handler

1971-1972
The Texas Squire
Edwin Brown, owner
John Rex Gates, handler

1972-1973
Miller’s Miss Knight
Rogers H. Hays, owner
M. Faye Throneberry, handler

1973-1974
Crossmatch
Dr. M. E. Gordon, owner
Bud Daugherty, handler

1974-1975
White Knight’s Button
Jack Fiveash, owner
Collier Smith, handler

1975-1976
Miller’s White Cloud
W. S. McIlhenny, owner
D. Hoyle Eaton, handler

1976-1977
Buckboard
Dr. D. E. Hawthorne, owner
Bud Daugherty, handler

1977-1978
Rex’s Cherokee Jake
Dr. Larry Mitchell, owner
D. Hoyle Eaton, handler

1978-1979
Allure
Jimmy Hinton, owner
Billy Morton, handler

1979-1980
Blackbelt
Dr. W. O. Pardue, owner
Freddie Epp, handler

1980-1981
Allure
Jimmy Hinton, owner
Billy Morton, handler

1981-1982
Heritage’s Premonition
Jim & Judy Cohen, owner
Freddie Rayl, handler

1982-1983
Whippoorwill’s Rebel
S. R. Cline, owner
Tommy Davis, handler

1983-1984
Native Tango
J. D. Allen, Dr. David Kuykendall, owners
Collier Smith, handler

1984-1985
Flatwood Hank
Jimmy Honea, owner
Robin Gates, handler

1985-1986
Flatwood Hank
Jimmy Honea, owner
Robin Gates, handler

1986-1987
Whippoorwill’s Rebel
S. R. Cline, owner
Tommy Davis, handler

1987-1988
Rebel Wrangler
Stephen Walker, owner
Bill Hunt, handler

1988-1989
Redemption’s Reward
T. Jack & Fred C. Robinson, owners
Tommy Davis, handler

1989-1990
Dunn’s Fearless Bud
Wilson & Polly Dunn, owners
Randy Patterson, handler

1990-1991
Quicksilver Pink
J.F. & Mary Stallings, owners
Colvin Davis, handler

1991-1992
Rebel Wrangler
Stephen Walker, owner
Bill Hunt, handler

1992-1993
Brush Country Spectre
Mary G. Finley, owner
Ed Husser, handler

1993-1994
Brush Country Spectre
Mary G. Finley, owner
Ed Husser, handler

1994-1995
Flatwood Rusty
Kiyoshi Inoue, owner
Robin Gates, handler

1995-1996
Miller’s Silver Ending
Ray Grace, owner
David Grubb, handler

1996-1997
Silverwood
Dr. Everett Crouch, owner
Robin Gates, handler

1997-1998
Shell Creek Dan
R. W. (Bud) Moore, owner
Charles Morton, handler

1998-1999
Lehar’s Main Tech
Bill Goolsby, Dr.Rick Love, owners
Billy Wayne Morton, handler

1999-2000
Lehar’s Main Tech
Bill Goolsby, Dr.Rick Love, owners
Billy Wayne Morton, handler

2000-2001
Law’s High Noon
Joe Johnston, Gary Futch, Howard A. Tucker, owners
Rick Furney, handler

2001-2002
Silverwood
Dr. Everett Crouch, owner
Robin Gates, handler

2002-2003
Texas Trailrider
B. L. Barney, Sandy Allen, owners
Gary Pinalto, handler

2003-2004
Quicksilver Gold
Rick Stallings, owner
Colvin Davis, handler

2004-2005
Lester’s Absolute
Rick Stallings, owner
Colvin Davis, handler

2005-2006
Miller’s On Line
Chip McEwen, Mike Furney, owners
Rick Furney, handler

2006-2007
Funseeker’s Rebel
Frank & Mercy Fonseca, owners
Frank Dileo, handler

2007-2008
Shell Creek Coin
David O’Connor, owner
Steve Hurdle, handler

2008-2009
Lester’s Snowatch
Gary Lester, owner, handler

2009-2010
Strut
Tommy Davis, Eddie Sholar, owners
Tommy Davis, handler

2010-2011
Touch’s White Out
Ike Todd, Keith & Jessica Wright, owners
Ike Todd, handler

2011-2012
Connor’s EZ Button
David O’Connor, owner
Steve Hurdle, handler

2012-2013
Stallion
Dr. Davey Deal, Dr. Ron Deal, owners
Tommy Davis, handler

2013-2014
Touch’s Adams County
Ric Peterson, owner
Randy Anderson, handler

2014-2015
Miller’s Dialing In
Gary Lester, owner, handler

2015-2016
Whippoorwill Justified
Ronnie Spears, owner
Larry Huffman, handler

2016-2017
Dunn’s Tried ‘N True
Will & Rita Dunn, owners
Luke Eisenhart, handler

On behalf of the field trial community, Strideaway thanks Nestlé Purina for its many years of generous support of our fine sport and field trial bird dogs.

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Strideaway is an online publication founded in 2008. We are dedicated to promoting the great sport of American pointing dog field trials, in particular American Field sanctioned trials for pointers and setters. Our objective is to present the voices and ideas of experienced trainers, handlers, breeders and other knowledgeable participants and enthusiasts from the past to the present � amateurs and professionals alike. Whether All-Age or Shooting Dog, Horseback or Walking Trials, we place particular emphasis on wild bird field trials and the dogs that compete in them. We present richly illustrated articles and stories, podcast interviews and other types of media on a regular basis with the hope of providing an ever expanding, searchable archive of information relevant to pointing dog field trials.Read article

This website is dedicated to our ever faithful friend and Strideaway contributor, Bill Allen, whose book The Unforgettables and Other True Fables we published in 2010.

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