The Broomhill Trials ~ A Tribute to Giving
The first running of the Manitoba Championship was in 1902 with Senator P winning, handled and owned by J. W. Flynn. The Manitoba was held until 1941 with a total of 34 runnings during those years until its resurrection by the Broomhill Field Trial Club in 2005. It should be noted that the Manitoba Championship was the first championship run on the Canadian prairies.
The Alabama Prairie Field Trial Club ran first in Farmersville, Alabama in 1983 with Colvin Davis at the helm. The running first came to Broomhill in 1995. It was that summer Colvin Davis and Robin Gates formed the John S. Gates Memorial Open Derby Classic in remembrance of Capt’n John S. Gates. A trophy was constructed by Dick Harmon of Melita, Manitoba from timber coming from Poverty Plains (the location of the running of the All-America and Dominion Chicken Championships for years; this being in Broomhill). Colvin Davis added the mounted Prairie Chicken with John and Sheila Gates Wheaton adding a silver tray to the display. This trophy was engraved with the winners each year and traveled with the winning handler. A few years ago Colvin Davis decided it should be retired and presented it to Hunter Gates for safe keeping. This derby event was one hour heats for years and to this day still has only two placements. For years the John S. Gates Memorial Open Derby Classic offered a purse of $5000.00 divided between the winner and runner-up guaranteed by Colvin Davis. In the last few years the entry fees are divided. The burden of the “big cash” had become just that and to save the trials the reduction was necessary.
The Alabama Prairie All-Age was released to form the renewal of the Manitoba Championship in 2005. The Iron Nation Open All-Age was first run in Broomhill in 2003 when Joe and Talisha Hicks ask the Broomhill Field Trial Club to host it. It was renamed, more befitting to the area, in 2005 to the Broomhill Open All-Age Classic. It has with it the Broomhill Open Derby Classic.
The helm is still manned for these trials by Colvin Davis and Robin Gates with Hunter Gates taking many of the responsibilities over now.
The Broomhill Field Trial Foundation oversees the running with Jim Gervin of Broomhill presiding over the organization as President. The Board of Directors is duly run by the Chairman, William Smith of Moscow, Tennessee. He has at his table of directors Jim Gervin, Wayne Thompson of Melita, Manitoba who is the President of the Manitoba Championship, Rick Stallings of Montgomery, Alabama, Albert Necaise of Gulfport, Mississippi, Colvin Davis and Mazie Davis of Minter, Alabama, Robin and Hunter Gates of Leesburg, Georgia, Chris Mathan of Pavo, Georgia, Dave Dickson of Broomhill, Manitoba, and Karen Jones of Tilston, Manitoba.
The Pelican Open All-Age and Open Derby ran under this organization from 1996 until 2011 after the officers of that club; Wayne Berry and Albert Necaise requested Broomhill be the temporary home. The decision by the Board of Directors this past spring was unanimous to return the Pelican back to Berry and Necaise.
In 1995 when the trials started up again in Broomhill, Colvin Davis ask Jean Dickson of Pipestone, Manitoba and Donna Gervin of Broomhill, Manitoba to head an organization to oversee monies from the Field Trial Club for the three local municipalities to go for the youth in these areas. Thus the Broomhill Field Trial Foundation was formed and the field trial club gives from its percentage of the entry fees $10.00 for each dog entered. A pillar of this sport and a great man J. F. “Tobe” Stallings who always supported the Broomhill trials passed away in 1998. His son Rick Stallings and Albert Necasie formed the Tobe Stallings Memorial Scholarship Fund for these three municipalities. They give $1000.00 each year to this fund. The same ladies also oversee this money.
These are the things that this great sport we all love are based on GIVING. We should never take lightly the giving of each individual because everything given makes it grow and go on. Each time something is taken from this sport, let us all do our part and give something back — securing the future of a sport that was built on givers and only survives in that very same way.
The 2019 Broomhill Trials are dedicated to a giver that did all he could to keep it going — Capt’n John S. Gates. This summer marks 47 years since his passing. He leaves behind not only his legacy of sons, grandson, and many others he started in this business but what he gave to everyone who still enjoys this sport today.
We wish each good luck and safety during the running.
And remember: “MAKE IT LITE ON YA-SELF” and have FUN!!!!
For winners of the Manitoba Championship from it’s inaugural running in 1902 to last year, visit Manitoba Championship Timeline