A powerful, strong-running dog, “Bud” tallied 2,860 points in open all-age horseback stakes during the 2008-09 season, more than 1,000 points ahead of the closest competitor. Besides winning the National Championship, Bud won the Kentucky Lake Open All-Age Championship, Kentucky Quail Classic, Fitch Farms Galena Plantation Classic and the National Free-For-All Championship.
Lester, of Gracey, who is also the breeder of Bud’s litter, has been competing in all-age stakes since 1992. Bud was sired by Miller’s Dateline out of Lester’s Leeza. In four years on the major circuit, Bud has won over 30 field trials, including six championships and seven runner-up championships.
“Bud showed potential from the beginning,” Lester said. “He has been a consistent running dog his whole life.”
Ike Todd of Farmington assisted Lester at field trials by scouting for Bud.
“It was a lot of fun, but hard work, too, because Bud is ambitious in his search for birds,” Todd said. “He has a lot of endurance, but he also is classy. He pops his tail high over his back when he runs, and on point, the tail stays up over his back.”
Both Lester and Todd credit Field Trial Hall of Famer Ferrel Miller of Murray with helping them get started in the sport.
“We owe everything we know to him,” Todd said. “He taught us how to run dogs, scout, breed and train. Everything good about dogs we learned from him.”
As the winner of the 46th annual Purina Award, Lester received an original oil painting of Bud by artist Ross Young, a silk embroidered award banner, a belt buckle with the Top Field Trial Bird Dog Award emblem, a $2,500 cash prize that was doubled because he is an active member of Purina Pro Club and a year’s supply of Purina Pro Plan Performance Formula, the dog food Bud is fed.
Since its inception in 1963, the Purina Top Field Trial Bird Dog Award has recognized the dog and handler who attain the most points in more than 50 Open All-Age events. The number of points awarded at an event is determined by the number of dogs entered. All scores are tabulated from the official records of the American Field Publishing Company and are verified by the Purina Award Committee.
The winners were recognized earlier this year at the annual Purina Award banquet in Pittsburgh hosted by Purina and the Amateur Field Trial Clubs of America. Purina Area Manager Pat Lamantia served as master of ceremonies. Attending the banquet were members of the Purina Award Committee, including Dr. Aubrey Morgan of Suffolk, Va., Tom Honecker of Findley, Ohio, Joe G. Walker of Collierville, Tenn., Fred Epp of Marion Junction, Ala., and Dr. Dorwin Hawthorne of Inola, Okla.
(This press release was submitted by Barbara Fawver, Nestle Purina PetCare Company.)