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My Life As A Field Trial Reporter

Tom Word | | All Hunting Articles
Posted 04/15/2024

From 1995 until 2022 I had two professions, lawyer and pointing dog field trial reporter. The first to earn money to pay creditors and afford to indulge in the second, pursued for the pleasure it brought me.

I embarked on the second purely by accident, an accident that brought me great pleasure. The accident was meeting Ted Baker on a driven red grouse shooting trip to Braemar, Scotland, where I was guest of a grateful client who had sold his company. Ted was one of nine "guns" in the shooting party, as was I. This was my one and only such shooting party, and a most memorable one- we shot for five days on moors across the river Dee from Queen Elizabeth's Balmoral Estate.

After returning home to Virginia from Balmoral, I wrote an account of our shoot and sent copies to all the other eight guns. Based on that, Ted Baker invited me to come report his Florida Open All-Age Championship. I had never reported a field trial. Several years passed, but I finally made it in 1995. I never missed reporting another. My second career ended in 2022 when the Florida Championship ran for the last time ( Ted died in April 2022).

My first report of the Florida Championship prompted many more invitations which I accepted. For the Quail Championship Invitational (ten years), the Open Free-For-All (several years) the Continental Derby and All-Age, the Amateur Free-For-All, the North Dakota Classics, the Alabama Open Shooting Dog Championship, the National Amateur Pheasant Championship, The Oklahoma Open Championship , and others.

The invitations reflected my willingness to come and report and at my own expense mainly, more than an appreciation of my journalism. But I truly loved the chance to watch good dogs in competition on beautiful grounds and to be with fellow bird dog enthusiasts.

My second profession prompted a third, writing fictional stories about bird dogs, bird hunting and field trials. Self published and available online from LuLu Press or Strideaway, titles include None Held Back, The Ninth Pup, A Little Competition, The Curmudgeons (short stories) and Gentlemen, Let 'Em Go, a novel of field trials. Also available , The Price of Admission, a collection of essays about admired individuals from my lawyer life. You can also find free my writings on my blog at or on

About the Author : Tom Word
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Tom Word is a lawyer who represents individuals about managing their assets and for amusement writes fiction and non-fiction about bird dogs and humans obsessed with them.


About the Artist : Leah Brigham
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After graduating from Millersville University of Pennsylvania with a Bachelors of Science in Art Education, Leah began teaching Art to inner city Middle School students in Houston and later Dallas, TX. Leah has shared with her students her passion for art and nature. This passion has sustained her and continued throughout her life in the form of painting and drawing.

Leah was introduced to American Field Horseback Field Trails and has been able to experience the excitement of seeing her own dog, competing for the National Championship at Ames Plantation in Grand Junction, TN ...standing on point, head and tail held high. This has inspired her to create works of art depicting dogs and the wildlife associated with the sport and hunting.




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