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Brad Harter and John Russell

Tom Word | | Go back to current news
Posted 05/19/2024

Why Brad Harter and John Russell Deserve Election to the Field Trial Hall of Fame

The HOF has in recent years become largely a popularity (or celebrity) contest, with results tied to advertising budgets. The founders' intent was to recognize and celebrate contributors to the good of the sport. By that measure Brad and John must be among the givingest, to invent a phrase.

All who follow the sport know of Brad's painstaking work over three decades to video from horseback, edit and produce "movies" of the sport's premier annual stake, the National Bird Dog Championship, run most years since 1896 to choose the best of the best with a three-hour marathon performance. Each year Brad's painstaking and increasingly artistic editions have improved. They demonstrate for all to see what a topflight pointing dog can accomplish with genetic excellence (breeding the best to the best) and masterful training and conditioning, and handling. They are guides for every person who undertake to develop a topflight bird dog for any class of competition or for hunting.

In addition to this marathon labor of love, Brad has judged widely for decades, perhaps man's most thankless job. Brad has worked his way to deserving membership in the HOF.

Similarly, John Russell has earned membership in the HOF by service to the sport.

For more than two decades, John chaired, and did much of the necessary labor to conduct, the Quail Championship Invitational, run for three days each Thanksgiving weekend on the extensive and challenging grounds surrounding the AEC's Nuclear Gas Diffusion Facility near Paducah, Kentucky. Entries are the twelve best all-age dogs of the season. The trial's ingenious format has been adopted or adapted by most other categories of pointing dogs-- three consecutive days of heats (one, one and two hours) judged as one heat to select a Champion (and Runner-Up in the judges' discretion, with a professional handler serving as one of three judges).

John handled the invitations, selected, and invited, judges from among the best qualified candidates, looked after their mounts, and marshaled every running, all with the precision of the nuclear engineer he is. In addition, John has judged most of the continent's leading trials, providing his own mounts. John, like Brad, has earned by service election to the HOF.

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.


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