Thursday, August 28, 2008
GREAT DOGS AND GOOD MEN
David Grubb I was elated to see my old friend David Grubb elected to the Field Trial Hall of Fame. It was a well deserved and long overdue honor. I had dogs with Dave for close to 20 years and was always amazed at his skills with dogs. To be able to run and win with the same dogs in all-age, shooting dog and cover dog stakes is remarkable. Yet it seemed that Dave always had disappointments, setbacks and bad luck. Several times I ran his dogs because of health problems. I remember one Pheasant Futurity when Dave was very high on several prospects. Bob Simmons, Dave’s long time helper came to me in the morning and said Dave was sick, couldn’t get out of bed and I had to run the dogs. I remember Bernie Matthys who was reporting and I glancing at each other and knowing I was completely helpless to control them. Another time at the Michigan Championship, Bob came to me and said Dave threw his back out and couldn’t move. I ran all his Championship entries and what a string it was. It included CH. Penelope, CH. Frank Pierson, CH. Memphis Cowboy and CH. Colonels Lemon Girl and others. Essentially all you had to do with these dogs was ride behind them and flush their birds. To this day I think Frank should have won but it was probably my handling that kept him out. But the ultimate disappointment for Dave was when he was hospitalized the night before running CH. Millers Silver Ending in the 1997 National Championship. Winning the National was Dave’s foremost goal. As it turned out, Ray Grace, after taking Dave to the hospital, frantically searched for John Rex Gates to handle Silver Ending the very next morning. John Rex agreed even though he had never seen the dog and as I did, he simply rode behind him and flushed his birds. In the record books, John Rex was the handler of the 1997 National Champion and Purina Award winner and in parenthesis is David Grubb, trainer. Congratulations Dave for the well deserved recognition.