Big news from the world of big-running bird dogs: the 2012 running of the National Field Trial Championship at the historic Ames Plantation in Grand Junction, Tennessee wrapped up this week, and as it was last year the new champion is an English pointer…

From this story in the Memphis Commercial Appeal:

“When Steve Hurdle won the National Championships for Field Trialing Bird Dogs with Shell Creek Coin back in 2006, he didn’t get much time to enjoy it. Hurdle collapsed and nearly died with an aortic aneurysm just after the awards ceremony at Ames Plantation and spent the next few weeks recovering.

This time, he hopes to do his celebrating at home instead of in the hospital. Hurdle added another trophy to his mantle Tuesday morning when Connor’s EZ Button was named winner of the 2012 event on the steps of the grand manor house at Ames.

The four-year-old pointer ran last Friday in the ninth brace, pointing six coveys of quail with two backs in a three-hour run that many spectators in the gallery described as spectacular. Hurdle served as a trainer and handler for the dog, which is owned by Bullard, Texas, resident David O’Connor. “The dog did what he always does — he ran to the front and stayed in the front,” Hurdle said. “He’s a special dog. If he gets out of sight and doesn’t show up soon, you know he’s pointed somewhere. He’s one of the classiest dogs I’ve ever worked with.” The six finds tallied by Connor’s EZ Button tied for the most in this year’s competition.”

Congratulations to Conner’s EZ Button on the win. Although the majority of gundog owners aren’t field trialers, it’s cool to read about the accomplishments of these elite canine athletes, and if I’d ever learn how to ride a horse without the horse dying of embarrassment, I’d love to attend and witness the national championship some year. Has anyone ever attended the national championship at Ames?