As the gallery reached the ten-minute mark, Buck, relieved of scouting
duties, recalled in mind’s eye dogs he’d seen here in years past.
Passing landmarks, he’d recall the finds and casts of earlier
champions. He’d seen Miller’s Silver Bullett’s two wins in ’91
and ’93, his sons House’s Rain Cloud’s three wins in a row in ’96, ’97,
and ’98, a record not likely to be beaten, and Miller’s True Spirit’s
wins in ’99 and ’01. Seen too Lester’s Absolute’s wins in ’04 and
’06 and Miller’s Southern Prize’s win in ’05. All these dogs
sired from one Kentucky farmer’s kennel, the kennel of Ferrell Miller,
the most accomplished breeder, trainer, and handler of bird dogs in the
20th Century. The man the competition loved to hate, barred now
from trialing and breeding bird dogs by the American Field, though his
alleged transgressions were no different than those of half the men
riding at this trial today, Buck reflected.
In his revelry, Buck counted the number of dogs in the strings of pro
handlers that had come from Ferrell Miller’s sires. The numbers
were staggering in both all-age and shooting dog ranks.
TO BE CONTINUED IN PART FOURTEEN