This will appear in the Editor’s Column of Field Trial Magazine’s Summer Issue and it may not get to some of you before you vote so I thought I’d post it here.
Hopefully this issue will reach you before you’ve gotten around to voting for Bird Dog Hall of Fame candidates for this year. In the past I have pretty much stayed out of this process because it literally belongs to the American Field, but this year I want to make sure I go on the record and endorse a candidate.
Almost 16 years ago I made a trip to Glenville, Pennsylvania with the hope of doing an article on George Tracy for the Premier Issue of Field Trial Magazine. Instead of one article, George agreed to do a regular training column that was a mainstay during the early years of FTM. He never got paid for word one and did it to support the magazine and share his wealth of knowledge about bird dogs and field trials with our readers.
Over the years, I have made many trips to Glenville and visited with George at trials and at his winter training grounds in Hurtsboro, Alabama. I have even had the chance to follow behind him as a judge a few times. Make no mistake, George Tracy is a fierce competitor who has amassed a record that will be hard for anyone to match, but more important than that are the times he has loaned a horse, helped an amateur with a dog, and willingly shared his experience and knowledge.
Every year in August George and Mary, and now Mike and Jeanette as well, invite their friends and customers to a pig roast in Glenville. Those who gather for the event each year don’t come for the food, they come to pay tribute to a man who has given so much to enrich their experience in our sport. If just those people whose lives George Tracy has touched in becoming one of the greatest bird dog trainers and field trialers of all time vote for him, then he will get in with a huge vote. If everyone who knows the truth of what I’ve written votes for him it would be a fitting and well deserved tribute for the man who epitomizes everything the Hall of Fame represents.