Bobby Phillips- A worthy candidate for The Bird Dog Hall Of Fame
ACTION REQUESTED FROM YOU-
1) Please vote for Bobby Phillips for the Hall Of Fame.
2) Kindly notify every person on your email contact list about this posting, that
is a bird dog person.
3) Request they in turn notify every bird dog person on their email
list about this posting.
This communication is being sent to you in an effort to inform readers of
the American Field aware of the credentials of Bobby Phillips. Bobby is a
very accomplished AMATEUR breeder, trainer and handlers of his trial/hunting
dogs. so the reader has an informed opinion and can vote for him in the
upcoming Hall of Fame balloting.
If you have been around Walking Fields Trials chances are very good that you
may have come in contact with Bobby or you know someone that has been braced
with him or ran a dog under Bob's watchful eye as a judge or have seen his
name in the fixtures of the American Field.
After the section of Bobby's Involvement/Experience With Bird Dogs is a very
brief section of Bobby's personal history.
Bobby's Involvement/Experience With Bird Dogs-
Bobby was 8 years old when he got started by following his dad and Howard
Boling when they went hunting. Using a Winchester model 12 with a 20 inch
cylinder bore barrel (used to guard German prisoners during WWII) , Bobby
shot his first quail when he was 10 years old. This was a covey find that
Howard's setter pointed. Bobby continued to hunt with Howard and his dogs
every chance he got and learned a lot from him about dogs, hunting etiquette
and manners while hunting . As he got older he began to hunt with other
local friends and while in college developed a special quail hunting
friendship that lasted nearly 40 years.
Bobby began trialing in 1971 entering the Gun Dog Stakes at the local
trials. Let's not turn up our noses at these Gun Dog stakes. At this
time, trials drew 60/65 dogs for 4 stakes. It was common for 30 to 35
dogs being drawn for the Gun Dog stake. The competition was keen in the
Gun Dog stake. Many of the dogs were very well breed with some of the best
field trialing blood. These dogs were not broke to wing/shot, but were
great bird finders for the gunners. Tennessee was experiencing The Golden
Years of Quail Hunting and lots a great bird dogs hunted in the covers of
During this time Bobby donated the "Rex" (one of Bob's favorite dogs out of
Riggin's White Knight) Gun Dog Trophy for the Sullivan County TN Bird Dog
Club . He also donated the Dog of the Year Trophy for the Appalachian
Circuit in Tennessee. Bobby was president of the Appalachian Circuit for 8
years. Bobby partnered with the late Jack Carter, a noted red setter
fancier, to conduct the Sullivan TN Trials for many years and continued to
provide leadership and needed funds to continue this trial after Jack's
passing. After 40 years of being involved in the Sullivan Trial, tearfully
Bobby announced this springs trial was the last.
After he retired in 1998, Bobby began to get serious about having dogs broke
to wing and shot. Bobby is an AMATEUR that breeds, trains and handles his
own dogs. Bobby has achieved more than 300 placements in walking stakes.
You are liable to see Bobby at USCSDA, AFTCA, and NBHA trials in America's
south, Midwest, Mid-Atlantic Region, Wisc., MI., or in PA. He has traveled
about 20,000 miles per year for many years going to walking trials of
Bobby gives back by judging various trials as well as providing leadership
by having been a national officer in USCSDA. He has been very active in
providing input for rules changes and potential new rules for USCSDA. He
has judged at the New England Grouse/Woodcock Championship, USCSDA
Futurity (several times) and various weekend trials. He has been asked to
judge this 2016 N ew Brunswick Open Grouse/Woodcock Championship.
Some of the notable placements are winning the: AFTCA National Amateur
Grouse Championship, AFTCA National Open Walking Shooting Dog Championship,
AFTCA Region 3 Championship (3 times and RU once), NBHA Futurity once and
placed on other occasions, USCSDA National Open Championship, USCSDA
National Amateur Championship (won twice and RU once), USCSDA National
Amateur Invitational once and RU twice, RU in the USCSDA SE Open
Championship. won the USCSDA Open Bob Lee Classic 3 times.
Purina presented Bobby the National USCSDA Amateur Handler Of The Year
Award for the 2009/2010 and again in the 2010/2011.
Bobby made a concerted effort to elevate the status of walking trials by
initiating and promoting the "Championship of Walking Champions" trial at
Ames Plantation. This unique idea, the ultimate for the walking trailer
enthusiast , received a lot of interest but in the final essence all of the
pieces could not be put together. He still believes it is a worthy
At the end of a brace, Bobby routinely says to the judge "thanks for looking
at my dog". When the announcements are made, Bobby is one of the first on
his feet to sincerely offer his congratulations to the winning handlers.
I did not know Bobby at this time. However, I witnessed the following event
at the December 9 , 2011 the USCSDA Amateur Invitational Trial at the Dick
Cross grounds in southern VA. In the parking lot, I saw a very fit trim
5'11" person in well-worn dog trainer clothes stride across the gravel
parking lot and announce to this rather petite lady, "Hi, I am Bobby
Phillips and I believe that we are braced together this morning". They
shook hands and continued to chat. I heard Bobby say "that I don't mean to
walk fast but sometimes in the heat of the brace I get to walking fast, that
it is not my intention and please call it to my attention". The brace was
at a pace very suitable for the championship.
At the 2012 Invintiational, late in the afternoon, Bobby was braced with
an older gentleman that was not near as physically fit as Bobby. The
brace began at an extremely slow pace. After 18 minutes, the other handler
asked the judge if he could have someone from the gallery wagon handle his
dog as he was exhausted. The new handler took over and the pace was at a
speed worthy of these 2 fine canine contenders for this important
Horseback scouting is permitted at USCSDA trials and on Saturday Bobby was
asked by a competitor to scout for her dog. On a borrowed horse he gave the
handler a very valiant effort scouting her dog that appeared to the front.
Bobby's worked hard to find a dog that could have won the championship he
was competing in. He is one of the few amateur handlers that pros trust to
scout their dogs.
Bobby has kept detailed records on the field trial performance of his dogs
for nearly 15 years. One of the things gleaned from the study of this data
is Bob's definition of a great dog--a dog that finishes at least 50% of the
time and places at least 50% of the times it finishes during the prime
years of competition. For Bob's dogs the number 1 reason for a dog not to
finish(60-70% of all the "did not finish" category ) is some type of mistake
around birds. He believes this data would translate to most handlers and
their dogs. He also believes there are several good dogs but only a few
great dogs. This data has led him to develop a new radically new W/S
training protocol. He has only used it on 2 dogs and is currently using it
on a 3rd one. Initial results are promising (according to Bob)!!
Bobby's Personal HIstory-
Bobby was born in April 1941 in the rural agricultural community of Morris
Chapel in southwestern TN to Willie Ruth and Robert Phillips SR. The were
school teachers that also owned a 140 acre farm. They raised lots little
pigs, corn and the main cash crop was cotton.
Bobby was an only child but by no means spoiled. He learned hard work,
discipline and respect for others for helping others at an early age. Both
parents were great role models and demonstrated "kind works". Some
examples are his father let several families that were experiencing
financial hardship to live (sometimes for a few years) in a house on the
farm until the families situation improves. His mother routinely stayed
after school and provided individual attention to students with math and
Bobby was valedictorian of his class of 11 at Morris Chapel. He also was a
gifted athlete on the baseball team and basketball team. Bobby was offered
a scholarship for playing basketball at University of Mississippi State,
Memphis State and a few other colleges. He choose to go the University of
Tennessee to concentrate on his studies to become a Chemical Engineer. He
graduated at the top of his class and went on to get a master's degree and a
doctorate at U of TN.
This prepared him for a 30 year career at Eastman in Kingsport TN during
which time he was granted 50 patents. Bob achieved the position of Research
Fellow, this is Eastmans highest scientific position. Bob was responsible
for a Exploration Laboratory.
Giving Back To The Community- Bob volunteered at the Knoxville Children's
Hospital performing Protein Bound Iodine tests while a student at U of TN.
He also made financial contributions to the hospital. He made sizeable
yearly contributions to the hospital after starting work at Eastman. The
hospital was engaged in a large addition and wanted to place a plaque on the
door of a room to honor Bob's contributions. Bobby politely declined the
offer explaining, that was not reason he gave his time, talents and
Bob played a leading role in establishing the Eastman Meals on Wheels
Program where teams of employees would deliver the meals on their lunch hour
to the less fortunate residents in Kingsport.. He and his wife Brenda
participated in this program for 15 years after Bob retired from Eastman.
This program received President George H W Bush "Daily Point Of LIght
Bobby gave (while working and continued in retirement) sizeable donations
to the following groups: Kingsport Second Harvest Food Bank, United Way of
Kingsport and Kingsport Times Rescue Fund. These organisation's all
benefit the less fortunate in the kIngsport TN.
If you know Bobby or you have competed against him tell your friends in a
effort to help increase his support for the hall.
When you receive your ballot for the Bird Dog Hall of Fame, please consider
writing Bobby Phillips name on the ballot.
Dean S. Conklin