Shadow Oak Plantation owner N.G. “Butch” Houston has been elected to be inducted to the Field Trial Hall of Fame

Congratulations to Shadow Oak Plantation owner N.G. “Butch” Houston who has been elected to be inducted to the Field Trial Hall of Fame. The Induction Ceremony, in which a scroll will be presented to Butch, takes place at the Bird Dog Museum in Grand Junction, TN just prior to the 2018 running of the National Bird Dog Championship early next February.

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Butch’s family and many friends are thrilled that members of the Election Committee recognized that Butch perfectly exemplifies a person to be honored in the Field Trial Hall of Fame through his 40 years of giving to the Field Trial sport.

Butch has hosted among the most popular, well-loved and well-attended field trials in the Southeast for more than four decades. For the last 20 years, the trial has been held on his beautiful Shadow Oak Plantation in Nashville, Georgia and through his leadership, it has become a distinguished Purina Points event. His renowned hospitality and securement of knowledgeable judges attracts handlers from as far away as Virginia to this class field trial featuring stakes for Amateur and Open Derbies and Shooting Dogs.

Butch has also been a silent benefactor to the great sport of pointing dog field trials through the support and patronage given to field trial clubs. Butch’s generosity is known throughout the field trial world and he actively encourages young people to become involved with bird dogs and field trials and quail hunting. Butch delights in gifting a good puppy prospect to a young up and coming field trialer!

Great field trial dogs, the dams and sires of all our hunting English Setters and Pointers, are campaigned on the major circuits and their talents brought before the public to witness, enjoy and consider for breeding through the steadfast patronage of owners like Butch. For over 40 years he has campaigned dogs, first on the major Open Shooting Dog, then on the major All-Age circuits. For the majority of four decades, well-known and respected professional trainer Robin Gates has successfully handled his dogs in the Open All-Age, amassing many championship titles throughout the US and Canada. 

The first field trial dog Butch Houston campaigned with Robin was an English Setter, Open Shooting Dog Champion Silky Sullivan. A slew of pointers followed Silky but Butch, long ago, with a soft spot for English Setters, asked Robin to let him know if ever a “good one” crossed his path. In 2008, through developer Buddy Smith, Robin found that prospect...a young Setter that would one day make field trial history. No one could have predicted what Shadow Oak Bo would become; he was just a prospect— a gamble, according to Robin — and like many Setters, would need more time to develop into a field trial competitor than a young Pointer prospect might. But Robin had a hunch and Butch was willing to take the gamble on a young English setter named Bo. As history unfolded his gamble ignited the field trial Setter world on fire! No English setter had won the prestigious National Championship since Johnny Crockett in 1970. Shadow Oak Bo, co-owned by Butch Houston and his boyhood friend, Dr. John Dorminy would go on to win it twice, back-to-back in 2013 and 2014, a feat not accomplished since the famous Llewellin Setter, Sioux’s wins in 1901 and 1902!

Butch’s other notable champions include Hall of Fame Ch. Joe Shadow, Ch. Lady Addition, Ch. Live Oaks Bo, Ch. Flint Shoals John, Ch. Phillips White Twist, Ch. Law And Order, Ch. Shadow’s Back Talk, Ch. Three Rivers, and Ch. Shadow’s Next Exit who is currently being campaigned with Robin.

 Butch Houston is grateful for the overwhelming support he received from the field trial community at large through their votes and the Hall of Fame Election Committee who made the final decision to honor him to be inducted to the hallowed Field Trial Hall of Fame.

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Casey Pittman