2014 Inductee – WC NC SM LC Big Sky’s “Bessie” Wayne
Owner/Handler: Phil & Karen Hinchman
565 Champion Points
Legendary Status Champion
2 Super Major Championships
4 Major Championships
Bessie has produced some very accomplished offspring including 5 HRC HRCH dogs along with several tournament hunting champions – Brandywines Rich & Smooth Amberbock and Brandywines Northern Belle – Reggie. She is tied for the number one Top Producer of HRC titled Boykin Spaniels. One of her offspring, Brandywines Browning Citori Feather, has won the Boykin Spaniel Society Retriever and Upland Nationals, is a 1000 pt HRC Finished dog and competed in the HRC Grand.
If you were a Tournament Hunter from 2002 through 2008 you knew about the little brown tornado! Bessie, a Boykin Spaniel owned by Phil and Karen Hinchman, was a top competitor at each and every tournament she attended. Bessie won her first trial at ten months old and this was just the beginning!
Bessie was always a force to be reckoned with at tournaments. If the wind was high or the scent was low, it did not stop this little brown rocket from putting birds in the air. Bessie was a gifted hunter, in that she would hold her head high when the scent was strong and flowing, but when the scent was weak she would switch to track mode with her nose on the ground. It was a whole lot easier for Hinchman when the scent was less than desirable, in that he could actually keep up with his tenacious Boykin! On several occasions, while standing at the starting gate, you could see Bessie wind a bird in the field from a hundred yards away… The problem was keeping her from making a b-line to the bird before being in shotgun range!!! Bessie never had a problem putting three birds in the air in a hurry…. The problem was keeping up with her to harvest the game!
Crissy Beasley told me a story about when she judged Bessie at six months old. Mrs. Beasley stated that all three planted birds where in the air before Phil Hinchman made it 50 yards into the field! Bessie never really slowed down since that day, Phil just learned to walk faster! A lot faster!!!
Recently, I looked into Bessie’s aged, cataract embedded eyes, surrounded by white hair that extends to her snout, and I was astounded and saddened at the same time. What a huge list of accomplishments and memories for an animal that can only grace us with such a few short years. Bessie is one of those dogs of a lifetime!! For those of you blessed to have such a dog, you know exactly what I am talking about.
Written by: Matt Behe