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2016 Inductee – River Oaks Crow Creek “Tessa”

TessaOwner/Handler:  Dan Cathcart
503 Champion Points
Legendary Status Champion
25x Champion
1 Super Major Championships
4 Major Championship

The journey for the Cathcart family started with an 11-hour drive to Shanute, KS that Dan, Annette, and the kids took.  From KS, they would select a little black pup, and bring her to her forever home in Wyoming.  That was when the beginning of an amazing career as tournament hunters started for Dan and Rich.  Dan had this amazing foundation dog, who they named Tessa, and what a blessing from God she was.  Dan had watched tournament hunting on TV and was very excited to get started with a new hobby.  At that same time, Rich had his puppy, Ruby, and the two of them started competing at local events, starting their puppies when they were just six months of age.  At that young age, and at their first event, Tessa and Ruby split first and second place and from that point forward Dan and Rich were hooked on the sport.

After a full season of hunting at local tournaments, Dan and Rich decided that they were ready to take Tessa and Ruby to the NBDCA National Championships at the K-Bar-C in Davis City, IA.  Dan describes this event as a “very humbling experience” because while they had these amazing dogs that could compete at any level, Dan and Rich, as players, had a lot to learn.

In upcoming years, Tessa gave Dan several opportunities for great victories.  As time went on, this team would have some wins that got away from them, but they also capitalized on some great accomplishments.  Together as a team, Tessa and Dan had the opportunity to enjoy a lot of great tournaments together which fulfilled a lot of Dan’s goals.  However, there was that one goal that had seemed to elude Dan and Tessa.  The team was always right there in the finals at the National Championships, and they were always a team that everyone feared competing against.  However, some shooting misfortune on the money bird caused them to miss the mark on becoming a National Champion.

That said, after letting a couple of those wins get away, in March 2007, Rich took Tessa to the field in the Masters division at the National Championships.  Rich would post the best score and win the Masters division with Miss Tessa. For Dan, that was one of the greatest highlights of his whole tournament hunting career for himself, his dad, and for his little sweetheart, Tessa.

Tessa was that dog they say you only get once in a lifetime.  Scent condition meant nothing to her.  She had the ability to find birds the same way in every condition, EASILY.  Like a laser, Tessa would usually run straight to the bird, point the bird with her tail straight out, and hold that point as long as she needed to, while waiting for Dan to get there to shoot the bird.  Until Ole Straight Tail Tessa had been in the field, no one was comfortable with a lead.  Tessa had a lot of try, and a huge heart.  She was extremely friendly and would walk up to anyone, nudging their hand hoping for a pat on the head.  She would always give you her best and usually that was good enough to win the tournament, as long as Dan did his part. Dan wishes he could be competing with her now as a more veteran player because the possibilities would be endless.  Asking Dan about Tessa, he said that he could never say enough good things about her.   Good friend of the Cathcart’s, ET, said that there was one thing that he didn’t like about Tessa; that she was in Dan’s kennel and not his.

On this day, Thursday, March 17th, 2016, Tessa enters the BDC Hall of Fame with 503 Champion points, Legendary Status, 1 Super Major title, 4 Major wins, and countless wins at local events as well.   Tessa passed away in August 2015.  She will never be forgotten, and will always be remembered as one of the greatest dogs Dan was ever blessed to have in his life.

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National Bird Dog Circuit

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A quick note to remind everyone that the entry deadline for the BDC National Championships is one week from today (next Sunday)! Get your entry forms and deposits in the mail soon so you are in by the deadline!

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