Bought a pup that I wanted to surprise Virgil Moore with this summer, but circumstances changed all that so here's the story.
Back in 1970 a setter named Johnny Crockett won the National Championship at Ames. He was the first and only setter till Shadow Oak Bo to do it in the modern era. He died at 8 yrs with a brain tumor. Hank Sheely his owner was wise enough to see if his sperm could be collected when he first became ill and a Doctor in Oregon I believe tried successfully they thought to collect him. I may be wrong but have been told this was the first time a collection was done.
Now comes the role Dale Bush (HOF field trial patron) played in the story. Dale was a friend of W C Kirk the handler and of Mr. Sheely. Years later he asked Mr. Sheely if he could use one of the straws they collected and was given permission to use one. Now Johnny Crockett had died almost 40 years before and the straws surly had suffered some degradation over the years, but he was a man with some luck and a litter was produced and several fine dogs including Champion Crockett's Deep Freeze. Well Mister Bush always wanted to try again but didn't want to waste it unless he had a blue ribbon bitch. Over the years he looked a lot of fine females and in the last two years thought he found her. A fine daughter of Shadow Oak Bo was the dog he had been looking for and since in the intervening years Mr. Sheely had passed and the straws were in the control of TX. A&M he went to Mrs. Sheely who wrote a letter to the college asking them to release a straw to Dale.
Now this straw was 46 years old and the vet that preformed the AI procedure said it was the worst he had ever seen, very low motility and the chances were slim it would produce a litter. That was in late Oct of 2017. On Dec 26 2017 6 pups by Johnny hit the ground. So it's very possible that these may be the last pups by Johnny Crockett.
How I got involved is luck and circumstance but more luck then circumstance. And this past Fri I drove to College Station and picked up Hank, son of Johnny Crockett and a daughter of Shadow Oak Bo. Can't tell you how my mind was racing as the litter sucker slept on my lap for over 2 hours on the way home. But I'm excited for sure and so is Virgil to see what this little piece of field trial history will turn out to be.
Hank at his new home.