The performance of the nation's new top bird dog, Palamonium, owned by Jimmy Hinton of Tuscaloosa, Ala., in winning the 1956 running of the National Bird Dog Championship (see pages 28-29), was one of the most exciting exhibitions in the colorful annals of this historic stake, which for setters and pointers is the climactic event of the 600 trials which make up the major field-trial circuit. "The magic quintessence of bird dog class," was one judge's description of his three-hour performance. Here, in the blow-by-blow style used officially in the American Field—the bird dog bible—is a description by William Brown of Palamonium's winning heat against a dog called The Pharmacist.
"There was a bit more wind as these two pointers were sent away at 1:13 p.m. Palamonium (his call name is Sam) dashed out in the lead. Pharmacist scored the first bevy find, and later Palamonium pointed without game. After an hour Palamonium scored a meritorious bevy find in lespedeza field. On his next covey, the birds arose with the dog out of sight, but he was motionless when seen and proved sensational. He pointed on far ridge. As his handler walked in to flush, a rabbit scampered away, but Handler Morton said, "I don't believe that was what he's pointing.' A big bevy was raised to this stand, a fine piece of work. At 3:26 Sam established a majestic point in Jap clover as the bevy flushed of its own accord, without discredit to the dog. After crossing what is known colloquially as Caesar's Ditch, a passage through a sand creek, Sam had a magnificent bevy find in farther sedge flat, which he also handled to perfection. Sam at 3:55 pointed in shallow ravine, which stand his bracemate honored, but a relocation was necessary, the dog accomplishing it in praiseworthy fashion. He pinned the birds in greenbriers, an intense, fiery point with flawless manners. At 4:03 Sam scored his final bevy, pointing as though carved of Persian marble, a scene etched ineffaceably on the memories of all privileged to witness it. At the very end of the three hours, when Pharmacist pointed a bevy. Sam was given an opportunity to back, which he accepted at once and in thrilling style. He went the arduous three-hour route courageously and finished amazingly strong."