By I.C. Murrell
COMMERCIAL SPORTS EDITOR
STUTTGART — The 71 contestants for the 78th World’s Championship Duck Calling Contest knew they were in for a long day. But maybe no one at the stage on Sixth and Main imagined six rounds and 6 ½ hours’ worth of the world’s best duck calls.
Brad Allen of Judsonia needed three tiebreaker rounds to beat David St. John of Conway and secure his third title in four years Saturday. Allen, who also won in 2010 and 2012, reached the limit of World’s Championships one can win.
“I wanted to be a three-time world champion,” Allen said. “It’s very good competition. It took me 10 years to win the first one, and I never thought winning it three times was a given.”
It certainly wasn’t that way, given Allen and St. John couldn’t break a tie after the first two extra rounds.
“It was really tough,” Allen said. “You think the pressure’s off once you get done with the first three rounds, but it was almost disbelief when you had to be called up for an extra round three times.”
Needless to say, it was well worth it. Aside from a giant trophy in the shape of a duck call, Allen won a prize package worth an estimated $15,000 to $18,000, including $8,000 cash, a War Eagle boat and a ring. Allen said he’ll use the cash for his 3½-month-old girl, Hannah.
The field, which included two callers from Canada and another from New Zealand, was one of the largest in the event’s long history. The event serves as the centerpiece for the annual Wings Over The Prairie festival in downtown Stuttgart.
Other duck-calling champions for 2013 included: in the Women’s World division, Hallie Horton of Luxora; Senior’s World division, Craig Wilson of Los Angeles; Intermediate World’s division, Nathan Flemmons of Welsh, La.; Junior World’s divison, Ryan Sherbondy of Acampo, Calif.; and Junior Women’s World division, Julia Ryan of Stuttgart.