Sunday, November 22, 2009

2009 Region 1 Amateur All-Age Championship pictures and report

Front, from left, Elias Richardson, Erin Stolgitis and Stacey Goodie with Ch. Chasehill Little Bud, reporter Janice Gregory, Brian Sanchez with RU Ch. Great River Magnum, Elizabeth Malone and Aidan Malone. Rear, from left, Mike Flewelling, Bill Hyland, John Stolgitis, Tony Forte, John Malone, judge Dave O'Brien, and judge Jeff Smith.


GLASTONBURY, Conn. - Chalk up another championship for Chasehill Little Bud.

Above, Chasehill Little Bud points while Elias Richardson flushes the birds.

From a small but elite field of pointers and setters, the 4-year-old pointer earned the blue ribbon in the 2009 Region 1 Amateur All-Age Championship held Sunday, Nov. 22, at The Meadows. Bud is owned by John Stolgitis of Ashaway, RI, and was handled by Elias Richardson of Uxbridge, Mass.

Runnerup honors in the amateur championship went to Great River Magnum, a pointer male owned and handled by Brian Sanchez of Central Islip, NY. Out of the field of 12, judges felt these two pointers best exemplified the kind of race and style an all-age dog should have.

Above, Brian Sanchez and John Malone water a dog
while the field party takes a breather.

Last year, Bud earned the runnerup title in this championship. His race then was only slightly marred by his overwhelming instinct to hunt out every objective. Well, in the off season Bud must have read the rule book on what's required of an all-age dog because this year, he was spot on. His race was impeccable. He ran like an all-age dog. He hunted like an all-age dog. He obviously takes each experience and learns and builds on it and each time he's put on the ground to run, he has improved. He was flashy, he stuck his edges, was polished on his game and always ran to the front. At pickup time, he was still motoring and had gas to spare.

And the runnerup was no slouch either. A handsome white and orange pointer, Magnum knew what the deal was and hit this course running. He had four nice finds and a huge all-age race. Magnum was making a bid for the champion position when he suffered a slight bobble that caught him coming up from behind near the end of his hour. It would be the runnerup ribbon instead for him.

Honorable mention went to John Malone's pointer, East Coast Slick.

Above, judges were Jeff Smith of Loudon, NH, right,
and Dave O'Brien of Marlborough, CT.


In the first brace of the championship, East Coast Sadie, last year's winner, owned and handled by John Malone, and Ironstone Jungle King, owned and handled by Elias Richardson, broke away in mid-30s temperatures. The slight frost on the ground made the footing in the cut cornfield just a bit greasy. It was an inauspicious start to the championship. Both dogs flew from the breakaway and little was seen of them thereafter. Both were eventually roped for not pleasing their owners.

John Fino saddled up and ready to run Southbound Strech.

In the second brace, Ironstone Clyde (Richardson) was braced with Southbound Strech (Fino). Strech made a nice cast off the breakaway, running with head and tail high, down the right side of the big field. Clyde was also spotted hunting along the edge, checking out the objectives. Strech stopped at 15 on point. When no bird could be produced, he was sent on to relocate. Still no bird could be found and he took an unproductive. At the 30 minute mark, Clyde was found pointing but his tail was uncharacteristically low. However, a single bird was produced and he was sent on. Clyde was again found on point but his handler elected to pick him up citing limber tail as the cause of his poor stance. Point was called for Strech, who had made a loop. A single bird was produced for the intense dog. Another find for Strech at the back of the cornfield leading back to the parking lot. Again the dog stood intensely, but the handler couldn't produce a bird. He was sent on but moved cautiously and stopped again, not far from his first stand. Again he was sent on and this time the bird flew up from under heavy cover and Strech took credit for a stop-to-flush.

Elizabeth Malone gets ready to ride
to watch her dad's dog, East Coast Pete

Chasehill Little Bud (Richardson) and East Coast Pete (Malone). Bud logged a find at the back of the big field. The dog stood like a statue, head high and tail rail straight as a single bird was flown. He was released and minutes later was found standing on the opposite side of the gully, with, again, a single bird being produced. Pete joined back up with the field trial party at this point and both dogs were cast off. The two pointers motored up and around the bowl, Pete stopping on point and Bud backing, in an area between the bowl and horse pasture. Both dogs had an extremely stylish way of going.

Mike Flewelling, left, getting some advice
from his scout, Elias Richardson.

East Coast Slick (Malone) and Sunkhaze Fast Break (Flewelling). In all the many years Mike Flewelling's been running dogs, he's never run a dog in a horseback stake, never mind an All-Age championship. On this day, he rectified both issues and ran Fast Break in the first All-Age Championship for both handler and owner. It's hard enough running a dog off foot, but it's doubly hard to control a horse, keep yourself in the saddle and keep an eye on your dog when you're running in a horseback stake. For a first-timer, Mike did it quite capably and with good humor. After the breakaway, both dogs grabbed the right edge of green field. About three-quarters of the way down, Slick snapped onto point. It was a pretty picture, with Fast Break taking the back. Both dogs stood high and tight as a bird was flushed. Fast Break had another find along the back of the course at the river and the dogs shared a divided find at the gully with a covey of quail being flown. Slick was found pointing between the bowl and horse pasture with Fast Break backing. A single bird was flushed and all was in good order. Slick had another find at the end of the cornfield going back to the parking lot with a single bird being flown. Slick logged his final find back on the right edge of the green field. And it was at that point that Fast Break decided he didn't want to back any more and didn't. He was picked up.

Breaking away another brace.

Great River Magnum (Sanchez) and Sweet Pea (Flewelling). The dogs stood staunchly as they logged a divided find at the river after the breakaway. Birds were found and the pointers were taken on. Magnum logged a find at the gully with Sweet Pea backing. The intensity in both dogs was obvious. Between the bowl and horse pasture, both dogs were found standing about 20 yards apart. Handlers found birds for each dog and all was in order. Magnum had a find at the back of the cornfield with a single bird flown. The tracker was called for a missing Sweet Pea with about 15 minutes left.

From left, John Fino, judge Jeff Smith and Dick Bembenek.

Silver Hill Suzie Q (Malone) and Chasehill Molly Mae (Richardson). In this last brace of the day and of the championship, Ed Marin was riding to watch his Suzie Q dog. Suzie swapped onto point at the end of the big field with Molly taking the back. The dogs went on for a divided find at the gully with both handlers firing. Both dogs stopped between the bowl and horse pasture, each about 20 yards apart. Birds were produced for each and they were taken on. Molly had another find at the back of the cornfield. Suzie was picked up for not backing and Molly's hour was also over early as judges advised the handler that she wasn't beating the top two dogs.


A lunchtime cocktail party was hosted by John Malone, winner of last year's All-Age with East Coast Sadie. Plenty of beer, wine and snacks were available to all.

Norma Bembenek, left, and Suzanne Malone.

No field trial runs on its own and Region 1 is lucky to have some very valuable helpers. Bill Hyland, Ed Marin and Aidan Malone spent the day planting birds, Eli Richardson loaned out his horses and lunch was prepared and served by the culinary duo of Suzanne Malone and Tony Forte.

Chairman of the event was Elias Richardson, assisted by John Malone.

Above, chef extraordinaire Tony Forte wielding a mean spatula :-)

The running of the Amateur All-Age Championship concludes the season of field trialing for Region 1.

Need to board a dog or looking for doggie daycare in Connecticut?
Get in touch with Dave O'Brien, center. He can help you out! :-)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

2009 New England Open report and photos

Front from left, Alex Smith with Runnerup Ch. Serious Threat; Erin and John Stolgitis with Ch. Chasehill Little Bud. Rear from left, Mike Tracy, Jeanette Tracy, judge Dom Preite, John Fino, judge Richard Giuliano, reporter Janice Gregory, Monique Giuliano, and Elias Richardson.



POMFRET, Conn. — When the field trial party staying at Harry Townshend’s Ragged Hill Farm for the New England Open came downstairs on the morning of the opening day of the championship, Chasehill Little Bud had breakfast waiting for them. He’d cooked eggs and bacon, pancakes, toast and coffee. Previous to that, he had run out to get the newspaper, had fed and watered all the horses, and had them saddled and ready to go.

OK, possibly a slight exaggeration. But really, is there anything this dog isn't capable of doing?

In the words of judge Dom Preite, “Almost freaklike. That’s how good a dog he is.’'

Judges Dom Preite, left, and Richard Giuliano, right

After taking the runnerup position last fall in the 80th New England Open, Chasehill Little Bud came roaring back this year, and with eight finds and a bang-up race was named 2009 New England Open champion.

Bud, now a seven-time champion, is owned and handled by John Stolgitis of Ashaway, RI. The white and liver pointer primarily is a cover dog, spending much of his time in Northern New England hunting grouse and woodcock while being handled on foot. However, he’s proved himself time and time again to be versatile and talented enough to adapt to changes that would confound most humans, never mind canines.

The dog is receptive to being handled by virtually anyone. His record of wins proves he can run equally successfully in walking and horseback stakes, and he can find birds in the heaviest cover or on the longest, clearest edge of a field.

The 4-year-old pointer showed his skills during this particular championship with eight well-spaced finds. His style running and pointing was impeccable. He hunted the woods thoroughly and rimmed the fields where it was possible.

There was absolutely no question that when he pointed, birds would be found. He ran with speed and snap, and finished strong and going away.

There would be no other dog in the 36 dog stake that would come close to beating him.

Runnerup in the championship went to Serious Threat, a pointer male owned by Greg and Maggie Strausbaugh of Mifflinburg, Pa., and handled by Mike Tracy.

Serious Threat had seven finds and a good, controllable race. He was very biddable to his handler. A mature dog, he did things right and was impeccable on his game.

One difference between champion and runnerup? Bud offered more eye appeal, and on point he had an extremely straight tail and a high head.

Also differentiating the two dogs was the way they moved as they went through the cover. Serious Threat lacked the animation running but his performance overall was smooth. “He had great bird work. It was a finished performance by the handler and the dog,’’ said judge Richard Giuliano, of Serious Threat. “A stand-up birddog,’’ was how judge Preite described him.

There were several other dogs that caught the judges’ eyes and honorable mention was given to: Ironstone Jungle King (Richardson), Klee’s Handsome Hank (M. Tracy), Klee’s Shooting Star (M. Tracy), Our Big Bully (M. Tracy), Ragged Hill Danny (Jacobs) and Sunkhaze Fast Break (Stolgitis).

The field trial party heads out


In the first brace of the trial, which began late Monday morning due to an early-season snowstorm Sunday night, Noble Bailey’s Addition (M. Tracy) was paired with Sukara’s Grace (J. Tracy). Owner Chris Palmer was riding to watch his dog, Bailey. It took Bailey a little bit of time to get rolling. He had his first find at 19 under the mountain laurel, pointing with his head and tail high. His next stand, following two relocations, proved to be barren, but he would wind up with three finds and one unproductive for his hour. Grace had two nice, quick finds, and then disappeared.

In the second brace, Avalon Creek (M. Tracy) and Ironstone Jungle King (Richardson) started off their hour with a divided find. Avalon Creek ran with good style and speed and went on to have five finds. She was one of the few dogs to point a pheasant. Jungle King took his edges nicely and finished his hour with three clean finds, one unproductive and two backs.

Klee’s Handsome Hank (M. Tracy) and Klee’s Gentle Ben (J. Tracy) started the third brace with a divided find. Hank would have two more finds in the first half of his hour, followed by three more finds in the second half. Combine that with a nice ground race and a dog who looked good on his birds, and judges had found themselves a contender for the top position. Ben really didn’t get himself going and with one find and one stop-to-flush, he finished his hour.

Eli Richardson, always ready to run another one :-)

Lawless Lady (M.Tracy) and Chasehill Little Bud (Stolgitis) were paired in the fourth brace. Bud has been previously described, and his performance pushed Klee’s Handsome Hank to the runnerup position. Lawless Lady, just coming off her first-place performance at the Northeastern Open Shooting Dog Championship, had five nice finds and a good ground race but didn’t push the leaders.

Bruce and Barbara Jacobs at the breakaway with Ragged Hill Danny

In the fifth brace, Klee’s Calypso (M. Tracy) was picked up at 30 for not pleasing his handler. Ragged Hill Danny (Jacobs) did a lovely job hunting and finding birds all over the course. He logged five well-spaced finds in the first 30 minutes, making some nice workmanlike swings through the woods and fields. One find had Danny pointing along the edge of the field near the sawmill. It took a relocation to pin the birds, but he accomplished that nicely. On the back half of the course, Danny rimmed the big green field like it was his job. Point was called at the end of the field for him, and was followed by three more finds, the last as his hour ended.

Talisman (M. Tracy) was braced with Secret Weapon (Stolgitis) for the sixth brace. Talisman was not himself today. He had four finds but bypassed several opportunities to point other birds. Secret Weapon had one find early on but was picked up at 15. She had stopped on point then went with the other handler who was looking for his dog.

The seventh brace was up early. Sweet Pea (Stolgitis) and Gamestopper (M. Tracy) had a divided find at the first feeder and Sweet Pea went with the birds. Gamestopper was mannerly to the flush and was sent on, but after that find he disappeared.

Jim Kilrain, left, receives some moral support
from pro trainers Brian Hays,center, and Brian Breveleri
before he rides to watch his dog, Currahee.

Stone Tavern Matrix (M. Tracy) and Currahee (Jacobs) were paired in the eighth brace. Matrix had one find then got lost. Currahee, with owner Jim Kilrain riding, had a find on a running pheasant, but was picked up at 35 for not pleasing his handler.

In the ninth brace, Serious Threat (M. Tracy) was paired with I Wannabe A Cowgirl (J. Tracy). Serious Threat was previously described. With his outstanding performance, he pushed Klee’s Handsome Hank out of the runnerup spot. Jeanette called for the tracker at 14 for the missing Cowgirl.

Fazan’s Stress Free (M. Basilone) and Sunkhaze Fast Break (Stolgitis) comprised the 10th brace. Stress Free was not up to championship standards this day, yet he finished his hour. Fast Break hunted the heck out of the countryside and logged nine well-spaced finds. His hour was marred, though, by an average race.

Jill Stolgitis, ready to ride :-)

In the 11th brace, Our Big Bully (M. Tracy) had six total finds and looked magnificent on his birds, but he didn’t have the power and stamina of the top dogs, letting down about halfway through his hour. Sunkhaze Maggie Mae (Stolgitis) had four finds then had to be picked up for refusing to back.

In the 12th brace, Klee’s Shooting Star (M. Tracy) was paired with Triple Nickle Nick (M. Basilone). The tracking collar was requested for Nick at 19. Star went on to do a very nice job in her hour. She had somewhat of a slow start, but when she got rolling she had a total of eight finds and proved herself to be a very nice little cover dog.

Cold Case (M. Tracy) and Elhew Dancing Fire (Jacobs) were paired in the 13th brace. Cold Case had four finds in the front of the course, one in the back for a total of five. While he gave a nice performance, Cold Case didn’t alter the standings. Elhew Dancing Fire started her hour with a pretty find but after her second unproductive, she was picked up.

In the 14th brace were C-Note (M. Tracy) and Fazan’s Delite (M. Basilone). C-Note was picked up for not maintaining a back, and while Delite finished her hour with several finds, she wasn’t performing up to the best of her ability.

In the 15th brace, judges pretty much knew what they were looking for in a champion and runnerup, so although Caladen’s Sawmill Struttin (M. Tracy) had one nice find, it was his one unproductive that put him out of contention. Sukara’s Come Home Jessie (J. Tracy) was suffering from limber tail this day. She had three finds, was lost for a while, then had an unproductive and was picked up.

Hifalutin (M. Tracy) and High Noon Jill (Jacobs) were paired in the 16th brace. Hifalutin had a find at the second feeder then disappeared. Jill looked good this day and logged several nice finds for herself. She ran a pretty race but was no challenge to the leaders.

Although he had three finds, an unproductive halted Buffalo Creek’s (M. Tracy) chances in the 17th brace. Bay Country Hope (J. Tracy) had three finds and one unproductive then disappeared.

Sugar Knoll Jack is taken on after a successful find
on the left edge of the back field

Sugar Knoll Jack (Fino) and Magnotta’s Red Icewine (M. Tracy) were paired in the 18th and final brace of the championship. Icewine was picked up at 15. Jack went on to do his usual outstanding job. He finished his hour with seven crackerjack finds and was hurt only by a slightly shorter race than the winner and runnerup.

James Scheuritzel helps plant birds. Thanks James! :-)


As everyone knows, no one leaves the New England Open hungry. On Monday night, a cocktail party sponsored by Tom Tracy and Joe McHugh, owners of last year’s champion, Stone Free, was held. Huge cocktail shrimp, wine and cheese of every kind, cocktail meatballs, homemade sopressata, and wild mushrooms in a tomato sauce were only a portion of the delicacies offered. That was followed by the annual lobster boil where 75 lobsters found their way into the pot. On Tuesday night, dinner consisted of a monster-size prime rib cooked to perfection. Wednesday’s lunch offered up leftovers of all kinds, running the gamut from plain ol’ hamburgers to lobster bisque made from the leftover lobster shells steamed in sherry.

This championship couldn’t be held without the involvement of many dedicated people. Judges Richard Giuliano and Dom Preite gave up three vacation days to sit in their saddles and watch 36 talented dogs. Tom Gates drove down from the hinterlands of New York State to Ragged Hill Farm early in the weekend to make sure everything was in good order when the championship started on Monday morning. Dick Bembenek helped prepare the meals.

Master chefs Bobcat, left, and Bernie Gelineau, ready to boil the lobsters

The regular crew from Thompson Rod & Gun Club carried out the lobster boil. John Fino chipped in with the cooking and Elias Richardson made his string of horses available to whoever needed them.

John Fino, always ready with a smile :-)

Neighbor Arlene Skarani brewed up the usual, amazing lobster bisque. Ragged Hill caretakers Keri and Adam Scheuritzel were on hand each day helping out when necessary and their son, James, cheerfully planted as many birds as were given to him.

From left, Tom Gates, Harry Townshend and Bruce Jacobs

* And, of course, there would be no New England Open without the generosity of Deb and Harry Townshend. Each year the Townshends open up Ragged Hill Farm to field trialers to serve as headquarters for the venerable championship. Harry and Deb were on hand all day Tuesday to make sure everything was running smoothly and that everyone was comfortable and feeling at home. They kept the fireplace well-stoked with wood, offering folks a place to get warm when it got too chilly outside, and were always ready for some good conversation by the fire. Without Ragged Hill Farm and the Townshends, the New England Open Championship would not have the ambience that we’ve come to know and love.

Riding on a beautiful fall day at Ragged Hill Farm

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

New England Open Championship results

Above, front from left, Alex Smith with Runnerup Ch. Serious Threat; Erin and John Stolgitis with Ch. Chasehill Little Bud. Rear from left, Mike Tracy, Jeanette Tracy, judge Dom Preite, John Fino, judge Richard Giuliano, reporter Janice Gregory, Monique Giuliano, and Elias Richardson.


POMFRET, CT - John Stolgitis's Chasehill Little Bud, a pointer male, was named champion out of a field of 36 at the 81st New England Open Championship which ended this afternoon. The event was held Oct. 18-21 at Harry Townshend's Ragged Hill Farm.

Runnerup in the event was Serious Threat, a pointer male owned by Greg and Maggie Strausbaugh of Mifflinburg, Pa., and handled by Mike Tracy.

Honorable mention was given to Ironstone Jungle King, Ragged Hill Danny, Klee's Handsome Hank, Klee's Shooting Star, Sunkhaze Fast Break and Our Big Bully.

Judges were Richard Giuliano of Hope, RI and Dom Preite of Franklinville, NJ.

Above, Erin and John Stolgitis with New England Open Champion Chasehill Little Bud.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Northeastern winners

Above, a birds-eye-view of the Northeastern Open Championship.
Photo by Dave O'Brien


Above, front from left, Tony Forte, George Tracy, judge Sherry Ray Ebert, Jim Smith, Mike Tracy and Ch. Lawless Lady, Jane Donze, Luke Eisenhart and RU Ch. Erin's Backstreet Affair, Earl Drew, Tammy Eisenhart, Margaret Drew, Jeanette Tracy, Bill Hyland and Gene Casale. Rear from left, Tom Hance, judge Vinnie Ballester and Stacey Goodie.

Photos by Stacey Goodie

EAST WINDSOR, CT - Winner of the 2009 Northeastern Open Shooting Dog Championship is Lawless Lady, a pointer female owned by Jane Donze and handled by Mike Tracy. Runnerup was Erin's Backstreet Affair, a pointer female handled by Luke Eisenhart.

Both winner and runnerup competed against each other in the 16th brace.

Above, Mike Tracy and Jane Donze with 2009 Northeastern Open Shooting Dog Champion Lawless Lady

Above, Luke and Tammy Eisenhart with 2009 Northeastern Open Shooting Dog Runnerup Champion Erin's Backstreet Affair.

Above, Mike Tracy getting ready for the breakaway.

Above, from left, judge Vinnie Ballester, reporter Stacey Goodie and judge Sherry Ray Ebert.

Above, Dave O'Brien presents Bill Hyland a plaque for his 40 years of service and dedication to the New England field trial community.

Above, Gene Casale, left, and Dave O'Brien go the through the never-ending paperwork.

Above, the Fearsome Foursome :-) Keeping this championship running were, from left, Bill Hyland, Sue Way, Gene Casale and Joe Marino.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Central Connecticut Bird Dog Club holds its annual fall field trial

Winners of the Eugene Casale National Amateur Shooting Dog Stake

Above, rear from left, Gene Casale Sr., John Malone with 1st place winner East Coast Pete, Gene Casale Jr. (judge), Toby Tobiassen with 2nd place winner Richfield Amy, Steve Merton (judge), Amilko, John Fino, and Ed Marin with 3rd place winner Silver Hill Suzie Q.
Seated from left, Aidan Malone, Elizabeth Malone and Anna Casale.


By Edward F. Marin

On Saturday and Sunday, September 12-13, 2009, Central Connecticut Bird Dog Club held its annual fall field trial with 89-years-young Eugene Casale Sr. at the helm.

The Dr. John Flaherty Field Trial Area, in East Windsor, Conn., was the site of the competition.

A total of 33 dogs competed during the weekend event. Open stakes were held Saturday. On Sunday, the Eugene Casale National Amateur Shooting Dog Stake was held. This stake is a one-hour National Amateur points event. Sixteen area amateur shooting dogs vied for top honors.

It was a gorgeous New England day with temperatures in the high 70s and sunny skies. The first brace was at the start line and off at 7:15 a.m. and the last brace finished up at approximately 3:45 p.m.

I would like to thank our judges Steve Merton of Manchester, Conn., and Gene Casale Jr. of Marlborough, Conn., for their time and diligence while in the saddle.

I would like to also thank all the handlers for their participation and everyone who helped in the running of this event. This was a group effort and it went quite well.

Thanks to Tony Forte for cooking Saturday's dinner.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Spruce Brook 2009 Fall Field Trial


EAST WINDSOR, Conn. - Sixty one dogs were drawn for Spruce Brook Bird Dog Club's annual fall trial held Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 29-30, 2009, at Flaherty Field Trial Area.

As Tropical Storm Danny made its way north up the East Coast, the effects were felt in the form of pouring down, cold rain all day during Saturday's Open stakes. The weather was much improved on Sunday when the day started off cool and foggy then turned sunny and warm as the storm moved up the coast and away.

Waiting at the breakaway, above

Weekend winners included:

Open Derby

(Judges: John Malone and John Fino)
1. Full of Bull, PM, Mike Tracy
2. Buffalo Bull, PM, Mike Tracy
3. Courrahee, PM, handled by Bruce Jacobs; owned by Jim Kilrain

Open Shooting Dog
(Judges: Gene Casale Jr. and Lloyd Miller)
1. Our Big Bully, PM, handled by Mike Tracy,
owned by Ernie and Karen Saniga
2. Double Trouble Joe, PM, handled by Matt Basilone, owned by Troy Terlizzi
3. Super Sioux, GSP, handled by Matt Basilone, owned by Katie Tazza

Honorable mention went to Ragged Hill Danny, ESM, handled by Bruce Jacobs and owned by Harry Townshend, and to Peace Dale Duke, ESM, handled by Mike Tracy and owned by Richard Frisella.

Hard luck dog of the stake was Southbound Stretch, owned and handled by John Fino and scouted by Aidan Malone. Stretch was winning the stake hands down but was lost with little but 2 minutes left in his half hour.
"Handler error'' was how handler John Fino described it. :-)

Southbound Stretch, above:
Best of the Open Shooting Dog Stake :-) but missing at pickup :-(

Amateur judges, above, Stacy Goodie and Dave O'Brien

Amateur Shooting Dog
Judges: Stacy Goodie and Dave O'Brien

1. Southbound Slick, PM, John Malone
2. Southbound Jack, PM, John Fino
3. Super Sioux, GSP, Katie Tazza

A barbecued chicken dinner Saturday night was prepared by Patrick Callahan and described as some of the finest chicked barbecue ever in history to have been prepared on the East Coast.

Field trial chairman was Don Gustafson who worked day and night in downpours and steamy weather to get the job done.

Don Gustafson, field trial chairman, above, always at the ready to keep this trial running smoothly, even from the shadows of his truck. :-)

Helping out planting birds was Elizabeth Malone.

Ready to plant those quail: above from left, Elizabeth Malone and Janice Gregory

Aidan Malone provided valuable scouting for whoever sought his services.

Above, from left, Aidan, Elizabeth and John Malone.

John Fino, above, and one of his many award-winning pointers :-)

Keeping an eye on things were, above from left, Bob Braman, Tad Dorry and John Fino.

Handlers Bob Locarni and John Fino.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Big Turnout for Region 1 / AFTCA - Bass Pro Shops Pointing Dog Seminars

FOXBORO, Mass. - Spectators from all over New England were in attendance on Saturday, Aug. 8, as Region 1 / AFTCA, in conjunction with Bass Pro Shops, put on two pointing dog seminars at Bass Pro's Foxboro, Mass. store.

Charged with putting together the seminars, and serving as emcees, were Elias Richardson, Region 1 trustee, and Janice Gregory, Region 1 secretary.

Many members of Region 1 / AFTCA provided their own dogs, time and expertise on this gorgeous Saturday to help spread the word that field trialing is a fun, family sport. The goal of Region 1 is to spread the word about field trialing and to keep the sport alive and well far into the future.

While there were several field trialers in the audience on this sunny, hot August day, there were more of the plain 'ol dog owner folks who just wanted to see what these pointing dogs can do, and maybe if their own dog could do the same thing.

They didn't leave disappointed.

Months of planning by Region 1 came to fruition as the seminars began.

Richardson briefly and succinctly described the basics of field trialing - what to expect of the dogs, what a handler is expected to do, and what the different levels of trialing consist of from weekend half-hour gundog stakes to national championships.

Eli Richardson, above left, discusses the basics of field trialing as John Stolgitis mans the equipment table.

Richardson discussed nutrition, and the feeding and care of bird dogs. Dean Reinke of Purina very kindly supplied free bags of Pro Plan dog food, coolers, drink holders, hats and a myriad of information on keeping a dog nutritionally fit.

Also on the display tables were issues of the bible of field trialing, the American Field, from managing editor Bernie Matthys; copies of Field Trial magazine from editor Craig Doherty, and information on the Amateur Field Trial Clubs of America and 20th Century Fund from AFTCA secretary Linda Hunt.

(The 20th Century Fund of the AFTCA supports efforts by local field trial clubs to improve grounds and access. A $200 sponsorship will help field trialing across America, plus donors will receive their own limited edition print, "Millennium Breakaway at Ames,'' by artist Herb Booth.
For information, or to see the prints, click here. To order, contact the 20th Century Fund, 1300 Tripp Rd., Somerville, TN 38068 or call (901) 465-1556.)

First, to the delight of the crowd, two Brittany puppies were brought out and worked on a wing. There were many "oohs'' and "aahs'' from the group that looked like it might be more interested in picking up and cuddling those cute little puppies than watching them learn how use their hunting instincts.

Erin Stolgitis, above left, and Elizabeth Malone help Dave Marshall work Brittany puppies on a wing.

Videographer David DelPoio gets a closeup as Dave Marshall works a wing for the puppies.

That was quickly overcome in the next segment when the derby dogs were brought out.

As Richardson and Gregory explained what would be expected of this age group in a field trial, the dogs were loosed in the field to point birds.

An audible murmur went through the obviously impressed crowd as one by one these young dogs worked the wind. There were gasps from the audience as these dogs not only swung onto point, but stayed where they stopped, much to the amazement of some in the group.

"My gosh,'' said one woman who brought her German Shorthair with her. "Could my dog do that?'' She was told, "With some training, absolutely.''

John Stolgitis, above, places a quail in a cage prior to the barrel training segment.

The crowd was hooked.

The were given a demonstrations of barrel training, whoa training, some obedience training (heeling) and it was explained to them that to run a field trial dog, all they need is a pointing dog, a checkcord, a blank pistol and a whistle.

Dave Marshall's Drahthaar, Ruger, demonstrating barrel training.

John Malone, above, styles up his pointer on the barrel.

Dave Marshall demonstrating whoa training with a Drahthaar.

At the end of the seminar, for many in the audience, the sport of field trialing was no longer as formidible an undertaking as it had initially seemed. And all said they'd definitely like to give it a try.

Eli Richardson makes a point to the audience.

Electric collars, tracking collars, checkcords - all tools of the field trialing trade

Helping out with the seminar were members of Region 1 / AFTCA and local field trialers. Thanks go out to John and Erin Stolgitis, John, Suzanne, Aidan and Elizabeth Malone, Dave Marshall, Sarah Conyngham, Bill Bonnetti, Frank McLaughlin and Jim Kilraine.

Look for a video of the Region 1 / AFTCA - Bass Pro Shops Pointing Dog Seminar on youTube in the near future.