Monday, May 9, 2011

Report - Region 1 AHSD Championship

Front from left, Region 1 treasurer and championship chairman Jeff Smith, Alene LeVasseur with Champion Stone Dor and Tom Tracy with Runnerup Champion Threshold. Rear from left, judge Steve Merton, Amilcar Pereira, Gene Casale, judge Patrick Callahan, John Malone and Elizabeth Malone.


EAST WINDSOR, Conn. - Stone Dor, an almost 3-year-old white and orange pointer female, and her sire, Threshold, a 5 1/2-year-old white and orange pointer male, both owned and handled by Tom Tracy of Lebanon, Conn., were named champion and runnerup champion, respectively, at the 2011 Region 1 Amateur Horseback Shooting Dog Stake held April 23-24, 2011, at Flaherty Field Trial Area. Twenty-two dogs were entered in the two-day event which featured miserably rainy and chilly weather conditions.

Judges were Steve Merton of Manchester, Conn., and Patrick Callahan of Winsted, Conn. Championship chairman was Jeff Smith of Loudon, N.H.

Stone Dor (Threshold x Windcry), a light-footed, pretty-moving pointer, ran in the fourth brace and had seven well-spaced finds and a strong race in adverse weather conditions, to win this championship. Her rapport with her handler is worth noting because when Tracy runs this dog, it is basically an hour of quietness. Just the sounds of hoofbeats, some quiet chatter from the gallery, and his rare, occasional call to a dog who needs little or no handling because she is quite aware of where her handler is.

Stone Dor’s swings were enormous, especially under the power lines where a dog can show how much run it has. Her finds were exemplary, head and tail always held high with an intensity that was hard to match. To watch this dog run and hunt for an hour was nothing short of a pleasure.

In his 60 minutes on the ground, Threshold (Stone Free x Arc Angel) logged eight strong finds, three of which were divided, and had a big forward race. Again, much like his daughter, this was a big running dog who was outstanding on his birds, exhibited a nice hunting pattern and handled nicely.

Judges were particularly impressed with the first brace of the trial which set the high-water mark early. 

Calico’s Tom Thumb, a pointer male handled by Brian Sanchez, had four finds, two backs and an unproductive. LH Chain, a setter male owned and handled by Alene LeVasseur, had four finds and one back. Both dogs had hard-running, forward races in cold and rainy weather conditions.

Judges also liked East Coast Pete, a pointer male owned and handled by John Malone. Whenever this dog is put down to run, he comes up with the birds and looks good doing it. Pete logged seven well-spaced finds, one from a good distance away, had one unproductive and ran a strong race.

Also having a good day was Sugar Knoll Jack, the industrious pointer male owned and handled by John Fino. Jack had seven finds and a questionable stop on a woodcock before his hour was up. Only two weeks before, versatile Jack had been entered in the Region 1 Amateur Walking Championship where he had been named runner-up champion. Jack, who is no stranger to both the horseback and walking circuits, looked like an all-age dog this day. He made big swings, held nicely onto his edges and hunted the heck out of the woods. It’s always a pleasure to watch Jack.

There were numerous pickups and unproductives largely due to the inclement weather.


*The championship was hosted by Associated Field Trial Club of Connecticut. Many thanks to them to them and John Malone for making everyone feel welcome and looking out for everyone’s needs.

*On Saturday night, Brian Sanchez, owner/handler of 2010 Champion Great River Magnum, hosted a sumptuous cocktail party.

*Many thanks to Sue Way for again providing hungry field trialers with a variety of foods, hot and cold, at a moment’s notice.

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