The winner, Richfield Silver Lining, a pointer male bred by Richard Giuliano of Coventry, RI, owned by Claudia McNamee of Waccabuc, NY, and handled by John Stolgitis of Ashaway, RI, ran in the 17th brace. Runnerup champion, Magic Mist Bandit, a setter female owned and handled by Joe Dahl, of Bangor, Maine, ran in the 16th brace.
According to Bob Fleury, secretary of the South County Field Trial Club, host of the championship, the bird count during the weekend was well over 100. "The amazing thing," Fleury says, "is that several braces were cut short for breach of manners, and had they finished the hour, the bird count would have been higher.
"We are running four courses this year," said Fleury, "and all four courses have produced
multiple birds. In the 34 years of my association with this event, this bird count exceeds, by far, any of the past. It is apparent that the stars lined up properly and the bird gods smiled on us, but the truth of the matter is that because of the weather conditions of this spring are so out of sync that the migration north [of woodcock] has been stalled here and the birds have piled up. If there can be any complaint about this year's event, it may be that there are too many birds, and how many times has that occurred in a wild bird trial?
"The South County club is extremely pleased with having the opportunity to host such a record-breaking event."
Judges were Mike Best of St. John, New Brunswick, and Bob Little of Fredericton, New Brunswick. Championship secretary was Jill Stolgitis and stake manager was Ed McGovern.