|Front, from left, Pedja Kazic with Champion Islander and Bill Whigham with Runner-up Champion Fox Cobble Jack. Rear, from left, chairman Richard Giuliano, judges Dave Marshall and Sarah Conyngham, and reporter Janice Gregory.|
OF REGION 1/AFTCA
Runner-up is Fox Cobble Jack
Runner-up with six beautifully executed finds and one unproductive, was Fox Cobble Jack, a white and liver pointer owned and handled by Bill Whigham of South Hadley, Mass.
Eleven dogs were drawn for the one-day event with 10 eventually competing.
Judges were Dave Marshall and Sarah Conyngham. Chairman was Richard Giuliano.
|Judges Dave Marshall and Sarah Conyngham|
|Islander, with Pedja Kazic, backs Hog Hill Katie while Tim Cavanaugh goes in to flush the birds.|
The championship kicked off at 8:20 a.m. under sunny skies with Islander braced with Hog Hill Katie, a pointer female, owned and handled by Tim Cavanaugh.
Islander was sired by The Insider ex East Coast Bella, a daughter of Grid Iron. He is trained by Robert Ecker. When not trialing, Islander is a house dog that Kazic hunts on grouse and woodcock.
The fact that Islander is familiar with woodcock worked to his benefit this day. His first find was a pretty one, with the dog standing tall and strong in a slight breeze. Handler went in, spotted a quail, and kicked at it. While the quail scooted several yards away, much to everyone's surprise, including the handler's, up instead came a woodcock, flying into the sky and away.
Islander went on to have two more well-executed finds and three backs and finished his hour going away. "He looked absolutely stunning on point," said judge Sarah Conyngham, to which judge Dave Marshall concurred, and added, "He [also] showed us his ability to back."
|Fox Cobble Jack and handler Bill Whigham after a successful find.|
Fox Cobble Jack was braced at the very end of the day with Wizard's Ploughman Poet and handler Jim Hathaway. Poet would eventually be picked up by his handler at the 40 minute mark for not performing up to par, but Jack started his hour off and ended his hour with a bang.
Only scant minutes after the breakaway was the pointer found standing a quail in the woods at the left end of the big field. Shots were fired and all was in order. Jack pointed his birds textbook-style, head and tail high. He went on methodically working the course, opening up along the edges of the big fields, closing in when the cover got tight. The pointer went on to have five more well-spaced finds during his hour, which was marred only by one unproductive at 29, and was still going strong when time was called.
Jack is Rhode Island bred and born, a son of John Stolgitis's Chasehill Little Bud and Richard Giuliano's Richfield Kate's Candy.
Said Judge Marshall: "Jack had six finds and every one of them the birds were located real well. The dog was high and tight. A pretty dog standing [and he] finished well to the front. The unproductive hurt."
Judges said the dogs' races were very similar as far as going was concerned. "Both dogs finished and that's what I like," said Marshall. "They weren't hanging around. There wasn't much criss-crossing or jumping around. They were going for the birds."
Honorable mention went to Hog Hill Katie, who ran a well-executed race, but didn't finish as strong as the top two dogs.
|Field trial chairman Richard Giuliano, right, announces the second brace which featured Indian Creek Great White with Tim Cavanaugh, left, and Grouse Hill Dixie with John Capocci.|
In the second brace, Grouse Hill Dixie (Capocci) was paired with Indian Creek Great White (Cavanaugh). Dixie had one find and a back and was moving nicely through the woods and making some nice casts before she was picked up for moving on her birds on her second find. Great White, a young dog, had one find, two unproductives and a somewhat scattershot application before he did himself in by chasing and catching a bird.
|Richie Frisella goes in to flush for Foghat with Karen Unsworth waits with One Bad Winter.|
Foghat (Frisella) was paired with last year's Region 1 Walking Champion, One Bad Winter (Unsworth), in the third brace. Foghat had three finds, one at 55 with an impressive relocation, but suffered two unproductives.
|Judge Dave Marshall watches as Richie Frisella and Karen Unsworth approach their dogs.|
|Karen Unsworth and One Bad Winter.|
In the fourth brace, East Coast Jessy Jane (Frisella) was paired with last year's runner-up champion Snuff Mill Bailey (Dellinger). Jessy managed one back before she grabbed her running shoes and was gone. Bailey had one nice find, two stops-to-flush and one unproductive. She was looking pretty good until she found a bird -- and ate it.
|Jim Hathaway gets to the point with judges Dave Marshall and Sarah Conyngham.|
Fifth brace, Fox Cobble Jack (Whigham) and Wizard's Ploughman Poet (Hathaway), previously described.
|Photographer Jim Hathaway, left, and John Olfson.|
*Many thanks to Dean Reinke and Purina for support of Region 1/AFTCA championships. We couldn't run these events without their sponsorship.
|Phil Clark spent a lot of time driving the spectator truck and planting birds. Helping him were Dick Bembenek, front seat; rear from left, Tad Dorry, Lanny Dellinger, Frank McLaughlin, Dave Carter and Tim Cavanaugh.|
*And many, many thanks to the folks who pitched in to make this trial a success. If there was work to be done, birds to be planted, or dogs gotten to the line, there was no hesitation on anyone's part to pick up a piece of the workload. A good trial runs with many hands and in New England, we are pleased and proud to boast of the best supporters anywhere.