Monday, October 26, 2015

Results -- 2015 Region 1 ASD Championship

 Front from left, Alex Smith with Champion Calico's Touch of Class, and Brian Sanchez and Tom Brown with Runnerup Champion Sugarknoll War Paint. Rear from left, chairman Richard Giuliano, John Stolgitis, Tiffani Smith, Erin Stolgitis, Elizabeth Malone, Gene Casale Jr., judge Dom Preite, Brooke Robinson, judge Pat Casey, Mary Tracy, Aidan Malone, reporter Janice Gregory and George Doyle.


Runnerup is Sugarknoll War Paint

EAST WINDSOR, Conn. -- The 2015 Region 1 Amateur Horseback Shooting Dog Championship was a two-day event (Oct. 17-18) that took its sweet time getting going. 

On the first day, birds that were proving too wild for their own good were causing dog after dog in brace after brace to crash and burn. Out of 14 dogs run the first day, only one would have multiple clean finds and complete the hour -- Elias Richardson's setter male, Ironstone Lone Star. In total, during the entire weekend, more than half of the 27 dogs entered would not make it around the course.

Things were looking bleak, but on the second day, circumstances began to change for the better.

In the ninth brace, Erin's War Creek, a pointer male handled by Brian Sanchez, broke the drought. War Creek smoked the course with eight finds. Said judge Dom Preite, "This dog had a cast that was forever, and he never, never left it. He ran like that all the time, right on the edges and he found the birds. And he was magnificent on point."

And from there, things just kept improving.

In the 10th brace, the hot streak continued. Judges Preite and Pat Casey gave their full attention as John Malone's pointer female, East Coast Sally, had four finds in a clean hour. Dogs were finally starting to make it around the course. In the 11th brace, with temperatures dipping and snow beginning to flurry, Erin's Stonecutter, a pointer male handled by Kevin Stuart, and Kate, a pointer female handled by Kevin Joyce, would both stay down for 60 minutes, each dog having four finds.

But it would take until the 12th and 13th braces to produce the winner and runner-up.

Sugarknoll War Paint, a 6-year-old pointer male owned by Allen Linder and Pete and Chris DelCollo, would run in the 12th. With seven finds and a good, forward race, he would be named runner-up.  And from the 13th and final brace came the champion, with a remarkably strong and precise race, Calico's Touch of Class, a 5-year-old pointer female owned by Calico Kennels, Pete and Chris DelCollo and Dale Hernden and handled by Alex Smith. 

Said Preite, "The first-place dog was a great handling dog. And Alex sat in the saddle like a gentleman. The dog went out there and did a nice job. She had six finds and one back and [War Paint] had seven finds. [He] was a little bit harder-handling dog, a bit more to try to control, but a real good bird dog. We were very pleased with both."

Photos by Tim Doyle
A find right off the breakaway in an area that would prove perplexing to a number of dogs. 


First brace: Dry Creek Jessy James (Doyle) and I'm Earl (Drew). Jessy was up early for not backing. Earl was cruising along, doing a great job with two finds and one unproductive, when, with 17 minutes left, his owner detected a slight change in the dog's gait and decided to pick him up. Earl had recently recovered from a torn ACL and just reinjured it the previous week at the New England Open. Handler didn't want to risk any further injury so I'm Earl's hour was finished.

Jeff Smith, left, and George Doyle.

Ironstone Lone Star (Richardson) and Hog Hill Katie (Cavanaugh). Lone Star would be the lone dog who finished the complete hour on this first day. He had three finds. Katie had two finds where all was in order, then went on to suffer an unproductive. She then had a divided find with Lone Star and was ordered up after taking a jump on the birds.

Jeff Smith

Great River Class (Sanchez) and Dry Creek White Lightning (J. Smith). Class had two finds and two unproductives. She was picked up after the second. Lightning had a good start with a find right off the breakaway. He went on to have another find but was picked up when he took out a bird.

Jim Thomas, left, and John Malone

The fourth brace paired One Bad Winter (Unsworth) and Thomas Adirondack Mason (Thomas). Winter was scratched and the bye dog, BraeVal Bearcat Laddie (McCluskey), was brought up to fill in. Laddie had one find but was picked up for taking a bird. Mason was making some serious money with five cracking good finds. However, with 15 minutes left, he bumped a pheasant as he was crossing a field and was ordered up.

Gene Casale Jr., above,
and daughter, Anna, below.

Railway Jill (Casale) and No Hitting No Spitting (McKay). Jill had three good finds but on the fourth she went with the birds. No Hitting was ordered up early for not backing.

Maureen and Kevin Joyce

Wizard's Ploughman Poet (Hathaway) and Tess (GSPF) Joyce. Tess had a find right off the breakaway. Poet didn't back and was picked up. The tracker was called for for Tess at about 30 minutes as she been out of ken for too long.

Elizabeth Malone

Moonshine Magic (Malone) and High Drive Snapshot (Sanchez). Magic had one find, then she was gone. Snapshot had four finds and was also lost.

In the first brace on the second day -- a day that would feature cold, wind, and snow flurries -- Calico's Casanova Cowboy (A. Smith) was braced with Chasehill Little Thudd (Richardson).  Both dogs were picked up early for bird infractions.

Railway Danny (Casale) and Erin's War Creek (Sanchez). Danny had one nice find then was picked up for not backing. War Creek had eight finds and was "something to see," said judge Preite. But as good as it was, the performance wouldn't beat the winners. 

East Coast Sally (Malone) and Talladega (Richardson).  Sally had four finds and made a clean job of her hour.  Talladega was picked up shortly after the breakaway for not backing.

Maureen Joyce

Erin's Stonecutter (Stuart) and Kate (Joyce). Stonecutter would intersperse four finds in his hour. A good running dog, he finished going away. Kate had four finds but was somewhat immature in her pattern, according to judges.

Sugarknoll War Paint (Sanchez) and Waybetter Tommy (Brown). War Paint, the runner-up,  was previously described. Tommy had two finds but an eventual refusal to back got him the hook.

Calico's Touch of Class (A. Smith) and North Country Girl (McKay). Class, the winner, was previously described. Girl and Class shared a find early and Girl went on to have two more finds, but a refusal to back got her leashed early and the championship was over.


* On Saturday night, a cocktail party was hosted by John Stolgitis, owner of 2014 winner, Chasehill Little Bud, handled by Elias Richardson. A lavish shellfish spread was followed by a baked lobster dinner. Not only was the dinner in celebration of Bud's 2014 Region 1 championship win, but also marked the occasion of the talented pointer's retirement. Always a threat whether running in the horseback circuit, on the walking circuit, or in the grouse woods, Bud will be missed.

* Many thanks to Purina representative Greg Blair for providing dog food to the winners and hats to participants. 

* And many thanks to chairman Richard Giuliano and the members of Region 1 who stepped up to help whenever necessary, whether it was planting birds, marshalling or cleaning the clubhouse at the conclusion of the trial. No trial could be held without help from people such as these and we thank each and every one of them.

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