Now accepting Hall of Fame nominations! See news section for more details.

I Accept

United Kennel Club (UKC) is an international dog registry celebrating bonds, rewarding ability, and preserving the value of a pedigree. We use cookies to capture information such as IP addresses and tailor the website to our clients' needs. We also use this information to target and measure promotional material. Please see our Privacy Policy for more information.

Skip to main content
Facebook Instagram YouTube

Event: Jolene Jolene Wins
Result: 67th National Open Pheasant Shooting Dog Championship

Location: Bloomingdale, Ohio

Post Date: Dec 7, 2023

Submitted By: Joe Lordi

National Open Pheasant SD ChF23

National Open Pheasant Shooting Dog Championship Winners (front, l-r): Mike Tracy, Casey Foster with Jolene Jolene, Joe McHugh (owner), Vic Hall, and Rylan Foster with Miller's Automatic Upgrade. (Behind): Ronnie Rogers (judge), Daphne Rogers, Bobby Verderosa, Jeff Gilbertson, Michael Martino, Chris Sellers (judge), Dave Hughes, and Mark Hughes.

The New York State Bird Dog Association ran the 67th National Open Pheasant Shooting Dog Championship. As we were nearing the drawing date, we had concerns about whether we would draw enough dogs. We had trailer issues, medical conditions, and trainers choosing other trials. Coming off last year's record high of 84 dogs, this year, we were not sure if we would get 25 dogs. Trailers were repaired in time, and we drew a respectable 53 dogs. We would like to thank the handlers and owners for their support. We received entries from professionals Mike Tracy, Matt Basilone, Michael Martino, and Mark Hughes. Amateurs Joe McHugh, Cliff Mesnard, and Joe Lordi also ran dogs. The amateurs represented well, with three of the five entered finishing the hour and another just seconds away from finishing the hour.

This year, the board decided to go in a new direction for sponsorship. We are grateful for the years of support from our previous sponsor. The Southern Bird Hunters Association has agreed to sponsor the trial and has given us access to several big-time sponsors. Eukanuba agreed to provide dog food to the winners and provide the handlers' dinner; they also provided a tent, hats, sample dog food, and various swag. Lynn Carradine and James Niemann were super supportive and went above and beyond. SportDOG provided training collars to the winners. We cannot thank the Southern Bird Hunters Association and their sponsors, Eukanuba and SportDOG, enough for their incredible support and for helping us make this a premier shooting dog event. Again, this year, Lion Country and Jack Haggis Saddlery sponsored our four honorable mentions with $100 gift cards to the handler.

We have been running at the Mingo Sportsman Club for six years, and the grounds have improved every year. There is no doubt that this year, the grounds were groomed to perfection, with feed strips of sorghum and corn planted along the course to provide excellent cover. The rolling hills provide a great place to show a dog. We are very happy that we were able to make the Mingo Sportsman Club in Bloomingdale, Ohio, our home. Bill Monk is a great ambassador for the club and very helpful. Jess Brown opened up the clubhouse for our group and cooked two delightful meals for all to enjoy.

We have several club members who were very helpful, and we would like to thank them for all their work. Greg Strausbaugh and Stacey Goodie were extremely helpful with the drawing and marshaling. We look forward to them spending the entire week next year. Casey Foster scouted all day and then cooked two fantastic dinners that really hit the spot. Mike Tracy helped me catch and feed the birds each night. A few afternoons, he provided horses for the judges. Thank you for all your help, Mike. Bobby Verderosa became my right-hand man. He was willing to do anything I needed and did it with a smile. He planted birds for several days; this trial would not have been a success without his hard work. Carl Bishop was also extremely helpful in planting birds for a couple of days.

Dave Hughes provided and drove the dog truck and his Polaris for bird planting. He was always in the perfect position with dogs. Mark Hughes was also a big help, marshaling when needed and providing much-needed pretrial work.
Muriel Primm and Karen Saniga made sure there were plenty of snacks and drinks for the breaks. Muriel also made sure the judges' rooms were taken care of. Ernie Saniga got the pins for the winners and drove the dog truck the day Dave Hughes was unavailable. Bill Primm jumped in and marshaled as needed. Karen Reed made sure the judges' gifts were ordered and ready for the trial. Mary and George Tracy were extremely helpful, pretrial and during the trial. Chris Catanzarite led the judges' horse in after the day's running on Thursday. I hope I did not miss anyone; it was truly a team event, and the club is very appreciative of everyone's effort to put on this trial.
We had a delicious meal on Tuesday night in honor of last year's winner, Waybetter Rocky. Carl Bishop planned this dinner in great detail to honor Rocky's win and career. The dinner was delicious, but not one meal could adequately honor Rocky. Rocky's career was beyond impressive, winning 18 championships and numerous hour placements. He was a threat to win every time he was released. Muriel and Bill Primm, and Carl and Colin Bishop are very proud of this future Hall of Famer. They were presented with a beautiful painting of Rocky done by Mary McPherson.

This trial saw some streaks end. George Tracy missed this trial for the first time since he started coming. He was missed on every level, from running dogs and leaning on his vast experience to providing a drink or two at the end of the day's running. We all wish George a speedy recovery and can't wait for George to be back soon. Please note Mary and George were still a great help from home before and during the trial. I had to meet the bird guy and needed to miss the last two braces. These are the only braces I did not ride in 13 years.
We would like to thank our judges, Ronnie Rogers of Knoxville, Tennessee, and Chris Sellers of Selmer, Tennessee, for their time in the saddle. They set a very consistent pace throughout the whole trial. They gave every dog their complete attention and the complete hour. They never ordered a dog up unless it made a mistake. When the heavy rain came Thursday afternoon, they did not want to run dogs in the rain, even though it meant they would have a full day on Friday. They never cut the course short. Their decision was very well received. We appreciate all their time in the saddle and driving to and from the trial.

The Winners
Jolene Jolene ("Jelly"), a pointer female raised by Dave and Liz McKay and now campaigned under the partnership of Dave McKay and Joe McHugh, was handled by Mike Tracy. Jelly has been consistently improving, and a big-time win seemed likely to happen sooner rather than later. She placed in the New England Futurity with Dave handling and won the Spruce Brook Amateur Shooting Dog Classic this past spring. She also had a very respectable performance in the Amateur Pheasant Shooting Dog Championship. Jolene Jolene bested the field of 53 dogs with a five-find performance. The judges were impressed with her smooth front-running performance. Her bird work was flawless, never giving anyone any inclination that she was anything but perfect on her bird work. Jolene Jolene ran the first brace on Tuesday morning. She was found standing at the end of the breakaway hedgerow and showed fine style for the flush. She pointed high and tight on both ends at 14, across from the rock pile for her second find. She hunted to the front through Locust Grove and was standing on the hill to the left for an extended flush. She handled all three pheasants to perfection. She had an unproductive on the right side of the hill after the ridge. She answered with two chukar covey finds on the outer loop. The chukars took out many dogs, but Jolene was up for the challenge, standing proud. Jolene's finish was icing on the cake. She was seen blowing out the front end, cresting the hill as time was called. Mike Tracy raced over the hill, bringing Jolene back about five minutes later. Proud owner Joe McHugh was in the gallery to witness this outstanding performance. I am also sure Annie and June are very proud of Jelly's first championship.

Runner-up Miller's Automatic Upgrade is a 3-year-old pointer male owned by Allen Linder and handled by Mike Tracy. He was closest to the winner and had a very similar performance to the winner. He ran in the final brace on Day 1 with Smoke N Mirrors. He showed fine style on his bird work, scoring nine finds on pheasant, chukars, and quail. He had a strong forward race with a big finish. Upgrade nailed two finds on pheasant along the autumn olives hedgerow. Upgrade was all jacked up for his third find in the Locust Grove. He was making strong forward casts, and scout Casey called point for Upgrade on the hill. He handled the chukars to perfection and was sent on. Just before the ridge, Upgrade stood tight for the flush as a pheasant flew just over his head. On the left side going up the ridge, Upgrade was out of my sight, but a small covey of quail took flight. At the top ridge, he handled a single quail and was sent on. He hunted to the right side of the ridge and was rewarded for his effort with another stylish find. He was sent to the front, scoring yet another pheasant find in the clump of trees on the left of the hill. His style was impeccable, with a poker straight tail and head high. He showed he had all the run needed, running big in the outer loop. He was gathered up and sent to the front, coming back. He hunted the bottom and swung up and over the hill, as time ended. The judges waited for Mike to gather up Miller's Automatic Upgrade. He laid down an impressive effort and was the only dog to finish on the first day.

In my opinion, the two top performances were head and shoulders above the field, but pushing the winners were honorable mentions Limbsmoke Urban Lullaby, handled by Matt Basilone and owned by Lloyd Miller, Hillhavyn's Major Tom, handled by Mike Martino and owned by Brad Brown, Suemac's Sashay handled by Mark Hughes and owned by Suzie and Roger McPherson, and Cheyenne Jack handled by Joe Lordi and owned by Sal Morelli.

The Running
Waybetter Rebel (M. Tracy) and Iron Will's Raging Bull (M. Basilone) were off after the fog lifted at around 8:40 a.m. on Monday. Waybetter Rebel had a stylish find, but on the second find showed a slight lapse of manners and was picked up. Raging Bull was charged with an unproductive and then in Locust Grove stood high and tight, but as Matt flushed, the chukars proved too much.

Double Deuce Zeke (M. Hughes) and Raag's Rich and Rare (M. Tracy) were released from the flats after Locust Grove. Both dogs made a nice forward cast when scout Chris Catanzarite called point far out on the top of the hill past the second pond. Rich and Rare was pointing, and Zeke was backing. Both dogs showed excellent manners for the flush. Zeke answered, standing, going up the ridge, but while relocating, the horses moved and flushed a rooster, and Zeke took an unfortunate unproductive. While gaining the front, Zeke backed Rich and Rare at the bottom of the ridge. Mike was able to flush a hen bird in a tricky spot. Both dogs were sent on. Zeke was charged with a second unproductive at the top of the hill. Rich and Rare had a stylish find in the outer loop. He was released and made an outstanding move, showing beautifully to the front. He turned, made game, and stopped. A rooster took flight, and Rich and Rare succumbed to the temptation.

In the third brace, Hillhavyn's Repeat (M. Martino) and Calico's Sky's The Limit (M. Tracy) were off from the rock pile. Both dogs had birds on their minds and scored pretty finds left and right. However, after the fifth and sixth finds, respectively, one rooster proved to be too much, taking out both dogs. This ended what had been an exciting brace.

We started back at 2 p.m. on Monday with Southern Shadows Rick (M. Basilone) and Miller's Southern Gossip (M. Tracy). Gossip Girl had a pretty find before having a lapse of manners. Southern Shadows Rick looked like he would be the first dog to finish with six high-tailed finds, but he had a lapse of manners on chukars at 55.

Miller's Hopped Up Version (M. Hughes) and Hightailing Penny (M. Tracy) were off going into the outer loop. Both dogs were off to the races, with point called for Penny near the far end of the outer loop. Hopped Up Version was picked up after failing to back. Unfortunately, Penny was charged with an unproductive. She ran a big race, showing to the front with one find before suffering a second unproductive.

Miller's Automatic Upgrade (M. Tracy) and Smoke'N'Mirrors (M. Basilone) were sent away from the main breakaway. Miller's Automatic Upgrade's performance is described under the winners. Smoke'N'Mirrors was charged with an unproductive at the end of the breakaway hedgerow. Near the rock pile, Smoke'N'Mirrors was locked in as a sneaky pheasant ran across the road and down the hill. Smoke'N'Mirrors was deep in the cover as Matt flushed a rooster. Smoke'N'Mirrors bid was ended by the chukars.

Limbsmoke Urban Lullaby (M. Basilone) and Reedy Creek Dial Tone (M. Tracy) were pitted against each other for the seventh brace. Dial Tone was running a far-reaching race with no bird work at 35, so Mike called for the tracker. Lullaby stood with high style on the sorghum feed patch for Matt to flush a pheasant and was sent on at 3. Along the autumn olive hedgerow, Lullaby notched his second stylish find. Lullaby continued a forward race with a pheasant find on the right as we went up the ridge. Again, at the top of the ridge, he stood tall as Matt flushed a pheasant. At the start of the outer loop, he was locked tight for the flush. At the center of the outer loop, he scored his sixth find. He was released and was on point shortly after, but no bird was produced. He finished the hour to the front.

Island Fantasy (M. Basilone) and Suemac's Wicked Sister (M. Tracy) were off from the end of the outer loop. Island Fantasy had a quick find, but the flush proved to be too much temptation. Sister had her first find on the breakaway hedgerow on chukars. She had a slight lapse in manners on her second find and was picked up.

Miller's High Heat Index (M. Tracy) and Wayward Flyin Tomato (M. Hughes) finished out Tuesday morning. Both dogs ran strong forward races with High Heat Index a little further reaching. Flyin Tomato finished the hour strong with only an unproductive. High Heat Index slammed on point for a pheasant find on the right before the second pond. He was gathered up before the ridge and sent forward, scoring a find on chukars at the clump of trees on the top of the ridge. On the hill after the ridge, High Heat Index pinned a pheasant after a relocation. He continued to run to the extreme front end and was rewarded with a find on chukars at time.

The 10th brace featured Hillhavyn's Wild Child (J. McHugh) and Southpoint's Hog Wild (M. Tracy). Both dogs were all jacked up for a find on the breakaway hedgerow as chukars were flushed. Hog Wild pinned a hen bird at the start of the Locust Grove, again showing perfect manners. Point was called for Wild Child to the left before hitting the rock pile, and Joe was able to flush a rooster. Hog Wild again had a stylish find at the end of Locust Grove. Hog Wild had a slight lapse of manners out of my sight and was picked up. Wild Child needed to be gathered up after the second pond and again at the start of the outer loop. She had a lapse of manners with one minute left to end her bid.

Miller's Strolling For Gold (M. Tracy) and Backcountry Buddy (M. Martino) were off from the far outer loop. Both dogs made strong moves on the outer loop. They were gathered up and taken to the rock pile. Strolling For Gold was rolling; Mike Tracy called for the tracker as we turned back out, and Strolling For Gold was just up the hedgerow. Buddy had lacked the required style on his two finds and was ordered up.

Miller's Miss Congeniality (M. Tracy) and Hirollins Bad Boy (M. Basilone) finished the second day of running. Both dogs showed fine class and speed on the ground. On the far left of Locust Grove, Bad Boy was looking good with Miss Congeniality backing. Both dogs were sent on, and at the end of the grove, Bad Boy took an unproductive in the cat o'nine tails. Miss Congeniality was further up in the flats with a sharp-looking find. Miss Congeniality had a lapse of manners and was up at 25. Bad Boy was taken to the front after the unproductive and sent up the ridge hunting the left side; he earned a stylish pheasant find. At the bottom of the ridge, a running rooster was just too much temptation.

Jolene Jolene (M. Tracy) and Ravenwood Throwing Smoke (M. Basilone) were off in the 13th brace. Jolene Jolene performance is described under the winners. Smoke ran a big race, needing to be gathered up as the echo may have taken him to the left, going up the hill after the breakaway hedgerows. He scored two finds and was standing going up the ridge; on the relocation, a rooster got up, and Smoke stopped and went back to Matt as if to say, "I didn't do that."

Cheyenne Jack (J. Lordi) and Trumped (M. Tracy). Jack had two finds and a back with a good race. Trumped had three finds and an unproductive.

Iron Bully (M. Tracy) and Red Alert Lane (M. Basilone) were in the last brace Wednesday morning. Iron Bully cracked and popped on the ground and showed fine style on point but had two unproductives. Red Alert Lane had two finds on the breakaway hedgerows with fine style before taking liberty on a rooster.

Navajo Cody (J. Lordi) and Miller's Lock and Loaded (M. Tracy) ran in one of the hottest braces of the trial. Lock and Loaded had a find on the autumn olive hedgerow and continued a strong race before the handler elected to pick up. Cody was standing on the sorghum patch to the right on the breakaway. As the handler was flushing, the marshal said they saw flight of bird, and the handler went on. At the start of Locust Grove, Cody failed to stop as a rooster got up.

Fort River's Lucky Charm (M. Basilone) and Miller's War Bonnet (M. Tracy) were released in the flat at the end of Locust Grove. War Bonnet scored a pheasant find on the top of the ridge, an unproductive at the start of the outer loop, and a chukar find at the far end of the outer loop. She backed at the end of the breakaway hedgerow before finishing the hour to the front. Lucky Charm ran a medium shooting dog race with a back and three finds at 46, 47, and 50, finishing the hour.

Iron Will's True Grit (M. Basilone) and Miller's Heat Seeker (M. Tracy) finished out Wednesday. True Grit was absent and picked up on the top of the ridge. Heat Seeker had two finds and an unproductive before his bid ended going up the hill.

Waybetter Rocky (M. Tracy) and Fluid Drive (J. Lordi) were released to the tune of the whistles, with Rocky notching a find on the starting hedgerow. Fluid Drive stood tall on a hen bird and, as he gained the front, backed for Rocky's second find. Both dogs worked the front and were rewarded with pheasant finds about 100 yards apart. They both handled and hunted the front end. Fluid Drive stood high on both ends, with Rocky backing on the right side of the ridge. At the bottom of the ridge, Fluid Drive was not seen, and the handler went back to gather up the dog and send him to the front. Both dogs continued to hunt the front; Rocky had a find on the sorghum patch with Fluid Drive backing. At the end of the outer loop, Fluid Drive was found standing, but with no marshals and time running out, the handler elected to take the dog on. Both dogs finished to the front.

Faithful (M. Tracy) and Suemac's Sashay (M. Tracy) started coming back on the outer loop. Faithful had three finds and two unfortunate unproductives; for the second unproductive, she made game on the location but could not pin the bird, and the rooster got up behind her for her second unproductive. Sashay finished the hour. She is stylish running and pointing; she had five finds and an unproductive with the scout calling flight of a pheasant out of our sight, but we could hear the cackling.

The 21st brace highlighted Hauser's Hard Line (M. Tracy) and Miller's Special Upgrade (M. Hughes). They were both released up the ridge. Both dogs were to the right, and something did not seem right, but they were taken on. Special Upgrade stood high and tight on the relocation, but the judge felt she took a few too many steps. At the top of the hill, Hard Line was a victim to the covey of chukars, which ended his bid.

Miller's Upgraded Design (M. Tracy) and Hillhavyn's Major Tom (M. Martino). Upgraded Design was picked up at 35 without bird work. Tom handled with ease for handler Mike Martino and, after an early unproductive, scored three stylish finds, finishing the hour to the front.

Erin's Big Casino (M. Tracy) and Tian Butterbean (C. Mesnard) were released from the rock pile. Butterbean gave a strong effort with a rooster at 9 and a divided find at 12. At the end of Locust Grove, he pinned a hen with all in order for the flush. He scored a divided find on the outer loop and finished the hour to the front. Big Casino had two divided finds and an unproductive to finish the hour.

Bittersweet War Cry (M. Tracy) and McFay's Dire Straits (M. Martino) were off from the outer loop. War Cry had one find and two unproductives. Dire Straits had a back and a lapse of manners, ending his hour early.

The 25th brace featured Miller's Extreme Heat (M. Tracy) and Bragabull (M. Hughes). Both gave a strong effort and covered the country. Extreme Heat had five stout finds but had a second unproductive at 54, ending her bid early. Bragabull notched three stylish finds and backed twice but suffered two unproductives to end her bid.

Hauser's Rollin Thunder was the first of three byes run by Mike Tracy. He gave a strong effort with six well-spaced finds and an unproductive at 14. He showed good style on point and was pleasing on the ground; he finished the hour to the front.

Miller's Little Duce Coupe (M. Tracy) was off like a shot but chased a bird at 4.

In the final brace, Miller's Record Heat (M. Tracy) scored a pretty find and suffered an unproductive; he ran a big race with the handler calling for the tracker at 32.

Bloomingdale, Ohio, September 25 - One Course
Judges: Ronnie Rogers and Chris Seller

Winner-JOLENE JOLENE, 1692447, pointer female, by Miller's Heat Seeker-Dominator's Heir Kate. Joe McHugh & Dave McKay, owners; Mike Tracy, handler.
Runner-Up-MILLER'S AUTOMATIC UPGRADE, 1696255, pointer male, by Miller's Upgraded Version-Miller's Special Edition. Allen Linder, owner; Mike Tracy, handler.

National Open Pheasant SD Waybetter RockyF23

Painting Presentation of 2022 Champion Waybetter Rocky (l-r): Mike Tracy (handler), Casey Foster (scout), Joyce and Carl Bishop (owners), and Muriel and Bill Primm (owners).