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Result: American Brittany Grouse and Woodcock Championship

Location: Augusta, Wisconsin

Post Date: Nov 27, 2020

Submitted By: Tom Goltz

AUGUSTA, WIS. -- This year's Championship was originally scheduled to be held in the spring in Rhode Island, hosted by the New England Brittany Championship Assoc. Due to COVID-19 restrictions they were unable to run the Championship as scheduled.

American Brittany Grouse and Woodcock Championship

The Badger Brittany Club was asked to host the Championship and scheduled the trial for an October 9 start in Augusta, Wis. Jim Brigham, a longtime grouse trial enthusiast accepted the leadership role. A team of Badger Brittany Club members came up this summer to help clear trails in preparation for the fall Championship.

A wet heavy Easter Sunday snowstorm broke off trees, snapped limbs and flattened brush leaving our trail system in a mess. It took eight workdays and some extra last-minute effort to restore our trails to championship standards.

Birds were relatively plentiful grouse recovered from last years low with good breeding and nesting weather. Woodcock did well and small groups of flight birds had dropped in for the Championship. Three other Championships were held on these grounds prior to the ABC.

All dogs had ample birds giving plenty of opportunity for class bird work on wild birds. COVID-19 did have a significant impact on entries this year with numerous handlers electing to "sit this one out."

Our judges are both well-seasoned grouse hunters, field trailers and no strangers to the winner's circle. Brent Sittlow of Hudson, Wis - president of the Chippewa Valley Grouse Dog Association sponsor along with Badger Brittany for this trial partnered with Neil Boos of Chippewa Falls, Wis.

Neil has been training dogs as a profession for many years and has experience with multiple pointing breeds. He is very involved with neighboring club to the north, "Moose," which sponsors numerous native bird continuous course events. Needless to say, both Neil and Brent have a vast amount of experience and both did an outstanding job of adjudicating all braces. The placements were well received.

We always appreciate the support of our sponsors, Purina and Garmin. Their support adds greatly to the overall success of the trial. It is very evident that the owners and handlers believe in their products as most the dogs were collared with Garmin GPS units and many owners feed Purina to fuel healthy and winning dogs. The Champion received a Garmin Pro 550 Plus/TT15 system and all winners received multiple bags of Purina Pro Plan Performance.

A huge thank you goes to Eau Claire County without our partnership with them we would not be able to host these trials. The collaborative cooperation we have with Eau Claire County Parks Director Josh Peterson and his staff Jody Gindt, Jake Tumm and others is outstanding and much appreciated. Eau Claire County has over 50,000 acres of public forest and we are very fortunate to be able to be one of the many groups utilizing this fine resource.


Rib River Tough Enough Too won the 2020 ABC Grouse and Woodcock Championship. Tuffy is a five-year-old male and clearly dominated this year's stake with a strong, forward race in promising cover. Tuffy carded two mixed finds (grouse and woodcock) and two woodcock finds.

Tuffy is owned and handled by Roger King of Wausau, Wis.

Runner up was awarded to M J's Sweet Sugar Magnolia, twelve-year-old female owned and handled by Mike Dally of Appleton, Wis. Maggie is no stranger to the winners' platform. Last year she won the Championship. This year she earned her 4th runner up. She is a prolific bird finder, pointing a woodcock at 6 and a stop to flush on a woodcock at time. Her race was strong, more like a dog half her age.


The first brace broke away at 7:30 a.m., temperature was 49 , warming up to 70 for the last brace. Light winds prevailed throughout the day.

M J's Box of Rain (Rainy/Mike Dally) and Biscuits Buddha Banshee (Buddha/Tom Jagielski) on the Highline Course both marking one big cast after the other. Mike called point for Rainy at 11 but waved it off as he approached. Both dogs stayed in good cover with no letdown; at 30 the gallery moved a woodcock along the river.

The second brace broke away on the Horse Creek Course with Red Granite's I am a Rock (Rocky/Julie Asmus) and Bark River Fresh Water Pearl (Pearl/Jeff Stanton.). This is a "loop" course along the Horse Creek and Eau Claire River. Five woodcock and one grouse were moved in this brace. The gallery moved a grouse to the right of the course shortly after break away. Pearl had woodcock funds at 8 and at 12 in the full view of the gallery. At 18 the gallery moved a woodcock in dense hazel brush. At 37 Jeff put a woodcock to flight after an extended flushing effort Pearl steady and stanch. Jeff called point at 41, flushed then sent Pearl on without bird contact. With minutes left Pearl pointed again not knowing the woodcock had already departed prior to her arrival. Pearl ran well at a hunting dog pace. Rocky was the stronger of the two, making many big forwards casts. Unfortunately, he had no bird contacts.

The third brace was the "H" course which is a "figure 8," mostly in good river bottom cover along the Eau Claire River. Rib River Tough Enough II (Tuffy) - Roger King, Wausau, Wis., and Repeat's Little Five O One Blues (Levi/Julie Asmus) took off like a shot and mostly kept it up for the balance of the brace at 8 Tuffy stopped to point into tag alder cover with a slight tail flag, indicating he was a bit unsure. Roger made a brief flushing effort and sent him on. Seconds later, first a woodcock, then a grouse erupted from the tags with Tuffy executing a mannerly stop to flush. Roger fired, all in order. At 18 both dogs made big back casts and were bullish about returning to the front. At 22 in the river bottom, Tuffy pointed, Roger flushed, no bird produced. At 33 Tuffy pointed again, 40 yards to the right of the trail. As Roger went in a big brown phase grouse blew out from under an oak deadfall. Roger shot, Tuffy stayed steady only for Roger to find a woodcock in front of the dog that flushed out at his approach. All in order. At 35 Tuffy nailed another woodcock. At 42 both dogs were out on a limb in hazel brush cover on the right. Tuffy's bell stopped at 45 it took eight minutes to find him, Roger found him standing tall on a really nice woodcock find Levi stayed ahead, hunting hard. Both dogs finished fast and forward.

The fourth brace was run on the "Diablo Jake Course" with M J's Sweet Sugar Magnolia (Maggie/Mike Dally) and Biscuits Me Wearing the Pants (Paddy/Tom Jagielski ). This course runs along the Eau Claire River, past Roger King's cabin and ends up by the bridge on Knights Pool. Maggie showed off her skills early by pointing a woodcock at 6. She pointed again at 11 with Paddy backing; no bird produced. The gallery flushed a grouse at 51. With seconds left a woodcock was flushed by Mike and Maggie hit the brakes for a "stop to flush." Both dogs ran hard with no letup for the full hour.

The 2020 American Brittany Club Grouse and Woodcock Championship is in the books and all enjoyed this successful trial. Hopefully, next year will get us past the COVID-19 dark shadow and we can resume a more normal trial schedule and social activities that go with it.

See you next year!

Augusta, Wis., October 9

Judges: Neil Boos and Brent Sittlow

[One-Hour Heats] -- 8 Brittanys

Winner--RIB RIVER TOUGH ENOUGH TOO, 1663404, male, by Mark of the Hawk--J D's Hawks Falcon. Roger & Katherine King, owners; Roger King, handler.

Runner-Up--M J'S SWEET SUGAR MAGNOLIA, 1649788, female, by Sweetwater Billy Tucker--Vande Hei's Kentucky Tiki. Mike Dally, owner and handler.