Result: New York Grouse Championship
Location: Oxford, New York
Post Date: Feb 22, 2022
Submitted By: Pat Cooke
From left: Judge, Mike Oxenrider, Scott Chaffee, Tammy Chaffee with Ponderosa Mac, Liam Ballin(fish 1), John Stolgitis with Fox Brook Poker Face and Nick Mellon, Judge.
The 2021 running of the New York Grouse Championship commenced September 15 at the famous grounds of Grouse Ridge Kennels in Oxford, N. Y. Courses were well marked and plentiful bird numbers throughout the trial made for an exciting three days of action. In total 25 grouse and nine woodcock were moved during the three days of competition.
Weather for the trial was near perfect with one afternoon having a few rain showers. Seventeen setters and seventeen pointers competed for the top spot but in the end stake manager Pat Cooke announced the judges decision. The 2021 runner-up went to Fox Brook Poker Face and champion was Ponderosa Mac.
Nestl Purina is to thank for their continued support of this event with product to the handlers, advertising support, and product to the winners.
Additional thanks and appreciation to Peter Flanagan for his many hours making sure all courses were in order for this event. Additional thanks go to the handlers, and spectators who participated in this event and continue to support this event.
Judges for this year's event were Mike Oxenrider of Millerstown, Pa., and Nick Mellon of Murrysville, Pa. Both judges were at all times attentive and professional throughout this event.
Ponderosa Mac, a well built white and orange veteran of the grouse woods was handled by Scott Chaffee and ran in the fifth brace on day one. Braced with Mac was setter male Grouse Hill Bulletproof, with Robert Ecker. Both dogs broke away and raced across the field heading immediately to cover and began searching for game. The gallery was plentiful in this brace to watch the two veteran cover dogs compete for a potential top spot. Both dogs were to the front with Mac moving through the cover while Proof was checking the edges while making big casts as well. At around the 15-minute mark Mac's bell fell silent after the creek crossing and the handler and judge found Mac standing handsomely. After a brief flushing attempt a grouse was put up with all in order.
Both dogs continued to the front and hunted the cover respectably. At around the 46-minute mark Mac was making a cast and his bell fell silent again. This spot in the past has always had grouse in the area and this year was no different. The handler and judge entered and searched for the dog. They reported the cover so thick they almost stepped on the dog before they saw him. Three grouse were put up with all in order. Proof was reported to have stopped to the front during this find with nothing put up after a flushing attempt by his handler. Both dogs finished the hour strong and to the front when time was called.
Running on the second day on course No. 4 was Fox Brook Poker Face, a classy pointer female handled by John Stolgitis. Braced with her was Snyder's Sadie, setter female handled by Tammy Chaffee. Both dogs broke away behind the barn and headed for cover. At 5 Sadie's bell fell silent. As her handler began to flush a grouse went and it was just too much for this young setter and she was leashed by her handler. At 10 Stolgitis reported his bell silent. The handler and judges searched the thick cover and found the dog standing stylishly. After a thorough flushing attempt she was moved on.
As the course moved through the woods Stolgitis reported his bell making big forward casts to the front. This dog was covering some huge ground but was always right where she needed to be and was hunting the cover every minute. At 50 her bell was silent near a pine tree and a grouse was flushed into the open with all in order. She was sent on and at 55 her bell was silent again. With the handler and judges in tow a flushing attempt put up three grouse with all in order again. She was sent on and finished the hour with a strong forward race.
The running began with Bo of Piney Woods (PM/ Ecker) and Little Miss Margaret (PF/Stolgitis) hunting the cover. At 20 both bells were silent and a quick flushing attempt with no bird produced. Both dogs continued on and finished the hour. Course No. 2 had Blast Off (SM/M. Forman) and Daddy's Little Boy Butch (PM/Stolgitis). Both dogs immediately began hunting the cover and making big casts to the front. At the 12-minute mark Forman's bell was silent. A grouse was put up with all in order and he was sent on. At 22 Stolgitis reported his bell silent and Butch was found standing with a woodcock put up. All was in order and he continued on. At 50 both dogs' bells were silent and each had a woodcock. Butch was also credited with a grouse as well during the find. Both dogs finished the hour.
Course No. 3 had Snyder's Pioneer Scout (SM/S. Chaffee) and Bud of Piney Wood (PM/Ecker.) Dogs broke away and began to make some big casts. At 12 Ecker requested the retrieval device. Scout had a nice ground race and finished the hour with three unproductives. Braced on course No. 4 were Hershner's Thunderbolt Jet (SM/T. Chaffee) and Chasehill Little Speck (PM/Stolgitis). Both dogs broke away hunting the cover. Speck finished the hour with three unproductives and a nice forward race. Jet finished the hour with no game contact.
Springbrook Maximus (PM/Stolgitis) and Grousehill Smokey (PF/M. Forman) broke away on course No. 6 and as it began to rain. At 28 Smokey was found standing with a woodcock put up with all in order. Stolgitis elected to pick up and Forman continued the hour.
Day No. 2. Miss Pennstar (SF/Ecker) and Snyder's Full Rage (SF/S. Chaffee) broke away and at 20 Ecker requested his unit. After Chaffe's second unproductive Chaffee leashed his dog. Leslie's Jiggster (SM/S. Forman) and Panola Bacon (PM/Stolgitis) broke away to the front making big ranging casts. At around the thirty minute mark Bacon was found standing with nothing put up. At 43 Jiggs was found standing with nothing put up. At 54 Forman reported his bell silent and a woodcock was put up with all in order. Both dogs finished the hour.
Sterlingworth Jack (SM/Ecker) and Texas Elhew Bodie (PM/M. Forman). Jack was reported standing twice during the hour with nothing put up. Both dogs finished the hour without birds. Flycast Rollie Fingers (SM/S. Chaffee) and Boston (PM/Ecker) followed. Boston stopped at 6 and Rollie backing. Nothing was put up and both dogs moved on. At 20 Boston began to shorten and handler elected to leash his dog. At 43 Rollie's bell was silent and nothing was put up. At 49 a grouse flushed wild and Rollie was credited with a stop to flush with all in order. At 56 his bell was silent again and a grouse was put up with all in order. Rollie finished the hour.
Duck Hook (PM/Stolgitis) and Merideth Grade Corky (SM/T. Chaffee) broke away on course No. 6. At 13 Chaffee reported her bell silent and Corky was found standing with a grouse flushed with all in order. At the halfway point Duck Hook's bell was silent and after a quick search a woodcock was put up and he was sent on. At 33 Corky was stopped to the front and was credited with a woodcock find with all in order. Stolgitis' bell was silent and nothing was produced and Duck Hook was sent on. Both dogs finished the hour.
Day No. 3. Oscar Robinson (SM/Ghem) and French's Grouse Ringer Woody(SM/M. Forman) hunted fast and far. Both dogs hunted the cover with speed and style. Forman reported his bell silent but nothing was produced. Both dogs finished the hour with no contact on game. Chasehill Little Lilly (PF/Stolgitis) and Grousehill Pepper (PF/S. Chaffee) were away when a grouse was heard with Lilly in the area and was leashed. Chaffee's Pepper had a unproductive at 10 and around the 45 he elected to leashed her.
Shady Hills Whiskey Bonfire (SM/S. Forman) and Maximum Resistance (SM/ Ecker) were braced on course No. 3. At 8 Ecker elected to leash his dog. With the course to himself Whiskey hunted the cover when at 38 his bell was stopped. While heading in the direction of the dog a grouse had flushed and Whiskey was heard moving with it and was leashed.
Braced on course No. 4 was Fireside Aidan (SM) T. Chaffee. It was reported that the bracemate was unable to attend and Aiden was sent on alone. Without a bracemate, Aiden showed he still had the drive and determination and at the 50-minute mark his bell fell silent. A grouse was put up with with all in order and he finished the hour. Course No. 5 was Snyder's Pioneer Sam (SM/T. Chaffee) and Chasehill Poison Ivy (PF/Stolgitis) were away hunting the cover when Stolgitis' bell was silent with nothing put up. At 21 Stolgitis reported his bell stopped again with a grouse put up with all in order. Chaffee elected to pick up at the 27-minute mark after Sam suffered an unproductive. At 25 Stolgitis elected to pick up after Ivy's second unproductive.
On course No. 6, Grousehill Annie (PF) Ecker and Cairds Cracklin Rosie (PF/Stolgitis) started off searching fast and making big casts to the front. At around the 40-minute mark Rosie was becoming a bit far and Stolgitis elected to leash his dog. At 50 Ecker signaled his bell silent and a grouse was put up at 50. Annie finished the hour.
Oxford, N. Y., September 15
Judges: Nicholas Mellon, Jr., and Michael Oxenrider
NEW YORK GROUSE CHAMPIONSHIP [One-Hour Heats] -- 17 Pointers and 19 Setters
Winner--PONDEROSA MAC, 1645586, setter male, by Jetwood--Cooper Mountain Pepsi. Steve Snyder, owner; Scott Chaffee, handler.
Runner--Up-FOX BROOK POKER FACE, 1688110, pointer female, by Daddy's Little Boy Butch--Richfield Rose. Chad Wheeler, owner; John Stolgitis, handler.