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Result: New England Brittany Championship

Location: East Windsor, Connecticut

Post Date: Nov 1, 2021

Submitted By: Leslie Jane

The New England Brittany Championship Association held the Open Shooting Dog Championship on September 28-29 at the Flaherty Field Trial Area in East Windsor, Conn.

We appreciate the mowing and upkeep of the grounds by the State of Connecticut DEEP, as well as the dedication and hard work of President Dick Frawley. Also, we thank Nestl -Purina for the support of our championshipby providing bags of Purina Pro Plan 30/20 to the winning and placing dogs.

Tom and Robin Maule hosted a fabulous Italian dinner in honor of last year's champion Shaillorville's Gunner. Lunches were provided to all both days.

Also, thanks go to the committee. Chairman Henry Wierzbicki, Secretary Leslie Jane Hunt, Reporter Sarah Conyngham; Bill and Fran Gorman, Rita Poland and a special thank you to bird planter MJ Haesche.

Saray Buck, a visitor from Newport, Me., photographed the winners as well as action photos during the Championship.

This year we were fortunate to have two respected judges, Andrew Campbell from Northfield, Mass., and Sarah Conyngham from Hope Valley, R.I. We thank them for their wisdom, judgment, and kind manner.



I'm Your Man, seasoned white and orange Brittany male owned by Frances Gorman of Ashford, Conn., and handled by Ben Lorenson, was named the 2021 Open Brittany Shooting Dog Champion. Wingra's Indy Go, white and orange Brittany male coming three, owned by Patty and Craig Johnston, and Emmy Wollenberg of Pympton, Mass., and handled by Kyle Merrill, was the runner-up champion.

Summer and fall were with us in this year's championship. The first morning broke overcast, mild, and humid with an unexpected afternoon thunderstorm crushing the third brace, followed by autumn's cooler and clearer air. With the exception of affected brace, the dogs enjoyed decent conditions with some odd scenting parameters or so it seemed. Fall's heavy cover may have played a role, despite evident and extensive mowing.


By Sarah Conyngham

Brace No.1 -- 8:58 a.m. Both Kipp's Bay Flat Out Ridge Run'n Annie (John Kipp) and Piney Run Samantha of Hybritten (Sammie/Kyle Merrill) showed a youthful pattern on the course. Sammie was picked up at 9:15. Annie completed the hour with four finds, using remarkable groundspeed. The hedgerow that climbs the Tobacco Hill held the first of Annie's finds (9:15). The second occurred on the far side of the clubhouse field (9:30) and the third bird finally flew for the handler at the end of Dearborn where she patiently waited. She concluded the hour with a find in the oaks of the Derby course's return loop at 9:57 with some lessening of intensity.

Winnie The Whip (/Mario Maiale) and Windgra's Indy Girl (Merrill) hit the course at 10:14 a.m. with clear intentions. At 10:31 Winnie started the ball rolling with a find at pond cover. Indy had negotiated the back stretch like a champion, sliding along edges including the left upper edge of Fox Hill to its conclusion at the culvert. At 10:39, Indy intently pointed in the left hedgerow heading up Tobacco Hill. The walking bird necessitated a relocation which was successfully executed. At 10:41, the same cover yielded a bird to Winnie's experienced sensibilities. The top of the Tobacco Barn field held another find for Indy (10:42), but clubhouse field cost Indy a nonproductive. Winnie dug one out toward the power line (10:49), where few dogs had a find, and both dogs continued to Dearborn. Indy pointed a birds at the beginning of Dearborn (10:57), and at the end (11:06). While Winnie closed the gap at the last Dearborn find, no clear opportunity to back was observed. Indy prevailed in this brace in style and application.

Brace No. 3, 11:45 a.m. Just Call Me Eli (Merrill) and Sligo Sam (Ben Lorenson). Storm clouds had threatened earlier and rain required appropriate gear, but hard rain, thunder, and lightning had us wondering about our future. The bracemates looked promising in pattern and speed, on the lower side of the Tobacco Barn Field showcasing beautiful edge runs. Due to weather conditions and occasional bursts of lightning, Kyle and Eli headed in at 12:15, but Sam was doing such a fine job for Ben that the team was encouraged to continue despite conditions. Sam was strong and forward, finding his bird in the clubhouse field at 12:18. The remainder of the brace proved challenging for all, and Sam was credited with good effort.

After a delay anticipating more bad weather which never arrived, the trial recommenced at 4:14 p.m. and so did the rain.

Kipp's Bay Dark'n Stormy Miss Maddie (John Kipp) and Windy (Merrill). Maddie took off with gusto, but Windy was taken up after a reluctance to back at the top of the hill past the pines and culvert. Maddie's find was clean notwithstanding interference (4:20). Maddie's animated run was a pleasure to watch as she sagely coursed through likely objectives. At 4:34 Maddie had a find in the perpendicular hedgerow past the large culvert on the back stretch. She seems unsure, but continued to stand through the flush of the birds and gunfire. At the end of Dearborn at 5:00 she added to her tally with a covey find, her style somewhat understated.

Brace No. 5, 8:03 a.m. Dubois Ridge Major Maverick (Merrill) and York County Cruiser/Cody/Lorenson) were cut loose on Wednesday morning under sunny skies with heavy dew. Both dogs were on fire, not easily seen. The uphill side of the Tobacco Barn Field carried Major on the lower side and Cody on the upper edge in an impressive run to the far end. Both dogs were seen heading to the clubhouse field and again on the other side. Kyle picked up his charge at 8:37. with some pattern problems, and Ben continued with Cody on his strong bid. At 9:00 Cody bumped into a bird on the return loop at the shooting fields and unfortunately took additional steps.

M'N M Grouse Running Gracie (Merrill), as a bye, exploded from the starting line at 9:17 a.m. Kyle called for the retrieval unit after Gracie failed to join us on the course after due consideration (9:33).

Annie's Double Barrel/Parker/Merrill) and Magnum's High Velocity Top Gun (Gunnar/Vince Anderson)took off at 9:57 a.m. beginning a very attractive brace with the dogs athletically threading in and out of the cover, Parker with a stronger range. At 10:09, Parker stood in the Islands past the Pond for a series of flushed birds that flew past and over him. At 10:14, in the perpendicular hedgerow past the culvert, Parker nailed several more birds for a clean find. At the top of Tobacco Barn Hill (10:19), Parker missed his opportunity to back and concluded his day. Gunnar's find was good. Gunnar searched the near side of the end of Dearborn and was inspired to hunt the other side where he added to his total finds (10:41). Past the Pines, Gunnar pointed in the low wetland swale. Exceptionally heavy cover probably contributed to the decision to take an unproductive (10:51).

Brace No. 8, 11:55 a.m. I'm Your Man (Gus/Lorenson) and Sigbrit's Not a Trace of Rust (Merrill) began their bid with determination. They appeared to be familiar veterans as they worked the course, at times together. Rusty's run closed out with an indiscretion at 12:19 while Gus's wheels were just warming up. He would disappear, and as we begin to worry, reappear. As he figured out the mown pattern of Dearborn, we admired his aspect swinging around corners to find the edge. Again we wondered where or if we would see him again only to find him standing at the end of Dearborn (12:32). He stood high as the birds flew past him and shots were fired, then he became even stronger and more forward. Near the end of the course he was skillfully discovered standing in cover near a sheltered pond in the woods close to the shooting fields. Some time passed before the bird was located running away at a distance, all of which had no effect on Gus (12:51). He was loosed, now having run farther faster than any other dog in the competition. Continuing down Truman's Crossing, aka the Goat Path, Gus was again out of sight. Soon time was called and the game of producing the dog was on. Ben rode forward to locate his dog at some distance to the front, to our collective relief.

Final brace at 1:19 p.m. Shallorville's Gunner/Lorenson and Hit's Ring of Fire (Matt Basilone) concluded the trial with a couple of hot ones. Gunner's first bird presented in an unlikely spot, unmoving in a mown strip on the side opposite the Islands. Gunner proved steady at close quarters and we moved on to Gunner's second find atop the Tobacco Barn field (1:37). Ringer disappeared despite Matt's resounding efforts to summon his charge. His tracker was pulled at 1:40 and Gunner's followed at 2:06.

The New England Brittany Championship Association appreciates the support of the owners, handlers, and their dogs. Without you, there would be no championship.

East Windsor, Conn., September 28

Judges: Andrew Campbell and Sarah Conyngham


CHAMPIONSHIP [One-Hour Heats] -- 17 Brittanys

Winner--I'M YOUR MAN, 1650667, male, by Spanish Corral's Sundance Kid--Sam's Sandbank Rose. Frances Gorman, owner; Ben Lorenson, handler.

Runner-Up--WINGRA'S INDY GO, 1696956, male, by Almaden's Under Lock And Key--Firestarter Chasing The Sonset. Patty & Craig Johnston, owners; Kyle Merrill, handler.