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Result: New England Amateur Woodcock Classic

Location: Arcadia, Rhode Island

Post Date: Mar 20, 2021

Submitted By: Russell Ogilvie

What could possibly be a better way to start spring than to hold a field trial on migrating woodcock?

Thanks to the South County Field Trial Club and in particular, pro trainer John Stolgitis, this was possible. With few amateur trials being held in general, the chance to have one on wild birds was a fantastic opportunity.

The Winners. From left to right: Judge Adam Dubriske, Lanny Dellinger with Snuffmill Life of Riley, Kelsey Dellinger, Russell Ogilvie with Springbrook Maximus, John Stolgitist, Tim Cavanaugh with Little Miss Bella, and Judge Steve Forrest

With winter fading in southern New England but holding hard in the north, would the trial entice enough participants to dust off the ole blank gun and throw on the chaps. Well, with twenty dogs entered, the stage was set for an interesting two days. With flocks of robins seen on the roadside, the hope of the northern migration of woodcock was in full swing. And it was.

The winner, Snuffmill Life of Riley, setter female, came out of the 6th brace. Riley (Dellinger) was braced with Poker Face (Wheeler) on the Bridge Course.

Both dogs took off hard down the path. Both dogs stretched their legs but did not get to work until 25. Riley was found pointing into a clump of pines and "Tina" was found just beyond pointing into a briar patch. It took some time but Lanny was finally able to chase the running woodcock out of the patch for the judges to see. Wheeler wasn't as lucky and while he busted the brush, he could not get a bird to fly. Riley would strike again before the crossing as would Tina. Riley stopped at 32 and a pair of woodcock took flight. Tina nailed a single bird at 33. Once they crossed the road, the race was on. Riley covered ground that few has ever seen, flashing through the cover with ease showing that she was there to win!

The second place dog, pointer male Springbrook Maximus, came out of the third brace, also on the Bridge Course. Max was braced with setter male Ashcreek Domino (Burke) from Pennsylvania.

Both dogs went forward. Max, enjoying bare ground under his feet, stretched out and cruised through the woods. "Tom" was a little shorter for Burke but had a nice pattern going. Both dogs made the turn up along the river without any action until 28 "Tom" stopped in the clump of pines and Max stopped farther up the trail. Burke could not get the bird to fly. Max was finally found standing and as the handler and judge approached, the woodcock took flight. Both dogs were cut loose across the bridge. Max stretched it out and was rewarded when on the way to the fields, he was seen locked up on the edge of a puddle at 50. With some effort, a single bird took flight. With Max and "Tom" heading for the field, "Tom" went left and Max right. Both dog converged and slammed on point at 52. A pair of woodcock took flight and the dogs crossed the road with about 5 minutes left.

The third place dog, Little Miss Bella, pointer female, came out of the eighth brace. She was braced with Ruff Grouse Lilly (Christopher) on the Cemetery Course.

There was plenty of action during this brace. Bella struck first with a stop at 5 with Lilly honoring. Cavanaugh got the woodcock to take flight. Lilly, a very stylish chestnut and white setter stopped at 7 and a woodcock was seen leaving the scene as Christopher made his way to her. Both dogs stopped at 20. Bella was quickly found of the trail but Lilly needed a longer search. Bella had to be relocated and when she moved up, she stopped and Lilly was found. Christopher produced a bird for both dogs. Both dogs had a divided find at 28. Lilly was stopped at 35 but was sent on. Bella produced a birds at 37 and again at 40. Lilly nailed a pair of birds at 42. Bella had a final stop at 44 with Lilly backing but nothing could be produced.

A thanks goes out to the judges, Adam Dubriske and Steve Forrest, for watching the braces. They had many fine performances that made their task not only interesting but challenging.

A thank you to the AFTCA and Purina for supporting the trial. Again, the trial would not have been possible without the support of Will Walker who works for the state of Rhode Island, the South County Field Trial Club and Chasehill Kennel.


The first day of spring started off with Toga (Shirley) and Max (Jay). Toga's day wasn't long as he got under a bird at 7 Max hunted along and scored at 26, 30, 43, and pair of birds at 50. He suffered an unproductive at 46. As with this time of the year, while Max gave what he could, he didn't have the legs to finish. A nice job for his first wild bird trial!

No. 2 included Duckhook (Wheeler) and Hog Hill Ace (Cavanaugh). "Brute" had a stop at 3 with four birds taking flight. He stopped again at 23 and after a long search, he was located and a bird was produced. Ace would go bird less for his hour. "Brute" would get hung up to the left of the course which affected his performance but finished strong.

Brace No. 3 was mentioned earlier

No. 4 found us back on Pinetop with Wild Apple White Lighting (Kisieleski) and Hog Hill Katie (Cavanaugh). Katie stopped at 5 and Myke did not honor ending his day. Cavanaugh could not produce a bird. Katie scored on a pair of birds at 24. She had an unproductive at 25 and a find at 31. Katie suffered her third unproductive at 43 and the handler picked her up.

Chasehill Little Thudd (Kisieleski) and Bluecreek Pearl (Raiano). Ten-year-old Thudd gave it his all. He had his first stop at 16 with Pearl backing. Thudd had his second find at 32 and his third at 42. While he did not have the legs of champion on this day, he impressed everyone who watched.

Brace No. 6 was mentioned earlier

The second day, brace No. 7 paired Indian Creek Harwich Buck (Olfson) and Brae Val Bearcat Laddie (McCluskey) which had the first go at Pinetop. Both dogs had the running shoes on and nothing was going to stop them except time.

Brace No. 8 mentioned earlier

Springbrook Sweet T (Ogilvie) and Bucket List Bella (Hetrick) were paired up on the Bridge Course. The pointer females handled well with little direction needed. Both dogs stopped in the thick pine but nothing could be produced initially. They both tried to relocate the bird. T moved on but Bella worked the cover and pinned the bird for Hetrick. Bella had a stop to flush shortly after. T had a stop just of the trail with three birds taking flight. T would have a final stop just before the field were a woodcock was flown. Both dogs finished the hour with moderate races.

The finale brace included Wild Apple Siri (Rizza) and Kissamee Sweet Tea (Olfson). "Iris" nailed the woodcock on the top at 5. Both dogs headed for the bottom where both dogs stopped at 24. Both handlers flushed without success. Olfson decided to relocate and Rizza took Iris on. She scored again at 43 and finish with a strong race. Daisy did not have any further work.

Arcadia, R. I., March 20

Judges: Adam Dubriske and Steve Forrest


[One-Hour Heats] -- 16 Pointers, 3 Setters and 1 Irish Setter

1st--SNUFFMILL LIFE OF RILEY, 1672514, setter female, by Backstep Rudy--Fernwood Cove's Bella. Lanny Dellinger, owner and handler.

2d--SPRING BROOK MAXIMUS, 1657296, pointer male, by Chasehill Little Bud--Riley's Rowdy Shadow. Russell Ogilvie, owner and handler.

3d--LITTLE MISS BELLA, 1664328, pointer female, by Chasehill Little Bud--Shaula. Tim Cavanaugh, owner and handler.