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Result: Michigan Brittany Championships

Location: Ionia, Michigan

Post Date: Apr 5, 2021

Submitted By: Donna Janulis

The running of the 2021 American Brittany Club/Michigan Brittany Championship was hosted by the Michigan Brittany Championship Association on April 5-8 at the Ionia Recreation Area, Ionia, Mich.

The Ionia Grounds Association prepares the grounds and facilities to allow the dogs to display their keen properties and perform optimally.

There were four events run during this period: Open Derby Classic (45-minute heats), Open All-Age Championship, Open Shooting Dog Championship and Amateur Walking Shooting Dog Championship.

To run this kind of Championship it takes effort and dedication from many people, from the Chairman Kathy Gulembo and Secretary Donna Janulis to the workers planting birds (Kent Lipki, Ron Gulembo, Al VanWieren, Ed Janulis, Ron Auten) to driving the dog wagon, (Ed Janulis, Ron Gulembo, John Hall, Tom Kuzak) to the officers of this association and many others.

We continue to thank Purina for their continuing support of this championship program. Purina's continued support, year after year, allows the Michigan Brittany Championship the resources to plan this event for years to come extending the tradition that already exist with this contest. Their food products are first class. It should be noted that Purina extensively supports the American Brittany Club with support to many different venues within the ABC organization.

The many judges who volunteer to judge the events are also well appreciated. We had an excellent slate, deep in experience and knowledge. A special note to Ed Graves who was needed to substitute, on short notice for the Amateur Walking Shooting Dog Championship.

While still experiencing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic it was appreciated to all the participants their efforts to keep social distancing and other preventive practices to keep this threat to a minimum.

We were also appreciative of some of the out-of-state participants who participated; these included long standing Brittany trainer professional Chad Holman and new professional Al Cropek. These individuals bringing their string of talented dogs helped make these stake competitive and exciting.

Other out-of-state individuals included Al and Sharon VanWieren, Judge Tom Jagelski, Jeff Stanton, Ed and Judy Graves, John and Joan Perry, Rebecca Walters and others I may have missed. Over the years due to logistics changes some competitors have skipped the prestigious Michigan Championship for newer, closer venues. This has caused the attendance to suffer.


This year's Classic was judged by Jim Cipponeri and Ron Gulembo who gave full attention to each dog even though "Ole Mother Nature" put the field of ten through every imaginable type of weather condition. The quality of the competitors made for hard decisions by the judges.

First place went to Over Under Amos Moses, owned by Carlos and Eileen Gust and handled by Al Cropek. Amos broke away and headed for the edges to get to the front. He ran a strong race and his application was what you would hope from an outstanding derby dog. He had four finds with excellent style allowing his handler to get in front, flush and shoot with fall broke Derby manners.

Over Under Reign the Field, owned by Samantha Nowak and also handled by Al Cropek, earned the red ribbon. Reign showed with a big race hitting the edges of cover exhibiting speed and independence. She had nice style on both her finds, allowing the handler to call point from a distance and remaining steady through the flush and fire.

Third place went to Black Creek Augustus owned and handled by John Hall. Gus had a lot of run and his handler had to work to keep a handle on his far-reaching casts. Just seconds before time, off in the distance, the scout called point. Riding to the call, the judge was able to observe the point to finish the 45 minutes.

Ionia, Mich., April 5

Judges: Jim Cipponeri and Ron Gulembo


1st--OVER UNDER AMOS MOSES, unreg., male, by A Trace of Bourbon With Diamonds--Over Unders Kick It Out. Eileen & Carlos Gust, owners; Al Cropek, Jr., handler.

2d--OVER UNDER REIGN THE FIELD, unreg., female, by A Trace of Bourbon With Diamonds--Overunder's Kick It Out. Samantha Nowak, owner; Al Cropek, Jr., handler.

3d--BLACK CREEK AUGUSTUS, unreg., male, by Black Creek Whizki Skip--Black Creek Bell II. John Hall, owner and handler.


In Honor of Wade Haines

This event began after the Derby Classic. It was judged by two seasoned veteran judges, Jim Cipponeri and Jeff Stanton. They gave each dog a fair look at their performance.

The champion, Gun Creek Gangster, owned by Ed and Donna Janulis of Manhattan, Ill., and handled by Chad Holman, came out of the third brace. Doc, as he is called, responded well to Chad's direction starting out from the clubhouse side and establishing a far reaching run as he travelled through the course. Doc found birds in Hires field, the orchard area, the old Derby course and just prior to the creek crossing approaching the gun dog parking lot. All four of these finds were without flaws and with excellent style and intensity that drew positive comments from the gallery. On this particular brace Chad Holman demonstrated his ability as a professional "handler" guiding Doc to get him to reach the far limits of the course as the hour wound down through setting his speed and direction well. He showed the difference of "handling" vs. "running" a dog.

Open All-Age Championship Winners. From left: Donna Janulis, Jim Cipponeri (judge), Chad Holman with Gun Creek Gangster, Ed Janulis, Joanne Perry, John Perry with T J's Black Diamond, and Jeff Stanton (judge)

Runner-up was awarded to T J's Black Diamond owned by John and Joanne Perry of Claymont, Del., and handled by John Perry. "Coal" broke away under John's guidance from the Oak Tree and established a forward pattern throughout the hour. He had two bird finds, one in the old Derby course and one as we wound up the hour in the all-age half hour course exhibiting good manners on both events.

Judges: Jim Cipponeri and Jeff Stanton


[One-Hour Heats] -- 15 Brittanys

Winner--GUN CREEK GANGSTER, 1661629, male, by Odyssey's Ace of Hearts--Dixie Brandon Joy. Ed & Donna Janulis, owners; Chad Holman, handler.

Runner-Up--T J'S BLACK DIAMOND, 1661856, male, by Shadow Attack--Sniksoh Tequila Caliente. John A. & Joanne Perry, owners; John Perry, handler.


The Open Shooting Dog began on a sunny, cool day, optimal for the event. The judges for this Championship were Al Van Wieren and Tom Jagielski; both knowledgeable with a lot of years of experience judging these types of competitions.

The champion, Black Creek Summit, owned by Ron Harling, Sr. of Holly, N.Y., and handled by Chad Holman, came out of the first brace. From the start of the brace throughout the hour you could sense the partnership between dog and handler. "Chip" handled pleasingly, exhibiting a medium range, turning when needed with little direction. He had two finds, one in the orchard tree line on the all-age course and one in the old Derby course on the second tree line heading towards the creek. He completed the hour as he started, handling pleasingly with stamina to spare far to the front.

Open Shooting Dog Championship Winners. From left: Al Van Wieren (judge), John Hall with Black Creek Summit, Ed Janulis, Vince Anderson with High Velocity Copper Magnum, and Tom Jagielski (judge)

Runner-up High Velocity Copper Magnum, owned and handled by Vince Anderson of Erie, Pa. "Colt" ran in the fifth brace starting from the headquarters. Colt handled pleasingly to his handler Vince hunting the tree lines in a mature manner. He was awarded three distinct finds. The first was in Hires field, followed by a find in the derby course followed by the orchard area in the gun dog course. During all the finds Colt exhibited good manners. He completed the hour to the front at a moderate pace.

Amateur Shooting Dog Championship Winners. From left: Vince Anderson with Magnum High Velocity, Carlos Gust (judge), Ken DeLong with K Del's Eagle Magnum Hotshot, and Ed Graves (judge)

Judges: Tom Jagielski and Al Van Wieren


[One-Hour Heats] -- 16 Brittanys

Winner--BLACK CREEK SUMMIT, 1670849, male, by Black Creek Tim--Black Creek Gypsy. Ronald W. Harling, Sr., owner; Chad Holman, handler.

Runner-Up--HIGH VELOCITY COPPER MAGNUM, 1669432, male, by High Hopes Dark Nite--Dot's Original Spice. Vincent Anderson, owner and handler.



Thank you to judges Carlos Gust and Ed Graves, who provided their experience and attention to this year's participants.

The weatherman called for strong storms, with thunder, lightning and hail. The start of the amateur walking gun dog was held off until 11:00 a.m. to allow the storms to pass. Near the end of the second brace another short squall hit with all of the above elements. After a short break for sandwiches and dry clothes, the championship resumed with good conditions the rest of the day.

The course for the amateur walking gun dog is inside the park. It is a series of open fields bordered by woods and swamps. It requires a dog to reach in open areas and handle through tight areas.

The champion of this event went to Magnum High Velocity, owned and handled by Vince Anderson. "Gauge" showed his experience in an animated fast forward race. He was very mature in his application, which resulted in multiple finds with excellent style and intensity.

Runner-up was K Del's Eagle Magnum Hotshot, owned and handled by Ken DeLong of Greenville, Mich. "Shooter" ran a fast, forward race, scoring a single find near the end of the hour.

Judges: Ed Graves and Carlos Gust


CHAMPIONSHIP [One-Hour Heats] -- 10 Brittanys

Winner--MAGNUM HIGH VELOCITY, 1669433, male, by High Hopes Tiger Jac--Dot's Original Spice. Vincent Anderson, owner and handler.

Runner-Up--K DEL'S EAGLE MAGNUM HOTSHOT, 1685770, male, by Magnum High Velocity--K Del's Eagle's Chance to Soar. Kenric J. Delong, owner and handler.