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Result: New England Brittany Grouse and Woodcock Championship

Location: Exeter, Rhode Island

Post Date: Jul 8, 2022

Submitted By: Pat Carney

The second half of this double-header weekend commenced on Sunday, the 27th with the NEBCA Wild Bird Championship. The temperature was continuing to drop with each successive day, but we still weren't getting rained on, so all was good. The plan of attack for the NEBCA championship was to get it all done on Sunday, as Monday's forecast was predicting mighty cold weather with lots of wind. By now everyone knew the drill, lunch was shortened and we got it done without pushing. From brace 3, Kip's Bay Flat Out Ridge Run N Annie (Annie), handled by John Kipp, was named champion, from brace 7, Rib River Tuff Enough (Tuff), handled by Roger King was named R-U Champion, and from brace 8, Marjo's Sam Son (Otis) handled by Mark Dreyfus was awarded third.


Brace 1 - Cada's Magnum White Diamond Engaugement (Sandy), Doug Ackroyd; Burning Glen Cover Girl (Lucy), Mike Mercanti Course 2, Breakaway 7:55 Both Sandy and Lucy were busy and quick on the ground. Handlers were giving their dogs plenty of time to get in the cover and hunt. At 15, in a likely looking spot where birds have been produced in previous braces, both handlers took their time, allowing the dogs to cover the territory thoroughly, but no birds this time around. At 24, we've reached the road and Lucy was moving out along the bottom on the righthand side. At 30 with Sandy on point, Lucy was ordered up for failure to back, and subsequently Sandy was ordered up when she broke with the flush. Bird count 1

Brace 2 - LT's Just Zip It (Zippy), Mitch Swierczynski; Shirley's Brit from Saratoga (Toga), Paul Shirley Course 3, Breakaway 8:46 With both Zippy and Toga running aggressively, at around 5, Toga's attention was riveted to the cover on the left. He jumped in and the bell was gone. Mitch was continuing forward with Zippy and Paul sent John Kipp out to scout for Toga. Finally we had the bell back, but even so it took some time to pull Toga back and get him going to the front. At 20, a bird had flushed wild and when Toga came through, he stopped and pointed, Paul just collared Toga on, knowing that the bird had already left before Toga got there. At 31 we regained the front and arrived at the bridge. Both dogs are on the right side of the stream now and headed forward, Zippy more forward than Toga, who is ranging wide left through the cover, crossing to the right and aggressively hunting. Further along, with time expiring, both handlers are trying to put their dogs on birds now by backtracking through cover, but no luck. As reported by the judge, Zippy's first 30 were forward, he went to the right places, but no luck. Both dogs were birdless. Bird count 1.

Brace 3 - Pine Top Pretty Boy (Scout), Kris Nordby; Kip's Bay Flat Out Ridge Run-N Annie (Annie), John Kipp Course 1, Breakaway 10:09 Right off the breakaway, Annie went to work, digging in and looking for birds. Scout had his running shoes on as well. At 9, Annie's bell was stopped and John sent Mark Dreyfus out to the right scouting. Kris continued on with his dog as the scouting effort continued behind. Eventually Annie showed to the front, and John moved up to join her. At 20 we reached the bottom of the ski hill, with both dogs stopped in the usual spot on the right, and two birds were produced with both handlers firing. Scout was ordered up, and Annie was sent on after this find. After the perilous drop over the bank, as Annie and John rimmed the wide open bottom, she jammed up on point at 30. Annie was looking mighty fine as judges and gallery approached, the bird was flushed and John fired . . . a great piece of work. At 35, Annie struck gold again between the trail and the swamp to the left, with another picture perfect find. Then at 37, John fired again as Annie executed a stop to flush on her third contact. After a romp up the ridge on the right hand side of the trail, Annie dropped down and dug in to the swamp on our left. Out of sight, with just the bell to tell us where she was, John let her go as he continued forward, until Annie popped out in front when she ran out of swamp. With 4 minutes to go, John let her continue to roll to front until time. Bird count 5.

Brace 4 - Rusty Nail of Coos (Rusty), Tom Wood; Centerville's Sonny (Sonny), Sarah Conyngham Course 2, Breakaway 12:01 This proved to be a short brace. At about 5, Sonny was pointing to our left in a spot which had previously produced a bird for him. Rusty and Tom were ahead of us and continued on. After a lengthy flushing attempt and relocation which proved unproductive, Sarah moved Sonny on. A second unproductive soon followed for Sonny, and that ended his day. In the meantime, Rusty and Tom were far enough ahead, that your reporter decided that rather than chase them down, it would be simpler to meet them at the road crossing at the halfway point, where Tom decided he wanted more than Rusty had to give today, so at 30 he leashed him. Bird count 0.

Brace 5 - Tonan-Roa Just Because It's Clear Cut (Timber), Patty Johnston; CADA's High Tide Jersey Boy (Kruk), Doug Ackroyd Course 3, Breakaway 12:34 Right after a brisk start by both dogs, handlers were giving their dogs plenty of opportunity to dig in and hunt both sides of the trail, hoping for a find, especially at the bottom by the river that had been so productive in prior braces. At 30, as we were approaching the road, Kruk was showing off plenty of bottom and his ridge running talent to our left. At 38, with Kruk standing on point, Timber failed to back and Kruk moved up on the flush. Both dogs were leashed. Bird count 1.

Brace 6 - Copper Penny Heads Up (Penny), Mark Dreyfus; Centerville's Torrid Pace (Torri), Sarah Cavanaugh Course 1, Breakaway 1:31 A few minutes after breakaway, Sarah realized she was minus her blank pistol. Mitch was dispatched back to the beginning to locate a pistol, but the only available spare was already in Mark Dreyfus's pocket. Upon receiving the bad news, at 11, Sarah leashed Torri as she would be unable to compete and didn't want her lack of a blank pistol to impact her bracemate in any way. Approaching the bottom of the ski hill, Penny carded a find with the tried and true woodcock on the right with all in order. Continuing on, at 27 to the left of the trail, Penny was spotted standing in some thick cover. A relocation was called for, which resulted in an unproductive. After skidding down the dropoff to the wide open bottom, we swung around and headed right along the marsh. At 41 Mark was 100 yards up ahead with Penny, who finished her hour without further bird contact. Bird count 2 (one bird was walked up).

Brace 7 - Rib River Tuff Enough (Tuff), Roger King; Kip's Bay Dark N' Stormy Maddie (Maddie), John Kipp Course 2, breakaway 2:45 At the breakaway, both dogs were off to a good start, with Maddie showing off her quickness, hitting cover everywhere. Tuff is obviously no stranger to the cover dog game and with just a nod from Roger, struck off through the cover with successively impressive casts through likely looking cover, including one at 25 at the hairpin turn, with Tuff ranging wide right on the surrounding ridge and hanging out there all the way around to the front. Maddie continued her aggressive ground race, gradually outpacing Tuff further to the front. At about 30 Roger called point when he spotted Tuff standing about 150 yards off the course to the left. It took a few for handler and judges to get to him and with Tuff solidly pointing, Roger produced the bird and fired . . . a very nice piece of birdwork. The connection between Roger and Tuff was obvious. In the last 15, as we passed through some really tight cover, Tuff's application shortened up, but as we broke free and the course opened up, Roger was able to send him once again on another wide cast to the front to finish the hour. Reporter missed the last half of Maddie's performance, but the judge Tobiassen reported a birdless hour for Maddie. Bird count 1.

Brace 8 - Marjo's Sam Son (Otis), Mark Dreyfus; bye Course 3, breakaway 4:03 Right from the start, Otis hit the cover with a really forward pattern, and plenty of speed to go with it. At 11, Otis was spotted pointing to the left of the course. A lengthy flushing attempt resulted in a relocation which did not produce a bird. At 24, down in the honey hole, Mark scouted his own dog and found him dug in and looking really great on point. A bird was produced with all in order. We moved on with Otis continuing his speedy, well applied and forward application. At 40, just as we crossed the road, Mark spotted Otis about 100 yards ahead pointing in the cover near the river. A bird was produced once again, with all in order. With 9 minutes to go, Otis was still proving he was up to the task, when at 59 he stopped and pointed again. This time Mark was unable to produce a bird and just after time, sent Otis on for a relocation, which resulted in a second unproductive.
Exeter, R. I., March 25
Judges: Brian Breveleri and Toby Tobiassen

Winner-KIP'S BAY FLAT OUT ANNIE, 1677146, female, by Roustabout's Flatout-Kip's Bay Dark N'Stormy Maddie. John & Travis Kipp, owners; John Kipp, handler.
Runner-Up-RIB RIVER TOUGH ENOUGH TOO, 1663404, male, by Mark of the Hawk-J D's Hawk's Falcon. Roger & Katherine King, owners; Roger King, handler.


New England Brittany Grouse and Woodcock Championship (center front row, from left): Brian Breveleri (judge) with Kip's Bay Flat Out Annie, John Kipp with Rib River Tuff Enough Too, Roger King, and Marjo's Sam Son with Mark Dreyfus.