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Result: Setter Club of New England

Location: Falmouth, Massachusetts

Post Date: Jul 13, 2022

Submitted By: James Hathaway


Open Puppy. Richard Warters, Robbert Ecker with Buck Of Piney Woods, Judge Kelly Hays, Steve LeVesque with Witch City Sam, Judge Jim Hathaway, Thom Richrdson with Bog Brook Lucy.

Typical Cape Cod spring weather, plenty of birds and good friends are a recipe for a successful field trial!
Temperatures in the high fifties and low sixties, bright sunny skies with a light breeze welcomed nearly 85 dogs to the renewal of the Setter Club of New England spring field trial. The F. A. Crane Wildlife Management area has been the venue for the spring trial of the Setter Club for many years. The grounds have also hosted the Region 1 Walking Shooting Dog Championship and many other trials. The cover is just what you expect in southern New England, some large timber and lots of understory, great cover for Bob White quail.

The Setter Club is the oldest field trial club in New England. Records indicate that the first trials in New England were held in 1891 near Assonet, Mass. The first record of a Grouse trial was in 1924 and was held in Rhode Island and to my knowledge has run nearly every year since. Over the years the club had many different venues all over the New England. With urban sprawl the club found it necessary to find new grounds as habitat shrank and populations rose.

In 1994 the John Burnham Grouse Classic ran in the Kilkenny Wildlife Management area in northern New Hampshire. It is interesting that one of the judges for that event was Jamie Nee who judged the Amateur Shooting Dog at this trial, some 27 years later. Jamie has campaigned several dogs over the years, most notably his outstanding pointer male "Bat."
In 1995 the Setter Club was granted Championship status for the Burnham and was renamed at the suggestion of the American Field, to "The New England Open Grouse Championship." Also that year the club hosted a Derby Classic, run on wild birds on multiple courses and named for long time Setter Club member and club officer, Florence Harwarth. Both trials have run every year and the number of dogs that participate has stayed strong.

In 2001 the club ran the inaugural Wiliam Kearns/Frank Foss Open Puppy Classic named for two long time standout club members and officials.
When I was called by this years Trial Chairperson, Steve Levesque and asked to report this year's renewal I said "yes" without hesitation. It is a great honor to have been involved with the Setter Club for over 35 years.

As mentioned above we had nearly 85 dogs drawn for this event. We were fortunate to have two professional handlers, Robert Ecker of PA. and Adam Dubriske of New Hampshire. Both men are a pleasure to have around and both are always eager to pitch in when needed. Adam judged several stakes this year and was happy to do so, we greatly appreciate his efforts and his experience.

The open puppy had Buck of Piney Woods PM take the Blue Ribbon, he is owned by Rich Warters of Conn and handled by Robert Ecker of PA. Second place was Witch City Sam, ESM, owned and handled by Steve Levesque of Salem, Mass. These 2 dogs set the standard for the puppy classic. Buck was very pleasant to watch, he ran a big, mature, forward race and could not be denied this day. Third place was an setter female, Bog Brook Lucy handled by your scribe. The judges for the open puppy were Kelly Hays of northern Vermont and James Hathaway of Falmouth, Mass.

Watching over the Open Shooting Dog Qualifier were Jimmy Levesque and Adam Dubriske. 1st place went to a setter female owned by Paul Berdiner and handled by Robert Ecker. King's Spirit had a good forward race at shooting dog range with multilabel finds. Second was another Setter male, Remy, owned and handled by Brian Dix of Vermont. Remy had a good race and stylish manners on his birds, not quite the race of King's. Third was setter male, Nick, owned and handled by Bob Arkley of Jay Peak, Vt. Nick's race was not as strong and deep as the 1st and 2nd place dog, he is however very classy going dog with a bright future.

The premiere Open stake was the Phil Fogg Shooting Dog Classic, judged by Bob Arkley of Jay Peak, Vt., and Doug Dix of Whittington, Vt. These men are no strangers to the field trial community in New England and their experience paid off for this stake. There were 20 dogs drawn and run. The temperatures had risen a little, not to an uncomfortable level but certainly warmer than earlier in the day. Conditions were quite dry, thankfully Jim Hathaway and chairperson Levesque and put out water pools to help refresh the dogs.

The first place dog was an setter male, Dunroven's Midnight Ike, owned by Dr. Peter Millett and handled by Robert Ecker. With only two finds Ike did it on the ground, a big, strong, forward race, very deep in the cover and exceptionally classy and an absolute joy to watch. Second place went to another setter male, Ledge Hill Chippewa owned and handled by Jimmy Levesque of Salem, Mass. Drawn in the last brace Chip made a strong bid for the blue ribbon but was just short of the high mark that Ike had set. Chip had two well spaced finds and one back of his bracemate. The judges said that Chip was "outstanding" on his game. Third was another setter, Wizard's Cas Dubh owned and handled by James Hathaway of Falmouth Mass. Dubh had two finds and a stylish race, a very suitable shooting dog race but not equal to that of the first and second place dogs. The judges did state that Dubh's pointing style was breathtaking and were both sure he will be seen in the winner circle again. Closest to the winner was a setter male, owned and handled by Kelly Hays of Vermont. I know personally that Kelly has put a ton of work into this dog and her honorable mention is well deserved. Frank had three nicely spaced finds a strong race, however not at a shooting dog range.

7:00 a.m. Sunday morning saw the Amateur Puppy stake break away under the judgment of club member Brian Foley of Billerica, Mass., and Debbie Kennedy of Hanover, N. H. The first place dog was a pointer owned and handled by Kris Norby. Jack had a very nice race, big and forward and was very kindly handling. Second was also a Pointer, Penny, handled by Tim Cavanaugh of CT. Not quite as big running as Jack, but strong and forward and a real pleasure to watch. Third place was awarded to setter, Bog Brook Lucy. Lucy handled the course with grace and was always forward and hunting the entire time.
The Amateur Derby had a small entry over seen by Tim Cavanaugh and Jimmy Levesque. The Blue ribbon was awarded to Kris Norby's pointer male, Rusty and the red went to Bog Brook Lucy, setter male owned and handled by Thom Richardson. Honorable mention was awarded to R. Rogers by James Hathaway.

The Amateur Gun Dog always has a very strong entry and this year was no exception. Seventeen dogs were drawn to run on a separate course. The judges were "Iron Man" Tony Leone and Jamie Losi. Tony is not only the club's Vice President, judge of the amateur gun dog he is the bird planter extraordinaire. On Saturday he saw to it that there were two birds on EVERY brace of the Open Shooting dog, not on a wheeler but walking. He was assisted in that endeavor by long time club member B. J. First in the gun dog was Mia, setter female owned and handled by Jimmy Levesque, she had very good bird work and ran just the type of race you want for a "gun dog". Mia carded 3 finds and was very easy handling, forward and classy. The blue ribbon was given to Scout, a Brittany male owned and handled by Kris Norby. Scout had 4 finds evenly spaced in the half hour with a nice comfortable race. Third went to Wesley, pointer male. Wesley was handled by new comer T. Scichilone who had 3 finds. Closes to the 3rd place dog was Baur, setter male owned and handled by Nick Hamel.

Our second largest entry came from the Frankie McLaughlin Amateur Shooing Dog Classic. With 18 entries, judges Jamie Nee and Adam Dubriske had more than a handful of work ahead of themselves. Adam had already judged several stakes prior to this one and insisted he was up to the challenge. Jamie like so many of the fine folks involved with the Setter Club has been around for years, running dogs and judging when asked. He somehow managed to shed several pounds over the winter and looked to be in great shape.

First was awarded to Ledgehill Chip owned and handled by Jimmy Levesque. Chip had placed second in the Open Shooting Dog and came back for more in the Amateur. Chip, setter male had four finds in the amateur with a great race, forward, fancy and at the right range for the entire half hour, finished strong. The judges said his demeanor on game was top shelf, second to none, a true pleasure to watch. The second place dog was Finely, setter male, owned and handled by James Hathaway. Finley like the winner had four bird contacts and ran an enjoyable shooting dog race, not as strong as the winner but none the less a pleasure to see. Third place went to Tim Cavanaugh and his point female Katie. Katie had three finds and a strong forward race but not of the caliber of the winner. The judges commented that the three dogs placed were all very enjoyable to watch and made the job at hand a very rewarding experience.

There are many, many people who we need to acknowledge for their contribution to this great event. The club president, Mitch Nee was on hand both days for his moral support as well as club treasurer Tom Jay who over saw the financial aspect of the trial. Tom had to leave early Saturday, in his absents Brian Foley stepped in to keep things running smoothly. The trial chairman, Steve Levesque and stakes manager Jim Hathaway spent many hours before and during the trial keeping things moving in the right direction. The club provided lunch for everyone on the grounds, mini subs, chips, cookies and drinks. It was awesome to reconnect some old friends, namely Mike Levesque, Eddie Marquis and my bestes old friend Debbie Kennedy, however we did miss seeing her better half, Jim. All in all it was a very enjoyable weekend, one I will remember for years to come.
Falmouth, Mass., April 2 - One Course
Judges: James Hathaway and Kelly Hays
OPEN PUPPY - 2 Pointers and 4 Setters

1st-BUCK OF PINEY WOODS, 1696648, pointer male, by Bo of Piney Woods-Grouse Hill Prima. Richard Warters, owner; Robert Ecker, handler.
2d-WITCH CITY SAM, 1698308, setter male, by Long Gone Wallace-Shepherd's Clair. Steven Levesque, owner and handler.
3d-BOG BROOK LUCY, 1698912, setter female, by Long Gone Porky-Magic Mist Sydni. Thomas Richardson, owner and handler.
Judges: Adam Dubriske and James Levesque
OPEN RESTRICTED SHOOTING DOG - 1 Pointer and 7 Setters

1st-TEEN SPIRIT, 1685370, setter female, by Northwoods Nirvana-Phillips Morning Star. Paul Berdiner, owner; Robert Ecker, handler.
2d-LIGHTNING FLASH REMINGTON, 1687367, setter male, by Denco's Crockett Again-Artic Tundra Bird Dog. Douglas Dix, owner and handler.
3d-LIGHTNING FLASH MICK, 1665156, setter male, by Grouse Ridge Force-Lightning Flash Micky. Styles Birdges, owner; Robert Arkley, handler.


Open Restricted Shooting Dog. Judge Adam Dubriske, Robert Ecker with Teen Spirit, Brian Dix with Lightning Flash Remington, Judge James LeVesque, Robert Arkley with Lightning Flash Mick.

Judges: Bob Arkley and Doug Dix

1st-DUN ROVENS MIDNITE IKE, 1685001, setter male, by Ponderosa Mac-Moonshine Cherry. Dr. Peter Millett, owner; Robert Ecker, handler.
2d-LEDGE HILL CHIPPEWA, 1675025, setter male, by Lightning Flash Abe-Grouse Ridge Lazer. James Levesque, owner and handler.
3d-WIZARD'S CAS DUBH, 1686867, setter male, by Islander-Richfield Oakley. James Hathaway, owner and handler.


Phil Fogg Open Shooting Dog Classic. Robert Ecker with Dun Rovens Midnite Ike, Judge Robert Arkley, James LeVesque with Ledge Hill Chippewa, Judge Doug Dix, Jim Hathaway with Wizard's Cas Dubh.

Judges: Brian Foley and Deb Kennedy
AMATEUR PUPPY - 3 Pointers and 5 Setters

1st-JACK, unreg., pointer male, by Panola Bacon-Little Miss Bella. Kristopher Nordby, owner and handler.
2d-HOG HILL'S PRETTY PENNY, unreg., Pointer female, by Panola Bacon-Little Miss Bella. Timothy Cavanaugh, owner and handler.
3d-BOG BROOK LUCY, 1698912, setter female, by Long Gone Porky-Magic mist Sydni. Thomas Richardson, owner and handler.


Amateur Puppy. Kris Nordby with Jack, Judge Deb Kennedy, Tim Cavanaugh with Hog Hill's Pretty Penny, Thom Richardson with Bog Brook Lucy, Judge Brian Foley.

Judges: Tim Cavanaugh and James Levesque
AMATEUR DERBY - 2 Pointers and 2 Setters

1st-LIL THUMPER, 1692335, pointer male, by Jerry On Fire-Gracie On Fire. Kristopher Nordby, owner and handler.
2d-BOG BROOK LUCY, 1698912, setter female, by Long Gone Porky-Magic Mist Sydni. Thomas Richardson, owner and handler.


Amateur Derby. Judge James LeVesque, Lil Thumper with Kris Nordby, Thom Richardson with Bog Brook Lucy, Judge Tim Cavanaugh, R. Rogers with Rusty.

Judges: Adam Dubriske and Jamie Nee

1st-LEDGE HILL CHIPPEWA, 1675025, setter male, by Lightning Flash Abe-Grouse Ridge Lazer. James Levesque, owner and handler.
2d- WIZARD'S CAS DUBH, 1686867, setter male, by Islander-Richfield Oakley. James Hathaway, owner and handler.
3d-HOG HILL KATIE, 1649339, pointer female, by South Bound Strech-Indian Creek Sugar. Timothy Cavanaugh, owner and handler.


Frankie McLaughlin Amateur Shooting Dog. James LeVesque with Ledge Hill Chippewa, Jim Hathaway with Wizard's Cas Dubh, Tim Cavanaugh with Hog Hill Katie, Judge Jamie Nee.

Judges: Tony Leone and Jamie Losi

1st-LEDGE HILL MIA, unreg., setter female, by Backwoods Remi-Flags Up Stella. James Levesque, owner and handler.
2d-SCOUT, unreg., Brittany male, breeding not given. Kristopher Nordby, owner and handler.
3d-STRIKING ELHEW WESLEY, 1665287, pointer male, by Striking Elhew Rex-Striking Elhew Zoey. Anthony Scichilone, owner and handler.


New England Amateur Walking Shooting Dog Classic. James LeVesque with Ledge Hill Mia, Judge Tony Leone, Kris Nordby with Scout, Tony Scichilone with Striking Elhew Wesley, Judge Jmy Losi.