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Event: Chasehill Hidden Jewel-Champion; Springbrook Maximus-Runner-Up
Result: Northeastern Grouse and Woodcock Championship

Location: Frankfort, Maine

Post Date: Dec 21, 2022

Submitted By: Russell Ogilvie

Every trial has its challenges and this year was no exception. While we were not in the path of Hurricane Fiona, we felt her wrath. Bluebird skies and high winds with gust over 30mph made it challenging for dogs, handlers, and the judges. The champion, Chasehill Hidden Jewel came out of the first brace of the trial. Juju, owned by Tadaaki Terada and handled by John Stolgitis was brace with Whynot Roscoe (Robbins). With winds bearable but gaining strength, the handlers turned their dogs loose at 7:30am on course one.

The course renamed The Cut, was modified this year to skip the open edges of the blueberry field to utilize the large cut that has grown in nicely and has been holding birds well. Both dogs went straight and hard down the path. Roscoe would swing deep to the right and faded out of bell range. Juju moved forward and past the field into the mixed growth forest. A scout was sent out for Roscoe as Robbins moved forward. As we reached the cut, Roscoe retuned and surged to the left, deep into the cut and Juju stayed forward and entered to the right. It appeared Roscoe had stopped so handler, judge and scout went in search. At this point Juju was swinging from the left and crossed over and slammed on point at 33:00 for everyone to see. One quick step in front by Stolgitis and a woodcock took flight. Returned to the course, Juju tore off down through the cut and weaved her way through the saplings. Juju would strike again at 37:00 just to the left of the course. We could barely see her through the tangle as Stolgitis and the judge made their way to her. In short order, a woodcock lift up over the gallery with all in order. At this point, Roscoe was not able to be located and the tracker was called for only to be found standing on woodcock. Juju had the rest of the course to herself but the challenge was for both dog and handler to not loose each other in the wind. Juju sailed along, out of the cut, into the mature forest and then back to the new growth. This young female, showing the class and style that is just a joy to watch. With her ranging at the edge of the bell in search of more birds, it was a relief when time was called and she was gathered in. A strong start to the trial and one that would prove to be the best out of 28 dogs.

The runner-up, Springbrook Maximus came out of the 13th brace. Max, owned and handled by Russell Ogilvie was braced with Panola Bacon (Stolgitis). With much calmer winds, Max had his shot at The Cut. Even as Max is quickly gaining on 9 years of age, he still only has one speed and that is wide open. Max and Bacon both drove hard and deep. Max returned briefly to once again go deep and to the left. Bacon was deep and right of the course. As both handlers made their way to the cut, both dogs were working to the right of the course when Bacon cut across and stopped at 28:00 to the left for everyone to see. Max continued to go forward. Stolgitis flushed but was unable to produce a bird and was unsuccessful on the relocation. Bacon entered the cut first with Max coming from behind and shooting straight in. Shortly after Max entered, his bell fell silent at 35:00. Handler, judge and scout went in search of a standing dog. Even with a good line, thick cover always makes it difficult. After a lengthy search, Max was finally located and Ogilvie flushed. Finally the running woodcock lift and all was in order.

As everyone worked their way back to the course, another woodcock and a grouse were walked up. As this was all going on, Bacon had stopped at 37:00 and after a relocation, Stolgitis was able to produce a woodcock to get on the board. Both dogs started up again and gaining strong forward momentum when just before the turn, Max's bell fell silent to the front at 40:00 with Bacon's falling silent shortly after. Both handlers and judges entered the thick cover in search for standing dogs. Max was located first and as Ogilvie and the judge waited for Stolgitis to join them, Bacons bell tinkled to the left. Just then, a woodcock lifted in front of Max and with the report, all was in order. Max was taken back to the course and turned loose. Bacon would move up on his bird and it would be decided by Stolgitis to snap on the lead. Max, showing a little age and maybe an extra pound or two stayed strong through the mature grow and then swung deep left on the edge of the log yard to pop out up front and headed forward. As we turned back into the cut, Max was working his way back and dove in just as time was called and stopped. Ogilvie walked up the trail and stepped in to find Max pointing with a pair of grouse out in front of him.

This year, the Mid-Coast Maine Field Trial Club put in a lot of extra time to rework course one to take advantage of prime cover and to also add a third course to its Frankfort grounds. Quality cover dog grounds are hard to find and a challenge to maintain at every level. Even with grounds, trials, particularly championships would not be possible with the support of Purina and Greg Blair. The championship had a good mix of both amateur and pro handlers. We would like to thank Wild Apple, Chasehill, and Cairds Siding kennels for their continued support. With the border being open, it was great to see Bob turn dogs loose in Maine again. Our judges, Bruce Mueller and George Hetrick both from made the trip from PA to walk the thick cover and follow dogs in almost impossible winds. We thank them for taking time out of their busy schedules to help us out. With the winds calming down, the club once again hosted their handler diner of steak and lobster on Saturday. As the lobsters and steak cooked, everyone was gathered around snacking on a variety of smoked meats, pickled groceries and cheeses to the point where you could almost be full before dinner was served. A thank you goes out to the club members who came out to watch dogs run as well as to help shuttle everyone around. With so many to thank, I can't say enough about the Town of Frankfort. This year, all our courses were on town land and they once again gave us full support for its use.
The Running
With high winds for two days, birds were hard to get pointed even though birds were seen on all courses.
Brace 1: Already mentioned.

Brace 2 had Sam (Townsend) and Riley on Beaver Pond. Sam was a tough luck dog as he was scouted late in the hour and a grouse was walked up but was not verified by a judge.

Brace 3 Chasehill Poison Ivy (Stolgitis) had the first shot at our new course, Powerline. Ivy had an early stop at 15:00 without success. Remi (Little) had a late stop at 56 but too was unsuccessful.

Brace 4 Sunkhaze Viera Masardis (Flewelling) and Magic Mist Sydni (Dahl) fought the wind. Viera stopped just inside the cut at 30:00 but Flewelling could not get anything to fly. Sydni going strong and at times hard to locate due to the wind was deep right. After making the turn out of the cut, Viera stopped to the front. We actually walked by her and she eventually started up. Sydni was going strong to the front and when we hit log yard, she swung around the far edge and her bell fell silent at 58:00. Handler, scout, and judge entered the thick cover. With some luck, she was spotted and Dahl flushed and had a woodcock flip past her with all in order. A strong performance in the given conditions.

Brace 5 Daddy's Little Boy Butch (Stolgitis) and Kelly's Blitz Wheel Hank (Little) Butch went deep to the right early and was hard to communicate with in the winds. Tracker was called for at 29:00. Hank would run well but he was picked up at 52:00.

Brace 6 Wild Apple Hard Cider (Doherty) and Ralphy's Chasehill Molly (Stolgitis) had the last go of the day. Cider would have an early stop at 16:00 but nothing was produced. Molly would stop at 33:00 to the right of the course but Stolgitis came up empty. Turning the final corner, Cider entered the other side of the woods road and a woodcock got up for a mannerly stop to flush at 52:00. Molly would dive back in with a late stop at 58:00 but again, nothing was home.

Day two produced strong winds all day and equally tough conditions.

Brace 7 Pauchek's Little Tommy Tucker (Short) and Elhew Snakewood (Doherty). It was tough to hear bells right from the start. Tucker would go to the right, Cobe would stay to the left. Tucker swung left and was scouted for but returned to the front. Tucker would go deep into the cut and the bell was lost. Cobe made it too the cut and worked the transition line. Short, moved forward but after decided that she was unsure of her dog's location, called it a day. Cobe would stop in the cut at 40:00 in the swirling winds. He was sent on only to have a woodcock pop up and ended his day.

Brace 8 Cairds Little Macey Mae (Little) Elhew Snakedancer (Doherty) Solid runs but nothing moved.

Brace 9 Caird's Crackling Rosie (Little) and Wynot Pete (Forrest) headed off down the Powerline Course. Both worked strong to the right. Pete would stop to the left of the courses at 22:00. Forrest entered with the judge. Again, a tough luck situation as Forrest saw the grouse running out but do to the wind and foliage, the judge could not verify it. Rosie had a very strong race only to go bird less. Pete would finish strong as well.

Brace 10 Mooselook Fionn MacCool (McNulty) and Calamy's Soul Man (Robinson) had the afternoon shot at the cut. Both dogs worked well in the high winds but made it through the cut without any action. Elwood would stop at 45:00 in the pole timber but nothing could be produced. Fionn ended up going deep and forward and the tracker was called. Elwood would try his luck at the log yard but was unsuccessful.

Brace 11 Duckhook (Stolgitis) and Wild Apple Pop's Dorothy (Doherty) Difficult conditions kept it a challenge to keep tabs on Brute. Dottie would have a smooth and strong ground race but had nothing to show for her work.

Brace 12 Cairds Dreaming of Jeannie (Little) and Ralphy's Chasehill Rip (Stolgitis) Rip was a little slow starting then opened up. Jeannie had a real strong ground race but needed a bird. Even the woodcock on the corner could not be located.

Brace 13: Reported earlier.

Brace 14 Chasehill Little Izzy (Stolgitis) and Mooselook Mac (McNulty) had much better conditions to run for the last brace of the trial. Izzy would stop to the right of the course early but was sent on. Both dogs made it to the powerline when Izzy stopped to the right with Mac following suit. Stolgitis flushed and when nothing was produced, he relocated and Mac was taken on. After a lengthy relocation with a start and stop, Stolgitis decided to pick her up. Mac would make the final turn and was headed down the road when he stopped to the right of the course at 56:00. McNulty produced a woodcock to finish of the trial.
Frankfort, Me., September 23
Judges: George Hetrick and Bruce Mueller

Winner-CHASEHILL HIDDEN JEWEL, 1692727, female, by Panola Bacon-Chasehill Little Izzy. Tadaaki Terada, owner; John Stolgitis, handler.
Runner-Up-SPRINGBROOK MAXIMUS, 1657296, male, by Chasehill Little Bud-Riley's Rowdy Shadow. Russell Ogilvie, owner and handler.

Northeastern Grouse & Woodcock F22

Champion Chasehill Hidden Jewel owned with John Stolgitis owned by Tadaaki Terada, Springbrook Maximus with Russell Ogilvie. Back Judge Bruce Mueller and Judge George Hetrick.