Result: New York Grouse Championship
Location: Oxford, New York
Post Date: Jan 5, 2023
Submitted By: Bill Ballin
The 2022 renewal of the New York Grouse Championship at The Flanagan Farm ran September 14th-16th hosted by the New York Grouse and Woodcock Club. The weather for the trial was consistent for the three days of running with near perfect conditions. Nestle Purina is to thank for their support of this event with product for the handlers, advertising support, and product to the winners. A special thanks to all who help make this trial a success with flagging the courses, moving vehicles, marshaling, and lending a hand with whatever needs to be done. This year's event drew 34 dogs and thanks to all the handlers who came from near and far to compete in this prestigious wild bird trial.
Judges for the year's event were Bruce Minard of Beulah, Mich., and Mike Brown of Linden, Mich. At the conclusion Duck Hook, pointer male was named Champion handled by John Stolgitis, and Game Winner, setter male was named runner-up handled by Mark Hughes.
Duck Hook and Game Winner braced together on the first course of day three. Both dogs were on the line ready to go and broke away promptly at 730. Both dogs entered the cover and were making big reaching casts when Stolgitis reported his bell silent at the 20-minute mark. After a quick flushing attempt a woodcock was put up and all was in order. Both dogs continued to search for game checking every piece of cover when both bells fell silent at 35. Both handlers and judges entered the thick cover when a brood of grouse was put to flight. Two shots rang out and the judges gave both dogs the credit for the brood find. The brood consisted of 8 grouse. After the handlers and judges emerged from the extremely thick cover both dogs were sent on. A few moments later at 39, after the creek crossing Hughes' dog slammed on point with Stolgits's dog backing. A grouse was put up in front of all with perfect manners exhibited. Both dogs continued up the hill in the heavy cover when Stolgitis reported his bell silent at 45. Another brood was put up with all in order. At 47 Hughes reported his bell silent and his dog was found in the area of the find just moments before. Hughes elected to flush and after a 3 minute attempt a single grouse was put up with all being in order. Both dogs finished the hour with a strong and powerful race with the same energy they began with at the break away.
Day one began promptly with Little Miss Margaret (PF/Stolgitis) and Double Duce Zeke (PM/Hughes). Both Dogs broke away and went straight to the cover. Margaret got a bit too close to a grouse and was ordered up. Zeke finished the hour without birdwork.
Course two had Jar's Way Leroy (ESM/Hughes) and Shady Hills Whiskey Bonfire (ESM/Forman). With both dogs away Forman reported his bell silent at the 8 min mark with a woodcock put up with all in order. Both Dogs finished the hour without any more birdwork.
On course three was Lightning Flash Remington (ESM/M. Forman) and A Distant Spec (PF/Hughes). Both Dogs finished the hour with no game contact.
Course four was Chasehill Little Izzy (PF/Stolgitis) and Vitali's Grouse Ringer Pappy (ESM/S. Forman). Both dogs hunted consistently, at 45 Stolgitis reported his bell silent and woodcock was put up with all in order. Both dogs finished the hour.
On course 5 was Witch City Charlie (ESM/Levesque) and Suemac's Sashay (PF/Hughes). Dogs were away and at the 20-minute mark Charlie's bell was silent. After a quick search he was found standing and woodcock was put up with all in order. Both dogs continued on with Levesque reporting his bell silent again. A few minutes later, point was called and a pair of woodcock were put up with all being in order. At 59 Charlie stopped on the edge of cover and a grouse was put up at time with all in order. Hughes finished the hour without bird work.
Course 6 was Double Deuce Sage (PF/Hughes) and Chasehill Poison Ivy (PF/Stolgitis). Dogs broke away and immediately went to work hunting the cover. Around the 10 minute mark Hughes's bell fell silent and found his dog with Stolgitis's dog backing. A grouse was put up with all in order and dogs were sent on. Both dogs finished the hour.
Full Breeze (ESF/Hughes and Grouse Hill Bullet Proof (ESM/S. Forman) were away with both dogs taking a bit to settle in. Hughes elected to leash his dog after the second
unproductive. Forman decided after his third unproductive to follow suit.
On course 2 was Blast Off (ESM/M. Forman) and I'll Be Back (ESM/Hughes). Both dogs broke away with Hughes reporting a silent bell at 15. After a brief flushing attempt he sent his dog on. Both dogs finished the hour without bird work.
Course number 3 was Cinder (ISF/Levesque) and Upper Ammonoosuc Ivy (PF/IS/S. Forman). Dogs were away and went right to work. At 28 point was called by Forman and a grouse was put up with all in order. Both dogs finished the hour.
Panola Bacon (PM/Stolgitis) and Anna Lake Samantha (ESF/Hughes) were braced on course 4 and a short time after the break away Hughes was ordered up. Stolgitis continued on with the course to himself. Stolgits finished the hour without any birdwork.
On course 5 was Warrior Zeke (PM/Hughes) and French's Grouse Ringer Woody (ESM/M. Forman). At 28 Hughes reported a silent bell and nothing was put up after a brief flushing attempt. Forman elected to leash his dog around the 45-minute mark. Hughes finished the hour without bird work.
The last course of the day drew veteran Daddy's Little Boy Butch (PM/Stolgitis) and Miller's Hopped Up Version (PF/Hughes). Both dogs were away and hunted the hour with Hughes suffering two unproductive points. Both dogs finished the hour birdless.
Course 1 Championship Race. Braced on course 2 was Pistol Patch Bullet (PM/S. Forman) and Bragabull (PM/Hughes). At 5 Bragabull had a stop to flush on a grouse with all in
order. At the 10 minute mark Forman elected to leash his dog as they both were not on the same page. Hughes finished the hour.
Course three had Lightning Flash Billie Sue (ESF/Forman) and Deciding Point (ESF/Hughes) braced together. Both dogs hunted the hour with Forman suffering an unproductive and Hughes suffering two. Both dogs finished the hour without birdwork.
Course 4 was Grouse Ridge Mags (ESF/IS/S. Forman) and Chasehill Hidden Jewel (PF/Stolgitis). Both dogs broke away and were covering some serious ground. At the powerline crossing both dogs made a large cast and both handlers had to work to reel them in. Jewel was able to find her way back to her handler and was sent on. Forman after a lengthy attempt was unable to get Mags back on track and the retrieval device was requested. Jewel finished the hour without bird
The last brace of the trial was course 5 with Oscar Robinson (ESM/Ghem) and Wayward Flying Tomato (ESM/Hughes). At the 30-minute mark both dogs' bells were silent. Hughes found his dog on point with Ghem's dog backing. A woodcock was put up with all in order and both dogs were sent on. Both dogs finished the hour without any other bird work.
Oxford, N. Y., September 14
Judges: Michael J. Brown and Bruce Minard
NEW YORK GROUSE CHAMPIONSHIP [One-Hour Heats] - 34 Entries
Winner-DUCK HOOK, 1668288, pointer male, by Erin's War Creek-Brave Heart Cassie. Mike Flewelling, owner; John Stolgitis, handler.
Runner-Up-GAME WINNER, 1672473, setter male, by Full Blast-Springfield's Showgirl. Richard Brenneman, owner; Mark Hughes, handler.
New York Grouse Championship. From left: Mike Brown Judge, Dave Hughes, Mark Hughes with Runner-Up Game Winner, John Stolgitis with Champion Duck Hook, Liam Ballin, and Bruce Minard Judge.