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Result: National Open Pheasant Shooting Dog Championship

Location: Bloomingdale, Ohio

Post Date: Jan 9, 2023

Submitted By: Joe Lordi

Nat'l Open Pheasant SD ChF22-

National Open Pheasant Shooting Dog Championship Winners (front, from left): Waybetter Rocky with Scout Casey Hollander and Miller's Heat Seeker with Madison McDonald.
(Standing, from left): Ted Foust, Jeanette Tracy, Kevin Joyce, Mike Tracy, Carl Bishop, Judge Jadie Rayfield, Bill and Muriel Primm, Dennis Hood, Fran and Jack Miller, Judge Sean Hauser, Mark Hughes, Greg Strausbaugh, Joe Lordi, Dave Hughes, George Tracy, Mary Tracy, Allen Linder, Chris Catanzarite, Bob Reed, and Bobby Verderosa.

The 66th running of the National Open Pheasant Shooting Dog Championship was run at the Mingo Field Trial Grounds. We drew 84 dogs--what is believed to be a record entry for this event. We would like to thank the handlers and owners for their support. We had eight different handlers: Mike Tracy, George Tracy, Doug Ray, Mike Martino, Matt Basilone, Jeanette Tracy, Anthony Martino, and the lone amateur handler Chris Catanzarite. The New York State Bird Dog Association is thankful for all your support.

The judges, Sean Hauser from Whigham, Ga., and Jadie Rayfield from Mt. Pleasant, S. C., were a pleasure to work with before and during the trial. They were ready and willing to go and gave every dog the needed time to make their bid. They set a good consistent pace, and everyone was pleased with their decision.

Running a national championship requires a great attention to detail, and this was handled by several members. No one works harder than Chris Catanzarite. He spends countless hours before and during this trial to make it a premier event. He handled bird planting by planting the birds himself or overseeing a crew. He provided hay for judges and others. He worked with the Mingo Sportsman Club on all the details and might have even been a tow truck driver.
Mary Tracy put on several dinners at the pavilion that were delicious. She is also handling all the club's finances as the club treasurer. Her work is much appreciated. Karen Reed works to keep us in-line as the club secretary. She handled the ad and helped to make sure it was printed in the UKC newspaper and on the website in a perfect format. She also put on a great dinner. Casey Foster Hollander cooked two wonderful dinners after scouting all day. The first was a delicious chicken fajita dinner and the second steaks and asparagus that were very tasty.
The marshals are an integral part of this trial. Their work goes unnoticed until we don't have them. This year we used several marshals, including Chris Catanzarite, Greg Strausbaugh, Ernie Saniga, Kevin Joyce, Mark Hughes, and Eric Munden. We are very appreciative of their time riding in the saddle to help this trial be a major success.
We would also like to thank our sponsors Purina, Haggis Saddles, and Lion Country Supply. Purina is a great sponsor of our sport in general, and we are very appreciative for the years of support including providing the handler's dinner, paying for the ad, and supplying the dog food for the winners. This year we had the judges name four honorable mention dogs. The handlers of those dogs will each receive a $100 gift certificate to Haggis Saddles or Lion Country. To be honest, this was a try it and see thing, but we feel it went very well. Lion Country Supply and Haggis Saddles were eager to step up and support it. We cannot thank them enough. I used both companies, and they provide excellent products and customer service.
Finally, we would like to thank our gracious host The Mingo Sportsman Club of Bloomingdale, Ohio. They have continued to improve the grounds each year. The rolling hills allow one to show a dog. They provide water and allow club members to work during the trial to complete their club work requirements. They provide some dinners at the club house and allow the 4-H club to host a dinner for us. We are very appreciative of all their work and happy we have such a great place to run a premier event.
The Winners
Waybetter Rocky handled by Mike Tracy was named champion; he ran in the 42nd and final brace of the championship. The judges were looking for that homerun all week, and Rocky stepped up to the plate and hit a walk-off home run. At the end of the hour, everyone knew who the champion was. Rocky put on an absolute show. This performance was memorable and worth the wait. Rocky hit the ground running up the ridge, and point was called for at the clump of the trees on the top of the ridge with all in order for his first find. Rocky's second stylish find was on the feed strip going into the outer loop. His third find was coming back through the outer loop. On the knoll at the end of the outer loop, Rocky was locked up for his fourth perfect find. All these finds were great, but our judges wanted a big running dog. Rocky showed he still had plenty of bottom from the rock pile he scorched the ground and was far out front. This effort paid off; at the start of the next field, he had a divided find with the bird taking flight between the dogs. Along the autumn olives hedgerow, both dogs were standing again with Rocky standing tall for the flush. Rocky again made strong forward moves, and point was called for in the middle of the locust grove. Mike called flight of the bird. Rocky was released at 52 minutes and finished with strong moves out past the first pond and to the right, swinging around the second pond from right to left. As time was called, he was cresting the final hill. Owners Muriel and Bill Primm and Carl Bishop were all smiles, and Mike was relieved. Performances like this need to be cherished.

Runner-up champion, Miller's Heat Seeker, is no stranger to the winner's circle. He has been one of the most consistent winners over the last year or so. Heat Seeker is owned by Dennis Hood, Muriel and Bill Primm, and Fran and Jack Miller. Heat Seeker was handled by George Tracy. He was released from the valley going toward the rock pile. He was running a strong forward race and hitting the objectives. He was charged with an unproductive to the right of the clump of trees at the start of the outer loop. He redeemed himself with a find on a rooster at the end of the outer loop. He continued a strong forward race. He made the turn near the clubhouse and was found standing along the autumn olives with pleasing style. Woody finished the hour going up and over the hill toward the rock pile.
The judges were asked to name four honorable mentions. They named Absolute Tornado handled by Doug Ray with four finds and a strong race and Bull Rock handled by Mike Tracy with three finds and a strong race. Hillhavyns' Wild Child had a good race with three finds and a stop to flush. Hatteras Sandstorm earned Doug Ray his second honorable mention with three finds, unproductive, and a good race.
The first brace was away just after 8:00 a.m.; Harbor City Sure Shot, a pointer female, was run by Matt Basilone. Sure Shot ran a forward race between ten and two and handled well, but with just an unproductive Matt elected to pick up at 45. Miller's Automatic Upgrade handled by George Tracy was away and scored the first bird contact of the trial but took some liberties and was up at 10
The second brace featured Bully Rock run by Mike Tracy and Steel Valley Raven handled by Jeanette Tracy. They started on the outer loop, and as we turned to make our way back, Mike called point. Raven was brought in for a back. After a relocation, Rock was charged with an unproductive. Both were released, and Raven took an unproductive about 500 yards from where they were released. Both dogs continued a forward race, with Raven taking a second unproductive. Rock scored a find on the left side of the locust grove on a pheasant and near the end had a find on a small wild quail at the end of the locust grove. He stretched out and was not seen as time was called. Mike searched and found Rock on point up front. All was in order as Mike flushed a cock bird.

The third brace was released from the top of the ridge with Miller's Locked and Loaded (G. Tracy) and Steel City Alabama (M. Basilone). Both dogs ran big and to the front with Matt calling for the tracker as we finished the outer loop. Locked and Loaded continued a big, forward race, but with just an unproductive at 40, the handler elected to pick up.

The fourth brace started after lunch at 1:30 p.m.; Doug Ray released Absolute Dominator and Iron Bully (M. Tracy). Dominator was running a forward race and looked stylish on point but was up with two unproductives at 25. Iron Bully ran a nice race, but Mike elected to pick up at the end of the locust grove.

Limbsmoke Urban Lullaby (M. Basilone) and R Q's Saddle (J. Tracy) were released at the end of the locust grove. Both traded strong moves. Lullaby got collected by the black hole, and Matt elected to pick up. Saddle ran a forward race with an unproductive on the outer loop, finishing the hour at the rock pile.

Miller's Extreme Heat (M. Tracy) and Wayward Flying Tomato with Mark Hughes on the whistle started from locust grove. Both dogs made nice moves on the hills to the left as we exited the locust grove. Extreme Heat pinned a covey of quail, but as Mike walked back to her, more quail took flight, and Heat had a slight breach of manners. Tomato continued to the front, and point was called in the center of the outer loop. While relocating, a rider put up a bird. The dog never saw the bird and was sent on. He continued finishing the hour strong but with no bird work.

The seventh and final brace of day one was released from the stone pile into the locust grove. There was a slight nip in the air. Miller's Blazing Hot Chick (G. Tracy) had a nice find on the hill to the left with everything in order. She was gathered up just before going up the ridge and made a nice cast down the ridge and to the right. She was found standing. On her relocation attempt, she got just a bit too close, ending her bid. Amazing Grace ran a strong forward race, pinning a pheasant on the left at the end of the locust grove. She continued to hunt the cover to the front and finished the hour.

Sunday morning brought much discussion about the weather. It was decided to run, and Bittersweet War Cry (M. Tracy) and Towncreek Hardaway Rad (M. Martino) were off at 8:00. Point was called for War Cry with Rad coming in for a back. The pheasant ran between War Cry's feet, causing too much temptation. Rad was sent on, but his race was a bit too erratic for the handler, and he elected to pick up.

The weather was looking ominous in the distance, and it was decided to hold off until the weather improved. At 9:45 a.m., the weather was much improved, and Million Dollar Penny (M. Tracy) and Triple Nickel Carbon Copy (M. Basilone) were off from the main breakaway. Penny showed some signs of flash but took a few steps on a pheasant just after the breakaway field. Carbon Copy made a couple of big swings but was lost on point.

McFays Dire Straits (M. Martino) and Smoke N Mirrors (M. Basilone) screamed up the hill to the left. Both were gathered up in the valley and sent up and over the ridge. Dire Straits stood tall as the handler and scout called flight, but it was not seen by the judge or marshal. Point was called for Smoke N Mirrors in the center of the outer loop; as we gained the front, the pheasant was in flight. Dire Straits failed to back and was up. Smoke N Mirrors was off and around on the lower side of the outer loop and back up to the higher side before point was called at the end of the outer loop. She stood as Matt flushed a hen bird. She continued a forward race, and at the rock pile point was called. The pheasant took flight as the judges rode up to the dog. She was released with 3 minutes to go on the locust grove. As time was called, Matt called point for a fourth and final find and a strong hour.

In the first brace after lunch, Jeanette Tracy released Pine Straw Sweet Tea with Mike Martino handling Towncreek Hardaway Jill. Jill is a classy moving pointer but had an unproductive before a slight lapse of manners. Sweet Tea was making big moves and checking in as needed. She scored a stylish find going up the ridge before suffering an unproductive at time.

The next brace included Miller's Special Cinderella (G. Tray) and Hatteras Storm Surge (D. Ray). Surge was off and away, and the tracker was called for at 25. Cinderella ran a good race, tallying a find on the bottom of the ridge and handling a challenging relocation masterfully. She scored a classy find on the right side of the outer loop. Again, she stood tall at the end of the outer loop before we turned to head back. She finished the hour to the front.

The 13th brace featured Miller's War Bonnet (M. Tracy) and Walden's Ridge Slapshot (D. Ray). Slapshot is a classy moving pointer with all the style needed on point but had one find and two unproductives. War Bonnett was making big moves and put on an exciting race, but with an unproductive at 30, the handler elected to pick up.

Monday morning George Tracy released High Drive Fantasy Pants with Hyhope Chipper (M. Basilone). They raced up the breakaway hill with point being called for Fantasy Pants. Hyhope Chipper refused to back. All was in order as George flushed a pheasant. Fantasy Pants was standing again further down the breakaway hedgerow. She took a few steps as George walked back to get her, and she was up.

The 15th brace featured Fort River Lucky Charm (M. Basilone) and Miller's Heat Seeker (G. Tracy) (written up under the winners). Lucky Charm is a pleasing setter on the ground and on point. He scored a stylish find on a feed strip in the locust grove before a pheasant popped on him in the outer loop, and he took one too many steps.

Miller's Hopped Up Version (M. Hughes) and Jolene Jolene (M. Tracy) were sent away from the rock pile along the locust grove. It was just one of those braces where nothing went right. Mike doubled back at the end of the locust grove. Jolene should up to front as we followed Hopped Up Version. George took over as she swung to the far right around the pond. Neither dog was seen again, and both handlers called for the tracker at 25.

Absolute Tornado (D. Ray) and Waybetter Rebel (M. Tracy) started at the beginning of the outer loop. Point was called for Rebel, with Tornado backing on the left side of a feed patch. Rebel stood perfectly for the attempted flush but failed to handle the relocation. Tornado was brought back to the right side where he pinned a pheasant. He made nice casts on the outer loop. As we crossed the first road from the rock pile, Doug called point and flight of the bird, but it was not seen by the judges; Doug took the dog on. He continued to run a good race, and as he was going up the hill toward the rock pile, he made game and locked up for an easy flush. He was released and took the left edge of the locust grove, meeting Doug at the end. Doug sent him to the left around the pond where point was called, and Tornado stood perfectly for the extended flush. Having 3 minutes to go, Doug put him on the top of the hill and raced to the front and over the next hill as time was called.

Show Times Dominator (D. Ray) and Double M's Smokin Gun (G. Tracy) started from the main breakaway after lunch. Smokin had one find before the handler called for the tracker, and Dominator had three finds before the handler elected to pick up.

Backcountry Bruiser handled by Chris Catanzarite and Cheyene Jack (M. Tracy) were released in the valley before going up the ridge. Bruiser was pointing on the ridge with Jack backing. Both dogs were facing each other and looked as if they were in a competition on who had more style. Unfortunately, this led to an unproductive for Bruiser. Jack had a stylish find just past the end of the ridge. Jack was not pleasing the handler and was up at 20. At 35 with no bird work, Chris elected to pick up.

Calico's Sky's The Limit (G. Tray) and Hard Truth (D. Ray) were released in the final brace on Monday from the main breakaway. Sky scored first on the breakaway hedgerow with a stylish find, never letting down after the shot. Point was called for Hard Truth on a feed strip with the bird seen by the marshal. Doug attempted to flush with the horse. Truth stood tight. Sky scored her second find out of my sight. Both dogs made nice moves with no bird work until point was called for Sky going up the ridge, and again all was in order for the flush. At the bottom of the ridge, Hard Truth had a lapse of manners and was up. Sky was charged with an unproductive near the pond. Her bid unraveled on the outer loop as she had trouble running in the tricky wind conditions. She finished the hour and put on a nice show for a young dog. Her future looks bright.

Tuesday morning seemed like it would be perfect bird weather. Miller's Record Heat (M. Tracy) and Hillhavyns Good Time Rail (M. Martino) were away. Record Heat had an issue on her first bird contact, and Good Time Rail needed the tracker at 10.

The next brace featured Erin's Big Casino (M. Tracy) and Steel City Avenger (J. Tracy). Avenger struck first with a picture-perfect find to the left. She gained the front, and both dogs were standing on hill at the end of the outer loop. After two near-perfect relocations, neither handler could produce a bird. However, it was reported that the dog wagon had seen a bird fly on the other side of the hill. The dogs were taken on and released across from the rock pile toward the clubhouse. Avenger made a big move but showed well. Casino scored a stylish find on the right at a clump of trees near the road. Avenger stood again high and tight as Jeanette had an easy flush. After being released, Avenger was away up the hill where he was standing high and tight on both ends for the flush. He was sent on along the breakaway hedgerow and was next seen down the hill on the crossing hedgerow standing for what looked like a painting. This was the move of the trial, but a bird lifted, and Avenger could not handle the temptation. Big Casino suffered a second unproductive and was picked up.

Miller's Upgrading the Ante (G. Tracy) and Sunbelt's Repete (M. Martino) were released going out the locust grove. Repete had a lapse of manners toward the end of the locust grove with Ante backing. Miller's Upgrading the Ante was making nice moves and was found standing on the left going up the ridge for a pretty find. She was one of the few dogs that hunted the right side of the ridge. She was making some nice casts, but she hit the road and saw the dog wagon and her bid was over.

A Buccaneer (D. Ray) and Miller's Sweet Talking Candy (M. Tracy) were away from the rock pile into locust grove. Candy had an unproductive near the end of the locust grove, and both handlers called for the GPS by 20 minutes.
The 25th brace featured Answered Prayers (M. Tracy) and The Secret (J. Tracy). Answered Prayers failed to back and was up on the breakaway hedgerow. The Secret was running a blistering race, but with one unproductive and hail failing form the sky, Jeanette elected to pick up at 40.

Miller's Southern Gossip (G. Tracy) and Trump handled by Bo Brewer were away for the next brace. Trump is a fine-moving setter with some nice casts. Always forward, he tallied two finds and an unproductive. Miller's Southern Gossip was running a forward race but failed to make the turn near the clubhouse.

Suemac's Sashay (M. Hughes) and Bronco Bully (M. Tracy) were off from the end of the outer loop. Bronco Bully had a stop to flush and find and an unproductive and was making some nice casts before a pheasant came into the path right in front of him; the temptation was too much. Sashay is a pretty moving dog and showed plenty of class pointing but had two unfortunate unproductives.

Wednesday morning we had Miller's Strolling For Gold (G. Tracy) and Walden Ridge Rainstorm (D. Ray). Rainstorm ran a nice race with plenty of style on the ground, but with no bird work she was up at 40. Strolling for Gold had a lapse of manners on the breakaway field.
The 29th brace pitted Faithful (M. Tracy) and Springflow's Backcountry P (C. Catanzarite) against each other. Faithful, a classy female, had an unproductive and failed to back in a tough situation. Backcountry P had two classy finds and a strong race but suffered two unproductives.

The last brace before lunch pitted Hatteras Sandstorm (D. Ray) versus Miller's Just Plain Rowdy (G. Tracy), both dogs took an unproductive just before the rock pile. On the right side of the ridge along the corn, Sandstorm was pointing with Rowdy backing. All was in order as a rooster was spotted in the corn. Rowdy scored a classy find going up the hill to the outer loop for an easy flush on a hen. Sandstorm was making game on the right coming back on the outer loop and locked up for a good find. Both dogs finished the hour.

After lunch on Wednesday, we had I Am Spartacus (D. Ray) and Miller's Big Iron (M. Tracy) away at 1:30 p.m.; Big Iron suffered two unproductives. I am Spartacus, a classy pointer male, had an unproductive before a lapse of manners on a bird in the open field.

South Point Hog Wild (M. Tracy) and Hillhavyn's Wild Child (J. Tracy) were away making big casts. It took a few minutes to gather up each dog from the black hole. Hog Wild had a back, and Mike elected to pick up before the hour. Wild Child had a find past the ridge on the right. She then had a stop to flight at the end of the outer loop. The bird flew over the dog, and she stopped. She was a bit sticky at times returning on the outer loop due to the wind conditions. She was locked up for a find past the rock pile. She found her range, and point was called past the breakaway hedgerow. All was in order as Jeanette flushed a hen to finish the hour.
Miller's High Heat Index (M. Tracy) and Hatteras Riptide (D. Ray) were the last brace of the day. Riptide ran a big race, but the tracker was called for at the end of the locust grove. High Heat Index ran with a high cracking tail, but with one find and an unproductive at 40, the handler elected to pick up.

Reedy Creek Dial Tone (M. Tracy) and Hillhavyn's Major Tom (M. Martino) were off fast and furious and making big moves. Dial Tone was pointing on the wood line looking large in the distance for a beautiful find. Major answered just ahead with a stylish find of his own. The tracker was called for Dial Tone at the end of the locust grove. Jeanette Tracy called point for Major Tom on the hill to the left, but it was tough to see heading into the sun. All was in order for the flush. Tom continued to the front; he popped and cracked his tail in the cover. At the top of the ridge, the handler elected to pick up.

Braggabull (M. Hughes) and Miller's Flowers and Lace (G. Tracy) were released going down the ridge. This was an exciting brace with lots of bird work. Bragabull was standing on the bottom of the ridge and moved on. Flowers and Lace stood going up the hill, and just as George got off the horse, a hen lifted. All was in order, and she was sent on. Bragabull was pointing with fine style for the flush on the far side of a feed patch. Flowers and Lace stuck a hen ahead out of my sight. Flowers and Lace was locked up for a find at the far end of the outer loop. Braggabull answered with a find on the left coming back on the outer loop. Flowers and Lace was pointing on the knoll at the end of the outer loop. She was relocating when a bird got up behind her; she stopped immediately. As we gained the front, Flowers and Lace had a find with Braggabull backing. It was cold and wet on the ground, and both dogs were obviously cold. On the breakaway hedgerow, Braggabull was pointing with fine style into the autumn olives with Flowers and Lace backing. A number of pheasant were flushed. In the autumn olive bushes after the breakaway, Braggabull was making game and locked up before the hen took flight. Flowers and Lace was actually pointing on the other side of the feed strip. Both handlers fired and went on. Both continued a strong forward race through the locust grove. Point was called on the left hill past the pond. Braggabull was just in front with Flowers and Lace backing; again, all was in order for the flush. They both finished the hour to the front.

Class Act Express (A. Martino) and To Spot Tommy (D. Ray) were off going up the ridge. To Spot Tommy had a find but suffered two unproductives and was leashed. Class Act Express backed three times. One he pointed the situation with ease. With the course all to their own, both the handler and the dog took advantage with a find on the outer loop, and on the knoll at the end of the outer loop, he stood on a pile of feathers. He made some nice moves but handled with ease. On the left of the breakaway hedgerow, he required a relocation, and he moved directly to the bird and locked up. Anthony attempted to flush the bird away from the dog, and it flew directly at the dog. Express handled the temptation well. He stood, and another pile of feathers was found. As time was called, Anthony rode up the locust grove and called point. He flushed a covey of baby quail. This was a solid effort.

Backcountry Buddy (M. Martino) and Osceola's Seminole Wind (M. Tracy) were off from the breakaway. Buddy had two finds before two unfortunate unproductives At the end of the locust grove, Mike called for the tracker for Seminole Wind.

Trumped (M. Tracy) and Pinson's Imagine That (A. Martino) started at the beginning of the outer loop. Trumped was tempted on the path with multiple pheasants, and it proved to be too much. Imagine That that had one find, and the handler elected to pick up.

Dakota Nation (D. Ray) and Double Deuce Zeke were away from the rock pile. Dakota Nation is beautiful on point; with one find and two divided finds, he had a slight lapse of manners. Zeke ran a big race with two divided finds and a back before the handler had to call for the GPS.

The next brace featured Deceptions Wild Justice (M. Martino) and Raag's Rich & Rare (M. Tracy). Wild Justice had one find, but on the ridge had a lapse of manners on a divided unproductive. Rich & Rare ran a big race. He was one of the only dogs to execute the right side around the pond and up and over the hill with little handling; however, with an unproductive and a find at 40, he was behind the eight ball, and the handler elected to pick up.

Saddle Ridge Thunder (J. Tracy) was braced with Plainsdrifter (A. Martino). Thunder had a haircut and some new PF Flyers and was away and gone. The handler called for the tracker at 15 minutes. Plainsdrifter ran a good race, but with no finds at 30 minutes, the handler elected to pick up.

The final brace was Waybetter Rocky (written up under the winners) and Phillips Win Line (A. Martino). Win Line had one divided find, two finds, and a back with a good race.
Bloomingdale, Ohio, September 24 - One Course
Judges: Sean Hauser and Jadie Rayfield

Winner-WAYBETTER ROCKY, 1652783, pointer male, by Brown's Tom Tom-Waybetter Reba. Carl, Joyce & Collin Bishop, Muriel & Bill Primm, owners; Mike Tracy, handler.
Runner-Up-MILLER'S HEAT SEEKER, 1674886, pointer male, by Just Irresistible-Miller's Bring The Heat. Dennis Hood, Bill & Muriel Primm, owners; George Tracy, handler.

Open Pheasant Reporter F22-

(From left): Judges Jadie Rayfield and Sean Hauser, and Reporter Joe Lordi.

Nat'l Pheasant SD Painting F22-

Miller's Heat Seeker painting presentation (from left): Scout Casey Hollander, Mary Tracy,
Handler George Tracy, Joe Lordi, and Owners Muriel Primm, Bill Primm, and Dennis Hood.