Event: Back Country Bruiser named 2023 Champion; Hirollins Gone and Done It Runner-Up
Result: U. S. Complete Mid-Atlantic Walking Shooting Dog Championship
Location: Ginter, Pennsylvania
Post Date: Jun 16, 2023
Submitted By: Joe Cammisa
U. S. Complete Mid-Atlantic Open Shooting Dog Championship Winners (front, l-r): Chris Catanzarite with Backcountry Bruiser, Mark Hughes with Hirollins Gone And Doneit, and Tony Bingham (handler). (Behind): Dennis Kivikko (judge), Aaron McAfee, J. D. Waters, and Lee Long (judge).
The venue chosen for the 2023 renewal of the Mid-Atlantic Shooting Dog Championship was the Warriors Mark Wingshooting Lodge and Kennels grounds in Houtzdale, Pa., owned and managed by Eric and Bernadette Gilliland.
The grounds are no stranger to weekend and championship caliber trials, as the U. S. Complete National Open Championship, Mid-States Championship, Region 2 AFTCA, and the Mid-Atlantic, along with several other trials, have been held there. The Championship followed after the National Walking Shooting Dog Futurity and its companion stakes, drawing 44 contenders.
The drawing was held at the home of Secretary Chris Catanzarite in Scenery Hill, Pa., and all was put into motion.
In the judicial saddles were Lee Long of Berkey, Ohio, and Dennis Kivikko of Powhatan, Va. And a wonderful team they made. Both are accomplished breeders, owners, trainers, and handlers of championship-quality pointing dogs. They are both outstanding sportsmen and were well-received for their knowledge and fair play.
Bird planters for the event, Norm Meeder and Cliff Monroe, were ready first thing Monday morning. After an initial stocking, they were there for the trial and never let up, faithfully "neither rain, nor hail, nor sleet, nor dark of night, kept them from doing their rounds." A judge noted that during one of the mornings, they experienced all four seasons.
There was a good mix of professionals and amateur handlers on the scene. Aaron McAfee, Dave Park, Chris Catanzarite, and Cliff Monroe were some of the amateurs. Dave Hughes, Mark Hughes, Tony Bingham, Robert Ecker, Zack Erne, and Andy Erne rounded out the professional side.
Thank you also to Dave Hughes, who furnished and drove a side-by-side to be used as the dog wagon; he additionally furnished an ATV used by the bird planters.
Dave Hughes was also responsible for purchasing and managing the donut distribution every morning.
Dinner was provided by the Greensburg Pointer & Setter Club on Monday night at the Warriors Mark Lodge.
Backcountry Bruiser (PM) with Chris Catanzarite was run in brace No. 18 on the third day with Braggabull (PF) with Mark Hughes. Bruiser was off to a good start with a strong breakaway streaking to the front and, from the beginning, was hitting objectives with speed and efficiency, using the wind, and running with great style. He took the breakaway deep and ended up having six well-spaced finds. His bird contacts were handled impeccably with great style and composure until he was sent on by his handler. Catanzarite's charge also showed great efficiency in his one relocation opportunity, attacking and pinning the running bird with ease. Bruiser rearranged the dogs' order in the judges' book, those of which had been carried since the first day. Bruiser's outstanding ground application, composure, and all-business attitude set him apart from the crowd. As one of the judges said, "He was definitely a dog that I would want to take home with me."
The runner-up came out of brace No. 21. Hirollins Gone And Doneit (PM), owned by Warren Parrot and handled by Tony Bingham, put down an excellent ground race. With his pleasing-to-the-eye running style, he had six well-spaced finds, all handled with style. He covered real estate like he owned it, handling when need be as he and his handler worked nicely as a team to bring home the runner-up title.
Neither of the two top dogs is a stranger to the winners' circle. Backcountry Bruiser boasts an impressive winning past. He is the Region 2 Horseback Shooting Dog Champion, U. S. Complete Shooting Dog Amateur Invitational Champion, Region 2 All-Age Champion (twice), Region 4 Walking Shooting Dog Champion, and is now the Mid-Atlantic Walking Shooting Dog Champion. He has also won runner-up titles in the U. S. Complete National Amateur, U. S. Complete Open Invitational, Region 2 Walking Shooting Dog, and Region 4 All-Age, making him a six-time champion and four-time runner-up champion. He has 40 one-hour wins and was last year's South Carolina Horseback Shooting Dog of the Year.
Hirollins Gone And Doneit (Gunner) has won 9 titles to date. And titles have been won this year alone in seven states, with three different handlers. He won in Indiana, Missouri, North Carolina, South Carolina, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. Additionally, he won two classic trials this year. Gunner has 44 placements in walking, horseback, and all-age. This year he is the U. S. Complete Open Shooting Dog of the Year and runner-up in SBHA and South Carolina Horseback. He has become quite a producer this season; his offspring has two Puppy of the Year winners, two Derby of the Year, and a National Bird Hunters Futurity winner. Warren readily admits that he is the most consistent dog he has ever seen, "he stays on autopilot." He was Dog of the Year for Puppy, Derby, and Shooting Dog.
Other dogs of noteworthy mention:
A Distant Spec, a classy pointer female handled by Mark Hughes of Hughesview Kennels, was run in the first brace. She put on a bird-finding clinic to set the stage for this competitive championship. She kindly handled and scored seven finds while backing twice. She had one unproductive and a nice forward race to end her hour.
The second brace of the trial featured My Way Little Bud, a strapping pointer male with Tony Bingham, who, at the end of his run, took over the number one spot in the judges' book. He ran a good stylish race scoring five times, one of which resulted in a super-efficient relocation. He pointed with good style and finished as strong as he started.
This order held until brace No. 6 when Glassilaun War Paint (PM), with Robert Ecker of Midnight Kennels, put down an eight-find performance. One of which he had to withstand great pressure from his bracemate. He had one unproductive. War Paint was carried number one for a long time until Bruiser took over the slot.
The Mid-Atlantic Championship would like to thank our sponsors, Greg Blair and Purina, for their generous support.
Additionally, thank you to all who helped in any way to make this trial a huge success.
Ginter, Pa., April 24 - One Course
Judges: Dennis Kivikko and Leroy Long
U. S. COMPLETE MID-ATLANTIC OPEN SHOOTING DOG CHAMPIONSHIP [One-Hour Heats] - 30 Pointers and 14 Setters
Winner--BACKCOUNTRY BRUISER, 1672645, pointer male, by Erin's War Creek-Backcountry Tornado. Chris Catanzarite, owner and handler.
Runner-Up--HIROLLINS GONE AND DONEIT, 1679825, pointer male, by Fastforward's B K Gunner-Littlewing B K Tia. Warren Parrot, owner; Tony Bingham, handler.