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Event: Calico's Sugar 'N' Spice Wins
Result: 87th New England Shooting Dog Futurity

Location: East Windsor, Connecticut

Post Date: Jun 20, 2023

Submitted By: Margaret C. Drew

new england futs23

87th New England Futurity Winners (front, l-r): Peyton Gunby with Calico's Sugar 'N' Spice, Casey Hollander and Mike Tracy with Hauser's Hard Line, Doug Ray with CS Four Season's Gunner, and Madison McDonald with Miller's Little Duce Coupe. (Behind): Aiden Malone, guest, Jeff Smith, John Stolgitis, John Malone, Bill Bonetti, Dick Bembenek, George Tracy, and Allen Linder.

I want to refresh folks on the historic connection that the Futurity has to the development of bird dogs and futurities as history is often forgotten. When the New England Shooting Dog Futurity was first proposed as a regional futurity in the '30s, the proposal was not well received, or as historian Truman Crowles stated, "proposal did not spread like wildfire." Herbert G. Silver headed a group first proposing a regional futurity; however, although the need for more breeders was agreed upon, defining eligibility and other rules proved to be a challenge. It was necessary for the first year to sidestep futurity rules so that the first futurity was that of one in name only, with 17 entries running in April 1937. However, breeders and other dog people acknowledged that a regional futurity was necessary to promote bird dogs, so a regional set of guidelines were established, and 21 dogs were entered. These rules and whelping dates were adhered to until 1939, when a June whelping date helped to change the venue to run in October beginning in 1941. This whelping provision more aligned the New England Futurity to the National Futurities. The futurity nominations and entries remained a regional entry base for several years, expanding in the late '70s. In the '80s, a few litters were nominated from outside New England, and entries increased as well. In the early '90s, litters and entries declined again, luckily followed by a surge to 50 to 60 entries from 35 litters in the late '90s and early 2000s. At this time, there was a guaranteed purse of $2,000; however, with litter nominations declining and entries as well, this policy could not continue. The association would like to return to that position; however, litter nominations and entries are the key. The entry fee has not been raised; however, it too will follow if necessary.
Today, futurities across the country are not as well supported as one would expect. It is a breeder's showcase, but often breeders are not nominating their litters. It seems to me that $40 would be a fair investment to show off your breeding program. This 87h running of the New England Futurity had only 12 litters nominated, therefore the sad 15 entries. Nominations for the 88th are ongoing; contact Margaret.

The clubhouse now displays a wall of Life Patron plaques, taxidermy of upland game, various regional historical plaques, and engraved retired trophies. In an adjacent room is a large pictural history showing the building of the present clubhouse. In a second framed plaque are historic photos from early trials with identified patrons and dogs, and which trial is portrayed. This is a very nice historical piece. Many of the photos are complimentary of the historic keepings of the late Truman Crowles. Dick Bembenek made and donated a wooden memory board of all early New England Open winners from its origin in 1929 with spaces through 2028. The original silver tray is displayed at the Bird Dog Hall of Fame in Grand Junction, Tenn.
The grounds at Flaherty were in excellent condition. The Flaherty committee has courses well marked with landmarks and has improved the courses with culverts and crushed fill, making the course safe and allowing handlers and spectators to concentrate on the dogs. The Flaherty grounds committee has made major improvements to the area, and it is an excellent field trial area. As noted in the past, the area has ample parking, running water, bathroom facilities, a full kitchen, a pavilion, and a modern bird room.

The 87th New England Futurity once again used a single course, which broke away down the slight hill on the northeast side of the grounds beyond the horse corrals. We then moved forward toward the center of the property, where the first quail release area has of recent years been on the left of the island trees; however, this year, it was further on toward the woods and pond area. From there, it is a straight shot through the very wide meadow below Fox Hill, through the wooded area near the pond, and down the backstretch to cross the main culvert before continuing up to the top of Tobacco Barn Hill and the apple tree area. Another bird spot is here, although often, the birds fly across the freshly plowed field and are hidden in the wooded edge. The course is now at 15-20 minutes as we make our way down toward the second culvert, which replaced the wet and muddy crossing. The dogs usually transverse the right wooded edge after leaving the top of Tobacco Hill, cross at the bottom, and head for the semi-wooded area below the housing development and into the fields below the clubhouse. The 30-minute finish has dogs hunting the meadow, or usually the edges of it, below the clubhouse and reaching toward the opening cut and on toward the powerline and Deerborn. If the brace is brisk, we travel under the powerlines into the area of Deerborn until time is up. Often dogs cast toward the left and center, requiring scout assistance.

Birds for the Futurity were planted faithfully by John Stolgitis and Dick Bembenek. Once again, John also performed his magic chef skills for Friday evening's dinner as Allen Raiano hosted Chasehill Poison Ivy's first-place win in 2022. John had been the handler. Dinner had numerous appetizers followed by prime rib and lobster tails with all the fixings. As usual, job well done, John Stolgitis! Comments received claimed this to have been one of the best dinners yet. When announcements were made, each placement received a zip lock bag with checks for breeders and handlers, pins, and DNA information. A thank you to the judges and photos were followed with congratulations.

Without the breeders nominating their litters, owners having their dogs prepared for the Futurity, and handlers traveling to run in the Futurity, there would be no futurities. This year, Bill Bonetti and John Stolgitis managed the Futurity, with yours truly, Margaret Drew, taking over the litter recording and other necessary paperwork. Litters are already being accepted for 2022 and 2023 whelpings; contact Margaret at (910) 206-0079 or email:

Drowning Creek Bird Dogs (Calvin Curnutte) of North Carolina provided judges' books. The trial received generous donations from Purina through ad coverage, hats, and product.
The committee would like to thank John and Aiden Malone for stepping up and giving a busy Friday to judge the Futurity. Neither of these gentlemen needs an introduction, as they have been active in all New England bird dog events for many years. Thanks, John and Aiden.
Supporters this year came from 12 breeders, with 12 different owners and seven handlers. We need to do better for the upcoming futurities.

Calico's Sugar 'N' Spice, a pointer female bred by Carl and Colin Bishop with Waybetter Rocky x Waybetter Rummy, was named winner of the 87th New England Futurity. Frank Henderson and Jeff Smith own Sugar 'N' Spice, although handling today was Jeff Smith. This winner ran with style to write home about, plus she just seemed to know where to hunt, therefore requiring very little handling by Smith. At 5, she had a back when she found bracemate stacked up at the end of the wide field to the left of the wooded area near the pond. She quickly disappeared to the front, was seen beyond the culvert area, and found proudly standing in the trees on Tobacco Hill. After a little water and praise, she was released to scoot down the thick area below the hilltop and the brook dividing the lower area of the course below the clubhouse. Sugar 'N' Spice took a welcomed swim before marching up the knoll and covering the area below the clubhouse in a long sweeping cast which resulted in another stylish find. As time was called, she had hunted her way to the front and was headed for Deerborn. Scout Payton Gunby and handler Smith soon had her harnessed for judges to see.

Second place went to Hauser's Hard Line, a pointer male belonging to Sean and Deb Hauser. Hard Line was from their breeding between Miller's Dialing In x Nemaha Snow Rebel. As with most of us, we hope we keep the right dog from the litters we breed; well, I guess they made the right selection this time. Hauser's Hard Line is under the whistle of Mike Tracy. Hauser's Hard Line ran a snappy reaching race with a powerful gait. Hard Line looked exceptional on his two finds and when backing. Watching him traverse the course with his exciting bracemate made for one exciting half hour.

CS Four Season's Gunner, a pointer male bred by Harold Ray and owned by Tony Gibson with Doug Ray, earned third place. CS Four Season's Gunner had a well-located find approaching the pond early on. At the halfway mark, the course crosses a culvert, and it was here that Gunner stood in the hedgerow for find number two. The pair marched out of sight and were seen at the top of Tobacco Hill, where when the handler arrived, Gunner stood awaiting flush, as did Miller's Little Duce Coupe for this divided find. CS Four Season's Gunner seemed to grow stronger as he disappeared across the brook. As the handlers and judges entered the area below the clubhouse, the pair once again shared a divided find in the pines.

Fourth place went to Miller's Little Duce Coupe, a pointer female from Jack and Fran Miller's litter between Miller's Upgraded Version x Walden's Ice Breaker, handled by George Tracy. Owners Allen Linder and Madison McDonald were riding to watch her performance. Following the divided find at Tobacco Hill, we watched a determined and classy Duce Coupe hunt the edges before crossing the culvert and entering the field below the clubhouse. As the handlers and judges entered the area below the clubhouse, the pair once again shared a divided find in the pines. She finished her time to the front, checking all the appropriate areas for more game.

The Running
Hall of Famer George Tracy filled the first brace of this 87th New England Futurity with longtime friend, amateur Brian Sanchez. Tee's Sweet Emotion, a pointer male bred by Christy Swearingen with Touch's Red Rider x Tee's Funseekin Belle with Brian as the owner and handler. Bracemate, pointer male Miller's Upgraded Design, came from Jack and Fran Miller's litter between Miller's Upgraded Version x Walden's Ice Breaker and is proudly owned by Allen Linder, who was present with granddaughter Madison McDonald to watch the running of the Futurity. This brace was a spectacular opening brace with both dogs laying out there at a medium range with forward races and plenty of bird work. The standard had been set high. The judges reported that this brace was carried until brace No. 6 was finished leading to the winners being placed with more similar races, style, hunting patterns, and handling ease. Tee's Sweet Emotion had five broke finds during his half-hour of consideration. Miller's Upgraded Design had four finds and a back with one brief moment of challenge to his handler.

Brace No. 2 had Wintersets Patch of Ice, an English setter female owned by Tom Winter with Mike Tracy as bracemate for Doug Ray's Great River Stallion, a pointer male bred by Sergio Velez. Stallion's owner, Brian Sanchez, was present to observe. Wintersets Patch of Ice, bred by Ian Seletzky, broke away looking sharp and determined. She was seen hunting independently in the area to the left of the pond; however, she was soon harnessed for reasons unseen by the judges. On the breakaway, Great River Stallion burst forward down the path, making a sharp right turn down deerborn. The handler and scout quickly rounded him up and successfully coaxed him into a forward remaining half hour. He had a find at the top of Tobacco Hill, followed by a second find in the woods across the lower field in front of the clubhouse. Great River Stallion finished with a third polished find in the big area to the left of the opening ten minutes.

Brace No. 3 produced the first and second-place winners. Details of this brace are covered above with the winners.

Brace No. 4 was put down just before lunch as the temperatures rose. Waybetter Thor, a pointer male littermate to the winner, Calico's Sugar 'N' Spice, is owned by the Primms and the Bishops and was handled by Mike Tracy. Bracemate for this fourth brace was Chasehills Wango Tango from a litter bred by Erin Stolgitis with Panola Bacon x Chasehill Little Izzy. Owner Allen Raiano was present to watch as John Stolgitis released Wango Tango to hunt. He pleased his owner with two perfect points on quail before a quail was ridden up by horses, causing Wango Tango to take interest, resulting in the handler electing to pick him up. Waybetter Thor must have had new running shoes on and earbuds in, which led to a difference of opinion with his handler Mike Tracy; therefore, an early pick-up followed.

Following lunch, only three braces remained due to a scratch by Eli Richardson of his English setter male, Ironstone's Dark Horse. This scratch allowed the bye dog, Isabull, a pointer female owned and handled by Ernie Saniga, to move up to brace No. 5. The bracemate remained Suemac's Wicked Sister, a pointer female owned by Roger and Sue McPherson with George Tracy. These two derbies were littermates from Tommy Walker's litter, Miller's Heat Seeker x Dominator's Heir Kate. The two toured the course at a medium range, finishing their thirty minutes without any bird contact.

Brace No. 6 produced the third and fourth-place winners with an exciting pair of dogs complimenting each other and having everyone keeping a keen eye on the activity. At the end of this brace, the gallery knew that three braces were near the top of the judges' notes. Details of Miller's Little Duce Coupe and CS Four Season's Gunner's brace are covered above with the winners.

Brace No. 7 concluded the day's running with Miller's Miss Congeniality, a pointer female bred by Dr. Susan Wells, with Miller's Upgraded Version's Quail Roost Too, owned by Joe McHugh with Mike Tracy. Joe was unable to attend this year, but we hope to see him in attendance next year. Bracemate was Miller's Promotional Upgrade, a pointer male littermate to his bracemate. Jumping off the breakaway, Promotional Upgrade cast to the bottom of the slope and disappeared down Deerborn, leading to an early pick-up. Miller's Miss Congeniality started slowly, picked up speed, and then when not responding to the handler, she also had an early pick-up.

The Breeding
Tee's Sweet Emotion, pointer male, by Touch's Red Rider-Tee's Funseekin Belle. Tracy Swearingen, breeder; Brian Sanchez, owner and handler. With
Miller's Upgraded Design, pointer male, by Miller's Upgraded Version-Walden's Ice Breaker. Squire Lee, breeder; Allen Linder, owner; George Tracy, handler.

Wintersets Patch of Ice, setter female, by Erin's Big Casino-Sadie Oak Boo. Ian Seletzky, breeder; Tom Winters, owner; Mike Tracy, handler. With
Great River Stallion, pointer male, by B K Bonafide Stallion-B K Hirollins Wild. Sergio Velez, breeder; Brian Sanchez, owner; Doug Ray, handler.

Calico's Sugar 'N Spice. With
Hauser's Hard Line.

Waybetter Thor, pointer male, by Waybetter Rocky-Waybetter Rummy. Carl Bishop, breeder; Carl, Collin, Joyce Bishop and Bill & Muriel Primm, owners; Mike Tracy, handler. With
Chasehills Wango Tango, pointer male, by Panola Bacon-Chasehill Little Izzy. Erin Stolgitis, breeder; Allen Raiano, owner; John Stolgitis, handler.

Suemac's Wicked Sister, pointer female, by Miller's Heat Seeker-Dominator's Heir Kate. Tom Walker, breeder; Roger & Susie McPherson, owners; Mike Tracy, handler. With
Isabull, pointer female, by Miller's Heat Seeker-Dominator's Heir Kate. Tom Walker, breeder; Ernie & Karen Saniga, owners; Ernie Saniga, handler.

**Drawn but did not run; Ironstone's Dark Horse, setter male, by Maximum Resistance-Deciding Point. Robert Watts, breeder; Elias Richardson, owner and handler.

Miller's Little Duce Coupe. With
CS Four Season's Gunner.

Miller's Miss Congeniality, pointer female, by Miller's Upgraded Version-Quail Roost Too. Dr. Susan Wells, breeder; Joe McHugh, owner; Mike Tracy, handler. With
Miller's Promotional Upgrade, pointer male, by Miller's Upgraded Version-Quail Roost Too. Dr. Susan Wells, breeder; Harold Ray & Jack & Fran Miller, owners; Doug Ray, handler.

**Isabull moved to brace No. 5 due to a scratch.

East Windsor, Conn., April 28
Judges: Aiden Malone and John Malone
87TH NEW ENGLAND FUTURITY - 13 Pointers and 2 Setters

1st--CALICO'S SUGAR 'N' SPICE, 1700320, pointer female, by Waybetter Rocky-Waybetter Rummy. Jeff Smith, owner and handler.
2d--HAUSER'S HARD LINE, 1702195, pointer male, by Miller's Dialing In-Nemaha Snow Rebel. Sean & Deb Hauser, owners; Mike Tracy, handler.
3d--CS FOUR SEASON'S GUNNER, 1701374, pointer by Dominator's Ghost Rider-Piney Woods Gal. Tony Gibson, owner; Doug Ray, handler.
4th--MILLER'S LITTLE DUCE COUPE, 1700309, pointer female, by Miller's Upgraded Version-Walden's Ice Breaker. Allen Linder & Madison McDonald, owners; George Tracy, handler.