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Event: Absolute Dominator Named Champion; Miller's Southern Gossip, Runner-Up
Result: 94th New England Open Championship

Location: East Windsor, Connecticut

Post Date: Jul 12, 2023

Submitted By: John Olfson

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Absolute Dominator Winner of the New England Open Shooting Dog Championship

The 94th New England Open Championship commenced Monday, April 24, at 8 a.m. in cool, overcast conditions. The Championship is hosted by the New Britain Field Trial Club and the Association of New England Field Trial Clubs. It is the first leg of three consecutive events, which we promoted as "New England's Spring Fling Triple Header."

The roots of the trial date back to the late 1920s when the Championship was held in the Concord-Carlisle, Massachusetts area. Aside from two years at the ConcordCarlisle, Massachusetts area, one year at Penacook, N. H., and a lone year at Rockville, Conn., the New England Open Championship has had only five other sites. Beginning in 1933 and for the next 17 years, the Championship was held at Hall of Famer (1959), Lee White's farm in Scotland, Conn., which held grouse, woodcock, wild pheasant, and wild quail. Eventually, after those grounds were no longer available, the trial struggled to find a suitable location, moving to Andover, Mass., for six years and Ipswich, Mass., for nine years. Then beginning in 1967, the event settled in at Hall of Famer (1987) Harry Townshend's Ragged Hill Farm in Pomfret, Conn., where it thrived for 47 years. In 1972 for the first time in the event history, the Directors conceded to allow the limited use of horses by the handlers, and this move brought in a record entry at that time of 51 dogs. Hall of Famer Harold Ray (2006) won with Hall of Fame setter Tomoka (1974). After Harry's passing, the event moved to its present-day location, the Dr. John E. Flaherty Field Trial Area in East Windsor, Conn.

Under the joint effort of the Dr. John E. Flaherty Field Trial Clubs Association and its devoted President Dick Frawley, as well as the State of Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection and Eastern District Wildlife Biologist Ann Kilpatrick, the grounds were in as good of condition as could be expected with several spots having improved drainage, and stability. We are thankful and appreciate this continued joint effort.

Judges Jeff Smith of Chase City, Va., and Jason Smit of Montgomery, N. Y., named pointer male Absolute Dominator champion. Running in the second brace, he was always forward. His five-find classy effort was a powerful, hard, charging hunt, taking edges nicely, impressive on point. Doug Ray handled him with help from scout John Stolgitis. As mentioned above, in 1972, Doug's father, Harold, won with a record entry. This year we had a record entry as well with 56 dogs. Dominator's effort came after runner-up champion pointer female Miller's Southern Gossip's run in the first brace. George Tracy handled her to a five-find big race effort, stylish on point, an all-around classy performance.

Absolute Dominator owners Johnny and Joyce Taylor have a lot to be proud of with this dog. In 2021 his second place in the New England Futurity on these grounds garnered enough points to be named 2021 Purina Shooting Dog Derby of the Year. It was nice to see Allen Linder and his granddaughter Allison McDonald supporting Allen's fine dog, Miller's Southern Gossip.

Many thanks to Ernie and Karen Saniga for hosting the champion's dinner in honor of their fine dog Bully Rock for winning the 2022 Championship.

Special thanks to professionals Matt Basilone, John Stolgitis, Mike Tracy, and Jeanette Tracy for their continued support. Each had some nice dogs, as well as Deb Ozner and Brian Sanchez with their single entries.

We thank Greg Blair and Purina for their continued support. We are proud to award Pro Plan Sport to the winners. We all appreciate Purina's effort and support of all sporting breeds; they are far and away second to none.

The source of event history mentioned came from a publication Gene Casale provided, 50th Golden Anniversary New England Bird Dog Championship, which Frank E. Foss wrote.

East Windsor, Conn., April 24 - One Course
Judges: Jeff Smith and Jason Smit
94th NEW ENGLAND OPEN SHOOTING DOG CHAMPIONSHIP [One-Hour Heats] - 50 Pointers and 6 Setters

Winner--ABSOLUTE DOMINATOR, 1686566, pointer male, by Erin's Redrum-Pearl Again. Johnny & Joyce Taylor, owners; Doug Ray, handler.
Runner-Up--MILLER'S SOUTHERN GOSSIP, 1690150, pointer female, by Miller's Upgraded Version-Erin's Little Rose. Allen R. Linder, owner; George Tracy, handler