American Field

Field Trial Report

Northern Michigan Cover Dog Championship

Hifive's Top Shelf Wins 2021 Renewal; Hifive's Power Line is Runner-Up
By Ken Moss | Nov 17, 2021
Championship Winners. From left to right: Stake Manager Bryan Wood, Bruce Minard with Hifive’s Top Shelf, reporter Ken Moss, Judge Reggie Durant, (missing Judge Carl McRae), and Hifive’s Power Line with Scott Forman.

Meredith, Mich. — The Beaverton Grouse Dog Club held the 12th running of the Northern Michigan Cover Dog Championship on the Gladwin Field Trial grounds near Meredith, Mich., beginning on  October 19 and completing the stake On October 22. Open Shooting Dog and Derby were run on the weekend, October 23-24.

The trial is sponsored by Purina.  Many thanks to Purina for their continued and valued support.

This trial was the fourth of five trials to be run on the Gladwin grounds during the fall season. Anyone who has attended a trial on the Gladwin Field Trial Grounds goes away knowing they have been on world class grouse and woodcock cover. The grounds are owned and managed by the State of Michigan.

Several courses were altered during the summer. As the cover grows older we move the courses to take advantage of the best cover available. The changes this summer made good cover outstanding. Many thanks to the individuals who gave of their time and hard work to make the course changes possible for all the clubs.

Trainers from the area report bird numbers in the area to be up slightly over 2020 numbers. This year’s trial did not disappoint. Of the 29 braces all but one brace had birds moved on it.

Judges for this year’s Championship trial were Reggie Durant and Carl McRae. Carl generously stepped up to judge after James Kleve suffered an injury which prevented him from judging.  Reggie Durant is from Marquette, Mich. Reggie has judged many championships in addition he has been an avid grouse and woodcock hunter for many years and has always been a strong supporter of trialing.

Carl McRae is from Holt, Mich. Carl has held many judging roles including the Grand National Grouse Championship, additionally Carl is a very serious grouse and woodcock hunter. When this reporter received the call from Mr. Kleve about his injury, I called Carl who was at his grouse camp in the western Upper Peninsula. Carl understood the spot the Beaverton Club was in and accepted the role. Many thanks to Reggie and Carl.

Thanks to Rich and Jenny Hollister for wrangling horses. The horses were always there on time. The Michigan clubs are very fortunate to have Rich and his horses. In this reporter's opinion, these are the best horses your going to find at a field trial.

We also want to thank our trial chairman Bryan Wood. He kept the trial moving and was always there transporting the judges.

The Beaverton Club would not be possible without the tireless efforts of club secretary and cornerstone, Tom Fruchey.  Tom is carrying on the Fruchey family tradition and is the one behind the scenes getting it done so the trial is possible year after year.  Thank you, Tom.

Thanks to Wayne and Marlene Fruchey for having the coffee and donuts every morning and the tailgate sandwich lunches. The Beaverton Club also provided food for cookout lunches made possible by Ken and Mary Moss on Tuesday, with Shane and Susan Haskin cooking on Thursday.

Lastly, thanks to the folks who marshalled the braces and moved vehicles.  Lonnie Radamacher, Wayne and Marlene Fruchey, Denise and Brent Peters, Mike Singleton, Shane and Susan Haskin, Tom Fruchey, Roger Johnson, Bruce Minard, Ken and Mary Moss, Dave Hawk, Dave and Mark Hughes, Scott and Tammy Chaffee, Scott and Christy Forman, Marc Forman and Deb Nihart.


Over the four days of running,  57 grouse and 25 woodcock were encountered on the courses. Twenty-three of the grouse were moved on Friday.

The dog our judges named champion came in the last brace of the second day on courses 13-14.

Hifive’s Top Shelf, three-year-old white and orange pointer female handled by Bruce Minard was named champion with three grouse finds and a divided find on a woodcock. The judges commented the dog was very classy, stayed to the front, handled very easy and pointed his birds high headed.

Top Shelf is owned by Ben and Meledye Batey of Greenbriar, Tenn.

The judges named Hifive’s Power Line runner-up champion. Power Line ran in the 23rd brace on the fourth day on courses 13-14. Power Line produced two grouse on the same courses that his kennelmate won on two days prior. The judges commented that Power Line was always casting forward, ran with a high tail and was a pleasure to watch run.

Power Line is shown in the ownership of Ben Batey.

On Friday afternoon after the announcements the Beaverton Grouse Dog Club sponsored a steak barbecue, the event well attended and enjoyed by all.

Meredith, Mich., October 19

Judges: Reggie Durant and Carl McRae


[One-Hour Heats] — 20 Pointers and 39 Setters

Winner—HIFIVE'S TOP SHELF, 1686517, pointer female, by Hifive’s Unlisted—Hifive’s Betts Placed. Ben & Meledye Batey, owners; Bruce Minard, handler.

Runner-Up—HIFIVE'S POWER LINE, 1683486, pointer male, by Arizona’s Sixgun Syd—Hifive’s Sin Again.  Ben Batey, owner; Bruce Minard, handler.


Judges for the Open Shooting Dog were Dave Heavlin and Sean McKellop, both veterans to being in the judicial saddle.

The Open Shooting Dog began on Saturday morning on course No. 1. The judges had eighteen braces to look at with the stake wrapping up Sunday afternoon.

First place dog was Black Creek Lucy, setter female handled by Richard Hollister. Lucy ran on course No. 1. She logged two grouse and one woodcock finds along with what the judges described as a strong forward race to earn her the blue ribbon.

Second was Sterlingworth Jack, setter male handled by Robert Ecker. Jack impressed the judges with a strong forward  race and a woodcock find on course No. 15.  Third place was Vitali Grouseringer Pappy, setter male handled by Scott Forman.  Pappy had a woodcock find on course No. 14. The judges commented that the woodcock find was very impressive along with a strong field trial race.

Judges: Dave Heavlin and Sean McKellop

OPEN SHOOTING DOG — 2 Pointers, 15 Setters, 1 Brittany

and 2 German Shorthairs

1st—BACK CREEK LUCY, 1683067, setter female, by Peyton's Legacy Kip—Girl’s Little Dixie.  Steve Graham, owner, Richard Hollister, handler.

2d—STERLINGWORTH JACK, 1655602, setter male by Shadow Oak Bo—Hunter Run’s Dawn. Jim Millett, owner, Robert Ecker, handler.

3d—VITALI GROUSERINGER PAPPY, 1683688, setter male, by Vitali’s Grouseringer Stogey—Vitali Grouseringer Purdy.  Gary Vitali, owner; Scott Forman, handler.


Judges for the Wolverine Classic were longtime Ohio veteran Dave Hawk and Shane Haskin.

The Derby started on Sunday morning with ten braces for the judges to look at.

The first place dog was Dun Roven Briar, handled by Richard Hollister.  Briar ran on course No. 2 she had four grouse finds and a nice forward race to earn her the blue ribbon.

Second was North Bay’s Tennessee Rye, handled by Scott Chaffee. Rye had a grouse and a woodcock find on course No. 5; his finds along with a very mature race garnered him second place. Third  was E J Jonesy, handled by Scott Chaffee. Jonesy ran on course No. 13 and produced a grouse and a nice forward race to bring home the yellow ribbon.

The judges commented that they watched a talented field of Derbies with plenty of bird work to place the dogs.

Judges: Dave Hawk and Shane Haskin

WOLVERINE DERBY CLASSIC — 2 Pointers, 15 Setters,

1 Brittany and 2 German Shorthairs

1st—DUN ROVEN BRIAR, 1692202, setter female, by Dun Rovens Drifter—Waymaker Terrific Daisy.  Richard Hollister, owner and handler.

2d—NORTH BAY'S TENNESSEE RYE, 16908774, setter male, by Ponderosa Mac—Eldridge’s Beauty and Beast. Brandon Short, owner, Scott Chaffee, handler.

3d—E J JONESY, 1693374, setter female, by Ponderosa Mac—Eldridge’s Beauty and Beast.  Taylor Kagley, owner, Scott Chaffee, handler.


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