American Field

Field Trial Report

Grand National Grouse Futurity

By Bruce Mueller | Nov 24, 2021
Futurity Winners. From left to right front: John Stolgitis with Chasehill Poison Ivy, Alan Raiano with Chasehill HIdden Jewel, George Hetrick with Sudden Silence, and Mark Hughes with Miller's Special Upgrade. Behind: Judges Bruce Mueller and Mike Oxenrider, and owner Carlos Escalante.

Marienville, Pa. — A Futurity is defined as a time yet to come. Some call this a breeders' stake since the breeders have an opportunity to evaluate the paired genetics of up-and-coming prospects or repeat a successful breeding. Regardless, these entries are the future of our sport.

When we look back at past Futurity winners like Full Tilt, Ghost Train, Pleasant Valley Liz that later became Grand National Grouse Champions we can feel confident that our sport is strong. Country Express, Chasehill Little Bud, Long Gone Buckwheat, Fire A Way all later became multiple championship winners, also adding to the strength of the field trial world.

There have also been winners of the Grouse and Woodcock Invitational that have also placed in the Futurity: Dun Roven’s Drifter, Texas Copper Top and Elhew Cassie, to name a few. All had style, endurance, intelligence, and trainability to win at the highest level and often multiple times.

The initial running of the Grouse Futurity was in 1945. The winner was Nagirrah, a pointer male owned, bred, and handled by Fred and W. Harrigan. Sire of the litter was Spunky Creek Boy, a fountainhead pointer sire of the time. In the early years 1945 to 1948 the Grouse Futurity averaged 172 nominated litters per year,

The running rules state the Futurity must be an annual stake run in grouse cover at the same location as the Grand National Grouse Championship. The running will be managed by a stake manager who has been appointed by the Board of Directors. This year’s stake manager was Joe Cammisa, but due to an untimely frustrating head cold, he asked the pillars of our sport, Dick and Helen Brenneman, for their help. The husband-and-wife team stepped up and hit a home run organizing the event and kept it running smoothly. Helen and Dick were assisted by Dave Duel, Mark Hughes, and Eric Munden.

Eligible dogs had to have their litters nominated, forfeitures and entries paid along the way. All entrants were whelped on or after January 1, 2020.

Each brace is to be 30 minutes in length and the winners be shot over.

This year’s judges were Mike Oxenrider of Millersburg, Pa., and Bruce Mueller of Bedford, Pa. Both judges are experienced bird dog people who enter dogs in the grouse trials.


The weather: 50° with cloudy skies and a chance of rain throughout the day.

First brace broke away at 7:56 a.m. with Chasehill Poison Ivy, pointer female handled by Rhode Island professional John Stolgitis, and Beaver Meadow Bit, pointer female handled by Pennsylvania professional Mark Hughes. Ivy had a flashy, forward race that started with a lengthy cast down an edge with a nice crossing cast from right to left at 18. Bit started a little slow but as the brace progressed began to stretch and reach.

Miller's Hopped Up Version (Cricket), pointer female handled by Mark Hughes, and Bundy Buckeye Molly, chestnut Llewellyn setter handled by professional Zac Erne, broke away at 8:38. Cricket started making long forward casts with an impressive move through a huckleberry bottom that her handler kept her focused and in check at 15.  Molly is a flashy strong moving dog that made her strongest cast at 22.

Pointer female Wildland Sweet Caroline (Eric Munden) broke away at 9:32 with her bracemate Caliber Peak Double Barrel,  pointer female handled by amateur Doug McMillen. Both dogs were very strong and at times too large and unfortunately lost to judgment at 20.

A setter male handled by professional Mark Forman, Lightning Flash Rocky Boy, and a pointer male handled by Doug McMillen, Caliber Peak Hundred Proof, were turned loose at 10:28. Proof was aggressive and got bigger and was lost to judgment at 20.  Rocky started a little slow but started reaching and was also lost to judgment at 20.

At 11:10 the next brace, pointer females, broke away under a light rain. Sudden Silence handled by amateur George Hetrick spent her 30 minutes hunting the cover and handling for her handler. Chasehill Hidden Jewel (John Stolgitis) was full of energy and moved with style.

Timberdoodle Farm Sal, pointer female handled by Mark Forman, and Caliber Peak Whiskey Rhino, pointer male handled by Doug McMillen, broke for their 30-minute heat at 11:49. Sal was methodical in his race and finished forward. Rhino was forward and strong but got caught behind.

No. 7 was off at 12:41 p.m. under a mist. Pointer male G J F Jax handled by amateur Greg Fried started out strong but shortened mid-way though his brace and finished stronger. Double Deuce Jack, pointer male handled by Mark Hughes, also started with a strong move forward. His race shortened late.

Pointer males were next. Bell Stop Boomer (George Hetrick) and bracemate Double Deuce Miles  (Mark Hughes) broke at 1:19. Both dogs were forward and hard working. Boomer was at times independent while Miles at times was lateral.

John Stolgitis had pointer female Little Miss Margaret while Mark Hughes turned loose Miller's Special Upgrade (Penny), pointer female, at 2:25. Margaret started strong and short but throughout her time was flashy and moved forward. Penny was forward and made some nice casts throughout her bid.

The final brace of the day broke away at 3:23 p.m. under a broken sky. Professional Nick Mellon handled setter male Hypointe Railway Express while Caliber Peak Double Oaked (Woodford), pointer male, was handled by Mark Hughes. Railway was big and forward but had tendency to come in from behind. Woodford was forward but looped back on occasion.

A callback was in order on quail to finalize placements. Chasehill Poison Ivy, Chasehill Jewel, Sudden Silence and Miller's Special Upgrade were the dogs requested by the judges.  In reserve were Miller's Hopped Up and Little Miss Margaret.

The judges named the following:

First was Chasehill Poison Ivy, white and liver pointer female, bred by Erin Stolgitis of Ashaway, R. I., owned by Allen Raiano of Newton, Conn., and handled by John Stolgitis.

Second was Chasehill Hidden Jewel, white and liver pointer female and a littermate to the winner, owned by Taadaki Terada of Kanagawa, Pref., Japan, handled by John Stolgitis.

No. 3 was Sudden Silence, also a white and liver pointer female, bred, owned and handled by George Hetrick of Kutztown, Pa.

Placed fourth was Miller's Special Upgrade, white and lemon pointer female, bred by Fran and Jack Miller of Barwick, Ga., owned by Carlos Escalante of Pittsburgh, Pa., and handled by Mark Hughes.

Marienville, Pa., October 31

Judges: Bruce Mueller and Michael Oxenrider

GRAND NATIONAL GROUSE FUTURITY — 17 Pointers and 3 Setters

1st—CHASEHILL POISON IVY, 1694453, pointer female, by Panola Bacon—Chasehill Little Izzy. Allen Raiano, owner; John Stolgitis, handler.

2d—CHASEHILL HIDDEN JEWEL, 1692727, pointer female, by Panola Bacon—Chasehill Little Izzy. Tadaaki Terada, owner; John Stolgitis, handler.

3d—SUDDEN SILENCE, 1688968, pointer female, by Double Deuce Zeke—Bucket List Bella. George M. Hetrick III, owner and handler.

4th—MILLER’S SPECIAL UPGRADE, 1695107, pointer female, by Miller’s Upgraded Version—Miller’s Special Edition. Carlos Escalante, owner; Mark Hughes, handler.



Comments (0)
If you wish to comment, please login.