American Field

Field Trial Report

American Brittany Grouse and Woodcock Championship

By Darlene Dow | Oct 12, 2018
Brittany Club of Upper New York Restricted Shooting Dog Stake winners. From left: Mike Mercanti with Burning Glen Encore ("Scout") and Les Casselberry with Spring Hills Chica Del Prado ("Chica”). Standing: Judges Shan Wessels and Tom George.

Berne, N. Y. — The American Brittany Club Grouse and Woodcock Championship was hosted by the Brittany Club of Upper New York on September 16 at Partridge Run Wildlife Management Area in Berne, N. Y.

Judges  for the 2018 running were Pat Carney of Danvers, Mass., and George Habecker of Blakeslee, Pa. Many thanks to our judges for expertly following and judging these special dogs.

Special thanks to sponsors Garmin and Purina.

I’d particularly like to thank Pat Carney for also taking excellent notes and providing the brace-by-brace write-up.

It was a little too warm and tough for the dogs to get birds pointed, but it was not for lack of trying. They sure covered some ground!

We had some new folks this year who made the jump from horseback field trials to the grouse woods. “I’ll be back!” If you’ve never tested your dog in this type of venue, you really should. Wild birds . . . that’s what it’s all about! Camaraderie was high and great meals were provided by the club.


Contessa Del Prado (Tessa/Les Casselberry) and M J’s Sweet Sugar Magnolia (Maggie/Mike Dally). At 4 Tessa was attacking the course with wild abandon, often beyond bell range. Maggie was the closer of the two, working both sides of the course ahead of us. Neither dog was having any trouble handling the cover.  At 12, the course making a left hand turn, and not hearing Tessa’s bell, Les sent a scout out looking for her.  Mike continued on with Maggie. Six minutes later the front was reporting they had contact with Tessa. At 23 we had both dogs working the cover on the left, Tessa at the limit of her bell and Maggie working diligently back and forth. At 33 Maggie had a somewhat unmannerly contact with a grouse and was ordered up. Tessa, now more controlled with her run, was found standing, but Les’ flushing attempt and the relocation that followed proved to be fruitless. The brace ended at time with no further bird contact. Bird count:  one grouse.

Burning Glen Encore (Scout/Mike Mercanti) and White Rock Ranch’s First Turks (Mike Tiberii) headed to the front  with far-reaching application, both dogs were often at the limits of their bells or beyond with handlers scrambling to keep up as we breezed by some likely looking cover.  At 10 a gallery grouse lifted, neither dog involved. Finally at 40, following a lengthy absence, Turk was leashed.  Scout was ahead  with Judge Habecker who was impressed with Scout’s application and work ethic between 28-45 minutes, but these efforts went unrewarded. After 50 a stand with several relocation attempts also came up empty. Bird count: one grouse.

La Bandita Del Prado (Les Casselberry) and Diamond Hill Storm Cat (Lisa Pollock) broke away,  ready for a day’s work, Bandita stretching the farther. At 10 Lisa called point for Storm standing just off the trail to the left, Bandita coming in for a back. Unable to produce a bird, Lisa tapped Storm for a possible relocation, which ultimately ended as an unproductive. At 20 Storm started reaching farther while continuing to cover both sides of the course with workmanlike precision. Bandita, meanwhile, had been hammering the course farther out.  At 30 Lisa called point which concluded with another unproductive.  By 35, Bandita had lost some of her starting bounce, while still making nice wide casts through the cover.  Time ran out without bird contact for either dog, although a grouse lifted just after time.  Bird count: one grouse.

Diamond Hill Work Hard Play Harder (Gin/Pollock) and Birch Hill Hobo (Colby/Paul Arcand) proved to be the brace of the day with both dogs attacking the course right from the start. Gin’s first foray into the upland game world appeared to be very much to her liking.  Her gait was strong, sure and powerful and she seemed to understand that any birds to be had would be in the cover and not on the trail. Colby proved to be a worthy bracemate, demonstrating a practiced attack of the cover as he searched for the ever elusive grouse. Both dogs continued to impress during their hour  with forward ground-covering races through the cover, in spite of a problematic off-course ending that resulted in the judges adding additional time to the brace to compensate for the five minutes that handlers were not able to show their dogs to advantage. With a well-handled find, judges would have named either of these dogs champion.  Bird count: 0.

Spring Hill’s Chica Del Prado (Casselberry) and Saradac’s Dangerous Diamond Caper (D. Dow) were well in hand throughout their hour, with Chica somewhat unwilling to respond to Les’ directions. Judges were looking for more run than these two exhibited. At the end of the course across the road, just after time, Chica’s bell stopped, then a grouse heard lifting. Bird count: one grouse.

Kahlua III (Kallie/Mike Tiberii) and Kip’s Bay Dark’N Stormy Miss Maddie (John Kipp).The breakaway was an inspiring and exciting experience for this pair.  Both were running the course and hitting the cover with happy hearts and well-applied feet. As always, Maddie presented her usual stylish and impressive ground race and Kallie was doing a great job keeping up.  These two were almost up to par on the ground and were impressing the judges. This continued for the hour with nothing to show for it. Just at time, Maddie’s bell stopped and Judge Carney instructed the handler to produce his dog, hopefully standing a bird. It took some time to get to her and when John was unable to produce a bird, he sent her on for a relocation. Maddie worked her heart out, but a bird was not in the cards.  With a well-handled find, judges would have named either of these dogs champion. Bird count: One grouse.

Boudreaux’s Game On Dude (Trooper/Ed Kostka) and Reidyhill’s Smokin Hot Pursuit (Beef/Arcand). One minute after the start, Ed reported a grouse lifting from the cover with no dogs involved. At 10 Paul got hung up with “Beef” while Ed pressed on with “Trooper”. Paul was unable to regain the front with Beef,  and elected to retire before the hour was up. At 13 another bird lifted from the cover to our right with Trooper uninvolved and missing the opportunity to get a bird pointed. At the road crossing a grouse lifted wild from the cover at the end of the road as we crossed.  The hour ended without further bird contact. Bird count: Three grouse.

Berne, N. Y., September 16

Judges: Patricia Carney and George Habecker


[One-Hour Heats] — 14 Brittanys

[Placements Withheld]


Judges: Thomas George and Shan Wessels

OPEN RESTRICTED SHOOTING DOG [One-Hour Heats] — 9 Brittanys

Winner—BURNING GLEN ENCORE, 1668157, male, by Buck’s Parker of Pine Bush—The Mighty Moe. Michael Mercanti, owner and handler.

Runner-Up—SPRING HILLS CHICA DEL PRADO, unreg., female, by Cisco Kid Del Prado—Spring Hill’s Midnight Flame. Les & Donna Casselberry, owners; Les Casselberry, handler.

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