American Field

Field Trial Report

Beaverton Grouse Dog Club

By Tammy Chaffee | Jun 15, 2017
Open Shooting Dog Winners. From left: Centerfold Sis with Dr. Harold Holmes, Judge Mike Singleton, Snyder’s Full Rage with Tammy Chaffee, Backwoods Bankruptcy with Scott Chaffee and Bryan Wood.

Meredith, Mich. — The Beaverton Grouse Dog Club’s spring trial came to a conclusion on Sunday afternoon, April 23, with a fitting tribute to Mae Fruchey and her wonderful fried chicken dinner at Alibi Hall. This was a special treat befitting the end of ten straight days of cover dog field trialing at the premier Gladwin game refuge.

For those who remember the days of meals prepared by Mae and her “ladies” for breakfast and noon-time, this was a special trip down memory lane and for those who are new (new being a relative term!), the chance to experience a “Mae Day” Sunday chicken dinner was priceless!

In addition to the traditional chicken dinner on Sunday, a steak dinner was served Saturday night capably cooked by Club President Ken Moss, assisted by Mike Singleton.

Earlier this spring a number of dedicated cover dog field trialers got together with the technical expertise of Eric Naus and mapped out some new courses that would take advantage of the previous years’ clear cuts. With the changes in courses, it was decided to start with course No. 15 and then to move to course No. 1. Those regularly attending the Michigan cover dog trials are used to the number and course changes, but the “out-of-towners” are understandably confused about which course is where and we often hear “old course No. 5 is now No. 6?”, or something very similar. While definitely confusing, by making changes to the courses to take advantage of the best grouse and woodcock cover available, Gladwin game refuge remains the best venue for cover dog field trialing in North America.

There are of course many people who marshalled braces, moved vehicles and contributed in many ways to make this a successful field trial. I heard many times how lucky we are here in Michigan with the many willing participants we have that make the Gladwin trials topnotch events. In addition, many thanks to Purina which supports this club and many other competitive canine events. And as with all the trials held at Gladwin, the equestrian duties were capably handled by team Hollister; Rich, Jenny and their children Jessica, Randi and Ricky. Many thanks to all!

The BGDC Spring Open Shooting Dog commenced on Friday, April 21, under cloudy and drizzle filled skies. The temperature hovered in the mid-40s for the entire day, good for dogs, not so pleasant for humans. The subsequent days dawned sunny and cold, but quickly warmed to the 60s, becoming enjoyable for us human participants, but difficult for the canines.

Judges Mike Singleton of Mt. Pleasant, Mich., and Dave Terhaar of Allegan, Mich., mounted up Friday morning at 8:00 a. m. on course No. 15. There were 36 dogs drawn for the 30-minute braces and the Shooting Dog contest concluded the following morning.

At the conclusion, Judges Mike and Dave awarded Centerfold Sis, setter female owned and handled by Harold “Doc” Holmes, the winner. Sis ran Friday on course No. 10. Sis combined a consistent and forward race with two bird finds. The first find took perhaps seven minutes to locate the staunch setter and luckily a tight sitting woodcock was put to flight. A second find on a grouse was scored as the course turns from the cut and two-track through pole timber to the oak scrub cover. A nice job done by a veteran setter.

Second place Snyder’s Full Rage, setter female owned by Steven Snyder of Ellendale, Minn., and handled by Scott Chaffee, ran on day No. 1 on course No. 3 and had a nice, hard-driving race and a couple of well placed grouse finds in her 30 minutes. Third went to Backwoods Bankruptcy, setter male owned by Kelly Ende of Holly, Mich., also handled by Scott Chaffee. “Dexter” drew course No. 15 on the morning of day No. 2 and put together a good race coupled with a grouse find in the first minute and a woodcock find in the last.

At the conclusion of the Shooting Dog Stake, the Eaton Spring Derby Classic commenced on course No. 3 the morning of day No. 2. Judges Mike Brown of Fenton, Mich., and Dale Ash of Evart, Mich., presided over an entry of 26 young hopefuls. With the dry and warm weather and nine straight days of trialing, the birds seemed to have exited the courses, and birds were at a premium.

The winners were named on race alone, with Angel’s Envy, setter female, being declared the winner. “Charlie”, owned by Bob and Diane Wheelock and handled by Diane, ran on course No. 4 with a smoothly forward race, making her the easy choice for first. In second, the judges gave the nod to Carpenter’s Summer Solace, another setter female, owned by Catherine Lewis and Dean Reinke of Elkhorn, Wis., and handled by Scott Chaffee. “Lacy” drew course No. 7 and handled the hills and cover with maturity. Third went to Highbank’s Back’N’Black, pointer male owned by Bill Nelson of Riley, Mich., and also handled by Scott Chaffee. “Jack” drew course No. 10 and ran a large race with strength to spare despite the dry heat.

The Michigan Grouse Dog Puppy Classic ran Saturday morning and judges Ken Moss of Mt. Pleasant, Mich., and Brent Peters of Battle Creek, Mich., saddled up to review 13 potential cover dogs. The judges looked for wide ranging dogs that sought out the cover, while remaining forward of their handler. After viewing a talented field of competitors, the judges had five or six that they saw as future cover dog contenders and from there whittled the field down to three. They declared Clary’s Sky Hawk Dixie, owned by Jim Clary and handled by Richard Hollister, Jr., the winner.

Second was Singleton’s Pied Piper, owned and handled by Mike Singleton, and third went to McRae’s Borris, owned and handled by Carl McRae.

The Amateur Shooting Dog began at 8:00 a. m. Sunday morning. Judges were Bruce Barlow of Gladwin, Mich., and Carl McRae of Holt, Mich. Fourteen dogs were drawn, with relative new-comer Justin Van Beers taking home the blue ribbon with handsome pointer male Hay Creek’s Opie putting together a big forward race combined with a grouse find in the cuts of course No. 7.

This win was especially sweet, as Justin was avenging a promising bid in the Open Shooting Dog. In addition, Justin’s wife Katie won the Calcutta, making the win doubly rewarding! The judges awarded Ghost Train Cody, owned by Ghost Train Kennels and handled by Tom Fruchey, second place with a back of his bracemate Opie and a woodcock find. Centerfold Sis, owned and handled by Harold Holmes, won the yellow ribbon to go with the blue from the open event with a grouse at time on course No. 1.

Meredith, Mich., April 21

Judges: Mike Singleton and Dave Terhaar

OPEN SHOOTING DOG — 3 Pointers and 33 Setters

1st—CENTERFOLD SIS, 1630847, setter female, by Lilleyhill’s Secret Stash—Call Me Kate. H. J. Holmes, owner and handler.

2d—SNYDER’S FULL RAGE, 1655749, setter female, by Keystone’s Red Rage—Full Tilt. Steven Snyder, owner; Scott Chaffee, handler.

3d—BACKWOODS BANKRUPTCY, 1621553, setter male, by Tekoa Mountain Patriot—Tekoa Mountain Sunrays. Kelly Ende, owner; Scott Chaffee, handler.

Judges: Dale Ash and Mike Brown


1st—ANGEL’S ENVY, 1663046, setter female, by Full Blast—Springfield’s Showgirl. Bob & Diane Wheelock, owners; Diane Wheelock, handler.

2d—CARPENTER’S SUMMER SOLACE, 1665182, setter female, by Erin’s Hidden Shamrock—Hytest Horizon. Dean Reinke & Catherine Lewis, owners; Scott Chaffee, handler.

3d—HIGHBANK’S BACK’N’BLACK, 1664098, pointer male, by Nelson’s Van Max—Hifive’s Peddle Pusher. William Nelson, owner; Scott Chaffee, handler.

Judges: Ken Moss and Brent Peters


1st—CLARY’S SKY HAWK DIXIE, 1669045, setter female, by Clary’s Tekoa Skyhawk—Clary’s Long Gone Nikki. Jim Clary, owner; Ricky Hollister, Jr., handler.

2d—SINGLETON’S  PIED PIPER, 1671509, setter female, by Jetwood—Fling. Mike Singleton, owner and handler.

3d—MCRAE’S BORRIS, 1668105, setter male, by Hunter’s Pale Face—McRae’s Gypsie Belle. Carl McRae, owner and handler.

Judges: Bruce Barlow and Carl McRae


1st—HAY CREEK’S OPIE, 1665544, pointer male, by Hay Creek Elhew Trey—H C K Annie. Justin & Katie Van Beers, owners; Justin Van Beers, handler.

2d—GHOST TRAIN CODY, 1624794, setter male, by Lilleyhill’s Secret Stash—Full Tilt. Ghost Train Kennels, owner; Tom Fruchey, handler.

3d—CENTERFOLD SIS, 1630847, setter female, by Lilleyhill’s Secret Stash—Call Me Kate. H. J. Holmes, owner and handler.

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