American Field

Field Trial Report

Beaverton Grouse Dog Club

By Tammy Chaffee | Jun 04, 2018
Open Shooting Dog Winners. From left: Bryan Wood, Highbank’s Back’N’Black with Scott Chaffee, Judge Reggie Durant, Waymaker Super Sam with Richard Hollister, Judge Scott Hershner and Hypointe Left Turn with Tammy Chaffee.

Meredith, Mich. — The fourth try proved to be the charm in northern Michigan this spring as the previous three cover dog trials were either postponed or cancelled due to the winter-like weather that plagued the Midwest this spring. It seems that Michigan’s winter season actually began in March and lasted through April.

In order to accommodate the difficult road and course conditions at the Gladwin Game Refuge,  the club dropped the amateur stake and while watching the latest weather predictions delayed the start of the trial to Saturday. In doing so, the warmer temperatures during the day on the previous Thursday and Friday, coupled with abundant sunshine, melted just enough snow to conduct the trial.

It takes a village to run a cover dog trial, and the Beaverton was no exception. Club members and many others showed up the day before the trial to cruise the courses and make sure the going would be clear for horses, judges and participants. During the event many on hand assisted with marshalling, moving vehicles and other essential duties.

Mike Singleton, Carl McRae, Wayne, Marlene and Tom Fruchey, Ken Moss, Brent and Denise Peters, along with many others, assumed marshalling and vehicle moving. The inimitable Bryan Wood, field trial chairman, kept the action moving. We had large entries in three stakes and only two days to get it all in.

Kelly Fruchey provided lunches. As always they were wonderful. We should take a survey to see how many additional participants we get for the Beaverton Club trials when we advertise her “Mae Day” lunch, the best fried chicken in the world, using Mae Fruchey’s original recipe.

Saturday night the club hosted a steak fry, with Mike Singleton playing chef. It was well attended. Field trialers and others caught up after a long winter layoff.

As always, a big shout-out to Purina for their unwavering support of cover dog field trials in Michigan. Their financial assistance allows the great participation we get in our events.

Forty-six shooting dogs, 28 Derbies and 15 puppies vied for placement. A goodly number, considering some of the out of state professional trainers didn’t make the abbreviated spring trial season.

During the winter, a good deal of the Gladwin Game Refuge saw another round of the 100-year cutting plan put into place. A large swath at the heart of the grounds was clear cut this year, making a portion of the roads nearly impassable. In light of that fact, the order of the courses were altered, with the first brace beginning on course No. 5, followed by 6-8, then back to 3-4 and then onto 10-15 and concluding on 1-2. Whew! Just when we thought we knew the new course numbers and the order of running. But with appropriate communication of the changes and the cooperation and compliance of the participants, it all went off without a hitch.

Judges for the Open Shooting Dog were Reggie Durant of Marquette, Mich., and Scott Hershner of Belleville, Ohio. Reggie has been a field trialer and bird hunter for many years, as has Scott.

The trial commenced on course No. 5. Fifteen braces were run on Saturday, the remaining nine on Sunday.

With the strange weather came concerns that the woodcock would be missing. This was not the case as birds were plentiful. The judges reviewed multiple dogs with acceptable bird work and race, and it took some discussion to determine the ultimate placements.


Named winner of the Open Shooting Dog was Highbank’s Back’N’Black, an animated pointer male owned by Bill Nelson and handled by Scott Chaffee. “Jack” ran on course No. 12 Saturday afternoon and in the words of one judge, “He ran one of the best shooting dog races I have ever seen.” Jack coupled his race with a woodcock find in a bottom next to a small pond about halfway through the heat.

Waymaker Super Sam, setter male owned by Robert Kluger and handled by Richard Hollister, ran the last brace Saturday on course No. 2. He had a hard charging race, combined with two grouse finds, one within the first 10 minutes and the last just before time. Third was Hypointe Left Turn, setter male owned by Jeremiah Watson and handled by Scott Chaffee. “Lefty” ran on course No. 3 on Sunday and combined a wide-ranging race with outstanding style on a woodcock lounging in a swampy corner.

The judges had several other dogs that did admirable jobs including Ken Delong’s young pointer male Justice, John McKellop III’s veteran pointer female Grouse Trails Pride, John Bodo’s setter male Pepper Jack Wood and pointer male Hifive’s Unlisted, handled by Bruce Minard.

In the Eaton Spring Derby Classic, established in honor of club founders Andy and Betty Eaton, Judges Tom Fruchey of Beaverton, Mich., and Ken Moss of Mt. Pleasant, Mich., evaluated many nice young dogs. Tom and Ken are no strangers to the championship winners’ circle. Both are accomplished dog trainers and handlers. Their choice for first was Fireside Aidan, classy setter male owned by Dr. Mary Beth Esser and handled by Tammy Chaffee. “Ed” coupled a forward, easy handling race with three woodcock finds on course No. 10 Sunday morning. Earning second was Bawl of Fire Slipper, pointer female owned by Brent Haskin and handled by Bruce Minard. Slipper had a good race and multiple finds on grouse on course No. 3 on Saturday. Third was Titanium’s Junction Joe, pointer male owned by

Titanium Bird Dogs LLC and handled by Bruce Minard. Joe ran course No. 15 on Sunday and coupled his race with a beautiful grouse find.

The judges stated they saw many good Derbies. Among those closest to the winners were: Snyder’s Sundog, owned by Steve Snyder and handled by Tammy Chaffee, and Dun Roven Grumpy, owned and handled by Randi Hollister.

The Michigan Grouse Dog Puppy Classic ran Saturday morning and was judged by veteran field trialer Brent Peters of Gladwin, Mich., and John Stegman of Gaylord, Mich. Winning the stake was Hifive’s Unsweetened Sara, owned by Robert Minard and handled by Bruce Minard. Sara ran a fast and methodical race to capture the blue.

Second was Clary’s Angel of Faith, owned by Jim Clary and Bob Andie and handled by Richard Hollister. Angel ran a big mature race. Third was Meredith Grade Mae, owned by Dennis Keysor and handled by Tammy Chaffee. Mae has a quick and fancy style that caught the judges’ eyes.

Meredith, Mich., April 21

Judges: Reggie Durant and Scott Hershner


1st—HIGHBANK’S BACK’N’BLACK, 1664098, pointer male, by Nelson’s Van Max—Hifive’s Peddle Pusher. William Nelson, owner; Scott Chaffee, handler.

2d—WAYMAKER SUPER SAM, 1651854, setter male, by Ridge Creek Cody—Waymaker Hello Dolly. Robert Kluger & Richard Hollister, owners; Richard Hollister, handler.

3d—HYPOINTE LEFT TURN, 1642119, setter male, by Grouse Ridge Bruiser—Grouse Ridge Paris. Jeremiah Watson, owner; Scott Chaffee, handler.

Judges: Tom Fruchey and Ken Moss


1st—FIRESIDE AIDAN, 1672601, setter male, by Ponderosa Mac—Rouge River Bogsucker. Dr. Mary B. Esser, owner; Tammy Chaffee, handler.

2d—BAWL OF FIRE SLIPPER, 1674633, pointer female, by Titanium’s Hammer—Leet’s Sinderella. Brent Haskin, owner; Bruce Minard, handler.

3d—TITANIUM’S JUNCTION JOE, 1669962, pointer male, by Titanium’s Hammer—Hifive’s Jodi Girl. Titanium Bird Dogs LLC, owner; Bruce Minard, handler.

Judges: Brent Peters and John Stegman

MICHIGAN PUPPY CLASSIC — 6 Pointers and 9 Setters

1st—HIFIVE’S UNSWEETENED SARA, 1679058, pointer female, by Ern’s Wild Justice—Hifive’s Syka. Robert Minard, owner; Bruce Minard, handler.

2d—CLARY’S ANGEL OF FAITH, 1678630, setter female, by Pepper Jack Wood—D J’s Runninon Faith. Jim Clary & Bob Andie, owners; Richard Hollister, handler.

3d—MEREDITH GRADE MAE, 1676009, setter female, by Hershner’s Grouse Gunner—Moss Meadow Pepper. Dennis Keysor, owner; Tammy Chaffee, handle



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