American Field

Field Trial Report

Beaverton Grouse Dog Club

By Tammy Chaffee | Jun 06, 2019
Open Shooting Dog Winners. From left: Eric Naus with Glenrae’s Wango Tango, Judge Mike Brown, Scott Chaffee with Hershner’s Grouse Gunner and Ann Naus with Glenrae’s Mr. Finnigan.

Meredith, Mich. — The Beaverton Grouse Dog Club spring trial concluded a little earlier than expected on April 14 when a strong snowstorm contributed to an unfortunate accident involving one of the Derby stake judges, Brent Peters.

Nearing the end of brace No. 11 of 15 total braces, Brent came off his horse and consequently broke his leg. After approximately two hours in the woods, nearly a quarter of a mile from the nearest road, rescuers safely removed him to an awaiting ambulance and transported him to the hospital where subsequent surgery was required to repair the break.

Fortunately, everything went well and Brent is on the road to recovery. We are grateful that Brent will soon be participating once again in cover dog field trials. The field trial community wishes him a speedy recovery.

The Shooting Dog Stake commenced immediately after the final callback of the Grand National Grouse and Woodcock Invitational Championship on Friday, April 12, on course No. 1. The club was able to conclude ten of the 34 braces that were drawn on Monday, April 8, at the home of club secretary Tom Fruchey.

With a record 68 entries, completing the trial in the two and a half days allotted was going to be a definite challenge. In addition to the large Shooting Dog draw, the Derby Stake had entries of 30 and the Puppy 19. A tall order for field trial chairman Bryan Wood and the club to pull off. And of course, as Michigan spring weather has been for the past two years, this year’s weather was determined to be uncooperative. Friday and Saturday proved to be very blustery with 20-30 mph winds and on and off rain and Sunday was downright dangerous as the grounds suffered ten inches of heavy, wet snow beginning at noon and ending sometime in the evening. The last four braces of the Derby were not run as conditions were simply too difficult and handlers decided to call it a day.

In running a large trial in such adverse conditions and short time frame, all club members and participants had to pitch in to make it all work. Thanks go to Club Secretary Tom Fruchey and the entire Fruchey family, Wayne and Marlene and certainly Tom’s wife Kelly. Without them things would have been much more chaotic. Wayne and Marlene, along with field trial chairman Bryan Wood, kept the handlers and others’ vehicles moving around the courses, while Tom ran interference with judges, handlers and marshals, making the trial continue in an expeditious manner. As always Kelly provided excellent lunches, which are greatly appreciated by all. In addition, many attendees lent a hand in marshalling braces, moving vehicles and generally assisting in the event. Ken Moss, club president, Mike Singleton, Eric and Ann Naus, “Uncle” Roger, Carl McRae, Brent and Denise Peters, the Formans, Marc and Scott, Deb Nihart, John McKellop were among many who helped. If I have forgotten any, I apologize. In addition to those named, Rich Hollister and his family are instrumental to the trials with their steady mounts. Without their prompt arrival and delivery of the many horses needed to complete the trial, we would most certainly be lost. Kudos to all the above mentioned people and also to Purina which sponsors many cover dog field trial events.

On Saturday evening Club President Ken Moss, with assistance from Mike Singleton, prepared a wonderful barbecue rib dinner. Ken was everywhere during the trial, and here he was again, making certain that everyone was well fed! Alibi Hall was at overflow capacity as participants and others enjoyed a superb meal after a long day of trialing.

Despite the rough weather, Judges Leeann Parnell and Mike Brown persevered and had many contenders that finished their half-hour braces with outstanding wild bird contacts and races.

At the conclusion of the Shooting Dog, Leeann and Mike determined that Eric and Ann Naus’ pointer female Glenrae’s Wango Tango topped the field. “June”, handled by Eric Naus, ran in the 15th brace on day No. 2 on course No. 1. This course is a curvy and hilly one, but with ample cover. June ran at a fast and furious pace, nailing her find at 4 with a woodcock. She finished strong and handled easily.

Second was Hershner’s Grouse Gunner, setter male owned by Scott Hershner of Bellville, Ohio, and handled by Scott Chaffee. Gunner ran in the 24th and last brace on day No. 2 on course No. 10. This course has several nice cuts with areas that can show a dog nicely. He coupled a wide reaching and forward race with two woodcock finds.

Placed third was Glenrae’s Mr. Finnigan, setter male owned by Eric and Ann Naus and handled by Ann. Finn is no stranger to the winners’ circle; he has now amassed twelve good wins in his shooting dog career. Finn ran on day No. 2, course No. 8, which is a mixture of thick cuts and wide open pole timber and swamp. Finn ran a forward, easy handling race and scored a grouse find.

According to the judges, they had fourteen dogs with bird contacts over the three day event. There were several that were close to the winners and the final decision was a tough one. In the order they ran were: Titanium Hammer, owned by Doug Bauman and handled by Bruce Minard, on course No. 2 with a stop to flush and a find on woodcock; Call Me Maggie, owned and handled by Craig Merlington, with two woodcock finds on course No. 12; Zeena, handled by Marc Forman, with two nice woodcock finds on course No. 14; Autumn Rain, owned by Brian Ralph and handled by Tammy Chaffee, with a woodcock find; Snyder’s Pioneer Scout, owned by Steve Snyder and also handled by Tammy Chaffee, with a grouse find on course No. 3.

The Michigan Puppy Classic was judged by cover dog field trial veterans Bryan Wood and Mike Bentley and the stake was also run on Friday. The top finishers ran with drive, style and potential cover dog abilities. Named winner was French’s Grouseringer Woody, setter male owned by Brian French and handled by Marc Forman. Woody is no stranger to the winners’ circle, having won several previous trials. Placed second was Cairds Cracklin Rosie, pointer female owned by Bob Little and handled by Craig Doherty. Rosie’s natural talents will keep her in the winners’ circle in the future. Third was Deb’s McKeachie Road, setter female owned and handled by Deb Kennedy. This setter female was the eventual winner of the Grand National Puppy Classic and has already garnered several wins for her adoring owner. In addition to the winners, the judges noted two dogs to receive honorable mention: Eric and Ann Naus’ pointer male Lefty and Gary Vitali’s setter male “T”.

The Eaton Derby Classic was an abbreviated stake, eventually concluding with eleven completed braces.

Judges Brent Peters and Carl McRae determined that the winner was Chasehill Mighty May, pointer female owned and handled by Bill Nelson. May ran on course No. 9 and coupled a big, hard driving race with a find at time. Second was Hellswoods Stormy, owned by Bob Kays and Bob Arkley with Marc Forman handling. Stormy is a pointer female that ran a nice forward race on course No. 10 with a woodcock find at time. Third was Grouse Trails Mighty Mouse, pointer female owned and handled by John McKellop. “Minnie” was braced with Stormy and had an early woodcock find, a back of her bracemate and a moderate, forward race.

Meredith, Mich., April 11

Judges: Mike Brown and Leeann Parnell


1st—GLENRAE’S WANGO TANGO, 1667675, pointer female, by Autumn Snow—Pinehill Silent Echo. Eric & Ann Naus, owners; Eric Naus, handler.

2d—HERSHNER’S GROUSE GUNNER, 1643421, setter male, by Quail Trap Tom—Nutter’s Sweet Briar. Scott Hershner, owner; Scott Chaffee, handler.

3d—GLENRAE’S MR. FINNIGAN, 1647768, setter male, by Moss Meadow Traveler—Shooting Star Kate. Eric & Ann Naus, owners; Ann Naus, handler.

Judges: Mike Bentley and Bryan Wood


1st—FRENCH’S GROUSERINGER WOODY, 1679375, setter male, by Ponderosa Mac—Grouse River Woodcock Annie. Brian French, owner; Marc Forman, handler.

2d—CAIRDS CRACKLIN ROSIE, 1680683, pointer female, by Daddy’s Little Dutch Boy—Porter Meadow Bette. Robert Little, owner; Craig Doherty, handler.

3d—DEB’S MCKEACHIE ROAD, 1680807, setter female, by Ponderosa Mac—Grouse River Woodcock Annie. Deb Kennedy, owner and handler.

Judges: Carl McRae and Brent Peters

EATON SPRING DERBY CLASSIC — 10 Pointers and 20 Setters

1st—CHASEHILL MIGHTY MAY, 1672784, pointer female, by Daddy’s Little Dutch Boy—Porter Meadow Bette. William Nelson, owner and handler.

2d—HELLSWOODS STORMY, 1684470, pointer female, by Ves Smokin Rocky—Bud’s Little Luchia. Bob Kays & Bob Arkley, owners; Marc Forman, handler.

3d—GROUSE TRAILS MIGHTY MOUSE, 1674643, pointer female, by Grouse Trails Cracker Jack—Grouse Trails Pride. Patricia McKellop, owner; John McKellop, handler.

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