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Field Trial Report

Central Connecticut Bird Dog Club

By Tom Gates | Jun 15, 2021

East Windsor, Conn. — The Central Connecticut Bird Dog Club hosted its annual Spring event May 14-16 at the popular Dr. John E. Flaherty Field Trial Area in East Windsor, Conn. This was the  60th year of running by the Central Connecticut Club. The six-stake event drew 86 top dogs from up and down the Eastern United States.

The Casale family again hosted the annual event. Field Trial Chairman Gene Casale, joined by wife Pam, daughters Heather and Anna saw to every detail of the trial. Gene, who is also chairman of the Northeastern Championship, is a polished and seasoned veteran when it comes to conducting a smooth field trial. He keeps dogs on the line and never misses a trick! A huge "Thank you" to the Casale family for running such a memorable event.

A trial is only as good as its judges and help.  Again this year, we had some great people helping the trial. Gene Casale, Kevin Stuart, Tom Tracy, Alene Levasseur, Brian Sanchez, Dave O’Brien, Jim Thomas, John Stolgitis, Dick Frawley, Aiden Malone and John Malone all judged this weekend. Their decisions were applauded by everyone in attendance.

Tony Forte is the heartbeat of the Central Connecticut Bird dog Club!  I sincerely believe that we couldn’t run a trial without Tony! For over 45 years, Tony has offered his culinary expertise in the food department. I don’t think that he has missed a trial (spring or fall) ever. This renewal, Tony took charge of the lunch duties each day with hot dogs, hamburgers, eggplant, chicken and all the fixings. Pam Casale, aided by daughters Anna and Heather, hosted dinner each night with generous portions of salad, potatoes, ziti, sausage and peppers, meatballs and vegetables. Everyone enjoyed the meal and the opportunity to remines about old trials.

Weather was not a factor in the running his year. A perfect spring weekend with temperatures in the 60°-70° range made for great running conditions.

OPEN STAKES WINNERS

The Open Puppy started things off with a very impressive bunch of eager entries. It was quite apparent from the start that all of these youngsters have a great future in field trials. John Stolgitis took the blue with Little Miss Margaret, a pointer female. She ran the limits in fine form. This pup had the drive and bottom to go another half hour. Nice tail! Dave O’Brien carded second with Jack. This pointer was a rocket! You had to really concentrate watching this dog or he was gone! The snappy tailed pointer tried to "dig-in" a few times, but always would pop out way to the front. Chasehill Hidden Jewel, a littermate to the first-place dog took third. This Stolgitis charge is thrilling to watch. All class and a bundle of energy, Jewel is destined to become another Stolgitis consistent winner. This pointer ran the limits of the course with a cracking happy tail and gait. She ran way to the front with power and style. Great driving finish!

The first Open Shooting Dog Stake drew a very competitive entry. Mike Tracy gained first place with setter male Erin’s Big Casino (Big). This powerhouse attacked the course with purpose and drive. He carded two picture perfect finds with a high tail and birds well located. He finished as a distant spec while taking an edge. Nice dog! Matt Basilone had a sure winner with Triple Nickel Carbon Copy (Clem) gaining second. This pointer male is a must to watch! He runs with great style and speed, always to the front. A very powerful dog. His single find had three birds well located with more than ample style pointing. Talking Candy took third with a show of class and front running speed. This pointer female also carded one find with plenty of style.

The Scotty Creel Open Derby remembers a club member who was dear to us all. A Waterbury, Connecticut firefighter, Scotty was a true hero in life. He was honored on several occasions for courage and bravery in saving lives. Although suffering serious injuries many times, Scotty put other people’s lives ahead of his own safety.

The winner was Thomas Railroad Spike, owned and handled by Jim Thomas. Spike is certainly a great dog to watch and Jim does a fantastic job as handler. They roll together.  Spike runs big, but always in touch with Jim.  His three well-spaced quail finds noted a lofty stance with perfect manners. Nice dog!  Mike Tracy grabbed second with Eliminator (Don), another pointer male. Owner Sal Morelli was in the saddle to see Don run.

My friend Dick Bembenek and I are in our mid-70s. Dick commented that Sal stepped-up on a horse, threw his leg over the saddle and rode-off like he was 40 years old! Sal is 91 and has not lost a step! Don is a dog with a big future! His ground race was a polished performance. Found twice pointing, Don was intense on point. A big finish made this dog a sure placement.

It seems that Brian Sanchez is always in the money at our trials. This week, Brian had Great River Yellowstone (Mac) third. This pointer can win anywhere!  He runs like an "old dog" with fire and speed augmented by hunting wisdom. Mac’s two quail find were thrilling. He stands tall and tight — frozen at flush. Mac wanted to go another time around at finish showing plenty of speed and bottom.

One of the most coveted stakes in New England area is the Guard Rail Open Shooting Dog. Named for Eugene Casale’s Hall of Fame pointer, the stake challenges dogs and handlers to perform at the highest level of competition. Some area people call it "the half hour championship". Good observation! This year we had a great entry of 37 top dogs. It was a very competitive stake with many great performances being recorded.

Erin’s Big Casino (Big) was from winning the first Shooting Dog Stake. Big was unstoppable. The judges noted this setter’s race was "Thrilling to watch". The classy setter ran the limits of the grounds. Handler and dog seemed to be in total unison, making for a flowing effort. Four picture perfect finds were recorded; the first two on singles, with multiple birds taking flight on the last two finds. On point, this dog was intense. A big finish – going away made this dog a perfect choice.

Fort River Lucky Charm (Reggie) was a close second for Matt Basilone. A bye dog in the last brace, Reggie made everyone stand-up in the saddle with an action-packed half hour. The setter male exploded on breakaway and ran a big shooting dog race with plenty of bird work. Found standing on the first find, Reggie had a small covey pinned with motionless pointing stance. Adding three additional finds, he finished as a distant speck at time. Another very nice dog! Allen Linder’s Southern Gossip (callname Samantha), a very classy pointer female put on a show with this dog! Samantha hit all the right places with a high snappy tail and a quick speedy gait. She also logged four perfect finds on quail. Her intensity on point must be seen to be appreciated. Great job!

When the stake was over, the judges came to me and asked that I announce a fourth dog for "Honorable Mention”. This isn’t the normal at this trial, but the judges felt that Waybetter Bobby (Smokey), owned and handled by Bob Vanderosa was magnificent. This was a very exceptional dog in a stake where several dogs had perfect performances.

East Windsor, Conn., May 14 — One Course

Jidges: Brian Sanchez and Jim Thomas

OPEN PUPPY — 4 Pointers and 1 Setter

1st—LITTLE MISS MARGARET, 1693526, pointer female, by Panola Bacon—Chasehill Little Izzy. Tim Cavanaugh, owner; John Stolgitis, handler.

2d—JACK, unreg., pointer male, breeding not given. David O’Brien, owner and handler.

3d—CHASEHILL HIDDEN JEWEL, 1692727, pointer female, by Panola Bacon—Chasehill Little Izzy. Tadaaki Terada, owner; John Stolgitis, handler.

Judges: Alene Levasseur and Tom Tracy

OPEN SHOOTING DOG — 7 Pointers and 1 Setter

1st—ERIN’S BIG CASINO, 1682928, setter male, by Erin’s Hidden Shamrock—Three Stripe’s Livewire. Paul Berdiner, owner; Mike Tracy, handler.

2d—TRIPLE NICKEL CARBON COPY, 1692617, pointer male, by Miller’s Hennesy—Jamback’s Amazing Grace. Robert & Linda Bergen, owners; Matt Basilone, handler.

3d—MILLER’S SWEET TALKING CANDY, 1690152, pointer female, by Miller’s Upgraded Version—Erin’s Cedar. Joe McHugh, owner; Mike Tracy, handler.

Judges: Dick Frawley and John Stolgitis

SCOTTY CREEL OPEN DERBY — 10 Pointers and 2 Setters

1st—THOMAS RAILROAD SPIKE, 1687608, pointer male, by Waybetter Rocky—A Touch of Warpaint. James W. Thomas, owner and handler.

2d—ELIMINATOR, 1690833, pointer male, by Cheyenne Jack—Moondance River Pearl. S. J. Morelli, owner; Mike Tracy, handler.

3d—GREAT RIVER YELLOWSTONE, 1688796, pointer male, by Fastforward’s B K Gunner—Wiggins Miss Stella. Great River Kennel, owner; Brian Sanchez, handler.

Judges: Gene Casale and Kevin Stuart

GUARD RAIL OPEN SHOOTING DOG — 32 Pointers and 5 Setters

1st—ERIN’S BIG CASINO, 1682928, setter male, by Erin’s Hidden Shamrock—three Stripe Livewire. Paul Berdiner, owner; Mike Tracy, handler.

2d—FORT RIVER’S LUCKY CHARM, 1681132, setter male, by Mohawk Mill Lucky Charm—Fort River Jackie. Gary Tavaris, owner; Matt Basilone, handler.

3d—MILLER’S SOUTHERN GOSSIP, 1690150, pointer female, by Miller’s Upgraded Version—Erin’s Little Rose. Allen R. Linder, owner; George Tracy, handler.

AMATEUR STAKES WINNERS

On Sunday, the Amateur Derby started things off. Alex Smith bested the field of eight entries to take the blue with Calico’s Over The Top. This pointer was well worth watching. He ran a big shooting dog race, being found standing three times with birds well located. His manners on point were impressive to say the least — motionless at flush with a bird going right over his head at one location. Great finish with plenty of drive. Jim Thomas was a sure second with Thomas Railroad Spike. Spike is no "common dog"! He is exciting and classy on the ground. Spike logged two quail finds with impeccable manners. His big driving finish was something to see!

Erin’s Crossroads (Bess) was third for Kevin Stuart. Only a puppy, Bess is destined to achieve great things. Wow! What a beautiful and powerful setter! I offered Kevin an even trade of my new truck for this young dog! I was that impressed! She scorched the course, always to the front with a high snappy tail. Bess scored one quail find with an absolutely picture-perfect stance. Her finish was on an edge, way to the front. Very impressive dog!

The Milo Wilkenson Amateur Shooting Dog remembers a founding club member who worked tirelessly to improve grounds and raise the level of competition. This year a field of sixteen highly competitive dogs ran in the coveted stake.

Waybetter Bobby (Smokey) was the obvious choice for first place.  Handled this time by Joe Lordi, Smokey was on fire. He is fast and classy going, always to the front with a high cracking tail. Two immaculate quail covy finds were augmented by a single near time; manners and style pointing were exceptional. Great performance!  Kevin Joyce had Hightailing Maggie second. This dog is always in the money! She runs the limits, but always has great bird work!  Found standing twice, Maggie impressed the judges with her high head and tail. She finished strong on an edge.  Alex Smith closed-out the placements with Calico’s Country Strong (Eva) for third. The snappy pointer female ran big, hitting the cover with style and purpose. She logged two quail singles in fine form. Her strong finish was impressive.

Judges: Aiden Malone and John Malone

AMATEUR DERBY — 5 Pointers and 3 Setters

1st—CALICO’S OVER THE TOP, 1692315, pointer male, by Dominator’s Rebel Heir—Calico’s Country Strong. Calico Kennels & Alex & Tiffani Smith, owners; Alex Smith, handler.

2d—THOMAS RAILROAD SPIKE, 1687608, pointer male, by Waybetter Rocky—A Touh of Warpaint. James W. Thomas, owner and handler.

3d—ERIN’S CROSSROADS, 1692790, setter female, by Erin’s Wild Atlantic Way—King’s Court Starr. Kevin Stuart, owner and handler.

Judges: David O’Brien and Brian Sanchez

MILO WILKENSON AMATEUR SHOOTING DOG —

14 Pointers and 2 Setters

1st—WAYBETTER BOBBY, 1682880, pointer male, by Waybetter Rocky—Nehawka Amazin Sue. Robert Verderosa, owner; Joe Lordi, handler.

2d—HIGHTAILING MAGGIE, 1674283, pointer female, by Bail Me Out—Walden’s Ridge Liz. Kevin & Maureen Joyce, owners; Kevin Joyce, handler.

3d—CALICO’S COUNTRY STRONG, 1679850, pointer female, by Waybetter Rocky—Calico’s Touch of Class. Calico Kennels, owner; Alex Smith, handler.

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