American Field

Garden State Open and Amateur Shooting Dog Classics

English Setter Club of America

By Lloyd Miller | May 08, 2019
Open Derby Winners. Front (l-r): Kevin Joyce with Hightailing Penny, Hunter Wilcox with Get Ready and Mike Tracy with Miller’s War Bonnet. Standing: Judges Greg Nicholson and Cliff Mesnard.

Lacey Township, N. J. — The English Setter Club of America ran an ambitious first-time nine-day spring program, March 23-31, this year which included its usual Garden State Open and Amateur Shooting Dog Classics and Open Derby plus a one-hour Amateur All-Age Classic on the closing weekend.

Weather this year was great, no snow and only a little rain with pleasant temperatures which made it a great time for field trialing in New Jersey.

The only concern was that the State has decided to burn half of the Greenwood tract this year and in future years, alternating each year the north and south sides of the cable road. We were concerned that the burned side would not hold birds as well. We were surprised that on the burned side we managed to establish some large coveys of quail that remained constant in location throughout the running.

The course we used was a continuous clockwise run over the outer and inner unburned south section and the inner burned north section. It turned out to be a good arrangement and fair for all.

The club again thanks Purina  for its continuous support of this prestigious event. Their support will always be most appreciated.

Our judges this year were Clifford Mesnard II of North Bloomfield, Ohio, Aidan Malone of Bolton, Conn., Greg Nicholson of Clarksburg, N. J., George Fazan, Jr. of Somerville, N. J., and Steve Madeiros from nearby Toms River, N. J. We thank them for time in the saddle and their attentiveness throughout. Their decisions were well received.

Finally, I thank my field trial committee — Norm Basilone, Stacey Goodie, Karen Lordi, Matt Basilone, Hunter Wilcox and Joe Cincotta. Their efforts behind the scenes were again invaluable to making this another successful trial.


The Garden State Amateur Shooting Dog Classic started Saturday, March 23, and concluded March 24. Emerging as the winner over a great field of 26 top shooting dogs was North Country Girl, coming seven-year-old pointer female owned by Dave McKay of Perkasie, Pa., and Joe McHugh of Boston, Ga., and handled by Dave to an eight-find performance. Girl ran in the very first brace and had a strong race on the ground and being found time after time at the front with birds well located and stylishly pinned. Her performance was good enough to stand up to the challenge of all others for first this day.

Second was Calico’s Touch of Class, owned by Calico Kennels, Pete and Chris Del Collo and Muriel and Bill Primm, handled by Alex Smith. Class ran in the second brace on Saturday. She also had a similar performance with multiple finds to the front coupled with a strong stylish ground showing.

Placed third was Get Ready, two-year-old pointer male handled ably by Hunter Wilcox. He is owned jointly by Hunter and John Tomaski. “Spike” went off in the third brace Saturday and put down a nice performance with five well-handled finds throughout his hour.

Several others completed the hour with good efforts. Limbsmoke Sheet Rock, setter male braced with the winner, had four well handled finds and two backs with a good forward race. Waybetter Billy, pointer male, had four finds and a back in his hour Sunday afternoon. He had two finds early and the last two in the last five minutes. The long absences in the middle of his race hurt him being considered this day.

Lacey Township, N. J., March 23 — One Course

Judges: Aiden Malone and Clifford L. Mesnard II

GARDEN STATE AMATEUR SHOOTING DOG CLASSIC [One-Hour Heats] — 24 Pointers and 2 Setters

1st—NORTH COUNTRY GIRL, 1654212, pointer female, by Great River Ice—Richfield Silver Belle. Dave McKay & Joe McHugh, owners.

2d—CALICO’S TOUCH OF CLASS, 1625612, pointer female, by Night Hawk—Shotgun Elhew Attitude. Calico Kennels, Pete & Chris Del Collo, Bill & Muriel Primm, owners; Alex Smith, handler.

3d—GET READY, 1683843, pointer male, by Trade Winds—Lonely Teardrop. Dr. Hunter Wilcox & John Tomaski, owners; Dr. Hunter Wilcox, handler.


The Garden State Open Shooting Classic, with a nice entry of 31 top shooting dogs, started Monday, March 25, and was concluded Wednesday, March 27.

Waybetter Rocky, pointer male owned by Muriel and Bill Primm and Carl, Joyce and Collin Bishop, was declared the winner. Rocky ran in the first brace Wednesday morning. He put down a good forward effort with nine excellent finds and two backs.

Awarded second was Osceola’s Seminole Wind, pointer female owned by Casey and Devin Hollander of Seabrook, S. C. Wind ran in the third brace on Monday. She had five finds with several divided with her bracemate. Her performance was a classy one coupled with a smooth forward hunting effort.

Placed third was Miller’s Heat Seeker, pointer male owned by Muriel and Bill Primm and Jack and Fran Miller. Seeker ran in the first brace after lunch on Monday. Seeker scored five finds at 6, 13,17, 37 and 58 with a strong race on the ground. The first and second place dogs were handled by Mike Tracy, and third place by George Tracy.

Others that completed the hour in order of running were: Cheyenne Jack (M. Tracy) had three finds and a back. Erin’s Country Thunder (M. Tracy) scored with finds in Rocky’s field and on far south loop. Jayhawk Thunder (Matt Basilone) had three finds and two backs. Backcountry Tornado (M. Tracy) had multiple finds and a good race.

Ravenwood Gemstone (Basilone), braced with Heat Seeker, did nice job with three finds and two backs. Steel City Alabama (Basilone) had a strong race with eight finds, one back and an unproductive.

Mama’s Broken Heart (Basilone) made it around with a good six find, two back and one unproductive effort. Miller’s Just Plain Rowdy (G. Tracy), braced with Heart, had two finds. Bulltaeo (M. Tracy) had a back at 12, finds at 15 and 37, an unproductive at 39 and several more finds to finish the hour. Miller’s Unbridled Forever (G. Tracy) had finds at 12, 24, 37, 50, 53 and 54. Deerfield Game (Basilone) scored nine finds and a good race. Reedy Creek Dial tone (M. Tracy) carded a divided find at 14, a back at 20 and finds at 28, 43, 50, 54 and 59. Limbsmoke Skeet Rock (Basilone), running with the winner, had a nice six find, one back and one unproductive performance. Urban Fantasy (Basilone) had four good finds and a good forward race.

As you can see above, we had a lot of bird work and some really good challenges for placements in this stake. Hope I did miss too much but I thank Cliff for his good notes. Best job I could do with all this action.

Judges: Clifford L. Mesnard II and Greg Nicholson


27 Pointers and 4 Setters

1st—WAYBETTER ROCKY, 1652783, pointer male, by Brown’s Tom Tom—Waybetter Reba. Muriel & Bill Primm, Carl, Joyce & Collin Bishop, owners; Mike Tracy, handler.

2d—OSCEOLA’S SEMINOLE WIND, 1682240, pointer female, by Just Irresistible—Osceola Patty Cake. Casey & Devin Hollander, owners; Mike Tracy, handler.

3d—MILLER’S HEAT SEEKER, 1674886, pointer male, by Just Irresistible—Miller’s Bring The Heat. Muriel & Bill Primm, Dennis Hood, Jack & Fran Miller, owners; George Tracy, handler.


The Open Derby ran after lunch on Wednesday afternoon. Emerging as the winner was Miller’s War Bonnet (3rd brace), owned by Joe McHugh and handled by George Tracy. She had a nice back and one find. Her race was strong and classy throughout.

Earning second was Get Ready, good size pointer male owned by Hunter Wilcox and John Tomaski, handled ably by Hunter. “Spike”, down in the second brace, had three real nice finds and a nice mature forward race.

Third was Hightailing Penny, owned by Kevin Joyce of East Northport, N. Y., and handled by Mike Tracy. Penny (6th brace) had also three finds a strong forward race. It was a real good Derby Stake with several others very close to the winners.

OPEN DERBY — 12 Pointers

1st—MILLER’S WAR BONNET, 1681100, female, by Sugarknoll War Paint—Nehawka Amazin Sue. Joe McHugh, owner; Mike Tracy, handler.

2d—GET READY, 1683843, female, by Trade Winds—Lonely Teardrop. Dr. Hunter Wilcox & John Tomaski, owners; Dr. Hunter Wilcox, handler.

3d—HIGHTAILING PENNY, 1674285, female, by Bail Me Out—Calico’s Redhot Ember Annie. Kevin Joyce, owner; Mike Tracy, handler.


The inaugural running of the English Setter Club one-hour Amateur All-Age Purina points stake ran Saturday, March 30. Taking first place over a field of eight was Desiree, pointer female owned jointly by Hunter Wilcox and John Tomaski and handled by Hunter.

Off in the first brace, Patch, as she is called, scored first in burned clump of bushes right of cable road. Her second find was in Rocky’s field as course turns south. A third find in the middle of the outer south cross pine edge section. A divided find with bracemate in sand wash field was her fourth. Patch had an absence just before the cable road crossing but got back on course and finished at second road on south after the pine chute entering the inner south section. It was nice strong wide hunting effort.

Second went to Hoos English Ivy, setter female owned and handled by David Creagan. She scored on four nice finds coupled with a big forward race. Third was Deerfield John, four-year-old pointer male owned and handled by Lloyd Miller. Running with the winner, John had a great, found standing, high and tight, six-bird covey find in burned pine bowl area at 5. He backed bracemate at 8 and 15 and had a divided find at 23. He had a short swing west just short of cable road but was brought back on course at breakaway field and continued the rest of hour with a good reaching forward performance.

Others that were in the hunt and finished were Mama’s Broken Heart with a four find effort, two of which were on good relocations. Also, Limbsmoke Skeet Rock had finds at 5 and 55. Both dogs had good efforts but not quite as forward as the winners.

Just to mention, we had to evacuate the grounds entirely Saturday night, trailers, horses, and birds and all due to a forest fire that reached about 6,000 acres a couple of miles south of the grounds.

It was on the south side of Route 72 but since it was only 10 percent contained on Sunday morning, we decided to cancel our last stake, the half hour Amateur Shooting Dog, which was to run Sunday morning.

Judges: George P. Fazan, Jr. and Steven Madeiros

AMATEUR ALL-AGE [One-Hour Heats] — 6 Pointers and 2 Setters

1st—DESIREE, 1663452, pointer female, by Marques Gold Label—Lonely Teardrop. Dr. Hunter Wilcox & John Tomaski, owners; Dr. Hunter Wilcox, handler.

2d—HOOS ENGLISH IVY, 1665630, setter female, by Grouse Woods Skeeter—Riley’s Last Call. David Creagan, owner and handler.

3d—DEERFIELD JOHN, 1668171, pointer male, by Brown’s Tom Tom—A Whisky Lullaby. Lloyd Miller, owner and handler.

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