American Field

Field Trial Report

International Brittany Championships

By Lisa Pollock | May 09, 2019
Open All-Age Championship Winners. From left: Jack Alexander, Tom Tracy with Ru Jem’s Last Penny, Judge Jim Wallace, Joe Williams with J B W’s Levi The Lionheart and Judge Leroy Long.

Bloomingdale, Ohio — It was 51 years ago when the inaugural running of the International Brittany Championship was held in Watertown, N. Y. The International is one of the oldest Brittany Championships; unfortunately, there were years that the Championship was not held. The structure of the event has changed some, but the Open All-Age Stake is still the highlight of the week!

The 2019 renewal was held March 18-23 on the grounds of the Mingo Sportsman Club in Bloomingdale, Ohio. Spring actually arrived on time this year and conditions throughout the week were near perfect for running bird dogs!

As always, there are many people to thank for their efforts to put on a trial like this. Starting with our sponsor, Purina. The donation of dog food for our winners and their financial support contribute greatly to the success of our trial. I’m happy to report that the winners at this trial are fueled by Purina Pro Plan!

Joining us this year on the judging panel for the Shooting Dog Championship and Derby were American Brittany Club President Ed Janulis of Manhattan, Ill., and Leroy Long of Berkey, Ohio. When we had a last-minute judge cancellation in the Open All-Age Championship, Lee volunteered to fill the spot and judged with Jim Wallace of Akron, Ohio.

Brian Sanchez of Central Islip, N. Y., and Anthony Rusciano of Newfield, N. J., made the long drive through torrential rain on the East Coast to judge the Amateur All-Age Championship. We thank all these gentlemen for their hours in the saddle.

The Mingo grounds were in incredible condition! The work that was going on last year on the gas wells was completed at the end of last year which almost eliminated traffic on the back roads. The few trucks that passed through were very respectful of our presence; a big thank you to them!

Road guard/dog wagon drivers Gene Stewart, Bill McLewis and Paul Pollock did a great job of getting dogs to the line on our continuous course. And they were  available between braces to share snacks and beverages. Gene was also up early to plant the morning birds, and switched from dog wagon driver to bird planter while we ate lunch.

Bill McLewis kept us all well fed. With Bill’s help the club hosted a steak dinner on Wednesday and fish fry on Friday night. Thanks again!


Our entry was smaller than normal in the Shooting Dog Championship due to a prior judging commitment of professional trainer Bob Burchett.

This year’s winner was Roustabout All In, owned by Bo Ackerman  of Clermont, Ga., and handled by Tom Tracy. “Al” ran in the first brace and had two finds while making wide casts to the front. D H Work Hard Play Harder, owned by Paul and Lisa Pollock of Medford, N. J., and handled by Lisa, was awarded runner-up. “Gin” had three finds with a good forward race.

John Perry handled Marjo’s Fille De La Bretagne for Robert Goldman of Doylestown, Pa.,  and Vince Anderson’s young dog High Velocity Copper Magnum pressed the winners.

The Derby featured some very impressive young talent. Tom Tracy and Joe Williams came with a good portion of the entries. The winner, W W’s Gin and Tonic, is the littermate to last year’s winner. Ginnie is owned by Burton Wice  of Creve Coeur, Mo., and was handled by Tracy. Steve Ralph’s Prairie Wind Pistol Pete place second, also handled by Tracy. Joe Williams’ Jowill’s Daniel in the Lion’s Den, sired by his “Levi”, placed third. Tom Tracy handled Ru Jem’s Dirty Dingus McGee for owner Jerry McGee to fourth. We look forward to seeing these youngsters in the winners’ circle in the near future.

Twenty entries went to the line in the Open All-Age Championship, but it wasn’t until the last brace that the champion was named. Jerry McGee of Steward, Ill., is the owner of the winner, Ru Jem’s Last Penny, which came to the line coming off her United States Open win and Region 4 runner-up win. She filled the course with two stylish finds and plenty in the tank at the finish for handler Tom Tracy. Joe Williams of Lebanon, Mo., handled his J B W’s Levi the Lionheart to runner-up honors. Levi ran in the first brace and put on a strong performance that included three finds. Until Penny ran in the last brace, Levi was the dog to beat.

Tom Tracy handled (AKC recognized) third and fourth place winners, Castaway Wilson for owner Tim Huglan and Roustabout All In for owner Bo Ackerman, respectively.

The Amateur All-Age Championship ran with a mixed bag of weather. The worst of it happened in the middle of a brace on Saturday. A blinding snow squall almost halted running, but as soon as it started it was gone, followed by sunshine! Ru Jem’s Last Penny, handled by Stan Williamson, finished the stake with another strong performance, and another championship win! Penny seems to really like the wide-open country here at Mingo and handled like a dream for Stan. Runner-up honors went to C V K’s Spartan King for owner-handler Jack Alexander of Vienna, Ohio. “Leo” knows these grounds well and showed himself in just the right places. John Perry handled Marjo’s Fille De La Bretagne for owner Bob Goldman and his own T J’s Black Diamond to third and fourth place finishes.

Bloomingdale, Ohio, March 18

Judges: Ed Janulis and Leroy Long


Winner—ROUSTABOUT ALL IN, unreg., male, by Maxwell’s Out Limits—Cedar Valley Lily. Bo Ackerman, owner; Tom Tracy, handler.

Runner-Up—D H WORK HARD PLAY HARDER, 1621317, female, by Deuce Is On the Loose—Diamond Hill Shes Gone. Lisa & Paul Pollock, owners; Lisa Pollock, handler.


1st—W W’S GIN AND TONIC, 1676565, female, by Glade Run Irish—Driving Miss Daisy. Burton Wice, owner; Tom Tracy, handler.

2d—PRAIRIE WIND PISTOL PETE, 1684023, male, by Sniksoh Spank’s Hank—Sparky’s Prairie Wind Gypsy. Steve Ralph, owner; Tom Tracy, handler.

3d—JOWILL’S DANIEL IN THE LION’S DEN, unreg., male, by J B W’s Levi The Lionheart—J J’s Alabaster Angel. Dr. Joseph Burton Williams, owner and handler.

Judges: Leroy Long and Jim Wallace


[One-Hour Heats] — 20 Brittanys

Winner—RU JEM’S LAST PENNY, 1621183, female, by Trademark’s A T M—Red Bud Zipper. Ruth & Jerry McGee, owners; Tom Tracy, handler.

Runner-Up—J B W’S LEVI THE LIONHEART, 1666510, male, by Spanish Corral’s Sundance Kid—Sam’s Sandbank Rose. Joe Williams, owner and handler.

Judges: Anthony Rusciano and Brian Sanchez


[One-Hour Heats] — 20 Brittanys

Winner—RU JEM’S LAST PENNY, 1621183, female, by Trademark’s A T M—Red Bud Zipper. Ruth & Jerry McGee, owners; Stan Williamson, handler.

Runner-Up—C V K’S SPARTAN KING, 1665065, male, by Maxwell’s Outer Limits—Cedar Valley Lilly. Jack Alexander, owner and handler.

International Brittany Championship — History and The Early Days

By David A. Fletcher

The International Brittany Classic was inaugurated in 1968 over the property of Dr. Walker Heap of Watertown, N. Y. This was open country, large fields, formerly dairy farming lands acquired by Dr. Heap over which he began his shooting preserve and field trial grounds.

Founders included Frank C. Ash, Walker Heap, Canadian Bill McClure, Bill and Rheta Cartmell and Hank Martinet.

Judges were the late Carl Beattie, a notable trainer and handler, and Al Pilon, a great New England trial person and reporter. There were fourteen entries. Jaime’s Weego Jill was the winner for owner-handler Jim Malia of Owego, N. Y. Second was Sno Fun Mack, owned and handled by Dr. Heap. Placed third was Jaybee’s Little Princess, owner and handler not given in the report. It was very apparent the founders were working toward something considered better than the trials of the day  which were mainly, all across much of the country, one course, liberated birds, birdfield, and handlers generally walked. Ahead was something in which the founders could expect an effort they could label all-age, with horseback handling, and down the road championship status. It was pretty apparent their goal was bigger running Brittanys not handled on foot.

The club staged a second trial in November, 1969, at the Heap preserve. The winner was Dr. Heap’s Sno Fun Mac; runner-up was Tyoga Sally, owned and handled by Bill Cartmell. Carl Beattie and Al Pilon were again the judges.

In 1970 a three stake spring trial was held and that fall, with championship status, the winner was Jac Pierre’s Pride, owned by Jim Cohen, handled by Rick Smith. Runner-up was Whohe of Bordeaux, owned and handled by Jim Malia. Judges were Al Pilon and Jack Fitzpatrick.

The club staged another spring trial in 1971. I was invited to judge and report the 1971 running, the second championship renewal, by my good Canadian friend Bill McClure of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada’s capital city . . . a person I had known some years . . . both of us participating in the trials of the Ontario Bird Dog Association.

I met for the first time Dr. Walker Heap who owned the two dairy farms we ran the trial over. He had purchased the properties and converted them to a shooting preserve where pheasants were the game bird and former pastures and crop fields grown up with weed cover provided the venue. It was an excellent place to test a Brittany bird dog. Dr. Heap’s method of putting pheasants on the courses relied on the structure of his spacious pheasant pens. As I remember the pens had a fence ten feet or so high, and when a bird could fly over the fence that bird was out on the course. The birds were much closer to “natural wild” than if they had been grabbed from the pen moments before the brace and then liberated.

Those who founded this club and staged it were memorable. Walker Heap was the host landowner and he ran dogs, furnished a clubhouse and was very involved in the daily running of the braces. The Conables, Ella and Lloyd, the Cartmells, Bill and Rheta, Jim Malia and others were putting the event on. Handlers Rick Smith, Jim Holman, Mark Appleton, Ernie Facer were there competing. There were 20 Brittanys in that 1971 championship field, won by Carey’s Freckles, handled by Terry Cleary, with Jamie’s Weego Jill the runner-up, handled by Jim Malia. Judges were Jack Fitzpatrick and Dave Fletcher.

In 1972 I repeated as judge and reporter, teamed with another of my great friends Truman Cowles. We placed a wonderful Brittany, Tondee’s Sandy Valley Duke, a New England dog handled by his owner, the one-armed Steve Tardy. Duke was a very good dog and Arthur Curtis and I placed him winner in the ABC Quail Classic at Richmond Ky., a year or so later. No runner-up was named in the 1972 International, although Brandy’s Bullet ran a superb hour. His downfall was he was a Texas dog and knew practically nothing about running pheasants. His owner, Bill Norvell, was present. Also in attendance were two Brittany ladies, wonderful personalities enjoying the trial from their motor home, Maizda Van Deusen and Dicie Speck.

In 1973 Judges Truman Cowles and Bob Abric placed Perry’s Rustic Prince champion. No runner-up was named. Over the SnoFun grounds with an entry of fourteen. Brandy’s Bullet, Pacolet Cheyenne Sam, Sno Fun Mack, Jacolet’s Wandering Star were in the starting field. New faces were Ben Tobiassen and Howard Tutton.

The 1974 Championship field grew to 36, judged by Bob Abric and Dave Fletcher. Winner was Perry’s Rustic Prince, owned by Lester May and handled by Rick Smith. The previous five years had also featured spring events staged by the International Club.

In 1975 the judges were Dr. Thomas M. Flanagan and Dr. Walker Heap. The new champion was Goldtone’s Doc, handled by Marc Appleton, with runner-up Ringo De Britt, handled by Rick Smith. The entry included Senator T J, Chip Britt Jill, Tex’s Air Man and Dr. Scott’s Tough Enough. Dr. John and Judy Webb were present.

The 1976 fall Championship was judged by Dr. Tom Flanagan and Irving Clark, again held at Evans Mills. The winner was Jacolet’s Wandering Star, owned by Paul Hinch and handled by Rick Smith.

Things were getting tougher for the trial to continue at Watertown, N. Y. It was a long way from home base for trainers in Oklahoma and Illinois driving to Watertown. Gasoline was getting expensive and travel over long distances by the major pros who competed was taking a toll.

The club moved the Championship  to Baldwinsville, N. Y., in 1977, an agreeable move by all the participating pro handlers. I took over the club presidency that year, but horseback all-age Brittany trials were not blossoming east of the Mississippi, at least in that era. The 1977 running had but nine entries and was judged by Irving Clark and Elwin Hendrick. Perry’s Rustic Prince was named the champion; no runner-up was named.

The 1978 renewal at Baldwinsville was planned for September 20, but a lack of entries prompted myself as president, along with the Conable and Cartmell directorate, to cancel the event.

The International Club had a somewhat modest treasury but it was passed on to a group that volunteered to carry on the Championship. In 1981, Bill Cartmell placed an  kennel Fixtures listing in The American Field for the International Brittany Field Trial Association, the trial slated for Clarksburg, N. J., April 2, but no display ad or report was found to substantiate that the trial was run.

The International did not stage trials from 1979 through 1985. In 1986 a field of 23 Brittanys competed for the International title at Washington, Ind. Jack Hires and Jim Cohen were the judges, Warren Montgomery trial chairman and secretary. The Greater Indianapolis Brittany Club was host. Winner was Viking’s Yankee Dandy, owned by Alan Johnson, Jr., handled by Rosco Staton, and runner-up Far Out Bandit, Breuggeman listed as owner and Jim Holman, handler.

There was no data available for the years 1987, 1988 and 1989.

In 1990 Rimarda’s Trademark was the winner, owned by Jim and Janet Chase, handled by Chad Holman, and if I might be bold enough to say bred by Dave Fletcher, writer of this article. Runner-up was Foot, owned by Dr. John and Judy Webb and handled by Lloyd Budd. The Championship was staged at Petersburg, Ind., on the Pike County Bird Hunters Club, had an entry of 27 and was judged by Dan Tooker and Dr. Robert Rankin.

Seven more inactive years followed for the International. In 1999 the International Brittany Championship stake was revived and run at Glendale, Ind. Winner was Gambler’s Ace In The Hole, Ed and Donna Janulis, owners, Chad Holman, handler. Runner-up was Rimarda’s Mad Max, owned by Jim and Janet Chase, also handled by Chad Holman.

Glendale was also the site for the 2000 International Championship with an entry of 20 in one-hour heats. Winner was Lane’s End Bowtie Annie, owned by Tom and Judy Robin, handled by Chad Holman. Runner-up was Blazing Rebel Joe, owned by Jim Fornear, handled by Chad Holman. Judges were Clarence Conner and Charles Kinney.

Glendale was the site in 2001 for a third consecutive year at Montgomery, Ind., the Championship won again by Lane’s End Bowtie Annie, handled by Chad Holman, with Buddy Jack the runner-up, owned by Ed Sawicki also handled by Chad Holman.

And the story continues . . .

By Lisa Pollock

The Mingo Sportsman Club in Bloomingdale, Ohio has been called by some the “Prairie of the East”. Members of the club who had a passion for field trials began grooming the rolling hills of reclaimed coal mining land for field trials in the early 2000s. By 2004, former ABC President Ron Zook, along with members Jack Alexander and Bob Szymanek, had over 1000 acres of the grounds shaped into what has become one of the few places east of the Mississippi where all-age dogs can be run. They enlisted a little financial support from Paul Pollock and along with the entries of pro trainers Ben Lorenson and Tom Tracy, Jr., The International Brittany Open All Age Championship was resurrected.

In March, 2005, after getting approval from the American Field, the Open All- Age Championship was held. Approval was also granted for an Amateur All-Age Classic. Nineteen entries went to the line in the open stake, 22 for the amateurs. Just Call Me Roy, a future Hall of Fame inductee, handled by Ben Lorenson, was named champion in 2005. Winner of the Amateur All-Age Classic was Bob Symanek’s Holliewood Magic Man. The International Championship was back in business.

In 2006 the ABC began sanctioning American Field Championships as Regional Classic, giving the winners both American Field and AKC placements. The Amateur All-Age Stake was also recognized that year as an American Field Championship, and a Shooting Dog Classic was added to the cluster, held in memory of Ron Zook . The Shooting Dog Stake became a championship in 2009. Trialers enjoyed the extra hour stakes giving them a challenging course to qualify dogs for Nationals.

Construction of a gas well in the next few years left the grounds with some disruption of the course. For the next few years the International did some moving around. Jackson, Ohio, Thayer, Ia., and Waynesboro, Ga., were all hosts for the event. In 2014, the International was moved back to the Mingo grounds and has been going strong since.

Please visit the web site for the International Brittany Championship to see more details on the history since 2005.

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