American Field

Dr. George Najor’s Setter Sunrise Star Wins 2018 Title; Matthew Phillips’ Phillips Half Moon is the Runner-Up

Mid-States Walking Shooting Dog Championship

By Joe Cammisa | Jun 04, 2018
Championship Winners. From left: Robert Ecker with Sunrise Star, Judge Jeff Phelps, Dominic Mains, Tom Mains, Joey Mains, Mark Hughes with Phillips Half Moon, Judge Jim Thomas and Joe Cammisa.

Harrisville, Pa. — Stake manager Tom Mains saw the 2018 Mid-States Shooting Dog Championship begin to unfold as he pulled the entry slips out of the fish bowl, for the drawing of this great field trial renewal.

Thirty hopefuls were lined up two by two for their trip on the arc. Trainers, handlers and owners had done their jobs preparing their charges and were positioning for a fight to the finish.

Oakridge Pointing Dog Club in Harrisville, Pa., is the venue and the grounds were prepared in outstanding detail. The clubhouse was ready and hot coffee and morning pastries awaited all who arrived and entered. The parking lot was beginning to fill, and the sounds of a field trial filled the air.

Judges for the event were fellow New Yorkers Jim Thomas and Jeff Phelps, both owners, handlers and trainers of classy and exemplary bird dogs. Both are well accomplished and knowing of a championship quality shooting dog. Speaking of Jim and Jeff, they were eager to get started on this first morning and Jim Thomas called for the initial brace with a “dogs on the line” yell.

Pistol Grip (PM/D. Hughes) and Sunrise Star (SF/Ecker) were off at 7:14 a. m. with a nice forward breakaway taking in the left stretch. The breakaway boundaries were pushed to the limit and they made their swing west into the pond area. Pistol was the first to make the pond turn and struck paydirt near the road crossing at 13 with Star quickly coming in for a mannerly back. With all in order both were off again crossing the road at 15, Star being the aggressor now for three quality finds in a row at 21, 26 and 31, with Pistol showing his honoring skills. At 36 Star worked her way through a stop to flush and both were once again off, both taking the long north boundary hill to the bottom where they pinned their quarry just inside the woodsedge. The resulting divided find showed both dogs as expert and mannerly. A very nice and exciting brace to watch. Star showed she could run, as did Pistol. For the next nine minutes they covered the clubhouse turn, the south stretch, past the platform and around the west point, disappearing out of sight. Just before time was called both were found standing at 60, Pistol with the honors this time and Star backing proudly.

Backcountry Tornado (PF/Catanzarite) and Boston (PM/S. Forman) took the east hill to the end showing an eager effort to reach out. Boston hit the first bird with style and manners at 11. “Torre” stopped at 12 and was moved on by her handler. She drove it home with a find at 12 after crossing the road. Boston returned the favor at 15 in the first corner of the west side while Torre came in for a mannerly back. Boston struck again at 19 and signaled once more at 30. Torre went on her own spree and completed finds at 28 and 32. A divided find at 41 sent both dogs careening around the clubhouse turn with Torre striking again at 50. She was loosed and disappeared just after time was called along with Boston, Torre to be found standing after a search of the point.

Texas Free Mason (SM/Ecker) and La Sombra (PM/D. Hughes) both took off like a shot. Mason was the first to check in, both tagging the first find, a divided at 12. La Sombra (Trico) rose to the occasion at 16 and Mason showed his backing abilities. At 33 Trico pinned another but the temptation was too much. Mason, having the field to himself, tagged two more at 34 and 42, with his bid ending at time.

Hypointe Danny McHuntley (SM/ Mellon) and Upper Ammonoosuc Sadie (SF/Ecker) were off in a flash, both reaching the road crossing in record time. At 9 Sadie drew first blood and was pointing in a large patch while Danny was backing. Sadie covered a lot of ground fast. Danny later stopped at 21 and Sadie returned the honor with a back this time. With nothing produced they were off again in style. Sadie struck at 28 with Danny backing. Danny came back at 35 in the north boundary hilltop corner, where the flashy Sadie graciously backed for the strapping setter. At 38 and 42 Sadie and Dan struck respectively. Dan hit the boards once more at the top of the platform for another find; Sadie was there in support. Another fine brace to have watched.

Double Deuce Dexter (PM/D. Hughes) and Let’s Do It (SM/DeRosa) broke away after lunch at 1:32. They filled the countryside up, using the entire east end course. Cooper hit the first bird with high style at 13. Dexter found his own piece of gold about 45 yards away, over the hill. A small amount of movement on Cooper’s part during the flush was cause for his end, while 45 yards away Dexter was making his own type of movement. Both dogs ended their bid.

Suemac’s Sashay (PF/M. Hughes) and Shady Hills Whiskey Bonfire (SM/S. Forman). After a breakaway at 2:14, both dogs had pinned their quarry at 10 and 12. Both nice pieces of work. They were both back hunting hard when Sass pointed at 19 and Whiskey backed honorably. No bird was produced. After a long cast along the ditch line, Sass hit her bird like hitting a wall and everything finished in order. Whiskey was leashed at 30, and Sass soon followed.

Kendal Hills Dawson Creek (PM/M. Hughes) and Sterlingworth Judge (SM/ Ecker) are no strangers to the field trial circuit. Dawson started well and Judge was right behind, not giving an inch. Judge made the turn for the pond and Dawson ate up the long stretch of the breakaway. Judge hit the pond turn first and crossed the road at 10. Dawson stopped at 12 and no bird was produced. Dawson was into the niche at 17 when he next pointed. He then pointed again at 36 on the north hill boundary top corner, at 42 on the stretch to the clubhouse turn, just after the clubhouse turn at 54 and finished his hour. Judge was running big and his prey drive took him to the corners. The retrieval unit was called for.

Sutter’s Back Country Race (SF/D. Hughes) and Miss Penn Star (SF/Ecker), both fancy running setters, were let go at 4:15. Race took the edge of the east boundary and filled the breakaway. Penn Star did much the same with both hailing the south corner after a great start. Race made the pond turn at 9 and Penn Star got there shortly after. Penn Star came to a screeching halt and Race, not able to stop in time, passed her up. Race ended her bid there in the high grass corner. No bird was produced, and both were up by the duck blind turn.

Wayward Flying Tomato (SM/M. Hughes) and Lake Stormin Trixette (SF/ Kreuer), both nice moving setters, were running to the limits. Stormy tagged her first find at 10, but some movement ended her bid. “Cooper” crossed the road at 13 after a good long search of the east side property and was on his way down the south borderline turning north and into the high grass corner. Checking that out and moving far forward, he stopped hard at 29. A bird was produced, and he was leashed.

The second day came early, but Bo of Piney Woods (PM/Ecker) and Phillips Half Moon (SF/M. Hughes) were on the line and moving at 7:07 starting the 10th brace of the Championship. Off with determination, both covered the breakaway side of the road. Bo drew the arrow back first at 12 when he stopped abruptly and sent out some serious positive vibes. All in order, both were across the road by 14 and digging deep only to stop together at 23 for a divided unproductive. Another divided stand at 28 produced a bird and the shots rang out. “Remi” then pointed again at 37, 41 in the stubble before the south point and again at 46. Just before time scout Chris Catanzarite was sent out and found her once more at 60 standing.

Beaver Meadow Rose (PF/M. Hughes) and Southern Cross Barandilla (PM/Mellon). The initial casts were big, but both settled in fast. Rose came up through the pond turn and negotiated her way to the upper area. She soon found what she was looking for and pinned a quail at 12. Barandilla came in for the back and honored well. All in order, both were sent on. Rose stopped again at 17. High and tight, she was moved a few yards for a relocation, but no bird was produced. Both were up early.

Texas Honey Bee (SF/Klein) and Nic of Time (PM/S. Forman) ran to the edge of the breakaway and made the turn down the hill toward the pond, hitting the road crossing at 11 where Bee struck first. All in order. Nic went on his way to stardom by coming up with an out of pocket find on the old breakaway hillside at 15. After a short relocation, it went down in the judge’s book as a very nice piece of work. Bee stopped again at 19, along with Nic stopping elsewhere on his own for a dead bird. Both ended their bids.

Islander (SM/Ecker) and Backcountry Sassy (PF/Catanzarite). The clock started at 9:46 and the dogs used all the breakaway to begin to stretch their muscles. Islander pulled it out first by pointing at 9, Sassy rolling in for the back. After an extended flush, all was in order. They moved further forward on up the course where Islander suffered an unproductive 13. Islander struck again with a bird at 20. At 28 he pointed again with Sassy backing but was asked to relocate and no bird was produced. Sassy left the scene and hunted hard producing a find at 31. Their bid ended.

Suemac’s Roll Tide (PM/M. Hughes) and Shady Hills Colt (PM/M. Forman) were off at 10:43 and tearing down the walls to get going. With a nice breakaway for both, “Bama” stopped first at 9; no bird was produced. He came back strong and pinned one at 13. Meanwhile, back at 11, Colt was having minor difficulty with his find, and ended his bid. Bama went on to tag another at 30, but did not produce one at 37, ending his day in the field.

Young Grouse Freddie (SM/S. Forman) and Double Deuce Molly (PF/ D. Hughes). Heading along the east boundary, they broke away to the south. Freddie made the pond turn first at 9 while Molly came along at 11 and pointed at the high end of the pond turn near the road. A nice find where no other dog had been before. Everything was in order. She struck once more before crossing the road at 16. Molly stopped at 25 for a find on the left hill just past the duck blind turn, all in order. Both dogs started toward the hillside turn toward the upper north boundary and both independently pointed positive and both produced. Both ended their bids.

The judges made their final decisions and placed Dr. George Najor’s setter Sunrise Star, handled by Robert Ecker, the winner of the 2018 Mid-States Walking Shooting Dog Championship and Matthew Phillips’ Phillips Half Moon, handled by Mark Hughes, runner-up.

The judges also noted honorable mentions for two dogs that were closest to the winners — Backcountry Tornado, pointer female handled by Chris Catanzarite, and Upper Ammonoosuc Sadie, setter female handled by Robert Ecker.

The Championship would like to thank the many who helped with the running. Among them are Norm Meeder, Chris Catanzarite, Suzie Cammisa, Brandon Kreuer, The Oak Ridge Pointing Dog Club, Ron Schmeider, Dave Hughes, Joseph and Dominic Mains, Joe Cammisa and Carl Bishop.

We would also like to thank Doug McMillen, the owner of the 2016 winner Double Deuce Molly, and Peter Kazic, the owner of the 2017 winner Islander, for providing the lunches all week.

We would especially like to thank Greg Blair of Nestlé Purina. They have been supportive of the Championship and field trialing in the area for years. Without their generous support, our dreams may not unfold the way that they do. We cannot thank them enough and certainly request that you the reader support them by feeding Purina.

Harrisville, Pa., April 19 — One Course

Judges: Jeff Phelps and Dr. James Thomas


[One-Hour Heats] — 15 Pointers and 15 Setters

Winner—SUNRISE STAR, 1645029, setter male, by Harbor City Hummer—Sandland Cinnamon. Dr. George Najor, owner; R. J. Ecker, Jr., handler.

Runner-Up—PHILLIPS HALF MOON, 1648257, setter female, by Long Gone Boston—Grouse Ridge Comet. Matthew Phillips, owner; Mark Hughes, handler.

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