American Field

Bronco Bully Wins 84th Running

New England Shooting Dog Futurity

By Margaret C. Drew | Nov 07, 2019
Futurity Winners. Front, from left: Mike Tracy, Eric Russell with Bronco Bully, George Tracy with Calico’s Guns N Roses, Joe McHugh with Miller’s Record Heat and Ted Faust with Erin’s Big Casino. Standing: Judge Dave O’Brien, Futurity Secretary Maria Rispoli, Futurity Chairman John Stolgitis, Judge Tim Cavanaugh, Mary Tracy, Margaret Drew and Dick Bembenek.

East Windsor, Conn. — When the New England Futurity was first proposed as a regional Futurity the proposal was not well received, or as historian Truman Cowles stated, “The idea did not spread like wildfire.”

Herbert G. “Pop” Silver headed a group first proposing a regional Futurity; however, although the need for more breeders was agreed upon, defining eligibility and other requirements proved to be a challenge. It was necessary for the first year to side-step Futurity rules, so that the first Futurity was that of one in name only, with 17 entries competing in April, 1937.

However, breeders and other dog people acknowledged that a regional Futurity was necessary to promote bird dogs so a regional set of guidelines was established and 21 dogs were entered. These rules and whelping dates were adhered to until 1939 when a June whelping date helped to change the venue to run in October beginning in 1941. This whelping provision more aligned the New England Futurity to the National Futurities. The Futurity nominations and entries remained a regional entry base for several years, expanding in the late 1970s. In the 1980s a few litters were nominated from outside New England and entries increased as well. In the early 1990s litters and entries declined once again, luckily followed by a surge to 50 to 60 entries from 35 litters in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Futurities across the country are not as well supported as one would expect. This 84th running of the New England Futurity had only 16 litters nominated, therefore the 27 entries was respectable. Futurity Secretary Maria Rispoli asked that I remind you to get your litters whelped in 2019 to her before the first of the year so as to avoid a penalty. You can find her contact information in the fixtures section in this issue under “Futurities”.

The Flaherty clubhouse has a good kitchen, bathrooms, wood stove, outside lighting, a bird building, and a pavilion for several years; however, it now displays a wall of Life Patron plaques, taxidermy of upland game, various regional historic plaques and engraved retired trophies.

In an adjacent room is a large history in pictures showing the building of the present clubhouse. In a second framed plaque there are historic photos from early trials with identified patrons, dogs and which trial is portrayed, a place of history. Many of the photos are a compilation of the historic items of the late Truman F. Cowles.

The Flaherty grounds were in prime condition this fall. Mowing had been done so as to provide young dogs with several edges to take in their search of game. The grounds are used by several bird dog groups and with a coordinated effort the courses no longer are difficult to maneuver whether on foot or horseback. The muddy gullies have been filled, areas marked with signage as had been done at the late Harry Townshend’s Ragged Hill Farm in Pomfret. Now there are signs for “The Pond”, ”Dearborn”, “Tree Islands”, “The Bowl”, “The Culvert” and probably some I did not notice hidden in the foliage.

Foliage was beautiful for this 84th event, with equally cooperative weather. In front of the clubhouse the window boxes had flowers, the clubhouse has new windows and storm doors with glass, a viewing bench near the Truman Cowles memorial area, as well as a solar lighted American flag pole.

Birds for the Futurity were picked up and put in the birdhouse by ANEFTC President Tim Cavanaugh, and planted by John Stolgitis, assisted a few braces by ANEFTC Treasurer John Olfson.

Tim Cavanaugh served as a Futurity judge with Dave O’Brien. Both men have varied bird dog experience and worked together well to reach the slate of winners. A special thanks to the judges for all their help in keeping the Futurity strong.

The Futurity winners share a divided purse of $2,000, as well as Purina feed, ribbons, along with engraved wooden plaques. DNA is required for all winners.

Sue Way was on hand serving egg sandwiches, homemade soup, chili and assorted sandwiches. Chairman John Stolgitis prepared and served a handlers’ dinner on Friday evening as everyone arrived, as well as a dinner on Saturday following the day’s running. Saturday evening’s dinner was hosted by Kevin and Maureen Joyce in honor of last year’s winner, Hightailing Penny.

During the day the pointer rescue had a fund-raising table with a silent auction.

The drawing was held Sunday while we awaited the judging announcements. Lucky Dick Bembenek was pulled for three of the four tubs. He gladly shared his gifts; he did not have room in his carry-on bag for his return flight to Arizona.

There was a gallery wagon for some braces with ANEFTC 2d-vice president Dick Bembenek driving. Dick received a Life Patron Award during the Region 1 Amateur Championship the following week. As you can see, not a New England resident now, but a supporter of the New England field trials.

It was great to have several of the veteran New England field trial officers and participants here at Flaherty for various functions of this New England Grand Slam. (New England Futurity, Northeastern Championship, Region 1, New England Open Championships.)

On Saturday morning, October 12, before the opening brace of the Futurity, Chairman John Stolgitis welcomed all participants, described the course direction and offered a moment of silence in memory of field trialers and their family members who had passed since the last Futurity. The most recent was Bob Braman of Monson, Mass., who won the Sixty-Sixth New England Futurity with his pointer female Bugsie Malone in 2001.

The Winners

Bronco Bully, white and liver pointer male bred by Dennis Hood and Tommy Walker, earned the honors as winner of the 84th New England Futurity. The litter was by Dominator’s Rebel Heir ex Bullerina.

Bronco Bully is owned by Bill and Muriel Primm  of Cream Ridge, N. J., with Ernie and Karen Saniga of Nottingham, Pa. The Primms and the Sanigas would have enjoyed watching this young dog run as a bye dog in brace No. 17.

Bronco moved forward at the sound of the whistle, casting through the right hand cover and popping out to the front before crossing the field and toward the colorful maple tree stand where at 3 he was found standing on the far left side. As the judge and gallery rode up three quail lifted and handler Mike Tracy fired. All in order for Bronco which was still standing deep under the tree growth. Following the mowed areas, Bronco hunted forward with good animation and pointed at 7 where he stood on the right side of the course this time, well to the end of the back course. He was one of few dogs that hunted this far independently while still in cooperation with handler. On this find he stood with great eye appeal as handler had to flush inside this second heavy bird area. All manners were mature with flush and shot.

Bronco then hunted forward along the edge of the field until he reached the earthen culvert crossing where at 13 his staunchness was once again rewarded as birds lifted and handler fired. Reaching forward with a happy gait he moved toward tobacco barn hill to stand once again at 18.  Mike Tracy flushed quail while the gallery viewed his appealing style and good bird manners. After making his way down the right edge he reached the far corner on the lower edge of this hillside where handler checked to see that he was safe and not outside the fencing. Whistled on by handler Bronco jetted forward and out of sight until 25 where adjacent to the clubhouse on the lower side of the hill point was called once again. As handler approached a covey of quail flushed. Bronco finished his thirty minutes partway down the right side of Dearborn, still forward, excited and hunting.

Second went to Calico’s Guns N Roses, white and black pointer female bred by Frank Henderson at Calico Kennels out of a cross with Dominator’s Rebel Heir ex Calico’s Touch of Class. Calico’s Guns N Roses is now owned by Calico Kennels, Frank Henderson and Muriel and Bill Primm.

As handler George Tracy whistled Guns N Roses down the slope she soon took to the cover with point called by scout before 2. All in order for wing and shot she was promptly released to continue her forward march. Approaching the brightly colored tree island she slowed her pace, while turned slightly to the left where she erectly stood to patiently await handler. Once again birds were flown for Roses.

Her race was strong and forward as she toured the course, not locating more game until 25 where she was seen pointing on the distant knoll. She took a few steps and locked up again as handler made his way across the long field. Birds were produced with good manners. Guns N Roses continued to finish her strong race into Dearborn.

Third was awarded to Miller’s Record Heat, pointer female owned by Joe McHugh who was present to watch as Mike Tracy guided her in this last brace on the opening day of the Futurity. Miller’s Record Heat was bred by Fran and Jack Miller with Just Irresistible ex Miller’s Bring the Heat. She is white and orange with a few small body spots on her small framed body. Her merry gait as she hunted the course was exciting to watch. At 5 she was standing, however, moved on before handler arrived. At 15 she pointed again, this time sure and proud. Her race was forward, sometimes on the edge of the field, other times grabbing a mowed edge of the grassy field and reaching the front. Approaching the clubhouse at 20 point was called for Extreme Heat. Birds were flown with all in order with the dog being taken to the edge of the field below the clubhouse where we watched her fly to the front. She was making game and hesitated at 25, although moved toward Dearborn where she finished her thirty minutes still searching happily.

Fourth went to the large white, black, tan and ticked setter male Erin’s Big Casino, bred by Justin Miller, owned by Paul Berdiner of Millersville, Pa. Paul and Amanda were mounted to watch his performance. Big is from a litter by Erin’s Hidden Shamrock ex The Stripes Livewire, whelped in Oblong, Ill. (Incidently, Big Casino had recently been awarded fourth in the Shooting Dog Pheasant Futurity). Handling this large eye-catching setter was Mike Tracy. Casino ran with a strong stretching gait, showing good hunting sense as he made wide casts. On the top of the hill where the old tobacco barns used to stand, he had a mature find followed by a spirited trek down the far edge, across the front below the clubhouse his long stride evident. He continued through the long fields under the power lines toward Dearborn to complete his thirty minutes.

The Running

Island Blue Gene (Margaret Drew) and Steel City Avenger (Jeanette Tracy). Owner Bob Reed was present to watch Avenger. Gene had three Derby finds for which he stood tall and proud, although he did take steps at shot, stopping when whoaed. He required active scouting after his second find, and finished his 30 minutes at the top of tobacco hill.  Avenger was busy off the breakaway, reaching to hunt through the bird area by the colored tree stand at 3. With determination he continued his search into the center of the course. He was picked up near the earthen dam culvert crossing at 16 for being overly ambitious with additional quail he located.

Erin’s Big Casino’s (M. Tracy) effort was covered earlier. Hiett’s Game Point (Mike Martino) stood at the colored tree stand at 3, with a second find at 10 near the earthen dam culvert. His style casual this time. At 26 we passed below the clubhouse where he had additional bird contact as he drifted to the side.

It’s Closing Time (Jeanettte Tracy) vigorously sprinted off the breakaway, straight forward before turning right toward Dearborn. By 7 handler and scout had rounded him up and were attempting to guide him to the front. He cruised to the top of tobacco hill, cast down the hill and into the area approaching the clubhouse where he required a little successful scouting to avoid a cast into the housing area so that he was able to finish thirty minutes later in the Dearborn area. Great River Cody (G. Tracy) had a nice find at 3 in the colored tree stand. Cody required the retrieval device by 14 when he did not show to the front. The receiver had been accidently left behind by a judge requiring George to head back to the breakaway, although the dog was located by bird planter John Stolgitis and returned in a harness.

Hillhavyn’s Drug Runner (Martino) flew around the course, powerful on the ground, locating game at 25 before finishing well into the Dearborn area. Miller’s Triple Digit Heat (G. Tracy) had an early find in the colored tree stand, as well as a second hunted up and attractive find at 8. He too finished strong and well into the Dearborn area.

Reedy Creek Q J (J. Tracy) started  with a nice find under the colored tree island, although disappeared part way around. Jeanette took her retrieval device as we approached the clubhouse at 23. Q J’s owner Joe McHugh was riding. Calico’s Guns N Roses (G. Tracy) was covered above with the winners.

Steel City Zipper (G. Tracy) cast out of sight and the retrieval device was out  at 9. Town Creek Hardaway Jill had owner Bill Clem of Hardaway, Ala., riding to watch his dog. Mike Martino whelped this Derby and is also the trainer and handler for Jill. She ran a bouncy animated race with wide casts, a bit difficult to keep sight of for the first 17 minutes. At 17 point was called with appropriate manners. Again at 20 she pointed, this time creeping slowly forward before and after shot. She moved well down the hillside from tobacco barn hill, crossed the new culvert into the woods adjacent to the housing development, yet staying below the clubhouse. Jill’s scout called point at 27, although she self relocated into the cover before handler arrived. When birds were flown she was standing right in the middle of the covey. She had a find at 27 hidden well in the cover below the clubhouse with all in order to finish under the power lines.

Waybetter Dude (M. Tracy) and Fort River’s Lucky Charm (Matt Basilone), the latter’s breeder and owner, Gary Tavares, was mounted to watch. The pair was down the slope from the breakaway with Dude reaching the colored tree stand first and appropriately standing to await handler. As Tracy dismounted Charm moved in, although stopped with a little caution. Birds were flown, shot taken and both dogs were led on for more hunting. At 7 Dude nailed a covey in a mowed strip as he approached the pond. A mannerly and stylish find was observed by all. Charm pointed at 8, self relocating two times before he established a well mannered find with a pleasing poise. All in order for wing and shot. At 9 Dude had made his way to the front and swapped sides of the course where he scored another nice find. Forward down the pathway both dogs were seen standing at 14; however, neither stayed on point but rather raced forward to the top of tobacco barn hill where both were sighted. Dude moved through the trees and down the treeline, while Charm carded another find before rimming the area and reaching into the field below the clubhouse. By 29 both dogs had passed through the thick fields beyond the clubhouse and rather than reaching the Dearborn field cast to the left toward the colored tree stand we passed earlier at 3. At 29 Dude had point called with Charm coming in for another hesitant back. Both handlers rode up to complete the find, as well as the thirty minutes.

Bull Finch (M. Tracy) reached more forward off the line, scored three bird contacts; however, he was leashed at 16. Lucky Recharge (Earl Drew) was hesitant down the slope, although showed a good nose with three perfect bird locations with high and tight style and solid manners. At 18 handler elected to pick him up knowing a winner would need more range than Lucky had today.

Doubledee Deeva (J. Tracy) burst off the line, turned at the corner and disappear. When she was not returned by scout or seen ahead the retrieval device was taken at 15. Chasehill Little Speck (Stolgitis) had owner Eli Richardson in the gallery. Speck quickly took to the woods off the left of the breakaway. Point was called a 2 but no birds were produced. By 7 he scored a nice find near the pond, repeating his bird-finding ability at 15 with a nice find at the top of tobacco barn hill. At 21 before reaching the clubhouse he had his third find before finishing his thirty minutes searching forward across the lower field in front of the clubhouse, stopping at 26 where he was found buried deep in the cover. Game was produced with all in order. His time ended under the power lines, still stretching well to the front.

Watch Catcher (Martino) and Miller’s Extreme Heat (M. Tracy) were speedy on the ground. Watch Catcher flew by the colored tree stand as she marched to the front; however, after getting in front of her bracemate with birds in the air Martino concluded her run for the day. Miller’s Extreme Heat’s effort was detailed earlier.

Day No. 2 dawned a bright fall morning for brace No. 11. Miller’s Record Heat (G. Tracy) and Wicked Thunder Genesis (J. Tracy), the latter with co-owner Bob Reed riding almost every brace of this Futurity to check out the competition, and co-owner Joe McHugh also present to take watch Genesis. With record speed both dogs were to the front, reaching the colored tree stand in two minutes to thoroughly check out the area. I am not sure exactly what happened, although both dogs were quickly marching on. The course travels down the middle of the back side of the pond, Genesis covering the territory to the right with speed being seen sparingly on the edge of the cover. When handler reached the end the dog was not standing but was spotted to the front. Near the earthen dam and culvert crossing Genesis was hunting well to the right still preferring to hunt the cover.  Jeanette rode slowly forward until she reached the top of tobacco barn hill where she took her retrieval device. Record Heat made her way to the back side of the trees on the left of the pond and hunted forward to the center roadway. When she crossed the earthen dam culvert she hesitated and then chased the lifting quail. She was reluctant to respond to scout or handler, not returning to the course. Consequently she was harnessed.

Brace No. 12 had the gallery wagon along for the ride, with several spectators aboard. Among them were Sue Mickolyick Jacobson and her husband Rick. Rick is the Connecticut Bureau Chief of Natural Resources in the Flaherty Area whose crews have done a spectacular job in making the Flaherty grounds look tremendous. At this time I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge that the Flaherty Association is a very active group which works with state groups to make the Flaherty Field Trial Grounds the wonderful state area that it is. Details stated above.

R Q’s Saddle (J.Tracy) and Iron Bull (M. Tracy) were eagerly down the cut and reaching across the lower field toward the colored tree stand. At 3 point was called for Iron Bull standing tall and sure, while  Saddle scooted by on the eastern side of the tree stand. Saddle made his way on the left side of the sand road toward the pond where at 5 he stacked up in a mowed lane. As handler approached a covey of eight lifted as Saddle stood proudly watching. Crossing the sand road, Saddle skirted down the right side, while Iron Bull continued along the wooded edge beside the pond. Both dogs nailed quail at 8. They made their way to the top of tobacco hill with point being called by a scout riding in the lower field; however, both dogs moved on as handlers rode up. Iron Bull was harnessed. Saddle sped down the long hill, crossed on the bottom and was found standing tall at 22. The longer his handler flushed he began to loosen. With birds being flown, the dog was tapped to continue his thirty minutes.

The Secret (J. Tracy) scored a nice find under the colored tree stand with all in order. An additional find at 12 interrupted his pleasing forward path. At 16 he cast to the left along the water trench before entering the field below the clubhouse where he stopped attentively. Judge saw a squirrel as he rode up; however, fifteen feet to the side three quail were spotted running and shot was taken with all in order. He finished his 30 minutes to the front without further bird work. Miller’s High Heat Index (M. Tracy) had a difficult communication day between himself and his handler. He did display good style each time we saw him.

In brace No. 14, Bronco Bully ran as a bye dog and was the eventual winner.

East Windsor, Conn., October 12

Judges: Tim Cavanaugh and David O’Brien


and 5 Setters

Island Blue Genes, setter male, by Islander—Sandland Miracle Maggie. Mills Hodge, breeder and owner; Margaret Drew, handler. With

Steel City Avenger, pointer male, by Waybetter Rocky—Steel City Karen. Bob Reed & Betsy Archer, breeders; Karen & Bob Reed, owners; Jeanette Tracy, handler.

Erin’s Big Casino. With

Hiett’s Game Point, pointer male, by Touch’s Game Point—Jamback’s Amazing Grace. Mike Martino, breeder; Tim Hiett, owner; Mike Martino, handler.

It’s Closing Time, pointer male, by Atta Boy’s Split Rail—Pink Pistol. George Kimbrell, breeder; Ted Faust, owner; Jeanette Tracy, handler. With

Great River Cody, setter male, by Shadow Oak Doc—Jessie Bonanza. Ted Faust & Claudia McNamee, breeders; Gwynne McDevitt, owner; Jeanette Tracy, handler.

Hillhavyn’s Drug Runner, pointer male, by Game Point—Jamback’s Amazing Grace. Mike Martino, breeder; Brad Brown, owner; Mike Martino, handler. With

Miller’s Triple Digit Heat, pointer male, by Just Irresistible—Miller’s Bring The Heat. Fran & Jack Miller, breeders; Allen Linder, owner;  George Tracy, handler.

Reedy Creek Q J, pointer female, by Waybetter Rocky—Ladywood Keepsake. Jeanette Tracy, breeder; Joe McHugh, owner; Jeanette Tracy, handler. With

Calico's Guns N Roses.

Steel Valley Zipper, pointer male, by Lindley’s Slow Ride—Lindley’s Cowgirl Up. Harry Blaine & Karen Conroy, breeders; Harry Blaine, owner; George Tracy, handler. With

Town Creek HardAway Jill, pointer female, by Touch’s Game Point—Jamback’s Amazing Grace. Mike Martino, breeder; Bill Clem, owner; Mike Martino, handler.

Waybetter Dude, pointer male, by Waybetter Rocky—Steel City Karen. Bob Reed & Betsy Archer, breeders; Bill & Muriel Primm & Carl & Collin Bishop, owners; Mike Tracy, handler. With

Fort River’s Lucky Charm, setter male, by Mohawk Mill Lucky Charm—Fort River Jackie. Gary Tavares, breeder and owner; Matt Basilone, handler.

Bull Finch, pointer female, by Dominator’s Rebel Heir—Bullerina. Dennis Hood & Tommy Walker, breeders; Muriel & Bill Primm & Ernie & Karen Saniga, owners; Mike Tracy, handler. With

Lucky Recharge, pointer male, by Bud of Piney Woods—Blue Ribbon Bella. Marty Festa, breeder and owner; Earl Drew, handler.

Doubledee Deeva, setter female, by Shadow Oak Doc—Jessie Bonanza. Ted Foust & Claudia McNamee, breeders; Gwynne McDevitt, owner; Jeanette Tracy, handler. With

Chasehill Little Speck, pointer male, by Daddy’s Little Boy Butch—Porter Meadow Bette. John Stolgitis, breeder; Eli Richardson, owner; John Stolgitis, handler.

Watch catcher, pointer female, by Touch’s Game Point—Jamback’s Amazing Grace. Mike Martino, breeder; John Arlington, owner; Mike Martino, handler. With

Miller’s Extreme Heat, pointer female, by Just Irresistible—Bring the Heat. Fran & Jack Miller, breeders; Joe McHugh, owner; Mike Tracy, handler.

Miller’s Record Heat. With

Wicked Thunder Genesis, pointer female, by Waybetter Rocky—Steel City Karen. Bob Reed & Betsy Archer, breeders; Joe McHugh & Teri Propst, owners; Jeanette Tracy, handler.

R Q’S Saddle, pointer male, by Waybetter Rocky—Steel City Karen. Bob Reed & Betsy Archer, breeders; Ted Faust & Muriel Primm, owners; Jeanette Tracy, handler. With

Iron Bull, pointer male, by Dominator’s Rebel Heir—Bullerina. Dennis Hood & Tommy Walker, breeders; Muriel & Bill Primm & Ernie & Karen Saniga, owners; Mike Tracy, handler.

The Secret, pointer male, by Waybetter Rocky—Ladywood Keepsake. Jeanette Tracy, Brian Sanchez & Ted Faust, breeders; Brian Sanchez & Lisa Pollock, owners; Jeanette Tracy, handler. With

Miller’s High Heat Index, pointer male, by Just Irresistible—Bring the Heat. Fran & Jack Miller, breeders; Casey Hollander & Stanton Harrell, owners; Mike Tracy, handler.

Bronco Bully.


1st—BRONCO BULLY, 1686063, pointer male, by Dominator’s Rebel Heir—Bullerina. Ernie & Karen Saniga & Bill & Muriel Primm, owners; Mike Tracy, handler.

2d—Calico’s Guns N Roses, 1682136, pointer female, by Dominator’s Rebel Heir—Calico’s Touch of Class. Muriel & Bill Primm & Calico Kennels, owners; Frank Henderson, handler.

3d—Miller’s Record Heat, 1685700, pointer female, by Just Irresistible—Miller’s Bring the Heat.  Allen Linder, owner; George Tracy, handler.

4th—Erin’s Big Casino, 1682928, setter male, by Erin’s Hidden Shamrock—Three Stripe’s Livewire. Paul Berdiner, owner; Mike Tracy, handler.

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