American Field

Field Trial Report

NGSPA Pheasant Championships

By Anthony Rusciano | Jan 05, 2018
Derby Classic Winners. Front (l-r): Darcy Calder with Tibercreek’s Two Paws Up, Hayley Rusciano, Dayna Rusciano with Hidden Valley’s Indian Scout, Russ Roth with Straitline’s All About Josie and Laurie Brown. Middle: Joe Amatulli, Summer Rusciano, Anthony Rusciano and Charlie Brown. Back: Bob Perlin and Brian Smith.

Wye Island, Md. — November 3 was the start of the 44th running of the NGSPA Pheasant Championship taking place on the scenic grounds of Wye Island, Md.

We are fortunate to have many field trial friends return to this Championship year after year, some without even having a dog ready to compete.

Beautiful scenery, delicious meals, competitive dogs, and friends who are more like extended family make it an enjoyable time for everyone.

Mother Nature provided us with cool and mostly clear conditions throughout the week. The grounds, although dry and well maintained, had sparse cover and only select patches held the pheasant adequately. Many pheasant were pointed in the standing rows of corn cover inside the edges of the fields.

Whether it was behind the scenes making phone calls or taking entries, planting birds, driving the dog wagon, assisting in the kitchen, being a stake manager, or jumping in where needed, this Championship could not be a successful event without a team effort from the entire board of directors. Bill and Ellie Mengert, Michaelene Albanese, Bill Bruchey, Bob Perlin, Chris Young, Kevin Joyce, Joe Orndorff, Greg Nicholson, Jennifer Sheehan, Mickey Monica, Robert Reynolds and Dayna Rusciano, thank you all for volunteering your time to make this Championship an enjoyable one for all of our attendees. We are also very grateful for all of the assistance from our participants who supported this Championship by stepping in and lending a helping hand. Special appreciation for their hard work and dedication goes out to a few of our attendees; for donating to the raffle and the limited edition painting Charlie and Laurie Brown, Garoppo’s Feed and Pet Supply for their generous gift basket, Joyce Burjan for raffle item donations, to the entire team of Ohio ladies for handling the mega-raffle, and to April Raber, Summer and Hayley Rusciano for distributing the raffle tickets. Scott Weslow did a stand-up job organizing and running the Calcutta. Bill and Daretta Bruchey for preparing Saturday evening’s barbecue feast, Joe Amatulli for preparing Sunday’s dinner, and Fred Ryan and Hank Lewis for donating the baskets of crabs and shrimp. Wayne Scubelek, our wrangler, for supplying the horses.

Hats off to Fred Ryan for donating all of this year’s runner-up trophies and to Michaelene Albanese for donating the ASD winner’s trophy. To the State of Maryland and to park ranger Martin Callahan, thank you for allowing us to continue to utilize the island.

The board would also like to express our gratitude to Terry Trzcinski, Greg Blair and Purina for your unwavering support throughout the years. Jim Morehouse, at SportDog, we appreciate your generosity in sponsoring and supporting our Championship. Gun Dog Supply thank you for donating raffle gift certificates. To our professional trainers and handlers thank you for traveling many miles to attend and support our Championship. Dan DiMambro and April Raber we can always count on you, and to Ronnie Sales, thank you for joining us this year. We are extremely grateful to Keith and Bobbi Richardson for your attendance and overwhelming support and generosity to our Championship, as well as to the sport of field trialing; we cannot thank you enough.

Last but not least thank you to all of our judges (Kevin Joyce, Ed Kerr, Matt Basilone, Terry Bomer, Alex Smith and Dan Burjan) for taking time out of your busy schedules to look at our dogs!

This year’s Championship was dedicated in the memory of Jerry Albanese, our vice-president and dear friend that passed. On Saturday after the day’s running, before our evening dinner, the current president Anthony Rusciano and past president Bill Mengert, along with fellow pheasant board members, honored Jerry’s years of loyalty and dedication by presenting his wife Michaelene with two memorial plaques. The first plaque was the Pheasant Championship Amateur Handler memorial plaque. This perpetual plaque will be engraved each year with the name of an amateur, chosen by the Amateur Shooting Dog judges, who demonstrates great sportsmanship. We are honored that amateur Hank Lewis was this year’s recipient. Hank not only handled his own dog in the ASD, he also rode every brace as stake marshal and scouted for other participants when required. The second plaque that the Pheasant Championship, as well as many of Jerry’s field trial friends and clubs donated money to in his behalf, was the Bird Dog Hall of Fame memorial plaque. Everyone was touched as Michaelene proudly accepted these plaques.


By Anthony Rusciano

The Pheasant Championship program kicked off with the Derby Classic on Friday, Kevin Joyce of East Northport, N. Y., and Edward Kerr of Berlin, N. J., judging the developing young dogs. This year we broke away from the Boy Scout camp and utilized the entire island. Many of the dogs did find and point their first pheasant. There was plenty of excitement watching them run and handle the open grounds.

First place was awarded to Straitline’s All About Josie, owned by Charlie and Laurie Brown and handled by Charlie Brown. The judges stated that Josie was nice to watch. She had wide range, was always forward, and had a strong run. Charlie and Laurie couldn’t be any happier with their dog’s performance. Second place went to Hidden Valley’s Indian Scout, owned and handled by Toby Tobiassen. “Tonto” was consistent to the first place dog but although he was always forward he was a bit slower on the ground. Placed third was Tibercreek’s Two Paws Up, owned by Darcy and Mark Calder and handled by Joseph Amatulli. This young dog made some nice casts but showed some signs of immaturity with a few back casts. Congratulations to all the Derby owners and handlers on your up and coming dogs.

Wye Island, Md., November 3 — One Course

Judges: Kevin Joyce and Edward Kerr


1st—STRAITLINE’S ALL ABOUT JOSIE, 1673133, female, by In Country’s Cummings Diesel—Hard Hitting Critical Kate. Laurie Brown, owner; C. A. Brown, handler.

2d—HIDDEN VALLEY’S INDIAN SCOUT, 1675654, male, by Hidden Valley’s Nick E’s Bowti—Hidden Valley’s Little Brownie. Toby Tobiassen, owner and handler.

3d—TIBERCREEK’S TWO PAWS UP, 1670728, male, by Hi N’s Feed Jake—Tulli’s Excess. Darcy & Mark Calder, owners; Joseph Amatulli, handler.


By Dayna Rusciano

The judges for the running of the 44th NGSPA Pheasant Amateur Shooting Dog Championship were Alex Smith of Nazareth, Pa., and Edward Kerr. An unfortunate horse accident took judge Ed Kerr out of the saddle after the third brace and he was replaced by judge Daniel Burjan of Flemington, N. J. We were very grateful that Dan rode the first three braces and volunteered time away from his busy schedule to help us out. Ed Kerr was taken to the hospital and although he took a hard spill off the horse, besides from being achy, he was uninjured. The weather for the stake was ideal for running dogs, cool and overcast. Amateur Hank Lewis stood out to the judges and earned his name on the Jerry Albanese Pheasant Championship Amateur Handler memorial plaque, rewarding him for his sportsmanship.

Out of a field of 24 starters, the judges selected Hi N’s Hasty Matilda, owned and handled by Hank Lewis, as this year’s champion. Mattie was in brace No. 2 of the Championship and had a nice forward shooting dog performance throughout the entire brace. She broke away and was all business from the very beginning. Mattie covered the course aggressively, hunting every field thoroughly with a quick powerful stride before moving onto the next objective. She scored her only find at 45 where she was found standing with beautiful style and intensity. The pheasant was produced and she handled the pheasant with perfect manners. Mattie responded kindly to her handler requiring minimal scouting and finished the hour as strong as she started. Her performance earned her the championship title.

Brace No. 4 produced runner-up B M B’s High Character, owned by Keith and Bobbi Richardson and handled by Keith. “Carrick” had a strong forward breakaway and was rewarded with his first find at 12. This pheasant tested Carrick’s manners as he ran throughout the cover and took his time to make flight. Carrick’s style remained intact as the pheasant flew over his head. After this find Carrick hunted the course aggressively until he was found standing at 45. The bird was produced and all was in order. Although his run was not as strong as the winner he completed the hour with ease.

The judges mentioned a few other dogs that showed themselves beautifully and were considered contenders. Brace No. 1 had K J’s Hightailing Tess, owned by Kevin and Maureen Joyce, handled by Kevin Joyce. Tess had a strong forward race and showed a lot of power. She completed her lines perfectly. She had two nice stylish finds at 12 and 28. Sadly she bumped a bird at 58 taking her out of contention. In brace No. 6, Up N’Adam’s Bustin Loose, owned by Anthony and Dayna Rusciano, handled by Anthony Rusciano. Buster had a nice ground race and was always forward. Buster was rewarded with two finds at 39 and 49. He was classy and animated on point showing he was a seasoned dog. Buster’s finish was short as he got sticky hunting the corn strips. In brace No. 9 — Chicoree’s Cuttin Loose, owned and handled by Fred Ryan DVM, was a pleasure to watch; she handled kindly and had a find at 52. Loose took edges and hunted nicely as a mature dog. She shortened up toward the end of the hour. The most amusing dog of the stake came from brace No. 12, Ehrlichers Dusty Rubicon of Prairie Wind, owned by Keith and Bobby Richardson and handled by Keith Richardson. “Jeep” managed to find the only bridge on and off the island and he chose to take himself a dive right off the side of the bridge into the water. He was rescued and brought back to land via a family fishing near the bridge in a boat. Leave it to our fine GSP breed to pull off such a stunt!

Judges: Daniel Burjan, Edward Kerr and Alex Smith


Winner—HI N’S HASTY MATILDA, 1657658, female, by Hi N’s Feed Jake—Hi N’s Southern Cross. Hank Lewis, owner and handler.

Runner-Up—B M B’S HIGH CHARACTER, 1658558, male, by by High Roll N’s Proposition—High Roll N’s Money Pit’s. Brandon & Jennifer Blum, owners; Keith Richardson, handler.


By Anthony Rusciano

Monday was a great day to be in the saddle for All-Age judges Terry Bomer of Spring, Tex., and Matthew Basilone of Pittsgrove, N. J. The weather was clear and we had a full day of dogs to run. Unfortunately it was not such a great day for many of the dogs that ran and too many dogs outran the course and were lost to the front or found themselves under a bird. Although the Championship was withheld and no trophies or ribbons were distributed, the judges did award a first and second placement.

Hello Lucy, in the second brace, owned and handled by Wayne Horner, was placed first. Lucy broke away strong and had a consistent forward race throughout the brace. At 46 in the back field before the private property Lucy was found standing; the pheasant was produced and all was in order. Lucy had good style and great response to the handler.

Second place was awarded to the first brace dog Orlando’s Oswald V Greif, owned by Dr. William Orlando and handled by Dan DiMambro. Oswald had a nice forward race and responded well to the handler. At 15 and at 31 he backed his bracemate and all was in order. He was rewarded with a find at 40 and his style never let down after the bird was flushed. Even though Oswald finished the hour strong his two backcasts halfway through the brace hurt his placement.

Judges: Matthew Basilone and Terry Bomer


[One-Hour Heats] — 10 German Shorthairs

[Title Withheld]

1st—HELLO LUCY, 1642921, female, by Bye Bye Billy Joe—Woodland Trail Scout. Wayne Horner, owner and handler.

2d—ORLANDO’S OSWALD V GREIF, 1660256, male, by Orlando’s Oscar v Greif—Heidi v Greif. Dr. William Orlando, owner; Dan DiMambro, handler.


By Anthony Rusciano

Eighteen dogs handled by both professionals and amateur handlers. competed on Tuesday and Wednesday in the Open Shooting Dog Championship.

Our judges were Matt Basilone and Terry Bomer.

The weather throughout the stake was cool and overcast with a light wind coming off the water across the island.

This year’s champion came from brace No. 7. J B Wagoners Lightning is owned by Lee Wagoner of Union City, Mich., and was handled by Dan DiMambro. Jackson had a strong breakaway and made nice forward moves throughout the entire brace. Judges noted that he completed his lines and had nice movement to the next line. Throughout the brace he handled kindly and was rewarded with four finds. He was found to the front at 14 on a stylish find. The pheasant was flushed and all was in order. When released by the handler after his first find he continued forward with good power, speed and animation. J B had another find at 28 where he showed off his manners as the stubborn pheasant ran around his feet. At 40 he was once again found standing a pheasant with very good style. With only minutes left in the brace J B slammed on another pheasant; his intensity never let down throughout the flush. He finished forward and with plenty of run left in him, deserving the title of champion.

The runner-up also came from brace No. 7, P W Extraordinaire, owned by Keith and Bobbi Richardson and handled by Ronnie Sale. “Airee” started off the hour with a strong forward cast using the wind in his favor. Airee was founding backing his bracemate at 14. He stood throughout the flush with a high head and tail.

At 28 Airee was once again found backing. As the handler released him he made a big forward cast and stuck his edges. He had his only find about halfway through the brace at 35. During this find he stood through a pheasant that was difficult to make fly proving that he was a seasoned dog with good manners. He ran a consistent shooting dog race and handled kindly. Airee finished the brace running as strong as he started.

There were a couple of other dogs that the judges took notice of and mentioned that they could have used.

In the first brace, Up N’Adam’s Bustin’ Loose, owned by Anthony and Dayna Rusciano and handled by Anthony Rusciano, had a forward race and was always using the wind to his advantage. Buster had four evenly spaced finds, all with manners of a seasoned dog. Buster’s finish was not as strong as the dogs that placed.

Also from brace No. 1 was P W Mya’s Feather Duster, owned by Keith and Bobbi Richardson and handled by Ronnie Sale. “Kirbee” had a strong first cast to the front and was found standing at 8. He ran a forward race throughout the brace and finished with an additional two finds. His manners were not as polished as the winning dogs.

P W Mya’s Contender, owned by Keith and Bobbi Richardson and handled by Ronnie Sale, which competed in the fifth brace, was a nice young dog that showed lots of potential but made some immature moves.

In Brace No. 8 Hi N’s Hasty Matilda, owned and handled by Hank Lewis, could have made the judges’ decision a bit more difficult if it wasn’t for her second unproductive at 56. With four very stylish finds and a consistent nice forward race from start to finish she would have certainly given the judges something to think about.

Congratulations to both the champion and runner-up owners and handlers.


[One-Hour Heats] — 18 German Shorthairs

Winner—J B WAGONERS LIGHTNING, 1652983, male, by Shoemakers Shootingstarrs—Son Starr’s Lady. L. C. Wagoner, owner; Dan DiMambro, handler.

Runner-Up—P W EXTRAORDINAIRE, 1629669, female, by P W Zipp N Lock—P W Eat Mya Dust. Keith & Bobbi Richardson, owners; Ronnie Sale, handler.

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