American Field

Field Trial Report

NGSPA Pheasant Championships

By Anthony Rusciano | Jan 10, 2019
Open Shooting Dog Championship Winners. From left: Giovanni Goegan, Chris Goegan, Joe Orndorff, Stacy Goegan with Joke’s on You, Chase Verdoorn and Mark Verdoorn, the judges; April Raber with Hidden Valley Indian Scout, Anthony Rusciano and Dan DiMambro.

Wye Island, Md. — The kick off for the 45th running of the NGSPA Pheasant Championship was on Friday, November 2, on the beautiful grounds of Wye Island, Md.

Mother Nature was not in our corner this year. We could have used canoes to get around the course instead of on horseback. Ranger Martin Callahan, who manages the grounds, informed us that it was the third wettest season recorded on the island. Fortunately for our attendees most of the heavy rain came in the evening, so we avoided getting too soggy while running our dogs.

Even though the grounds were soaked at times and we had sparse cover to work with, our pheasant planter Phil Vadeboncoeur did an outstanding job and almost every brace had established bird work. Phil, we can’t thank you enough for your assistance and the use of your UTV.

Every year our championship program is always fortunate to have many field trial friends return. I guess the beautiful scenery, delicious meals, competitive dogs, and friends who are more like family make it an enjoyable time. Whether it was taking entries, planting birds, driving the dog wagon, assisting in the kitchen, being a stake manager, or jumping in where needed, these Championships could not be a successful event without a team effort. Thank you to the entire board of directors for volunteering your time to make this championship program an enjoyable one for all of our attendees.

We are also very grateful for all of the assistance from our participants who supported these Championships by stepping in and lending a helping hand. Special appreciation for their hard work and dedication goes out to a few of our attendees; Dayna Rusciano for shopping, preparing meals and doing just about everything else that needed to be done; Dan Burjan for raffle and food donations; April Raber for distributing the raffle tickets and kitchen help; Bill and Daretta Bruchey for preparing Saturday evening’s barbecue turkeys; Dan DiMambro for assisting in prepping and cooking meals; Wayne Horner for standing in as acting treasurer; Joe Amatulli, Jen Sheehan, Wayne Horner, Joe Orndorff for driving the dog wagon; Chris Young for arriving early each morning to catch and crate the pheasant; Keith Richardson and Hank Lewis for donating the baskets of crabs and shrimp; Michealene Albanese for taking the entries and assisting in the kitchen.

If I left anyone out, the Pheasant Championship board certainly appreciated your help.

Chris Goegan of Hi-Point Kennels, a huge thank you for supplying the horses for our amateur participants this year.

Hats off to Fred Ryan for donating all of this year’s runner-up trophies; Michaelene Albanese for donating the Amateur Shooting Dog winner’s trophy; Linda and Brian Promaulayko for donating Derby Classic trophies.

To the State of Maryland, 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 program. Steve Snell of Gun Dog Supply and Alan Davison of Dogs Unlimited, thank your for your sponsorship and support.

To our professional trainers and handlers, thank you for traveling many miles to attend and support our championships. Dan DiMambro and April Raber, Chris, Stacy and Giovanni Goegan, and Rich and Penny Robertson, thank you for joining us this year and for all of your support.

We cannot thank Keith and Bobbi Richardson enough for their overwhelming support and generosity to our championship program, as well as to the sport of field trialing.

Last but not least, thank you to all of our judges (Lisa Pollock, Brian Sanchez, Chase and Mark Verdoorn) for taking time away from your families and out of your busy schedules to look at our dogs.


The Pheasant Championships started with the Derby Classic on Friday, November 2, with Brian Sanchez of Central Islip, N. Y., and Lisa Pollock of Medford, N. J., judging the up-and-coming young dogs.

This year we couldn’t break away from the usual spot, the Boy Scout camp, because the bean crop was still up. We broke away from the following field up the road on the opposite side of the Boy Scout camp and utilized the entire island. The gated fields were excluded from this stake. Many of the young dogs did have a tough time scenting a pheasant but there was plenty of excitement watching them run and  handle the open grounds.

First place was awarded to High Standing Cuttin Edge (Woody), owned by Anthony and Dayna Rusciano and handled by Dan DiMambro. The judges stated that Woody was a pleasure to watch on the ground. He had a good, fast, forward race while hunting the course hard. Woody was rewarded with a find at 15. As the handler was flushing the pheasant the bracemate came by and tried to assist in getting it in the air. Although a lot of pressure for any young dog, Woody remained standing and all was in order.

Second was M S R’s Charlie’s Little Angel (Addison),  owned by Charles Gonzalez and handled by Chris Goegan. Although Addison ran a very fast and forward race, she may have outrun her nose and didn’t have any bird contact.

Third went to Smithwick’s White Lightning (Bolt),  owned by Eileen and Brian Smith of Chesterland, Ohio, and handled by Brian Smith. This young dog had a shorter consistent race. Bolt stayed to the front and was rewarded with one stylish find at 29.

Congratulations to all the Derby owners and handlers on your up-and-coming dogs. These juvenile dogs are going to have an exciting future ahead of them and I look forward to reading about all of their accomplishments.

Wye Island, Md., November 2 — One Course

Judges: Lisa Pollock and Brian Sanchez


1st—HIGH STANDING CUTTIN EDGE, 1675198, male, by Slicks Cuttin Wild—C L K’s Point Me The Way. Anthony & Dayna Rusciano, owners; Dan DiMambro, handler.

2d—M S R’S CHARLIE’S LITTLE ANGEL. [Placement Voided].

3d—SMITHWICK’S WHITE LIGHTNING, 1681480, male, by Hi N’s Bodacious—Hi N’s Maggie May. Brian & Eileen Smith, owners; Brian Smith, handler.


The judges for the NGSPA Pheasant Amateur Shooting Dog Championship were Brian Sanchez and Lisa Pollock.

Weather for the stake was ideal for running dogs, cool and overcast.

Newcomer Barry Bollinger stood out to the judges and earned his name on this year’s Jerry Albanese Pheasant Championship Amateur memorial plaque. This perpetual plaque is engraved each year with the name of an amateur, chosen by the Amateur Shooting Dog judges, who  demonstrates great sportsmanship. Although it was Barry’s first time at this Championship, he fit right in and handled his own dog in the Amateur stake. Barry also rode a majority of the stake and scouted for other participants when required.

I think it’s safe to assume we have Barry hooked and he’ll return next year.

Out of a field of 28 starters, Snowy River’s White Out (Willy), owned and handled by Chase Verdoorn of Riverside, Mo., was named as champion. Even though this was the Verdoorns’ first time joining us at this Championship, Chase and Willy set the bar high early in the stake in brace No. 4.

Willy had a big, strong, forward shooting dog race from start to finish. He broke away and was all business scoring his first of two finds at 5. Willy stood with beautiful style and intensity; when the pheasant was produced he handled the loud cackling pheasant with perfect manners as it took flight over his head. After the first find Willy continued on course showing great application covering the ground. He was always to the front, only absent for a short time when he dug in to hunt an edge, but popped out in front every time. At 35 Willy was found standing with impeccable style. The pheasant was produced and all was in order. Willy handled kindly and ran with little need of direction from the handler or scout. The hour was finished as strong as it was started.

Brace No. 9 produced the runner-up,  In Country’s Cummins Diesel (Dodge), owned and handled by Chris Young of Rochester, Pa . Dodge had a strong, forward breakaway and was rewarded with his first find at 4. This pheasant tested Dodge’s manners as he ran throughout the thick cover and took his time to make flight. Dodge’s style remained intact as the pheasant flew. Dodge slammed on point again at 9. The pheasant immediately flew off when the handler got into the tall grass to flush. After his second find, Dodge hunted the course aggressively until he was found standing at 45 for his third find. The bird was produced and all was in order. Dodge was awarded with a fourth find at 53. Dodge covered the course aggressively, hunting every field thoroughly. He responded kindly to the handler and his performance earned him the runner- up position.

The judges mentioned a few other dogs that demonstrated talent.

Peanut’s Trial Edition (Fuzzy),  owned and handled by Phil Vadeboncoeur, had a shorter shooting dog race but hunted the edges on a mission to find game. Fuzzy had an unproductive at 5 and a very classy find at 53.

All N’s Green with Envy, owned and handled by Robert Reynolds,  had a nice race with a find, a back and a stop to flush but was picked up after too many unproductive points.

Pressing the winners was Tulli’s Shot to the Heart (Cupid), owned and handled by Joseph Amatulli. Cupid had three nice finds showing a lot of style. She needed a little more handle, which showed some immaturity, in a few areas to keep her pattern flowing.

P W Extraordinaire (Airee), owned and handled by Keith Richardson, showed a lot of promise in the beginning of the brace. Airee had a forward race with finds at 17, 19, 22, 38 and an unproductive at 28. At 45 Airee unfortunately sent a pheasant flying and was picked up.


[One-Hour Heats] — 28 German Shorthairs

Winner—SNOWY RIVER’S WHITE OUT, 1664279, male, by Last Chance Crop Duster—Short Stuff v Greiwe. Chase Verdoorn, owner and handler.

Runner-Up—IN COUNTRY’S CUMMINS DIESEL, 1646029, male, by Keg Creek Rising Cooper—Good Time’s One Shot Wonder. Chris Young, owner and handler.


Monday was not a bad day to be in the saddle for Judges Mark and Chase Verdoorn of Riverside, Mo. Even though the weather was lightly raining and overcast and the grounds were drenched from the evening rain, we had a full day of excitement watching big running all-age dogs.

Out of the twenty contenders some dogs out ran the course and were lost to the front. Also due to the abundance of pheasants planted this year it proved to be too much for some of the dogs and unfortunately they found themselves under a bird.

Hi N’s Bodacious (Bo), owned by Hank Lewis of Louisville, Ohio, and handled by Dan DiMambro, was named the champion. Bo broke away very strong and had consistent fast forward ground speed throughout the brace. He always stuck to the edges and rolled around the island as a seasoned dog. Bo was rewarded with finds at 10, 13, 22, 27 and 59. He had an unproductive at 42.

Bo demonstrated first-class style on all of his finds, responded well to the handler, needed little scouting and finished with plenty of fuel left in his tank.

Runner-up was Rumel’s Augie Doggie, owned by Carl and Melody Checklick and Rocklyn Turano  of Fort Myers, Fla., and handled by Dan DiMambro. Augie had a comparable run to the champion. He had a strong, forward all- age race and responded well to the handler. He had finds at 15 and 31 and all was in order. He was rewarded with another find at 41 and his style never let down after the bird was flushed. Augie finished as strong as he started and had ideal style throughout all of his finds.

The judges mentioned P W B D K’s Dot on the Horizon, owned by Keith and Bobbi Richardson, handled by Robertson, was in consideration with finds at 14, 20, 25, 27, 43, 51. She also had an unproductive at 6. Dot’s race fell short with so many finds and she didn’t display as strong of an all-age performance.

Judges: Chase Verdoorn and Mark Verdoorn

NGSPA PHEASANT OPEN ALL-AGE CHAMPIONSHIP [One-Hour Heats] — 20 German Shorthairs

Winner—HI N’S BODACIOUS, 1657655, male, by Hi N’s Feed Jake—Hi N’s Southern Cross. Hank Lewis, owner; Dan DiMambro, handler.

Runner-Up—RUMEL’S AUGIE DOGGIE, 1666390, male, by Hi N’s Feed Jake—Chicoree’s What A Hoodlum. Carl & Melody Checklick & Rocklyn Turano, owners; Dan DiMambro, handler.


Thirty dogs competed in the Open Shooting Dog Championship. Judges were Mark and Chase Verdoorn.

Weather throughout the three days of running was on and off heavy rain and an overcast sky with a light wind coming off the water across the island. The grounds were soggy and flooded in areas but mostly all of the dogs had the opportunity to work a pheasant.

This year’s champion came out of brace No. 13. Joke’s on You is owned by Steve Erickson of Ann Arbor, Mich., and was handled by Chris Goegan. Judges noted that “Buddy” had made nice  orward moves and stayed on the edge throughout the entire brace. He showed maturity by hunting using the wind. Even though he dug in the cover and was out of sight for a few minutes at a time, he always popped out to the front.

Buddy handled kindly and was  ewarded with two finds. He was found to the front at 7 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 speed and animation. Buddy had another find at 34 where he showed off his manners as the stubborn pheasant ran around his feet. At 50 he was once again found standing; even though this was a hawk killed pheasant he had very good style. He finished forward, deserving the title of champion.

Runner-up came from brace No. 7. Hidden Valley’s Indian Scout (Tonto), owned by Donald Schmidt and Mary Elaine Loyko of Nicholson, Pa., and  handled by Dan DiMambro. Tonto started  the hour with a strong, forward cast using the wind in his favor. He was found on his first pheasant at 5. He stood throughout the flush with a high head and tail. At 11 and 42 he had a repeat performance on two more pheasant finds. At 58 he had a stop to flush, all in order. Even though Tonto had good ground speed and great style, he showed his immaturity by pulling off his edges and slowing down toward the end of the hour.

There were a couple of other dogs that the judges took notice of and mentioned that they could have used. Hi Point’s Jewels of Opal, owned by Brian Swag and handled by Chris Goegan. Jewels had a nice forward shooting dog run. She had two finds at 37 and 42. At 25 a pheasant could not be produced. She had excellent manners but didn’t run as strong as the winners.

Chicoree’s Cuttin Loose, owned by Fred Ryan, DMV and handled by Dan DiMambro in brace No. 5, was a nice dog which showed lots of potential but had multiple times when game could not be produced. “Lucy” started strong and fast and had a feather find at 5. At 14 her luck wasn’t any better with a dead pheasant find. At 17, 30 and 39 she had nice stylish finds.

Out of the same brace, No. 5, was Peanut’s Trial Edition (Fuzzy), owned and handled by Phil Vadeboncoeur. Fuzzy really dug in and hunted the cover which shorted his race. He had multiple finds with nice style.

Congratulations to the winners, their owners and handlers.


Winner—JOKE’S ON YOU, 1658871, male, by Slicks Cuttin Wild—M S R’s Opalescence. Steve Erickson, owner; Chris Goegan, handler.

Runner-Up—HIDDEN VALLEY’S INDIAN SCOUT, 1675654, male, by Hidden Valley’s Nick E’s Bowtie—Hidden Valley’s Little Brownie. Donald Schmidt & Mary Elaine Loyko, owners; Dan DiMambro, handler.

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