American Field

Field Trial Report

Northern New Hampshire Bird Dog Club

By Lloyd B. Murray, Jr. | Jul 06, 2017
Long Gone Mersadies First int he Kilkenny Open Shooting Dog Classic

Stark, N. H. — The Northern New Hampshire Bird Dog Club rans its 28th annual spring trial on our Phillips Brook grounds in Dummer, N. H. We want to say “Thank You” to all who came and ran dogs or just came to walk some braces. You are all welcome.

Our club has come a long way from our first spring event at Glovers farm in 1989. In addition to annually conducting the Kilkenny Open Shooting Dog Classic, we have hosted or presently host the National Amateur Grouse Championship (four times), the Grand National Grouse Championship (seven times) and we co-host the New England Open Grouse Championship every September in the White Mountain National Forest on which we have a special use permit from the USDA.

We are very fortunate to have a dedicated and capable stake manager in Bob Lang of Canterbury, N. H. Bob spends hundreds of hours planning, organizing and managing this event, from conducting the public draw, to preparing lunches, to taking the judges out to dinner every night, and finally announcing all the winners. Thank you, Bob.

Our club bought our strong-flying quail again from Zukovich Game Birds of Tamaqua, Pa., owned and run by Marty Zukovich. As always, they were good ones.

Purina again supported our event with advertising support and product for handlers and winners. Thank you Dean Reinke and Purina.

We also want to thank new Hall of Fame inductee Dave Fletcher of Morrice, Mich., who makes our rosettes every year. Congratulations again, Dave, on your well-earned induction into the Field Trial Hall of Fame.

We always like to thank the professionals who come and support our open stakes. This year Hall-of-Famer Dave Hughes was accompanied by his lovely wife Dorothy. It certainly was a pleasure to have Dorothy here for a few days.

Ryan Frame also came up from the Keystone State to run some dogs and we also enjoyed his traveling companion, Tom McKinney.


Our first event was the two-day Kilkenny Open Shooting Dog Classic, this year judged by two veteran field trialers, Paige Davis of North Berwick, Me., and Deb Kennedy of Etna, N. H. Both judges were extremely attentive, very positive in their approach and gave us 100%. Thank you, ladies, for your experience, time and many miles of walking.

After the first series on Friday where dogs earn their way to the one-hour finals on Saturday the judges called for the following dogs to run on Saturday; Long Gone Mersadies (Dave Hughes) with Backstep Rudy (Kevin Lahoda); Long Gone Studly (D. Hughes) with Carly  (Ryan Frame). In reserve, Witch City Fred (Steve Levesque) and Stokely’s Frankie B (Tony Bly).

When the smoke had cleared the results were as follows; first, Long Gone Mersadies; second, Long Gone Studly; third, Backstep Rudy.

Next stake on Friday was the Open Shooting Dog Qualifier, looked over by another veteran field trialer Deb Sloan of Monmouth, Me., (who could forget the many champions who came out of her kennel, Ch. Stoke’s Kalamity Kate, Ch. Stoke’s Ali Bubba and Ch. Kalamity Cover Girl, to name just a few). Deb judged with another dyed-in-the-wool bird dog man, Steve Levesque of Salem, Mass. Steve has pursued grouse and woodcock over pointing dogs for well over four decades. Winning the blue ribbon for handler Dave Hughes was Long Gone Juicy, Derby-age setter female that logged in with three broke finds and a back. Second was Frosty Morning Jake, setter male also run by Hughes. Jake showed finished work on quail to earn his placement. Winning the yellow ribbon was tricolor setter female Gretna Crest Flashback, owned by Rob Frame and handled by his brother, Ryan. Crest scorched the course and was broke on all her birds.

After the finals of the Kilkenny Classic on Saturday we ran the Open Puppy. Judging this stake were Jeremy Avery of Bridgewater, N. H., and Mike Rodivitch of Colebrook, N. H. Both men own, breed, hunt and campaign pointing dogs. Winning first was a snappy setter female owned by Jamie Leitch from Vermont, but handled by Tony Bly.

Second was Long Gone Porky, setter male handled by Lloyd Murray. Both pups showed a lot of promise.

Next up on Saturday’s schedule was the White Mountain Open Derby Classic. We again were fortunate to have two experienced judges looking over this small group of Derbies. Ray Gorman of Colebrook, N. H., and Kevin Lahoda from New York have both owned title winning bird dogs and both judged open championships. Thank you, gentlemen, for accepting this assignment.

Winning first was Long Gone Juicy, again ably handled by Dave Hughes. Ju Ju, as she is called, dug up several quail and showed shooting dog finish on her birds to win. Second was Wizard’s Albannach Drummer, owned and handled by Jim Hathaway of Falmouth, Mass., who could be the most traveled field trialer in New England, as I don’t think he misses one event from March to June. Today his Drummer scored multiple finds to go with a strong race.

Sunday morning found us on the grounds and bells ringing early for the New Hampshire Amateur Puppy Classic. Again, two bird dog veterans gave up their Sunday morning to come look over this group of pups. Thank you, Thom Richardson of Whitefield, N. H., and Bill Paige of Concord, N. H. We appreciate you volunteering your time for our sport. Winning first was setter male Long Gone Porky which was coming off a big win in Pennsylvania at the Gene Ulman Open Puppy Classic a week earlier. Second went to Rock Solid Casey, white and orange setter female owned and handled by Doug Dix of Whitingham, Vt., who showed great foot speed and attractive carriage in her winning effort. Third was awarded to Stokely B’s Ricky, owned by Tony Bly but handled by Lloyd Murray on this day. Ricky, white and orange setter male, hunted forward and fast in his time to get the judges’ nod for a placement.

Next on our nine-stake program was the Amateur Derby. Tom McKinney of Pennsylvania and Steve Levesque of Massachusetts watched over this group of youngsters. Thank you, men; we are grateful for your efforts. Winning the blue (and his third placement of the trial) was the 12-month-old puppy Long Gone Porky, tricolor setter male which showed the judges three broke finds and a back in his thirty minutes to nail down his placement. The red ribbon went to the consistent Derby winner (all over New England) Wizard’s Albannach Drummer (Jim Hathaway) which again showed his bird-finding ability to go along with his always attractive ground effort.

The Amateur Shooting Dog was next. Two extremely experienced judges  looked over this stake, both professional bird dog trainers. Ryan Frame has been to most championships all over the country  the last 30 years. He’s “seen it all.” Ryan has worked with some of the greatest dogs of our generation. Tony Bly has been elected to judge the Grand National Grouse Championship three times, and may be the only man to judge it in all three grouse regions — Lake States, Mid-Atlantic and Northeast. Thank you, gentlemen, for your time and effort on this Sunday morning.

The winner was setter male Long Gone Studly which logged in a half dozen finds on quail, with attractive style to earn his second placement of the trial. Also earning her second placement of the trial was the heavily ticked setter female Long Gone Mersadies, which would go on six days later and win her first championship at Region 1. “Sadie” ran a very aggressive and wide race and only scored one find, one minute before time, to earn her placement. Third was Bob Arkley’s Grouse Ridge Haze, mostly white setter female which scored a nice broke find on quail to go with a back to earn her placement.

Open Derby Judges Bob Arkley and Steve Levesque had an easy time of it with a small entry. Winning first was a young pointer female named Songbird, owned by Tom McKinney but trained and handled by Pennsylvania pro Ryan Frame. Eva, as she is called, showed a lot of promise around birds and on the ground to secure her placement.

In the Amateur Shooting Dog, Tony Bly and Steve Levesque teamed up to look over this talented field of competitors. Winning first with Lightning Flash Abe, white and black setter male. As an aside, those of us who are old enough well remember Styles Bridges’ famous and successful Lightning Flash Kennels back in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, so it is great to see Styles is still putting out a quality animal. Abe showed a great hunting approach, hard and fast, and scored on many quail to win this stake. Second was Oswego’s Shore Oaks Annie, white and orange setter female also owned by Doug Dix. Annie also showed she can hunt hard, forward and fast, plus find birds. [I must note the Dix family shows up as a family; they all have good dogs, and they all hunt wild birds very hard, in Vermont. They come to play, and they have the dogs to do it. They are a welcome addition to field trialing in the Northeast]. Third was Ledge Hill Abby, tricolor setter female. Abby pointed several quail to go along with a sensible race to win her ribbon. The size of the galleries for this stake was amazing. Bob Lang and I put the birds out for this stake; we wanted all handlers to have a good time with their dogs finding multiple birds. Most contestants emptied their blank pistols, at least once.

Again, the Northern New Hampshire Club “thanks” everyone who came and ran dogs, or walked a few braces and those who came and visited. Hope to see you all at the New England Open Grouse Championship and companion Derby  beginning September 18 in Kilkenny.

Stark, N. H., April 28

Judges: Paige Davis and Deborah Kennedy


[Thirty-Minute Qualifying Heats; One-Hour Heats] — 12 Entries

1st—LONG GONE MERSADIES, 1657977, setter female, by Long Gone Boston—Grouse Ridge Comet. Long Gone Kennels, owner; Dave Hughes, handler.

2d—LONG GONE STUDLY, 1629613, setter male, by Long Gone Buckwheat—Oscaloosa Allie Cat. Lloyd Murray & Jason Banks, owners; Dave Hughes, handler.

3d—BACKSTEP RUDY, 1648229, setter male, by Stillmeadow’s Jim—Kelly’s Rainbow Daisey. Kevin Lahoda, owner and handler.

Judges: Steven R. Levesque and Deb Sloan

OPEN SHOOTING DOG — 2 Pointers and 6 Setters

1st—LONG GONE JUICY, 1664542, setter female, by Long Gone Studly—Spitfire. Long Gone Kennels & Rick Despins, owners; Dave Hughes, handler.

2d—FROSTY MORNING JAKE, 1662448, setter male, by Shadow Oak Bo—Gates Country Blair. Patricia R. & Charles B. Thomas, owners; Dave Hughes, handler.

3d—GRETNA CREST FLASHBACK, 1658529, setter female, by Mitchners Rock’N’Rye—Gretna Crest Bellstar. Robin Frame, owner and handler.

Judges: Jeremy Avery and Mike Rodivitch

OPEN PUPPY — 5 Setters

1st—STOKELY B PHOEBE, 1671000, female, by Quail Trap Will—Quail Trap Ginger. Jamie Leitch, owner; Tony Bly, handler.

2d—LONG GONE PORKY, 1671466, male, by Long Gone Boston—D J’s Latest Flame. Lloyd Murray & Kelly Shepherd, owners; Lloyd Murray, handler.

3d—STOKELY B’S RICKY, 1667276, setter male, by Quail Trap Will—Quail Trap Ginger. Tony & Marie Bly, owners; Marie Bly, handler.

Judges: Raymond Gorman and Kevin Lahode


1st—LONG GONE JUICY, 1664542, female, by Long Gone Studly—Spitfire. Long Gone Kennels & Rick Despins, ownerss; Dave Hughes, handler.

2d—WIZARD’S ALBANNACH DRUMMER, 1660603, male, by Silverback—Fly Master’s Josephine. J. D. Hathaway, owner and handler.

Judges: Bill Paige and Thom Richardson


1st—LONG GONE PORKY, 1671466, male, by Long Gone Boston—D J’s Latest Flame. Lloyd Murray & Kelly Shepherd, owners; Lloyd Murray, handler.

2d—ROCK SOLID CASEY, 1672254, female, by Grouse Ridge Whitestone—Grouse Ridge Merri. D. J. Dix, owner and handler.

3d—STOKELY B’S RICKY, 1667276, male, by Quail Trap Will—Quail Trap Ginger. Tony & Marie Bly, owners; Lloyd Murray, handler.

Judges: Steven Levesque and Thomas McKinney


1st—LONG GONE PORKY, 1671466, male, by Long Gone Boston—D J’s Latest Flame. Lloyd Murray & Kelly Shepherd, owners; Lloyd Murray, handler.

2d—WIZARD’S ALBANNACH DRUMMER, 1660603, male, by Silverback—Fly Master’s Josephine. J. D. Hathaway, owner and handler.

Judges: Tony Bly and Ryan Frame


1st—LONG GONE STUDLY, 1629613, male, by Long Gone Buckwheat—Oscaloosa Allie Cat. Lloyd Murray & Jason Banks, owners; Dave Hughes, handler.

2d—LONG GONE MERSADIES, 1657977, female, by Long Gone Boston—Grouse Ridge Comet. Long Gone Kennels, owner; Dave Hughes, handler.

3d—GROUSE RIDGE HAZE, 1630857, female, by Long Gone Buckwheat—Grouse Ridge Digit. Robert Arkley, owner and handler.

Judges: Bob Arkley and Steven Levesque

OPEN DERBY — 1 Pointer and 1 Setter [No placements awarded]

Judges: Tony Bly and Steven R. Levesque


1st—LIGHTNING FLASH ABE, 1652267, male, by Grouse Ridge Bruiser—Furnace Brook Cricket. D. J. Dix, owner and handler.

2d—OSWEGO’S SHORE OAKS ANNIE, 1644678, female, by Grouse Ridge Bruiser—Oswego Red Jesse. D. J. Dix, owner and handler.

3d—LEDGE HILL ABBY, 16673430, female, by Lilleyhill’s Secret Stash—Lilleyhill’s Like A Streak. J. W. Levesque, owner and handler.

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