American Field

Field Trial Report

Region 1 Amateur Walking Shooting Dog Championship

By John Olfson | Jul 13, 2017
The Winners. From front left: Lloyd Murray with Long Gone Mersadies and Kevin Lahoda with Backstep Rudy. Standing: Kellie Short and Robert Pauceck, the judges, and John Olfson.

Falmouth, Mass. — May 6 the Setter Club of New England hosted the Region 1 Amateur Walking Shooting Dog Championship at the Frances A. Crane WMA in Falmouth, Mass.

Many thanks to chairman Jim Hathaway and Jim Curtin for taking care of the necessary tasks associated with hosting this longtime Championship.

Special thanks to Greg Blair and Purina for supporting the Region 1 Amateur Walking Shooting Dog Championship as well as all of our championships and events with Purina Pro Plan which the vast majority of us feed because it works.

Our judges this year were the father and daughter team of Robert Paucek and Kellie Short of Buxton, Me. Robert is a highly respected longtime pointing dog trainer with vast field trial experience. Kellie is a highly successfully longtime field trialer, having won the Championship in 2011 with her fine dog True Patriot. Many thanks to their close attention to all the dogs in very trying weather conditions for most of the trial.

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has continued with the multi-year improvement project which has nicely thinned out the interior forest of Crane. This has created open pine and scrub oak cover where you can really let your dog run and hunt.

The competition looked good consisting of several champions, made up of 6 pointers, 10 setters and 1 Irish setter, but two dogs rose to the top. Champion Long Gone Mersadies, setter female, ran in the 9th brace as a bye, had several well-mannered finds and handled nicely for owner and veteran handler Lloyd Murray of Stark, N. H. She ran big enough while covering and hunting the ground intelligently.

Runner-up Backstep Rudy, setter male handled and owned by Kevin Lahoda of Vestal, N. Y., did an excellent job with several well broke finds. This is the second runner-up for Kevin and Ruby.

Falmouth, Mass., May 6 — One Course

Judges: Robert Paucek and Kellie Short

REGION 1 AMATEUR WALKING SHOOTING DOG CHAMPIONSHIP [One-Hour Heats] — 6 Pointers, 10 Setters and 1 Irish Setter

Winner—LONG GONE MERSADIES, 1657977, setter female, by Long Gone Boston—Grouse Ridge Comet. Long Gone Kennels, owner; Lloyd Murray, handler.

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


March and April were reasonably mild here on Cape Cod.

However, the rain never let up. My hope that May would bring an end to the never-ending, steady wet just wasn’t happening.

As the chairman, I had planned on no fewer than 24 dogs or twelve braces. But only seventeen dogs were called in. This can be and was a major headache.  Nine braces beg the question, one day of running or two. As I had planned a handlers’ dinner for at least 20, I was hoping for two days.

I kept hoping the judges would have had enough of the on and off again showers to call it a day after six braces. Then we all could sit and enjoy each other’s company over my Applewood-smoked St. Louis ribs and chicken with all the fixings. But the showers cleared late in the day and Kellie and Robert plugged on to the end. Bringing in the last brace just before dusk. So, the handlers’ dinner got eaten in shifts between braces, finishing in the dark.

I’m going to personally thank each and every handler for coming; Bill Bonnetti, Gregar McCluskey, Lanny Dellinger, Thom Richardson, Pedrag Kazic, Paul Christopher, Kevin Lahoda, John Olfson, Dave O’Brien; thank you. Sorry there is no short write-up of each brace. Filled with sweet lies telling us how nicely our dogs worked the hour. But I kinda figure since this was an amateur stake we all ran our own dogs for the most part. And we remember our hour or less on the ground better than anyone else.

John Olfson passed out a ton of thank yous with his part of this report.

I have two I need to touch on. The first is Dave O’Brien. He pulled my butt out of the fire on this one. We needed horses for our judges. Dave came through for us when all others in the Region were otherwise occupied or just couldn’t. Thanks, Dave. I owe you.

Thanks to all of the Massachusetts Wildlife Division, particularly Jason Zimmer, director of the northeast division. Anyone who ran this one-hour course knows that an outstanding job has been done to improve the upland habitat here at the Frances A. Crane WMA. They say it was done for grasshopper sparrows, box turtles, some special Cape Cod cottontail Bunny, but it sure fits perfectly with what we need to show our dogs.

If you weren’t here to see what I’m talking about and to run your dogs on the best single, one-hour walking championship course in all of New England, go check out the rest of the photos at Setter Club of New England on Facebook.

Thanks again, y’all.








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