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Field Trial Report

Setter Club of New England

By Lloyd Murray | Jun 07, 2019
Frankie McLaughlin Amateur Shooting Dog Winners. From left: Long Gone Mersadies with Lloyd Murray, Long Gone Porky with D. Gugliotti and Hog Hill Katie with Tim Cavanaugh.

Falmouth, Mass. — The Setter Club of New England, the oldest field trial club in New England, ran its annual spring trial at Crane Field Trial Area in Falmouth, Mass., on the weekend of April 13-14, with a very strong entry of 81 dogs in an ambitious seven-stake, two-day program.

This is the 25th year we have run at Crane; the first was in April, 1994. In my time with the Setter Club, we have run at Westboro and Gardner, Mass., and Eli Richardson’s farm in Uxbridge, Mass., but I think we have found a permanent home at Crane.

This land is dedicated to and for field trials. This state management area is thousands and thousands of acres that are actively being managed by the state of Massachusetts with a long range program of burning, cutting, wood clean up, etc. Crane is one of the premier set of walking shooting dog grounds (although many horseback events and championships have been held here over the years) available in the Northeast.

This is a pheasant and quail stocking site for fall hunting but woodcock are found all over the area. Occasionally a grouse will be flushed (Joe Levesque and I had one flush right next to us on the gun dog course).

This year’s volunteer (and club director) stake manager was Salem, Mass., resident Steve Levesque, a dyed in the wool upland bird hunter and field trialer. He has been coming to Crane for all the 25 years we have been there, as a participant and spectator. He has won the Phil Fogg Open Shooting Dog Classic, our premier stake in the spring, so he knows what is expected in grounds, courses, judges, etc.

Steve “sunk his teeth” into this assignment, lining up his judges for all the stakes in the winter, laying out the courses, setting up the ad in The American Field and doing all the little things that matter to have a successful and fun field trial.

Of course, the Setter Club has many members, and many stepped forward to pitch in to help.

Club Secretary Jim Hathaway, Treasurer Tom Jay, President Mitch Nee, Vice-President Jamie Nee, and many club directors, who I am loath to mention knowing for sure I will miss some folks. So let it be said it was a wonderful group effort, and it went off smoothly. Thank you to all who gave up their weekend, especially on Saturday when it poured rain in the morning and early afternoon.

OPEN STAKES WINNERS

The first stake was the Open Puppy, off at its advertised time of 7:00 a. m. Judging the pups were Georgetown, Mass., native Eric Rizza and veteran field trialer Jamie Nee.

Winning first was setter male Prairie Fire, owned and handled by Maine pro Cal Robinson. Second went to a handsome pointer male named Finnback, owned by Joe Levesque but handled by his uncle, professional Steve Levesque. Third was awarded to setter female Denali, owned and handled Jameson Marquis. All three pups showed the drive, foot speed and range to move on into Derbyland.

The Florence Harwarth Memorial Open Derby Classic was up next. Florence was the secretary of the Setter Club for many years. Florence was a setter breeder of renown. She owned several champions and produced many Futurity winners out of her breeding program. The Setter Club has honored Florence Harwarth for many years. Those of us who knew her well still miss her a lot.

Judging the Derby Classic were Jimmy Levesque and club secretary Jim Hathaway, both Massachusetts natives.

Winning first was Wild Apple Siri, pointer female with Eric Rizza handling. Siri gets it done with speed and eye appeal, plus finished manners on her birds. The red ribbon was awarded to Soul Man, pointer male with Cal Robinson at the controls. Cal has this youngster going right, with speed, range and good bird-finding skills. Third was Long Gone DeQuan, setter male owned and handled by Lloyd Murray. “Quan” showed finished manners and good style on his birds to earn his placement.

Next on Saturday was the Phil Fogg Open Shooting Dog Classic. Phil was also a longtime member of the Setter Club of New England. He was a judge and reporter of national acclaim. He was also instrumental in forming the Association of New England Field Trial Clubs in addition to being a campaigner of winning setters. For the 25 years we have run at Crane in the spring, we have featured the Phil Fogg Classic as our premier adult dog stake. The Setter Club is proud to honor the memory of Phil Fogg and his many contributions to our sport.

Judging this Classic were Bill Bonnetti and Jamie Nee. Both gentlemen are local to Falmouth and experienced bird dog men. They are longtime members of the Setter Club. We were lucky to secure judges of this caliber and thank both judges for a day in the rain!

Winning the blue ribbon was Chasehill Little Izzy, pointer female owned by Erin Stolgitis but handled by her dad, Rhode Island professional John Stolgitis. Izzy is fleet of foot and looks great on her birds. Izzy ran an attractive, sensible and forward race. Second was awarded to Long Gone Mersadies, setter female owned and handled by this reporter. Sadie scored four broke finds and a back to win her ribbon (and check). Third was Long Gone Porky, setter male owned and handled by Lloyd Murray of Stark, N. H. Porky is a first year shooting dog which had two good forward finds and one scouted limb find to go with a big hunting race.

Falmouth, Mass., April 13 — One Course

Judges: Jamie Nee and Eric Rizza

OPEN PUPPY — 2 Pointers, 4 Setters and 1 German Shorthair

1st—CALAMY’S PRAIRIE FIRE, 1683877, setter male, by Erin’s Full Throttle—Bo’s Baby Lucy. Calvin C. Robinson III, owner and handler.

2d—ISLAND POND FINNBACK, 1681731, pointer male, by Daddy’s Little Boy Butch—Woodcock Haven Annie Oakley. Joseph F. Levesque, Jr., owner; Steven Levesque, handler.

3d—UPPER AMMONOOSUC DENALI, 1680353, setter female, by Islander—Sandland Miracle Maggie. Jameson Marquis, owner and handler.

Judges: Jim Hathaway and Jim Levesque

FLORENCE HARWARTH OPEN DERBY — 3 Pointers and 6 Setters

1st—WILD APPLE SIRI, 1675511, pointer female, by Elhew Black Dose—Wild Apple Calvados. Eric Rizza, owner and handler.

2d—CALAMY’S SOUL MAN, 1678673, pointer male, by Erin’s War Creek—Woodcreek Haven Stella. Calvin C. Robinson, owner and handler.

3d—LONG GONE DUQUAN, 1675616, setter male, by Long Gone Studly—Phillips Half Moon. Lloyd Murray, Jr., owner and handler.

Judges: William Bonnetti and Jamie Nee

C. P. (PHIL) FOGG OPEN SHOOTING DOG CLASSIC — 6 Pointers

and 8 Setters

1st—CHASEHILL LITTLE IZZY, 1669623, pointer female, by Erin’s War Creek—Richfield Almond Joy. Erin Stolgitis, owner; John Stolgitis, handler.

2d—LONG GONE MERSADIES, 1657977, setter female, by Long Gone Boston—Grouse Ridge Comet. Long Gone Kennels, owner; Lloyd Murray, Jr., handler.

3d—LONG GONE PORKY, 1671466, setter male, by Long Gone Boston—D J’s Latest Flame. Lloyd Murray, Jr., owner and handler.

AMATEUR STAKES WINNERS

Sunday morning was much better than Saturday. No rain and an actual sunrise!

Stake Manager Steve Levesque had his judges and dogs on the line at 6:58 a. m. to begin the Amateur Puppy, as we had a full day ahead.

The arbiters for this juvenile stake were veterans Bob Lang from New Hampshire and Tony Leone. Winning first was the exciting Irish setter female Braeval Skye with Gregor McCluskey handling his youngster. Gregor is still on cloud nine after his red setter Laddie won the International Amateur Woodcock Championship in Rhode Island a couple of weeks before this trial. Finnback was back in the winners’ circle with his second placement of the weekend, this time with his owner Joey Levesque handling the hard going pointer male. Third was a fancy setter male named Chippa, owned and handled by Club President Mitch Nee.

The Amateur Derby was up next. Looking over this group of youngsters was Brian Dix from Vermont and Tim Cavanaugh from Connecticut. Tim was a week away from winning champion AND runner-up at the Region 1 Amateur Walking Shooting Dog Championship! Nice going, Timmy, we are all happy for you! Winning first today was the setter male Long Gone DeQuan which nailed a half dozen quail (one was dead) with style and finished manners to secure his second placement of the trial. Wild Apple Siri continued her winning ways this spring for her fond owner Eric Rizza. Siri is an eyeful on the ground, and she can find birds. Siri looks to have a future. Third went to an attractive white and orange setter female named Rock Solid Amazing Grace. This speedster nailed her birds with very attractive style to secure her placement.

The next stake was the Frankie McLaughlin Amateur Shooting Dog. We lost Frankie this past year rather suddenly and we were all devastated. The board of directors of the Setter Club immediately decided we needed to do something to honor the memory of this great amateur New England field trialer, thus this stake will always be dedicated to Frankie’s memory.

For those who knew him, he was a “piece of work”, always joking, always laughing. When Frankie was at a field trial (and he went to many!) you could hear his laugh all over the parking lot.

Frankie worked his own dogs and won many field trials including titled stakes. Frankie’s son was on hand for the inaugural running with many “Frankie “ stories being told.

Judging this first Frankie McLaughlin Classic were two experienced professional bird dog trainers. John Stolgitis of Ashaway, R. I., and Steve Levesque of Salem, Mass., (the witch city!). They looked over eight braces, and when the smoke cleared the blue ribbon went to Long Gone Mersadies, owned and handled by this reporter. Placed second was first year shooting dog Long Gone Porky, same handler and owner as Sadie. Third was Hog Hill Katie, pointer female owned and handled by Tim Cavanaugh. All three dogs found multiple birds, were broke on all their work, backed when they should and ran forward, fast and driving races.

The last stake of the weekend was the Amateur Shooting Dog. This turned into the most popular event of the weekend with nine braces drawn. Many new folks were trying out their dogs in their first field trial. We obviously love to see this, and this is a great stake to begin with.

I had the pleasure of judging this with Joe Levesque who is the new regional representative of The Ruffed Grouse Society and I am sure will do a great job for this great organization.

Jim Hathaway and Steve Levesque arranged out a separate course for the gun dogs several days prior to the trial as we needed to be running stakes simultaneously to get it all done in two days. It was a good course and it worked well.

We started while the McLaughlin Shooting Dog was running, so when I was not running shooting dogs, I could scoot over and look at a few braces of gun dogs before having to go back and run some shooting dogs. It worked great because we only had two braces left to run when the Amateur Shooting Dog concluded.

Winning first was a tricolor setter male Moby, owned and handled by Tony Leone. Moby scored four broke, very attractive finds to go along with a forward easy handling race. Second went to Abby, tricolor setter female owned and handled by Jimmy Levesque which pointed four quail with very pretty style to secure her placement. The yellow ribbon went to Popinjay, owned and handled by Ed Flanagan. This setter female found and pointed five quail to go with a quick, forward race to earn her placement.

After the nine braces we all retired to the headquarters for the announcements and brought this trial to a successful close.

Judges: Bob Lang and Tony Leone

AMATEUR PUPPY — 10 Entries

1st—BRAEVAL SKYE, 1684019, Irish setter female, by Zansett Simply Red—Foxy’s Lil Red Missy. Connor McCluskey, owner; Gregor McCluskey, handler.

2d—ISLAND POND FINNBACK, 1681731, pointer male, by Daddy’s Little Boy Butch—Woodcock Haven Annie Oakley. Joseph F. Levesque, Jr., owner; Joseph F. Levesque, handler.

Judges: Brian Dix and Tim Cavanaugh

AMATEUR DERBY — 1 Pointers, 7 Setters and 1 German Shorthair

1st—LONG GONE DEQUAN, 1675616, setter male, by Long Gone Studly—Phillips Half Moon. Lloyd Murray, Jr., owner and handler.

2d—WILD APPLE SIRI, 1675511, pointer female, by Elhew Black Dose—Wild Apple Calvados. Eric Rizza, owner and handler.

3d—ROCK SOLID AMAZING GRACE, 1674717, setter female, by Shadow Oak Bo—Penrosa Da’chic. Douglas Dix, owner and handler.

Judges: Steven Levesque and John Stolgitis

FRANKIE McLAUGHLIN AMATEUR SHOOTING DOG — 6 Pointers

and 9 Setters

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

2d—LONG GONE PORKY, 1671466, setter male, by Long Gone Boston—D J’s Latest Flame. Lloyd Murray, Jr., owner and handler.

3d—HOG HILL KATIE, 1649339, pointer female, by South Bound Strech—Indian Creek Sugar. Timothy Cavanaugh, owner and handler.

Judges: Joe Levesque and Lloyd Murray, Jr.

AMATEUR SHOOTING DOG — 1 Pointer and 16 Setters

1st—MOBY, 1655393, setter male, by Long Gone Boston—Long Gone Zeena. Anthony Leone, Jr., owner and handler.

2d—LEDGE HILL ABBY, 1673430, setter female, by Lilleyhill’s Secret Stash—Lilleyhill’s Like A Streak. James W. Levesque, owner and handler.

3d—POPINJAY, 1648769, setter male, by Impact Player—******. Edward Flanagan, owner and handler.

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