American Field

Summerhill Youth Trial

By Ernie Saniga | Jul 17, 2017
Front (l-r): Roger Dvorak and Piper Bish with Bill, Cole Henry and June McKay with Kona, Dave McKay and Annie McKay with Trudy, Dillon Shaffer and Ava Tracy with Tory, Charlie Cribb and Mike Tracy with Ty, Tatum Boyer with Quinn, Natalie Boser with Breakstone and Nathan Boser with Justified. Standing: Sal Morelli, unidentified participant, Chris Catanzarite, Karen Saniga, Sheila Cassidy, Mae Tracy, Mary Boser and Roger Boser.

Glenville, Pa. — The Summerhill Club ran its fourth annual youth stake May 16 on  George Tracy’s training grounds near Glenville, Pa. It was a dark and chilly early May Saturday morning but the participants were hot to compete.

Karen Saniga gave them cap guns to fire, a whistle to send the dogs on and a whole bag of Purina gifts kindly donated by Greg Blair.

Judges were Dillon Shaffer and Cole Henry, assistant trainers for the Tracys.

Aidan Tracy was first up with the pointer named Tucker from his dad Mike’s string. Both were as smooth as you would expect if the handler had two Hall-of-Famers on his pedigree and the dog’s sire was in the Hall of Fame as well. Aidan showed Tucker on four letter-perfect finds and an up-front race. That’s no exaggeration.

Next was Tatum Boyer with pointer female Quinn, Jeanette Tracy scouting. Tatum is Nikki Eisenhart’s daughter; her uncle Luke won the Purina All-Age Handler of the Year and handled the Purina All-Age and Derby of the Year this year so one would expect Tatum to have some skill as well. She does. Tatum rode her own horse and wore a Purina hat, her ponytail coming out of the little space in the back. On each find she  took the hat off to call point and got it back on with the ponytail in the right place without losing a step. Tatum flushed over Quinn’s stylish finds four times and kept the strong dog to the front at all times.

Charlie  Cribb ran the pointer male Ty from Mike Tracy’s string; Mike scouted. This is Charlie’s first trial but he got to watch the others handle and he has helped his uncle Dave McKay work his own dogs. Charlie takes riding lessons so he found this sport to be right up his alley. Before the stake he cantered around the field getting the feel of a new horse from the Tracy string. Charlie did a professional job with Ty, flushing birds four times, blowing him out to a good finish. He has varied interests, later extolling the virtues of the Philadelphia Orchestra which he attends with his parents.

Ava Tracy ran the pointer female Tory while the dog’s owner Chris Catanzarite rode to watch. Tory and Ava were a good match, the seven-year-old riding the 17-hand horse her grandpa George handles from. Ava was serious about winning, pointing her dog out, flushing and firing for the dog on multiple finds and blowing the whistle to make her finish strong.

Annie McKay ran her parents’ Dave and Jackie’s dog, pointer female Trudy. This is Annie’s second youth stake so she was relaxed but serious. Trudy was upfront and fast and scored four sharply handled finds, little Annie flushing and pointing at the birds with the cap pistol as she fired. Another fine job.

Piper Bish, age three, rode with her grandpa Roger Dvorak. Piper attends trials and rides with grandpa when he is roading his pointer Bill, which Piper handled here. She is always practicing calling for the dog when Roger is working him and she on the saddle. After each of Bill’s four well handled finds she clapped her hands for the fine job the dog did. After pickup she turned to the gallery and clapped her hands again and thanked everyone for watching her and Bill compete.

June McKay, whom we affectionally call June Bug, ran pointer female Kona with Mike Tracy scouting. June is two. But don’t fool yourself, this two-year-old has ridden with her mom and pop at trials and knows what to do. She only had a little difficulty pulling the trigger back on the cap pistol on each of Kona’s finds. June had on little rubber boots and celebrated her fine performance by jumping in a mud puddle near her dad’s horse trailer. What kid can resist that? Unfortunately, she lost her balance and did a face plant in the mud, but cleaned up quickly and was back in the mud again.

Old Breakstone came back to haunt us again. The retired red setter, grey around the muzzle, but Natalie Boser told grandpa Roger she wanted to run him again since he did so good last year for her. Natalie now rides by herself and is quite proficient on a horse and also as a handler. Breakstone was his old self with a fine race and perfect bird work. Another professional pair.

Nathan Boser loves the sport too. He had grandpa’s red dog Justified and did all the handling, flushing and keeping the dog to the front, firing four times over the stylish red setter and sending him down the long line to finish.

Another professional. Some of these kids are ready for the recognized trials and Nathan is one of them.

All the dogs tied for first and got well deserved blue ribbons.

This year we missed handlers Ian Woodward and Thad Adams, Mike Adams’ grandchildren. They did get to scout grandpa’s dogs in the Amateur Shooting Dog and even got to handle one for awhile because Mike fell when his horse reared. The boys want to run more, stating boldly, “We are done with the youth stake. We want to beat everybody in the recognized trials.”

Bring it on, boys, because grandpa’s dogs are certainly good enough. We’re ready for you and we wish you luck.

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