American Field

Islander Named Champion; Phillips Half Moon is Runner-Up

U. S. Complete Mid-Atlantic Open Shooting Dog Championship

By Mike Husenits | Jun 06, 2019
Championship Winners. From left: Islander with Robert Ecker, Chris Catanzarite, Phillips Half Moon with Mark Hughes, and Judges Ray Wheeler and Tim McClurg.

Harrisville, Pa. — The U. S. Complete Mid-Atlantic Open Shooting Dog Championship took place April 29-30 at the grounds of the Oak Ridge Pointing Dog Club located near Harrisville, Pa. The Greensburg Pointer and Setter Club hosted the trial for the third consecutive year.

Purina generously sponsored the event, providing dog food for the winners plus financial support. Appreciation is extended to Greg Blair, Dean Reinke and Karl Gunzer for their ongoing support of the field trialing sport.

Trial chairman and U. S. Complete Vice-President Chris Catanzarite handled the pre-trial arrangements and conducted the drawing. Greensburg club president Mike Husenits, who also served as reporter, assisted Chris. Andrew Dawson and Norman Meeder provided much needed and appreciated assistance by handling the bird release program. Dave Hughes generously donated the use of his utility vehicle for the reporter and dog wagon duties. Brandon Kreuer also donated the use of his utility vehicle for bird planting use.

President Ashby Morgan, 1st Vice-President Chris Catanzarite, 2d Vice-President Phil Townley, 3d Vice-President Keith Pittman, Secretary Mike Spotts, Treasurer Mert Jones and Futurity Secretary Verlene Stephenson head the U. S. Complete organization.

The Oak Ridge venue is adequate for one hour walking handler trials, the entire area consisting of reclaimed strip mine land with extended wooded edges along property boundaries, low growth thickets and rolling open hill country planted with cover and feed strips by the Oak Ridge Club. The hour course arrangement starts near the parking area in open grassland dotted with autumn olive bushes. The flow follows this terrain for about three-quarters of a mile in a semi-circle, then makes a sharp 180° left turn, crossing a brushy ditch line, then more open area dotted with patches of brush and locust groves with woods to the right past an old gas well rig for another half mile, then another 180° swing at hilltop area into the bottom with tall growth pines and hardwood to the right and re-crossing ditch line below the observation deck to finish in wide open country. The layout has plenty of objectives and allows for aggressive range but also requires exemplary handling on the 180° turns.

The weather co-operated on Monday with a cool rainless day. Tuesday started good but a brief heavy downpour during the Derby made life miserable. Rain occurred overnight before and during the trial, which created unfavorable conditions for the released quail, causing many to be found weak or dead and picked up along the way by the competing dogs. The grounds were extremely muddy due to higher than normal rainfall this year.

The success of any field trial is dependent on good judges. Once the trial begins, operational procedures are in their hands. Two gentlemen from Ohio — Tim McClurg and Ray Wheeler — are seasoned veterans and have many years of experience in hunting and training bird dogs. Both campaign their own dogs with a high degree of success. They are commended for their efforts. Tim couldn’t stay for the Derby and was spelled by club veteran Chris Catanzarite.


Islander, powerful running black marked setter male owned by Pedrag Kazic of Greenlawn, N. Y., and handled by Robert Ecker, added yet another gem to his outstanding record with six finds, a back and a far-flung ground race. Islander exemplifies the traits that one would expect of a multiple champion. Reportedly this is Islander’s fifteenth placement in titular competition. He made his appearance here in the first brace and rendered a six-find and a back effort that withstood the challenges from 29 other competitors.

Released from the traditional starting line located down the hill from the parking area at 8:25 a. m., “Jesse” went straight away reaching well beyond distant hilltop, found pointing stylishly at 10 in the bottom bowl area with a bird well located, manners perfect. Jesse then took the left edge to the first ditch crossing, made the turn and was found again at 16 near the locust grove mound area for his second mannerly find. Sent ahead up the left ditch line Jesse made game at autumn olive stand, pursued, caught and carried an object toward the gallery but dropped whatever before returning forward, the incident witnessed by field marshal, reporter and spectators but not officially observed. Jesse then made the turn toward the old gas rig, sharing his third find with bracemate at 38 along woodsedge. Jesse next made an impressive extended cast to far hilltop turn where he executed his fourth find at 43 to perfection. He notched a mannerly back at 50 along bottom edge, then dashed forward to score two more perfectly handled finds at 55 and 58 before finishing strong along upper edge headed toward the observation deck.

Phillips Half Moon, setter female owned by Matt Phillips of Cobleskill, N. Y., and handled by Mark Hughes, was runner-up. “Remi” made her appearance in the 12th brace the second day starting at 10:34 a. m., rendering a strong stylish forward race combined with seven mannerly finds. No stranger to the winners’ circle, Remi has recorded numerous wins including several besides this win in championship circles. Action started quickly after release with Remi solid and stylish on a shared find at 4 in right side olive autumn grove. Sent ahead and down the steep hill Remi was espied far ahead standing majestically at 12 in the bowl area, another well located quail handled superbly. She next cast along the bottom edge, made a left at the crossing and was found high and tight at 16, recording her third find. Sent around the first loop and beyond the old gas rig, Remi darted forward to distant hilltop turn and slammed into a solid stand at 30 in green short grass. After a long flushing effort and several relocation attempts, Remi finally pinned her quarry, standing mannerly for flush and shot. She scored again along bottom woodsline at 42, the quail spotted running in thick briars. Sent ahead, Remi was on point at 45 near the ditch crossing, this time a dead bird produced in front of the mannerly stylist. Released up the ditch line, Remi cast far forward, rimmed the field at the end, hunted to the left side and established her seventh high poised stand at 53 with another long flush and relocation attempt eating up the remainder of her time with Remi pinning her bird masterfully.

From the starting field of 30, beside the winners, only three others were able to finish the hour without making fatal mistakes. Closest to the winners were two litter brothers, Pistol Grip and Kendal Hills Dawson Creek, Pistol with five finds and a pair of backs, Dawson  with seven finds and a back. The other finisher was Double Deuce Molly with three finds, a pair of backs and one unproductive. More details in the following.


Islander’s winning performance was described above. Double Deuce Molly (D. Hughes) rendered a full hour of forward hunting starting with a pair of backs at 10 and 15, followed by a pretty find along side hill at 22, then a divided find near the gas rig at 38 followed by a third solid find at 45. Then Molly had a stand along wooded edge at 50 where she was hesitant to relocate and suffered an unproductive.

Hypointe Witch Way (Mellon) returned with a live bird at 4 and was up. Braggabull (M. Hughes) started strong with an attractive way of going, carding stylish and mannerly finds at 10, 13 and 22. She was up at 35 for an error on game.

A Distant Spec (M. Hughes) got through the country with reckless abandon, scored a good find at 10 in the bottom followed by a solid back at 15 but couldn’t resist temptation and was up at 21. Bo of Piney Woods (Ecker) had a find on a dead bird at 6, backed at 10, then scored a solid mannerly find at 15 but was up at 32 for a breach of manners.

Southern Cross Barandilla (Mellon) hunted the fore but was picked up at 11 espied under a bird. Maximum Resistance (Ecker) was forward at medium range, notched a perfect find at 8 but shortened and was up at 30.

The fine effort of Kendal Hills Dawson Creek (M. Hughes)  had him in contention, starting with a back at 6 followed by a forward race with mannerly finds at 10, 17, 21, 27, 32, 47 and 55. Two finds were on dead birds, one find requiring relocation that Dawson handled in precision-like fashion. Backcountry Bruiser (Catanzarite) hunted with enthusiasm in a forward pattern. He scored stylish finds at 6 on hillside, at 10 in the bottom, at 19 along ditch line, backed at 21 but was up at 25 for pursuing a quail.

Both Let’s Do It (DeRosa) and Suemac’s Sashay (M. Hughes) started out fancy and fast but the brace was soon over as Do chased on a divided find at 5 and Sashay erred on a bird at 10.

Attitude’s True Grit (Ecker) and La Sombra (D. Hughes). This brace was short-lived. Grit was up at 20 after a good find and a pair of sterile stands. La Sombra returned to handler at 5 carrying a live bird.

Wayward Flying Tomato (M. Hughes) was previously injured and scratched. Upper Ammonoosuc Sadie (Ecker)  hunted ahead with good application and was looking good with solid finds at 7, 24, 32, 36 and 39 but was up at 47 for erring on a bird.

Warrior Zeke (M. Hughes) streaked away from the line like a rocket, was found standing majestically at 12 in the bottom bowl area but unfortunately took one too many jumps as the bird flew over his head. Backcountry Polly (Catanzarite)  started strong and hunted hard, scored a mannerly stop to flush early followed by well executed finds at 23 and 32 but was up at 46 after an infraction.

Twilight Echo Promise (M. Hughes) and Miss Penn Star (Ecker). Action started quickly with a mutual back at 1. Echo followed with a divided find at 5 at hilltop autumn olive grove but was up at 10 for failure to back. Star looked to be a contender with the divided find at 5 followed by a mannerly find at 10 in the bottom where she stood tall as bracemate circled her. Then, well ahead for a mannerly find at 32, a sterile stand near the gas rig at 36 and solid finds at 40 and 43, up at 47 when she forgot her manners on a bird.

Springflow Backcountry Pete (Catanzarite) started strong and was looking good with well mannered finds at 4 and 11, followed by a mutual back at 13 but was on the dog wagon after erring at 22. Pistol Grip (D. Hughes) backed at 4 and 11, then a mutual stand-off at 13. Then he kicked it into high gear, registering a well-earned find at 28 in wooded corner, then a far-flung forward cast to hilltop where he stood solidly at 34, a bird lifting early, Pistol holding steadfast for the shot. He added solid finds at 41 and 43 followed by a stand in open area at 47 where handler thought he was backing a water tub and sent him on but a quail was flushed as the gallery passed the area some ten feet ahead of where Pistol had stood. He retrieved a stiff dead bird at 50 and finished ahead on ditch line.

Phillips Half Moon’s winning performance was described above. Boston (Ecker) recorded a mannerly find at 11 near the bowl area, suffered an unproductive at 25 and was up after a second sterile stand at 30.

Double Deuce Dexter (D. Hughes) rambled ahead to distant places, gone long early and found pointing far left at 20 and was up at 22. Sterlingworth Judge’s (Ecker) bid ended at 10 after a transgression.

Texas Free Mason (Ecker) tore away like a rocket and rambled all over these hills but was hard to control and picked up at 25.  I’ll Be Back (M. Hughes) laid out front and maintained a well applied pattern, adding perfect finds at 5 at right side thicket, at 8 as we descended the hill, at 10 in the bottom, at 18 along ditch line and was making a strong bid until erring on a bird at 22.

Sunrise Star (Ecker) was scratched. Single Shot Barley (D. Hughes) was up at 6 after retrieving a live quail, bringing the stake to a close.

Harrisville, Pa., April 29 — One Course

Judges: Tim McClurg and Ray Wheeler


Winner—ISLANDER, 1641545, setter male, by The Insider—East Coast Bella. Pedrag Kazic, owner; R. J. Ecker, Jr., handler.

Runner-Up—PHILLIPS HALF MOON, 1648257, setter female, by Long Gone Boston—Grouse Ridge Comet. Matthew Phillips, owner; Mark Hughes, handler.


The Open Derby was a quality stake with the very first brace setting the standard not to be outdone.

Caliber Peak Gunslinger (Triggs), orange marked pointer male, motored through these hills and valleys in smooth gaited fashion carrying a high cracking tail. His handling response was precise, his direction forward. His single well-located find along rocky ditch line was pointed with statuesque style, intensity and advanced manners.

Second was Anna Lake Sophie, fleet-footed setter female, that laid down a classy forward ground race coupled with a solid find on a dead bird and a back, both executed with extreme intensity and perfect manners. Third placed Anna Lake Konrad, stylish setter male, was the bird-finding star, notching four perfectly handled finds plus two backs. His overall ground race just a bit shorter than the higher placed dogs. Closest to the winners was Syren and Butters.

Judges: Chris Catanzarite and Ray Wheeler

OPEN DERBY — 4 Pointers and 5 Setters

1st—CALIBER PEAK GUNSLINGER, 1677296, pointer male, by Cover Charge Search Engine—Double Deuce Molly. Jesse & Sarah Gomes, owners; Mark Hughes, handler.

2d—ANNA LAKE SOPHIE, 1674196, setter female, by Long Gone Studly—Anna Lake Kiah. Rob Matson, owner; Dave Hughes, handler.

3d—ANNA LAKE KONRAD, 1674158, setter male, by Long Gone Studly—Anna Lake Kiah. Rob Matson, owner; Dave Hughes, handler.

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