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Field Trial Report

Wolverine Club Field Trial

By David A. Fletcher | Jun 12, 2021
Open Horseback Shooting Dog Winners. From left: Bryan Wood, Sandy McLean with Wicked Quick, first; Jim Cipponeri with Jack’s Rockin Rocco, second; and Kelsey Hajek with Wicked Hippie, third.

Highland, Mich. — The Wolverine Club, one of Michigan’s oldest, held their spring trial over the Silo course. at the Highland Recreation Area, near Milford Michigan May 14-15.

Weather was clear and warmish, afternoon temps hitting the eighties. Some of the spring burning, now in progress on the site reduced bird  holding cover to a degree but birds found places to conceal themselves and flew well when flushed. Three walking and four horseback stakes were completed Friday and Saturday, and although licensed, Sunday was not needed to finish the program.

Club President Jim Cipponeri with a great helping hand from wife Connie took care of the drawing, forwarded a copy of the running order to Club Secretary Fletcher who provided and wrote the judges' books, made and brought the rosettes, and served as reporter.

Judges of the walking stakes were Leeann Parnell and Joe Cammisa — Leanne, locally from Gaines, Mich., and Joe from Butler, Pa. Leanne has judged the Fletcher Classic on several occasions and has competed her dogs, bred many winners, is treasurer of the Southwest Michigan Club, and been active in Michigan trials both open country and grouse woods for many years. Joe also has many roles in the field trial world, judge, reporter club official but his pet duty is secretary/treasurer of the Grouse and Woodcock Invitational Championship. His judging experience is exceptional, embracing grouse events, walking and horseback trials; definitely a well rounded background.

Joe’s wife Susie sent a huge tray of oversize chocolate chip cookies, embraced with many more ingredients than chocolate chips and they were mentioned as "the best I ever ate". Many other delicacies showed up on the pavilion tables during the event, most from anonymous donors.

Ron Williams helped Joe Cammisa judge the Open Walking Derby. Horseback stakes judges were Rich Hollister, son Ricky Hollister, Bill Branham, Sandy McLean, Kelsey Hajek, Ron Sposita, and Bill Klenner. The club thanks them for their service.

Ron Williams and Ron Sposita catered lunches both days at no cost to the club. Paul Tutro was again our bird planter, faithfully both days and he brought donuts each morning. Bryan Wood announced and started the braces. Thanks to Purina for their continuing generous support.

This was the first Wolverine Club event since the death of Oliver and Almerinda DeLuca, Oliver in October of 2019 and Almerinda in May, 2020. The Wolverine Club traditionally holds forth on Mother’s Day weekend. With the DeLucas in ill health and at home in 2019 and the 2020 event cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic, 2021 was the club’s first opportunity to hold forth. The Wolverine trial was a DeLuca masterpiece for 43 years. Oliver was club president from the very beginning.

The Club held its inaugural event May 13, 14, 1978, at the Highland Area. Reporter was John Moren. Let me quote a paragraph of his report: "The Club was formed in February of 1978 as the brainstorm of Oliver DeLuca, whose love for and dedication to the great sport of field trialing and whose concern over the declining number of horseback trials being held in Michigan led to this endeavor. Sharing this concern with fellow trialer Ken Korttila, the decision was made to give it a try, and around this two-man nucleus a small but dedicated club took shape with the goal of perpetuating quality horseback pointer and setter trials in the Wolverine State."

The May 1978 inaugural had an entry of  77 dogs. A second 1978 trial by the Wolverine Club was staged at Holly Recreation Area. September 23-24, with an entry of 42 dogs. It might interest readers, especially Michiganders, to know the names of handlers, judges and officials on the scene in those bygone days. The names were captured from the initial two events from the pages of The American Field. Attending were: Dave Grubb, Gary Christensen, Andy Zoll, Roger Iehl, Dave Galley, Beecher Hill, Otis Matlock, Randy Latty, Frank Ratza, Bernie Girard, Dave Hodges, Dave Dirmeyer, Claude Randall, Roy Glore, Tom Norris, Deb McCarthy and Scott Norris. Early Club leaders were Lou And Dave Campana, Denis DeLuca, and Bob Eldridge.

Another name who has a very long history with this club is Jim Cipponeri. Jim came into the Club very early, worked hard and served many roles. and has been trial chairman for well over 30 years. He and Oliver were paired with the Wolverine Club events for a long and successful tenure.

Let’s not forget the ladies, Almerinda DeLuca and Bonnie Kortilla were workers for years upon years  . . . things such as feeding the host of trialers, arranging the cocktail parties and the like.

WALKING STAKES

Judges remarks: All the dogs placed in the Puppy Stake were classy, forward hunters and searched their course well.

Seventeen were entered in the Dave Fletcher Classic, winners standing above the pack. Miss Penn Star, the winner, ran in the heat of mid day, scored one nice find and an unproductive but her attractive style and gait reaching for forward cover was outstanding. Good finish.

Dun Rovens Drifter second, already a Grouse Champion, was wide, powerful and always forward with two good finds and an unproductive. A nice heat for his youthful handler Ricky Hollister. Bo of Piney Woods was third, logging a pair of nice finds, handled back a bit sparingly, but he always came around on time. His effort was wide and always forward, nary a letdown in the heat.

Glassilaun War Paint, handled by Robert Ecker recently captured the U.S. Complete Great Lakes Walking Championship over these grounds, threw a stout challenge at the winners, but was unable to make his way into the placement circle.

In the Open Walking Derby,  Dun Rovens Zip was the winner with a wide search and two broke finds. A great brace.  Second was Sutter's Backwoods Rumble, giving handler Rich Hollister the first and second placements. Rumble had a great hunt, stopping on feathers twice. third was Glassilaun Parabellum with a wide start, a nice find, and good looks on the move. A stronger finish could have moved Parabellum higher.

Highland, Mich., May 14

Judges: Joe Cammisa and Leann Parnell

OPEN PUPPY — 1 Pointer, 8 Setters and 2 Brittanys

1st—NORTH BAY’S TENNESSEE RYE, 1690874, setter male, by Ponderosa Mac—Eldridge’s Beauty and Beast. Brandon Short, owner and handler.

2d—DUN ROVENS TIMBER, 1695216, setter male, by Dun Rovens Drifter—Waymaker Hello Becky. Kevin Hollister, owner and handler.

3d—LEO, unreg., Brittany male, breeding not given. Mekalko, owner and handler.

Judges: Joe Cammisa and Leann Parnell

DAVE FLETCHER OPEN WALKING SHOOTING DOG CLASSIC —

3 Pointers, 13 Setters and 1 Irish Setter

1st—MISS PENN STAR, 1645604, setter female, by First Up—Smoke Rise Faye. Dr. George Najor, owner; Robert Ecker, handler.

2d—DUN ROVENS DRIFTER, 1655062, setter male, by Dun Rovens Gary—Dun Rovens Boofay. Ricky Hollister & Jack Harang, owners; Ricky Hollister, handler.

3d—BO OF  PINEY  WOODS, 1661644, pointer male, by Bud of Piney Woods—Medlin’s Dancin Abagail. Richard Warters, owner; Robert Ecker, handler.

Judges: Joe Cammisa and Ron Williams.

OPEN WALKING DERBY — 8 Setters and 2 Brittanys

1st—DUN ROVENS ZIP, 1686123, setter male, by Dun Rovens Drifter—Waymaker Hello Becky. Mark & Tom Fernandez, owners; Richard Hollister, handler.

2d—SUTTER’S BACKWOODS RUMBLE, 1685619, setter male, by Long Gone Studly—Single Shot Barley. Paula Guilitto, owner; Rich Hollister, handler.

3d—GLASSILAUN PARABELLUM, 1688344, setter male, by Islander—Richfield Oakley. Jamie Nee, owner; Robert Ecker, handler.  

HORSEBACK STAKES

Dunroven's Timber (Rumble), handled by Rich Hollister, was first with a good hunting performance. "Rumble"  also placed in the Open Walking Derby. Second was Ron Sposita’s Duke's Hold My Beer, a spirited youngster that had one find and hunted the course with plenty of effort. Third was Bill Branham’s Huron Creek's Doughboy with a placement in the Open Walking Derby, and another performance here that caught the judge’s eye.

In the Open Shooting Dog, Sandy McLean’s pair of entries captured first and third place. Wicked Quick was first with three finds and a back, followed by Wicked Hippie (Merle) with a pair of finds and both of the McLean dogs ran well. Second was Jim Cip’s Jack;s Rockin Rocco with a stylish, well located find on a nice cast to Beaumont hill cover. Rocco continued to hit the far places until time expired.

The judges commented there were some good prospect among the six starters in the Open Puppy. Placements awarded to the most courageous hunters.

Amateur Shooting Dog winner was Jack's Rockin Rocco with two excellent finds. Both were in places few dogs reach on this course, a credit to Rocco’s wide search. Bill Darr handled Rusty Nail to second with two good finds a sight point with bracemate misbehavior and a strong ground effort. Third was Dick Lipski’s Britt, Anchor Up Newt, scoring two nice finds and a back and the dog hunted with purpose.

Judges: Ron Sposita and Bill Klenner

OPEN PUPPY — 5 Setters and 1 Pointer

1st—DUN ROVENS TIMBER, 1695216, setter male, by Dun Rovens Drifter—Waymaker Hello Becky. Kevin Hollister, owner and handler.

2d—BLUE RIVER REX BUD,1692827, pointer male, by Just Buddy—Jordan’s Dinia. William McTurnan, owner; Elijah Hollister, handler

3d—HURON CREEK’S DOUGHBOY, 1694239, setter male, by Maximum Resistance—Hunter Run’s Knockout. Julie & Bill Branham, owners; Bill Branham, handler.

Judges: Sandy McLean and Kelsey Hajek

OPEN  DERBY - 2 Pointers and 3 Setters

1st—-SUTTER’S BACKWOODS RUMBLE, 1685619, setter male, by Long Gone Studly—Single Shot Barley. Paula Giulitto, owner; Rich Hollister, handler

2d—DUKE’S HOLD MY BEER, 1684677, pointer male, by Sugarknoll War Paint—Sizzlin Julie. Ron Sposita, owner and handler.

3d—HURON CREEK’S DOUGHBOY, 1694239, setter male, by Maximum Resistance—Hunter’s Run Knockout. Julie & Bill Branham, owners, Bill Branham, handler.

Judges: Rich Hollister and Bill Branham

OPEN SHOOTING DOG — 5 Pointers and 3 Setters

1st—WICKED QUICK, 1674810, pointer female, by Dunn’s Tried’n True—Dunn’s Get Out Sue. Sandy McLean, owner and handler.

2d—JACK’S ROCKIN ROCCO. 1669276, setter male, by Thornapple Hawk—Boondock’s Karen’s Annie Girl. Jim Cipponeri, owner and handler.

3d—WICKED HIPPIE, 1684804,  pointer female, by Lester’s Sunny Hill Jo—Wicked Quick. Sandy McLean, owner and handler.

Judges: Kelsey Hajek and Ricky Hollister

AMATEUR SHOOTING DOG — 2 Pointers, 2 Setters and 2 Brittanys

1st—JACK’S ROCKIN ROCCO, 1669276, setter male, by Thornapple Hawk—Boondock’s Karen’s Annie Girl. Jim Cipponeri, owner and handler.

2d—RUSTY NAIL, 1651755, setter male, by Independence Day Sam—Hytest Silver Bell. Lloyd Wylie, deceased, owner; Bill Darr, handler.

3d—ANCHOR’S UP NEWT, 1654765, Brittany male, by Anchor’s Still N Suspense—Scarlet The Harlot Doogen. Richard & Kathryn Lipski, owners; Richard Lipski, handler.

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