2020 Winners of the 76th Grand National Grouse Futurity
GLADWIN, MICH. — Thirty dogs were drawn for the 76th renewal of the Grouse Futurity running on the grounds of the historic Gladwin Field Trial Area.
The Gladwin Area (GFTA) consists of 4,792 acres located in the northwest corner of Gladwin County near the town of Meredith. This area is managed extensively by the state of Michigan’s Department of Natural Resources Wildlife and Forestry Divisions and is subject to controlled timber harvest as necessary to maintain the area as a premier grouse habitat dedicated for wild bird field trial events.
Members of the five cover dog clubs volunteer much time and resources throughout each year to keep this area the premier grouse and woodcock venue in our circuit.
A great deal of effort is expended each year by our very capable Futurity secretary, Thor Kain, to manage this event. It starts with the registration of nominated litters, contacting the owners of these Derby dogs prior to the event each year, collecting forfeiture payments, answering a bucketful of questions and then, conducting the draw. It’s a very big and a very important job and Thor does it well.
This event has three sponsors who donate product and help finance these and other events. Lion Country Supply provided gifts for the judges and reporter. Garmin supplied a training collar to the winner and as always, Purina, Greg Blair, supplied Pro Plan Performance feed for winners and small sample bags for all the participants.
The support of these three great companies is appreciated by all of us who participate in these events.
The Beaverton Grouse Dog Club managed this stake. Mike Singleton gladly accepted the role of stake manager. Mike kept the event rolling, managing the movement of people, marshals, trucks and horses around the grounds.
Tom Fruchey and Bob Wheelock sat in the judicial saddles on horses supplied by Rich and Jennie Hollister.
Moss Mac Daddy, white, tan and ticked setter male owned and handled by Marc Dozeman of Holland, Mich., was awarded the rotating trophy, blue ribbon, Garmin tracking collar and Purina Pro Plan product.
Mac Daddy was bred by Ken Moss of Mount Pleasant, Mich., a mating of Ponderosa Mac and Moss Meadow Lil. Lil goes back to Ken’s six-time champion and three-time runner, and Grand National Grouse Champion Moss Meadow Traveler, the foundation of Ken’s program. Ponderosa Mac is a two-time National Champion, owned by Steve Snyder of Ellendale, Minn.
Mac Daddy ran in the second brace on course No. 2. Mac started steady, at medium range and forward and kept this pace for 30 minutes. Mac handled easy and responded when required. When we reached the 22-minute mark Mac flipped ends and worked back. A grouse went out about fifity yards away as the gallery came around a corner. Marc sent Mac deep into the cut and the bell stopped 100 yards deep. Just as we got to third yards Mac started up again and worked froward a couple hundred yards. Mac stopped well off course, Marc walked in and put a woodcock in the air and shot. Marc collared his charge back to the front and finished his brace going away.
Springpond Rockin’ Gibby, white, black tan and ticked setter male owned and handled by Lonnie Rademacher of Lake Leelanua, Mich., earned the red ribbon with a strong and forward race. Gibby is a product from breeder Mary Beth Esser and her female, Tails Up Olive by Springpond’s Rockin’ Autumn, owned by Leeann Parnell.
Gibby is a tall, leggy and powerful tri-color setter. He is Lonnie’s first venture into field trial bird doggin’. Gibby ran in fourth brace, course No. 5, starting strong and hard charging. Gibby ran wide, deep and forward and keep in contact with his handler. He hunted the cover for a full brace, no birds flew in front of him.
Mike Singleton handled his setter female to a third place finish. Singleton’s Sid the Kid was also bred by Ken Moss, a pairing of Ponderosa Mac and Moss Meadow Kate. Kate also goes back to Moss Meadow Traveler.
Sid ran in third brace on course No. 4. Sid is also a tall and well-built setter, long of stride and strong. Sid also ran a steady 30 minutes, stopped one time at the edge of an aspen cut, we couldn’t get a bird to fly. We entered a clear cut and Sid went to the other side to enter the next bit of grouse cover, deep but within bell range. Mike was able to stay connected and get him to the end. Sid finished strong.
Rounding out the placements was Thornapple Casey, owned by longtime field trailer Bob Leet of Paw Paw, Mich., and handled by Bruce Minard.
Casey, bred by Bruce Minard of Hifive Kennels, is a product of runner-up champion Thornapple Cody ex Hifive’s Thornapple Anita. Casey is a medium size, well built white and black setter male.
At the breakaway Casey ran deep and wide, out of bell range for a bit, showed to the front running strong and steady. Casey ventured in and out of bell range (for this reporter) but always showed to the front, hunting the cover and running steady. He dug deep in the oak slash at the end of course, stopped once but started up before he could be reached. He finished as he started, steady and forward.
These handlers ran their dogs through fifteen braces. The afternoon braces on day No. 1 began with snow, and the weather never let up. It was challenging for all.
Monday morning was bright and clear with six inches of snow blanketing the grounds for the final three braces. A single grouse was encountered on the last brace, no dog involved.
We elected to take three dogs for a callback in the woods, starting with Lonnie and Gibby. Fifteen minutes, find a bird.
Gibby hunted hard, again ran steady but couldn’t produce a bird. Next up Mike Singleton and Sid. During these 15 minutes as Sid was off to our left, we walked up three grouse, no dog involved. We moved to the end of course No. 2, Bruce released Casey and this dog hunted the cover. Bruce did a great job handling to keep his charge in the cover and hunting it thoroughly. Again, no birds. We went to the birdfield, released quail and brought the dogs back individually in the same order as the wild bird callback. All handled their birds well.
The weather was certainly a disappointment to all involved; birds have been abundant on the Gladwin grounds this entire Fall season. The day following the end of this stake the Grand National Grouse Championship commenced and we had wonderful and mild weather, birds on every 60-minute course for the entire five days.
Gladwin, Mich., November 1
Judges: Tom Fruchey and Bob Wheelock
SEVENTY-SIXTH GRAND NATIONAL GROUSE FUTURITY —
5 Pointers, 24 Setters and 1 Brittany
1st—MOSS MAC DADDY, 1686015, setter male, by Ponderosa Mac—Moss Meadow Lil. Marc Dozeman, owner and handler.
2d—SPRINGPOND ROCKIN GIBBY, 1685818, setter male, by Springpond Rockin Autumn—Tailsup Olive. Lonnie J. Rademacher, owner and handler.
3d—SINGLETON’S SID THE KID, 1687988, setter female, by Ponderosa Mac—Moss Meadow Kate. Mike Singleton, owner and handler.
4th—THORNAPPLE CASEY, 1690280, setter male, by Thornapple Cody—Hifive’s Guilty As Charged. Bob Leet, owner; Bruce Minard, handler.
2020 Drawing of the 76th Grand National Grouse Futurity
1a) Thornapple Casey SM/Leet/Minard
1b) Pop’s Ray of Sunshine SF/Steingraber/Hollister
2a) Moss’s Mack Daddy SM/Dozeman/Dozeman
2b) Baxter’s Ode SM/Peters/Peters
3a) Singleton Sid the Kid SF/Singleton/Singleton
3b) On Point Jetwood Josie SF (IS)/Peterson/T. Chaffee
4a) Austin Hill Abby SF/Duell/Hughes/Matson
4b) Spring Pond Rockin’ Gibby SM/Lademacher/Lademacher
5a) Anna Lake Samantha PF/Matson/Hughes
5b) Speck SF (IS)/Merlington/Merlington
6a) Partridge Creek Sadie SF (IS)/Slater/T. Chaffee
6b) Centerfold Peach SF/Holmes/Holmes
7a) Grouse Ringer Pappy SM/Vitali/Forman
7b) Baxter’s Indian Arrowhead SM/Peters/Peters
8a) Rum on the Rocks PM/Hughes/Hughes
8b) Moss Meadow Magic SM/Moss/Moss
9a) Baxter’s Bash Brother SM/Peters/Peters
9b) Sutter’s Backwoods Rumble SM/Giulitto/Hughes
10a) Red Rum Rosie PF/Husenits/Hughes
10b) Northview Dixie Storm SF/Ditkas/Minard
11a) Spring Pond Rockin’ Sydney SF/Parnell/Parnell
11b) Abby’s Got To Run SF/Jablon/Minard
12a) Double Deuce Pearl PF/McMillen/Hughes
12b) Young Grouse Louie SM/Milone/Forman
13a) Sutter’s Magic Moxie SF/Giulitto/Hughes
13b) K. Dell’s Eagle Magnum Hotshot BM/Delong/Delong
14a) King Creek Dot Sero SF/Millet/Ecker
14b) West Wind Big Jake PM/Mercitoris/Hughes
15a) Dauntless Dreamer SF/Benshoof/Benshoof
15b) Moss Meadow Maverick SM/Moss/Moss
2019 Grand National Grouse Futurity Winners
KILKENNY, N. H. — The 2019 renewal of the Grand National Grouse Futurity marked the 75th anniversary of this prestigious stake.
As is with all Futurities, it’s a breeders’ stake. The process for nominating a dog starts when the dam is bred, followed by a litter nomination and finally a forfeit fee paid by the puppy’s owner.
Throughout its history the Grouse Futurity has been well supported by breeders. Placing in the winners’ circle has been a benchmark for bigger things to come for the dogs who have done so.
The beautiful White Mountains of New Hampshire provided the backdrop for the running. I’d be willing to bet the Kilkenny grounds are the most scenic grounds a grouse trial is run on.
The Northern New Hampshire Bird Dog Club hosted the event. Club members worked tirelessly this summer making sure the grounds were in top shape for the Futurity and Grand National Grouse Championship that followed.
Judging this year’s Futurity was this reporter from Carbondale, Pa., and Justin Evans of Duncannon, Pa. Justin’s dog, Blast Off, won the Grouse Futurity several years ago in 2015 and Justin has judged the Grand National Puppy Classic as well as other important championships and stakes.
Shortly after 7:30 a. m. stake manager John Stolgitis gave the call to “Get ’em on the line.”
Herbie’s Shasta La Vista (Forman) and Grouse Hill Pepper Ann (Stolgitis) broke away with excitement on the Ammonoosuc No. 1 course. Shasta had a little trouble adjusting to the New England cover as she was fresh off a month of trials in Michigan. She eventually got going and handled kindly. Pepper Ann was big and bold from the start and was pleasing to watch with her fast and fancy ways. Just before time Shasta’s bell stopped along the river and Forman headed toward his dog. She was quickly located and a woodcock was put to wing, shot fired, all with perfect manners from Shasta.
Stan the Man (Fruchey) and Elhew Snakewood (Doherty) competed on the Ammonoosuc No. 2 course, and like Ammonoosuc No. 1 runs along the scenic Ammonoosuc River. Both dogs searched the course merrily but neither was rewarded with a bird on this day.
Springbrook Sweet T (Stolgitis) and Hifive’s Power Line (Minard) were brought to the line on the Moosehorn Course. Both dogs shot to the front and had the judges’ eyes from the start. Sweet T got birdy on the left of the course and was working one but before she got it pointed a grouse blew out. Several minutes later this judge/reporter heard a grouse blow out on the right of the course. Power Line was working in from the front right and his bell suddenly stopped. Minard was informed that a grouse had blown out but he wanted to take a look. He quickly pointed out Power Line standing with breathtaking style and as soon as he pointed him out this judge saw a grouse sneaking out the front and pitching off the hill. Minard quickly shot with Power Line holding perfect composure throughout. As all this was going on, Sweet T had stopped. Stolgitis and Judge Evans went to look and handler put a woodcock in the air and shot. Both dogs seemed to know they had a bird and were now determined to put on a show. Power Line laid out to the front as big as Minard would let him but he was hunting the whole time and when Minard wanted him back he could do so without too much handling. T ran like she was trying to light the ground on fire and just before time she took the whole top side of hill and faded out the front. Time was called and the bar had now been set for the rest of the field.
Hifive’s Top Shelf (Minard) and Ghost Train Solitaire (Fruchey) were on the famous Beaver Hole course. Both dogs ran with the speed and style you want to see. Top Shelf ran her whole half hour without ever coming from the side or behind and was in perfect tune with Minard. Down in the bottom along the river a woodcock was walked up with neither dog involved. Both judges were hoping a bird could be pointed by either contender but it wasn’t to be on this day.
Grouse Hill Smokey had his running shoes on early and his scout told Forman he thought he was to the right and forward but handler wasn’t sure. Deb’s McKeachie Road (Kennedy) is an eyeful with her speed and running style. About halfway down the hill Smokey started up about where Forman’s scout had told him he thought he was.
Mumblings could be heard in the gallery about not only always trust your dog but trust your scout. Marc’s scout happened to be his brother Scott and the duo are a successful team but several in the gallery seized on the moment to get in some good-natured ribbing. McKeachie was under a woodcock at 28 and Smokey stopped and started a couple times but neither got a bird pointed before time.
My Long Gone Sprinkles (Avery) and Grouse Ringers Woody (Forman) were cut loose on Ammonoosuc No. 2 course. This course is thick and it definitely shortened both dogs’ range. Sprinkles has speed and style and Woody hit the cover like a freight train with no fear. At 27 Sprinkles was under a grouse whose two buddies quickly roared out from under the fir tree as well. Handler Avery shot his gun with a big smile on his face and commented how much fun he had running a dog he bred and developed in the Grouse Futurity.
No. 7 had good friends Craig Doherty and Bob Little paired running their respective charges, Elhew Snake Dancer and Cairds Cracklin Rosie. Both dogs hunted all the cover and moved through the country with style. Rosie was in the area of a grouse that blew out but it was touchy and gone before she could get it pointed. Both stayed busy until the end but luck wasn’t on their side this day.
Chasehill Little Speck (Stolgitis) and Grouse Hill Duke (Forman) brought us back to the Beaver Hole course. Both dogs shot down the hill toward the cover. Duke took a little bit to get going but found his groove and went to work. At 7 Speck’s bell was stopped just ahead on course. Stolgitis called the flight of woodcock for his dog but neither judge saw it. Shortly after Duke stopped near Speck which was still standing like a bull. It was determined Duke wasn’t backing and as Forman moved toward his dog a woodcock was seen leaving; both handlers fired and both dogs were credited with a find. Speck ate up big pieces of the river bottom, hunting out cover then stretching out further looking for more. Stolgitis was confident in his dog and let him roll until we approached the corners where he’d gather him up and let him roll again. Speck moves with lightning speed and hits the cover with reckless abandon, much like his sire. His power and speed on the ground coupled with his beautiful pointing style set him apart from the rest of the field. As we approached the end of the course Duke got a little sticky and Forman had to whistle him on a few times but he got back to business. Both finished going away.
Shady Hills Savannah (Forman) was drawn as a bye in the 9th brace. She showed some nice moves but could have benefitted from a bracemate.
With all the dogs run, handlers and spectators were summoned to the guard shack for the announcement.
Fourth place was awarded to Grouse Hill Duke, white and liver pointer male owned by field trial enthusiast and longtime supporter of grouse trials, John Capocci of Katonah, N. Y. John was also the breeder of Duke. Scott Forman had the handler duties for Duke and is also credited with his development.
Third went to Springbrook Sweet T, white and liver pointer female owned by Russell Oglivie of Waldoboro, Me., a hardworking amateur who put a lot of time into T’s development. T was bred and handled by John Stolgitis.
Second place honors were given to Hifive’s Power Line, pointer male bred and owned by the team of Bruce and Neil Minard of Beulah, Mich. This father/son duo put a great deal of time into their dogs and it shows. Bruce handled Power Line but he was quick to credit his son for his involvement in Power Line’s success.
Winner of the 75th Grand National Grouse Futurity was Chasehill Little Speck. John Stolgitis was the breeder, handler and developed Speck which is owned by John’s daughter Erin, and Elias Richardson of Uxbridge, Mass.
This was Speck’s second Futurity win, having also won the International Woodcock Futurity earlier in the fall.
A Futurity is a breeders’ stake and it should be noted that the multiple time champion Daddy’s Little Boy Butch was the sire of the first, third and fourth place dogs. Butch’s prepotency in his offspring is evident.
As secretary of the Grand National Grouse Futurity I would first like to thank all the breeders who nominated litters. Thanks is in order for the Northern New England Bird Dog Club and their members for all the hard work getting the courses ready, especially Tony Bly and Lloyd Murray.
John Stolgitis took on the role of stake manager and a couple days before the trial a bad wind storm knocked down trees all over the grounds that hosted the trial. John took a day out of a hunting trip and headed to Kilkenny with his chainsaw and cleared the roads into the grounds so we could have the trial. Thank you to John for stepping up and getting the roads and grounds cleared.
Greg Blair and Nestlé Purina provided generous amounts of Pro Plan to all the winners and for that and their continuous support we thank them.
Also, Garmin sent us a tracking collar for the winner and thanks is in order for them as well.
We look forward to starting the Futurity process over this winter with new litters. Hope to see you next fall.
Kilkenny, N. H., November 3
Judges: Justin Evans and Thor Kain
GRAND NATIONAL GROUSE FUTURITY — 10 Pointers and 7 Setters
1st—CHASEHILL LITTLE SPECK, pointer male, by Daddy’s Little Boy Butch—Porter Meadow Bette. Erin Stolgitis & Elias Richardson, owners; John Stolgitis, handler.
2d—HIFIVE’S POWER LINE, pointer male, by Arizona’s Sixgun Syd—Hifive’s Sin Again. Robert Minard, owner and handler.
3d—SPRINGBROOK SWEET T, pointer female, by Daddy’s Little Boy Butch—Porter Meadow Bette. Russell Oglivie, owner; John Stolgitis, handler.
4th—GROUSE HILL DUKE, pointer male, by Daddy’s Little Boy Butch—Grouse Hill Bell. John Capocci, owner; Scott Forman, handler.