Grand National Grouse Futurity

2023 Running of the Grand National Grouse Futurity Winners

1st- Mowhawk Mill Miss You, pf, Bred by Gary Winall, owned by Bill McFadden and handled by John Stolgitis

2nd- Scotland’s Ponderosa Bell, sf, Bred by Brian Wood, owned by Scott and Lori Johnston, handled by Scott Forman

3rd- Jewett’s Creek Oakley, pf, Bred by John McKellop III, owned and handled by Jeff Sullivan

4th Mac Sullivan, sm, owned by Leann Parnell and Handled by Tammy Chaffee

79th Grand National Grouse Futurity
By Thor Kain
The 79th renewal of the Grand National Grouse Futurity brought grouse trialers from all over the Country to the beautiful Gladwin field trial ground in Michigan. Thirty-three dogs were entered to run starting November 5th. The support that breeders have shown this Futurity is truly humbling. Year after year they take the time to nominate litters, pay fees and educate puppy buyers on the importance of a Futurity. That very importance can’t be overstated and that is bettering the breeds. I think all would agree the setter and pointer lines that run in grouse trials have steadily improved throughout the years. Good breeding practices and trials like the Grouse Futurity play a big role. It pays to buy a pup from a good breeder and it doesn’t matter if you field trial or are just a grouse hunter, the breeders that support this Futurity are the best place to start looking for your next pup.

It takes an army to run a trial like this properly and the people of Michigan came out in force, there were so many that helped it would take half this report to list them all so please forgive me not naming everyone. Just let me say they went above and beyond to make this trial prestigious, fair, and a good time for all. As Grand National Grouse Futurity secretary I was unable to attend this year. Brian Ralph stepped up and took on the secretary’s duties for the two days. He is also secretary of the Grand National Grouse Championship so he had his hands full for the entire week but added more to his plate without hesitation. A big thank you to Brian for doing this. No trial at Gladwin would be right if Bryan Wood wasn’t at the line announcing each brace. Woody made sure every breeder, dog and handler got the acknowledgement they deserved. Veteran filed trial participants and judges, Bruce Minard and Craig Merlington were in the saddle to watch this batch of derbies. Both men gave every dog their attention and their decisions were just how everyone had them. On behalf of the Grand National, thank you to Craig and Bruce for looking over this crop of derbies and doing so in a way that everyone enjoyed the experience.

Twenty-eight grouse were seen within 20yds or less of the course during the two-day running. Unfortunately, they proved to be a challenge to get pointed. The judges had 8 dogs in reserve they could have used and commented on how bright the future looks for all of them. Mac Sullivan, setter male, bred and owned by Leeann Parnell and handled by Michigan pro Tammy Chaffee took home 4th place honors. Mac’s sire is the legendary Champion, Ponderosa Mac and no doubt is carrying on the legacy that he created. He ran in the 2nd brace with Tammy handling and making sure he showed and checked all the right spots, He was always forward and off the bell at times but Tammy could gather him when needed. He was unable to get a bird pointed and called back to the bird field to point one. 3rd place when to Jewett’s Creek Oakley, owned by Jeff Sullivan and bred by John McKellop III. She is out of John’s winning female, Grouse Trails Warrior Cat. Oakley ran in the 12th brace and did so with purpose. Always hunting and checking the right type of cover where grouse and woodcock live. At times Oakley ran to the edge and off the bell but was never gone long. Birds were seen but didn’t give her an opportunity to get one pointed. Her ground race and application earned her a trip to the bird field where she had great manners and took home the yellow ribbon. Second place was Scotland’s Ponderosa Belle owned by Scott and Lori Johnston, bred by none other than Bryan Wood and handled by New York pro, Scott Forman. Woody is a longtime supporter of the Grouse Futurity and you can always count on one he bred being in the mix. Belle is another Ponderosa Mac offspring and again adding to the legacy of a very special dog. Belle ran with speed and style, attacking the course with vigor. She stopped and started twice trying to get a no doubt spooky grouse pointed and on the last stop a grouse lifted with Scott firing, all in order. This performance earned her the red ribbon and she will be another one to contend with on Scotts string of dogs. First place was won by Mohawk Mill Miss You, bred by Gary Winall, owned by Bill McFadden and handled by Rhode Island pro John Stolgitis. You may recognize both the McFadden and Winall names. Bill is a longtime supporter and enthusiast of grouse trials with many winning dogs attached to his name. He recently got back into it and he called John Stolgitis to help him get a dog and back on the winner’s podium. Gary Winall is one of the most successful amateur all age handlers of our time but he also breeds and develops all his own dogs. Although the Mohawk Mill prefix isn’t one that is usually attached to a grouse trial dog, Gary has excellent wild bird dogs and they have no issue adapting to the cover grouse trials present. John Stolgitis has an impressive win record in grouse trials and this Futurity. The combination of a good owner, breeder and a handler at the top of his game was no doubt the contributing factor in Miss You’s big win. Through her sire, Mohawk Mill Big Stuff and her dam, Mohawk Mill Dolly she goes back to 19XCH 19XRUCh Chasehill Little Bud who John famously, owned developed and had unbelievable success with. Miss You’s early devlopment can be credited to Winall and his special touch with puppies and derbies. She was cut loose in the 2nd brace and at the eleven-minute mark her bell stopped and a grouse quickly lifted, Stolgitis firing and collaring his charge. The longer the brace went on the better Miss You got. She ran with speed, style and seemed to sense the prestige of being on the big stage which added to her strong finish.

This trial would not be what is without the breeders who nominate litter so again, thank you for your support of the Grouse Futurity, Nestle Purina and our rep Greg Blair provided generous amounts of Purina Pro Plan to the winners. On behalf of all Grand National Grouse members, thank you Greg and Purina for your unwavering support. Garmin was also kind enough to support the Grouse Futurity by providing a TT25 collar to the winner. Thank you to our rep, Patrick Bowman and Garmin for your support. The Grouse Futurity is stronger than ever and we look forward to seeing everyone at the puppy classic in Michigan this spring and the Futurity in Wisconsin next fall.

79th Grand National Grouse Futurity draw

Starts Sunday November 5, 2023, Gladwin MI, 8am
Judges, Bruce Minard and Craig Merlington

Dog Breeder Owner Handler

1a) Grouse Hill Princess, sf, Aposporis, Capocci, S. Forman
1b) Gimmee Some Sugar, pf(is) McClurg, Ervin, Hughes/Ervin
2a) Mac Sullivan, sm, Parnell, Parnell, T Chaffee
2b) Mohawk Mill Miss You, pf, Winall, McFadden, Stolgitis
3a) Gretna Crest Royalty, sf, Frame, Frame, Frame/Swerzak
3b) Springponds Addy Boy, sm, Parnell, Rademacher, Rademacher
4a) Miss Buttons, pf, Forman, Gehm, S Forman
4b) Snyder’s Bonnie Parker, sf, (is), Wood, Snyder, S. Chaffee
5a) ChaseHill Snoop Dogg, pm, Stolgitis, E Stolgitis, Stolgitis
5b) Liam’s Little Wallace, pm, Forman, Ballin, M.Forman
6a) Moss Meadow Able, sm, Moss, Moss, Moss
6b) Mohawk Mill Double E, pf, Winall, Winall/ E. Stolgitis, Stolgitis
7a) Snyder’s Big Nose Kate, sf, (is) Eldridge, Snyder, T. Chaffee
7b) Shady Hills Lefty, pf, Forman, Forman, M. Forman
8a) Grouse Hill Mac, pm, Aposporis,Capocci, S. Forman
8b) Dauntless Rogue, sf, Moss, Benshoof, Benshoof
9a) Moss’s Straight Cash Homie,sm Moss, Dozeman, Dozeman
9b) Baxters Wild Bill,sm, Peters, Peters, Peters
10a) Ralph’s Hillbilly, pm, Hamilton, Ralph, Ralph
10b) Ponderosa Ace, sm, Chaffee, Snyder, S.Chaffee
11a) Millers Dusty Version, pf(is) Miller, Husenits, Hughes
11b) Ghost Train Millie, sf, Parnell, Frutchey, Frutchey
12a) Jewett Creek Beauty, pf, McKellop, Sullivan, Sullivan
12b) Rogue River Pig Pen, sm, Ash, Brown, Brown
13a) Sunkhaze Orange Gerry, pf, Winall,, Flewelling, Flewelling/Stolgitis
13b) Baxter’s Doc Holiday, sm, Peters, Peters, Peters
14a) Jewett’s Creek Oakley, pf, McKellop, Sullivan, Sullivan
14b) MI Henry, Wood, Dewald, Dewald
15a) Scotland’s Ponderosa Belle sf,(is) S. Forman
15b) Mohawk Mill Miss Ellie, pf, Winall, E Stolgitis, Stolgitis
16a) Moss Meadow Ellie, sf, Moss, Stegman, Stegman
16b) Carolina Sandstorm, pf, (is) McCLurg, Ervin, Ervin
17a) Town Creek Rambler, sm, Frame, Frame, Frame/Swerzak
17b) BYE