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TR-STATE BRITTANY CLUB IS A REGIONAL CLUB
UNDER THE SANCTION OF
AMERICAN BRITTANY CLUB AND THE AMERICAN KENNEL CLUB
International Brittany Championship
History and The Early Days
By David A. Fletcher
International Brittany Classic , was inaugurated in 1968. over the
property of Dr. Walker Heap of Watertown, N.Y. This was open country,
large fields, formerly dairy farming lands acquired by Dr. Heap over
which he began his shooting preserve and field trial grounds. Founders
included Frank Ash, Walker Heap, Canadian Bill McClure, Bill and Rita
Cartmell and Hank Martinet. Judges were Carl Beattie a notable trainer
and handler and Al Pilon a great New England trial person and
reporter. There were 14 entries, Jaime's Weego Jill, the winner
owned and handled by Jim Malia of Owego, N.Y. Second was Sno Fun Mack,
owned and handled by Dr. Heap and third, Jaybee's Little Princess,
owner and handler not given in the report.
It was very apparent
the founders were working toward something considered better than the
trials of the day....which were mainly, all across much of the
country.....one course, liberated birds.... birdfield, and
handlers generally walked. Ahead was something in which the
founders could expect an effort they could label all-age, with
horseback handling, and down the road Championsip status. It was
pretty apparent their goal was bigger running Britts not handled on
The club staged a second trial in November of 1969 at the
Heap preserve, winner Dr. Heap's Sno Fun Mac and Runner-Up Tyoga Sally
owned and handled by Bill Cartmell, Carl Beattie and Al Pilon the
In 1970 a three stake spring trial was held and that
fall with Championship status, the winner was Jac Pierre's Pride,
owned by Jim Cohen, handled by Rick Smith and Runner-Up was Whohe of
Bordeaux owned and handled by Jim Malia. Judges were Al Pilon and Jack
The club staged another spring trial in 1971.
I was invited to judge and report the 1971, second Championship
renewal, by my good Canadian friend Bill McClure from Ottawa,
Ontario, Canada's capital city..... a person I had known some
years .....both of us participating in the trials of the Ontario Bird
I met for the first time Dr. Walker Heap of
Watertown, N.Y. who owned the two dairy farms we ran the trial over. He
had purchased the properties and converted them to a shooting preserve
where Pheasants were the game bird and former pastures and crop fields
grown up with weed cover provided the venue. It was an excellent
place to test a Brittany bird dog. Dr. Heap's method of putting
Pheasants on the courses relied on the structure of his spacious
Pheasant pens. As I remember the pens had a fence ten feet or so high,
and when a bird could fly over the fence that bird was out on the
course. The birds were much closer to "natural wild" than if they had
been grabbed from the pen moments before the brace and then liberated.
people who founded this club and staged it were memorable. Walker
Heap was the host landowner and he ran dogs, furnished a clubhouse and
was very involved in the daily running of the braces. The Conables,
Ella and Lloyd, the Cartmells, Bill and Rita, Jim Malia and others were
putting the event on. Handlers Rick Smith, Jim Holman, Mark Appleton,
Ernie Facer were there competing. There were 20 Britts in that 1971
Championship field, won by Carey's Freckles handled by Terry Cleary
with Jamie's Weego Jill, Runner-Up handled by Jim Malia. Judges were
Jack Fitzpatrick and Dave Fletcher.
In 1972 I repeated as judge
and reporter, teamed with another of my great friends Truman Cowles. We
placed a wonderful Britt, Tondee's Sandy Valley Duke, a New England dog
handled by his owner, the one-armed Steve Tardy. Duke was a very good
dog and Arthur Curtis and I placed him Winner in the ABC Quail
Classic at Richmond Kentucky, a year or so later. There was no
Runner-Up named in the 1972 International, although Brandy's Bullet ran
a superb hour. His downfall was he was a Texas dog and knew practically
nothing about running Pheasants. His owner Bill Norvell was present.
Also in attendance were a pair of Brittany ladies, wonderful
personalities enjoying the trial from their motor home, Maizda Van
Deusen and Dicie Speck.
trial continued to be a fixture on into the middle seventies. In
1973, Judges Truman Cowles and Bob Abric placed Perry's
Rustic Prince Champion, with no Runner-Up, over the SnoFun
grounds with an entry of 14. Brandy's Bullet, Pacolet Cheyenne Sam, Sno
Fun Mack, Jacolet's Wandering Star were in the starting field. New
faces were Ben Tobiason and Howard Tutton.
In 1974 the
Championship field grew to 36, judged by Bob Abric and Dave Fletcher.
Winner was Perry's Rustic Prince, owned by Lester May and handled by
Rick Smith. The previous five years had also featured spring events
staged by the International Club.
the judges were Dr. Tom Flanagan and Dr. Walker Heap. The new Champion
was Goldtone's Doc, handled by Marc Appleton with Runner-Up Ringo De
Britt handled by Rick Smith. The entry included Senator TJ, Chip
Britt Jill, Tex's Air Man and Dr. Scott's Tough Enough. Dr. John
and Judy Webb were present.
The 1976 fall Championship was
judged by Dr. Tom Flanagan and Irving Clark, again held at Evans Mills.
The winner was Jacolet's Wandering Star, owned by Paul Hinch and
handled by Rick Smith.
Things were getting tougher for the
trial to continue at Watertown, N.Y. It was a long way from home base
for trainers in Oklahoma and Illinois driving to Watertown, N.Y.
Gasoline was getting expensive and travel over long distances by the
major pros who competed was taking a toll.
The club moved the
Championship event to Baldwinsville, N.Y. in 1977, an agreeable move by
all the participating pro handlers. I took over the club
presidency that year, but horseback all-age Brittany trials were
not blossoming east of the Mississippi, at least in that era. The 1977
running had 9 entries and was judged by Irving Clark and Elwin
Hendrick. Perry's Rustic Prince won the Championship, with no Runner-Up
The 1978 renewal at Baldwinsville was planned for
September 20, but a lack of entries prompted myself as President, along
with the Conable and Cartmell Directorate to cancel the event.
International Club had a somewhat modest treasury but it was passed on
to a group that volunteered to carry on the Championship. In 1981, Bill
Cartmell placed an American Field kennel fixtures ad for the
International Brittany Field Trial Association, with the trial
slated for Clarksburg, N.J. April 2nd, but no display ad or report was
found to substantiate that the event was run.
did not stage trials from 1979 through 1985.
In 1986 a field of 23
Britts competed for the International title at Washington, Indiana.
Jack Hires and Jim Cohen were the judges and Warren Montgomery trial
chair and secretary, with the Greater Indianapolis Brittany Club as
host. Winner was Viking's Yankee Dandy owned by Alan Johnson,
Jr., handled by Rosco Staton, and Runner-Up Far Out Bandit,
Breuggeman listed as owner and Jim Holman, handler.
was no data available for the years 1987, 1988 and 1989. In 1990
Rimarda's Trademark was the winner, owned by Jim and Janet Chase,
handled by Chad Holman, and if I might be bold enough to say bred by
Dave Fletcher, writer of this article. Runner-Up was Foot, owned by Dr.
John and Judy Webb and handled by Lloyd Budd. The Championship
was staged at Petersburg, Indiana, on the Pike County Bird Hunters
Club, had an entry of 27 and was judged by Dan Tooker and Dr. Robert
more inactive years followed for the International. In 1999
the International Brittany Championship stake was revived and run at
Glendale, Indiana. Winner was Gambler's Ace In The Hole, Ed and
Donna Janulis, owners, Chad Holman, handler. Runner-Up was
Rimarda's Mad Max owned by Jim and Janet Chase, also handled by Chad
Glendale was also the site for the 2000 International
Championship with an entry of 20 in one-hour heats. Winner was Lane's
End Bowtie Annie owned by Tom and Judy Robin, handled by Chad Holman.
Runner-Up was Blazing Rebel Joe owned by Jim Fornear, handled by Chad
Holman. Judges were Clarence Conner and Charles Kinney.
was the site in 2001 for a third consecutive year at Montgomery, Ind.,
the Championship won again by Lane's End Bowtie Annie, handled by Chad
Holman, with Buddy Jack Runner-Up owned by Ed Sawicki and handled
by Chad Holman.
And the story continues…. By Lisa Pollock
Mingo Sportsman Club in Bloomingdale, Ohio has been called by some the
“Prairie of the East”. Members of the club who had a passion for
field trials began grooming the rolling hills of reclaimed coal mining
land for field trials in the early 2000’s. By 2004, former ABC
President Ron Zook, along with members Jack Alexander and Bob Szymanek
had over 1000 acres of the grounds shaped into what has become one of
the few places East of the Mississippi where All Age dogs can be
run. They enlisted a little financial support from Paul Pollock
and along with the entries of Pro Trainers Ben Lorenson and Tom Tracy
Jr., The International Brittany Open All Age Championship was
In March of 2005, after getting approval from the
American Field, The Open All Age Championship was held. Approval
was also granted for an Amateur All Age Classic. Nineteen entries
went to the line in the open stake, 22 for the Amateurs.
NFC/2XNAFC Just Call Me Roy, a future Hall of Fame inductee, handled by
Ben Lorenson was named Champion in 2005. Winner of the Amateur
All Age Classic was Bob Symanek’s Holliewood Magic Man. The
International Championship was back in business.
In 2006 the ABC
began sanctioning American Field Championships as Regional Classic,
giving the winners both American Field and AKC placements. The
Amateur All Age Stake was also recognized that year as an American
Field Championship, and a Shooting Dog Classic was added to the
cluster, held in Memory of Ron Zook . The Shooting Dog
stake became a Championship in 2009. Trialers enjoyed the extra
hour stakes giving them a challenging course to qualify dogs for
Construction of a gas well in the next few years left
the grounds with some disruption of the course. For the next few years
the International did some moving around. Jackson, OH, Thayer,
IA, and Waynesboro, GA were all hosts for the event. In 2014, the
International was moved back to the Mingo grounds and has been going
Please visit the web site for the International Brittany Championship to see more details on the history since 2005.
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