Spaniel Field Trials
Southern Michigan Springer Spaniel Field Trial
by Milton Holcombe, Executive Field Representative

The Southern Michigan Springer Spaniel Training Club has given the Waveaway Challenge Trophy, presented by Mr. and Mrs. William E. Lane, to the winner of the Amateur All-Age with the rule that if a handler won it three times the trophy would be retired. Last year, Mike Elsasser of Liberty Township, Ohio accomplished this feat; (1992, 2002, and 2003); the last two years with his Springer Spaniel, Stonington's Cut to the Chase. However Mike graciously asked that the Club accept the trophy back for future winners to enjoy.

Not only did Mike do this, but he agreed to judge this year's Open All-Age and Amateur All-Age with Dan Denner of Wellsville, New York, and they did quite a nice job. The event was held at Mr. Preston Mann's Farmland Pheasant Hunters, Inc. near Brown City, Michigan on October 9th and 10th of this year. Mr. Mann also allowed the Club use of his nice Clubhouse facility.

Mr. Paul Jones headed the Field Marshals; Candy Jacques (his daughter), Dick Dixon and Mike Miller. Oh! By the way Mr. Jones is only 88 years old and still walks all day Marshaling. In his spare time he still serves, with his daughter Candy on the Region's ski patrol. I'd have gotten a picture of him, but couldn't get him to slow down enough. I'm only 60 and I wouldn't care to try and keep up with Mr. Jones. Quite a gentleman!

Click on image for caption and larger view.

The Southern Michigan Club, headed by Chairman John Skiba and Secretary Tony Courtney, was well organized and got the event started on time both days. (other Clubs need to take note of this, with organization, it can be done) They had plenty of help and were never looking for somebody to shag, plant birds, or Marshal. Their excellent gun team was headed by Don Alexander and Dave Barto and did their usual outstanding job. If you want to see a well gunned event you need to attend a Spaniel event gunned by this group.

Tall cover on the grounds proved quite a challenge at times, particularly when a dog required handling to a fall, as it was hard for the handler to see the dog, or the dog the handler. The Club had excellent birds which flew almost like wild birds, but the guns were up to the challenge.

Open All-Age was won by Expressway's My Buddy Luke owned by David H. and Marie M. Hopkins of Western Springs, Illinois and handled by Ken Willis. (see picture below) The Armforth Challenge Trophy, presented by Armforth Kennels was awarded to Mr. Willis as winner of the Open All-Age. Other placements were as follows:

2nd - Roaring Spring Rowdee
Owner: Donald Wagner
Handler: Jeff Brooks

3rd - South Hamlin Sir Duncan
Owner: William Czarneck
Handler: Ken Willis

4th - Pride N Joys Field Gryphon JH
Owner: Jim O'Shea
Handler: Jeff Brooks

I was not able to get pictures of the Amateur All-Age winner, as I had to leave for the airport prior to the completion of the event, however, thanks to Andrea J. Hasse of Bramblewood Kennels sending them to me, below are the results:

1st - Denalisunflo's Tiz of Rives
Owner/Handler: Tom Clark

2nd - General Douglas McCarthur II
Owner/Handler: Richard Domo

3rd - FC Tridon's Kansas Pride N Joy
Owner: Julie Hogan
Handler: Jim O'Shea

4th - Autumn Highlands Red Wing
Owner: John and Esther Skiba
Handler: John Skiba

So, Tom Clark and his family will get to enjoy the Waveaway Challenge Trophy at least until next year's event, thanks to Mike Elsasser returning it to the Club for future winners.