Helen Brenneman honored as ‘Legend of the Cover Dog World’

Helen and Dick

Helen Brenneman, for her decades of dedicated service and support of grouse trials, was honored with the designation of “Legend of the Cover Dog World” on November 1, 2021 at the Purina welcoming banquet for this year’s Grand National Grouse Championship at Marienville, PA.

The Committee rightly chose Helen for this honor as she has made local grouse trials like Nittany Valley, regional trials like the Pennsylvania Grouse Trial and national trial, The Grand National Grouse trial, work.!

For more than forty years, often behind the scenes, Helen would provide lunches for the judges and field trial party, Commonly these lunches for the field trial judges and marshalls were delivered in the field. Additionally, Helen would cook and serve sumptous dinners for the entire field trial entourage back at the lodge after the running. Numerous times Helen opened her home to host the drawing for these events. Numerous times she would host the out-of-town judges in her home.

For decades Helen served as the Secretary of the field trail for local and regional events. She hosted the drawing. She collected the entries and entry fees. She conducted the drawing and posted the drawing on a website for these trials. All these steps are vital to making a field trial work.

Helen served as the reporter of grouse trials. These reports could be counted on to be direct, clear and succinct when they appeared in The American Field.

Several times Helen judged stakes at the regional and national level including the Grouse Futurity.

Helen trained and worked dogs in the string of her husband Dick and his partner, Bob Watts. It was typical for Dick and Helen to run a pair of dogs. Dick taking one and Helen the other. Especially in the case of Straight Forward, who earned 9 grouse/woodcock championship titles, Helen’s work in the field was central to “Cracker’s” development and accomplishments. In workouts Helen handled “Cracker’ exclusively. When “Cracker” was recognized as the top cover dog setter of the year three times, Dick made sure that the plaque was handed to Helen and that she got deserved credit for what “Cracker” had accomplished.

Helen’s friend and master of ceremonies for the awards, Joe Cammissa, presented Helen with a plaque featuring her picture and a synopsis of her accomplishments. This plaque will hang in the Field Trial Hall of Fame at Grand Junction, TN for the entire field trial learn of and appreciate Helen Brenneman’s huge role in making cover dogs and the field trials that they elevate endure.