Michter’s Rock N’ Rye, Jared Specht’s son of Lilley Hill’s Secret Stash ex our Ch. Full Tilt, won the Nittany Valley Grouse Trial Club’s Open Derby on October 23, 2011. Riley, while still puppy eligible, has been running in derby competition throughout the fall grouse trial season in which he has won several times. Riley is a long-legged and classy pup who runs with his tail carried very high. He makes an impressive image when he flows through the woods in search of game. This win came on a warm day on a course with some heavy cover. Riley pushed through these areas with enthusiasm. When he was called back in the birdfield Riley was most impressive, standing tall and straight tailed. He was steady at the flush…..again impressive.
Full Blast won the 34 dog entry David Blakely Derby Classic at Marienville, PA., November 5, 2011. “Jeb” is a 52 lb. son of Ch. Pennstar ex Walnut Hills Cracklin Patch. The David Blakely Classic is a companion stake to the Pennsylvania Grouse Championship. As a classic and with grouse dog pros gathered with their derby strings from across the country, the Blakely Classic is arguably the top derby competition in the east this season.
After spending some time this summer with pro Dave Hughes and his assistant Ryan Frame, Jeb came on fast showing finished manners on three finds in winning the early-season DuBois-Beaver Meadows Open Derby. In late September Jeb made the trip to northern Maine with amateur Mike Spotts. Joe Dahl, Mike’s host, took Mike and Jeb to a variety of covers and Jeb pointed more than a dozen grouse and woodcock in the several days they hunted together. In October at the Grouse Futurity it was said that he only needed a bird to be in contention. It’s been a good year for birds on our training grounds and Jeb gets birds nailed in most every workout. He is one of the best derby birdfinders we have owned. It seems that Jeb continues to get stronger and harder driving each week and at the Classic he gave a strong effort on the ground. Jeb showed a penchant for being forward and coming to the front on all the turns. His class on the ground is exceptional for a big dog. As Jeb continues to develop into a better and better grouse dog, our hopes for his field trial career grow.
All In, our 15-month-old male, won the North American Woodcock Futurity in Canada on October 1, 2011. “Chance” is sired by Ch. Lilley Hill’s Secret Stash ex our Grand National Grouse Champion Full Tilt. “Chance” was handled by amateur Mike Spotts of Bloomsburg, PA who was in New England on a judging assignment and took “Chance” along for some hunting and a crack at this futurity.
“Chance” is a thrilling dog to watch operate. He’s fast, very quick and light on his feet and he’s exceptionally stylish and intense on point. We have high hopes that “Chance” will be a difference maker and have a positive impact on the breed.
Carry On, owned by Roger Marin, Michter’s Rock ‘N Rye owned by Jared Specht and Ghost Train Cody owned by Tom Fruchey are littermates to “Chance” who have already won in open derby competition despite their still being eligible for puppy stakes. Each has the class of their mother and the strength of their father, Stash.
Wintergreen Max, Mickey Fancher’s son of Pennstar, won the Minnesota Grouse Dog Championship, October 2011. “Max” continued right where he left off last spring when he claimed the coveted Grouse and Woodcock Invitational Championship. This is Max’s third championship title. Handled by his amateur owner, Max reinforced his reputation as a strong dog on the ground as well as a consummate bird finder in this event.
Photo taken 10/2011. Both photo and “Rock” are untouched.
5X Ch. Pennstar is still in great shape and going strong at 11 years of age. As in the very recent photo above, “Rock” continues to exhibit the straight high-tailed look on point that he and his offspring are known for. You can almost feel the extreme intensity coming through the picture that “Rock” displayed throughout his 8 year competitive career that included 5 wild bird Championships and 1 Runner-Up Championship title. “Rock” continues to sire pups and build his leading living sire production record. His latest litter was whelped in September 2011 to a Grouse Ridge bred female in NY. “Rock” remains available to the public at stud.
Pepper Upper, son of Pennstar ex George Johnson’s Stella Doro, won 1st at the West Branch Grouse Trial Club, Open Derby on October 9, 2011. The cover on much of the course was very heavy and the 80 degree day challenged all the dogs but “Pepper” dug into the cover and kept hard at it. When the course opened up, “Pepper” took advantage and moved over the ground with speed, lightness-of-foot and crack. “Pepper” is a big dog who looks good on the move. He was steady-to-wing and shot on his birdwork.
Rock Hard, Grindstone ex Barnburner, passed away at the age of 13 this fall. “Tac” and his litter brother, Topseed, were a pair of contenders for us in the early years of this century. Topseed won the Flanagan Award but we kept his brother “Tac” as he was more bird dog. He found more birds and wanted to point and stand them. Topseed was harder driving and more rangy. “Tac” has a nice list of wins to his credit, the best was being Runner-Up in the Fruchey Classic (44 dogs), an all-age stake in Michigan with Dave Hughes doing the handling. My favorite recollection of “Tac” was out pheasant hunting with him as a derby and finding him standing on the other side of a creek high on the other bank with a cockbird pinned. He had been standing there a long time and I was able to call in my hunting pal to show him the breathtaking style and exceptional intensity that “Tac” displayed.
When “Tac’s” trial days were over he went to live and hunt with the Tom Morris family in western PA. Tom’s boys were in high school and loved to hunt. It was a race between the boys getting home from school and Dad getting home from work to see who would be the first to get “Tac” out hunting that day. At “Tac’s” passing Tom wrote Dick and me a moving letter recalling the enjoyment “Tac” brought the family. One son wrote separately to second Dad’s praise and appreciation for being able to have a super bird dog while growing up.
Impact Player, son of Pennstar ex Joe Dahl’s Magic Mist’s Bandit, won the DuBois-Beaver Meadows Amateur Shooting dog in this his first season as an all-age. Tall and strong, “Joe” flashed around the course at DuBois with eye-catching style. At the 20 mark, he pointed a running bird which he had relocated twice before his handler, Dick Brenneman, put it to wing. “Joe” finished off with a find as the clock ticked down. His style was arresting and some in the gallery commented, “breathtaking”. We are enthusiastic about this tri-color and believe he can make a mark in all-age grouse competition in the coming seasons.
Full Blast, son of Pennstar ex Walnut Hill Cracklin Patch, won the DuBois-Beaver Meadows Open Derby over a field of 14 on September 3, 2011. “Jeb” was handled by Dick Brenneman to a three-find performance in his first derby start. “Jeb” was steady-to-wing and shot on all his finds. Even though “Jeb” is one of the largest dogs we have ever campaigned, he moves smoothly over the ground and has the crack and eye appeal that Pennstar progeny are known for.
Veteran daughters of Pennstar scored second and third respectively at the West Branch Grouse Trial, Open All-
Age, October 9, 2011. Jumpstart is owned and handled by Mike Spotts of Bloomsburg, PA and Spark’s Fly is owned by Gardner Stoker of Mifflinburg, PA. While temperatures were in the 80s, both showed their determination in hunting the heavy cover of “The Barrens” outside State College, PA. Both of these females have mulitple wins on these grouse grounds over the years. It’s satisfying to see dogs handled and trained by amateurs do well in open grouse dog competition. Jumpstart had just returned from NY where she, according to the judges, laid out the best race of the Region 2 Amateur Championship run in grouse cover.