Deciding Point returned to the Ocean State BDC held September 19, 2021, at the Arcadia Wildlife Mgt Area, RI, and defended her spring, ’21 first place win by again winning 1st in their Amateur Shooting Dog stake. “Bek” was handled by Thor Kain for owners Bob Watts and Dick Brenneman.
“Bek”, who has been a grouse field trial competitor all her life, was felt to benefit from running in some events where she would have a shot at more finds than is typical in a grouse trial. “Bek” is from the same frozen semen litter (Pennstar ex Straight Forward) as National US Complete Amateur Shooting Dog of the Year Super Storm. Thor had both dogs as pups and he chose Super Storm for himself. Dick and Bob continue to campaign “Bek” with Dave Hughes in grouse trials and immediately after her win in Rhode Island “Bek’ was off to Dave’s string and headed to Michigan grouse trials in early October. Dave only runs “Bek” in grouse championship stakes.
Notably “Bek” had a litter this past winter ’21 and her pup Super Storm Hank was also in the winner’s circle at this trial–keeping it in the family. He too was handled by Thor and running under his ownership.
Super Storm Hank, our 9 month old pup sired by Maximum Resistance ex Deciding Point, started his competitive field trial career with wins at the Ridgerunners BDC (PA) and at the Arcadia FTC (RI) in September, 2021.
We had 7 male pups in Hank’s litter and we gave them all a hard look before choosing our stylish, athletic moving and strongly built boy. Best of all, Hank stood out for his ability to find and get wild birds pointed consistently. His composure on game was critical to him being selected from an excellent litter of pups. Importantly, Hank has a cooperative, yet bold, personality. He and his littermates stood out for their desire to please and want to be doing with you (whatever you’re doing) personality. You’ll be hearing more from Hank and from his littermates going forward.
In both of Hank’s appearances we saw the traits we look for in prospects. Running style, light on the ground, cracking tail- even out in the open, straight tail, bold personality. want to please attitude and intensity on point are the main things we look for and see in Hank. The majority of pups in his litter had most all of these qualities. This confirms that we are building bird dogs for the future that will improve the breed and be a thrill and a pleasure to hunt with
Super Storm Cliff, last year’s US Complete Am. Puppy of the Year, transitioned into his derby form in outstanding fashion by winning first in the Ridgerunner’s Walking Amateur Derby on Saturday, September 11. Cliff had three sharp finds with adult manners to eclipse the field. He coupled this mature birdwork with a strong forward race.
The following day at the horseback trial sponsored by the Sandy Valley Field Trial Club held on the same Freeland Kennel Club grounds, Cliff again won first this time in the Amateur Horseback Derby. This was the first time he was ever handled off of horseback. His aggressive, classy forward hunting was rewarded with three letter-perfect finds. On each find Cliff was not only high-tailed and intense but he maintains that composure after the flush and shot. He added a back of his bracemate for good measure in besting a field of veteran horseback handlers and their charges.
Cliff notched another nice placement in which he registered multiple finished finds at the Arcadia FTC in RI, September 25. The Arcadia grounds are completely different from those in his previous derby wins. Dry, sandy with brutal scrub oak. Undeterred, he rendered a powerful hunting effort and his birdwork was again steady-to-wing and shot.
Super Storm, the ’20-’21 US Complete National Amateur Shooting Dog of the Year, continued to demonstrate the kind of performance he’s become known for by winning 2nd in the Amateur Shooting Dog stake at the initial fall US Compete trial held August 29, 2021. The historic DuBois-Beaver Meadows club was the sight of this highly competitive 24 dog stake. “Fed” had one find. Lots of dogs had multiple finds. It was “Fed’s” remarkable hunting effort over the grounds that really set him apart from the field. He drove as hard as you can go for the full 30 minutes. Throughout his time on the ground “Fed’s” superb running style was on full display. It’s hard to fully describe how high-tailed and cracking-tailed Fed was throughout. You almost have to see it to understand. Very few dogs look so animated in motion as Fed. You can’t take your eyes off him. His one find was handled with his usual intense demeanor and poker-straight tail. The judges chose to honor an exciting dog.
No Limit, owned and handled by Thor Kain, kicked off the fall, 2021 US Complete circuit by placing 3rd at the DuBois-Beaver Meadows Amateur Shooting Dog stake held August 29. “Zoey” got right to business scoring a find on a pair of woodcock within 100 yards of the breakaway. From there she sailed around the course, driving hard, moving effortlessly over the ground to register 6 more immaculate finds each with her high, straight tail identifying her location. Several of the finds were of the ‘dug up’ variety which required scouting. From start to finish her tail was cracking hard and she demonstrated plenty of jump in her step to keep everyone’s’ attention.
Super Storm Liz, our daughter of Blast Zone, won virtually every Derby Stake she entered during the ’20-’21 season to be named the US Complete Derby of the Year award. “Liz” truly is one of the very best young dogs (if not the best) we have ever had, including going back the nearly 40 years of record-setting setters in the kennel owned by Dick Brenneman and Bob Watts that preceded the Kain-Watts partnership. “Liz” came to us from Jeremy Avery who rightly saw great potential in her. Earlier we had selected another female from the litter as our stud fee pup. At Jeremy’s suggestion, we switched female pups. “Liz” got off to a fast start with Bob Watts placing her in puppy stakes but it was under Thor’s tutelage and handling that “Liz” really thrived as a derby.
Super Storm Liz’s list of wins this past season includes: 1st, , Mohegan BDC, Open Derby Classic 1st, , Ridgerunners BDC, Amateur Derby 1st , Sandy Valley BDC, Amateur Horseback Derby 1st,, Northern Bucks BDC, Amateur Derby 1st , Mountain View BDC , Amateur Derby 1st , Northeast FTC , Amateur Derby 1st , Ocean State BDC ,Amateur Derby 2nd , Aracadia FTC , Amateur Derby 2nd , Sugarloaf Mountain BDC, Amateur Shooting Dog
Super Storm Cliff earned the US Complete Amateur Puppy of the Year award based on the points he garnered at trials during the ’20-’21 field trail season at US Complete recognized events. Cliff, sired by Blast Zone ex Jeremy Estep’s female, came to us as a stud fee pick in the spring of 2020. There were only two pups in the litter that survived.
Cliff went to Bob Watts’ kennel to start his training. It wasn’t long until Bob reported that Cliff looked to have the traits that he and Thor were looking for in their prospects. Cliff had good size, strong desire to hunt and find birds and class running and pointing. Cliff’s determination, boldness and drive began to be evident over the summer and by the fall he was ready to get exposure to field trials. In both his first two trial, with Bob doing the handling, Cliff found and pointed birds that were pre-released or were wild. This set in his mind that there were birds to be found at trials. In October, Cliff went to spend time with Thor and Thor took him to more trials with Cliff’s potential becoming more and more evident.
Cliff’s wins over the season include:
1st, Mountain View BDC, Amateur Puppy
1st, Sandy Valley BDC, Amateur Puppy (sp)
2nd, Sandy Valley BDC, Amateur Puppy (f)
1st, Ridgerunners BDC, Amateur Puppy
2nd, Northern Bucks FTC Amateur Puppy
3rd, Sugarloaf Mountain BDC, Amateur Puppy
Cliff now heads into his derby career and we are happy to report that he’s doing very well in training. He’s showing advanced derby manners at this point mainly working on pheasants. We are excited for his future as a bird dog competitor.
At the annual meeting of US Complete Shooting Dog Association held in Gettysburg, PA, August 8, 2021, Thor Kain was recognized for earning the honor of “Amateur Handler-of-the-Year”. This NATIONAL award recognizes the points Thor earned by having his dogs win at amateur US Complete field trials over the past fall ’20-Spring ’21 season.
Thor was active in campaigning his multiple shooting dog, derby and puppy entrants who garnered over 30 wins. He traveled to events in CT, RI, MD, PA and Ohio to compete. In winning this recognition, Thor propelled several of his dogs to National US Complete Dog of the Year honors. Thor owns, trained and handled his National US Complete Amateur Puppy (Super Storm Cliff), National US Complete Amateur Derby (Super Storm Liz) and National Amateur Shooting Dog (Super Storm). Others in his string had first place wins that propelled him to this recognition which he earned by a wide margin over other long-time and talented amateur handlers. The others dogs in his string who won for him are Super Storm Atlantic, Deciding Point (owned by Dick Brenneman and Bob Watts), Power Forward (deceased) and No Limit.
After traveling to competitive trials through the fall of 2020 and the spring of 2021, our now 4 year old setter male Super Storm, amassed more points from his wins than any of the other scores of entrants in these trials to be named the US COMPLETE AMATEUR SHOOTING DOG-OF-THE YEAR.
Super Storm, call name “Fed” (think GOAT tennis player), has been a favorite of ours since his puppy months. Whelped in 2017 he came from a litter of 4 pups sired by 5x wild bird champion Pennstar ex 9x wild bird champion Straight Forward. Both of these dogs were owned by Bob Watts and Dick Brenneman. We had a difficult time getting the great bird finder Straight Forward mated. We either missed her heat cycle or it was too shallow to detect or she didn’t want to cooperate in a mating. Finally, we turned to using frozen semen that we had stored from Pennstar. It was the first time we had tried to do a frozen semen mating. Dr. Melissa Goodman, a world acclaimed canine reproductive specialist, had collected the semen from Pennstar years earlier and she supervised the AI mating. Not wanting anything to go wrong, we had professional whelper helper, Jeannie Grejda,, oversee the birth. We weren’t taking any chances, leaving the process to the super experienced pair. It all went perfectly.
As with virtually all the pups from the from Bob and Dick’s matings over the past 40 years, the pups started their life at Bob’s place. Here enter Thor Kain. Our pal, local gun dog trainer/pro Tom Gingher had recommended that we try to get this new guy set up with a good prospect. Tom claimed that this new guy (Thor) was really committed to learning about and working at getting a winning setter. We had come to know Thor at bit but Tom’s promoting of Thor was what convinced us to let him have a top pick from this litter. After a look at the pups, Thor chose “Fed”. “Fed” in many workouts was impressing everyone with his knack for finding and getting wild birds pointed. He was evidencing the traits of his spectacular parents in this regard. Straight Forward, “Cracker”, has a national reputation in the grouse woods for uncanny bird finding. Pennstar, “Rock”, found wild birds all over the country in trials and hunting with rarely seen ability. It was no fluke that “Fed” was proving to be a bird finder. And when he found birds, he personified that adage as “he looked like a million bucks on point’. His tail is absolutely poker straight and near 12 o’clock every time he stands game. Additionally, “Fed” showed drive and desire to hunt for birds. On top of that, he has a lot of snap and quickness on the ground. Very flashy, very cracky–both traits he still maintains and that attract and hold a judge’s attention. This is what Thor saw over the course of months and why he chose Fed from the litter. It’s also why he chose to name his prosperous kennel after “Fed” as well–Super Storm kennel.
Winning the US Complete Amateur Shooting Dog-of-the-Year takes determination and consistency. No one wins every trial. You have to go to a number of events to win as often as it takes to earn Dog-of-the Year. You have to win regularly to outscore the many worthy competitors. “Fed” was challenged by a number of outstanding dogs from various regions of the country. He displayed consistent, high-level performances reflecting his God-given abilities and Thor’s training skills. Deserving of special mention is Dean Avillion’s excellent pointer female, Huckleberrry’s Lucky Penny, who was the RU in this award falling short of Super Storm’s point total by just a handful of points. In addition to the other stout competitiors, Super Storm had to beat the other dogs in our string. Our Deciding Point and No Limit both had first place wins in amateur shooting dog stakes where “Fed” ran. Our Power Forward and Super Storm Liz also earned amateur shooting dog placements where “Fed” was entered.
Here are a listing of Super Storm’s amateur shooting dog wins, 20′-’21.
1st, Peter Ecker Amateur Shooting Dog Classic
2nd. Sandy Valley Bird Dog Club, Amateur Shooting Dog
3rd Ridgerunners Bird Dog Club, Amateur Shooting Dog
2nd, Mountain View Bird Dog Club, Amateur Shooting Dog
1st, Northern Bucks Bird Dog Club, Amateur Shooting Dog
It has been a lot of fun and a lot of work to develop Super Storm to this point and rewarding to see him prove in a public way, at trials, all the hope we had for him as he developed.
Super Storm Liz concluded her derby-age career with a 1st place win at the Odean State BDC Amateur Derby, held May 23, 2021, Thor Kain took Liz and the rest of the string of dogs he and Bob Watts support to their last trial of the ’20-’21 season. With one weekend of trials yet to run, Liz is leading the US Complete Amateur Derby of the Year points total. This win adds to her lead in this year-long competition.
While we have run Liz exclusively in shooting dog stakes this spring (and she has delivered by winning at this stepped-up level) in this last event for her this season she ran as the true derby she is. She did not disappoint. Her two finds handled with adult manners coupled with her fast, hard driving and snappy coverage of the grounds propelled her to the 1st place ribbon.
It’s been a remarkable derby season for Liz who has earned the admiration of many of her competitors. We look forward to her shooting dog career which will continue in the fall, but first Liz gets a well-deserved rest.