International Amateur Woodcock Championship

In the fall of 2003, I was looking around to breed Elhew Liebotschaner (Lady) and was excited by a derby dog, Wynot Ace, that had just won the Amateur Grouse here in Kilkenny. I went to New Brunswick and watched him run in and win the International Amateur Woodcock Championship. I set two goals then and there — the first was to breed Lady and get a dog that would run like Ace and bring that dog back and win the Amateur in similar fashion to the old man. Lady came into heat later that fall and I sent her over to Andy Cook in Maine to be bred. Almost the day the litter was born I made my pick and Jack has been one of those dogs of a lifetime. It took him until this year to achieve the other goal and win the Amateur Woodcock. Deb Kennedy, who placed him in the Leslie Anderson Derby Classic when Jack was a Puppy, was the reporter this year in Debec and for all of you who might not see the write up in The Field I have included it below.

An excerpt from the “International Amateur Woodcock Championship”
by Deb Kennedy

Pointer male Wild Apple Jack (Doherty) and setter female Old River Glory (Parsons) drew the last brace of the trial. They broke away in the deep woods on the upper half of the Wishart land. The ‘birdy” part of this course tends to be later on, and Jack had read the play book, taking off at a blistering speed. He ran beyond his bell and then came in just enough as if to say, “Of course, I’m still here!” This was really wonderful to watch. Once in awhile you get a chance to see someone who raised and trained his own dog, who knows and loves his dog, who knows and loves him back. They put on a show that demonstrates not just a well-trained dog and his man, but the love they share made visible in the way the dog and the man sing and dance through the woods. There is an intimacy that comes with trust, trust that the dog will run to hell and back, find a bird, stay there for as long as it takes for his person to find him. Jack always knew where Craig was; he knew where the birds were, and he knew how to get everyone in the same place when it really mattered. Jack ran hard and big for the first 40 minutes. His bracemate ran much closer, making it difficult to hear Jack’s far flung bell. Austin picked up his charge well before time, so Jack had the remaining course to himself. At 40 Jack stopped in some young popples that always hold a woodcock or two. Craig flushed for awhile, sent Jack on and then Jack stooped again. Craig did another cursory search and moved Jack back to the course. At 44 Jack stopped again and was found on point by scout Mike Flewelling. Jack remained rooted to the ground as Craig flushed. Ever vigilant, Mike saw the bird sneaking away and called out to Craig, who finally flushed the woodcock and fired. Once released Jack exploded forward over a rise and then, nothing. The bell stopped before 50 and the search began. Both judges, Craig, his scout Mike Flewelling, and this reporter fanned out into the woods looking for the dog everyone knew was there somewhere, but where? Craig walked fast and kept up a quiet patter, “I’m coming Jack, I’m coming.” Finally there was a ghostly whisper of a bell next to a beaver pond where the alders grew thick as grass. Craig waded into the stand to find the bird hew knew was there. The hour had run out. After several minutes Mike Flewelling joined the group starting at the far end of the grove and found Jack standing. Craig ran to his dog, the woodcock flushed, the shot was fired, thus capping a championship performance by man and beast.

A short list of Jack’s notable placements includes the 2007 Grand National Grouse Championship (winner); 2008 Northern New England Woodcock Championship (winner); 2010 Lake States Grouse Championship (winner); 2011 Northeastern Grouse and Woodcock Championship (runner-up). Jack is a full littermate to Autumn Moon which is also a multiple (5X) champion. When not competing or hunting, Jack lives in the house.

Posted in Current News.

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