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Youth Trials

2011 Armstrong-Umbel Endurance Classic ~ Sidelights & Youth Stake

The Black Ash Grouse Trial Club thanks the many supporters of this unique event. They have grown substantially over the last three years. We hear from people across the country that express great enthusiasm for an endurance event held in the grouse woods.

The club is committed to holding the Armstrong-Umbel Endurance Classic to the highest standard of field trials. The selection of judges with unquestionable integrity and the credentials necessary to evaluate wild bird endurance dogs is of the utmost importance. We believe the winners’ purse should reflect the distinction of winning this difficult stake. Like all trials, conditions and luck play their part in the outcome. The requirement for a bird dog to display mental and physical strength, intelligence and unquenchable desire to find birds for two hours can only be fulfilled by a dogs’ capability and their readiness for the task. Secretary Russ Richardson said it simply: “It’s about guts.”

Club members are only too aware that entry fees alone cannot sustain the two-hour brace event. We sincerely thank the following for their commitment to the Armstrong-Umbel Endurance Classic through their financial support and other contributions: Allstate Insurance and Allstate agent, club member, Brian Ralph, Gary Sheets and Enhance Dog Food who donated food and paid for the American Field Ad. Thanks to Beretta Gallery (New York), Steiner Germany, the Ruffed Grouse Society and to Andrew Campbell for his enthusiasm and hard work ensuring that the club could proudly present the wonderful gifts we had to our judges. Beretta also financed this year’s popular “purple” caps. (Yes, they’ll be black next year!) Thanks to Tom Mains (Tom Mains Pointers, Tito & Mains Development) and ZoomDog Supplements who donated product and gift certificates for the winners, Davis Kennels, Hard Driving Kennels, Northern Kennels, Noel Gibson, Dale Hernden, Tony Bly, Earl DeCarli, Kim Sampson, Shawn K. Wayment, DVM and all the individuals who purchased caps. Thanks to Strideaway for their continued support and for providing ad space on the website for those donating to the Classic.

A hearty thanks to all who helped out with the Classic, the Amateur Derby and Kid’s Stake – Russ Richardson, Joe McCarl, Brian Ralph, Andrew Campbell, Mike Groy, Pat Cooke, Shawn and Molly Thomas, and many others. Thanks to Steve Groy for Friday night’s wonderful pot roast dinner and Chris Mathan and Kim Sampson for preparing Saturday evening’s Club donated spaghetti feed. Thanks to Tim and Sharon Perschke for making their farm available for the judges and as trial headquarters. The warm fire at the end of the day was much appreciated. Greg ‘Slim’ Geyer had a delicious breakfast for us each morning to help fend off the cold. The Classic’s organizers also appreciate the owners and others who braved the cold and joined us in Marienville.

Also well worth mentioning is the Kid’s Stake we ran after the Amateur Derby. Open to kids of all ages, we had a small but talented entry of junior handlers and their dogs. Bob Drew came from New York State with his two boys, Jared and Jacob. The boys ran dogs in two braces — Magic and Boomer, and Dunkin and Peanut. Also competing was Shawn Thomas’s daughter Molly with her pointer, Tess. And coming out of retirement for the quail stake was twelve year old 7 x Champion Hard Driving Bev who lives with and was handled by Joe McCarl’s grandkids, Alexis (handler) and Cole (scout and gun shooter). What a show Bev put on nailing 5 or 6 quail and making Joe look nervous several times as Bev’s bell started to fade! We plan to make the Kid’s Stake an annual event run in conjunction with the Classic and Amateur Derby Stake.

Youth Stake competitor Jared Drew and Magic


Molly Thomas and Tess


Jacob Drew flushing for Boomer


Alexis and Cole Doolittle with Bev


Jared Drew flushing for Boomer


7 x Champion Hard Driving Bev came out of retirement for the Youth Stake



Running Dog


Strideaway is an online publication founded in 2008. We are dedicated to promoting the great sport of American pointing dog field trials, in particular American Field sanctioned trials for pointers and setters. Our objective is to present the voices and ideas of experienced trainers, handlers, breeders and other knowledgeable participants and enthusiasts from the past to the present — amateurs and professionals alike. Whether All-Age or Shooting Dog, Horseback or Walking Trials, we place particular emphasis on wild bird field trials and the dogs that compete in them. We present richly illustrated articles and stories, podcast interviews and other types of media on a regular basis with the hope of providing an ever expanding, searchable archive of information relevant to pointing dog field trials.Read article

This website is dedicated to our ever faithful friend, Bill Allen who passed away peacefully and surrounded by his loving family on January 25, 2022 at the age of 96. We will miss him but he left us the greatest of gifts, his wonderful writings in a book we published for the 3rd time in 2021: The Unforgettables and Other True Fables.

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