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Armstrong-Umbel Endurance Classic, Endurance Trials

Armstrong-Umbel Endurance Classic

The Black Ash Grouse Dog Club is proud to announce the first running of the Armstrong-Umbel Endurance Classic in March 2009. Heats will be of two-hour duration. The Armstrong-Umbel Classic has been run for over 30 years as an hour classic on ruffed grouse.

Members of the Black Ash Club believe there is an importance to re-establish an endurance stake for grouse dogs. From its inaugural running in 1943 to 1957, the Grand National Grouse Championship ran as one hour qualifying heats and two hour finals thus making it a true measure of stamina for a dog winning the coveted crown.

As we know, many aspects of field trial performance are open to subjective interpretation. Reading through the Grand National and other important grouse championship reports reveal shifts in emphasis over time and from one reporter to another, particularly where a significant change occurred. i.e. the change in length of heats in the Grand National fifty years ago.

Endurance is the ability or strength to continue and maintain a high quality of work despite fatigue, stress, or other adverse conditions; stamina.

Stamina: physical or moral strength to resist or withstand fatigue or hardship; endurance.

Club members and other supporters of the Armstrong-Umbel feel strongly that endurance is a quality we should seek in all field trial bird dogs. By definition, an endurance event evaluates many of the subjective preferences we seek in our dogs today. Does the gait we think attractive also prove to be efficient and sustainable? Do the dogs we find exciting have the mental fortitude to respond well to additional stress? Both these qualities are necessary to keep dogs focused on the task of hunting for and handling birds with class past the hour mark.

Over the winter months, Strideaway will post excerpts from several of the more exciting early Grand National Grouse Championship win reports.

For anyone wishing more information or to support the Armstrong-Umbel Endurance Classic, please view the information on the right side bar on this page.

Armstrong-Umbel Endurance Classic (two hour heats)
Date: directly following the Grand National Grouse & Woodcock Invitational
Place: Allegheny National Forest, Marienville, PA
Judges: Roger Hoover, Harold Ray
Reporter: Mazie Davis

Additional details to follow in the American Field ad.



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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