A Few Thoughts On Reporting Field Schedules
I have had the pleasure and honor of Judging many wild bird championships.
Starting with young dogs:
• The 1991 Grand National Grouse Puppy Classic (In Michigan) to the 50th Anniversary Running of The Grand
• National Grouse Futurity (In Michigan)
• The International Amateur Woodcock Championship (3 times)
• The Northeast Grouse Open Championship (twice)
• The PA.Open Grouse Championship
• The Michigan Open Woodcock Championship
• The Inaugural Running of The New York Open Grouse Championship
• The ABC Classic (Three Times)
• The New England Brittney Open Grouse Championship (3 times)
• The 2009 Grand National Grouse and Woodcock Invitational Championship
Many times I had to refuse as my dogs were going to be there with my trainer, or I simply could not get
away (especially during bird hunting season!)
Plus many regional quail championships and numerous wild bird classics.
For many of these, I was the reporter for the American Field. I like to report when I judge so I can explain why we used the dogs we did, and of course, try to make the reader feel like they are at the event.
I have reported many, many wild bird events, and enjoy being there and seeing the action from “The best seat in the house.“
From the Grand National Grouse Championship (3 times), The Grouse and Woodcock Invitational (4 times), The International Amateur Woodcock (5 times) the North American Woodcock Championship and Futurity, to The New England Open (twice) To The Northeast Grouse Championship (twice) The Northern New England Open Woodcock Championship, The Pa. Open Grouse Championship, Maine Grouse and Woodcock Classic, The Kilkenny Classic (4 times) and numerous weekend trials and events.
Unfortunately, I have had dogs win championship titles (several times) where NO report was made to the
American Field. As long as the essential data was sent in, I really didn’t care as long as my dog got credit for
the championship title. But some people want and deserve more than that. I have seen sloppy and very poor reporting in the past several years. From flagrant misinformation to No report at all. I do not claim to be a writer in the category of a Herb Cahoon, or an Al Pilion, or my dear old friend, Frankie Foss ( who reported the FIRST Grand National, plus many more after 1944 ) I did take writing courses in college but only because I had to…..I did not pay attention!
The reason for all this is I want to share with you what I consider some of the best reporting I have ever read
about a bird dog event, in any publication.
Now not because my grandfather’s (R.B. “Bernie” Murray) dog was runner up…but because the writer sets the scene…he talks about the time of day…the temps outside “Frosty”…he explains where they are, what they are doing, and how they are doing it. He obviously has a great appreciation for the game, better yet, a love for it. I have always thought that Ron Ashfield wrote this report, but did not give himself the byline as his dog won, and he is too modest of a man to do that. Well after 31 years, I think it is alright to say what I think.
Having read other Ron Ashfield reports over many years, I can see, hear and feel his style coming through,
nay, oozing through so clearly and wonderfully. Many have asked me over the years, who I think the best judge in the woods is, and who is the best reporter. In my humble opinion, they are both, in one man, Ron Ashfield. from Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada.