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ENGLISH SETTER CLUB OF AMERICA, INC. | DOC NITCHMAN

An Overview of Doc Nitchman's Accomplishments
By Alan Nitchman

With a record in the bird dog community reaching from 1947 to the 1990s, with the winning of the Harvey Craft Trophy in the Region 2 Amateur Shooting Dog Championship by Rotolactor (33-9-126) to Championship wins with dogs like Elhew Strike (20-158-956) and Pork Roll (19-271-1690) in the 1990s, there are over fifty years of some of the top bird dogs in competition. Dad was never much on how the house looked or what people thought. His main purpose was training, conditioning, producing, and showing what he considered to be the finest caliber of bird dog. He wanted both his dogs and horses to perform at peak efficiency. He never spent much time writing about his abilities. He spent his time fine tuning his abilities to breed, raise, train, and produce "First Class Bird Dogs."

 

For many who saw "Doc Nitchman" or as I know him "Dad" in action, their impression may have been that he was tough on his dogs. This can be understood for when they did not perform, regardless of whether we were hunting or running in a championship, he corrected the action that was not up to standard immediately. What many never was the attention and love that he gave them behind the scene, which truly made them great champions and a "well oiled team of man and dog."

 

As I write this short recollection of the past, I find myself remembering thousands of stories. Knowing that I have to limit this to the 100th Year Celebration for the English Setter Club, I would like to take a moment to share some memories. Dad's involvement with the English Setter Club was more that times to showcase his dogs. It was a family affair. With Dad's family living in the Hainesport - Lumberton area, it was a lifestyle. Dad spent countless hours working on the grounds, from using dynamite to blast out ditches to making the bird field a place for performance. There are memories of people long past from this earth, like George Rogers, Paul Walker, Fred Arant, just to name those I can quickly recall.

 

Dad's passion was, and maybe still is in Heaven, training bird dogs. Here is a fast overview of some of his wins that I have memories of through the numerous trophies on display in my home.

 

Rotolactor 33-9-126
Runner-Up National Amateur Pheasant Shooting Dog Championship - 1947
Runner-Up Region 2 Amateur Shooting Dog Championship - 1948
Winner Region 2 Amateur Shooting Dog Championship - 1948

 

Dust Devil 17-1-6
Runner-Up National Amateur Pheasant Shooting Dog Championship - 1951

 

Sweet Birch 13-5-32
Winner Region 2 Amateur Shooting Dog Championship - 1956
Winner Region 1 Amateur Shooting Dog Championship - 1957
Winner Region 2 Amateur Shooting Dog Championship - 1957

 

Magnum 19-16-82
Winner National Amateur Pheasant Shooting Dog Championship - 1957
WinnerNational Amateur Pheasant Shooting Dog Championship - 1958
Winner National Amateur Pheasant Shooting Dog Championship - 1959
Winner Region 2 Amateur Shooting Dog Championship - 1959
Winner Northeastern Open Shooting Dog Championship - 1959
Winner Northeastern Open Shooting Dog Championship - 1960
Winner Region 2 Amateur Shooting Dog Championship - 1960 (Dawson Coleman Memorial Trophy)

 

Frank, Magnum's kennel name, was lost one night when Dad was working him on roosting pheasants. He went over the hill and Dad was certain that he would be pointing in the bottom. He was never seen again by Dad. Frank was a wonderful dog and was part of the family. This was a tremendous loss for the whole family.

 

Potato Patch Sue 25-8-97
Winner National Open Pheasant Shooting Dog Championship - 1960
Winner National Amateur Pheasant Shooting Dog Championship - 1961
Winner National Open Pheasant Shooting Dog Championship - 1962
Winner National Amateur Pheasant Shooting Dog Championship - 1962
Winner National Open Pheasant Shooting Dog Championship - 1963
Winner National Open Pheasant Shooting Dog Championship - 1964

 

It should be noted that the two National Open Pheasant Championships were obtained by my mother Matilda Nitchman, and to the best of my knowledge, she is the only woman to win this event two consecutive years.

 

Polynesian 10-1-1
Winner Region 2 Amateur Shooting Dog Championship - 1959

 

Strawberry Fly 25-1-12
Runner-Up National Open Pheasant Shooting Dog Championship - 1965
Winner Region 2 Amateur Shooting Dog Championship - 1965
Winner National Amateur Pheasant Shooting Dog Championship - 1966
Winner Region 6 Amateur Shooting Dog Championship - 1968

 

A final comment found while reading through some of the history. A letter from Paul Walker a top ranked Professional Trainer (Elected to the Field Trial Hall of Fame 1969), in 1999 to Dad "Dear Doc, all that I know you would be interested in is in the Field (American Field). I just stay home. Recently all the trials up east were in the Field. I miss them more then they miss me."

 

Let's not lose these fond memories that field trial clubs like the English Setter Club have created. I could write a story on the memories of this wonderful club known as the English Setter Club of America.

 

Thank You for this Opportunity

Sincerely,

Alan C. Nitchman

  

English Setter Club

of America
MEDFORD, NEW JERSEY

SINCE 1906