Steve Snyder, Jerry and I are sad to report that Magic’s Rocky Belleboa (call name Bud) died on October 11.
For a week or so, Steve had noticed that Bud was ailing. He was a bit thin and just didn’t seem right. A visit to the vet and some exploratory surgery showed why. Bud’s abdomen was filled with cancer and the heartbreaking decision had to be made.
How fitting, though, that this strong, powerful bird dog went out with an unforgettable performance—a final swan song perhaps. Just four days earlier, Steve had taken Bud hunting and Bud had a beautiful point and retrieve on a South Dakota prairie chicken.
Bud was a dream come true for Steve, who wanted to enter the world of grouse trials. In late 2007 Steve discovered that Tim Post from New York was selling his multiple champion, Magic’s Rocky Belleboa, out of Post’s own Magic’s Stokely Belle by Long Gone George. Post entrusted Dave Hughes and the Foreman brothers to Bud’s training and handling and when Bud was four years old, he started winning.
In 2006, Bud won the New York State Grouse Championship and North American Woodcock Championship. Those wins earned him a spot in the 2007 Grand National Grouse and Woodcock Invitational where he was named Runner-up Champion. To top off the amazing string, Bud won the 2007 Michael Seminatore English Setter Award.
When Steve learned that Bud was for sale, he called Jerry and me. We knew of Bud and were intrigued.
Bud was handsome and had a beautiful blocky head with a dark nose and deep brown eyes. He had excellent conformation and weighed a solid 52 pounds. Bud had tremendous endurance and desire, always searching for birds. He ran with style and pointed with intensity.
So the three of us concocted a deal where we would co-own Bud; Jerry and I would train him but Steve would foot the bill. “We will not be under-funded,” Steve commented.
What fun we all had! We trained and worked Bud in North Dakota, northern Minnesota and western Wisconsin. We traveled to Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota for field trials. We planned special advertising campaigns for Pointing Dog Journal and The American Field and its big Christmas issue.
Ultimately, and this just might be his legacy, we bred him to some wonderful dams, including Paul Hauge’s multiple grouse champion, Houston’s Belle. Here is just a sampling of some truly great Bud puppies: Liz, Ranger, River, J.B., Manny, Madge, Jagger, Jenny, Foster, Cooper, Tucker, Haley, Lucy, Rainy and Rosco.
Sometime during the year 2009, we three decided that it was time for Bud to retire. He then became a permanent resident of Steve’s kennel where he was the star of countless hunts. And for these last three years, Bud lived the privileged life as Steve’s coddled pet—well deserved for such a talented bird dog and multiple grouse champion.