English Setter Sets Record As Eight-Time Cover Dog Champion
A forward-running, powerful 9-year-old white-and-orange male English Setter named “Mac” (8XCH 3XRUCH Ponderosa Mac) affirmed his elite status as an exceptional cover dog by winning the 2021 Grand National Grouse Championship. It was his eighth championship win and set a record making Mac the winningest cover dog in history.
Handled by trainer Scott Chaffee of Pioneer Kennels in Clare, Michigan, a three-time Cover Dog Handler of the Year, and owned by Steven C. Snyder of Ellendale, Minnesota, Mac did not disappoint despite the elusive game and challenging course. His persistence during the one-hour stake, working to the front and taking direction from Chaffee, combined with his style and an excellent grouse find put him on top.
“Mac had a great race and perfect manners,” Chaffee says. “He has tremendous drive to find birds and is extremely intelligent.”
The veteran setter also won in 2021 the New York State Grouse Championship and the Wisconsin Cover Dog Championship. Cover dogs, named for their ability to find game in thick brush, or cover, may travel many miles during a one-hour walking trial.
Mac is the only cover dog to place in four consecutive Nationals. At the Grand National Grouse Championship, he was Runner-Up Champion in 2017 and Champion in 2018. At the Grand National Grouse & Woodcock Invitational, he was Champion in 2018 and Runner-Up Champion in 2019.
Bred by Chaffee and his wife, Tammy, Mac was whelped May 19, 2012. He was sired by 2XCH 2XRUCH Jetwood out of 2XCH RUCH Cooper Mountain Pepsi. On the sire’s side are four generations of Champions and Runner-Up Champions. His paternal grandsire is CH 2XRUCH Jetsetter, whom Chaffee says was a great all-age dog who gifted Mac with endurance.
“Mac is just a really nice dog to be around,” Chaffee says. “He has a calm temperament and gives 100 percent every time I work him.”