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|Stoneridge Kennels was
the inspiration of Ben Lorenson, who as a teenager worked in Rhode
Island, his birthplace, for a boarding kennel. His first duties were
taking care of the kennel runs. Coincidentally his employer was also
training some bird dogs on the side.
Ben watched, learned, and made some of his own observations so that when he finally was offered a chance to work with the bird dogs in training his talent was immediately recognized.
Then in the summer his employer asked Ben if he would like to summer in Maine with a string of dogs to train. Ben jumped at the opportunity and that is where he fell in love with the training conditions that Maine offered.
Ben honed his training talents he became friends with many of the
owners who encouraged him to do more training. Finally Ben took the
plunge and bought land in Maine and made that his training
First Ben trained hunting dogs for grouse, pheasant, quail and chukar hunters. In the process he heard about "field trials" and decided to see what they were all about.
Ben found an old quarter horse, and old horse trailer, and drove the broken down rig to the closest trial. After riding a few braces he thought, "My dogs can do this easily."
Entering his first trial everyone looked at his broken down rusty rig, old horse, and a dog, that here was newbie that they would show what trials were all about. In the end Ben took first place and everyone started asking about who this new guy was with the great dogs.
that point on field trialers knew that if Ben came in with a string of
dogs that he was the one to beat. Ben came up with the Stoneridge
Kennels name because it just sounded easy, and it stuck.
Ben says that he was just plain lucky. "I made so many mistakes with that first field trial dog that I should have fallen flat on my face. But he was one heck of a bird dog that I owe my career to."
The field trial circuit took Ben up and down the east coast and it soon became obvious that he needed a winter training ground as well as his summer facility in Maine.
|He found and leased land in Allendale, South
Carolina, deep in the heart of southern bird dog country. Along with
his landholdings he made friends with the surrounding plantations and
was able to use their grounds during the off season to train dogs. This
gave Ben access to some of the finest training grounds in the south.
Of all the bird dogs that Ben trained, he had a special place for the Brittanys. It was a combination of the personal nature of a Brit and an admiration at the work ethic of these hard hunting little dogs. With his win record soon he had a name in the Brit world and every bird dog trainer knew of Stoneridge Kennels.
Kyle Merrrill started with the regular kennel duties under the watchful eye of Ben and was soon recognized for his talent for training, handling and especially scouting lost dogs. Kyle's easy going nature, enthusiasm, riding skills, and always good attitude has made him a natural with bird dogs, field trialing, and owners.
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