In 1974-Styles Bridges bought his first English Setter, his first line of setters hunted and ran in small amateur field trials. Quickly-Bridges switched to a "win at all cost" mentality. His focus was strictly developing a setter that could compete on the major Northeast field trial circuit-and eventually the National circuit.
When Lightning Flash English Setters was established, the kennel consisted primarily of female English setters that were vigorously campaigned. The Lightning Flash Setter females began to be in high demand as brood bitches to owners of winning stud dogs. Winning with "long hairs" was Bridges only mission.
In the late 1970's, to the mid 1980's, Lightning Flash Setters won in the grouse woods of Michigan to the bean fields of the South. The politics and grind of campaigning Field Trial Dogs began to get old. The setters were not house pets, they were more of a "trained machine"-with the soul focus to win trials. When winning wasn't fun anymore, Bridges took a break from Field Trials in the early 1990's.
In 1999, Bridges was approached by Grouse Ridge Kennel owners to help them train their young setters. From that year until 2012, Bridges started most of Grouse Ridge Kennel's young dogs until they were returned to the field trial circuit. Some of the notable Grouse Ridge Setters that started at Maple Ridge Kennels are Champion Grouse Ridge Digit, Champion Grouse Ridge Lucky, Runner Up Champion Grouse Ridge Bruiser, Grouse Ridge Sarge, Grouse Ridge Pitch, and many more in addition to the aforementioned.
Bridges refuses to campaign in Field Trials anymore. Today, he focuses solely on developing dogs, its "more rewarding" watching them develop, than winning a Field Trial. A huge family man himself, Bridges main focus is producing family oriented hunting dogs. With forty years experience Styles Bridges has an uncanny way to develop started English Setters that will not only hunt but will become loving, well-behaved household members. If you ever visit the Kennel-it is not out of the ordinary to see more dogs in the house visiting, than his own children, and grandchildren.
Maple Ridge Kennels has been the home of Lightning Flash Setters for 40 Years. Styles Bridges and his family have raised hundreds of dogs, thousands of birds, and a good amount of horses at the same place located in Canton, New York.
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1981 Ontario Open Shooting Dog Stake-Styles Bridges far right with Lightning Flash Nikki-First Place
1985 American Field Christmas Edition-Prior to 85' statistics for Lightning Flash Birdi, Nicki, and Misti listed above.
W. Lee White Trophy-Orange County Field Trial-1984 Won by Lightning Flash Birdi.
1978-Styles Bridges (Far Left)
1st Place Lightning Flash Josh
Lightning Flash Birdi's 1979 Grand National Grouse Futurity Winner Placement Photo.
1978 Litter of Lightning Flash Puppies-in the old horse barn. (Today all puppies are quarantined to a sterile whelping room).
1978 Styles Bridges- Posing with Lightning Flash John. Lightning Flash John was a two time New York State dog of the year. And won trials into the late 1980's.
1976 Image of the main house at Maple Ridge Kennels-home of the Lightning Flash English Setters.
Styles Bridges and Thomas Bixler
Bridges and Bixler met while attending St. Lawrence University in the 1970's. Together they discovered a passion for gun dogs. Eventually hunting, became Field Trialing, and the rest was history.