There is not anyone of us that has not been affected in some way by the COVID-19 outbreak. President Trump has declared a State of Emergency, schools have been closed, travel suspended, election dates moved and all sort of sporting events cancelled. 

The GSPCA Event Chairs and Committees, just like local clubs, are monitoring federal and local situation mandates and guidelines and trying to determine if it is appropriate to hold scheduled events for the benefit of participants. As always, as soon as we have new information and decisions are made we will share it with the membership. 

3-15-2020 6:50pm Update on the National Amateur Gun Dog Championship (April 3-5):

As I said in my earlier message today, the GSPCA Event Chairs and Committees are monitoring federal and local mandates and guidelines and as soon as we have new information we will share it with the membership.

We have confirmed that as of approximately 4 pm this afternoon the Illinois Department of Natural Resources has closed all State parks. Here is the message from their Facebook page:

"Effective immediately, all IDNR-owned properties are closed to the public to help stem the spread of COVID-19. All scheduled events on state property are effectively cancelled; patrons are encouraged to call IDNR’s Parks administrative line Monday through Friday at 217-782-6752 with questions."

This means that we will need to cancel/postpone the National Amateur Gun Dog Championship that was scheduled to be held April 3 - 5 at Pyramid State Park in Pinckneyville, IL. The Committee is in the process of notifying the judges, participants and volunteers.

We will investigate the possibility of rescheduling for some time this fall and will keep you abreast if that possibility progresses.

The National Specialty Show is still scheduled for May 4 - 9 but we continue to monitor the situation.

Thank you again for your patience and understanding during this difficult time for the GSP Community, our Country and the World. Please be calm, be safe and wash your hands.

3-15-2020 1:55pm Here is an update on the GSPCA events planned for March, April and May:

GSPCA Agility Trials, March 20 - 21, Syracuse, NY Jeri Fishack has made me aware that they have canceled the three days of GSPCA  Agility Trials. Of course this is disappointing for her and her committee as they worked very hard to put these events together for the benefit of the club and participants. 

National Amateur Gun Dog Championship, April 3 - 5, Pinckneyville, IL  At this time we are planning to hold this event. There was a rumor that the State of Illinois was shutting down their field trial grounds for an undetermined period of time. I know the IDNR Director well and he let me know that there was not, and is not any immediate plans to shut any field trial grounds down. The "gathering" limits suggested by Governor Pritzker is 250 for inside and 500 participants for outside and no field trial is going to come close to those limits. Right now the trials can go on pending the rules of the county of the specific site. The Site directors are to follow the rules of the local community - they do not have the discretion on their own to hold, or to cancel trials. There are in fact, several trials going on right now and in the upcoming weekends. The IDNR Director did say however that this is a VERY FLUID situation and it can change at any time. Caleb Bryson, Cynthia McCracken and I are monitoring this situation and will make a decision before entries close this Thursday.  

National Specialty Show and Associated Events, May 4 - 9 At this time we are planning to hold these events. I can only imagine how Jane Handschumaker and the NSS Committee, David Nauer, the GSPC of WI and ALL of the people who have worked so hard despite losing 2 previous sites must be feeling right now. Trying to move this show for a fourth time will be difficult if not impossible. Right now they are moving forward and keeping a watch on the news and all updates. Again as we have information and make decisions we will share it with you via e-mail and the club website. 

I know for me this situation is a bit unreal and it is certainly not anything I think any of us have experienced previously. It is important that we come together and support each other in the GSP community. This is not a time for negativity and certainly not a time to question the integrity and transparency of our very hard working Chairs, Committees and Volunteers. 

Hopefully this outbreak will subside quickly and all of us can go on with our normal lives very soon. In the meantime I am following this advice - "Be calm and wash your hands!"

Thank you for your patience and your understanding during this very fluid situation. As always, please don't hesitate to reach out to me.

Sharon Fitzpatrick
GSPCA President


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