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The National Amateur Gun Dog Championship

A Short History

The board of the directors of the GSPCA recognized the desire of its members to be provided a venue to compete with their field dog(s) with the handlers being on foot. The board also recognized that the quality of a gun dog’s performance is not related to the method of conveyance used by the handler. The Board also realized this event may introduce an intermediate step for handlers who have finished hunt test titled dogs. It would also provide a venue for the Amateur handlers to enjoy and compete in a walking Field Trial championship without the large expense of the vehicles, horses and other equipment associated with Horseback trials. With these principles in mind a committee chair was appointed to proceed to get this project underway. The chair then appointed committee members from each of the geographical districts of the GSPCA. The national secretary and treasurer as well as an appointed field trial secretary also serve on this committee.

There were two major bumps in the road confronted immediately. First, the AKC was quite reluctant to grant us another championship for this event in the light that we already had an amateur championship being awarded at our NFT in the fall. Through the research, discussions and discovery by our AKC representative it was discovered that the amateur event at our NFT was actually granted to us under the name National Amateur Championship. Considering this, AKC was able to grant us another championship entitled National Amateur Gun Dog Championship. It was then decided by the GSPCA Board to include the words “Horseback Handling Prohibited” in the running rules.

The second bump was that our Constitution and by Laws limited us to one amateur championship per year. This meant that a change was needed. This was passed with flying colors in the election of 2004. The election results indicated that the vast majority of the members wanted this event.

After overcoming these bumps the first GSPCA National Amateur Gun Dog Championship was held in Portage, Wisconsin in May of 2005.