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NGSPA National Championships Grounds Comparative Analysis

Based upon our search guidelines there are few grounds suitable for our National Championships, and each of these has date restrictions and limited availability for new trials.

Following is a brief analysis of the primary grounds that are reasonably suitable:

  • BOONEVILLE, AR

  • CONWAY, AR

    Facilities are new and better than Booneville. Three courses. The grounds are tighter than Booneville but generally in better shape. The quail habitat is good. There is a quail pre-release program in the fall. No release of birds during trials is allowed. The Spring time frame of our trials is problematic if there is a severe winter. Most reports indicate that the bird carryover in Conway is good due to excellent cover. But it is still a risk to be considered. It is agreed among people intimately familiar with these grounds in the spring that our situation of running 14 days over the same courses will chase the coveys deep and wide making bird contact less and less as the trial goes on.

    It is a more difficult place to show a true All Age dog than Booneville. Mainly because the grounds are much tighter.

    The field trial schedule at Conway is supposedly very tight and problematic to get a 14 day period, especially in our current slot. They start to burn on March 1. Very little chance to move it later for us or anyone.

  • PADUKAH, KY

    Three courses. Good grounds. Good quail habitat. No release of birds is allowed. It is believed that running 14 days over the same courses will chase available birds out of the area, thus reducing bird contacts as the trial goes on. There is a very busy road down the middle of it which must be crossed several times. There have been a number of close calls between dogs and cars over the years, but no known fatalities. There is a nuclear power plant bordering the grounds with extremely tight and touchy security. If a dog were to get onto these grounds, it is doubtful that anyone could get permission to trespass to retrieve the dog. Forms must be submitted daily listing the names of people, and vehicle information of contestants. There is a neighbor who is notoriously opposed to permitting field trialers to enter his property to retrieve their lost dogs. Spring is mud season. Far worse than Booneville at its worst.

  • INGERSOL RANCH, INOLA, OK

    Three courses. The grounds were once excellent, but over the years the neighboring town has encroached and the neighbors are complainers. The grounds require burning and spraying to stay in field trial shape. Mr. Ingersoll has been sued and undergone legal complaints for burning and aerial spraying. He no longer does it and the ground briars have become so thick that many trialers protect their horse’s legs with home-made leggings of inner tubes. Dogs also get thrashed and often choose not to enter the cover. The birds get into the heavy cover and are able to elude dogs and flushing attempts.

    Difficult to find a time slot when we need it and for 14 days. They turned us down a few years ago when Brooks approached them. But later indicated more willingness to relook at us.

    The Infrastructure is not to our standards.

  • ARDMORE, OK

    Two courses. Quail Championship already there. Limited parking and ability to stake out dogs and horses. Kennels and horse facilities poor and inadequate. Grounds are OK, but not the greatest due to inconsistent burning and no haying being done. All in all a good place for a Championship but not our Nationals. Owned by the State of OK.

  • HELLCREEK, MS

    has infrastructure, but more limited. Owned by the state of Missippi. Three courses. Can be muddy. The courses are huge, wide fields with huge, long edges. Very good for All Age dogs, but not for shooting dogs or derby dogs.

  • PYRAMID PARK GROUNDS IN PINCKNEYVILLE, IL AREA

    Used by the All Breed. There are three courses across the street. Grounds are OK, but not as good as Booneville in many respects. Infrastructure is at the grounds used by the All Breed. Shuttling across the street would be somewhat inconvenient. The All Breed grounds are not suitable as they are only two courses and the cover is very poor for holding birds, especially with 14 days of running.

  • GROVESPRING, MO

    Meets our criteria better than any other known grounds. Biggest negative is the limited dates, but the later dates offered to us are workable. Nearest town is Lebanon. 20 miles. About 25 minutes. Hotels and restaurants better than Greenwood. Grounds are more open with hayed fields bordered by tree lines with good quail habitat, and planted sorghum strips. Dogs must handle, but a dog that will reach to lines and objectives will find birds and look good doing it. Also mixture of areas without defined lines but good habitat. The grounds are privately owned by a 501 (c) (3) which is governed by a Board of three men. This entity owns the land and it was created for the purpose of holding field trials.

  • VARIOUS PLANTATIONS AS A CATEGORY

    There are some plantations in the south that may come to mind as possible venues. But as a category there are a number of issues with them. The infrastructure is generally lacking. The main purpose is to conduct hunts for money. The revenue they get from field trials is insignificant by comparison and puts field trials in second position. The long-term view is to have more hunts and less trials. Most have a pre- release program and do not want quail to be released. Running a 14 day trial will move off the “wild” birds within short order creating fewer finds as the trial goes on. The locations of deep south plantations are problematic for western and some northern trialers. Plantation grounds also give an advantage to those dogs trained by pros who winter on plantations.

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