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NGSPA Nationals Grounds Requirements Summary (March 2018)

NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS

The NGSPA is responsible for holding the annual National Championships for the GSP breed. While the AKC breed club, the German Shorthaired Pointer Club of America, holds a National Championship as well, the NGSPA Nationals are regarded among the most serious breeders, competitors, and professional handlers as the ultimate test of our breed.

Our first National Championship was held November, 1953 at one of the premier field trial grounds of all time: Kildeer Plains Wildlife Area in Ohio. We ran our Nationals there until 1986 with one brief two year interlude at alternate grounds. Through their actions the State of Ohio closed the grounds to field trials.

In about 1987 we moved our National Championships to the J. Perry Mikles Blue Mountain SUA in Booneville, Arkansas. We have conducted our National events there for the past 31 years.

The Booneville grounds are flooded when the reservoir up river overflows. This has been a problem from time to time over the years, but the problem has become severe the past five or six years to the extent that it has jeopardized the quality of our National Championship. A search for new grounds is advised.

NEW GROUNDS REQUIREMENTS

Since our National Championships are the most extreme test of our GSPs in America, we are looking for grounds that are conducive to this exalted level of competition. Here are some of the requirements we are looking for:

GROUNDS

  1. We need enough acreage to run at least three continuous courses. Currently we run three braces in the morning and three in the afternoon on the same grounds.
  2. The courses should be as equal as is possible in terrain and habitat, and ideal for the running and showing of dogs, knowing that each course will have pluses and minuses. Ideally these grounds will be currently used for other National or prominent Field Trials, with a historical substantiation that a Champion can come from any of the courses.
  3. It is important that the grounds have the primary purpose of conducting field trials. For example a cattle ranch where field trials are held as a secondary purpose will not be as attractive to us.
  4. Private ownership of the grounds will take precedence over public ownership, all things being equal.
  5. The grounds will be groomed with field trials in mind. They will retain good cover for birds, yet the cover will not be so high, and thick with brambles and other nuisance weeds, as to hinder the “showing” of a dog making a nice cast to distant cover and objectives.
  6. The cover should hold populations of quail whether wild or pre-released.
  7. Grounds and terrain will be physically demanding, but not dangerous (no cattle guards on course, no busy roads nearby). Water on course is a plus.

GROUNDS “FLOW AND CONDITION”

Our ideal grounds will be conducive to the judges being able to view a class performance from both Shooting Dogs and All Age dogs. Grounds which will hold birds, yet requires the dogs to search them out. The courses will flow so as to show the exceptional dog that reaches to the extremes of the course, with any turns “making sense” given the grounds. Few or no fences and sharp turns that may impede the natural flow of course, handler and dog. Grass /cover of a height that allows the dogs to be seen. The courses will be cared for in the same basic way from year to year as to: mowing, brush hogging, burning, planting of food strips, etc. This will accomplish a consistent venue year to year.

INFRASTRUCTURE:

  1. Club House. Three meals per day will be served during much of the trial. Towards the end, lunch only plus “happy hour”. Also used for meetings, general gathering spot. Maximum attendance about 60. Kitchen should be able to serve peak dinner of 60. Peak breakfast and lunch of about 20-25.
  2. Horse stalls and/or places to stake out horses. Probably up to 100 horses at peak.
  3. Dog kennels and/or places to stake out dogs nearby each rig. About 100 kennels, plus areas by most rigs to stake out dogs.
  4. Level areas to park rigs. Hard ground so rigs won’t get stuck if heavy rain. Pads or flat areas for about 30 horse trailers with living quarters/RVs. This will drop to about 12 rigs at the end. Pulling vehicles are in addition to these numbers. There will be a few horse trailers without living quarters.
  5. Electrical hookups a big plus even though most probably have generators. 25 to 30 hook-ups. 50 amp with 30 amp is ideal.
  6. BIRDS: We run on quail. Availability of high quality quail nearby and the ability to lock in birds with advance orders is important. Holding pen for birds is important. Maximum birds to be used is about 1200 so a bird pen of that capacity is ideal. Several deliveries of fewer birds is also acceptable as long as the source is nearby and freight is not too high.
  7. Attendees will need a source of good quality baled hay, which can be transported to the grounds and held in a structure or large stock trailer.
  8. The availability of a dog wagon holding 12 dogs or more is a big plus.
  9. Our estimated number of people drops as the trial goes on starting at about (60), then a few less the next 2 days (50) , fewer the next 3 days (35), and very few the last 4 days (20). Dogs stay close to peak at 130, dropping to maybe 80. Horses drop faster. Starting at about 80-100 and dropping to 40 for the last stake.

LOCATION

An area of the country which is near-center for convenience, somewhat southerly due to weather. Has a town nearby with motels and restaurants within 20 to 30 minutes from grounds.

TIME OF YEAR and LENGTH OF EVENT

We need 14 days in a row. We currently start our Nationals on the fourth Saturday in February. This year we started on February 24 and ended on March 9. 14 days. The time frame available must offer reasonably good weather for running dogs.

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