Bird Dog & Retriever News

October / November 2003 issue Page 9

 October/November 2003 Now in our thirteenth year.

 sanctioning bodies by visiting with AKC, UKC, NKC and even briefly looked into forming an NSTRA Registry. None of these options seem to be the right answer so in the summer of 2001 the National Officers, while at a meeting in Plainfield, held a conference call with Bernie Matthys to again explore the possibility of having NSTRA Champions recognized on the AF pedigrees.
I appointed Tom Candles to speak on behalf of the officers. Officers present at that meeting were myself, Ray Hopkins, Tom Candles, Rick Story, and C.L. Mitchell. We had a preplan of asking Bernie Matthys again to place the NSTRA Championships on the AF pedigrees even if it meant NSTRA bearing the expense of incorporating our database to the AF database in a compatible way so that AF would have records of all NSTRA Championship points (the lack of NSTRA records was always one of AF reasons why they could not recognize NSTRA Champions as they did not record NSTRA trials in the AF database).
Tom introduced our intentions of this call to Mr. Matthys and we had a very brief discussion with Mr Matthys going through his list of reasons that he was unwilling to do this. We explained to him that for the amount of dollars we were spending with him each year we felt we needed to get something in return. At that point Mr. Matthys brought up the idea of Sanctioning our 30 Regional Elimination trials as AF Championships and do this instead of sanctioning each local weekend trial. This is all history now and I won't waste time revisiting this issue except to say that by making this move by an almost unanimous vote of the NSTRA BOD we have had record participation in the Regional Elimination trials in 2002 and 2003. We followed up this phone call with Mr. Matthys with a letter addressing each of the points made during the call. In subsequent
 communications by phone and letter Mr. Matthys again addressed several issues he considered as below standard, one of which was shooting birds. Once this program of Regional Championships was kicked off however our communication with AF substantially reduced and had the appearance of business as usual.
The next time we heard from Bernie Matthys was the letter you have all seen dated July 3, 2003.
I have had many calls and emails from NSTRA members and members of other field trial organizations stating extreme anger, frustration, confusion, and many other emotions toward the American Field for taking this position. One magazine editor called and gave me some insight stating that at a AF trial one handler put a live round in his shotgun to substitute for a blank. When it was discharged he almost shot a judge.
NSTRA has moved up in the Bird Dog world as one of the leaders in the past few years. We are no longer viewed as "below standard" or the "root and shoot" of the Bird Dogs. The Magazine editor considered us the leading field trial organization in the pointing dog world and thought we had been for the past 2 or 3 years.
I hope this answers questions many of you had about how and where this came about. I nor anyone else except for Mr. Matthys can

 answer all the questions as to "why". NSTRA however will go on with business as usual. We can stand alone as we basically have been for the past 2 years.
Don't forget to utilize the NSTRA pedigree service. It is a very impressive tool.
Please forward to as many NSTRA members as possible.
Thanks again.
Wes Barr, President NSTRA

Birds, Guns, Freedom,
Let's not start down that slippery slope.

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Copyrights Bird Dog & Retriever News October 2004
Do not reproduce or retransmit in any form, and we surf the web, we'll find you.
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