Field Trial Hall of Fame Selection Process

Field trialers:  please take a few minutes to review the attached document outlining the selection process for persons and dogs.  Your input is needed to make sure that worthy individuals, human and canine, are brought to the attention of the committee for consideration.  Thank you in advance for your participation in this process.  If you haven't yet visited Grand Junction to see the Hall of Fame, it's definitely worth the trip!

Supplement to Pro to Am Proposal

UPDATE:  Please e-mail your input and questionnaires to

The Board of Governors would like to clarify a possible misunderstanding regarding the recent PROPOSAL AND QUESTIONNAIRE that was distributed to clubs and members via email, Announce, ESSFTA website and website.  It has been brought to our attention that many in the field trial community feel that we are being mandated to change this rule by the AKC.  While it is NOT a mandate that we must allow a process for a Pro to regain his Amateur status, doing so would make the spaniel FT game more consistent with the other sporting breeds.

If you have already submitted your questionnaire to Skip Smith, you may change it by sending either a new form to Skip (see previous post), or simply sending an email with an additional comment.  If you have NOT submitted your questionnaire, please fill one out and feel free to add your comments to either Question #1 or Question #5 the statement that you are opposed to making any changes to the rule.

Field Trial Rules Change Proposal: Pro to Am

From Skip Smith on behalf of the Field Trial Rules Advisory Committee:

Please click here to access a draft proposal and questionnaire (both are included in one file) from the English Springer Spaniel Rules Advisory Committee requesting input from the field trial community. The Committee was asked by the ESSFTA Board of Governors to propose a rules change that would allow professional trainers and handlers to regain their amateur status and to seek input from field trial participants about this proposed change. Please distribute this proposal to your club members and other field trialers that you know.  We encourage people to respond as individuals to give us and the BOG the best perspective on the opinions of the field trial community.  We ask for e-mail responses and comments by June 1, 2014.  The committee will compile the responses and use them in formulating the final proposal to be submitted to the BOG.

Responses should be returned to

Thank you for your help in distributing this information to the field trial community.


Members of the Springer Spaniel Field Trial Rules Advisory Committee:

Don Bramwell
John Leininger
Bev Matthews
Tom Meyer
Paul McGagh
Bob Montler
Skip Smith

In memory – Ch Keswicke Bird in the Hand, “Graham”

In memory – Ch Keswicke Bird in the Hand, “Graham”

I couldn't include Graham's full name in the post title, it wouldn't all fit - Intl./Natl./Super Veteran CH, AKC CH Keswicke Bird in the Hand CDX BN GN TD RE MH MHA AX AXJ OF VCD2 CGC, VS WDX, UKC – GSJCH CH UCDX SHR UH URO3 UAGII UWP Super Dog, ASCA – RS-N JS-N GS-N, FFX-AG.  Born 12/13/2002, departed 3/6/2014, much too soon.

48 titles.  Incredibly impressive, in numbers, but more so as a representation of the amazing relationship between Graham and his owner, Marilyn Burke.  For those readers not familiar with the title alphabet, Graham had titles in conformation, field events, agility, tracking, dock diving, obedience, and weight pull.  That's a lot of hours spent together training and competing, and reflective of an extremely trainable and willing temperament. Graham is featured in the title slideshow of this site, fittingly, as an excellent example of an all around Springer.

Bred by Laurin Howard and Michelle Furr, Graham was sired by a field-bred ESS, FC Spiked Moon Pie MH out of CH Keswicke Seventh Heaven.  Clearly he inherited plenty of talent from both sides of his pedigree, as well as outstanding good looks.  More importantly, he was the epitome of a proper Springer temperament.

A truly special dog, inside and out.  Our thoughts are with you, Marilyn.

Ch. Keswicke Bird in the Hand, "Graham" Photo by Steve Pelosi

2014 ESSFTA Annual Membership/BOG Meetings

Committee meetings - Friday, May 2, 2014
Membership & Board of Governors Meetings - Saturday, May 3, 2014

Hilton Garden Inn Charleston Airport
5265 International Blvd
North Charleston, SC 29418

A block of rooms is reserved under the ESSFTA name and a direct link for making reservations within this block of rooms is:

If you are a member and have issues that you would like to have discussed at the meetings, check in with your Regional Governor or an appropriate club Officer.

Hope to see you in North Charleston.  For most of us, this should offer a significant improvement in weather from what we've been suffering through!