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Documents for February, 2023 Meetings

Attached are the documents for the February, 2023 meeting.      MEMBERSHIP AGENDA      BOARD AGENDA

Presidents Message:

Happy February 2023 Members!

It is the time for establishing resolutions and setting our goals for 2023. Each one of you should be very proud of your contributions to our sports last year. Whether it was exhibiting your beautiful dogs in the show ring, preforming in events, conducting field trials, judging, or volunteering at club events, we are grateful for you!! Your commitment and dedication to the English Springer Spaniel has helped our beloved sports, and our breed continues to grow and thrive. 2023 will be a year be abuzz with activity!!! We hear you membership! The Board of Governors and Committees are now working hard on what you have as concerns:

q Parent Club By-Laws: Defining, revising and establish more opportunities for communication.

q The ESSFTA, myself and our Corresponding Secretary, Cathy Flanders, are fixing the error on the Breed Standard Revision mailing. I personally apologize. You will see a revised ballot by mid-February! The responses that we have received have been destroyed and the new ones will have REVISED clearly marked on them. Your efforts were not in vain. It has given us valuable insight for improvements on all levels of communication within the Parent Club.

q The ESSFTA will have a Membership vote for our Bench Governor At-Large position. More information to follow. Positives moving forward!!!

q The National Amateur Field Trial Championship at the end of the year is the 60th anniversary. It is centrally located in Nebraska. Were excited and working hard on all the aspects of it. When I went to the national specialty it really gave me a lot of great ideas of how to make it exciting on the field trial celebration side.

q The AKC is sending out Best Practices webinars. Sue Burgess is part of the sub-committee working hard to help Membership improve our processes! It gives you an opportunity to see operationally Parent club process and then you can use the things that will help your local clubs. Improvements on all levels. Please let us know if you need assistance.

q The ESSFTA is attending the National Pheasantfest and Quail Classic in Minneapolis Minnesota February 17-19, 2023. We will be in the Bird Dog alley sharing everything great about the flushing English Springer Spaniel. Here are the highlights Please visit our booth.

We will have our annual meetings May 6th and 7th in Minneapolis Minnesota. We have accommodations for the Membership to participate in person or by Zoom. More information to follow.

The ESSFTA membership is sending prayers, positive energy and thoughts for Gary Riddle and his family!!! We are here to support Gary, Josh and their families for Gary’s full and complete recovery from the accident.

Our dog sport community is a family, and we are deeply grateful that you are a part of it. Your hard work and devotion to our breed and our sports are key parts of what makes the English Springer Spaniel Field Trial Association great. Have fun, get involved, support your local Clubs and keep our organization great.

We wish you a happy, healthy, and joyous New Year!! Go Springers!!

Cristy K Joy 

ESSFTA President


2023 NAC

2023 NAC

The 2023 ESSFTA National Amateur Championship will be in .Nebraska. The judges selected by past qualifying dog Owners are Dan Murray from North Dakota and Todd Stelzer from Wisconsin. The trial dates are November 27th through December 1st. The delegates meeting is Sunday, November 26th at 4 pm. Cristy Joy is the NAC Chairperson. Ray Jack and Collin Pickrel are the Co-Field Trial Chairmen.


Foundation News

Dear Fellow Springer Spaniel Owners and Breeders:

We need your help!  The ESS Foundation was contacted by Dr. Steven Friedenberg at the University of Minnesota Veterinary school.  In collaboration with a critical care vet at the University of Wisconsin, they want to identify English Springer Spaniels who experienced SIGNIFICANT BLEEDING, either as the result of TRAUMA OR SURGICAL EVENTS (for example, spay/neuter) that can not be explained by typical blood clotting tests.

The case of interest was a six month old ESS who presented with significant bleeding post spay as a result of a defect in the fibrinolytic (clotting) system.  Whole genome sequencing of DNA revealed a mutation at a location typically related to clotting.  Dr. Friedenberg and his colleague need to obtain additional blood samples of affected dogs to prove their hypothesis.

If you have a dog or are aware of a dog that meets this criteria, your help is critically needed!  Please reach out to me (liz.westringá and Dr. Friedenberg ( to make arrangements for obtaining a DNA sample. He may also ask for pedigree information, if available, as family units can provide valuable information.

We appreciate your support!

Liz Westring Pike

ESS Foundation President

ESSFTA Final Gun Memo



SUBJECT: Gunning for Spaniel Field Trials

The Purpose of this Memo is to reduce confusion and to establish without hesitation a baseline of understanding that has seemed to become an area of confusion throughout the Spaniel Field Trial community.

  1. The gunning of live birds is an integral part of the Field Trial game. The individuals who participate in the shooting of trials are volunteers who give their time and money to assist in the successful completion of Field Trial events.
  2. It is critical to realize that the individuals who volunteer to shoot trials are doing so with excellent intentions and want to provide the dogs and handlers with a superior event. No one wakes up in the morning and decides that they plan on missing shots or do an unsafe act.

These two principles are important to keep in mind at every event.

There has been considerable discussion and input on the shooting of trials over this past year. This Memo is an attempt to explain the recent Board of Governors of the ESSFTA review of the “Gunning of Field Trials.” A considerable number of skilled gunners, Pros and handlers were solicited for their opinions. Opinions varied and were discussed in detail at the Board meeting in April.  They varied considerably from “We need More Training/Seminars” to “We have TOO Many seminars”. The following seems to be true throughout the game:

  1. Effective Field Trial Committees have Good Guns/Good Grounds/Good Birds.
  2. Ineffective Committees have mediocre guns/poor grounds and weak birds.

There is also some erroneous understanding of duties and responsibilities with regard to gunning/Safety and the handling of complaints with regard to shooting.

Some of this confusion is caused by designating the Interclub Gunning managers “Safety” Officers. Let us be perfectly clear on the following responsibilities:

  1. The Field Trial Committee is Responsible for the Gun Team andThe Gun Captain and has the liability if there is any incident with regard to safety issues. That is why the insurance policies for the event are issued to the Field Trial Committee.
  2. If an individual sees and “Unsafe” act they are to report it to the Gun Captain who will take action and notify the Field Trial Chairman. IF necessary the Field trial Committee as a whole will meet to discuss the incident and take corrective action.
  3. The Parent Club and the AKC have no role in this action.
  4. The Interclub Gun Chairman and the National Safety Gun Chairman have no direct line responsibility with the guns. They act in a Consultative role assisting the Field Trial Committees in teaching safe shots and recommending guns to the Committee and to discuss development of these individuals.

Speaking to long time, experienced guns there is a common element involved in their success. They shoot a great deal. Nothing takes the place of experience. Most shoot a significant number of training sessions. Most have spent lifetime hunting and understand the basics. Today’s guns don’t necessarily have the opportunities to shoot as much. We encourage the shooting of Skeet, Trap or Sporting Clays whenever possible. Training sessions are important to shoot as much as possible to give each gun the feel of the dogs. Encourage your guns to shoot.

Seminars and attending them is also encouraged. The basics need to be understood. Shooting for a field trial is different than just hunting. Seminars will raise the bar for your gun teams. We hope to encourage regional seminars to carry the message forth.

We had a tremendous amount of input concerning gunning. There are some small changes we hope to make to move the game forward in a positive manner. We have a time table for their introduction and ask you for your support.

It is all about the dogs.

ESSFTA Board Of Governors

2022 Parent Club multi-titlist awards and the Versatile Springer Award Application

The application Process for the 2022 Parent Club multi-titlist awards and the Versatile Springer Award is now live and ready to take applications at 2022 parent-club-multi-titlist-awards-and-the-versatile-springer-award-application/  


. Please note that there are two application forms. The first is for the Multi-titliest. If you want to apply for the Versatile Springer, you have to scroll down the page past the first application. If you are submitting for the Versatile Springer, you also have to email copies of the qualifying title certificates to Kathy and Alice. Their emails are on the website.. Any questions should be directed to
Kathy Patregnani at