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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

Special Meeting of the Board of Governors

Special Meeting of the Board of Governors

Notice of a Special Meeting

of the

Board of Governors

English Springer Spaniel Field Trial Association

July 26, 2022, at 7 PM CST


Discussion and Approval

of the Revisions for the Requirements of the

AKC English Springer Spaniel Field Trial Apprentice Judge Program 

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