Pointing Breed Field Trials

St Croix Valley Brittany Club's Youth Field Trial Event

As with our sport, the future of all things will be in the hands of our youth. Sunday June 3rd the St. Croix Valley Brittany hosted their inaugural Pointing Dog Youth Event. From the excitement we saw in these young people and the love they showed their dogs our sport will be in good hands.

With the support of friends, grandparents and parents like Mary Tyson (who accompanied her 15 year old son, Ben Gerlinger), we can be assured -- at least for the near future -- that happy dogs and hunters will be afield come hunting season in Minnesota. Ben enjoys playing basketball and helps his mother with her Brittanys.

Keith Huber, at the young age of nine, has had a good start with bird dogs. He goes hunting with dad and said he even got to go to South Dakota last year. Chester, his Pointer, will no doubt be leading the way this year.

Jacob Paron, from Hinckley, at 7 is just a few years older than his first dog: A Brittany named Bell. Jacob’s dad Dean brought Jacob and Bell.

When Michael Houghton is not helping his father train their dogs he enjoys being a ski instructor. Juice, a nice young Brittany, belongs to Michael and parents Brian and Ann Houghton.

Koda, a fine looking German Shorthaired Pointer, teamed with 15 year old Mitch Patterson. I am sure that dad Bryon did the driving and all three are looking forward to this year’s season.

I don’t know if Molly, a nice little Brittany, belongs to Ben Uecker or his grandfather, John Jenkins, but with an A student like Ben, Molly should turn out great.  I apologize for not getting around to everyone but come back next year and tell me about this years hunting season with your dogs.

Submitted by:   Gary Sadler
                        AKC Executive Field Representative

The following is a report submitted by The St. Croix Valley Brittany Club.


June 3, 2007 the St Croix Valley Brittany Club (SCVBC) held its First Annual Youth Field Trial Event.  This event was staged to get youth interested and involved in Field Trialing and/or Hunting Tests.  We had a small but enthusiastic group of young people ranging from 8 to 17 years old.

In late fall of 2006, SCVBC President Bret Lindback read an article in the American Field Magazine on a Youth Field Trial Event.  The article explained that the event was designed to bring young people in to Field Trialing.  It further went on to state that young people are our sport’s future.  SCVBC decided to hold a Youth Field Trial Event at our Spring Walking Trial.  The Field Trial Committee was charged with planning this event.

SCVBC also discussed this event with the Minnesota Federation of Field Trial Clubs and they approved the concept and would help advertise the event.  Mary Trimble of the American Brittany Club was contacted about the Youth Event held in Illinois.  She advised us that the event should be an educational process and fun for all.  All participants should be mentored by an experienced Field Trialer while running their dogs.  Most importantly, all participants are winners. 

SCVBC set the Youth Field Trial Event on the second day of our Spring Walking Field Trial.  The location was Four Brooks Wildlife Management & Dog Training Area north of Milaca, Minnesota.  On Sunday the 3rd the Youth Event started at 9 AM under overcast skies with on and off drizzle.  There were 10 children registered for this event. 
There was a short meeting of all participates and their parents to discuss the process and safety.  We made sure that all dogs had been introduced to both birds & gunfire.  Then there was a short instructional period on Gun Dogs and handling of dogs in the field.  The instructors & mentors for the event were Matt Eder & Heather Gast of Fox Run Kennels of Brook Park, Minnesota.  Participants were braced into groups of two.  Each brace was called to the break away and the Dogs turned lose.  The gallery of Parents followed them.  The course was seeded with quail and all Dogs had bird contract.  Matt & Heather did an excellent job explaining how to use the wind and terrain to keep a dog to the front and give the dog the opportunity to run lines and find birds.  When the child’s dog was on point he or she was walked through the correct way to approach the dog and flush the bird. 

At the end of the field portion all the youth and their parents were brought together to receive a Ribbon and a Survival Whistle donated by Peasant Forever.

The St Croix Valley Brittany Club members enjoyed working with these kids and their dogs.  SCVBC believes we need young people to get enthused about our Field Sports.  We are planning on doing this again and look for this event to grow each year.

For more information, see our club web page at www.scvbc.org.