MSDA Summer Field Day
Saturday June 16th 8:30 am – 3:00 pm
Rebel Ridge Farms, Elkton MD

Introductory through advanced training opportunities for flushing, pointing, and retrieving sporting dogs. Much more information is below. This will be a fun and educational event, but it’s the only MSDA “Field Day” this summer, so plan to attend and sign up soon! Register by Saturday June 9th. Payments must be received no later than Monday June 11th.

Look who’s coming! The following breeds are among those already signed up for Field Day in June: Brittany, Clumber Spaniel, English Cocker Spaniel, English Setter, English Springer Spaniel, Flat-Coated Retriever, Golden Retriever, Gordon Setter, Labrador Retriever, Llewellin Setter, Weimaraner, and Wirehaired Pointing Griffon.

Rebel Ridge Farms has:

  • 250+ acres of specially-managed sporting dog training areas connected by a driveway that runs the length of the property
  • Six major field areas (up to 1,000 feet long) with low to medium cover
  • Four large ponds
  • Air-conditioned clubhouse
  • Property edged by dense shade
  • Parking at the fields, ponds, and clubhouse

There will be field and water training opportunities throughout the day. Lunch, too! This spacious property will allow many simultaneous activities. MSDA will provide gunners. Birds are included for both introductory and advanced training sessions.

  • Organized Training: Work at introductory through advanced levels with experienced trainers, handlers, and gunners. Group activities and individual attention for you and your dog(s) based on your training goals for the day. Total registrations for flushing, pointing, and retrieving groups are limited to 25 dogs each. Birds will be provided. We’re expecting to start a lot of dogs on pigeons, but we’re also buying chukars, ducks, and quail.
    • Flushing:
      • Introductory: No live fire. Demonstrations, individual and group activities to work on quartering, flushing, and basic retrieving skills. Land and water work. Dogs who are ready may be introduced to gunfire using a starter pistol.
      • Advanced: For dogs with a reliable recall and exposure to live fire. Field work similar to AKC hunt tests. Find, flush, and retrieve birds. Gunners are experienced handlers and hunt test judges who will offer guidance and training tips. Also practice marked and blind retrieves, with water work at adjacent pond. Advanced dogs should arrive at the field with a plan and their training goals for the day.
    • Pointing:
      • Introductory: No live fire. Heeling, quartering, and bird work drills. All dogs will participate as a group in each drill on a check cord (long rope attached to your dog).  Will have the opportunity to also have an introduction to backing as participants in these drills. If interested, your dog can be introduced to a cap gun. We encourage those in the Intro Group to also watch the Advanced Group.
      • Advanced: For dogs with a reliable recall and exposure to live fire. Backing dog will be available and birds will be in launchers. A cap gun or live fire will be used. Dogs can run in braces and practice retrieving. We encourage those in the Advanced Group to assist/mentor those in the Intro Group.
    • Retrieving:
      • Introductory: No live fire until end, and can introduce gunfire to those who feel their dog is ready. We will have demos, individual and group exercises with live birds and bumpers. If you have your own bumpers, please bring them with you and make sure they are labeled with your or your dog’s name. We will work on basic retrieving skills, learn what basic obedience skills are needed, and intro to land and water marks. All dogs without a reliable recall are required to work on a longline or checkline attached to the dog’s collar. Those in this group who may not be actively participating in an exercise are welcome to watch the advanced dogs work as well.
      • Advanced: For dogs with exposure to dead or live birds, bumpers and at least basic land/water retrieving skills. Your dog should know how to swim, and have a reliable recall. Will do land and water exercises with and without gunfire. No live flyers, however, will be done without prior permission from chair and gunners. Will focus on single, double and triple retrieves, blind retrieves and honors. Handlers are expected to help throw birds or bumpers for others. If time, can also accommodate those looking to practice special skills such as tolling.
  • Work Entirely On Your Own: Experienced handlers only. All sporting dog breeds. There will be a designated field area and pond for those not needing training assistance or gunning. Peer-to-peer training opportunities within your group, using thrown or planted bumpers and birds. No live fire. Bring your own birds.

If you have questions about whether your dog is ready for these activities, what to sign up for, what to bring,  how to help, or any other issue please contact:

Cold drinks will be available all day. Bottled water will be provided in coolers at the fields. Potluck lunch will be served in the clubhouse.

Many photos and an aerial tour of the property are available on Rebel Ridge Farms’ website.

Volunteers are key to making this event a success! In addition to informal mentoring, there are opportunities for throwing bumpers, planting birds, maintaining running orders, gunning, hospitality, photography, and many other options.

Fees:

  • $10 per handler. Guests/observers are free. Kids are welcome.
  • PLUS $25 per dog for those participating in the organized training. Birds are included.
  • Participants also are asked to bring a potluck dish to share, or to contribute $10 per person.

Important: this event will be held rain or shine! There will be no refunds after the June 9th registration deadline, except for dogs who are injured/sick or (bitches) in season. A veterinarian’s note may be required for late cancellations.

For safety reasons, blaze orange clothing (not just a hat) is strongly recommended for all participants and guests, and is required in fields with live fire. A limited number of orange t-shirts, size adult XL, will be available at the site for $5 each.

It’s also important to bring shade for your dog to rest and plenty of cold water to drink in the field. The perimeter of the property is forested and there is intermittent shade along the edges of fields and in the parking areas near the clubhouse. However, many cars (and people and dogs) will be spending time in unshaded areas. Dogs are not permitted in the clubhouse.

Everyone (trainers, gunners, handlers, guests, adults, kids) must have a signed liability release on file with MSDA before proceeding onto the property. In case you haven’t signed one in the last year or so, we’ll send it with your registration confirmation. They’ll also be available at the Field Day registration desk.

No horses at this event.

Register Now for Field Day

Here are some comments from last year:

  • Thank you for the very professional and instructional field day. Everyone I talked with enjoyed it immensely as they said they learned a lot and got great value for the time. Well done!
  • I had no idea what the day would be like, but I am SOOOOOO glad I came. [My dog] and I both learned a lot.
  • It was a great day and I am so glad I attended.  I look forward to doing more activities with the club. I would also say that facility was …WOW!!!!
  • Thanks to all for all your work putting this day together. Our pointing group training was really helpful and the grounds were great. Looking forward to the next one!
  • We had a wonderful time at the training day. I learn a lot and got some great hints about running spaniels test. Certainly boosted my confidence enough to enter a test. Everyone was so helpful and nice. The day was organized and run well. Please thank the club and all those who volunteered. We will definitely look forward to attending another day in the future.
  • It was my first MSDA event and I had a great time with the Retriever Group.
  • I had a great day… was well worth the trip!! Lunch was a big plus also!!
  • Great Training Day @ Rebel Ridge 🙂 Yahoo !!! That was awesome!!!

See photos, and more, at our pages for July 2017 Field Day at Rebel Ridge (MD) and June 2017 Field Day at Wilder Wildlife Area (DE).

You do not have to be an MSDA member to participate in Field Day. But, if you are interested, learn more about us, how to join the club, and sign up for our e-mail list.

View our full calendar of upcoming and recent activities.

Join the conversation! MSDA has a (private) Facebook  group.