Sunday, December 8th 2-5 pm
Banquet Hall of South Carroll Swim Club
1900 West Liberty Road, Westminster, MD 21157
for MSDA members and their family & guests
We’ll have some background music and photos of 2019 club activities. We’ll also have a large poster where you can share your “brags” for the year. Socializing – definitely. Lots of talk about dogs – always! Dancing? Not sure about that, but who knows? As you expect from MSDA, there will be plenty of good food. The club will provide sliced ham and turkey and non-alcoholic beverages. Please bring a potluck dish to share: snacks, hors d’oeuvres, side dishes, desserts… A few electrical outlets are available if you bring a heated dish. You also may bring an alternative beverage. (Recreational cannabis is not legal in MD, however, so none of that!)
This is a social event only — there will not be a meeting and no club business will be conducted. Dress code is (festive) casual! Please note that the party is for humans only – no dogs. Also, the pool is outdoors, so no swimming.
We’ll need a few volunteers each to help with setup and cleanup. Especially if you haven’t helped out at a club activity this year, please offer to arrive about a 1/2 hour early to set up the buffet and some decorations, or stay after 5 pm to help clean up. We need to leave the place spotless to avoid a cleaning charge.
If you have attended a recent MSDA event (hunt test, stewarding seminar or any other) but have not gotten around to joining MSDA, it’s not too late! Request a membership form from Pamela DeSmidt, Secretary@mdsportingdog.org . MSDA does not currently have any initiation fees or dues, but we do ask members to volunteer at at least one event per year.
MSDA holds two of the largest sporting group conformation shows in the U.S. and, along with those, three days of all-breed obedience and rally trials, breed specialties, bird instinct clinics, and other activities. In 2020, the dates for MSDA’s events at the Howard County Fairgrounds in West Friendship, MD will be:
Friday February 28th:
All-Breed Obedience & Rally Trials
Breed Specialty sponsored by Potomac Valley Golden Retriever Club (includes conformation, obedience, rally events)
Other specialties to be announced!
Bird Instinct Clinics
Saturday February 29th:
Sporting Group Conformation
All-Breed Obedience & Rally Trials
Bird Instinct Clinics
Sunday March 1st:
Sporting Group Conformation
All-Breed Obedience & Rally Trials
Also expected to be on the schedule are Sweepstakes, Owner-Handled, Puppy and Best Bred-by-Exhibitor competitions. We are adding two days of Puppy Sweepstakes and Veteran classes, Canine Good Citizen testing, Dog Show Tours, designated ringside mentoring areas for prospective judges, and an evening Puppy Match. And, we expect to be adding to our impressive 14 Supported Entry clubs.
Last but not least (obedience & rally participants take note!), a construction team is hard at work adding an entirely new structure adjacent to the main building at the Howard County Fairgrounds. If completed in time, that will provide MSDA with additional heated & air-conditioned space.
NEW… Sign up online now to sponsor a trophy for conformation and obedience/rally. Sponsorships start at only $10.
Once again, the chair of this event is Richard Jackson. Please contact him directly with any questions, if your club would like to participate, if you are a vendor interested in renting space, or if you would be willing to volunteer to help out in any way.
We’ll be posting updates on this page as plans are finalized for MSDA’s 2020 Spring Event, so be sure to keep checking in with us. Meanwhile, photos, some results, and lots of other information from our 2019 event are here. We also invite you to learn more about us, and sign up for our e-mail list to be updated (mostly via a monthly newsletter) on all club activities:
MSDA holds two of the largest sporting group conformation shows in the U.S. and, along with those, three days of all-breed obedience and rally trials. In 2020, the dates for MSDA’s events at the Howard County Fairgrounds in West Friendship, MD are:
Friday February 28th (All-Breed Obedience & Rally)
Saturday February 29th (Sporting Group Conformation, All-Breed Obedience & Rally)
Sunday March 1st (Sporting Group Conformation, All-Breed Obedience & Rally)
These events attract more than 600 dogs, along with owners, handlers, breeders, and the dog-loving public. Many “trophies” in the form of plaques, embroidered towels, dog toys, and other gifts are awarded to the winners each day. A limited number of these are available to be sponsored by individuals and organizations. You can direct your contribution to a specific breed’s or event’s award(s) or contribute to a general trophy fund. Contributions must be received by November 1st, 2019 and will be individually acknowledged on this website and in both the official premium list and the catalog.
We welcome general donations of any amount as well as sponsorships of Best of Sporting Group and other best-in-show categories, including for Obedience and Rally. For each breed, there are sponsorships available for five trophies (Best of Breed, Best of Opposite Sex, Best of Winners, Winners Dog, Winners Bitch). For obedience and rally, sponsorships are available for highest scores of the day and for highest scores in individual classes. Sponsorships are available for Saturday and Sunday for conformation, and for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday for Obedience/Rally. Note that we are accepting only one contribution for each trophy, so not all options may still be available.
All trophies are selected by the Show Committee and are not the same every year. Here are some of the 2019 trophies:
In addition, the winners in Junior Handler events receive gift cards, and these are very popular with the kids. Please consider adding a bit extra to your sponsorship to let them know we care. Junior handlers are the future of our sport!
For each contribution, you may enter the acknowledgement that will appear after the words “Sponsored by:” on this website and “Offered by:” in the premium list and catalog. Your text can be at most 75 characters long, and will be included exactly as you enter it, so please double-check your typing! Examples might include Sponsored/Offered by:
John and Jane Doe
Bob Jones in memory of Rover
Dr. and Mrs. Smith in loving memory of GCh. Big Top’s Cat In the Hat
Linda S. Breeder and Sally Brown of Long River Cocker Spaniels
Mid-Atlantic Pointing Spaniels Club
Trigger-Digger Dog Supplies & Toys
“Sponsored by” entries that are left blank will be credited to Anonymous. MSDA reserves the right to reject, edit, or anonymize any acknowledgements that could be interpreted as promotion of individual dogs, overt advertising, political statements, or that are otherwise deemed inappropriate. No URLs, phone numbers, or hashtags, please. Decisions are the sole discretion of the Show Chair. If you have any doubts, please check with the Show Chair, Richard Jackson, before you buy!
Once transactions are completed, sponsorships are not refundable. In the unusual situation that a sponsored trophy cannot be awarded because of insufficient entries or for any other reason, your contribution will be directed to the general trophy fund.
Please contact the Show Chair, Richard Jackson, if you have any questions about these sponsorships or if you would like to make a more significant contribution to our event.
Please contact the Webmaster if you have problems completing your order.
Donate to the General Trophy Fund – These contributions go to the general trophy fund rather than for one specific prize. Just below click on “Donate” to go to PayPal’s secure site. Then select or enter any amount. In the Optional Note space, enter your text to follow “Sponsored by:”. You may pay with any major credit card or with your PayPal account. PayPal does not share your credit card information with MSDA.
AKC Spaniel Hunting Tests
For All Flushing Breeds
September 14th & 15th, 2019
Rebel Ridge Farms
Elkton, Maryland 21921
MSDA held two days — two separate events — of AKC Spaniel Hunting tests on Saturday September 14 and Sunday September 15, 2019 at Rebel Ridge Farms in Elkton MD.
Mark your calendar for MSDA’s hunting test weekend next year:
September 12-13, 2020!
A big THANK-YOU to: judges Mary Lackey and Kate Ostrowski; gunners Walt Mullen, Brian Schmidt, and Barry Schroeder; CGC Evaluator Karen Cottingham; all the owners and handlers (many of whom also pitched in to help shag, drive the ATV, throw birds, contribute potluck dishes – yum! – and set up lunch); spectators; the hunt test committee; and Rebel Ridge Farms.
Junior, Senior, and Master Hunter levels were held both days. There also was Working Dog certificate testing and CGC evaluations on Saturday. Not just for spaniels, hunting tests are open to all eligible flushing breeds. These are:
Airedale Terrier, American Water Spaniel, Boykin Spaniel, Chesapeake Bay Retriever, Clumber Spaniel, Cocker Spaniel, Curly-Coated Retriever, English Cocker Spaniel, English Springer Spaniel, Field Spaniel, Flat-Cwereoated Retriever, Golden Retriever, Irish Water Spaniel, Labrador Retriever, Miniature Poodle, Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever, Standard Poodle, Sussex Spaniel, Welsh Springer Spaniel. Dogs of these breeds recorded with the Purebred Alternative Listing Program/Indefinite Listing Privilege (PAL/ILP) or dogs with Conditional registration are eligible to participate. Spayed and neutered dogs are eligible to participate. Bitches in season are not eligible to participate, nor are they allowed on the grounds. Dogs with Limited Registration are eligible to participate.
We had a great entry! One or more of the following participated: Boykin Spaniel, Chesapeake Bay Retriever, Clumber Spaniel, Cocker Spaniel, English Cocker Spaniel, English Springer Spaniel, Golden Retriever, Irish Water Spaniel, Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever, and Standard Poodle. Attendees came from Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ontario, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Virginia. In all, there were 27 dogs participating in hunt tests on Saturday and 32 on Sunday. Of these 13 qualified (passed, or “earned a leg” toward their hunting titles) on Saturday and 16 on Sunday. Overall, that’s about a 50% pass rate though, not surprisingly, the Juniors and Seniors had a greater success rate than the Masters did.
Ken Harringer got some great photos of his own dogs and of dogs entered in Senior Hunter on Saturday. Here are some of his shots:
Some pictures from Saturday’s Hunt Tests:
Pictures from Sunday’s Hunt Tests:
If you have any questions about hunting tests or working dog tests for flushing breeds, please contact Steve Roth . If you have some photos to share, please send them to the hunt test secretary Pamela DeSmidt and/or post them to our Facebook group.
Saturday, August 17th
1:30 – 4:30 pm
North Laurel Community Center
Laurel, MD 20723
This Saturday afternoon seminar covered stewarding for AKC conformation and obedience events.
The day focused on events and procedures for Maryland Sporting Dog Association’s “Spring Event”, which is held the first weekend of March each year at Howard County Fairgrounds. The spring weekend includes two days of conformation judging for AKC Sporting Group breeds. These events are two of the five biggest sporting dog conformation shows in the U.S. and attract well over 500 entrants each day. We also have three days of obedience and rally trials that are open to all breeds, and these draw another 100-150+ entries each day. Managing all of this requires an enormous volunteer effort, and stewards play a key role.
During the seminar, we reviewed what you need to know to confidently fulfill a stewarding role at MSDA’s Spring Event, especially stewarding procedures from how to greet your judge in the morning to how to keep all your notations organized in your steward’s book. There were presentations, Q&A, discussions, plenty of real-life examples, amusing stories, and demonstrations. Seminar materials were provided to each attendee.
Gregg Kantak: Gregg, who chaired this seminar, is an AKC conformation judge, breeder, owner and handler. For more than ten years, Gregg has served as Chief Steward for the MSDA conformation events.
Erv Lhotka: Erv is an AKC obedience judge, breeder, owner and handler of Labrador Retrievers with both conformation and obedience titles. Erv has served at MSDA’s Spring Event in both conformation and obedience stewarding roles.
Richard Todd Jackson: Richard is an AKC conformation judge, breeder, owner and handler. Since 2017, Richard has been the Show Chair for MSDA’s Spring Event.
Saturday, July 20 2019 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
Hosted by Alex and Steve Roth
This event was for MSDA club members, their families, and their guests. Dogs, too, of course!
MSDA provided grilled hamburgers, hot dogs, Beyond Meat burgers and cold non-alcoholic drinks. Attendees brought side dishes and desserts to fill out a great summer picnic buffet. There were also fresh delicious blackberries picked from Steve’s bushes near the pool, and many people took blackberries, as well as some garden-fresh tomatoes and cucumbers, home with them.
We weren’t really counting, but we think 25-30 people attended. Canine pool party participants included the following breeds: Chesapeake Bay Retriever, Clumber Spaniel, English Cocker Spaniel, Field Spaniel, Flat-Coated Retriever, Golden Retriever, Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever, Standard Poodle, Vizsla, and Welsh Springer Spaniel.
The day turned out to be really Hot! Though the weather forecast predicted 100 degrees, someone observed that, driving up the road toward Steve’s property, the reading on their car’s thermometer dropped by 10 degrees. Still, running around the open fields was not a popular activity, though we coaxed a few dogs through the agility tunnel. Mostly, everyone headed straight for the pool. Outside of the pool itself, there was also plenty of shade, extra cooling tubs for the dogs, hoses and misters, chilled towels, fans, plus lots of ice and cold drinks. Everyone from the kids to the, ahem, “long-time club members” were in and out of the pool and having a great time with a lot of wet, happy dogs.
Here are some photos. (Click any photo for a larger “slide show” view.)
Miss the pool party because you’re not an MSDA member? Learn more about us, how to join the club, and sign up for our e-mail list.
Saturday, May the Fourth
8:30 am – 3:00 pm
Rebel Ridge Farms, Elkton MD
MSDA’s Annual Field Day — a full day of FUN, bird dog training for all levels, and some very good food — was Saturday, May 4th at Rebel Ridge Farms in Elkton, MD. We counted 82 people and 72 dogs in attendance, making this our biggest Field Day so far. Though training is targeted at Sporting Group dogs who are interested in hunting, hunt tests, and field trials, Field Day welcomes all “birdy” dogs. Breeds included: Boykin Spaniel, Chesapeake Bay Retriever, Clumber Spaniel, English Cocker Spaniel, English Setter, English Springer Spaniel, Flat-Coated Retriever, German Shorthaired Pointer, Golden Retriever , Gordon Setter, Labrador Retriever, Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever, Poodle, Pudelpointer, Sussex Spaniel, Vizsla, Weimaraner, and Wirehaired Pointing Griffon.
Photos from the day are posted below. (As a result, this page may take a while to load.)
There were training groups for flushing, pointing, and retrieving breeds; each divided into intro and advanced groups. This year we also added CGC testing, e-collar and safe-gunning info, event t-shirts, and a raffle! Last but not least, our potluck lunch, as usual, was delicious.
Perhaps like many of you, my first experience with showing dogs was in field tests. My Silver Standard Poodles, all corded, were waiting for the judge to begin the water fowl retrieval tests and I would happily let them off-leash to dive into the lake or marsh and bring back the “quarry.” Assisting the judge was a “runner” who took the Judge’s scorecard back to a desk for tabulation. Little did I know, that “runner” was the Judge’s steward. Later, when my Basset Hounds experienced hunt trials, and the Judge would check for packing ability, their “voice” and reaction to the gun-firing, I would either be whacking the bushes or yelling “Talley Ho!” when I saw the quarry while, again, this “runner” (Steward) would return to the desk with the Judge’s scorecard. Then came conformation….
As you may know, in an AKC conformation show ring, the Judge actually is assessing “breeding stock.” While all that is going on, however, the Judge requires an able assistant: the Steward. Since I am everything “dog-related” and enjoyed the energy of a dog show, I found stewarding a ring allowed me to participate when I was not actively showing one of my breeds. Over the past fifteen years, I have actively stewarded AKC shows and served as Chief Steward (the ring leader) for several AKC shows, most notably for the past ten years as MSDA’s Chief Steward.
From my many years stewarding dog shows, I have discovered that the Steward is a show’s finest “Ambassador.” Not only must the Steward ensure the Judge and ring are running smoothly, they, unlike any other show staff, have the greatest impact on the Exhibitor’s experience. A Steward is the first person an exhibitor meets prior to showing. The Steward marks them as present and provides them with their armband, calls them into the ring for their breed class and ensures the Judge maintains the schedule and accurately records the wins.
As an exhibitor, I can tell you that the most positive ring experiences have been when a Steward simply greets me, provides me with my armband, wishes me success, and eventually ushers me into the ring. The Steward can make or break a show and their ambassadorial skills set the tone for any exhibitor’s experience during the show.
From a Judge’s perspective, I rely on my Steward to be just that… my ambassador. The Steward maintains the ring’s order, ensures a table or ramp is accessible, pulls the ribbons for the classes, calls in the armband numbers, announces the winning armband numbers in each class, congratulates the winners, etc. They serve as my liaison with exhibitors, handlers and the superintendent. So, you see, stewards are integral to the success of the show. Whether your interest is in conformation, obedience, rally, utility, field or hunt tests, ultimately you have relied upon a steward to ensure you knew what was to come.
I believe I join you in our love of dogs and our enjoyment at seeing them perform in any capacity. Our sport becomes our social outlet, bonding experience and/or avocation. Being a part of it, whether exhibiting, judging or stewarding is truly rewarding. Stewarding, particularly, allows those who may have ended their “showing” years remain an active part of the show. If given a choice, most of us would be spending more time with our dogs or being around dogs, and there is no better way to do that then to participate in a show, especially as a steward.
If you have interest in pursuing stewarding or if you are considering a future judging (there is a stewarding fulfillment requirement to obtain licensure), please contact me at email@example.com. I would love to have you be an integral part of MSDA’s 2020 Show!
Acting as a steward at a dog show or obedience and rally trials is a great way to contribute to the sport, make friends, and get the inside scoop about these dog activities. However, we find many people are reluctant to participate because they think that they don’t know enough about what is involved. MSDA is organizing an introductory seminar for conformation and obedience/rally stewarding sometime during the weekend of August 17-18 (exact date, time, and location are to be determined). Check back to this website, contact Gregg, and/or sign up for our email list to find out more.
MSDA’s Spring Sporting Group Dog Shows were Saturday March 2 and Sunday March 3, 2019. These are two of the largest Sporting Group conformation events in the U.S. Much more information from the entire spring weekend, including many candid photos, is available here, but below are more than 20 official win photos, provided by the show’s official photographer, David Sombach.
Proofs for all official win photos may be viewed at https://davidsombachphotos.com/. Scroll down his page to “PHOTO GALLERIES” and click on “Official Win Photos”. Then click on the box for Maryland Sporting Dog Association. An email address is required to view the proofs.)
MSDA held Sporting Dog Instinct Clinics on Friday March 1st and Saturday March 2nd during the MSDA Spring Weekend at the Howard County Fairgrounds (2210 Fairgrounds Rd, West Friendship, MD 21794). For a bird dog with little or no field experience, this is a great way to get started.
This is a fun, relaxed, and encouraging activity. The clinic includes a brief introductory discussion followed by individual work with each dog and handler. Trainers get the dogs excited about the birds, and then the dogs are able to scent a bird and find a bird, triggering their basic hunting instincts. Clinics are run by AKC hunt test judges and experienced handlers for flushing, pointing, and retrieving breeds. There is lots of fun, and great information, too!
It was chilly for our first day of clinics on Friday, but we were able to protect a section of the field from snow the night before, and the dogs didn’t seem to mind the weather at all. Saturday was warmer. Altogether, we ran 52 dogs in five clinic sessions. Here are some pictures, and one video (on YouTube), from the 2019 sessions.
Instinct Clinic also is a wonderful stepping stone for you and your dog to get involved with training for your parent club’s WD or WC program or the AKC Hunt Test programs, or to simply see how much fun you can have when your dog gets turned on to birds!!
Participating breeds this year included the following: Chesapeake Bay Retriever, Cocker Spaniel, English Cocker Spaniel, English Setter, English Springer Spaniel, Flat-Coated Retriever, German Shorthaired Pointer, Golden Retriever, Irish Red and White Setter, Irish Water Spaniel, Labrador Retriever, Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever, Pointer, Spinone Italiano, Sussex Spaniel, Vizsla, Weimaraner, Welsh Springer Spaniel, and Wirehaired Pointing Griffon.
Live birds are used. There is no gunfire. (Flushed birds fly away.)
For more information, photos, and videos, see our Instinct Clinic pages for 2018 and 2017. Questions? Please contact Steve Roth.