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National Bird Hunters Association Meeting and Awards Banquet — 2017

By Dr. Stan McCain, Secretary | Aug 15, 2017
Owners Ken Black and Fran Brown (left) receive their Dog of the Year Award for Crow Creek Sugarbaby from NBHA President Greg Blair.

The National Bird Hunters Association met on July 22 at the Hyatt Place Memphis/Wolfchase Galleria for our social gathering and business meeting on July 23. Our awards banquet at the National Bird Dog Museum in Grand Junction, Tenn., on the evening of July 23 with sixty guests enjoying the food and fellowship along with a raffle for many wonderful prizes.

Tonya Brotherton and the staff of the Bird Dog Museum did a terrific job in hosting this event. The food was out of this world. We were privileged to have local guests John Rex Gates and his wife, Diane, Buddy and Clarice Smith, and Korey Rhinehart.

We would like to thank our sponsors; Purina, Garmin, Christie Enterprises, Gun Dog Supply and Gundog Central. Without their generous support our organization would not be able to recognize the outstanding performances from this past season. Thank you very much!

Dean Reinke represented Purina at the business meeting and banquet.

Our weekend began Friday evening at the Hyatt Memphis/Wolfchase Galleria. This was a great time to reunite with individuals we haven’t seen in quite awhile, and meet new people. After the social hour, many journeyed into Memphis to enjoy some wonderful food (ribs) at the Rendezvous Restaurant and other surrounding restaurants for dinner and entertainment.

Saturday morning began at 8:00 a. m. with the business meeting opened by President Marty Robinson. Nearly thirty persons attended and offered insight on how to move the NBHA forward! This past trial season was an exciting time for the NBHA. Our National Championship was held at historic Ames Plantation where 52 dogs participated.

This year we inducted one individual into the NBHA Hall of Fame — Oscar Whitt of Attalla, Ala. The longtime professional hander and field trialer was inducted into the NBHA Hall of Fame. Oscar was present at the banquet with his entire family there to support him for this wonderful honor.

We encourage everyone to stop by our display at the Bird Dog Foundation and Museum to see all the work we have done. Next year Ch. Sebrof’s Alpha Chief will be inducted as will Ron Kimberly.

We look forward to adding historic items, new plaques and pictures in the future!

The NBHA business meeting heard the reports of all of the current officers. Newly elected officers for 2017-2018 are: Greg Blair, president; Chris Gebhardt, 1st vice-president in charge of the National Championship. Shane Bevell from Oklahoma was elected 3d vice-president.

The remaining standing positions are: Scott Turner, 2d vice-president; Stanley McCain, secretary; Ray Brown, treasurer; Brian Casey and Bruce Mercer, co-Futurity directors.

There was much discussion and some rule changes on ways to improve and expand the NBHA. It was proudly noted that there was increased participation in NBHA trials over the last year with 1,838 dogs participating in 43 different events in fourteen states. New states were added as NBHA participants: Oklahoma, Iowa, and Illinois. Much of the increase in participation was credited to increased events and dog and handler participation in Oklahoma, Illinois, Kentucky, Wisconsin, Iowa and Missouri.

The banquet evening began with a cocktail hour followed by a fabulous meal served by the Bird Dog Museum staff. A silent auction was held for donated items followed by a live auction for great items such as Purina dog food and Garmin collars, to name a few.

The 2016-2017 Dog and Handler of the Year Awards winners were recognized throughout the evening.

Open Stakes Handler of the Year is Garry Malzone; Amateur Handler honors went to Bruce Mercer. Both men worked extremely hard and ran some great dogs that were competitive all year long! Their efforts were rewarded by Purina with a supply of dog food, and an embroidered jacket and an NBHA plaque recognizing their achievements.

Open Shooting Dog of the Year is Crow Creek Sugarbaby, owned by Ken Black and Fran Brown and handled by Ken Black. The Amateur Shooting Dog of the Year is Sand Mountain Icy, owned by Warren Parrott and handled for a major portion of the year by Bruce Mercer.

We would like to congratulate ALL of our award winners this year, and each and every person who entered one of our trials and put your dog on the ground. We deeply thank you and look forward to another exciting year. A special recognition goes out to all the judges, bird planters, trial chairpersons, gallery wagon drivers, and galleries who supported the NBHA. Thank you for all of your hard work.

There were many raffle and auction items at this year’s event. Thank you to EVERY individual, kennel, and/or business that donated items. This auction is a vital part of support for our association! Champion stud services donated and offered for auction were National Champion Lester’s Sunny Hill Jo from Gary Lester, a choice from Luke Eisenhart’s string, a choice from Jamie Daniels’ string, stud choice from Larry Huffman’s string, stud choice from Sean Derrig’s string, and stud choice from Randy Anderson and Cross Country Kennels.

We are looking forward to another great year. Come join us next year for our awards banquet! We would love to have you join us.

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