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Field Trial Clubs of Illinois Announces

Newly Constructed Building and Reflects on Productive History

By Chad Chadwell, President, FTCI | Jun 18, 2020

SPRINGFIELD, ILL. The Field Trial Clubs of Illinois (FTCI) is proud to highlight its progressive mission of promoting the sport of field trials by improving public field trial grounds within the State of Illinois.

Recently, FTCI completed construction of a new headquarters building at the Jim Edgar Panther Creek (JEPC) SF&WA. FTCI signed a donation agreement with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources in early 2019, paving the way for FTCI to construct a 24’ x 36’ building near the FTCI funded 36-stall horse barn. This unique public/private partnership provides a gathering area for field trial folks and the public to utilize for many years, and enhances the home of several national field trial championships and a continuous three one-hour course.

Nearly twenty years ago, the FTCI, working with IDNR and the Illinois General Assembly, successfully began the transformation of a portion of “Site M” (re-named Jim Edgar Panther Creek State Fish and Wildlife Area) near Ashland, Ill. The goal was to develop a premier three-hour continuous course for horseback field trials.

After the establishment by IDNR of a large gravel parking lot for trailer staging, followed by significant work on course areas, creek crossings, and interior improvements, the FTCI embarked on an aggressive barn building project where horses could be stabled and people could shelter during inclement weather.

Today, we are proud to announce yet another structure completed for the purpose of a gathering space for field trialers and the public, and donated to the IDNR along with a private donation of a spacious portable quail holding structure.

Additionally, plans exist (not yet ratified) to provide electrical power and water to the site in the future.

FTCI has funded over $150,000 in improvements to state sites over the years. These improvements were made possible by an equivalent (or greater) investment from private individuals and not for profit contributions, as well as substantial investments the IDNR contributed to site preparation and grounds maintenance. Many milestones have been achieved by the field trial community in Illinois.

Other FTCI supported site improvements include:

36-stall horse barn constructed on the Captain Unit at the Pyramid SF&WA near Pinckneyville, IL.

Financial donation provided to the Friends of Pyramid organization for the purpose of building a clubhouse with a full kitchen, bathroom, and shower facility on the Denmark Unt at Pyramid SF&WA.

Financial donation assisting in the renovation of the clubhouse at the Wayne Fitzgerald State Park site near Whittington, IL.

36-stall horse barn constructed adjacent to the parking lot at the Middlefork SF&WA near Oakwood, IL

Finally, FTCI very actively coordinates with the Illinois DNR department leaders and staff and site management, for which we are very appreciative, to sustain positive and mutually beneficial relations while ensuring good stewardship of public lands, programs, and policies.

As the saying goes, “It takes a village”, and our sporting dog organization efforts would not be successful here in Illinois without key supporters beginning with the Nestle Purina organization, Quail and Upland Game Alliance, the Amateur Field Trial Clubs of America and their 20th Century Fund used for wildlife habitat improvement, the various “Friends” organizations associated with several state parks in Illinois, and dozens of local businesses in the surrounding towns and cities.

Additionally, FTCI maintains vigilance over legislative and political actions taking place in Illinois through, and in conjunction with, The Illinois Federation of Outdoor Resources (IFOR). IFOR represents a very broad and diverse group of outdoor-sporting orientated organizations providing scale to our voice in the State’s General Assembly.

The Field Trial Clubs of Illinois is a 501c7 not-for-profit organization chartered in the State of Illinois and is heading for its 60th year of operation. The club is managed by a board of directors, holds two general membership meetings annually, and holds a popular and well attended annual Dog of the Year Awards Banquet.

The FTCI represents some 35+ sporting dog clubs representing many sporting dog breeds. For more information regarding FTCI activities or to become a member, please see our website at ftci.org or our Field Trial Clubs of Illinois- ftci Facebook site for more information.

 

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