NOSD Original Board of Directors
The Original Board of Directors
National Open Sporting Dog Championship
The National Open Shooting Day Championship Association was officially organized at a meeting on April 30, 1961, at Guy H. Lewis' cottage on his Quail Haven Farm near Remington, VA. The founders were Franklin C. Baugh, Parke C. Brinkley, Harold A. Crane, Verle Farrow, Guy H. Lewis, Jr., and W. S. (Steve) Richardson. The elected officers were Parke C. Brinkley, President; W. S. Richardson, Vice-president, and Verle Farrow, Secretary-Treasurer.

Prior to the initial meeting, a great deal of spadework had been accomplished by the officers and directors of the association of Virginia Field Trial Clubs. The Eastern Open Shooting Dog Classic had been established at Camp Pickett near Blackstone VA., and the interest generated by and the experience gained in conducting the Classic served as a basis for establishing and conducting the Championship. Much credit is due George Harrison, Steve Richardson, Randy Eagle and others who were active in establishing and conducting the Classic. Throughout the whole endeavor, the advice and encouragement of William F. Brown, editor of "The American Field", played a major role.

First Champion
Baker's Paladel

The inaugural Championship started on Monday, December 4, 1961, and was run at Hawfield near Orange, VA. There were 57 entries, consisting of 47 pointers, 9 setters and 1 Brittany. Heats were one and one-half hours long and the champion was required to back a bracemate on rigid point. In accordance with the usual custom, the handler was awarded the guaranteed cash purse and the owner received a sterling silver trophy. Judges were Harold A. Crane of Washington, DC, and Dr. Fred Hill of Crooksville, OH. The reporter was Truman F. Cowles of Manchester, Conn. Horses were furnished by Dale Bartley of Staunton, VA.

The winner was a four-year old white and liver pointer female named Baker's Paladel, owned by John Baker of Washington, DC and handled by Ed Mougin of Potomac, MD.

Some changes have occurred in the Championship since that auspicious beginning in 1961, but the main objectives in seeking the "ideal shooting dog" described in the standards remain the same as envisioned by the six original founders. The mandatory backing requirements was rescinded in 1982 because of the difficulties experienced in enforcing the rule; however, dogs are still expected to honor promptly a bracemate's point when opportunity arises and judges are encouraged to see that such opportunities are provided whenever conditions are such that the pointing dog would not be unduly penalized.

In 1972, a rule was adopted to permit judges to order up a dog when, in their unanimous opinion, the dog had no chance to win. This rule was rescinded in 1973 after numerous complaints but was reinstated in 1978 with the amendment that a dog could be ordered up by the decision of two judges.

In the beginning, a dog to be entered was required to have only a placement in a recognized shooting dog stake. In 1962, this was changed to require a placement in an open shooting dog stake. In 1967, a dog was required to have a first place win in an open shooting dog stake or must have competed previously in the Championship. This rule prevailed until 1971 when the requirement was changed back to a placement in an open shooting dog stake. In 1975, the qualification was amended again to require a placement in a recognized open shooting dog stake with heats of one hour or longer or a first place win in an open shooting dog stake with heats shorter than one hour. This was changed back to a placement in an open shooting dog stake in 1981. In 2001, the qualifications were changed to require a dog to have placed in a Purina Top Open Shooting Dog Award points trial.

For the inaugural stake, the purse was $1,500, the nomination fee was $25 and the starting fee was $50. Since that time, the purse has been increased to $20,000, the requirement for nomination of entries has been rescinded and the entry fee has been increased to $500. In addition to the cash purse, the names of the winners have been engraved on the beautiful large sterling silver tray donated by Steve Richardson in honor of Guy H. Lewis, Jr. In the beginning, a small sterling silver tray was also awarded annually to the owner of the winner. In 1964, an oil painting of the winner by Ivan Lotton was awarded in lieu of the small tray. This custom was continued until 1974, since then oil paintings by John Donaldson and more recently Ross Young have been awarded.

Starting in 1961, the Championship was held at Hawfield, the historic plantation owned by Guy H. Lewis, Jr., located just a few miles northeast of Orange, VA. The total acreage of some 2,600 acres was not large enough to provide four 90-minute courses daily so the two morning courses were run again the afternoon. The veteran Luther Smith made the pre-trail observation that, "I don't see how they can expect to use each of the courses twice a day and not run off the birds." After three days of running, however, he readily admitted that it was being done successfully, but he understood why and pointed out that in the entire area there were not any deep swamps or branches in which the birds could hide.

All good things usually come to an end and so did the running at Hawfield. Following the untimely death of Mr. Lewis in January 1967, Hawfield was sold and after the 1969, the Association was forced to look for a new home for the Championship.

During the nine years at Hawfield, several noteworthy performances were witnessed. Easy Mark established a record with the back-to-back wins in 1968 and 1969 which has not been broken. His win in 1969 was one of the most spectacular performances witnessed so far in the stake. Of the eight dogs, which ran on that day, six others went birdless and one had to stop to flush. Easy Mark dug up six coveys. In 1967, Elhew Sundown had apparently won the stake with an effortless, forward ground heat and five sparkling covey finds until he was called back to honor a dog on point. Some pen-raised quail were released in a patch of honeysuckle and setter female was brought up. When she had located the birds and pointed them staunchly, Arthur Bean was requested to work Sundown from horseback across a small field where corn had been picked to an area where the dog could see the setter on point. He did so and when Sundown spotted the setter, he roaded a few steps as if he were going to back. Instead of backing, he went up and wet on a bush and then wet on the dog on point.

In November 1970, the Championship moved to Di-Lane Plantation near Waynesboro, GA. The entry dropped to 28 dogs the first year and there was some question as to whether the stake would be sufficiently patronized in that area of the country. However, the entry jumped to 69 in 1971 and was 52 in 1972. In 1973, another move became necessary because of unforeseen conditions at Di-Lane and the Championship was invited to run at Sedgefields Plantation near Union Springs, AL.

Because of cover conditions on the Plantation, it was decided to run the stake in January instead of November and hence there was no running in the calendar year 1973. The success of the move was immediately apparent in the record-breaking entry of 86 dogs in January 1974, when the winner was Miss Cindy C, a petite pointer female weighing only 38 pounds.

In addition to the original six founders of the Association, the following trial notables have served as directors: Leslie R. Tichenor, Jr., Richard H. Cross, Jr., Dr. Thomas M. Flanagan, Stuart M. Lewis, Dr. H. Q. Tucker, Gordan Etheridge, Dr. Alvin H. Nitchman, Henry Berol, A. H. (Bill) Hembree, Dr. F. B. Hines, Jr., Elwin G. Smith, George L. Harden, Jr., Fred Wilson, H. N. Holmes, Lee R. West, Dan McArthur, Keith Severin, David Tutt, and Dwight Smith.

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