Invitational Information

The Invitational is NAVHDA’s premier hunt test, and is held annually in September. The Invitational is the ultimate test of both dog and trainer. In this test, dogs are required to: 1) run an hour field brace with another dog, point and retrieve upland birds, and honor its bracemate’s point and retrieve, 2) do a blind retrieve over water of approximately 100 yards, 3) honor another dog’s waterfowl retrieve, and 4) do a double marked retrieve.  You can find more details on the Invitational on our About the NAVHDA Testing System and Invitational FAQ pages. 

 

2020 Invitational – September 17-20, 2020

Hosted by the Hawkeye Chapter in Searsboro, Iowa.

2020 Invitational Entry Form
2020 Volunteer Assignments
Soon you will be able to view the current Volunteer Assignments by clicking the link below. (These are draft assignments and are subject to change.)

2020 Invitational Volunteer Assignments

Once this link is live, please continue to check back here for assignment updates.
 
Email Annie Nuss if you have any questions regarding these assignments.
Job Descriptions

All volunteers must be members of NAVHDA International in order for the event to be properly insured.

Overall Test

Test Marshal
The Test Marshal is responsible for the overall test on the assigned day. The Test Marshal will directly supervise the Equipment and Electronics, Field and Water Marshals. All overall test decisions and changes from the judging teams will be directed to the Test Marshal. He or she will rally with all the daily volunteers before the start of the test to make sure the Field and Water Marshals get all their help, equipment, and birds for the day organized. Any major problems will be addressed to the Test Marshal. The Test Marshal will provide a list of workers to each of the Sr. Judges at the top of each day.

Bird Steward/Cleaner
This person is to make sure all sites have the necessary birds for testing that day. He or she will also make sure the birds are well cared for with food and water, have plenty of shade and are kept dry in rainy conditions. This person will insure that birds are at each site before the test starts, is to check supplies throughout the day, make sure birds are picked up at the end of the day and are housed adequately overnight. The Steward should regularly communicate with the Marshals at the Double Marked Retrieve and Blind Retrieve sites to coordinate the transporting of retrieved ducks from the Double Marked Retrieve site to the Blind Retrieve. He or she will also be responsible for making sure salvageable birds are being cleaned at the various venues (usually the gunners and/or bird planters are available to assist with this task). This person will have access to radio communications, and will report directly to the Test Marshal and will be available to all Marshals.

Sales Table
Two people each day are needed to be sure that the Invitational and NAVHDA promotional items are displayed and sold to those interested. These people will be hosts and representatives of the organization and report directly to the Test Marshal.

Equipment & Electronics Marshal
Assembles and organizes all necessary equipment for each venue. Distributes materials to field and water marshals each morning and checks in materials at the end of each day. He or she is responsible for organizing materials for the next day. Distributes and tracks radios and batteries for each site and checks them in at the end of the day. Monitors radios to ensure they are working properly, checks fuel status of the generator for the antennae and base unit and addresses any issues throughout the day. May also have to be responsible for charging batteries for remote wingers if used during the test. This position will work closely with the Test Marshal and all site marshals to ensure efficient and accurate test conditions.

Judge/Worker Host
One person is needed each day to work with the Test Marshal to be sure the judges and workers have refreshments, shelter, and food. This person must have access to a vehicle as he or she will be responsible for delivering lunches and anything else needed for judges and workers. This person will have access to radio communications and will be available to all Marshals.

Field

All field workers will arrive to the fields with all necessary equipment and be ready to go at least fifteen minutes before the judging team gets to the fields each morning.

Field Marshal
A Field Marshal is assigned to each field. This person has overall responsibility for the field they are stationed in. He or she will make sure they have all necessary equipment (included in the daily equipment list), workers, water in the field if necessary, ATVs and birds at each site. This work should be completed before or during opening ceremonies every morning. The Field Marshal has radio access to the Judges and the Test Marshal to keep the test running smoothly. He or she will supervise the gunners and bird planters; will make sure all gallery members stay at a safe distance and are out of the line of fire, and that all persons in the field are wearing one or a combination of the following blaze orange garments: hat, vest, or jacket. They will make sure gunners read the safety rules on page 24 of the NAVHDA Aims, Programs and Test Rules book. They will be responsible for participants and dogs being ready to go in the field in the order they were drawn. They will answer directly to the judging teams and the Test Marshal. They are responsible for making sure the sites are picked up and secured at the end of each day.

Gunners
There will be two sets of gunners at each field site. Gunners should have experience, and must have gunned at a NAVHDA UT test at a minimum. If you have not gunned at a previous Invitational, you must get a written endorsement from a judge and submit a request to the NAVHDA Office.

Gunners must read safety rules at the beginning of each day from page 24 of the NAVHDA Aims, Programs and Test Rules book and agree to abide by them. Gunners will bring their own shotguns to the fields. These must have a break-open action. Twelve-gauge shells will be provided by NAVHDA. If gunners bring other gauge shotguns, they must supply their own shells unless otherwise advised by the host chapter. They may be asked to help clean birds if the field site is short on bird planters. Gunners will answer directly to the judging teams and the Field Marshal.

Bird Planter
There will be three bird planters for each field, totaling six or nine each day. Two are essential, and three is preferred for bird planter “breaks.” Bird planters will use ATVs and bird bags to plant birds. Experience with all-terrain vehicular safety and operation is required. Bird planters will help bird stewards to make sure the birds are sheltered from sun or rain and are well cared for and assist with cleaning birds when possible. Bird planters will answer directly to the judging teams and the Field Marshal.

Bye Dog
A previously named Versatile Champion and its handler must be available to be used as a bye dog in the field event. The handler of any Bye Dog must have previously handled a dog at the Invitational. It is necessary to have at least one female bye dog for Sunday in the event one is needed to run with a female in season.

Water: Heel & Double Marked Retrieve

All water workers will arrive to the site with all necessary equipment and be ready to go at least fifteen minutes before the judging team gets to the site each morning.

Water Marshal
One Water Marshal is needed each day at the Double Marked Retrieve water site. He or she will be sure to have all necessary equipment, workers and birds at each site. As there are bird stewards, an assistant marshal, and judge/worker hosts each day, (see “Overall Test” descriptions) the Water Marshal will have direct access to these people at all times to keep the test running smoothly. They will have access to radio communications with a member of each of the judging teams and the Test Marshal. They will assist the Judges with the supervision of the duck wingers for their site. They will make sure that all gallery members stay at a distance where they are not a disturbance to the dog. They will be responsible for participants and dogs being ready to be tested in the order they were drawn. The Marshal should regularly communicate with the Bird Steward to ensure ducks are delivered on a timely manner. They will answer directly to the judging teams and the Test Marshal.

Assistant Water Marshal
One person is needed each day to make sure the water site is set-up and ready to go for testing. This will entail making sure that dead birds, wingers, a table, and chairs, shotguns, blank shells, toilet paper in port-a-potty, etc. are ready at each site. This person will have access to radio communications and will report directly to the Water Marshal. The set-up work should be completed before or during opening ceremonies every morning. Throughout the day, this person will be responsible for getting dispatched ducks to the winger location. He/she is to be available to address any last minutes details as assigned by the Marshal. The Asst. Water Marshal will also make sure the sites are picked up and secured at the end of each day.

Test Dog- Double Marked Retrieve
Test dog must be a reliable retriever. Previously named Versatile Champions are most desirable, however UT dogs are suitable as well.

Duck Winger—1 & 2
There will be two duck wingers needed each day. The wingers should have the strength to consistently pull back a winger repeatedly (up to 36 times per day) or throw it by hand, depending on the request of the judges. It is possible that the person(s) throwing ducks may be stationed in a boat in the water. If this is the case, they must be able to throw well and swim well (just in case). They will have access to radio communications with the judging team and the Water Marshal and will answer directly to the judging team and the Water Marshal. The duck wingers should wear camouflaged or dark shirts in the event they are visible to the dog and handler. The winger operators may want to bring their own hearing protection as numerous shots will be fired at this site daily.

Distraction Gunner
This person will fire a blank from a single-barrel break-action shotgun at the command of the Judging team. They should bring hearing protection as they may have to do this up to 36 times a day and numerous shots will be fired at this location daily.

 

Water: Blind Retrieve & Honoring

All water workers will arrive to the site with all necessary equipment and be ready to go at least fifteen minutes before the judging team gets to the site each morning.

Water Marshal
One Water Marshal is needed each day at the Blind Retrieve water site. This person has overall responsibility for the water site they are stationed at. They will make sure they have all necessary equipment, workers and birds at each site. As there are bird stewards, field set-up workers, and judge/worker hosts each day, (see “Overall Test” descriptions) the Field Marshal will have direct access to these people at all times to keep the test running smoothly. They will have access to radio communications with a member of each of the judging teams and the Test. They will supervise the duck handlers and the honor dog/handler team for their site. They will make sure that all gallery members stay at a distance where they are not a disturbance to the dog. They will be responsible for participants and dogs being ready to be tested in the order they were drawn. The Marshal should regularly communicate with the Bird Steward to ensure ducks are delivered on a timely manner. They will answer directly to the judging team and the Test Marshal.

Assistant Water Marshal
One person is needed each day to make sure the water site is set-up and ready to go for testing. This will entail making sure that birds, wingers, a judge table, judge chairs, honor dogs, shotguns, and blank shells, are ready at each site. This work should be completed before or during opening ceremonies every morning. This person will transport ducks to the Duck Handlers as needed throughout the day. This person will have access to radio communications and will report directly to the Water Marshal. He/she is to be available throughout the day to address any last minutes details as assigned by the Marshal. This person will also make sure the sites are picked up and secured at the end of each day.

Test Dog- Blind
Test dog must be a reliable retriever. Previously named Versatile Champions are most desirable, however UT dogs are suitable as well.

Duck Handler-Blind Retrieve
The duck handler at the blind is responsible to make sure there are enough ducks ready at all times during the test. He or she will drag dead ducks from the shoreline to a specified (by the judging team) location away from the water, will leave the bird and quickly retreat to a hiding spot where they will remain hidden. The extra ducks will be kept in a cooler a good distance from the site so this worker must be in good enough physical condition to hurry back and forth to get the duck ready for the next dog. The Duck Handler for the blind will have radio communications with and report to the judging team and the Water Marshal.

Duck Winger-Honor Segment
The Duck Winger for the Honor Segment will toss a dead duck into the water (possibly from a winger depending on the site and how the judging team designs the test) in front of the honoring and retrieving dogs. The Duck Handler for the blind will have radio communications with and report to the judging team and the Water Marshal.

Retrieving Dog at the Honor Site
There will be two retrieving dog and handler teams available at the Blind Retrieve water site each day. These teams can either rotate throughout the day or switch at the half-way point. The dog must be extremely steady and be a reliable and obedient retriever. Dogs that already have passed their Versatile Championship are ideal. Dogs need to have a UT Prize as a minimum to be used for this segment. These handlers will answer directly to the judging team and the Water Marshal. There should be at least one female retrieving dog on Sunday in the event any of the participating dogs are in season.

NOTICE TO HANDLERS:

The following jobs require volunteers to actively participate in the test and could be interpreted as violating the standing rule that handlers can’t train on or run on the grounds until they’ve completed testing. Therefore, handlers will not be allowed to hold these jobs until they’ve completed testing. They may volunteer for all other positions:

In the field:
Bye Dog in the field

At the Blind and Honor Site:
Test Dog
Retrieving Dog at the Honor

At the Heel & Double Marked Retrieve and Heeling Site:
Test Dog

For the same reasons, Invitational Judges who are handling dogs must run their dog before they judge a water segment of the test.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Eligibility
All dogs are invited that received a prize one Utility score between January 1, and December 31, of the prior calendar year.

Posting of qualified dogs

All eligible dogs will be posted on the NAVHDA website here in January after the last test is recorded. If your dog is eligible, and is not listed on the web site, contact the NAVHDA office immediately. Names of dogs will also be printed in the Versatile Hunting Dog magazine.
 

Membership and DNA Certification
Effective with the 2005 Invitational, the primary owner must be a NAVHDA member in order to qualify for entry. Also, for all entries, DNA information must be on file or applied for with NAVHDA by the closing date of the entry period. If you are planning to enter this year’s Invitational, be forewarned that it can take six to eight weeks to get your DNA results back. If your DNA sample is submitted through NAVHDA, we will consider this submission as completion of the requirement.

Order DNA test kit here.

Refund policy
Once the test entry application and payment has been received at the NAVHDA office, the refund policy goes into effect.  Requests for refunds must be submitted in writing to the NAVHDA Central Office, accompanied by a verifying statement from a physician or veterinarian. NAVHDA must be notified before a dog is scheduled to run; letters of documentation from veterinarians and physicians must be received no later than 15 days after the last day of the Invitational. Fifty percent of the entry fee will be refunded for medical reasons only.

Dams in season
Dams in season may still run in the Invitational, however they will run on the last day of the test. If you think your dam may be coming into, going out of, or will be in heat during the test, please note this on the top of your entry form. There will be a bitch check each morning immediately following the opening ceremony.

Training/Running on Invitational Grounds

No participating dog is allowed to train on the grounds after May 1 through the completion of the test. Invitational entered handlers and their dogs may participate in other sanctioned testing events at the Mingo Sportsman’s Club during that time frame. There will be a designated training area available for use during the test.

Running orders
Running days are primarily assigned on a “first come, first served” basis but please note that many other factors are taken into consideration when compiling the final list. Handlers will be notified the day they are running no later than June 30. Braces will be revealed to handlers on the day of testing.

Test results and plaques
All handlers will receive an official test record after the test, at no cost to the owner. It is imperative all member and dog names be correctly recorded on the entry forms to avoid errors. Co-owners will only be listed if they are listed on the dog’s record in the database. Adding a co-owner on the application will not be recognized unless it is listed in the dog’s record. Each owner who passes the Invitational will receive a plaque to commemorate their success.

Photographs 
NAVHDA will have photographers on premises to take pictures for NAVHDA and the VHD. These photographers will be allowed access to all test grounds. Please note these photos are for NAVHDA’s sole and absolute use and are not available for sale through NAVHDA. To purchase copies of the photos you must contact the photographer directly. The Invitational Photographers receive direction from NAVHDA on what and who to photograph. Any individual requests to the Invitational Photographers will be handled after they have completed their assignments for NAVHDA first.

Photographer information will be made available at and after completion of the Invitational. Due to the number of dogs and size of the grounds, not all dogs will be photographed and not all photographs will be available for purchase.

As with all NAVHDA tests, it is ultimately the handlers’ and judges’ decision whether or not to permit a photographer to walk along.

Policy for entrance acceptance 
At the 2004 NAVHDA Annual Meeting, the Executive Council approved a policy to address the rapid growth of the Invitational. In 2006, the EC voted to implement the policy for the 2008 Invitational; however, the EC voted to delay the implementation of that policy until further notice.

If implemented the new complete standards would be:

  1. A dog must earn a Prize I Utility score within the qualification period, which is the calendar year prior to the test.
  2. Entries must be postmarked by May 1.
  3. If more than 100 dogs are entered, dogs will be accepted according to the following criteria:
    a) Those dogs with the highest Prize I Utility score based on the dog’s first Prize I Utility score, during the qualification period.
    b) Those dogs running in the fewest number of Utility tests prior to attaining their Prize I, during the qualification period.
    c) The remaining equally qualified dogs will be drawn at random to fill the remaining openings.
    d) Once the original 100 are determined, a standby list will be created from those remaining entries, based on the above criteria.
    e) Withdrawals will be replaced with dogs from the stand-by list. No additions to the test roster will occur after July 1.
    f) Refunds will be sent to those on the stand-by list that decline an offer to accept a position that opens after May 1 or do not receive an offer of an open position prior to July 1.
  4. Dogs entered must be NAVHDA registered or a completed application must have been received for NAVHDA registration (including appropriate payment) prior to the deadline for test entry.
  5. Entries must have DNA information on file, or applied for, through NAVHDA, prior to the closing date of test entry.
  6. The primary owner must be a NAVHDA International member.
  7. The policy of “VC” titled dogs not being eligible to run in another Invitational is unchanged.

Entry fees will be refunded for qualified dogs not accepted in any given Invitational Test.

Test Instructions -- Field Work

NAVHDA’s expectation is that all dogs are well mannered and under control throughout the event.

 
FIELD WORK
A judge will meet you at the starting line. If you have any questions, this is the time to ask.  You are required to wear orange in the field and carry an empty break action shotgun. The use of a reflective collar will be allowed to more easily identify dogs that have similar appearances.  If you do not have any of these items they will be provided for your use. All rules established for Utility field work as posted in the AIMS, Programs and Test Rules book apply to the Invitational in addition to the following parameters.
 
You will be in the field for a minimum of one hour with a bracemate. The dogs and their handlers are expected to hunt together as a “team”.   If either dog interferes with its bracemate by repeatedly stealing point or initiatives aggressive behavior you may be asked to leash your dog, and can no longer receive a passing score.  However, a minor encounter with no further aggression will not be grounds for ejection.
 
Dogs will be provided with multiple opportunities to find and handle game properly, which may include “stop to flush” situations. If the gunners have a safe shot on a wild flush, the bird will be shot. If they don’t have a safe shot, they will shoot in the air.  You will be required to pull up your gun on all handled birds and follow through.  In all cases your dog is expected to display steadiness through fall, as well as retrieve to hand.  When sending your dog on a retrieve, handlers are to respect their bracemate by using a light command. After your dog makes a retrieve, keep them under control as the other dog may still be honoring and/or be pointing its own bird. If the gunners miss a bird or are not able to make a safe shot, handlers will be expected to heel their dog out of the situation without touching the dog or grabbing its collar.
 
Backing is also evaluated in the field.  To receive a  passing score, a dog is expected to back without command. The backing dog must be off wind or downwind of a sufficient distance, that in the opinion of the judges, the backing dog stopped as a result of seeing its bracemate on point rather than pointing game. Dogs that require excessive handling to come in for a back will have their backing and/or obedience scores penalized which can result in a failing score. If the dog clearly avoids backing its bracemate its cooperation score will be impacted in addition to their backing score. Judgment of backing ends when the dog becomes aware of the handler’s presence. Commands after an established back will impact the dog’s steadiness score and if continued can result in a failing score.
 
Should both dogs go on point on different birds, the dog that established point first will have its bird shot first.  The second dog will be expected to remain on point and steady during this time and will be expected to complete its sequence upon the completion of its bracemate’s bird.
 
There may be times throughout the field you and your bracemate may be split up for various reasons; such as, sufficient backs have been accounted for, you or your bracemate may need a bird, or the judges may want to see how dogs react after being split up and rejoined to complete the hunt, particularly if they are concerned about potential aggression, interference or intimidation.  Any dog that leaves the field for more than twenty minutes is out of judgment and will not be allowed back in the field but will be allowed to participate in all other segments of the test. A bye dog will then be used in place of the ejected dog.
Test Instructions -- Double Mark

NAVHDA’S expectations is that all dogs are well mannered and under control throughout the event.

 
HEELING, STEADY AT THE DOUBLE, DOUBLE MARKED RETRIEVE
A judge will meet you at the starting line. If you have any questions, this is the time to ask. You will be handed two blanks and a double barrel break action gun to use so you will not need to reload in between shots. Off lead heeling begins at the designated marker and ends when you have positioned your dog at the water’s edge between the two markers. The dog is expected to heel with only a single command at the start.  Any additional commands will lower your heeling score.

Once your dog is set you should nod your head to signal the judges you are ready to begin. Excessive time taken to get your dog positioned will affect your steadiness at the double mark score. You are not allowed to position or align your dog by grabbing it or its collar, moving or lifting it in any manner without being severely penalized.

When the first dead duck (memory bird) is thrown you will swing and fire at the top of the arc. After the first duck hits the water the second duck (wiper bird) will be thrown. The second dead duck, “wipes” across the line of the memory bird, at this time you will fire your second shot. The second duck will pass close to you and your dog. It must be retrieved first. Your dog has to remain steady through all sequences; if not, your steadiness by double mark score will be severely affected. After the second duck (wiper bird) has hit the water, pause to demonstrate steadiness before sending your dog with a line and/or a tap on the head or ear. You may hand the gun to the judge after you have sent your dog on the first retrieve or you may choose to keep it through the entire sequence. You should tell the judges in advance what you intend to do. If you choose to keep your gun throughout the entire sequence you may NOT mount and point the gun in the direction of the memory bird when the distraction shot is fired. Once the dog has the wiper bird in its mouth and has turned back towards you, a diversion shot will be fired by a distraction gunner. After receiving the first retrieve you may hand the bird to the judge behind you before sending your dog on the next retrieve, or keep it until you have sent your dog and then hand it off. Again, let the judges know in advance what you will be doing.

Position or align your dog and send it for the second retrieve (the memory bird). You are not allowed to position your dog by grabbing it or its collar in any manner without being severely penalized. Heeling your dog to line its direction to the memory bird is allowed as is sending your dog with a line with your hand and/or a tap on the dog’s head or ear. Entry into the water should be direct; excessive running the bank and avoidance to do the task will result in the termination of the retrieve portion of the event.

Minimal handling is permitted on the second retrieve. Excessive handling and commands that are not obeyed will affect your score. After your dog has a bird in its mouth a single light whistle or verbal praise is allowed; harsh return commands will negatively affect your score.

After you receive your second retrieve you will hand the bird to the judge.  You are to keep your dog under control and in a heel position.  A single command is permitted. The gun will then be handed back to you if you don’t have it and you will heel your dog off lead back to the marker where you started the event. A single command is allowed but excessive commands to get control of your dog will negatively impact your score.

Test Instructions -- Blind Retrieve

NAVHDA’s expectation is that all dogs are well mannered and under control throughout the event.

 
BLIND RETRIEVE
A judge will meet you at the starting line. If you have any questions, this is the time to ask. Your dog will be expected to heel off lead from the designated marker to the water’s edge where you will position your dog anywhere between the two markers. You are not allowed to position your dog by grabbing it or its collar, moving or lifting it in any manner without being severely penalized.
 
When you are ready, you may send your dog by using your hand to line the dog and/or tap them on the head or ear. If your dog repeatedly refuses (often called a “NO GO”) to leave the shore, or requires excessive coaxing to do the task it will result in the termination of the blind retrieve sequence; however you will complete the heel and honor sequences. If a resend  is needed and is taken,  it can still result in a passing score. If the dog enters the water and turns to face its handler (most often called a “POP”) while crossing to the far shore, the handler can command or handle the dog without impacting its score providing the dog does not require several commands to reverse its course and/or does not “POP” several times. Handling is not penalized as long as the commands are obeyed and are minimally needed.
 
Avoiding the task and going on an extended search is also severely penalized. The handler may be asked to call his dog. Locating the duck by search is not the objective. Likewise, merely retrieving the duck does not automatically result in a pass as any number of the above scenarios can play a part in your score. Once the dog has reached the other side, handling is allowed if your dog requires it. As noted before, handling is acceptable as long as the dog is obeying your commands and they are minimal in nature. Excessive commands to fetch the bird are penalized.  Once the dog makes the retrieve a single whistle or light praise is allowed. Commands to get your dog to return will negatively impact your score.
 
The dog should make the retrieve to hand. You will then hand the bird to the judge while keeping your dog under control in a heel position. Giving a single command to heel at this point is allowed. You will then heel off lead directly to the honoring site marked for your dog. Additional commands used or needed for heeling during this portion of the test will affect the dog’s overall obedience score.
 
HONORING
You will position (sit or stand) your dog by the marker at the water’s edge with a single command.  A down/laying position is not allowed. Once your dog is set, you will position yourself behind the dog at the mark indicated for you.  Nod your head to signal you are ready to begin the sequence. Excessive time taken to get control of your dog and position it will affect your score.
 
The dog must remain in its place throughout the throw, shot and retrieve of the duck by the retrieving dog. Commands needed for the dog to stay will severely impact the honoring score.
Once the sequence is over you will be told to return to your dog. At this time a single heel command is allowed and you will heel your dog off lead to the end point which will be marked as well. Additional commands needed for heeling will be reflected in the dog’s overall obedience score.
Invitational Hosting Requirements
The first NAVHDA Invitational was held in 1988 in Ontario, Canada, and, since that time, has been held in seven different states from Maine to North Dakota. Since 2009, the NAVHDA Invitational has alternated between two fantastic locations: the Buckeye Chapter in Ohio and the Hawkeye Chapter in Iowa. The grounds, hospitality, and chapter support at all locations has been amazing every year, and that tradition will undoubtedly continue this year in Iowa! At the most recent Annual Meeting it was announced that applications to host the 2020 Invitational will be accepted from any chapter, including chapters that have hosted it in the past and those that have not, but would like to. Interested chapters should contact the NAVHDA Central Office as soon as possible.
 

Invitational Hosting Requirements:

Grounds

Fields:  Three fields of at least 100 acres each. Cover sufficient to hide birds (chukars) with at least some areas that allow sight lines to judge backing sequences. Parking for fields that is accessible in any weather or mud.
 
Double Mark Pond:  At least 5 to 8 acres. Natural cover at the banks and open water marking area. Parking area and roads to and from.
 
Blind Retrieve/Honor by Blind Pond:  A body of water having approximately 100 yard long blind retrieve with no cover in water and a bank on the far shore that allows viewing of dog when it gets to the duck. The shape of the water is important. It must be longer than wider so as to not invite a dog to run around the pond instead of swimming across (ie: no round ponds).  The position for Honor by Blind must be approximately 50 yards downshore from the Blind Retrieve site. Again, there must be parking and roads to and from.
 
Exercise fields:  Minimum of two, not on official Invitational test grounds.
 
Headquarters:  An area for opening and closing ceremonies (standard setup, flags.) Electronics to run sound system. A building for setup of radio control station, computers, printers (solid building that can be securely locked at night.) 
 
Airport:  A major airport not more than one hour drive to grounds.
 

Equipment

Field:  6 single barrel 12 gauge break open shotguns. 6 large bird bags, 3 sets of game shears, ziploc bags (large and small), hand wipes, 9 water tubs, 6 four wheelers or other atv, 6 coolers, 6 pop up tents 6 flash collars, 10 oranges vests, 12 chairs.
 
Double Mark:  2 wingers, hammer, extra bands for wingers, extra electronics for wingers, two 12 gauge break open guns, one has to be double barrel capable of shooting two blanks, 12 decoys, garbage bags, hand wipes, ziploc bags, boat, life jacket, 2 coolers, 2 tents, 6 chairs, duck dryer.
 
Blind Retrieve/Honor by Blind:  Winger, extra bands for winger, blind to hide winger, single barrel 12 gauge break-open shotgun, blanks, Bye dogs/Honor by Blind dogs: Must have at least 2 VC dogs available as bye dogs for the fields each day, and at least 2 UT or VC dogs available to retrieve the duck at the Honor by Blind each day. Also a test dog at each water venue and available for set up day.
 
20 clipboards, rubber bands and pens.
 

Hotel

Hotel with a minimum of 120 rooms to be the host hotel. Must allow pets and preferably be willing to provide an early breakfast option on the day we will be there. Thirty minutes to grounds or less.
 

Other

An on call veterinary clinic within an hour drive (max).
 
Chapters must be able to provide lunches for all workers, approximately 40-45 workers per day. A banquet facility to host dinner Friday or Saturday night, approximately 100-125 people.
 
A local bird supplier or suppliers that will contract for chukars and ducks at a reasonable rate ($7 to $9 for chukars and $12 to $15 for ducks.)
 
Sufficient signage to get participants and spectators to the different venues. Parking signs at venue. Signs to get people to and from exercise fields.
 
Signs to mark exercise fields. (A total list of needed signs will be given to any chapter that will be hosting the  Invitational.)
 
The hosting chapter may inquire about renting the signs and other equipment from chapters that have previously hosted the Invitational.

2019 Invitational 9/12-15/2019

Click Here for the list of dogs that were eligible for the 2019 Invitational.

Hosted by:
The Buckeye Chapter, Ohio

Test Location:
Mingo Sportsman Club
1400 Township Road 189 #1
Bloomingdale OH 43910
740-733-7812

2019 Invitational Test Scores:
Thursday 9/12/19
Friday 9/13/19
Saturday 9/14/19
Sunday 9/15/19

2019 Invitational Photographers
Perry Masotti
Nancy Anisfield
Denise Heath
Moishe Rageime
Renata Canaday
Rick Holt

 

Past VCs
1988- 2018

Future Invitationals: