In 1948 the Amateur Field Trial Clubs of America (AFTCA) was organized to better achieve their mission to restore and perpetuate upland bird habitat and promote, regulate, control and advise on conducting amateur field trials on upland game birds.


  • To establish a coalition of field trial clubs.
  • To create uniformity and stimulate interest.
  • To elevate the standard and quality of the amateur dog.
  • To develop and promote regional championships.
  • To restore and perpetuate wild upland game birds on the North American Continent.
  • To promote, carry on, conduct, and foster research, education, training, and publication in orthological sciences.
  • To make studies with reference to the enhancement of knowledge concerning upland game birds of the North American Continent.
  • To establish, promote, assist, contribute to, or otherwise encourage the study of conservation, restoration, and management of the upland game birds and their habitats.
  • To grant scholarships, prizes, and awards. To promote, encourage, acquire, or maintain refuges for upland game birds.
  • To foster and increase interest in and knowledge of upland game birds and their conservation and restoration by promoting, regulating, controlling, advising, and conducting field trials on upland game birds.

AFTCA History

Amateur Field Trial Clubs of America History

By Linda Hunt, past AFTCA Secretary

In the May 19, 1917 issue of The American Field the establishment of the organization known today as the Amateur Field Trial Clubs of America, Inc. was announced by the first secretary-treasurer of the organization, W.A. Shafer of Wilmington, Del. This was the culmination of several attempts at establishing a coalition of field trial clubs. As early as 1909, the Continental Club appointed a committee, with Udo M. Fleischman as its chairman, for the purpose of organizing a central organization. The effort failed. With the amateur level of field trials growing rapidly, another group from Grand Junction, Tenn., unsuccessfully tried its hand at setting up a unified structure.

It was finally in the eastern portion of the United States that the organizational feat was accomplished. Those instrumental in the promotion of the movement included Samuel G. Allen, Harry D. Kirkover, Frank Reily, Dr. W.E. Harris, and possibly a half-dozen others.

A.F. Hochwalt, leading author and authority of the day, added his endorsement when he wrote: "The Association of Amateur Field Trial Clubs of America is a most laudable enterprise. It tends to create uniformity and at the same time stimulate interest. All Clubs promoting trials in which amateur handlers compete are eligible and while as yet most of the members of the organization are clubs whose running grounds are in the East, some from the Middle West are joining and if this Association's made national in scope, there is no reason why the clubs from the Far West would not also be interested, for the prime movers have one thing in mind elevation of the standard and quality of the amateur dog."

The English Setter Club of America was one of the five original clubs when the AFTCA was formed.Ed Gager of Vincentown, N.J., passed on some of the history of the 86 year old club. In 1906, the English Setter Club held a bench show in Philadelphia, and the following year they initiated a field day. By 1912, they had moved to Medford, N.J., where hey still host a full slate of amateur events as well as open stakes worthy of being listed on the Purina Top Dog Award points system notably named for Frank Reily. Frank was a stalwart member of that club, as well as the new parent organization and is one of a half-dozen English Setter Club members honored in the Field Trial Halo of Fame. He was a tremendous benefactor to the club, acquiring a set of grounds that still serve as the venue for the trials some eighty years later. The English Setter Club is already anticipating its centennial celebration which will be commemorated by the preparation of a hard cover.

Al Hochwalt encouraged fellow Datonian (Ohio) J. Horace Lytle to take the post as secretary-treasurer of the AFTCA. Al advised him, "You get in there, for you can do the Association and the game a lot of good" In 1926, Lytle agreed to accept the position. Lytle worked tirelessly to foster the association. Under his leadership, the member clubs numbered 50 plus.

Declining a third term, Lytle was succeeded by George R. Harris. In 1930, Dr. P.K. Phillips assumed the office and held it until his death, in 1941, while riding the National Amateur Pheasant Championship at Cranbury, N.J. His spouse, Mrs. Mary Margaret Phillips, was persuaded to take her husband's place. She held the office of the secretary until succeeded by Miss Leslie Anderson who served the organization efficiently for more than thirty years.

William F. Brown compared the National Amateur Championships to the World Series in baseball, the Orange Bowl in collegiate football, the Super Bowl in professional football, and the Kentucky Derby in thoroughbred horse racing. The inaugural running of the National Amateur Quail Championship was scheduled for December 17, 1917, but was postponed until a new calendar year had begun in 1918, in Thomasville, GA. The field consisted of seven starters with the setter, Fairy Beau, annexing the title. The second renewal did not produce a winner: the title was withheld. Such precedent was followed in 1924, 1926, and 1929. At the next annual business meeting held in Claremore, Okla., in February 1930, the rule changed to make the declaration of a champion mandatory. Such applies to all National Amateur Championships today. The naming of a runner-up is left to the discretion of the judges.

Second only to the Quail Championship in seniority is the National Amateur Pheasant Championship which was instituted in 1933. In its early years the Ringneck Stake was held at Oneida, N.Y.; other sites used in subsequent years. The titular event has called Killdeer Plains area near Harpster, Ohio, home for the past several years.

In 1952, the National Amateur (Quail) Shooting Dog Championship made its debut at Hernando, Miss. This has become a tremendously popular stake, attracting one of the larger entries in National Amateur Championships each year. Another popular event is the National Amateur Pheasant Shooting Championship whose records go back to 1958. The National Amateur Chicken Championship celebrated its silver anniversary in 1991. The grounds for this event have alternated between Gleichen, Alberta, and Mortlach, Saskatchewan.

National Amateur Championship competition has been approved to be held on grouse, woodcock, chukar, pheasant, and prairie chicken, in addition to quail. A National Amateur Walking Shooting Dog Championship is held for those that compete on that level. The AFTCA has not been without new undertakings in recent years. The Trustees approved the National Amateur Prairie Chicken Shooting Dog Championship which has been held each year at Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin, and is one of the most well patronized trials of the year. In 1990, the National Amateur Shooting Dog Invitational was initiated. The fifth annual renewal has been completed and deemed highly successful. The general sentiment seems strong that this has added to the character of amateur shooting dogs over all through more hour stakes and the emphasis more focused on endurance necessary for three continuous days of competition. Two derby championships have been added embracing both the all age type derby and the shooting dog derby. There has been strong interest in both of these events, as well.

In 1937, the development of regional amateur championship competition was arranged through the efforts of such energetic sportsmen as Raymond Hoagland, Dr. P.K. Phillips, George M. Rogers, W. Lee White, and the leadership of The American Field.

As the organization grew broader in scope, the number of clubs continued to grow yearly, and the number of championships under its auspices increased, the AFTCA sought a corporate charter in the District of Columbia in 1948. This clarified the focus of the organization, namely: "To restore and perpetuate wild upland game birds on the North American Continent; to promote, carry on, conduct and foster research, education, training and publication in ornithological sciences, to make studies with reference to the enhancement of knowledge concerning upland game birds of the North American Continent. To establish, promote, assist, contribute to, or otherwise encourage the study of conservation, restoration and management of the upland game birds and their habitats; and in connection therewith to grant scholarships, prizes and awards; to promote, encourage, acquire or maintain refuges for upland game birds and to foster and increase interest in and knowledge of upland game birds and their conservation and restoration by promoting, regulating, controlling, advising and conducting field trials on upland game birds." This is a big undertaking and we realize that nearly a half-century ago there was concern that this organization should bear responsibility for the promotion of wildlife habitat and field trial grounds.

We have seen the emergence of some superior field trial areas during the past several years, i.e., the Blue Mountain Area at Booneville, Ark, now named Perry J. Mikles Management Area for his efforts in the venture. We have also seen the end come to other areas and increasing pressure on several other venues that have been so heavily relied on over the years. The recent concern of the field trial enthusiasts in the state of Illinois is a good example of what will likely be more prevalent in the coming years. And yes, Mr. Harry Story, the AFTCA "should provide leadership input at a national level to free federal lands for this use."

This is one area where the AFTCA's Twentieth Century Fund is needed, and with the support of the patrons of the Sport it will be there.

In commemoration of the 75th Anniversary of the Amateur Field Trial Clubs of America, In., the Twentieth Century Fund has had designed a special, limited edition, collector knife. These knives will be presented to donors who support the efforts of the Twentieth to donors who support the efforts of the Twentieth Century Fund. The contributions will be earmarked to reach the goal in providing for field trials in the future.

For the Twentieth Century Fund to emerge as a major vehicle in providing field trial grounds, facilities, and to maintain and improve wildlife habitat poses a formidable task. But then who would have believed that the AFTCA, from a mere five member clubs in 1917, would now number approximately 500 and sponsor more than a dozen national field trial events?

The Twentieth Century Fund has enjoyed regular growth over the years and has now reached a point that it is allowable to put a portion back into the sport. The first disbursement of funds came in the summer of 1995 which made the Organization, and the faithful contributors, quite proud.

We are at a special time and place and have the opportunity to leave a legacy for future field trialers in the decades to come. To all the patrons who have shown their support, whether contributing funds or time, we offer a hearty thanks. For those who would join in this effort, we encourage your supports.

Officers & Trustees

TitleFull NameAddress1Address2Email
PresidentTorben Hansen139 Inverness Ave.Lompoc, CA 93436doublehdreno@rtci.net
1st Vice PresidentDavid Williams21 Sherman Blankenship RdBeech Bluff, TN 38313dew@mcvean.com
2nd Vice PresidentRick StallingsP O Drawer 70040Montgomery AL 36107rick@stallingsgc.com
3rd Vice PresidentFrank LaNasa1997 269th Ave NEIsanti MN 55040frank@lanasaagency.com
At LargeDr. Robert Rankin 2502 NW 234th St.Edmond OK 73025-9138 gibob56@earthlink.net
SecretaryPiper Huffman2873 Whippoorwill RdMichigan City MS 38647piper.huffman@aim.com
Region 1Elias Richardson314 Chestnut St.Uxbridge MA 01569eligotwater@aol.com
Region 2Dr. Hunter Wilcox84 Ark RoadLumberton NJ 08048ahwilcox@aol.com
Region 2Regis Linn217 Indianola Dr.Indianola, PA 15051rlinnelectric@comcast.net
Region 3Gary S. Winall4163 Old River Trail Powhatan, VA 23139 elncoppertop@hotmail.com
Region 3John IvesterPO Box 2457Huntersville NC 28070john@maxxonse.com
Region 3John Q. AtkinsonPO Box 1140Marion SC 29571beticuss@aol.com
Region 4Ray Wheeler4338 Ganges Five Point RShelby OH 44875wheeler@firelands.com
Region 4Jim Crouse2829 Hwy 41-A NDixon KY 42409crousej@bellsouth.net
Region 5Sean Derrig1750 Half Day Road Bannockburn IL 60015seanderrigdogs@yahoo.com
Region 5Tony King 14468 Audrain Rd 977Thompson ,MOwildcovey@dishmail.net
Region 6Dr. Fred CorderP O Box 600Corinth, MS 38835Fcorder@e1w.com
Region 6Michael Shears1660 Old Hillsboro Road Franklin TN 37064michaelgshears@bellsouth.net
Region 6David Williams10224 Macon RoadCordova TN 38118dew@mcvean.com
Region 7Ray Black2354 LCR 124Mart TX 76664rjwacolaw@hotmail.com
Region 7Dr. Buck Neil PO Box 126052Fort Worth , Tx 76126 Buckneildvm@att.net
Region 8Gary Young P O Box 6067Lawton OK 73506ylola155464@yahoo.com
Region 8Preston Trimble231 S PetersNorman OK 73069preston@trimblelawok.com
Region 9Harold Chadwick2 W AppleGrantsville UT 84029hchad48@yahoo.com
Region 10Herbert Anderson19289 Neck RoadDayton OR 97114hhanderson@frontier.com
Region 11Torben Hansen1295 Goldstone Road Reno NV 89506doublehdreno@rtci.net
Region 12Ric Peterson2535 E Park AveGilbert AZ 85234superranch@hotmail.com
Region 13Shawn Wright 684594 RR # 3Woodstock, ON Canada N4S 7V7Swright1970@bell.net
Region 14Lou QualtiereRR#5 Box 5Saskatoon SK S7K 3J8lou.qualtiere@usask.ca
Region 16John Milton9707 Oak Hammock Trail Jacksonville FL 32256jmilton@patriottrans.com
Region 16Larron Copeland1031 Spier RoadBronwood GA 31726showtimefarms@hotmail.com
Region 16Rick StallingsP O Drawer 70040Montgomery AL 36107rick@stallingsgc.com
Region 17Dr. Pat McInteer 1619 SchoenheitFalls City NE 68355mcinteer@sentco.net
Region 17Don Beauchamp 1401 S 359th St WCheney, KS 67025-8802lsbeauchamp2@aol.com
Region 19Frank LaNasa1997 269th Ave NEIsanti MN 55040frank@lanasaagency.com

Here are AFTCA President Jim Crouse and Secretary Piper Huffman

President and Secretary

Charitable Status


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