18 Aug 2021 News > Top Amateur Handler

Top Amateur Handler Second Season 2021-2022


Second Season Kicks Off for the Top Handler Award

The Amateur Field Trial Clubs of America’s (AFTCA) Top Handler Challenge for the Blue Award for the 2021-2022 is kicking off its second season.

In accordance with our original charter and our obligation to the member clubs who host amateur events and to the many individual member competitors, the AFTCA remains a committed people organization.  A primary  responsibility of the AFTCA is to make available amateur events through member clubs and provide opportunities for individual members to develop and display their skills in amateur competition.  It happens all across the United States, Canada and Japan. Amateur events, sanctioned by the AFTCA for recognition in the Field Dog Stud Book registry, happen because of the unique authority, responsibilities and obligations granted to the AFTCA.  Supporting the AFTCA is supporting amateurs and amateur competition.  Our membership includes amateur competitors, clubs, volunteers, owners, kennels, professional birddog trainers and handlers and birddog enthusiasts.  Anybody can join!  By joining and displaying your AFTCA logo, your message is simple, “I support amateurs and their competitions and the clubs and volunteers who donate time and resources to the sport.”  The grass roots volunteer support is beyond the capacity of any organization’s ability to financially provide on its own without enormous membership fees. Simply put, this sport would not happen without amateurs or volunteers.  Your AFTCA membership supports all that.

With that in mind and with a primary focus on the amateur handler, the AFTCA created the Top Handler Award, as a means to recognize amateur handler excellence in the performance of the classic 30 minute All Age, Shooting Dog and Derby dog club stakes.  These are the foundation stakes that undeniably nurture the skills and passions of all amateurs but especially the working amateur with growing job careers and family responsibilities.  These club events give amateurs the opportunity to leave their work behind for a few weekends and enjoy the company of club members and club member families along with the dogs they own, raise and develop and now handle in topflight competition.   It is at the very heart of  what the sport is all about.

In this, its second season, we potentially could have 700 placements, and some 20,000 points factor into calculating the winning handler during the Challenge for the Blue. We will display real time standings throughout the season along with occasional status reports.  High point handlers from each Region will be recognized at year end with a beautiful Regional Challenge for the Blue Crystal.    The national high points winner will receive the AFTCA’s  National Challenge for the Blue Crystal along with a spectacular hand-crafted sterling silver Top Handler belt buckle.  On top of that, the winner will be invited to be our guest at the year-end Purina Awards banquet to be recognized and receive their awards.   This event and the awards are made possible with the financial and enthusiastic support of Purina.  No doubt, there is a real opportunity for other sponsors to join in with Purina to help make this Top Handler award all that it can be for the thousands of amateur handlers.

Go toAFTCA.ORG to become a member and follow The AFTCA Top Handler program.

Support your local club’s amateur venues and let the competition begin!

AFTCA Top Handler Award Committee

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