Tag Archives: GSCA National

What’s “Special” About Specialties?”

Yep, there’s still time to plan a trip to Tuscon in November to catch the GSCA National Specialty! Click here for the website link – just in case you need the details!
The following article by Arliss Paddock reminds us why a trip to the National is one of the best things ever.
I sure can’t wait to see you here in Arizona in November!
Sally Gift, Mesa AZ

What’s “Special” About Specialties

Whether you’re a prospective owner researching a breed or an experienced breeder, handler, or judge involved in that breed for decades, there is no better place to learn than the breed’s national specialty show — or, simply, “the national.”

Usually held annually by the breed’s national parent club, the national is more than just a dog show; it’s where dedicated fans of the breed meet together year after year, sharing their knowledge and passion and bringing their best dogs to compete against excellent specimens of the breed from other parts of the country.

In addition to the conformation classes, the national typically offers other events such as obediencetracking, and agility, as well as breed-specific performance venues such as earthdog or field trialsherding tests and trialslure coursing, or draft tests.

As with any dog show, the point of the conformation classes is determination of the best breeding stock to continue the breed — and this point is taken nowhere more seriously than at the national. The national offers a look at the state of the breed and where it’s going.

A class win at the national can be a high point of a dog person’s year, and a Best of Breed or Best in Sweepstakes win can be the crowning glory of a long history in the breed.

But the beauty of the national goes beyond the glory of winning, whether hoped-for or achieved. To a dedicated fan of the breed, nothing matches the experience of seeing a ringful of those dogs that are so pleasing to your eye, wonderfully presented at their best and gathered together in a number that you don’t see anywhere else during the year. If you love that breed, it’s positively heart-stirring.

The national is the best place in the world to spend time with others who share your interest. There is no better opportunity to learn from others about the breed, whether ringside or at the breakfast buffet where everyone meets bleary-eyed after walking and feeding dogs and before launching into grooming.

Most parent clubs hold their national in different parts of the country from year to year. If you are seeking in-depth knowledge of a breed, look up the breed’s parent club and find out when and where the next national will be, and try to attend.

Raffle results and photos from the 2016 GSCA National Specialty

Goofing around behind the raffle table, Sally Gift. Photo by Jim Thacker.

Feature image courtesy of Bill Dargay

(An album including many of the faces seen at the GSCA National is found at the bottom of this page. Many thanks to Ben Perez for sharing these shots with us.)

Raffle Results by Sally Gift

I am so grateful to all of the generous and thoughtful benefactors who supported our National Specialty raffle with donations ranging from a generator, EZ Up canopy, artwork, handler certificates, grooming tables, multiple Gordon Santas, jewelry and wind chimes to other items like belt buckles, grooming shears, stacking blocks, shampoos, conditioners, grooming sprays, brushes, combs, show and walking leads, toys, chews, food, treats, memorabilia, custom pet portrait and more. Nearly 200 prizes and prize baskets filled our tables. If my achy, breaky back is any indicator of success we definitely rang the bell with this one.  Movers and Shakers – Catherine Thomas, Bill Dargay, and Matt Marr can, and will, attest to the size of the haul after our moving experience loading and transporting all the donations from Catherine’s house to the event site. And, let’s not forget all the amazing people who brought us donations the day of the event …yes indeed, the support for this fundraising raffle was certainly outstanding. Our club is truly blessed with a generosity of spirit that runs throughout!


Raffle tables looked like they stretched to infinity and beyond, over 1,000 feet of table top, loaded with nearly 200 prizes that went home with as many lucky winners, some of whom couldn’t be present but having purchased  tickets online before the event, shared in the fun of winning a prize of their choice.

That’s right, that middle row of raffle prize tables starts clear up there by the overhead door, ten full tables and a back wall filled with some mighty fine stuff! Photo by Bill Dargay

There were eleven prize  winners who were not in attendance, but who purchased tickets ahead online. The Lucky Ducks have been contacted by email and I have confirmation from them all that prizes have been delivered. If you haven’t heard from me, I’m so sorry your ticket wasn’t drawn.

Raffle table
Photo by Ben Perez


And, there was that moment when I glanced up and saw that crowd of people, who unbidden, had stepped in to help set up. I wish I could list each and every person who lent a hand, you were so many and so very kind, voluntarily giving your time, energy and good will. But I’m lost to recall the names of every person who helped, I know there were many of you working at various tasks throughout the show, voluntarily stepping up to the plate with a huge smile on your face. I hope you know how very important your support was to us, and how much you were appreciated!

What a marvelous group of people! I had a blast putting this together, it didn’t feel like work to me, it was a wonderful journey showcasing the generosity that lives within our Gordon Setter community. Thank you all from my heart to yours!

Santa Gordon won on our raffle getting ready to make the trip to his new home along with a couple of other views of the the raffle. Photos by Ben Perez.

(Scroll to the bottom of this page to view a photo collage of the many faces from this year’s National.)

Sally Gift, Mesa AZ


Individual Donor poster

Vendor donor posterVendor donor poster Page 3Vendor donor poster Page 2


Photos by Ben Perez

Vendor donor poster Page 1

Deadline Extended – Reserved Parking RV & Auto

The deadline to reserve parking at the 2016 GSCA National Specialty has been extended to

April 20, 2016

Click this link to the 2016 GSCA National Specialty Website if you’re looking for more information on the show.

RV Parking

2016 National Specialty Recreational Vehicle Parking

Camper hookups with electricity & water available by reservation and with advance payment only. RV parking space charges are $35.00 per night.

The GSCA will provide a 30 AMP connection when available (some sites may have a 15 AMP connection).  Anyone who wishes to use electric should have a minimum of 100 feet of cord.  30 AMP connections will require RV pigtail connector/adaptor.

Water is available but there are no water hookups. Water is available in RV area to share, fill your tank and unhook.  Please bring your own hose (100’ suggested).  Showers available on the grounds

There is a dumping station located at the Fairgrounds

Any camper that is not self-contained will be parked in a special area per Fire Marshall.

In accordance with the Canfield Fairgrounds rules an electricity fee of $20.00 per night will be charged to anyone utilizing a 30 AMP electrical outlet which includes plugging into another RV. 15 AMP service is $5.00 per night.

The GSCA reserves the right to ask all trailer combinations to be unhitched.

Reservations and fees must be received by March 30, 2016. The reservation is non-refundable after March 30, 2016. A confirmation of your reservation will be sent to you. You will receive your assigned number on or around the show closing date. A returned check fee of $25.00 will be charged.

For better organization and for the convenience of the campers, each RV parking location with electricity will be numbered and assigned as your reservations are made. Groups wishing to be next to each other must reserve the same number of nights for the entire group and send their reservation requests in the same envelope. NO AREAS WILL BE SAVED. On the days of the shows any unreserved spots will be available on a first come, first served basis and will be assigned to a designated spot. An attendant will be on duty for RV parking. Parking in Restricted or No Parking areas will result in your vehicle being towed at your cost and may result in an Event Committee Hearing. Disagreements and arguing with Parking officials may also result in disciplinary actions.

2016 National Specialty Reserved Day Parking

Day parking spots with electricity are available. There will be a charge of $25.00 per day for those utilizing the electricity in the Day Parking Area. Includes 30 amp electric.

Fees for RV & Day parking are charged at the rate the Fairgrounds is charging the GSCA, there is no profit to the GSCA, we are charging you, what they are charging us!

2016 National Specialty Reserved Parking Form

Reservations can be made by providing the information listed below and sending a check or money order for the total number of nights made payable to the GSCA. Send reservation form and fee to Karen Gatchell, 34 Moody Hts., Wells, ME 04090-4950,                                    ph. (207) 646-3339 email trisett@maine.rr.com




City, State, Zip                                                                               

Email                                        Mobile Phone                                

Make & Model                                License #                               

Total Set-up length (for RV parking only)                                     

Arrival Date*                           Departure Date*                           

RV Number of Nights              @ $35.00 per night = $                 

Day Parking w/electric                    @ $25 per day = $                        


Cannot arrive prior to Noon, Monday, May 9, 2016 and must be off the grounds by Noon, Saturday, May 14, 2016.

Your Dog’s Custom Portrait $1 Raffle

If you hold the winning ticket in the raffle drawing

at the 2016 GSCA National Specialty

on May 12, 2016

you’ll win a fabulous custom portrait of your dog by

Contemporary Artist

Evelyn McCorristine Peters  

Barking Dog Creations Studio

12″ x 12″ Custom Pet Portrait Gift Certificate ($250 value)

Tickets are $1 each or 25 for $20

Buy your tickets online using the form below. We’ll email you a secure PayPal invoice to pay by credit or debit card. Once you’ve paid we’ll enter your tickets into the drawing.


Proceeds from this raffle managed by the Gordon Setter Club of America a 501c non-profit foundation for Health and Rescue.

Thank You artist Evelyn McCorristin Peters for this generous donation to the Gordon Setter Club of America National Specialty event.2016-national-logo

Header Image is artwork by Evelyn McCorristin Peters

It’s the learning that’s important! The 2015 GSCA National Specialty

JUST SAYIN – you don’t want to miss the excitement and the learning opportunities at the most anticipated event in our breed, the GSCA 2015 National Specialty. With this year’s convenient location in the heart of America the geographic location for the 2015 National allows folks from both coasts a more equal opportunity to make the trek. I’m expecting to see the very best in competition at this event with fabulous dogs from all corners of the U.S.

All aspects of the 2015 GSCA National Specialty will be held at Purina Farms’ state-of-the-art  Event Center.  Purina Farms is a short, 40 minute drive from downtown St. Louis, MO.”

BOB 14 NationalYou’ll never find an opportunity to see as many fabulous Gordon Setters if you limit yourself to attending only local All Breed Shows and Specialties. In my opinion, you cannot fully develop successful breeding programs if you don’t know the competition’s best attributes. What better place to learn those attributes than by seeing them in the flesh at the National? (Notice I’m not mentioning finding their faults? That’s because I believe relying primarily on fault judging of your competitors dogs will be the fastest method you can employ to failure.) Yes, we must know the faults but breeding decisions should be based on strengths. You’ll never find a better place to view the strengths of so many other Gordon Setters if you don’t take the time to actually see them at their very best, in competition, in the ring, in the flesh.

If you are a serious exhibitor/breeder attending the National Specialty is the most versatile learning opportunity you can give to yourself. It is here that you’ll broaden your view of Gordon Setter type, style and structure. Your knowledge of the breed will broaden merely by sitting ringside to watch the judging. Ringside is where it’s at people, as this is there where you’re certain to see every example of Gordon Setter, and often multiple generations of Gordon Setters from breeding kennels all over the US, Canada and sometimes beyond. Seeing is learning, nothing can replace that for the serious breeder.

Are performance events like Obedience, Agility and Rally your thing? Well then why would you miss this chance to meet others who face the same challenges and successes that you’ve encounter with your Gordon Setter? The people you’ll meet at the National competing in performance events are your best source of training methods that work the well with our breed. Why would you deny yourself the chance to meet others like yourself involved in your breed, the Gordon Setter, to share knowledge and training methods? Ask any good trainer how they “got their dog to do that” and they’ll be sure to share.

Agility jumpIf you’re serious, really serious, about breeding or training Gordon Setters you’ll not find a better opportunity to sharpen your skills and learn, learn, learn.

It’s not about going to the National to win, it’s about winning through learning! Hope to see you there!

Sally Gift, Mesa AZ

2015 Gordon Setter Club of America National Specialty