Field Spaniel Society of America Youth Handlers

junior1The Field Spaniel is a well balanced, substantial hunter companion of medium size, built for activity and endurance in heavy cover and water. The Field Spaniel demeanor ranges from reserved to frolicsome to downright impish depending on the setting and circumstances. Fields need to be a useful member of the family and may be trained for the show ring, to work as a hunter, obedience or agility dog, in tracking, as a therapy dog or as a loving companion.  Fields are a perfect companion for children and teenagers to play with, work with and learn from.

FSSA offers programs to help youth (up to their 18th birthday) become recognized talented handlers and great field spaniel companions.

FSSA Junior Handler Program Summary
Presented at 2009 FSSA Board Meeting September 17, 2009
Kylie Hirschy-Seivert, Nichole Dooley and Julie Sharbo
Updated (v2) January 4, 2010, (v3) March 8, 2010

Form a Juniors’ Committee to oversee junior programs and create new programs. As with all club committees the board will appoint a "Chair" for the juniors committee. As of March 8th 2010 the committee members will include:

  1. Kylie Jo Hirschy-Seivert
  2. Nichole Dooley
  3. Julie Sharbo
  4. FSSA Board Member, Jane Chopson
  5. FSSA Junior, to be decided

The board member would act an intermediary between the board and the committee.

Purpose of the Junior Handler Program:
The primary purpose of a program for Junior Members is to encourage and expand younger generations’ ongoing interest in Field Spaniels, and thereby to help to ensure the future preservation and welfare of our breed.

  • To provide for the FSSA a comprehensive set of programs that encourage Junior Handlers to compete with their Field Spaniels in various activities
  • Includes the funding and oversight of the FSSA Junior Programs, with continued administration by the FSSA Board of Directors.
  • To promote educational challenges that encourages each junior to become well-rounded in their knowledge of our breed in particular and dogs in general.


  1. Establish separate funding for FSSA Junior programs
  2. Committee will suggest recommended funding to the FSSA Board and then the treasurer would be responsible for the technical aspects within the FSSA account.
  3.  Increase junior programs to include more kids (i.e., performance, kids in different geographic areas)
  4. Challenge each junior to expand their breed knowledge into new areas
  5. Encourage cooperative relationships among the Junior Handlers
  6. Provide a section on the FSSA website devoted to past and future juniors as well as promoting our juniors proposals and or funding. This section will also be where the forms for each program will be available for download.

Summary of Proposals submitted or planned for submission to the FSSA Board:

Funding – Create new FSSA fund specific to Junior Handlers to be managed as Health and Rescue Funds by the FSSA treasurer.

  • Proposal that FSSA creates a separate Junior Handler Fund to be managed by the Treasurer.
  • Allows fundraising activities directly to Junior Handler programs, and allows Junior Handlers to help raise funds for their own programs via activities that have been pre approved by the FSSA Board.
  • Allows for allocation and oversight by the FSSA Treasurer. Junior Programs can only spend what they currently have in their fund. If the funding is not available the committee will recommend a way to provide the funding
  • Provides a structure for future expansion into additional or expanded programs, if the FSSA Membership determines that is a future objective.
  • The juniors fund will be established by the FSSA board with a $515 contribution, upon approval of this proposal. At any time the juniors fund has a period of 2 years or more of inactivity the juniors fund will revert to the FSSA General Fund.
  • Junior Handler Fund will be listed on the 2011 FSSA dues statements and each year forward for voluntary donation with membership renewals.

1. Fund the Field Spaniel award for Top Junior ( - $15 annual annual commitment for a rosette to be funded by the FSSA. This is in addition to the Tommy Award.
2. Amendment to the Existing Westminster Incentive Program to include AKC/Eukanuba National Championship

  • Amendment to the existing Westminster stipend junior program to include an alternative option of attendance at the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship Show, for Junior Handlers who qualify and choose to attend Eukanuba instead of Westminster. The qualifications for each event vary and the junior could choose which event they prefer to attend if they were to qualify for both.
  • AKC/Eukanuba National Championship set requirements fulfilled (currently 5 open class wins with competition present)
  • Juniors must have a grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.0 or equivalent for the two semesters completed immediately prior to the closing of entries. GPA must be verified by an official school transcript or home school information sent in and received by AKC prior to the entry form being sent to the junior.
  • Qualifying wins must be obtained while showing a Field Spaniel.
  • Juniors must be FSSA members to apply for this incentive.
  • A Field Spaniel must be entered and shown in juniors at this>
  • Bitches in season clause (juniors cannot show bitches in season).
  • The funding structure for this program allows for one junior per year to be funded by the FSSA ($500) general fund, however funding for additional juniors may be approved by the FSSA board as the General Fund permits. If the funding for additional juniors is available in the designated juniors fund this may be funded directly without board intervention or additional approval.
  • Junior is responsible for filling out the application and submitting it to a committee member before November 15th to be approved. The application consists of a minimum 250 words essay about what I have learned from participating in dog shows.
  • Post Show "Experience Essay" – minimum 500 word essay about the experience of competing at the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship Show, to be publicized by FSSA.

3. FSSA Top Junior Handler in Performance Events

  • New recognition (perpetual trophy and smaller keepsake trophy) to be awarded to the Junior Handler with the most qualifying performances in AKC Hunting, Agility, Obedience, Rally or Tracking with their Field Spaniel
  • Juniors will be required to submit a summary of their achievements, to be verified with AKC, and will include AKC sanctioned events only
  • Funding to be provided from the Junior Handler Fund.
  • Funding of a rosette to be provided from the General Fund.

4. FSSA Total Junior Program

  • New multi-year program designed to encourage well-rounded juniors who will have some exposure to all aspects of the fancy – showmanship, performance, volunteer service to the FSSA, volunteer service to benefit dogs in general, knowledge of a history or health topic, and breeding/whelping.
  • Requires an application from the Junior documenting each of the requirements. Verification will be required.
  • Requires a Junior Membership of the FSSA.
  • Program will accept 2008 and 2009 accomplishments for Junior Members who became active in Field Spaniels prior to the inception of this program.
  • Juniors must complete all areas in order to qualify for this award:
          - Accomplishments in Junior Showmanship – provide documentation of 2 wins in Open class with a Field Spaniel, over the course of at least 2 years. This totals 4 wins in 2 years. Wins are allowed to extend beyond a 2-year period of time, but no wins prior to 2007 will be accepted. This should accommodate all active junior handlers who could "age out" prior to completing the requirements.
          - One performance title (Hunt, Tracking, Agility, Obedience or Rally) where all qualifications were met by a registered Junior Handler. Must be verifiable by AKC records). Does not require the dog to reside with the junior, but preferred. There is no monitoring system by AKC in place for this at the moment, but we would consider reviewing this in the future.
          - Assist with 2 litters of puppies from 2 different breeders at different developmental stages. Field Spaniels are preferred, but can substitute another breed. Types of qualifying activities could include helping with whelp, caring for neonates, weaning young puppies, socialization, being present at a structural evaluation or present at formal temperament testing.
          - Project of the Junior’s choosing that includes research on a breed historical or health issue. Result of project must be publicized by FSSA or displayed at a National Specialty.
          - Volunteer six (6) hours at a Field Spaniel sponsored event, such as a National, a local specialty, a Supported Entry or a Meet the Breeds. Alternatives must be pre-approved by the Juniors Committee.
          - Volunteer six (6) hours at an all-breed event that benefits dogs in general or provides public education (Rescue or welfare organizations, Meet the Breed events, etc) Alternative hours than described must be approved by the committee.
  • First award to be distributed no earlier than 2010. Funding out of the Junior Handler Fund, once it is established.
  • Inclusion on FSSA’s official "Total Junior List" (similar to Hall of Fame or ROM) and small commemorative plaque.

Field Spaniel Society of America
File: Kylie Hirschy-Seivert, Nichole Dooley & Julie Sharbo
Date Published: 09/16/2009 updated 01/04/10

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