Distinguished Members

NSTRA Distinguished Members Award

The NSTRA Distinguished Members award, established in 2012, honors those extraordinary men and women whose contributions and achievements significantly helped develop, or continue to improve, the National Shoot to Retrieve Field Trial Association, Inc. We are deeply thankful for their dedication to the sport of field trialing. These are the members whose leadership and commitment established this organization and continues to make NSTRA the premier bird-dog trialing competition it is today.

Nominations are to be submitted by August 31. A short description of the individual and their contributions to NSTRA along with a picture, if available, are sent to the national office. The selection panel is made up of 3 veteran NSTRA members (not to include National Elected Officers) selected by the National President reviews all nominations and verifies the contributions. The committee will make their decision by September 30 with the final selection of recipients will be voted on by the Board of Directors.

This award is presented annually at the Dog of the Year banquet. The first year 11 individuals were inducted. Thereafter up to 2 individuals per year are selected. A permanent plaque will be located at the NSTRA office and at the Bird Dog Foundation in Grand Junction, Tennessee. A smaller plaque is awarded to the individual, or their family if deceased.

The criteria for the award is as follows: The nominated Individual must meet a minimum of 5 of these criteria and item number 7 must be one of them.

  1. Involved in the early stages of development of NSTRA (prior to 1985) and remained involved throughout. Must have been a member in good standing for at least 25 years.
  2. Must have the acknowledgement and respect of fellow members as a person who has offered policy recommendations to the national officers and to the board of directors during his/her involvement in NSTRA, and who is clearly recognized as a founding member or an early years leader.
  3. During his/her time in the organization the individual must have been a national officer, a region president or a regional board member.
  4. Must have served as a judge in local, regional or national trials or have been involved in policy recommendations regarding rules and by-laws, or in judging seminars or other educational events related to the improvement of NSTRA.
  5. Must have been instrumental in establishing relationships with sponsors that have helped NSTRA to reach its current status among dog field trial organizations.
  6. Must have served as a mentor or role model to new members.
  7. Must be of sound moral character and never have been the subject of any disciplinary action by any NSTRA board or committee.
  8. Remains committed to the goals, objectives and ideals of NSTRA and continues to be willing to offer advice to the national officers when asked to do so.

NSTRA Distinguished Member

Don Abner

Indiana

2012

Tom Burks

Indiana Region

0

Bob Cunningham

Illinois

2012

2005-2007, Illinois Region President National President

Ted Dewey

Midwest

2012

Lyle Jordan

Illinois

2012

1990-1992, National President

Ed Rader

Indiana

2012

1982-1984, National President

Wilbur Shortridge, Jr.

Indiana

2012

1984-1987, National President

Bob West

Midwest

2012

Tom Love

Indiana

2013

2002, Tom Love Lifetime Achievement Award

Ron Robertson

Indiana

2013

1987-1990, National President 2003, Tom Love Lifetime Achievement Award

Jeanne Rader

Indiana

2013

Jeanne was instrumental, at the beginning, with the paperwork for recording of members, dogs and field trials. She knew everyone and all the dogs that were involved. There was never a time when she would not have a smile on her face. She was the go-to person.
She was at the field trials and always helped with anything needed. Her mind was an encyclopedia of NSTRA information.
Jeanne was a friend and mentor to all of NSTRA. She was always looking for ways to make NSTRA a better organization.
She was involved with Purina, Tritronics and American Field from the start. All the sponsors looked to Jeanne for information in any area of NSTRA.
Everyone that met her would know she only wanted NSTRA to grow and prosper for many years to come. Her heart and mind were always open to new ideas. There will never be anyone more dedicated to the good of NSTRA.

Frank Downs

Midwest

2013

Frank has been a valued member of NSTRA, for over 30 years. He has served as President of the Midwest Region; taught judging seminars before we had judging instructors; judged numerous weekend trials and nine Regional Trials in three different region. Many of these trials, Frank donated his judging to help the clubs and regions financially.
In the days when trials were judged on horseback, he donated his horses. When we started judging on ATVs, Frank again donated his ATVS.
Frank is a member of the ownership group which purchased, developed and maintains the 320 acre Iowa Gun Dog Association trial grounds at Osceola, IA.
Frank has been a consistent and enthusiastic supporter of NSTRA for nearly half of his life.

Donny Wright

Indiana

2014

Donny was one of the gentlemen involved in the beginning of the Shoot to Retrieve days. He was a member of the Conservation Bird Dog Club at Amo, and integral to helping NSTRA become what it is today. Donny was a very competitive member and traveled to many trials promoting NSTRA along the way. As a former teacher, coach and a successful real estate salesman, along with his passion for wild bird hunting, he was the ideal person to spread the word of Shoot to Retrieve. Donny also served as the NSTRA National Secretary for several years.

Art Baumgartel

Midwest

2014

Art was a founding member of the Midwest Region. As agricultural manager for the nine Amana Colonies, Art often used his influence and connections to secure grounds on which to run trials. Later, he worked with the Iowa DNR to designate the public land at Palo, IA as trial grounds for NSTRA and the Iowa horseback clubs. Bob West provided funding for a shelter house on these grounds; Art organized and supervised the shelter’s construction, along with clearing and grooming the grounds.


Art campaigned Norilious Timberwolf (Cindy) to the Midwest dog of the year title in 1983.


In 1988, then NSTRA president, Ron Robertson, presented Art with the first complimentary lifetime membership card along with the President’s Award proclaiming him NSTRA Senior citizen of the Year.


Art was 65 years of age when he started in NSTRA. He passed away in 1990, at the age of 83. During those 17 years, he served as a mentor and role model for many of us new to the game. He was a very quiet, but forceful and effective behind the scenes advocate for NSTRA.

More Info

Extend The Season!

NSTRA was conceived by a group of hunters in the late 1960's as a way to extend the normal open upland bird hunting season from a few weeks to a longer period of time.

Over 1000 Local Field Trials!

Over 1,000 local field trials are held annually for seasoned competitors and dogs as well as amateurs.

Family Fun!

Our trials are held in family friendly environments. many families take advantage of our reduced membership pricing for associate members