An Open Letter to the Field Trial Community
By Frank LaNasa, AFTCA President | Sep 08, 2021
Isanati, Minn. — By now, most everyone is aware of the purchase of the American Field/Field Dog Stud Book (FDSB) by United Kennel Club (UKC).
Founded in 1898, the UKC has a long and successful history of supporting all sporting dog breeds second in age only to the American Field which was founded 24 years earlier in 1874.
No youngster ourselves, the Amateur Field Trial Clubs of America (AFTCA) started in 1917, and I can think of no better guardian for our sport than the UKC. We look forward to a long and thriving partnership. We can take pride in knowing that we are now in partnership with what’s going to become the greatest performance sporting dog entity in the world. Please be patient in giving the UKC the time and space it needs to successfully complete the transition.
I don’t intend to speak for the UKC, but I fully expect the UKC will continue their leadership by using professional channels of communication through ownership and elected and designated organizations to deliver information to the FDSB field trial community, not second-hand information and rumor posted by the self-opinioned and the uninformed on social media. I commit that the AFTCA will do the same. For the upcoming season, the AFTCA has been assured that there are no current changes in the works, and it will be business as usual.
Looking forward to a bright future, what I ask of the members and participants of our field trial group is not to participate, in general, with the constant negative discourse on social media, and specifically, as it relates to this transition. As a group, I know that we are far better and stronger than the few who stir up division, rancor and personal attacks that ultimately are so detrimental to the sport, to our sponsors, and to those potential new members. There is a difference between passionate constructive criticism and chaos. To be sure, no organization or individual is immune from constructive criticism, but make no mistake that undisciplined, out of control social media displays are not the platform to do this. There are proper channels that are effective when done so with respect and truthfulness.
I encourage members with questions, ideas, and concerns to address them with your Trustee. Each Trustee is in a position of either knowing or getting answers and to work with you. As an organization we will not address and legitimize those who stir division with their rumors, hearsay and half-truths that seem to have no end or boundaries with an online debate. We will simply act on it.
This is a crucial and historic time in our sport’s history. The AFTCA looks forward to being a positive and effective participant in this transition and we commit to keeping our membership timely informed with accurate information through the proper channels.