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2002 Midwest Vizsla Futurity



2002 marks the 20th running of the Midwest Vizsla Field Futurity. Hank Rozanek founded the MVFF in 1982, and it ran in Nebraska for the first decade. In 1992, the MVFF moved to Illinois where Jim Busch acted as either secretary or chair of the event for 10 years. In 2002, Jim turned 65 and officially retired from all his duties in the VCOI. The end of a decade marks the end of an era. Gina Ordonez will continue as Secretary of the event, Brian Hesgard will take over as chair, and it will remain at the Des Plaines Wildlife area in Joliet. We are working toward getting the event sanctioned by American Field. 

The drawing for the MVFF is always done the night before the event and is open to all interested parties. It always contains an element of high drama and this year was no exception.The group was forced to hold the drawing in the Chateau Busch d’mobile, as the State neglected to open the building for the event. Jim is retiring, as are his famous numbered poker chips, and he was forced to give his farewell address to a smaller than expected crowd. 

The running order is accomplished by a quadruple blind drawing. This is done by first picking numbered poker chips out of a hat to determine their order. The names of the dogs entered in the event are then drawn from a hat to assign each dog one of those numbers. The chips are then redrawn to determine brace-mates, and the final drawing determines the order of the braces.

The event ran on an unseasonably warm early spring day. A week earlier, a field trial was canceled, the grounds were covered in a foot of snow and had subzero temperatures. A warm-up during the week cleared the majority of the snow, and by Friday morning an overnight thunderstorm had melted the remaining snow before the 9:00 start. Judge Denis Spada also served as weather chairman for the event. It was over 60 degrees and overcast. On the Saturday after the MVFF, Denis was no longer weather chairman. The winter weather returned with a vengeance with a 30 degree temperature drop, rain, sleet, hail, snow, and 50 mph wind gusts. 

Nineteen puppies were re-nominated out of the fourteen litters nominated to run in the 2002 MVFF. Two entrants were owner nominated. The competitive field of nine Vizslas came out of five litters. Thomas was out of the only litter whose dam had a competitive field title. Keeper his dam is a National Amateur Field Champion, further proving that breeding counts.

The judges commented that Thomas handled kindly, did a workman-like job, had style on point, and was fresh at the end of the half-hour stake. They also complimented the runners up on their potential to become competitive guns dogs. In the past, the winning dogs had been handled by their breeders, this year all of the placing dogs were handled by non-breeder owners. With the exception of Jim Busch, Mark Smith, and Wanda Berner, all of the handlers are new to field trials. Don Voglund, Eric Dillman, Victor Barger, Carrie Syczylo and Steve Merbach were all competing with their first Vizsla.

Litters born between February 1, 2002 and January 31, 2003, compete in the 2004 Futurity run in early March of 2004. Litters must be nominated within 90 days, and individual puppies out of nominated litters must be re-nominated by nine months of age. For a $25.00 late fee, you may re-nominate a puppy up until it’s first birthday. Puppies out of un-nominated litters may also be nominated for a $100.00 fee until their first birthday. Contact standing secretary Gina Ordonez for nomination forms. There are 12 nominated litters for the 2003 Futurity.

In the words of the MVFF Founding Father Hank Rozanek, "Let’s keep them litters nominated!"

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