Site Search

The Sentinel Scout

The Vizslak Sentinel" HomePage

About Us @ SITmUP

WWW & The V Online

Articles Of Interest

The Bird Dog Cafe

Club That Dog

The Wirehaired Vizsla

Vizsla Stuff

Bog Dog Blog

VIZSLAK 896AD - 1962AD

VIZSLAK Sentinels

Works in Progress


VIZSLAK Standards

VIZSLAK Documents

News/Mag Clips




Bibliography, Glossary & Archives



Conestoga Vizsla Club


Conestoga Vizsla Club has grown from fifteen charter members in 1966 to be if not the largest, among the largest clubs and boasts a wide array of interested folks. The ONLY AKC Quintuple Champion springs from Conestoga. Numerous Dual Champions and show Champs with MH come from its ranks. Conestoga has produced HOFers, NFC, NAFC, National Puppy Derby and NGDCers, VCA Officers and statemen.


Conestoga is all about serving the breed and Vizsla fanciers.

It is fitting....that once again they host another Nationals in 2006.

On July 19, 1966 a group of Vizsla owners responding to a newspaper ad met in Lancaster County, Pa. Barry Rathvon and Ann Brauner had worked to gather together persons who would be interested in starting a Vizsla club. Fifteen charter members formed what they thought would be the Vizsla Club of Pennsylvania. They plannned a fun field trial, a match show and wrote to AKC. AKC disapproved the name, so another choice "The Tricorn Vizsla Club" was submitted. This name also failed to receive approval. The third choice "The Conestoga Vizsla Club" was approved by early January 1967.


The first fun field trial was held October 10, 1966, at River Hill Shoot8ing {Preserve, Clarkeville, Md. Interesting to note were the Amateur Gun placements. First and second placements went to Adelbert Seelye and Denes Burjan respectively. Donating a trophy was Margaret Meminger (friend of Jeno Dus and later a dog show judge dlb edit).


Under the guidance of Del Seelye, CVC earned its license and the trials grew in size and reputation. The club continued to use the grounds at River Hill and River Hill has become more or less the club headquarters. Field judges from other breeds have always been glad to judge CVC field trials. The weather is usually good, the grounds beautiful, the people hospitable and hard working and above all the dogs turn in superior performances.


In the early days there were few Vizsla entries. But as the breed improved its showing in trials and the membership became more active to trials, it became possible to gradually close more stakes. At the most recent trial of 6 stakes, 4 were closed with a total entry of 72 Vizslas and 13 GSP's.


In 1973 the VCA selected Conestoga to host the Fall National Field TRial and Field Futurity. The first Match Show was held January 26, 1967 in Columbia, Pa with Bill Lutz as Chairman.


Matches were held only occasionally until 1974 when under the direction of Fran Gorman, a concentrated effort was put forward to attain a License to hold Specialty Show. Fran added Obedience and worked diligently toward a plan AOA Match. Among some of the judges at that time were such notables as Helen Case Shelly, E Irving Eldredge and Harold Fuehrer. Mrs Shelley also judged the first Specialty.


Liz Sherman then took the reins and after staging successful AOA MAtches, her efforts were rewarded when CVS held its first licensed Specialty in conjunction with Annapolis KC on August 17, 1980. The Specialty was successful with 10 class dogs, 11 class bitches and 16 specials.


Conestoga's most significan contribution to the breed has to be its serminars and fun trials which have earned a reputation for providing sound fundamental field training. Del Seelye usually conducted these early seminars. He was a wonderful professor for young Vizslas and their inexperienced owners. He had a way of teaching that held listeners spellbound and brought out fantastic feats in 5 month old pups.


Among the enthusiastic students at a 1970 seminar with his first Vizsla pup. He would learn about Vizslas, field trials, running a dog club and would later become the President of the VCA. The seminars were so good that people would venture out in 5 ft snow drifts in February 1972 when Chauncey Smith was the speaker.


In the early days young Vizslas were outnumbered at the seminars by the other breeds. Since the mid 70's the number of Vizslas and enthusiastic owners has increased rapidly. To succeed in teaching many people many things at one time,

John Books present CVC ft chairman, came up with the idea of Super Day. The first Super Day in February 1980 was a smashing sucess and offered the following; skeet shooting, hunter safety course, junior field handling, seminars for field, show and obedience, seminar for handler errors (field), fun field trial, fun match, fun obedience trial.


CVC has always encouraged family participation. The large numbers of junior handlers both in show and in field is a tribute to the efforts of members who have taken the time to include the youngsteres in all phases of dog training and exhibiting.


Hard work on the part of many people behind the scenes is the only thing that really keeps a club successful. CVC has been fortunate to have so many members willing to work hard for long hours when they may not have even had a dog to enter in the competition. These members can be seen behind the grill in the cook tent, planting birds, marshalling trials, putting on the judges dinner, stewarding and performing the numberous other jobs customarily found at field trials and seiminars and shows.


Maryland clams and crabs with roasted corn and ice cold beer can combine to actually change the drift of conversation away from dogs now and then. This club has made some very deep friendships come about. People may move away, but some come back and they always end up at River Hill.



(dlb Note) I have field trialed at River Hill and the above words are no exaggeration on the grounds or the heart of the Conestoga Vizsla Club. As we can see, the more things change, the more they stay the same.


I never did set foot inside the wonderful plantation home. I was afeerd the ghost would chase me down. What a shame the great place is now a housing subdivision. I if you stand still on Wye Island you will feel the wind lightly wafting and hear Adelbert Seelye offering the words "peanuts" floating across the Chesapeake Bay from Riverhill Farm. That was Del Seelye's command for dogs/people to hush. He thought it sounded a lot nicer than "SHUT UP".





Images & Text in this site are Copyright - DO NOT COPY!

Web By DogWebs.Biz