Member Recognition

 

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Member Spotlight

“Rick Hubbard”

 

I started running in NSTRA trials over 20 years ago after being introduce to the sport by my cousin John Potts Jr. and his friend Craig Mostad.  My first dog was a male German Shorthair named Storm that Craig helped me pick out.   His first placement was a 3rd place in a trial put on by the LaSalle Brittany club.  The date was September of 1992.  If I was a betting man, Ricky Hubbard most likely was one of the judges at that trial.

 Ricky and I started in NSTRA about the same time, he helped me with my first trial keeping score and getting people in the blind. Back then besides the judges and the bird handler, putting on a trial was a one man show.  I did not need to ask Ricky to help, he just did it. This is the type of person he is.

Ricky has been and still is the backbone of the No IL region.   Over the years he has served on the Northern Illinois region board of directors, as Vice President and as region President. Currently he is serving as a board member and is the regions judging instructor. Early on Ricky chaired many of the No IL trials and was always successful at filling them up with entries coming from other regions. This in itself tells you something about this man.

 I have spent a considerable amount of time with Ricky over the last 20 years but usually in 30 minute increments.  As of this date I would imagine Ricky Hubbard has judged close to 200 NSTRA trails. Note: Many of these trials he judged off horse back in adverse conditions when even the toughest of men would not be caught outside.  To tell you the truth, I can’t remember too many trials that Ricky has not at least judged one day.  Ricky has seen more good braces and great birddog performances then any of us will ever hope to see in a lifetime.  I think Ricky gets as much enjoyment out of seeing a good brace as the person running the dog which may be one of the reasons he keeps judging these trials.

Ricky has also had some good dogs. One in particular and my personal favorite, was a female pointer named” Rain” who was out of “Gigolo and Gigolo’s Little Missy”. Rain was a 3X champion with 65 open points and one of Ricky’s best dogs.  It was well know that Rain had a set of wheels on her and had only two gears “fast and faster”. The only time she stopped running was to point or for an occasional back.

Rain was placing a lot back then so he asked me when possible to run her in the fields where he was not judging. My only instructions were “when you shoot a bird and she retrieves it you better stick your hand out”.  If I missed she would keep going.  Luckily I never missed.  Ricky always claimed she ran to big so to give himself an advantage he would line Rain up backwards when he turned her loose at the starting line. I was quite a sight.

I did not write this to tell you about Ricky’s judging skills or his dogs but more to tell you about the type of man he is. He is the guy that is always there for you when you need him, the guy that is at the trial grounds early filling water buckets and cleaning the field. He epitomizes what I think a NSTRA member should be.  For example last summer I chaired a trial and lost a judge at the last minute.  Now note Ricky was heading out to judge a National trial out west when I called him. Do you know that after that trial on Saturday he drove all the way back to Illinois to judge my trial? If only NSTRA had more Ricky Hubbards!

I am very proud to call Ricky my friend as I am sure many of you are. The next time you turn your dog loose at a NSTRA trial and Ricky Hubbard is your judge, think about all he has done for this organization and make sure to thank him. He will shrug it off as just another day but it will make you feel good inside that you did anyway

This is what NSTRA is all about.

 

Mark Kubiak

President No IL Region