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By Mitch Carlson, Test Chair / Debbie Letcher, Test Secretary   Photos contributed by Joe Wessels

Three of our MN NAVHDA Chapter tests have been expanded to meet the demand of our growing membership which now stands at over 225 members.  The June Full Test, June 1-3, 2018, test an additional test day on Friday.  Thanks to the many members that stepped forward to volunteer, many of whom took off work on Friday,  we were well staffed to handle all three days.

Following many warm days, the weather broke a little on Friday and was ideal with cloud cover in the morning for the field work and sun in the afternoon for the water and tracking tests.  Six Natural Ability dogs and two Utility dogs were tested.

Thanks to our Director of Judges, Pete Aplikowski, we had NAVHDA Judges from both coasts led by Senior Judge Julie Tower, Nova Scotia, Canada and Bill Cosdon, Boise, Idaho along with veteran MN judge Frank Spaeth on Friday. The Saturday and Sunday judging team was again Julie Tower, Senior Judge, Bill Cosdon and longtime MN judge, Terry Petro.  Our MN Chapter has three Apprentice Judges in training.  Pete Aplikowski and Michael Bredahl attended the test as Apprentice Judges and did a great job.

Saturday was overcast and cloudy most of the morning for the field work, with the last few dogs running in a downpour.  The afternoon saw showers, a couple times quite heavy, for the water work and tracks. The NA dogs and handlers did well in the changing weather through the day.

Sunday was quite cool and windy, with up to 35 mile per hour gusts.  Scenting conditions were excellent and we saw some excellent dog work in the UPT, UT and NA tests. Matt Johnson’s Pudelpointer “Hazel” was the only NA dog running, and it was exciting to watch her expand her search to right and left, then use the wind to work her way back to the birds in the field. All dogs scored well in the tests.

The dog work and the handlers were quite impressive over the three days in the field. The success of those in our MN NAVHDA training nights really stood out in the tests.  Congratulations to all who participated, and thanks to the large number of volunteers and all who helped these dogs and handlers prepare for these tests.

(Note:  Volunteers are still needed for our remaining three tests!  If you have trained with us, but have not volunteered to work at a test, now is the time to go on line and let the test chair know that you want to help!)

NEWSFLASH:  REIGNING CHAMPION APLIKOWSKIS DETHRONED!  VOW RETURN TO PODIUM IN 2019

Contributed by Bryce Adams, Event Chair

The MN Chapter of NAVHDA ran its 40th Annual Pheasant Championship on June 23rd at the Major Avenue Hunt Club near Glencoe, MN.  The day began with temperatures at 60°,  100% humidity, cloudy, and no breeze.  By afternoon the temperature reached 80° with continued overcast, and a light and variable breeze.

The cover in the both fields was about knee-high, but open enough that walking was fairly easy and the dogs could move through it easily and be kept in sight.  The cover was very similar in the north and south fields.  Each field encompassed approximately 18.5 acres.

The conditions were difficult for most dogs to find birds, with only two dogs finding 4 birds through the first 9 teams.  Then the reliable team of Mike and Colton Busse with Sarge, posted a respectable score of 116 points with 5 birds.  The 11th  team, Bryce Adams and Brian Karr, with Riley, then bagged 6 birds with 7 shots in just over 24 minutes.  Their performance held up for 1st place which earned them $420.00 in prize money.  Bryce was justifiably proud of the work that Riley, his 10 year old female Pointer, did for him.

Team Busse finished a distant 2nd, earning $180.00 in prize money.

As is customary, the first 6 places each received a handsome solid walnut plaque, and the top placing teams, beginning with 3rd place, made selections from the prize table for their efforts.

At this year’s event, 102 pheasants were released for the 16 teams, with 51 birds harvested.  This is a 3.2 bird average per team. This is slightly off the pace of last year when the average was 3.8 birds per team.  2011, with 4.9 birds per team, remains the high water mark for harvest ratio at our Pheasant Championship on the Major Avenue grounds.

Thanks to all who entered their dogs in the event this year.  In addition to many of our long time participants, we enjoyed the company of 9 first time competitors and had a Small Munsterlander and a Bracco Italiano running.

On a more somber note, this year is the 1st running of the Pheasant Championship without Joe Dolejsi.  Russ Koetz, who now owns Joe’s Pointer “Homer”, teamed up with Jake Goergen and ran Homer.  They had a respectable showing with 4 birds and captured 3rd place.

In addition, thanks are in order to Myra Martin of Major Avenue Hunt Club for allowing us access to these excellent grounds and club house.  She offered a delicious lunch of brats, potato salad, beans, chips, and a cold beverage.  This is the 25th consecutive year that this contest has been held on these grounds.

Special thanks to all the workers who volunteered their time to make this event possible.  A drawing was held for the workers for a $50 Gander Mountain gift card.  Wayne Starkson, who planted birds, was the lucky winner.

 

Scorekeeper/Field Marshall and Driver: Deb Letcher
       
Bird planters: Wayne  Starkson Judges: Michael Bredahl
  Wolfie Smith   Pete Ness
  Scott Green   Chris Petro
  Gunner Green   Terry Petro

Results of the Running

Place Handler / Partner Dog Breed Age
1st Bryce Adams / Brian Karr Riley PT 10
2nd Mike Busse / Colton Busse Sarge GS 6
3rd Russ Koetz / Jacob Goergen Homer PT 5
4th Bryan Thomas / Joe Raia Banshee PT 5
5th Pete Aplikowski / Ethan Aplikowski Ike PP 5
6th Joe Raia / Bryce Adams Ike GS 3

You’ve been training hard, and your number in the running order is up.  It’s time for the field portion of your test.

“Handler, do you have water?”  As much as the judges would hate to lose a handler to heat prostration, what they’re really concerned about is your dog.  Some water for yourself is nice, but did you bring plenty of water for your dog?

You’re thinking that it’s not so hot – a nice mid-morning temp of about 78 degrees.  There’s even a little breeze.  You have the better part of a water bottle from the Super America.  He won’t drink from the squirt top, but you can always dribble a little in your hand if he needs it, right?  Then there’s that little pond in the back corner of the bird field, and besides, he doesn’t like to stop to drink while hunting anyway.

The reality is, on a sunny day the ground temperature can be up to 30 degrees higher, so that nice temp of 78˚ by your head might be 90˚-100˚ or more where your dog is working, and he’s not feeling that gentle breeze like you.  For every mile that you walk wearing a light shirt, your dog is running 3 or more miles wearing a fur coat, and while you walk the easier trail, perhaps in knee deep grass, he’s pushing with his shoulders and chest through cover.  Oh yeah, and that little back pond?   No cooling there since it has the temperature of warm bath water, with the potential for cyanobacteria, otherwise known as blue-green algae.

As for, “he can’t drink from a bottle” or “he won’t stop to drink” …  Training your dog to drink from a water bottle will be the easiest thing you teach all summer, and can save his life.  And even if he doesn’t want it, sometimes you might have to just hook him by the collar, squirt some water into the corner of his mouth, behind his ears, in his armpits and groin (areas for cooling where there are major arteries close to the surface).  This also gives you a chance to settle him a bit, refocus and reconnect to go and hunt some more.

The South Dakota pheasant opener of 2003 was notable for the fact that upwards of 100 dogs died those first few days from heatstroke.  Opening day temps were in the 80s (kind of like many test days…).  Granted, many of these dogs were likely overweight and out of condition, but not all fit this description.  Their owners simply didn’t know better and probably had plenty of water waiting back at the truck.

Am I painting a picture here for you?

Unlike humans, dogs don’t sweat, except through the pads of their feet.  They cool by panting, and an excessively panting dog will have difficulty collecting scent.  When the panting isn’t cooling enough, the body temperature rises.  Your dog’s normal temperature is 101-102˚.  His working temperature could be 104˚.  As his temperature approaches 107-108˚, organ damage can occur as he’s cooking his own insides.  Owning a good thermometer and knowing your dog’s baseline (working) temperature can keep him out of trouble.

Dr. Joe Spoo of Sioux Falls, SD, is a veterinarian and active with the Tri-State NAVHDA chapter, and authors the blog “Gundog Doc.”  He writes “I would recommend taking your dog’s temp after a day of hunting or while out training when you are not even close to crossing the overheating line. This will give you an idea at what temp your pup typically runs while at work and will allow some sort of baseline if you get into trouble out in the field.”  Take a moment to read the rest of this fine article at  http://www.bestcarepethospital.com/avoiding-heat-stroke/.

Know the symptoms.  Heat stress symptoms include aggravated panting, heavy salivation, dark red gums, and poor coordination. Test for dehydration by pinching a roll of skin on the back of your dog’s lower neck. If it “sticks” up, the dog may need hydration. Flush his mouth with cool water, remove saliva, give him or her small drinks of water, and, if possible, immerse the dog in cool water.  As it progresses, there can be ataxia – stumbling around – confusion or glassy eyes, trembling or weakness.

Even better is to prevent the symptoms from ever occurring.  As the dog’s internal temperature rises and organ damage occurs, death or permanent damage are possible.  Learn how to address the symptoms and gradually cool your dog down.

For treatment in the field, the biggest thing is to get them cooled down and bring down that internal temperature.  Gradual cooling is key.  Use cool water, not cold, as ice water can cause capillaries to constrict, thereby inhibiting internal cooling.  You can walk them around in cool water or spray them down.  Put them into a vehicle with the A/C on high, blowing on them.  Stop when their temperature reaches 103.  Their internal thermostat is messed up, and you don’t want their temperature to drop too far, causing hypothermia.

There are many options for carrying plenty of water afield, from hunting vests slotted to carry 50-100 ounces of water in bottles, to camelback versions.  I myself may go through up to 60 oz. of water in a single NAVHDA utility test.  Keep in mind that it also doesn’t have to be hot for your dog to overheat.  Think of athletes you see running outdoors in cold weather with light clothing.  Their workout causes their internal temperature to rise.  Your dog is an athlete as well, and his fields of play are CRP fields and cattail sloughs.  He can even overheat on a cool day.

These versatile dogs of ours are splendid creatures indeed!  Preparing for the test and field includes both training for performance and learning proper care.  If we’re not fully prepared to care for them, how can we expect them to perform to their fullest for us?

Sources :

Dr. Joe Spoo  http://www.bestcarepethospital.com/avoiding-heat-stroke/

Dennis Anderson  https://www.in-depthoutdoors.com/community/forums/topic/dogs_69482/

Bill Dillon   http://www.french-brittany.com/heat.pdf

By Scott Green, Test Chair

May 19 & 20, 2018,  MN NAVHDA tested 19 NA dogs at Four Brooks WMA in Milaca.  Test Secretary Kathleen Aplikowski had everything well organized for the judges, owners and handlers. 

The grounds were in good shape and the cover was good.  Director of Judging Pete Aplikowski did a great job in securing Steve Greger (Senior Judge), Frank Spaeth, and Steve Buck as judges for the test.  MN NAVHDA members Pete Aplikowski and Michael Bredahl were apprentice judges for both test days.

Saturday’s temps were in the 50’s with strong winds from the North but no rain.  The wind conditions seem to be affecting the scenting conditions but most of the entries handled it well.  The tracking and water events went off very well.  David Hoeller and Gunner Green once again provided the bird planting and Mitch Lindberg was our experienced test gun.

Sunday was a beautiful sunny day, with a mild breeze and temps in the high 60’s.  All dogs prized in the Saturday tests;  five Prize 1, two Prize 2, and three Prize 3.  Half of the handlers were first time handlers.

Bill Jensen, one of the founding members of our MN NAVHDA chapter, stopped out to say hello and to see the dogs work.  This was a wonderful surprise, as he has enjoyed seeing our Chapter continue to grow and prosper.

I want to thank my test workers for doing a great job at the test, and I look forward to being the Test Chair again next year.  I want to encourage all of the handlers to continue their training programs over the summer to take their dogs to the next level of NAVHDA testing programs.  These were all good dogs and deserve the opportunity to develop their hunting skills. 

Of course, I will be needing more volunteer workers for this test next year! I hope to see each of this year’s handlers helping on this test next year (or one of the many other tests we’re conducting this summer and next).  Volunteers training and testing together is what makes our MN NAVHDA chapter grow and be a great training and testing experience for our members.

Last month I wrote to you about changes in the insurance provided by NAVHDA International and the new procedures we had to employ to ensure we were in compliance with International’s new rules.  As training and testing season is now underway, these new procedures have already been implemented.  Although our world of testing and training has become more complex to manage, the implementation has gone well and by this time next year will be second nature for participants and volunteers.

While reading about the new insurance program, I was intrigued about what was said and more so by what wasn’t being said.  As the Board sought to understand International’s policy coverage, the primary question of exactly “who” had insurance protection and under what circumstances, kept bubbling to the surface.  Specifically, we grew concerned that this insurance only protected NAVHDA, it’s Chapters and chapter members from claims by individuals who were third parties or, in other words, non-NAVHDA members. A member injuring another member appeared to be excluded from any insurance protection.  Correspondence from NAVHDA International confirmed this concern:

“This policy covers NAVHDA and its members in case they are sued by the public. It does not cover member to member if something should happen. No atv, cars or equipment.”

In the event a member is injured by another member, the member causing the injury would not be afforded insurance protection for their legal defense, nor the funds to pay any settlement.  In such a lawsuit, only NAVHDA International would be covered.  The member causing the injury and, most likely the event leaders and chapter Board would all NOT be covered, and all of these individuals would need to retain their own attorneys and be responsible for paying the settlement. While your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy may provide some personal liability protection, that amount is usually well below the claim that would be filed for a serious injury or death.

The MN NAVHDA Board felt our members deserved a level of protection in the event of a member-to-member accident. With that in mind, the Board investigated purchasing its own insurance to specifically address member-to-member accidents and to provide coverage should someone be injured in a canoe or kayak or while operating an ATV.  I am pleased to announce that we have purchased such a policy that will protect you in the event of an injury to another member.  It also provides liability protection for watercraft and ATVs.  This policy will provide for legal defense and funds for settlements up to one-million dollars per occurrence, or two-million in aggregate. A few things to remember about this insurance:

  • It protects members if they injure another member while at a NAVHDA event. This includes all Chapter sponsored training, testing or other events.  It does not protect you should you injure another member outside of a NAVHDA event.  (For example: If you go hunting with a few NAVHDA buddies, not covered. Or if you and another NAVHDA member do training and it’s not an organized MN NAVHDA event, it’s not covered.)
  • This does not replace the NAVHDA International insurance. To remain a Chapter, we have to continue to participate in their insurance and, we must continue to follow the waiver rules and other requirements that came with their new insurance.
  • Like with NAVHDA International’s policy, it does not cover automobiles as that is part of your automobile policy.
  • ATVs and boats are covered while in use at a NAVHDA event, but damage or liability while transporting them to or from the grounds is excluded. Again, this is because those events are covered by your auto insurance.

This insurance went into effect on May 14th and the first year’s premium is being paid by the Chapter.  Next year, Chapter dues will increase by $10 per person to cover the cost of the policy in 2019 and each year thereafter.

While accidents are rare and our Chapter’s record on this is extraordinary, I’m sure you’ll agree that the $10 cost each year to you as member is a tremendous value, given the amount of money required to pay for attorneys and any subsequent settlements.  Thanks to all of you for your time and patience as we make these needed changes.

Best regards,

Welcome to the 21st century!  Chalk up another one for Minnesota NAVHDA.  To go with our new website, we have now put our Membership Directory into a downloadable pdf format, available to be downloaded and printed by any member, or easily accessed  and read online.

This represents a great savings of chapter resources.  This saves not only the printing, binding, and postage costs required to mail out a paper directory to 200+ members, but also the time it takes to create and distribute that directory every year.  In addition, this new electronic directory can be updated regularly as new members join, move, etc.

Pete and Drew are still working out the bugs for usage on mobile devices, but in the meantime it’s still another step forward for Minnesota NAVHDA.  Check it out! (and don’t forget to print a copy for your less computer savvy friends…Mitch?…)

To All Chapter Members,

Many of you have heard bits and pieces of information relating to new safety rules and restrictions on who may participate in NAVHDA tests and other events.  I will try to keep this brief, but I wanted you to understand what these changes mean for us as a Chapter, why these changes were made, and what we as a Chapter have done in response.

In January, NAVHDA International changed insurance companies and shortly after announced that both the handler and owner of a dog in a test must be members of NAVHDA Int’l.  We quickly revised test paperwork, and our test secretaries and Board went about communicating this change. Shortly after, NAVHDA International notified us that anyone participating in ANY NAVHDA event in ANY capacity must also be a member.  This would apply to a non-member who wanted to walk along in a test, volunteer to plant birds, join us for a training event or really do anything that required being in, or near the area where guns and dogs were at work. Non-members can participate (except handling in tests) if they are willing to sign the liability waiver. This rule affects family members without a spouse or child NAVHDA International membership, a member who happened to let their membership lapse, or someone visiting to learn more about our club.  In all cases, even with a signed waiver, a non-member must never be permitted to discharge a firearm.  It is also clear that the Chapter is expected to implement and manage this policy without exception.

Our Chapter is one of the largest, if not the largest Chapter in NAVHDA.  For those of you who have participated in some of our training and testing events, you have witnessed the sheer number of people coming and going. People often enter the grounds at different locations and may be spread out over three or more locations on the grounds.  To identify active members in good standing from visitors, family and lapsed members, and keep track of them on the grounds we needed a process to identify membership status, get waivers signed when needed and ensure that only those permitted to participate are then allowed to do so. 

Due to the participation levels expected at our Chapter events, the insurance change required the Chapter to develop a detailed, structured set of Safety Rules which must be managed diligently. To many members, these rules and procedures may seem cumbersome or “over the top” but, it’s the only way we can ensure that we are in compliance.  Absent this control, our volunteers, the Board, the Chapter, and NAVHDA International would be exposed to liability without insurance protection if a nonmember were injured in any way. 

We also explored the coverages provided by NAVHDA’s new insurance.  There is a major gap in the policy should a member injure another member.  As written, everyone has coverage should a non-member be injured, but NOT if a member injures another member. The basic liability insurance selected by NAVHDA excludes claims of members against other members, since both are policy holders and the policy states that you cannot sue your own policy.  While the injured could still file a lawsuit, the insurance company would have no responsibility to provide for your defense or pay for any settlement.  To remedy this, the Chapter is reviewing additional insurance at the Chapter level where member-to-member coverage is provided.  You would then be protected in the event you injured another member and, since the policy covers the same things covered in NAVHDA’s, we will have double the coverage limits for those common items.  It is expected that this coverage will cost $10 or less per member per year.

As we move forward, you will hear more about this subject and experience firsthand the procedures we’ve had to implement.  As a Board, we’ve spent many hours reacting to this change.  We’ve tried to keep everything as straightforward as possible and we’ll continue to look for ways to simplify it as we move forward.  I am requesting you remain patient with these changes and understand that the insurance change was the driving force and not something the Board decided to do on its own.

Thank you for your patience, understanding and above all else, thank you for helping to make this the best NAVHDA Chapter there is.

Best regards,

 

Rolf Rogers

President, Minnesota NAVHDA

I’m sure we’ve all read or seen quotes to the effect of “Sometimes bad things have to happen before good things can.”   At Minnesota NAVHDA we had our own experience with that concept this year, when one of our founding members, Joe Dolejsi, suddenly passed away in January.  The good news, was that from Joe’s passing was created the Joe Dolejsi Annual Youth Scholarship, the purpose of which is to be used by a youth Minnesota NAVHDA member for training and testing of their dog.

So – the call went out, the applications were received, the ballots counted, and the winner is – drum roll please – Mason Schultz!                                  Mason is a 5th grader at Lincoln Elementary in White Bear Lake, and lives with his folks Cory Schultz and Kirsten Olson, along with his younger brother Bram (plus the animals they foster through the humane society!).  When Mason’s not training his year old pudelpointer pup “Comet” (“Pan American Elora, from Pan American Kennels in Miami, FL), he’s into biking and just being outdoors.  He’ll complete his hunter safety course this month.  Oh yeah – and he’s a bit of an artist as well – as an accomplished glassblower.  It takes all kinds to work these dogs!

In addition to the scholarship providing Mason with a family membership in MN NAVHDA for a year, he’ll also be covered for his training day registrations, 10-week obedience class, training nights registrations and grounds fees, and a Mock NA or UT test.   The fine folks at Kelley Farms have even donated an annual pass for their grounds.

What will he do with all this?  Perhaps Mason himself says it best:

“My name is Mason P. Schultz.  I am 11 years old.  My family got a Pudelpointer in May, 2017.  Her name is Comet.  We just started taking her to training classes in Stillwater, at the Washington County Fairgrounds.  My dad and I go together, but I am in charge of training her, and I like training her a lot.

Comet went hunting with my dad and I this fall.  She is a versatile hunting dog.  She is a pretty good listener, but she sometimes forgets.  I like to work with her and would really like to keep taking classes.  I think that I can help her to be a really good versatile hunting dog – to go after ducks, pheasants, grouse, and other types of birds.  Also, I have been teaching her some other things too, like how she should point for a bird.  And how she needs to have her own place to go when people are over.

I would like to be in this next class session because I want to learn how I could improve my skills and her skills.  I would really like to enter competitions with her and see how well we could do together.  I would like to be a good trainer and dog handler, which I think this class would help me do.

I really like owning a hunting dog because when you ware hunting you have to scour all over to try and find a bird or two.  But if you have a dog, you find the birds much more quickly.

If I get into this class my goals are to learn even more about dog training, to improve my skills, to be able to teach my dog new advanced skills, and to enter my first competitions.

Thank you for considering my application for this youth scholarship.”

There you have it.  Thank you, Mason, for applying to be our first recipient of the Joe Dolejsi Annual Youth Scholarship!  I sure that Joe is smiling about this right now.

If you would like to make a tax deductible contribution to this fund in memory of Joe, please follow this link: GOFUNDME  The Joe Dolejsi Youth Scholarship Fund

We received this notification from NAVHDA International, and are sorting through the best way to implement this policy while at the same time, making it as seamless as possible so as not to interfere with you involving family and friends who are not members of NAVHDA International in our Chapter events. Remember, your family members are automatically members of our Chapter with your enrollment however, they are not considered members of NAVHDA International unless they have an individual membership with them.

We’ll keep you updated as this develops.  Thank you for your cooperation.

Click here for NAVHDA International Facebook info thread on this topic

From NAVHDA International, 03/04/2018

ALL Non-Members Participating in NAVHDA Events are Required to Sign a Release and Express Assumption of Risk Agreement (available under the Forms Express link at www.navhda.org/forms-express)

This year, for the first time in many years, our organization’s liability insurance coverage has been placed with a different insurance company, Philadelphia Insurance Company. As part of our insurance contract with Philadelphia, we are now required to secure a signed release and express assumption of risk agreement (the “release agreement”) from anyone who will be participating at one of our events that is not a member of the NAVHDA parent organization, also known as NAVHDA International.

The following Q&A provides information on how we will utilize this release agreement in our organization.

Why do we need this release agreement and what is its purpose?
It is now a requirement of our insurance coverage to comply with this so as to not to jeopardize our coverage.

Who has to sign the release agreement?
This release agreement must be signed by anyone who is not a member of NAVHDA International as defined below, and who intends to participate in ANY NAVHDA-sanctioned event, including but not limited to all tests, handler clinics, and training days. In addition, if the participant is a minor, the release agreement must be signed by a parent or other legal guardian.

Who is a member and who is a non-member?
An individual is considered a NAVHDA member if they have a NAVHDA member number and if their dues are paid in full for the year in which the event in question is occurring. This would include “life members” since they have a member number and their dues are paid in perpetuity. Some Chapters allow spouses and/or family members to be considered Chapter members without joining NAVHDA International; these individuals are considered non-members of NAVHDA International and must therefore sign the release agreement prior to actively participating in any NAVHDA International or Chapter events. A nonmember is defined as anyone who wishes to participate at a NAVHDA event, but who is not a member of NAVHDA International, and/or individuals who are former NAVHDA International members but whose dues are not paid in full, and/or is someone who intends to join NAVHDA International but does not yet have a member number or dues paid in full.

Under what circumstances is the release agreement required?
A release agreement is required when a non-member wishes to actively participate in a NAVHDA event. Practically speaking, this means anytime a non-member intends to:
• handle a dog in one of our hunt tests or training sessions
• follow a handler out in the field during a hunt test or training session
• volunteer to help at any NAVHDA sactioned event
As a side note, a non-member can never be allowed to handle a firearm at any of our events.  (Also, as of July 1st, 2018, Non-Members will no longer be allowed to handle dogs in any tests)

When is a release agreement NOT required?
A signed release agreement is not required for any non-member who is merely there to watch an event from a distance or stops by to have lunch, etc., but does not otherwise actively participate in any event or activities.

Is the release agreement signed yearly, or for each event?
A release agreement should be obtained each time a non-member wishes to participate in any NAVHDA sactioned event. It is the only way to ensure that we have a release agreement for that particular activity.

How do we access the release agreement?
The release agreement form is available on the NAVHDA webpage under Forms Express.

Who secures and retains the release agreement and for how long does it need to be retained?
The release agreement should be secured and retained by NAVHDA International for International events and by the local Chapter for Chapter events. The release agreement should be maintained for a minimum of one year after the expiration of the longest applicable statute of limitation for tort actions in the relevant jurisdiction. Any release agreement pertaining to a minor should be maintained for the period of the applicable statute of limitations after the minor reaches the age of majority.

Who is responsible for ensuring release agreements are signed prior to an event?
The hosting Chapter’s secretary or his/her designee is responsible for securing the signed release agreement from the appropriate people before and during a NAVHDA event. During their opening remarks, the Senior Judge is encouraged to inform all non-members that they must complete the release agreement if they have not already done so.

Who can “witness” the signature of the release agreement?
Any member of NAVHDA International that is at least 21 years old and who has read and understands the release agreement may witness the signature for a non-member.