I can think of few who would be as well qualified as Chris Atkinson to represent American sportsmen overseas. Not only is Chris a tireless worker and, in many ways, an un-sung hero of the gundog fraternity in the US through RTF and other gundog events, but he is also one of your country's leading duck-callers, indeed a recent member of the judging panel in your National Championships.
What I admire most about Chris Atkinson is his sense of fair play and his ability to defuse a situation in a firm, yet dignified manner. He is someone who can put a viewpoint across without being overbearing while at the same time, speaking from knowledgable perspective.
For all these reasons and for more, I have invited and Chris has accepted my invitation to travel to the National Countrysports Fair in Northern Ireland at the end of May 2007. This game fair is the largest in Ireland and we had the pleasure of hosting a successful US Retriever team in 2004. Chris will be a worthy American follow-on and I know his attendance will be appreciated and his contribution to the event thoroughly enjoyed.
I feel sure that all on RTF will want to wish Chris success for his trip as he comes here to demonstrate to us Irish sportsmen the art-form that US style duck-calling undoubtedly is. Impart information on US gundog training methods as he talks to Irish handlers at the seminars he will speak at during his trip and, as he surely will, dispell some of the myths and misconceptions that exist out there in retriever world!
Chris is freely giving up his time and we are grateful to him for that. Be assured that he will be looked after heartily this side of the Atlantic.
It would be nice to see the many friends of Chris offer their best wishes through RTF as once again, new ground is broken in the world of country sports (hunting) through this medium.
The website of the game fair is www.gamefairireland.com Shortly a page will be added to advise game fair visitors about Chris' visit and their opportunity for meeing with him.
I'll post more information here over the next few weeks.