Brandt Harty Press Release (4/22/20)

Image courtesy Scott Brosier Pine Hill Sportsman's Club


Here's the latest from Chairman Brandt Hardy and the VDD-GNA Executive Board. We're sad to hear the 2020 Armbruster has been canceled but grateful for clear direction and good communication. We've reprinted the press release in its entity below.

4/22/20 Press Release from the VDD-GNA Executive Board

2020 Armbruster Cancelled

In light of the JGHV cessation of the Spring VJP testing season due to the Corona virus pandemic and in conjunction with the Wild West Chapter withdrawing their sponsorship, the GNA EB has voted unanimously to cancel this years Armbruster. These actions have been seen and discussed over the past 6 weeks with Nate Bailey and Jon Davis as well as Geoff Mathews and also Christoph Heimes, the Chairman of VDD, as we have all watched the virus impact our nations. This is not an easy decision to make but it is the correct one with the current understanding of the circumstances.

The obvious background Armbruster problem for GNA this year involves the fact that we have only tested 115 dogs through VJP in 2020. These tests were early extending from New Jersey through the southeast. This represents less than 20% of our VJP DD entries. The International aspect of the Armbruster makes this an invitational test by meeting specific qualifying criteria. For example some chapters never even got started VJP testing. The WWC (Wild West Chapter) had over 120 dogs entered in their VJPs but all were cancelled. This is so very unfortunate for our host chapter. We can not hold an Armbruster without having qualified dogs. There is no way to qualify any dogs even if we start being able to move around in May or June.

The VJP testing season in the US must end in mid May. It ends even earlier in Germany than it does for us. The only VJP tests run in the world were done in the US and 90% of those were done through GNA. We are not alone in this canceling of an International test situation. The VDD has cancelled the 2020 Hegewald since there was no VJP testing anywhere in Germany or the rest of Europe. The VJP testing season in Germany would have run from March 27-May 3.

The Armbruster takes typically years for the host chapter to organize correctly. Many of you are unfamiliar with all of the moving parts to pull off our largest and most important annual event. Needless to say it is extensive and complex. We have many summer hard time deadlines and expenses to cover so now was the correct time to cancel before WWC or GNA spends money that we could not recover. I do want to commend Nate and Jon plus their team of volunteers for the incredible organization done to date. I also appreciate the quick response and support of the WWC Executive Board to navigate together through these unchartered waters with Geoff and myself. It is my suggestion that this cancellation needs to be considered only a “postponement” and GNA goes back as quickly as possible to the WWC to host the 2022 Armbruster. This idea has been well received by the WWC Board. We will in time generate a motion to reset the matter in front of the GNA Board of Directors for an enthusiastic vote of approval.

We have other questions outstanding regarding fall testing, Breed certification, and the cancellation of the GNA Annual meeting. Please understand that there are many discussions occurring to get specific direction on all of these matters. Here is what we know to date.

Regarding Fall testing, please have your Chapter DoT submit your fall testing schedule as normal. It is our intent to follow our usual pattern and work hard to get tests done in the fall of 2020. I do anticipate there will be certain guidelines that will allow the tests to be done but it might look different without any galleries for example. We can live with new expectations and guidelines if we can get through the HZP and VGP testing season. There is a new official JGHV test called Corona 2020 for VJP age dogs worked out with the VDD that supports a track and gunfire sensitivity evaluation.

We have had discussions with the JGHV and VDD for some variances that work for the US but we have not gotten any details yet confirming approval of our request. It is my recommendation for chapters to schedule as many HZP with hare track test as possible to be run in the mountain and western states in order to have a track score for your dogs. You would not need both the Corona 2020 test and HZP with an included hare track. In other words either or but not both tracking tests are required. One or the other will work for the breed certification requirements with VDD if you did not run a VJP this spring. Obviously we will need to do the Corona 2020 test in areas that don’t have reasonable fall tracking possibilities. We are currently getting the rules translated so we will get that out as soon as we can with the outcome of our variance request. Geoff Mathews will keep you updated.

Regarding the canceled GNA Annual meeting, the VDD By-laws do not allow for anything other manner than “in person” meetings for handling club business. We are obviously not able to do that this year at this time. We are asking for a one time exception to the VDD By-laws in order to seat the new GNA Executive Board next month. This too is complicated and I hope to get some direction in the next week or two. I very much appreciate how willing Christoph and the rest of the VDD Executive Board understands and is willing to work through these issues with us.

These are very unusual times for all of us. We deeply love our Deutsch-Drahthaar and hate the disruption to our normal way of “dog life.” I have had a coworker, friends, and family member get COVID-19. I hope your loved ones do not. It is tough and a real crap shoot as to which version you get. Let’s all stay safe, be wise, and train your pups to maintain some normality and sanity. We will get through this best together. We will have variances to get our dogs certified and bred properly going forward. If you have any questions, please feel free to give me a call.


BrandtHardy VDD-GNA Chairman Baton Rouge, LA