Hall of Fame Inductee


NESS, TOM

Year Inducted : 2019


In his own words:

I bought my first spaniel, a tiny very powerful little springer in 1976 from Jim Stone. I just wanted a hunting dog. Little did I know that this little liver and white dog would change the course of my life and begin a lifelong friendship with Jim. I graduated from the University of North Dakota with a degree in geology and moved to Casper, Wyoming to begin my career with a mining company. By this time, I had been bitten by the dog training bug and had attended a few trials where my little springer got a few awards. In 1984 I moved my family back to North Dakota and supplemented my day job by training a few dogs and eventually guiding some hunts for contacts I had made when I lived out west. On opening day of pheasant season in 1992, I was guiding a group from Colorado when I suffered a severe accidental gunshot wound. When I recovered, I decided to pursue the dogs full time. I trained all breeds, mostly Springers, but had an interest in Cockers. I had tried a few, none of which were very useful. That changed in 1993 when I imported Parkbreck Elm of Bishwell, "Maeve." I was still very green but knew immediately that she was something special. With Cocker trials starting again, I decided that the rest of the world should see this great dog. Since then, I have had many wonderful clients and seen the Cockers come back from the brink of extinction to a viable choice as a gun dog with some truly great individuals. At the moment, being shot in the back with a 12-gauge shotgun from 4 inches did not seem like a good thing, but today I recognize it as a blessing. It allowed me to meet my wife and pursue a career breeding and training the little dogs I love.