Independence has again played host to the annual SEK Gun Dog Championship, in association with the National Upland Classic Series (NUCS). For the past four years this two day event, held on Saturday and Sunday, has been held three mile east of Sycamore on land set aside especially for this Championship by Barry and Barb Beurskens with the organizational help of Rusty Baker.

The event is divided into two fields between two divisions. Dogs are assigned a group to participate in, with Group A starting on the field on Saturday and Group B competing on the second field. On Sunday the groups will reverse fields per competition rules. The scores will be combined at the end of Sunday's competition and the winners in each category will be announced after the event.

Richard Sipes, Charlottesville, VA, competitor, said, “I brought four German Shorthairs and we are competing in the Open Pointing competition. In 2016, we won the event and I’m going to do my best to take it this year.” 

“There is a 20 minute time limit for each dog in the field. The dog is scored for the first bird and points for point or flush for the shot and for the retrieve. There are points for the number of shells returned and points added for the number of minutes left on the clock,” said Kenny Wilson, who last year won the overall competition. The dog accumulates points for each day and at the end of the two day event the points are tallied and the teams with the most points in named the winner of each category. The points earned at this event will carry on to the next event towards the National Championship.

Ed Holland, Kansas City, is attending his third SEK Gun Dog Championship. “I attend only one NUCS event a year and it is here in Independence. And it is for one reason, Rusty Baker and Remington Ranch along with Mark and Amy Ferrell. They put on a great event. The reason I participate in this event is the people in Independence. There are more than 20 NUCS events throughout the county but this, in Independence, is the best, according to Holland, the founder of the Heartland Challenge Cup, which held its inaugural event in Independence last October. That event brought some of the top Gun Dog competitors from around the country to the area for the two day event.