What can one say about Steve Sebestyen? Certainly, he was a shining example of what a bird dog field trialer should be. At times, he could be abrasive, garrulous and even combative to a fault - but always looking and thinking about the right thing for his beloved springers and the field trial game, in particular.
A working man most of his adult life, Steve was what many people refer to as a "week-end warrior". However, his action-filled weekends always stretched into a seven-day job. For over fifty years, he found time to be an owner, breeder, trainer, handler, judge and club official - plus doing all the little jobs that needed to be done on both the local and national level.
His kennel, Running Bear, was well respected and produced several field trial champions, including FC Running Bear and AFC Ludlovian Hawk, who was high point dog in 1964. Steve was never content to just run his dogs. His contribution to the dogs and the sport involved many hours of labor for two of the oldest field trial clubs in Wisconsin, The Wisconsin Amateur Field Trial Club and the West Allis Kennel Training Club. He fought like a tiger for the West Allis Club, making sure that it got itís proper field trial date, then along with several other individuals at trial time, made sure that everything went smoothly.
As said earlier, Steve was a judge of many field trials, including the National Championship in 1964 and 1983. He was selected to be the Field Trial Chairman for the National Championship in 1968 and again in 1973, but the one thing that Steve was the most proud of is that he was one of several individuals that were responsible for the Parent Club of the breed starting the National Amateur Championship trial, the first being held in 1963. In 1964, he was elected General Chairman (President), and the Amateur Championship trial was held in Burlington, Wisconsin. And in 1979 Steve served as Treasurer.
Steve C. Sebestyen was elected to and inducted into the National Bird Dog Field Trial Hall of Fame in 2003 at Grand Junction, Tennessee.
Marshall "Jim" Lightfoot