Beretta Trident Program Designates Excellence in Hunting and Shooting Venues by Announcing its First Destinations

Beretta U.S.A. introduced the first four affiliated sporting venues of the Beretta Trident Program at a special reception and press conference for invited guests and press at the Beretta Gallery in New York City on Thursday, May 20th.

The Beretta Trident Program is a unique, quality rating-system based on an objective assessment of the complete guest experience at a hunting or shooting sports venue. Branded by Beretta, the Trident Program is the first of its kind and requires venues – offering hunting and or shotgun sports – to undergo a detailed and specific assessment of every area that can impact the guest experience.

The event was attended by luminaries including Cav. Ugo Gussalli Beretta, president of Beretta USA, Gary Ramey, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Beretta USA, Wayne LaPierre, Executive Vice President of the NRA, Joe Prather, Chairman Emeritus of Griffin & Howe and Executive Officer of the African Professional Hunters Association, Daniel L. Keen, Director of Development of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, and Lars and Jennifer Magnusson, owners of English driven shoot outfitter, Blixt.


The famous mule-drawn wagon of Pine Hill Plantation.

In all, several hundred industry luminaries packed the four-story Beretta Gallery on the posh Upper East Side of Manhattan to celebrate the announcement of the initial Beretta Trident Program hunting and shooting destinations. Peering through the inviting window of 718 Madison Avenue, the fanfare appeared as another cheery cocktail reception in an exclusive boutique. But inside the luxurious Beretta Gallery, the high-end destination industry was experiencing the shock of the new.

The event marked one of the rare situations where Beretta, a nearly 500 year-old brand, has permitted the name to be used to signify the exceptional quality of another organization. This initiative allows Beretta to significantly increase points of contact with its customers while they are participating in hunting and/or shooting sports.

The first four North American Lodges of the Beretta Trident Program are Cheyenne Ridge Signature Lodge in South Dakota, Highland Hills Ranch in Oregon, Pine Hill Plantation in Georgia, and Joshua Creek Ranch in Texas. Each lodge received a “One Trident” rating for excellence in wing shooting. In honor of their achievement the owners and their families flew in for the event.


Dennis and Mindy McNab of the Highland Hills Ranch with Cav. Ugo Gussalli Beretta (center).

“From the birds and habitat to guest services and their culinary offerings, these lodges have proved their ability to offer guests an exceptional experience,” said Christopher Merritt, General Manager of Beretta USA. “They are deserving of the Beretta Trident.”

Sporting Heritage Corp., a field sport consultancy in Franklin, Indiana, is responsible for conducting the evaluations, executing the brand qualification process, and ongoing quality assurance. Jonathan D. Sherrill, co-founder of Sporting Heritage Corp., the organization that conceived and developed the concept, likened the Beretta Trident Program to the Michelin Star system for fine dining – only in this case Beretta Tridents are awarded to signify excellence in a particular hunting or shooting experience. Until now, no such rating-system has been available for hunting and shooting venues.

The formal rating system of the Beretta Trident Program awards from one to three Tridents to hunting and shooting sport venues that apply for evaluation. To be considered, all venues must complete a full evaluation.

The Sporting Heritage Group designed and developed the evaluation system for Beretta to insure the brand’s integrity so that customers have complete confidence that their experience will meet and exceed their expectations at any operation awarded Beretta Trident certification.

The operational evaluation is in two segments.  The first is a scored and weighted format that results in both an absolute numbered score and a percentage ranking.  Minimums in both areas are necessary to qualify for Tridents.  The second part is a narrative that explains the “results” of the first segment and provides information – both positive and negative – for the venue covering all elements of the operational aspects scored in segment one.


Cav. Ugo Gussalli Beretta (left) with Joe and Ann Kercheville of the Joshua Creek Ranch.

The scored and weighted section runs about 15 pages and covers the gamut from the hunting and shooting experience to such things as terrain, habitat, game, aesthetics, staff, guest services, the lodge and all of its amenities, “back-of-the-house” performance and other essential criteria.

A Trident evaluation is thorough and very rigorous. The narrative portion runs from five to 10 pages and delivers “the good, the bad, and the ugly.” In the end, each venue knows how it was scored and, consequently, did or did not qualify for Trident inclusion.

The necessary quality standards must be both attained and maintained for the destination to stay in the program in order to ensure that the time-honored Beretta brand remains associated with excellence and high performance.

While the initial rating may qualify a venue for one, two, or three Tridents, ongoing evaluations are mandatory at a minimum of every three years.  If there is cause, as provided by guest feedback or the experience of the Sporting Heritage Group, evaluations may occur annually – or more often.

Ultimately, the Beretta Trident Program signifies an assurance of the quality of the field sport, the guest services and accommodations. Affiliated sporting venues will co-market and leverage Beretta’s brand equity to differentiate themselves from their competitors.


Chuck Weinreis and Bob Edwards of the Cheyenne Ridge Signature Lodge with Cav. Ugo Gussalli Beretta (center).

Although the first four hunting and shooting venues were domestic, the program will expand in the next 12 months to include venues in South America, Africa, and Europe with a variety of genres reflecting Beretta’s product segments.

As conceived by the Sporting Heritage Group, the Beretta Trident certification is more stringent than the highly coveted Orvis endorsement for hunting venues.

The Orvis program, started in 1989, lays out three key criteria to its endorsement: resources, hospitality and the lodge itself.

Resources include the natural habitat for hunting and fishing. In the case of wingshooting, the breeding and training of the dogs are also taken into consideration.

Hospitality translates into good service for the guests.

The third criterion is the lodge itself, and its facilities. The lodge must offer a welcoming blend of exceptional comfort and elegance.


Doug and Jackie Coe of the Pine Hill Plantation with Cav. Ugo Gussalli Beretta (center).

With the exception of the Lodge of the Year award, Orvis does not actually grade the lodges along the lines of the Beretta Trident Program, where affiliates can earn one to three Tridents.  Consequently, the Beretta Trident Program gives hunters deeper insight into the experience that they can expect.

At the press conference, Mr. Sherrill of the Sporting Heritage Group noted that the Beretta Trident Program will also include Orvis Endorsed Lodges able to qualify.

The Beretta Trident Program was launched at the Safari Club Convention in January 2010. The objective was to let qualifying venues co-market and leverage Beretta’s brand equity to differentiate themselves from their competitors.

At the time, Mr. Sherrill had said of the program: “Not only are we interested in ensuring top-quality field sports, we are also equally concerned that the lodging experience and hospitality of the venue is deserving of the quality designation as a Beretta Trident Venue.”

Now, some five months later, Beretta and the Sporting Heritage Group, performed a ribbon cutting on the initial four destinations.

Cheyenne Ridge Signature Lodge

The first sporting venue to ever receive a Beretta Trident rating for excellence in quality, the Cheyenne Ridge Signature Lodge offer five hunting acres over thousands of acres for hunting pheasants. Clays shooters can enjoy 5 Stand. In addition, there’s waterfowl, turkey, antelope and trophy deer. Of all the pheasant hunting lodges in South Dakota only Cheyenne Ridge Signature Lodge has an “ice bar.” As you pull up a stool you’ll notice that the bar’s surface is covered with ice to keep that single malt scotch at just the right temperature. Inside the humidor you’ll find primarily hand-rolled selections in various ring gauges and lengths with a perfect cigar for every palette.


The Cheyenne Ridge Signature Lodge.

The lodge’s Great Room exudes a hunting atmosphere with its mill-hewn timber posts and beams, hardwood floor and a stacked stone fireplace. The oversized picture windows look towards Lake Oahe and the pastoral South Dakota landscape beyond.

The Cheyenne Ridge property has been in the Weinreis family for four generations.

Highland Hills Ranch

Highland Hills Ranch is comprised of 3,000 acres managed exclusively to provide ideal habitat for extensive bird populations. Crops are planted and left un-harvested, native grasses cultivated and carefully managed, and water sources developed and maintained for one purpose only – to provide world-class upland bird shooting. You can actually hunt pheasant, chukar, valley quail and huns all in the same day. Mule deer hunting packages are also available.


Highland Hills Ranch.

The lodge, constructed of hand-peeled logs, spans 10,000 square feet housing six double occupancy bedrooms with private bath, a fully-stocked wine cellar and tasting room, bar, game room with billiard table, satellite TV, Wi-Fi, phone and fax. Guest cabins provide the same comfort and elegance as the lodge, but with the added benefit of privacy. Each double-occupancy cabin has its own fireplace, private bath and even a front porch to sit, relax and watch the sun set at the end of a perfect day.

Pine Hill Plantation

Georgia’s Pine Hill Plantation adheres to the old-world tradition of quail hunting from horseback and mule-drawn wagon. There is an abundance of the best wild quail and early-season release quail hunting… with lots of covey rise shooting opportunity. There is also turkey and duck hunting.


Pine Hill Plantation.

Pine Hill Plantation is a first class luxury quail hunting lodge in South Georgia. You’ll enjoy hidden treasures quietly tucked in the midst of wiregrass and long leaf pines – the perfect place to build lasting customer relationships that will surely enhance your business – or the perfect place to enjoy long-time family and personal relationships.

The Pine Hill Manor Lodge is the epitome of Southern grand luxury. It includes a sumptuous master suite, combined cigar and gun room replete with fireplace, a large comfortable great room, two private dining rooms and guest rooms with private bathrooms. First-class cottages are also available.

Joshua Creek Ranch

Joshua Creek Ranch boasts 1,200 acres of diverse terrain, including Texas prairie grasses, high bluffs that present a dramatic backdrop to crystal clear Joshua Creek, and magnificent, ancient oaks that grace the gentle, rolling hills.


Joshua Creek Ranch.

During the fall and winter, you can shoot Texas bobwhite quail, chukar, Hungarian partridge, and pheasant, as well as game hunting for Hill Country including year-round trophy Axis buck, you can hunt Axis year round. When the season rolls around you can also hunt big Rio Grande turkey.  For clays shooters Joshua Creek Ranch features a 10-station sporting clays course. The lodge exudes the ambiance of a private plantation.

From November through April Joshua Creek Ranch offers catch-and-release fishing year-round for bass, blue gill, crappie and catfish.  You can tube and kayak down the Guadalupe River in the spring and summer.  The spring-fed Joshua Creek is ideal for fly fishing.

There are also instructors for deer and bird hunting.

The lodge has a Southwest rustic elegance that gracefully blends in with the Texas Hill Country.


Helpful resources:

The Beretta Trident Program

Joshua Creek Ranch

Cheyenne Ridge Signature Lodge

Pine Hill Plantation

Highland Hills Ranch

Sporting Heritage Group

Beretta USA


Irwin Greenstein is Publisher of Shotgun Life. Please send your comments to



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