FIELD TRIALS

Adapted from the AKC Pointing Breeds Field Trial Rules & other info from the AKC

Jump To: Puppy - Derby - Gun Dog - All-Age - Field Championship - Amateur Field Championship

Field Trials offer practical demonstrations of a dog's ability to perform the functions for which it was bred. In Field Trials, the dogs compete against each other for placements and points toward their championships. Successful dogs earn an F.C. (Field Champion) title in front of their names on AKC records. Dogs can also earn Amateur Field Championships (A.F.C.) in Amateur Stakes.

For over 72 years, the AKC has offered Pointing Breed Field Trials and in 1986 added Hunting Tests for these dogs. The dogs are run in pairs (braces) around a course on which birds are released so that they can demonstrate their ability to find birds, point staunchly and retrieve the downed birds. The eligible Pointing Breeds are: Brittanys, English Setters, German Shorthaired Pointers, German Wirehaired Pointers, Pointers, Gordon Setters, Irish Setters, Vizslas, Weimaraners, and Wirehaired Pointing Griffons.


FIELD TRIAL STAKES (CLASSES)
("Amateur" refers to the dog's handler.)

Puppy Stake (Open and/or Amateur Walking) for dogs 6-15 months of age. Horseback handling is not permitted in Amateur Walking Puppy stakes. Puppies must show desire to hunt, boldness, and initiative in covering ground and in searching likely cover. They should indicate the presence of game if the opportunity is presented. Puppies should show reasonable obedience to their handlers’ commands, but should not be given additional credit for pointing staunchly. Each dog shall be judged on its actual performance as indicating its future as a high class bird dog. If the premium list states that blanks will be fired, every dog that makes game contact shall be fired over if the handler is within reasonable gun range. At least 15 minutes and not more than 30 minutes shall be allowed for each heat.

Derby Stake (Open and/or Amateur Walking) for dogs 6 months - 2 years of age. Horseback handling is not permitted in Amateur Walking Derby stakes. Derbies must show a keen desire to hunt, be bold and independent, have a fast, yet attractive, style of running, and demon-strate not only intelligence in seeking objectives but also the ability to find game. Derbies must establish point but no additional credit shall be given for steadiness to wing and shot. If the handler is within reasonable gun range of a bird which has been flushed after a point, a shot must be fired. A lack of opportunity for firing over a Derby dog on point shall not constitute reason for non-placement when it has had game contact in acceptable Derby manner. Derbies must show reasonable obedience to their handlers’ commands. Each dog is to be judged on its actual performance as indicating its future promise as a high class bird dog for Gun Dog or All-Age stakes. Preference should not be given to one potential over another. Application is more important than range in a Derby. At least 20 minutes and not more than 30 minutes shall be allowed for each heat. All placed dogs must have established a point.

Gun Dog Stake (Open and/or Amateur) for dogs 6 months of age and over. A Gun Dog must give a finished performance and must be under its handler’s control at all times. It must handle kindly, with a minimum of noise and hacking by the handler. A Gun Dog must show a keen desire to hunt, must have a bold and attractive style of running, and must demonstrate not only intelligence in quartering and in seeking objectives but also the ability to find game. The dog must hunt for its handler at all times at a range suitable for a handler on foot, and should show or check in front of its handler frequently. It must cover adequate ground but never range out of sight for a length of time that would detract from its usefulness as a practical hunting dog. The dog must locate game, must point staunchly, and must be steady to wing and shot. Intelligent use of the wind and terrain in locating game, accurate nose, and style and intensity on point, are essential. A dog that does not point cannot be placed. A dog should not be called back to point after the running of its brace except under the most extreme and unusual circumstances. A dog encountering its bracemate on point must honor. Failure of a dog to honor when it sees its bracemate on point must be severely penalized, and the intentional avoidance by a dog or a handler of an honoring situation must also be severely penalized. A dog that steals its bracemate’s point must be ordered up by the Judges. A reasonable move of a dog to mark a bird flushed after a point is acceptable, but this shall not excuse a break or a delayed chase. At least 30 minutes shall be allowed for each heat.

All-Age Stake (Open and/or Amateur) for dogs 6 months of age and over. An All-Age Dog must give a finished performance and must be under reasonable control of its handler. It must show a keen desire to hunt, must have a bold and attractive style of running, and must show independence in hunting. It must range well out in a forward moving pattern, seeking the most promising objectives, so as to locate any game on the course. Excessive line-casting and avoiding cover must be penalized. The dog must respond to handling but must demonstrate its independent judgment in hunting the course, and should not look to its handler for directions as to where to go. The dog must find game, must point staunchly, and must be steady to wing and shot. Intelligent use of the wind and terrain in locating game, accurate nose, and style and intensity on point, are essential. A dog that does not point cannot be placed. A dog encountering its bracemate on point must honor. Failure of a dog to honor when it sees its bracemate on point must be severely penalized, and the intentional avoidance by a dog or a handler of an hon-oring situation must also be severely penalized. A dog that steals its bracemate’s point must be ordered up by the Judges. A reasonable move of a dog to mark a bird flushed after a point is acceptable, but this shall not excuse a break or a delayed chase. At least 30 minutes shall be allowed for each heat.


FIELD CHAMPIONSHIP
A dog of one of the Pointing Breeds will be recorded a Field Champion after having won 10 points under the point rating schedule in regular stakes in at least three licensed or member field trials, provided that 3 points have been won in one 3 point or better Open All-Age, Open Gun Dog, Open Limited All-Age, or Open Limited Gun Dog Stake, that no more than 2 points each have been won in Open or Amateur Puppy and Open or Amateur Derby Stakes, and that no more than 4 of the 10 points have been won by placing first in Amateur Stakes. A Brittany shall not be recorded a Field Champion unless it has won a 3 point or better Open Gun Dog, Open All-Age, Open Limited Gun Dog, or Open Limited All-Age Stake in a licensed or member field trial held by a Brittany Club.

AMATEUR FIELD CHAMPIONSHIP
A dog of one of the Pointing Breeds will be recorded an Amateur Field Champion after having won 10 points under the point rating schedule in regular Amateur Stakes in at least 3 licensed or member field trials, provided that no more than 2 points each have been won by placing first in Amateur Walking Puppy and Amateur Walking Derby stakes and that it has been awarded 2 first placements, one of which must be a first placement in a 3 point or better Amateur All-Age, Amateur Gun Dog, Amateur Limited All-Age, or Amateur Limited Gun Dog Stake. A Brittany shall not be recorded an Amateur Field Champion unless it has won a 3 point or better Amateur All-Age, Amateur Gun Dog, Amateur Limited All-Age, or Amateur Limited Gun Dog Stake, in a licensed or member field trial held by a Brittany Club.

More info from AKC



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