Trials (The Short Course)
Field Trials are competitive
events that offer a practical demonstration of a dog's ability to perform
the functions for which it was bred. The Brittany is a pointing breed
and is judged on its ability to cover ground, search out likely cover,
and to find and point birds with efficiency and style.
are a variety of "stakes"” or classes in which dogs
can be entered at field trials. Puppy (6 months to 15 months) and Derby
(6 months to two years) stakes are for young, relatively untrained dogs
that are judged on their potential. Puppies and Derby dogs can earn
a limited number of points towards a field championship, but no dog
can be awarded a field championship without winning in Adult stakes
requiring steadiness to wing and shot, staunch and stylish pointing,
as well as intelligence and initiative in covering ground. Certain stakes
also require retrieval of downed birds.
Each dog in a field trial is paired with another dog in what is known
as a "brace" and runs a predetermined course on which birds
have been released (a few field trials run on courses with a natural
bird population, but most in the U.S. use released birds. Puppy stakes
do not required released birds.) Every dog is compared with every other
dog until the two judges have selected a winner and second through fourth
place dogs in each stake.
However, judges may elect to withhold any placement if they feel there
was no performance worthy of recognition. Withheld placements are fairly
common. The winner is awarded points towards its Field Championship.
The judges may elect to withhold any or all of the four placements.
The number of points awarded is based on the number of dogs entered
in that particular stake. A second place dog may also earn points provided
the total number of dogs entered in that specific stake exceeds 13 dogs.
Third and fourth place dogs do not receive championship points except
in large amateur stakes. To complete its championship, a dog must earn
10 points with at least one adult win in a Brittany club sponsored trial
in which the total entry of that specific stake is 13 dogs or more (known
as a Brittany major.)
trial dogs may earn a Field Championship (shown as FC in front of the
dog's name) or an Amateur Field Championship (AFC). "Amateur"”
refers to the handler. Many dogs carry the FC/AFC title, indicating
they have met the requirements for both the Field Championship and the
Amateur Field Championship. Many people hire professional handlers to
run their dogs in open stakes (open to both professional and amateur
handlers) while handling their own dogs in amateur stakes (closed to
professional handlers), although a good many run their own dogs in both
open and amateur stakes and are quite successful against the professionals.
A dog that has completed both the FC title and the show Championship
title (Ch.) will earn the prestigious Dual Champion or DC title. In
the breed's history, over 400 Brittanys have earned a Dual Championship
title and this is more than all other pointing breeds combined!
Most field trials are held with judges and handlers on horseback, however,
some clubs sponsor walking trials and/or walking stakes, and any handler
may elect to walk in any stake. Horseback handling is not required in
any field trial.
Need to know where the next field trial might be? click
Trials (The Long Course)
For more detailed information
on AKC field trials, follow this link to the AKC website for an in-depth
explanation of what is expected in Puppy and Adult stakes and how participating
dogs are judged. http://www.akc.org/registration/rules/rftpnt.cfm
Some field trials are also run under the rules and regulations of the
American Field. For more information on those trials, see http://www.americanfield.org/Pages/FTRequirements.html
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