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Central New Mexico Brittany Club

Field Trials

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Providing more events for members and their Brittanys
than any ABC Club in the Southwest

CNMBC Fall Field Trial for Pointing Breeds
April 8 & 9, 2017

All held about 9 miles west of Bernardo,NM

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CNMBC Field Events






Introduction to Field Trials 101

article by Bob and Joann Anders, NVBC

Portions of this article are excerpted from The Book of The American Brittany and AKC Field Trial Rules and Standard Procedure for Pointing Breeds

You should attend a licensed Brittany field trial, if not to compete, then just to observe. Here you will watch the top dogs of the breed, see the ultimate in manners in the adult dog, and learn what a pointing dog can do. Many people new to the breed do not realize how powerful the pointing, scenting, and hunting abilities of the average "hunting" Brittany can be, if it is of good bloodlines and properly socialized.

Bob Anders announcing placements for April 2005 NVBC April Field Trial
Bob Anders announcing placements for Field Trial

Brittany trials, licensed by the American Kennel Club, are held in almost all of the fifty states. Most of these licensed clubs normally holds one trial in the spring and another in the fall. Information about the time and location of the trials may be obtained from club secretaries whose names are listed in the American Brittany magazine. (Listing of CNMBC Field Trials.)

Sue Drazek with Nick Nick breaking away in All-Age Stake Judges and gallery following Nick

Sue Drazek with Nick (RJA's Paws-A-Trac) at breakaway at All-Age Stake,

Nick breaking away in All-Age Stake Field Trial
Judges and gallery following Nick in All-Age Stake Field Trial.

Types of Field Trials

At these trials Brittanys compete with others of their own breed and, lately, some continental breeds, for championship points. Four to six stakes are offered. Puppy stake (for dogs from six to 15 months of age), Derby stake (for dogs from six months to two years of age), Open and Amateur All-Age stakes for dogs any age more than six months, and Open and Amateur Gun Dog stakes for dogs of the same age, but different hunting styles.

A field champion wins its points by taking first place in any regular stake. Ten points are required of which two may be won in the Puppy stake, two in the Derby stake and the remainder in regular stakes in at least three licensed or member field trials provided 3 points have been won in a 3 point or better adult open stake. Only four points from the Amateur competition may be utilized. As in dog shows the number of dogs in the stake determines the number of points. Field Championships are quite difficult to obtain. You may have to travel many miles if you wish to attend a licensed trial every weekend of the season. But it is an exciting hobby and people travel long distances for a chance to place their dogs in licensed competition.

An Amateur field champion wins its points in amateur events. Ten points must be accumulated, in at least 3 licensed or member field trials. Points may be accumulated 2 points from Amateur Walking Puppy, 2 points from Amateur Walking Derby, and from second and third placements, except that a dog must have two first places one of which must be a 3 point or better to complete the title. As in show and obedience events the points are based on the number of dogs in the stake. The same amateur points may be used to gain a Field Championship title may be used for the Amateur Champion title.

Handlers watch a dog on point and the bracemate backing

Handlers watch a dog on point and the bracemate backing with judges,
Al & Cindy Cropek from Pennsylvania, and gallery at NVBC spring trial in April 2004.

Entries for trials must be made on official entry forms. Entries usually close sometime during the week before the trial. Trials usually start early Saturday morning and end late Sunday, utilizing all the daylight hours. The premium list that you get from the secretary of the club giving the trial will have all the details - what stakes are being run, when they start, etc. If you intend to run your puppy and the premium list states that puppies will be fired over, you should equip yourself with a blank pistol to fire blank cartridges - or make arrangements to borrow one from one of the other competitors. Don't get a regular pistol for this; too many states have rigid laws forbidding carrying pistols in your vehicle. Firing over dogs is mandatory in all other stakes. You will find that horseback handling is allowable in most stakes. If you prefer to walk and handle your dog, you may do so. The rules say the horseback handler does not determine the pace. Usually the judge tries to set a pace, which is equitable for everybody.

Characteristics of Various Trial Levels

Puppies must show a keen 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.

At least 15 minutes and not more than 30 minutes shall be allowed for each heat.

Derbies must show a keen desire to hunt, be bold and independent, have a fast, yet attractive, style of running, and demonstrate 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. Derbies must show reasonable obedience to their handlers' commands. Each dog is to be judged on its actual performance as indication its future promise as a high-class bird dog for Gun Dog or All-Age stakes. At least 20 minutes and not more than 30 minutes shall be allowed for each heat. All placed dogs must have established a point.

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. 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. A dog that does not point cannot be placed. At least 30 minutes shall be allowed for each stake.

Bob Anders (L) with Bridbag and Denis, NVBC Field Trial April 2004

Bob Anders getting ready to follow brace with birdbag to plant birds for the next brace
and chatting with Denis who hails from Maine.

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 game on the course. 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. A dog that does not point cannot be placed. At least 30 minutes shall be allowed for each heat.

Bob Anders and Greg Storey getting ready to plant birds Sue Drazek with new NVBC members Scott and Linda Brabson Bob Anders (left) and Paul Douthit are Bruce Conover and Herb Reid
Bob Anders and Greg Storey getting ready to plant birds on All-Age Course,
Field Trial
Sue Drazek with new NVBC members Scott and Linda Brabson who joined us with their new pup Nemo to see what field trials are all about. Club members believe in learning by doing!
Joining Bob Anders (left) and Paul Douthit are Bruce Conover and Herb Reid (orange hat) taking a break while waiting for the Amateur Gun Dog Stake to resume,

The adult stakes may be either Open or Amateur, the professional handlers, (one who trains and campaign dogs as an occupation) dominate the Open stakes and it takes an advanced amateur to win first place in this type of competition. The Amateur stake is open to any person who has not taken money or other considerations for training field dogs. The designation refer to the handlers in the stakes, not the dogs, so you will likely run into the same dogs in either stake, but the performance of some of the professionally trained dogs may be totally different with their amateur owner/handlers. In these adult stakes the dog's manners on birds are of prime importance. The dog must hold point while the handler flushes the bird and fires his blank pistol. It may not move until the handler gives it permission. In a small number of trials, where the birds are shot, the dog is expected to retrieve on command.

For More Information

If your interest has been aroused and you want to learn more about field trials, write to the American Kennel Club and ask for the Regulations for Field Trials booklet or go to their website. Their address is: The American Kennel Club, 5580 Centerview Drive, Raleigh, NC 27606.

AKC Regulations for Pointing Breed Trials - Official rules and regulations from AKC.

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