Mr D Anderson
Shropshire & Staffordshire Working Spaniel Society
Yorkshire Sporting Spaniel Club
Dukeries (Notts) Gundog Club
English Setter Club
East Anglian Labrador Retriever Club
Eastern Counties Retriever Society
Norfolk Gundog Club
Utility Gundog Society
Mrs C Bridgwater Chiltern Gundog
Essex Field Trial Society
Meon Valley Working Spaniel Club
Mrs G Caldwell
Arfon Working Gundog Club
Clwyd Retriever Club
Welsh Kennel Club
Leicestershire Gundog Society
Midland Gundog Society
Weimaraner Club of Great Britain
Cocker Spaniel Club
Midland Counties Field Trial Society
Mid Wales Working Gundog Society
United Gundog Breeders Association
Mr G E
Arun and Downland Gundog Society
Bristol and West Working Gundog Society
(Golden Retriever Club of Wales)
Northern Golden Retriever Association
South Western Golden Retriever Club
(Eastern Counties Golden Retriever Club)
Cambridgeshire Field Trial Society
Suffolk Gundog Club
English Springer Spaniel Club of Scotland
Gamekeepers National Association
Golden Retriever Club
Yellow Labrador Club
Southern Golden Retriever Society
Lancashire & Merseyside Field Trial Society
North West Labrador Retriever Club
Mrs D Harrison
Guildford Working Gundog Club
South Eastern Gundog Society
Golden Retriever Club of Northumbria
Yorkshire Golden Retriever Club
Norfolk & Suffolk HPR Field Trial Club
Dove Valley Working Gundog Club
East Midland Gundog
Hungarian Vizsla Society
Mrs S A Jenkins West
Dartmoor Working Gundog Club
Westward Gundog Society
Mrs A Johnson
Italian Spinone Club of Great Britain
International Gundog League (Pointer & Setter Society)
Southern Pointer Club
Eastern Counties Spaniel Society
London Cocker Spaniel Society
Mid Sussex Working Spaniel Club
German Longhaired Pointer Club
German Shorthaired Pointer Club
Mr H W
Cheshire, North Wales & Shropshire Retriever & Spaniel
West Midland Field Trial Society
Mr J T
Grampian Gundog Club
Labrador Club of Scotland
German Wirehaired Pointer Club
Large Munsterlander Club
Mr V H McDevitt English
Springer Spaniel Club of Northern Ireland
Fermanagh Gundog Club
North West Ulster Spaniel
Labrador Retriever Club of Northern Ireland
Ulster Gundog League
Ulster Retriever Club
English Springer Spaniel Club
Midland English Springer Spaniel Society
Carmarthenshire Working Gundog Society
Glamorgan Field Trial Society
Mrs T Salaman
Cornwall Field Trial Society
West of England Labrador Retriever Club
Antrim & Down Springer Spaniel Club
Mid Ulster Gundog Association
Ulster Golden Retriever Club
Mid Herts Gundog Club
Duchy Working Gundog Club
North Devon Working Gundog Club
Flatcoated Retriever Society
Wiltshire Working Gundog Society
Mr J M
Tyne Tees & Tweed Field Trial Society
Yorkshire Gundog Club
Craigavon Gundog Club
Northern Ireland Gundog, Field & Show Society
Mr P Wainwright International
Gundog League (Retriever Society)
Southern & Western Counties Field Trial Society
English Springer Spaniel Club of Wales
Pembrokeshire Working Gundog Society
Labrador Retriever Club of Wales
United Retriever Club
Usk Valley Working Gundog Club
IN ATTENDANCE: Miss V
Buckwell Specialist - Working
Dog Activities Team
Field Trials Secretary
Miss D Deuchar Manager -
Leader - Working Dog Activities Team
Committee Secretary - Working Dog Activities Team
IN THE CHAIR:
Mr J M Taylor
- Apologies for absence were received from:
Mr J Anderson, Mr M Ashman, Mr J Bailey, Mr G Bowers, Mrs H
Bradley, Miss C Calvert,
Mr J Castle, Mr D Dunn, Miss A Faulds, Mr P Heard, Mr J Kean, Ms
P Pickstone, Mr S Russell, Mrs S Smith, Mr G Slater, Mrs J Venturi
Rose, Miss S Whyte.
2. TO APPROVE
THE MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 9 MAY 2013
- The minutes from the meeting held on 9 May 2013 were signed by
the Chairman as an accurate record.
ARISING FROM THE MINUTES OF THE MEETING AND RESULTS OF
RECOMMENDATIONS PASSED TO THE FIELD TRIALS SUB-COMMITTEE
(Results of recommendations previously
- The Results of Recommendations document was noted by the
- It was noted that the proposed amendment to Regulation J6.c.(3)
- Qualifications for Judges Panels which had been submitted by the
Golden Retriever Club of Northumbria was still under
- It was confirmed that the discussion item raised by
Cambridgeshire Field Trial Society regarding novice draws was under
review by the Field Trial Sub-Committee.
- There was some concern at delays between items being discussed
by the Council and action being taken by the Kennel Club however,
any issues submitted by the Council were dealt with as quickly as
possible but it was accepted that it could sometimes be a lengthy
- The Council noted the resignation of Mr G Nixon who was the
Council's HPR Representative on the Field Trials Sub-Committee, and
nominations for a replacement were requested. Mr S Chant was
duly nominated. There were no other nominations.
4. TO NOTE
THE TABLED REPORT ON THE WORK OF THE FIELD TRIALS SUB-COMMITTEE
- The meeting noted the tabled report on the work of the Field
Trials Sub-Committee during 2013.
- It was noted that of nine proposals put forward by the Council,
only two had not been recommended. It was hoped that this
would reassure Council members that their views were taken into
account by the Field Trials Sub-Committee and the General
- In response to a query, the office confirmed that very few
applications for addition to the Panel Judges lists were rejected
by the Field Trials Sub-Committee. The Council requested that
for its future meetings more detail be provided on the number of
applications received, accepted, and rejected. The office noted the
request and agreed to provide this information if possible.
However it would not be possible to provide details on how many
judges had passed or failed the Requirements of a Field Trial
Judges examination as this information was not within the public
- It was acknowledged that due to publishing deadlines and the
dates of General Committee meetings, there was sometimes an
unavoidable delay in lists of approved judges appearing in the
Field Trial newsletter.
- It was noted that two incident reports were considered by the
Field Trials Sub-Committee during 2013. It was not possible
for further information to be provided on these reports as matters
considered by the Field Trials Sub-Committee were private and
confidential, but the office advised that the reports may have
related to breaches of Regulations or minor incidents rather than
to serious incidents. These reports would have been considered
separately to any objections lodged with the Kennel Club. However
there was some concern among Council members at what was perceived
to be a deteriorating standard of behaviour at Field Trials.
5. TO RECEIVE
A PRESENTATION FROM MR BILL LAMBERT REGARDING THE KENNEL CLUB
ASSURED BREEDER SCHEME
- The meeting received a presentation from Mr Lambert who
outlined the requirements and recent developments of the Assured
PROPOSALS FROM SOCIETIES
Proposed amendment to Regulation J5.f. - Abandonment or
- Mr Rees introduced a proposal from Carmarthenshire Working
Glamorganshire Field Trial Society to amend the Regulations to
allow for re-scheduling of a trial within 14 days of the original
date in the event of a trial being abandoned or cancelled. The
proposal was seconded by Mr D Anderson.
- Mr Rees cited the example of an Open qualifying stake which had
been abandoned due to lack of game mid-morning on the day of the
trial. The Society subsequently lost an opportunity to have a
dog qualify for the Championship for that season.
- The Society was able to attain another ground and was invited
to re run the stake however as the trial was abandoned rather than
cancelled it was unable to hold the stake again within the season.
It was felt that if a Society found itself in this situation and
could attain ground and judges and was able to re-run the trial
within 14 days, after consultation with the Kennel Club, that the
trial should be re-run with the original card and draw
- There was some sympathy for clubs who found themselves in the
position of having to reschedule a trial for any reason. It
was acknowledged that it was not always easy to ascertain
beforehand whether there would be sufficient game for a trial to be
- It was noted that in the event of a trial being cancelled
before its commencement due to, for example, adverse weather
conditions, the trial could be rescheduled within a 14-day period
using the same grounds, judges, and draw subject to consultation
with the office.
- However an abandoned trial referred to one which had already
commenced. There was a concern at the possible situation
where a trial had commenced and a dog (or dogs) had already been
eliminated from the trial; should the trial be rescheduled, it
would then seem unfair to other handlers should such dogs be
allowed to compete giving them in effect a second chance. The
Council agreed not to recommend the proposed amendment.
Proposed amendment to Regulation J7.g - Entries
- On behalf of Tyne, Tees and Tweed Field Trial Association, Mr
Taylor outlined a proposal for an amendment to the Regulations
which would allow societies, if they wished, when running two or
more trials of the same denomination, to give preference in the
draw to members who were not successful in the previous
draw/s. The Tyne Tees and Tweed Field Trial Association was
of the view that the proposed amendment would provide clubs with
the discretion to increase the opportunity of a run to more of a
society's members. The proposal was seconded by Mr G
- The following amendment to Regulation J7.g. - Entries was
Societies must ensure that all eligible owners are given the
opportunity of having their preferred dog entered into the ballot
providing it is appropriately qualified.Societies may have
discretion, when running two or more trials of the same
denomination, to give preference in the draw to members who were
not successful in the previous draw/s. This must be clearly
stated on all relevant schedules. They may, or may not, after
such an entry has been accepted, allow an applicant to substitute a
dog before a Trial with another dog owned by him: the dog must,
however, be eligible and, where a preferential draw is held, it
must have the necessary qualifications. Societies, if
allowing substitution, must show this clearly on the
schedule. Societies may also have discretion to confine the
handling of dogs to one dog per owner.
(See also J9.b.(6))
- It was acknowledged that situations did arise where one handler
would get three runs but another handler did not get a run at all,
but that current Regulations stated that all dogs must go into the
- It was noted that Regulation J7.h. would apply in the situation
of a society running two Open Stakes in a season. In such
instances the society may ask a handler who had been successful in
both draws which of the Stakes he or she wished to run in, provided
that this was clearly stated on the schedule/s.
- There was some concern that in the case of a society running a
number of trials, handlers may select what they perceived to be the
'better' trials leaving secretaries with the issue of filling the
cards for less popular events. However, it was acknowledged
that the proposed amendment would give societies discretion to give
preference in the draw to members who had not been successful in
the previous draw/s, but did not require them to do so. There
was also a concern that some societies may wish to retain more than
one nomination fee whilst allowing a dog only one run. It was noted
that some societies did not levy nomination fees at all. The
Council was advised that the issue of nomination fees was currently
under consideration by the Field Trials Sub-Committee.
- It was clarified that should a reserve handler in the first
draw be called in, he or she would lose their run in the second
- The Council agreed that the proposed amendment addressed the
issue of fairness to handlers. It therefore supported the principle
and recommended it for approval subject to the proviso that the
precise wording of the Regulation amendment should be considered by
the Field Trials Sub-Committee.
Proposed amendment to Regulation J(F)7. a. - Show Gundog Working
- Mr Capel, on behalf of the Labrador Retriever Club, outlined
the view that the current requirements for the Show Gundog Working
Certificate were too open for interpretation by judges and that
although it was appreciated that precise rules could not be
implemented there was room for making the standard required on the
day more uniform. It was felt that some dogs would not demonstrate
that they are 'gun-shy' whilst on the lead.
- The Labrador Retriever Club proposed an amendment to
Regulations which would provide clarity regarding the 'steadiness'
aspect of the standard required for the granting of the Show Gundog
Working Certificate. The proposal was seconded by Mr J
Regulation J(F)7. a. - Show Gundog Working Certificate
7. Before signing a Certificate the Judges must be satisfied
that the dog fulfilled the following requirements:-
- The dog has been tested in lineon and off the lead
- The Council was of the view that a dog could not be properly
assessed for steadiness whilst on a lead. It also considered that
the Regulation stating that 'absolute steadiness is not essential'
was unhelpful and did not provide clear guidance for those
assessing dogs. It accepted that the dog could be on lead for
parts of the test but that the lead should be removed at least part
of the time. It supported the amendment and recommended it
- A suggestion was also put forward that Regulation J(F)7.i.
which stated 'That the dog has been under reasonable control,
absolute steadiness is not essential' could be removed. This
suggestion was noted.
- A proposal to amend the above Regulation was presented by Mr
Ford on behalf of the Gamekeepers National Association in order to
clarify ambiguity over the meaning of '3 calendar years'.
- The meeting was advised that the Field Trials
Sub-Committee had recently discussed this issue and had
recommended an amendment to Regulation J6.c.(5) s whereby
references to '3 calendar years' would be replaced by '36 months'
and references to '5 calendar years' would be replaced by '60
months'. The amendment had been approved by the General Committee
and would come into effect in January 2015.
- No further action was therefore necessary.
- Mr Jim Gale, representing the Labrador Retriever Club,
introduced a proposal to amend Regulation J(A)3.g. such that judges
would give more consideration to the possible unfavourable outcome
of sending a dog for a retrieve during a drive.
g. Judges should ask the Steward of the Beat what the game
position is likely to be and regulate the amount of work or number
of retrieves for each dog accordingly. At driven Trials Judges
should, after consultation with the Steward of the Beat, ensure
that dogs sitting at a drive are positioned as to have the best
opportunity to retrieve runners or wounded game during the
driveonly when it is practical to do so(they should also, however,
be mindful of Regulation J(A)4.b). They should moreover satisfy
themselves that arrangements have been made for the collection of
dead or wounded game not gathered by the competing dogs and where
necessary its humane despatch.
- The proposal was seconded by Mr D Capel.
- The proposal was supported by the Council but a suggestion was
made that the proposed insertion should read 'so long as it is
practical to do so'.
- The Council accepted that problems could occur where a lot of
game was falling, and recommended the amendment for approval,
subject to the decision of the Field Trials Sub-Committee in
respect of the precise wording.
Handlers with two dogs in a drive
- Mr Wainwright introduced a discussion item from the Southern
& Western Counties Field Trial Society. Clarification was
requested on a situation where a handler had two or more dogs off
the lead in a drive, and a bird was shot and wounded, falling on
bare ground and running off towards cover but that due to the
handler having to put his other dog/s on a lead and handing them to
a deputy, there was a delay in sending his current dog for the
wounded game. The bird was not recovered but the handler was
still kept in as second dog down because of the delay. The
Council was requested to consider whether this practice was fair to
the other competitors as they would not have a delay, and if
unsuccessful would be first dog down.
- It was acknowledged that each case must be assessed on its own
merits and that it was not possible to specify an exact time for
defining second dog down.
- It was also accepted that handing dogs to a deputy should not
take long especially if the deputy was in reasonably close
proximity and that there should not therefore be an undue delay in
a dog being sent for the runner. The Council agreed that dogs
competing at a trial should be trained to a sufficient standard
such that the handlers' other dog/s should not run in even when the
first dog was sent. It was also highlighted that a first dog down
failure need not necessarily be eliminated.
- The Council was of the view that handlers should not attempt to
cause a delay and that this practice should be strongly
Requirements of a Field Trial Judge examination
- Mr Wainwright, speaking on behalf of the Southern & Western
Counties Field Trial Society, introduced a discussion item
regarding the requirement for a judge to have passed an examination
at the Kennel Club Field Trial Judges Seminar. The Society
was concerned that potential Panel judges were being lost because
they were not academically minded and experienced difficulty in
passing the examination following the Field Trial Judges Seminar.
It was suggested that people may be considered for appointment as
Panel judges who, in addition to the required number of
satisfactory non-Panel judging appointments, could demonstrate
their practical ability in working a dog by achieving the required
wins and could produce a certificate to confirm that they had
attended a seminar. The requirement to have passed the examination
would be dropped.
- The Council accepted that some judges experienced practical
difficulties in attending a seminar and that there was a risk that
some potentially good judges were not getting on to the B panel for
this reason. However, it did not consider that the
examination, which was in a simple multiple choice format, was of
an unduly onerous standard and believed that passing it should be
achievable for most people. A potential judge who felt unable
to cope with the pressure of taking the examination would probably
also struggle with the pressure of judging at a trial.
- A suggestion was put forward which would allow for judges to be
accepted onto the B panel without having passed the examination
with the proviso that they must not take up an appointment until
such time as they had taken and passed the examination, but this
was not supported.
- The Council was of the view that the requirement for passing
the examination should not be dropped under any circumstances, and
that doing so would undermine the credibility of the judges
training scheme. All Panel judges should be required to demonstrate
their understanding of the J Regulations.
- It was noted that dyslexic candidates could request either an
additional 20 minutes to take the examination, or the assistance of
an impartial reader who would read the questions and the answer
choices to the candidate, but would offer no other assistance.
Open Retriever Field Trials
- A discussion item from Usk Valley Working Gundog Club was
introduced by Mr Wright who outlined the view that Open Retriever
Field Trials should all be open to Any Variety Retrievers as it was
considered that this would enable all to enter Open trials and
would prevent any perceived discrimination; it would create a level
playing field for everyone, whilst ensuring the winning dog or
bitch was of a suitable standard to gain accreditation towards
their title, regardless of strain or colour. A similar
principle could also apply to Novice trials.
- It was noted that a similar issue had been addressed by the
Kennel Club some years ago and that it had been agreed that the
status quo should be retained for 'historical' breed clubs.
- The Council considered that it would not be a positive
development for the Championship to take place without the
possibility of a representative from each breed taking part.
Each dog taking part in the Championship had qualified on the basis
that it was one of the best dogs of its breed. The same
rationale would also apply to the gaining of Field Trial Champion
status where it was considered important for dogs to compete
against others of the same breed. It was also agreed that
Stakes for specific breeds were instrumental in ensuring the
furtherance of a breed and should be allowed to continue.
- The Council did not support the discussion item.
Membership of clubs running Open Qualifying Stakes
- Mrs Jenkins, representing West Dartmoor Working Gundog Club,
requested that the Council discuss whether, when a club had been
granted permission by the Kennel Club to hold an Open Qualifying
Stake, it should no longer restrict membership for breed of
retriever or colour. Membership should be available for all
breeds of retrievers.
- However the Council was not aware of any clubs which restricted
membership in this way; in fact many clubs were happy to accept
membership applications with no dogs at all.
- The suggestion was noted.
Show Gundog Working Certificate
- A discussion item on behalf of the Golden Retriever Club of
Northumbria was introduced by Mrs Hay. Last year Mrs Hay and
Mr Crookes had judged their first Show Gundog Working Certificate
on game and had been disappointed with some of the handlers
questioning why more certificates had not been awarded. Mrs Hay and
Mr Crookes were also criticised for not awarding certificates where
dogs found game, mouthed the birds but would not deliver to hand.
The Regulations stated that a Retriever must have 'retrieved
tenderly'. The Council was requested to discuss whether this should
state 'retrieved tenderlyto hand', and also how a dog could gain
its award if birds were only retrieved from stubble when the
Regulations stated that a Retriever must have 'faced cover.' It was
also noted that some judges were awarding certificates when dogs
have not entered water.
- There was a concern that some judges were being over
sympathetic to handlers. The objective of encouraging
handlers to gain a Show Gundog Working Certificate was to provide
credible proof of the natural working ability of a dog for the good
of the breed. It was agreed that whilst judges should bear in mind
that the dogs being assessed were not of a competition standard
some caution should be demonstrated to avoid being over-lenient on
sloppy retrieving or other faults which would not be beneficial to
the aim of the Certificate.
- The discussion was noted.
Attendance at recognised events by prospective show judges
- Mr Crookes introduced a discussion item from the Northern
Golden Retriever Association (NGRA) which wished to ask whether the
Council would support the Golden Retriever Breed Council in asking
the Kennel Club to add a Novice Field Trial to the list of
recognised events that a prospective show judge must attend as part
of their development.
- Currently candidates could only attend an Open Working Test or
Open Field Trial as part of this process. The NGRA considered that
a Novice Field Trial was more than equal to an Open Working Test.
It would also give more opportunities for specialists in breeds
such as Golden Retrievers to actually see a Golden Retriever
working instead of trusting to luck that a Golden Retriever, in
this case, or indeed any of the numerically smaller breeds had been
successful in a draw and obtained a run.
- The Council was of the view that the standard of dog work at a
Novice Field Trial should be more than equal to that at an Open
Working Test, and therefore wished to support the suggestion that
it would be acceptable for a prospective show judge to attend a
Novice Field Trial as part of their development.
- The support of the Council was noted.
Dissemination of information from clubs and societies
- Mr Capel spoke on behalf of Leicestershire Gundog Society who
wished the Council to consider the issue of the increasing decision
by clubs and societies to only send out information to members via
email or simply to put that information on a club's own website
without any notice to members.
- As a minimum the Society believed that clubs should email all
their members with the information as an attachment to that email;
for example Field Trial schedules, because at present the
information/schedules were just simply being put on club websites
without any notification to members. People who were members
of a large number of clubs were obliged to spend a considerable
amount of time checking websites to ascertain whether the
information they needed had been posted.
- The society suggested that one group email to all the club's
members with an attachment or simply advising them that the
information was available to view or download on its website would
solve this problem. Clubs which did not have members' email
addresses should continue to send out information by post until
such time as email addresses were available.
- It was noted that although there was no Kennel Club remit to
force clubs to follow this procedure, it could be recommended via
the Field Trial newsletter as an example of good practice.
The item received broad support from the Council which considered
that it would be helpful if clubs conformed to this procedure.
Refusal of entries
- Mr P Smith introduced a discussion item on behalf of the
Mid-Ulster Gundog Association which requested the Council to
consider the position where a club was granted a licence for a
Field Trial but the host had informed the secretary of the club
that a named individual was not welcome on the ground.
- It was accepted that it was essential for clubs to retain trial
grounds and that therefore the wishes of the host must be taken
- It was confirmed that under Regulation J7.d. clubs had the
right to refuse any entry for a Trial from any individual provided
that the correct club Committee procedures were followed, details
of which could be provided by the office upon request, and the
Kennel Club informed of the reasons behind the decision. It was not
a requirement that clubs had their own specific rule stating that
entries could be refused although clubs must have included a
statement to that effect on their schedule if they wished to make
use of this, as per Regulation J.5.b(1)(x). If the unwelcome
individual turned up at the trial the removal of them from the
ground would become a civil matter and the club or the host would
need to take such action as it felt appropriate. Any incident of
this type should be reported to the Kennel Club through the
Incident Book and it would then be investigated as appropriate. It
was acknowledged that field trials took place by the invitation of
the host who had the right to state who may be present on his or
- The office confirmed that there was no risk of the trial being
declared void as the result of any individual being refused entry,
providing that the correct procedures had been followed.
Relationship with the Field Trials Sub-Committee
- Mr Ford spoke on behalf of the Gamekeepers National Association
who wished to ask the Council whether it considered that its views
were being well represented at meetings of the Field Trials
Sub-Committee since concerns were raised by the Council at its
meeting of 2012.
- The Chairman reassured the Council that its views were taken
seriously as was reflected in the statistic quoted earlier which
was that of nine proposals submitted by the Council, only two had
- It was noted however that some items submitted had not been
included on the agenda as they were outside the remit of the
Council and therefore could not be discussed. The office
confirmed that any club or individual submitting an item for the
agenda would be advised if it was not eligible for inclusion and
where possible an alternative route for dealing with the issue
would be suggested.
8. ANY OTHER
Current practice at driven Retriever trials
- Mr Murdock, representing the Ulster Retriever Club, wished to
raise the issue of some judges who, at driven trials, were in the
habit of walking forward to find game themselves and then, while
forward, used their stick to point out the position to the
handler. There was a concern that there was no necessity for
doing so, and that standing clear of the immediate area and
allowing the dog to work uninterrupted would allow for a much
better assessment to be made of the dog's true ability. A
similar issue had been raised by Barton on Humber Gundog Club and
the two items were considered together.
- It was accepted that on occasion it was necessary for a judge
to indicate the location of a bird but that walking forward to do
so was not good practice and should be avoided. A concern of
a similar nature was also raised in that some judges instructed
dogs to remain in a specific area where the dog clearly wished to
take a line, and that this could be frustrating to guns, keepers
and landowners. It was accepted that dogs needed to be allowed to
hunt for runners.
- It was agreed that guidance on this issue would be provided in
the Field Trial newsletter.
- There was a concern that some judges lacked the necessary
fieldcraft to judge effectively and that it was up to clubs to give
careful consideration to the experience and knowledge of an
individual before inviting them to judge at a field trial or
Kennel Club Gundog Working Test event
- The Council wished to record its gratitude to the Kennel Club
staff who had contributed greatly to the success of the recent
Gundog Working Test event held at Chatsworth.
Online entries to field trials
- The meeting received a presentation from Mr Dear regarding the
system for online entries currently being developed by Fosse
- The meeting closed at 14.45.