Field trial secretary information

Labradors sat in a row with owners stood watching
Rebecca Goutorbe © / The Kennel Club

If you are a field trial secretary there is a huge amount of work and administration to be undertaken. This section provides information to assist with the task in hand. If you are a new secretary, we strongly advise you to attend one of The Kennel Club's annual field trial secretaries' seminars.

Secretaries should also be aware that changes and developments are made to the discipline throughout the year; these changes are always listed in the field trials newsletter which is sent to each field trial society.

Notice to clubs/societies

Read more about the operational plan for the resumption of licensed events during covid-19.

Register as a field trial club

How to run your trial

Setting up the trial

When a club has been approved as a field trial society, it is automatically given permission to run gundog working tests. After three years of running gundog working tests, societies can apply for permission to hold different kinds of field trial. Permission must be sought for each stake (e.g. novice) and each sub-group or breed. The application is then advertised in the field trials newsletter, before being considered by the field trials committee which will then make recommendations to the board for final approval. This process may take several months due to the timing of the newsletter and committee meeting dates.

Selecting a judge

Societies are responsible for selecting judges for their field trials and gundog working tests in accordance with the regulations. A and B panel judges can be selected from the official lists supplied by the field trials department. A written agreement to judge should be received from every judge.

A judge may be nominated to a panel by a society for whom he or she has judged within the previous three years. The secretary of the society should sign the nomination after the judge has completed all the sections.

Nomination forms

What administration should I do before the trial?
  • Licence: Before a society is issued with a license for a trial, they must contact the field trials department with a potential trial date. Upon confirmation of the date with the field trial department, a licence application will be issued to the society. It must then be completed and forwarded to The Kennel Club 30 days prior to the date of the field trial, along with the appropriate fee (£25 for a one-day stake and £35 for a two-day stake). The Kennel Club will then issue a licence, a Game Certificate as well as evaluation forms for the judges. The licence must be available on request at the event
  • Schedule: For each licensed trial a schedule must be issued, which includes entry forms for competitors. A copy of each field trial schedule must be submitted to The Kennel Club within three days of printing. All schedules must conform to the Field Trial J Regulations and the field trial specimen schedule and entry forms.
What are the final preparations?
  • Running cards
  • Judges' books
  • Field trials regulations
  • Trophies and cleaning equipment
  • Judges' gifts
  • Host/keeper gifts
  • Pens and pencils
  • Paper for game markers
  • Red flag
  • Radios
  • First aid kit
  • Area maps
  • Judge rosettes/badges
  • Steward rosettes/badges
  • Club/officer badges
  • Incident book
  • Prepare your announcements
  • Crib sheet
  • Non-members signing-in book
  • Game/dummy bags
  • Dummies
  • Guns/ammunition - check
  • Starting pistols - check
  • Cold game
  • Presentation table
What should I do at the trial?
  • Distribute armbands
  • Distribute running cards
  • Hand out radios
  • Hand out judges' books/bands
  • Hand out stewards' notebooks
  • Note changes to dogs/handlers - use blank entry forms
  • Distribute game/dummy bags
  • Enlist help from spectators as required
  • Make sure you have the mobile phone on, as detailed on the schedule
  • Discuss late arrivals with chief steward and judges
  • Greet host/keeper
  • Introduce judges to host/keeper/guns
What should I do after the trial?
  • The running card, clearly marked with the awards, and a signed Game Certificate must be submitted to The Kennel Club within 14 days of the close of the field trial. If a first-time judge has been appointed to judge at the trial, please include contact details with the running card
  • Changes marked on card
  • Send signed Game Certificate to The Kennel Club
  • Open stake results to be sent to championship/champion stake organiser as required
  • Retain cards/schedules for club records
  • Report any incidents/objections to The Kennel Club
  • Retain all entry forms for 12 months
  • Send 'thank you' letters
  • Receipts to treasurer
What should I do if I have to cancel my event/show?

Any cancellation or abandonment of a field trial must be reported in writing to The Kennel Club, by completing the cancellation of shows form as soon as this decision is made, giving the reason for the cancellation.

If the trial can be re-arranged within 14 days of the original trial date, this is a postponement. A £6 fee will be required to change the licence. The same schedule and draw can be kept, and judges where possible. If different judges are appointed, the society must ensure all competitors are aware of the change. If competitors cannot attend the new date, the society must work through the reserves in the normal manner.

If the trial is re-arranged outside of 14 days of the original date, this is a cancellation. A £6 fee will be required to change the licence. The society must re-issue their schedule, re-do their draw and can appoint new judges.

If the society is unable to re-schedule the trial in the current season (season ends annually on Feb 1) then their licence fee will be refunded.

Read further information about cancellation of events.

Does the society need insurance cover?

Society committees must ensure that they have adequate cover for all the society's activities. Kennel Club insurance cover is specifically designed for canine clubs or societies, including public and products liability and directors' and officers' liability insurance at a competitive price. Learn more about The Kennel Club's Clubs and Trainers Insurance.

Field trial specimen schedules

The field trial regulations specify that shows must issue a schedule which conforms to the current specimen schedule issued by The Kennel Club. The specimen schedule is available below and are regularly updated to take account of changes to the regulations or policy. Show secretaries are advised to download the most recent version of the specimen schedule before preparing any show schedule.

BASC Code of Good Shooting Practice

The field trial committee has agreed that the below wording is to be added to the licence application form for all field trials:

We confirm that all aspects of the trial ground conforms to the Code of Good Shooting Practice.

This statement is to confirm that all trial grounds used by any club/society conform to the guidelines provided in the BASC Code of Good Shooting Practice.

The revised policy will apply to all trials being held in the 2018/19 season onwards. For any queries, please contact the field trial department on 020 7518 1059.

Risk assessment

It is the responsibility of individual societies to undertake their own risk assessment at all licensed trials, to cover all likely eventualities, with respect to the health and safety of all those who attend, and to fire prevention issues.

A generic risk assessment may include:

a) Possible hazards:

  1. Personal injury resulting from the intended or accidental discharge of a shotgun, driven or falling game, noise or blast
  2. Slips and falls on ground that may be wet, uneven, sloping or marshy
  3. Hazards associated with the crossing of water courses, hedges and fences, other natural and man-made obstacles. Whether shooting, beating, picking up, competing or members of public present
  4. Injury resulting from direct contact with barbed wire, thorn hedges, low branches or other naturally occurring or constructed features of the landscape and from livestock that may be alarmed or disturbed
  5. Hazards associated with the use of vehicles on private land or public highways
  6. Hazards associated with being in the vicinity of machinery on private land or public highway. This is to include crop spraying activities and chemicals that may be associated with this operation

At risk are:

  • Persons using shotguns (referred to as guns) and their companions
  • Persons employed or volunteers or competitors that collect and retrieve shot game with dogs
  • Those volunteers, officials and judges who are present to run the field trial
  • Drivers of vehicles, onlookers and members of the public

b) Code of Practice to be observed by all persons taking part or watching an authorised field trial:

  1. The chief steward will brief all present before moving off. A copy of this risk assessment will be displayed within the registration area
  2. Vehicles provided to transport guns, competitors and officials must be suitable for the purpose and the terrain that is to be encountered. Adequate seating must be provided. Dogs will not be allowed in the driving compartment of the vehicles. The driver of each vehicle must be acquainted with the route and terrain over which they are to travel and be aware of the other vehicles in the party
  3. All persons involved should wear suitable non-restrictive clothing, adequate to provide protection from the elements and stout water-resistant footwear
  4. All guns must be competent at handling shotguns in a safe manner and must be in possession of a valid shotgun certificate, and have public liability insurance
  5. Shotguns and ammunition must not be left unattended under any circumstance. Guns must keep their weapons in a covered slip until arrival at their allocated position
  6. A shot should only be taken when it is safe to do so. Guns must be aware at all times of the proximity of those closest to them: other guns, the red flag, picker-up, officials, judges, competitors and members of the public; the location of public footpaths, bridleways, highways and livestock in the vicinity
  7. In the event of an emergency, the trial will be suspended immediately and all weapons must be unloaded and placed back in the covered slip. Should this occurrence be caused by the involvement of persons that are opposed to the activity, the organiser in consultation with the chief steward and judges must arrange to vacate the ground without the need for confrontation
  8. All members of the party must respect the property on which they are invited guests, be aware of the local terrain and any likely hazards and conduct themselves in a friendly and environmental way
  9. Members of the public and competitors that are not in line must stay behind the red flag at all times and obey the instruction of officials or members of the estate staff
  10. Everybody involved must keep away from agricultural machinery, although it will not normally be working in the areas where the field trial is taking place

If this code of practice is observed, the risk to human health and safety during this authorised activity are deemed to be low.

General data protection regulation (GDPR)
Incidents at events

Anything that occurs at an event that is ‘out of the ordinary’ should be considered an incident and logged in the incident book even if those involved do not wish to take any action. Learn more about incidents at events.

Field trial secretaries’ seminars

These seminars focus on providing essential knowledge and understanding for the management, organisation and stewarding of field trials and gundog working tests.

Who should attend?

The seminar is primarily designed for those who are newly appointed field trial or gundog working test secretaries. Club officials and current field trial or gundog working test secretaries will also benefit from the very latest information. Non-field trial secretaries can also attend and we welcome anyone who has an interest.

What happens at the seminar?

The day consists of presentations and the very popular breakout sessions which are designed around real-world issues that a secretary is likely to encounter. Each delegate will receive a comprehensive information pack including copies of the presentations, examples of the various certificates, a copy of the J Regulations and a USB stick containing template forms which can be tailored for individual use.

Refreshments and a finger buffet lunch are included.

When is the next seminar?

Dates for future seminars will be shared soon. For more information, please email us.

How do I apply?

When places are available for future seminars, we will share the details.

Working Gundog Certificate

The aim of the Working Gundog Certificate (WGC) is to provide credible proof that the handler and dog are a competent partnership, with the qualities to fulfil the general requirements of work on a shoot. Below is information on how to run a day.

Who will carry out the assessment?

Participants will be assessed by a qualified assessor and if there are more than three participants, a second assessor will be appointed. Qualified assessors are The Kennel Club's field trial judges or others who have satisfactorily assessed the certificate three times and have been approved by another qualified assessor.

Who can organise a day?

Whether you are a gundog trainer, an individual or part of an organisation you can apply for permission to run an assessment day via the field trials team as per the details below.

Who can I contact for more information?

For more details about the Working Gundog Certificate, please email the field trials team, or call them on 020 7518 1059 between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday. You can also download the Working Gundog Certificate Handbook.

Running a field trial seminar

All judges must be fully conversant with The Kennel Club Field Trial (J) Regulations. Societies and individuals are able to run these seminars. The seminar and accompanying examination provide participants with a comprehensive introduction to the regulations and also discuss judging procedure and etiquette. Seminar information can be found below.

How to run a seminar?
  • The seminar content must be presented by an officially appointed Kennel Club accredited presenter
  • Societies, individuals or groups organising a seminar should contact one of the accredited presenters from the list below, to invite them to conduct the seminar and arrange a suitable venue. Organisers can then advertise the seminar to attract sufficient attendees
  • The organisers charge attendees reasonable fees at their discretion and should arrange for payment of the accredited presenter's expenses with the presenter
  • Presenters will usually bring relevant literature (such as regulation books, judges' guides and judges' record books) to the seminar for purchase by the candidates - in some cases the cost may be included in the seminar fee
The Kennel Club field trial judges and presenters

The people listed below have been approved by The Kennel Club to provide training on the J Regulations (Retrievers, Spaniels, Pointers and Setters and HPRs). Registered societies, individuals and other organisations who wish to run seminars on any of the above should make direct contact with these approved presenters.

R = Retrievers S = Spaniels P&S = Pointers & Setters HPR = Hunt, Point & Retrieve breeds
Name Address Contact Discipline
Mr Peter Bates Moreby, Yorkshire

01904 720 930

R
Mrs Heather Bradley Andover, Hampshire

01264 889 762

Heather Bradley
R
Mrs Sara Chichester Devon

07967 270 960

Sara Chichester
R
Mr Derrick Capel Long Whatton, Loughborough

01509 843 510

Linda Partridge
R
Mrs Jayne Coley Cheltenham, Gloucestershire

01242 602 336

R
Mr Steve Crookes Sheffield

01142 301 436

R
Mr Kevin Doughty Felixstowe, Suffolk

01394 285 852

R
Mrs Diana Harrison Hartfield, East Sussex

01342 823 610

D Harrison
R
Ms Sally Jenkins Devon

01884 861 229

S A Jenkins
S/R
Mr Graham Stanley Rainham, Kent

01634 231 994

R
Mr Philip Wagland Worksop, Nottinghamshire

01909 476 024

R
Mrs Arleen White Offenham, Worcestershire 01386 833 685 R
Mrs Chris Bridgwater Alresford, Hampshire

01962 793 152

Christine Bridgwater
S
Mr Damian Kelly County Tyrone, Northern Ireland

02885 568 948

Damian Kelly
S
Mrs Wendy Knight Colchester, Essex

01206 251 426

S
Mr Victor McDevitt Newtownards, Northern Ireland

02897 541 833

S
Mr W Megaughin County Antrim, Northern Ireland

02825 871 534

William Megaughin
S
Mr Jeremy Organ Cheltenham, Gloucestershire

01242 242 892

S
Mr Aiden Patterson County Armagh, Northern Ireland

02838 323 007

S
Mr C Wadsworth Quarnford, Buxton, Derbyshire 01298 71150 S
Mr Jon Kean Falkirk, Stirlinghsire

01324 713 749

J L Kean
P&S
Mr Peter O'Driscoll Near Kelso, Roxburghshire

01890 830 391

P&S
Mr Wilson Young Lauder, Berwickshire

01578 750 740

P&S
Mr Godfrey Card Newton Aycliffe, County Durham

01325 300 344

Godfrey Card
HPR
Mr Steve Chant Dorchester, Dorset

01305 848 257

HPR
Mr Geoff Hargreaves Langton, Preston

01772 616 046

HPR
Mrs Sheila Kuban Woking, Surrey

01483 763 538

HPR
Mr John Naylor Skirlaugh, Hull, East Yorkshire

01964 562 668

John Naylor
HPR
Mr Henrik Vilendal Northamptonshire

07952 907 867

R
Mr Murray Wakeham Salisbury, Wiltshire

01722 716 678

HPR
Mr David Winser Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire

01487 822 366

HPR
Mick Canham   Cawdor, Nairn

01667 404 314

Michael Canham
HPR
Margaret Cox Bodmin, Cornwall   S
Richard Johnston Downpatrick, County Down   R
Mr Michael Larkin Vale Of Glamorgan 07989 572 161
Michael Larkin
R
Mrs Meryl Asbury Abbeystead, Lancaster Meryl Asbury P&S
Mr Nick Coates Sturminster Newton, Dorset Philippa Coates R
Seminar scripts

Seminar scripts can also be found below: