The agenda for the Kennel Club Field Trials Liaison Council meeting has now been released ahead of the next meeting at the Kennel Club on Wednesday 4th May 2016.
Please find the agenda below for reference.
The council will be meeting at 10:30am in the boardroom at the Kennel Club, Clarges Street, London.
ITEM 1. TO ELECT A CHAIRMAN FOR THE TERM OF THE COUNCIL
ITEM 2. TO ELECT A VICE-CHAIRMAN FOR THE TERM OF THE COUNCIL
ITEM 3. TO ELECT COUNCIL REPRESENTATIVES TO THE FIELD TRIALS SUB-COMMITTEE FOR THE VARIOUS SUB GROUPS EFFECTIVE FROM JUNE 2016 TO MAY 2019
ITEM 4. PRESENTATION TO THE COUNCIL ON KENNEL CLUB STRUCTURES AND PROCEDURES
The office will give a presentation to Council representatives giving details of the Kennel Club and Liaison Council structure and procedures and the role of Council representatives.
ITEM 5. APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
ITEM 6. TO APPROVE THE MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 10 JUNE 2015 (Previously circulated)
i. The Council is requested to note that Paragraph 47 should read: 'The Spaniel Club, represented byMrs Jenkinsin the absence of Mr Russell…'
ii. It is also asked to note that the following representatives were omitted in error from the list of those present:
Mr J Castle - Scottish Field Trials Association
Mrs A Johnson - Italian Spinone Club of Great Britain
ITEM 7. MATTERS ARISING FROM THE MINUTES OF THE MEETING AND RESULTS OF RECOMMENDATIONS PASSED TO THE FIELD TRIALS SUB-COMMITTEE (Results of recommendations previously circulated)
ITEM 8. TO NOTE THE REPORT ON THE WORK OF THE FIELD TRIALS
SUB-COMMITTEE DURING 2015
(To be tabled on the day)
ITEM 9. PREFERENCE IN RETRIEVER OPEN STAKE DRAWS
The Field Trials Sub-Committee requests the Council to discuss whether an additional/ higher level of qualification is required for Retrievers to receive preference in Open Stake draws and if so by what means.
The current qualification is as follows (Regulation J7.i Preference in the draw for Open Stakes refers):
(1) Retrievers A First, Second, Third or Fourth in a 24-Dog Open Stake. First, Second or Third in a 12-Dog Open Stake. First in All Age or Novice Stakes.
The number of entries for Open stake draws has been increasing year on year, with some societies' draws approaching 200 entries. The Council is requested to discuss whether owners, clubs and societies would prefer an additional qualification to reduce the number of qualified dogs and therefore entries, or whether they find the present system to be satisfactory.
ITEM 10. PROPOSALS FROM INDIVIDUALS AND SOCIETIES
a. Mr D Capel
Mr Capel, an individual, wishes to propose the following amendment to Regulation J7.g.:
Societies must ensure that all eligible owners are given the opportunity of having their preferred dog entered into the first ballot providing it is appropriately qualified. Societies may have the discretion, when running two or more trials of the same denomination within the same season, to give priority 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, will, after such an entry has been accepted, allow an applicant to substitute a dog before a Trial with another dog owned by him or her: the dog must, however, be eligible and, where a preferential draw is held, it must have had the necessary qualifications at the time of the draw. The owner may in addition to the fee for the substitute dog be eligible to pay the full entry fee for the substituted dog in accordance with the provisions of clause Regulation J7.f. Societies may also have discretion to confine the handling of dogs to one dog per owner. (See also J9.b.(6))
(Deletions struck through. Insertions in bold.)
b. Mr P Askew, Utility Gundog Society
The Utility Gundog Society wishes to propose an amendment to Regulation J7.c. as follows:
A society may make its own arrangements as regards the pre-payment of entries, dates of closing of entries or nominations and, except where otherwise defined in the Regulations, conditions of Stakes. Entry fees and any associated nomination/ administration fees must be the same for each competitor irrespective of the medium used to enter the stake.
(Insertion in bold)
The Society is concerned at reports that some Clubs/Societies are imposing a £5 charge on those competitors who are NOT using the Field Trial Management System. It is of the view that those who choose not to use the system, who may not have a computer or may not be computer literate, should not be penalised for using the postal system. The Society does not consider that there is justification for any Club/Society imposing such a sanction on such individuals.
ITEM 11. DISCUSSION ITEMS
a. Mrs S Jenkins, The Westward Gundog Society
The Westward Gundog Society requests that the Council discuss its concerns regarding the judging of Spaniels, as follows:
In many cases, judges are ignoring the suggestions made by Mr Malcolm Taylor in the August 2014 issue of the Field Trial Newsletter, to comply with the rules when Spaniels are hunting and wind treatment, especially when it is a following wind (backwind).
Judges are ignoring this to the extent that good hunting and dogs are being disqualified or marked down to their detriment - even to the point where now, a distinct divide is occurring in Spaniels trained and used, in the majority, on rabbits where there is almost always a seen 'contact flush' and those where the Trial is held almost completely on birds.
What is occurring is two-fold:
- Game required for today's shooting is bred differently from even ten years ago and very rarely does it sit tight and get flushed from its seat but will flush, NOT because a dog has become close or made contact, but takes off well ahead of the dog (a 'loose bird' or 'non-contact flush') and, because of this, the dog is penalised. Often, especially in heavy cover and the dog is unseen, the dog wrongly assumed to have made a contact flush and if the bird rises some distance away the dog is deemed to be out of control. It is now highly unusual to get contact flushes on birds bred for today's shooting; this should be taken into account when being judged and more care taken by Judges to understand where the dog is at the time of the flush.
- Those fairly new to the sport, or not involved in shooting themselves, are learning to be oblivious to wind treatment and the conditions under which game is flushed and as some handlers progress to being Judges, the problem is perpetuated.
The Council is requested to discuss ways in which the correct procedures may be drawn to the attention of all judges to ensure that Kennel Club Regulations are correctly implemented, and to consider what action should be taken in respect of those judges who do not adhere to the guidelines.
b. Mr J Gale, Yellow Labrador Club
The Yellow Labrador Club requests that the Council discuss the criteria for qualification of assessors for Working Gundog Certificates.
The Working Gundog Certificate can be awarded after assessment on either dummies or game. Whilst it is understood that the aim of the certificate is to encourage good standards in the shooting field, and is largely aimed at those who have no desire to compete with their dogs, it should also be noted that this qualification would qualify a dog to enter the Special Working class at Championship shows.
Whilst the Working Gundog Certificate handbook states that 'An assessor should have knowledge and practical experience of shooting and the practical roles of handlers and dogs working', it then suggests that these can be Field Trial judges, judges at gundog working tests, game keepers, gun/loader, shoot owner captain, picker-up, beater, or gundog trainer.
It concludes that 'qualified assessors are Kennel Club Field Trial judges OR others who have satisfactorily assessed the Certificate three times and have been approved by another qualified assessor.'
It is also worth noting that only one qualified assessor is required for up to three participants.
In the interests of consistency and maintaining the standard of the qualification, the Yellow Labrador Club wishes to recommend that the requirement for assessors of the Working Gundog Certificate be amended to bring it into line with the requirement for assessors for the Show Gundog Working Certificate, which is currently 'a minimum of two judges officiating, of which at least one must be an A Panel Judge'.
c. Mrs S Jenkins, The Westward Gundog Society
Clarification is requested regarding an item published in the Field Trial newsletter which stated that: 'Please note that when someone enters two dogs into a Novice Stake, both dogs should get equal preference in the draw. Some societies ask for 1st and 2nd preference and put second dogs at the end but, as per the J Regulations, this is incorrect.'
The Society requests clarification as to which J Regulation is being applied, and whether, if the above procedure is used, it is in contravention of Regulation J7.g. which states:
Societies must ensure that all eligible owners are given the opportunity of having their preferred dog entered into the first ballot providing it is appropriately qualified. Societies may have the discretion, when running two or more trials of the same denomination within the same season, to give priority 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 or her: the dog must, however, be eligible and, where a preferential draw is held, it must have the necessary qualifications. Societies may also have discretion to confine the handling of dogs to one dog per owner. (See also J9.b.(6))
d. Mrs W Knight, Eastern Counties Spaniel Society, Kent Working Spaniel Club
The Eastern Counties Spaniel Society and Kent Working Spaniel Club request that clarification be provided following notification in the Winter issue of the Field Trial newsletter that when a competitor enters two dogs in a Novice Stake both should get equal preference in the draw. The notification in the Newsletter has caused considerable confusion.
The Eastern Counties Spaniel Society wishes to suggest that the wording within the
J Regulations makes it quite clear that a preference of dog is made and should be adhered to. Owners are not being limited to one dog in a trial at all although the last sentence in Regulation J7.g. also states 'societies may also have the discretion to confine the handling of dogs to one dog per owner.'
e. Mr P Highfield, Dove Valley Working Gundog Club
The Council is requested to discuss Dove Valley Working Gundog Club's view that the list of eliminating faults for Retrievers as shown in Regulation J(B)5. should include 'Picking wrong retrieve' as is the case for HPRs and Spaniels.
f. Mr P Highfield, Dove Valley Working Gundog Club
The Club notes that Regulation K2.c.(6) states that before a Spaniel is entitled to be described as a Field Trial Champion it must have gained a Water Certificate which may, but not necessarily, be gained at a special water test which must have been conducted before two panel judges, one of whom must be an 'A'.
However, Regulation K2.c.(3) which relates to awarding of a Water Certificate for Retrievers states that the special water test must have been conducted before two panel A judges.
The Council is invited to discuss the Club's view that the Regulation for Retrievers should be brought in line with that applying to Spaniels as it considers that a B panel judge is capable of deciding whether or not a dog has entered water freely.
g. Mr P Highfield, Dove Valley Working Gundog Club
The Club invites the Council to discuss its suggestion that Regulation J6.b. Compulsory Judges for Stakes should include the following advisory statement:
'Whenever possible, Field Trial Secretaries, or those involved in the selection of Judges, should make every effort to use the MINIMUM number of Panel Judges for the type of Trial in question.'
The Club notes that there have been cases where four A Panel Judges have been appointed to judge a 2 Day Open Stake, and Novice Stakes have been judged by two A Panel Judges. The Club accepts that this is permitted but notes that many A Panel Judges set themselves a maximum number of Trials in a season, and that this situation effectively reduces the number of A Panel Judges available. It also reduces the chances for B Panel Judges to pursue their progression to the A Panel.
h. Mr P Highfield, Dove Valley Working Gundog Club
The Club wishes to discuss the scoring used in Gundog Working Tests - Regulations J(G)5.a. and J(G)5.b.Judging refer.
It wishes to propose that each retrieve in a Working Test should score the same number of points. A single retrieve would score 20 points and a double retrieve would score a total of 40 points. A dog which fails one part of the test and receives a zero, but which is successful in the other part, would retain its score for that part of the test.
Regulation J(G)5.b. states that each test should be scored out of 20 points even if it involves multiple retrieves. The Club's experience is that this can cause conflict, often with very experienced judges who (occasionally) refuse to comply and it would like to suggest a change of Regulations to the effect that every retrieve be scored the same number of points. This would mean that a straightforward single marked retrieve does not gain the same marks as two potentially difficult blind retrieves. The amendment would also remove the confusion that seems to exist between Judges. If a dog completes the first part of a double retrieve but fails on the second it could still receive the points for that retrieve. Dogs which had received a zero score would clearly not feature in the awards.
The Club also notes that there appears to be discussion and confusion about how to score retrieves in a walked-up test when more than one dog is involved, and whether this is one test of two retrieves or two separate retrieves. It suggests that its proposal would remove this question and make the judges' task far more straightforward.
i. Mr P Askew, Utility Gundog Society
The Council is requested to discuss the issue of whether a competitor who has left a trial ground prior to completion of the trial should be eligible to receive an award, or whether by leaving the ground, he or she may be considered to have relinquished their place in the trial.
j. Mr J Bailey, The Gwynedd Spaniel Club
The Club wishes to raise the issue of the Kennel Club Judges' Training Programme seminar on Kennel Club J Regulations.
The current situation is that the pass mark for the examination is 35 out of 40. Candidates are notified by the Kennel Club only as to whether they have passed or failed the examination, and are not advised of the mark they achieved.
The Club wishes to propose that:
1. Candidates are informed of their mark which will indicate their level of understanding of the Regulations.
2. Those who received a pass mark but did not score 40, are informed as to which questions they answered incorrectly, and advised as to the correct answers for those questions.
The Club is concerned that the current situation allows for people to answer a fundamental question incorrectly, unknowingly to them, which in time will lead to inconsistent judging, which the Judges' Training Programme is trying to avoid.
ITEM 12. DATE OF NEXT MEETING
The Council is invited to note that the next meeting will take place in May 2017. The exact date will be confirmed in due course.
ITEM 13. ANY OTHER BUSINESS
THIS WILL BE TAKEN AT THE CHAIRMAN'S DISCRETION
(Written notice of items is required prior to the meeting due to time constraints)
1. The Kennel Club will reimburse standard rail fares to all representatives attending the meeting, from their addresses as recorded at the Kennel Club. Claim forms will be available at the meeting.
2. Those resident in Northern Ireland or Scotland may apply in advance for authority to substitute shuttle air travel for standard rail fare, although it is requested that tickets are booked well in advance to take advantage of any reduction in fares.
3. Please give advance notice of matters to be raised under Any Other Business. This assists the Office if research is required. These items are discussed at the discretion of the Council Chairman.
4. Kennel Club Liaison Council Regulations state that the Kennel Club will bear the cost of all reasonable and externally incurred costs connected with a Council, if agreed in advance. Therefore, representatives should apply to the Kennel Club for approval of any costs they may wish to claim prior to the expense being incurred.