Field trials and tribulations
Here we all are back at the start of the field trialling season. As my column is written in advance there will already be a win in a two-day open by the time this hits the stands! We will all be waiting for draws and keeping everything crossed that we get a run. I was really glad to hear that we may well be getting a lot more retriever one-day open field trials if the recommendations put forward by the retriever working party of Sara Chichester, Jane Coley, and phil Highfield for the Field trial Committee are put into place. Having read their paper on collecting and collating the necessary information to make the recommendations regarding preference in retriever Open Stake Draws, I think we are finally on the road to common sense. Using another award in a field trial as well as winning an all-age or novice stake is also very sensible. It won’t be news to many that the average entry in central england for a twoday open is 127; the average in southern england is 113; and the highest entry for an open stake last season was 164.
the best place to trial is undoubtedly Northern Ireland in which both two-day and one-day opens are actually undersubscribed. the new regulation they are putting forward is: “Societies whose Open retriever trial/s are significantly over-subscribed for two consecutive years or more, may apply for a licence to hold an additional one-day Open retriever trial each season.” Hurrah! this is great news. Hopefully they will let retrospective dates apply.
the wheels turn very slowly at the Kennel Club so it may be a few years before this happens but at least we are on the right track. I wish everyone the very best of luck for the forthcoming season.