Field trials and tribulations
When participating in field trialling, a sport with winners and losers, we should consider it our obligation to do our best to win, and win well. Everyone involved should be treated with respect and dignity, behaviour most would agree amounts to sportsmanship. Some say being sporting is behaving with generosity and fairness towards competitors and respecting the sport.
From being well turned out for competitions – yes, dressing appropriately is part of sportsmanship, as turning up in training vests, jeans or dirty over trousers shows a distinct lack of respect to hosts and others participating – to punctuality, politeness and putting your point of view across if you feel you are being treated unfairly, are all part of the behaviour that contributes towards sportsmanlike behaviour.
by Amy Bates
Rudyard Kipling’s poem If could be a Sportsman’s Creed:
If you can meet with triumph and disaster and treat those two imposters just the same... If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools…”
Then there is gamesmanship – the activity of trying to win by using whatever dubious methods possible to achieve the desired end. That dastardly evil twin of sportsmanship creeps into all sports, especially when money is involved.
It is up to us to make sure field trialling never taints shooting and that we do our utmost to protect it from such behaviour.
If the hallmark of a true gentleman is a man who uses a butter knife even when dining alone, perhaps the hallmark of a true field trialler is one who follows the Code of Good Shooting Practice – even when training alone.