Field tri­als and tribu­la­tions

Shooting Gazette - - Gundog update gundogs -

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.

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