Entries are slowly coming in for our December trial, and while the adult stakes are shaping up nicely, we are sorely in need of entries for both derby stakes and both puppy stakes.
Someone suggested to me that, based on the performances that she has seen at some hunt tests this year, that there are quite a few nice young dogs out there right now, who might have owners that just aren’t familiar with the field trial game and/or haven’t given it a shot yet. Well, I am here to tell those people – now is a good time! 🙂
So the first question – what is the difference between Junior Hunter and puppy/derby stakes? The simple answer is – in Junior Hunter, the dog is scored against a standard, and if it meets a minimum score for each category, it passes and receives a leg towards its Junior Hunter title. Theoretically, every dog entered in a Junior Hunter test could qualify. There is no competitive element.
In puppy/derby stakes, the dogs are judged against a similar standard, but are also competing against all of the other dogs entered. Rather than just meeting the basic requirements of the standard, the dogs also must do it BETTER than everybody else. At the end, 4 placements are given out, (sometimes Awards of Merit as well), and championship points are given to the winner that count towards their field championship or Amateur Field Championship title.
The difference in judging; a good friend and experienced AKC judge describes it as ‘painting a picture’. At the end of the day, the judges are going to pick the dog and handler whose performance painted the best picture. Perhaps it was a run that covered every bit of the field, perhaps it was jaw-dropping style on point, or perhaps it was drive that kept the dog charging hard from beginning to end – and just as likely it was a combination of all three- that made the difference.
Couple more things to note:
Puppy stakes are open to all dogs that are between 6 and 15 months of age. While birds are typically planted for puppy stakes, a dog does not have to find one in order to place.
Derby stakes are open to all dogs that are between 6 months and 2 years of age. Dogs must find and point a bird in order to place.
So, if you’ve been having fun with a new puppy and want to give field trials a shot, I encourage you to consider entering our field trial Dec 4-6 in Lake Wales, Fl. The premium is at the following link:
There is also information at the following link for a Central Florida GSP trial the weekend after ours, (apologies, I need to ask to get the TBVC link updated with this event). Whether you can make our trial or not, I encourage you to consider attending their trial as well.
Feel free to email me with any questions.