I'm an outsider as far as FT goes so take my comment with a grain of salt. This may be a regional thing but have found it extremely difficult to get involved in field work with my golden. The preference around here is labs but couldn't tell you why. More active participation in the Lab group?ELN, thanks for posting the numbers. I find it unfortunate that the number of Goldens running trials is declining. Fortunately, the number running Masters is increasing.
1. Why is there an increase in the number of Goldens running Masters?
2. For those of us who have gone from Hunt Tests to Field Trials, what caused you to do so?
Puddles, there are 4 field trial stakes. Derby which is for 2 years and under. Only marks no blinds. placements go from 1 to 4 and a dog gets points for each placement. After ten points they are on an purina derby list. 5 points and the dog qualifies to run a national derby championship...Are FT's like obedience and you must complete the lower levels to work up to the masters level? or can you just compete at the master level? Like I said, this is new to me.
Puddles,I'm an outsider as far as FT goes so take my comment with a grain of salt. This may be a regional thing but have found it extremely difficult to get involved in field work with my golden. The preference around here is labs but couldn't tell you why. More active participation in the Lab group?
Even the local golden group does not encourage newbies. However there are a ton of FT training places, it's quite a business. But because it is their business and lively hood their time is best spent on the dogs they get paid to train, not promoting the sport. To me this sort of explains the increase in masters titles. But makes me question the lower numbers. Are FT's like obedience and you must complete the lower levels to work up to the masters level? or can you just compete at the master level? Like I said, this is new to me.
There is also the fact that so many breeders (in this area anyway) that are producing dogs that would not do well in the field. In fact the majority of the breeders do no hunting with their dogs at all, even with all the professional handlers. They produce the pups that will sell to the masses... over coated, large boned, mellow pet pups. Not saying there is anything wrong with this but very few golden conformation breeders are involved in field work.
FWIW it was shocking to learn there is a major lack of obedience participation as well. I attended an obedience competition at the DFW speciality a few years back and even though there were hundreds of goldens entered, there was only 7 dogs entered in obedience.
MOP,Both stakes have a yearly national event for the highest title of National Amateur Field Champion or National Field Champion. To compete you must have a win and I think 2 points every year. you do not have to be titled. I can't remember the exact number of points as its never applied to me yet, ha ha!
This is good news!Well I finally found a Hunt group with both novice and professional handlers that's less than 4 hrs away! Yeah, they have one training session a month. It's a start and will begin by joining at the next club meeting in February. Thanks for the info about the differences in FT & HT. It's hard to find answers when you don't know the questions. Thanks guys.
I will admit to being just a little intimidated. I will probably be the only golden in the group and by looking at the pics of the last meeting, women are in the minority as well. Oh well, guess we can at least give them a few laughs! LOL these guys look pretty intense
That's really interesting... I found this place by looking at a hunt trial entry list from last year and always note anything referring to east texas. The training & test are on a members (pro breeder/trainer/handler) property. They also have a member (from looking at their FB page that raises the ducks. So thanks for the insight on how all this might come together. I may be in over my head with this group.Thanks for those links!
Just my 2 cents, I'm a novice. I've competed a little in field trials and hunt tests, both AKC and NAHRA.
Lots of people live where they can find a city park to train in for hunt tests, but find the distances and fields needed for field trials are a lot harder to come by. Without the right connections in the field trial world, finding those fields to train on, are very hard to find.
When clubs offer field training classes, it's easier to focus on hunt tests. The area is smaller, the distances are shorter. Just doing the setups and changing out dogs is so much easier than a field trial. So classes generally are hunt test oriented. Amateurs stick with what they know.
I think the master only hunt tests midweek are a money maker for clubs, and I could see those growing a lot. A few pros with 20 dogs on a truck each, fills a master test. The club uses the pro's bird boys or assistants to throw and shoot. Then the club only has to supply 2 judges. The club then can rake in lots of money, when their only costs are purchasing birds, feeding judges, and possibly land rental. But if they are using a pro's property for the hunt test, all the better and they can avoid most of those costs, except birds. I've heard more than one club member complain about their club going in this direction