muddy creek kennels
AKC Hunt test, NAVHDA, NSTRA, BDC, AFTCA, NBHA, Derby, All Age, Open, Amateur, Gun Dog, Shooting Dog, Field Champion, Amateur Field Champion, National Field Champion, Dual Champion, Natural Ability, Utility, Versatile Champion, stake, brace, Fun trial, judges, gallery and bird planters. Horseback or walking trial.
These are some of the many terms and names connected with the sport of trialing and testing bird dogs. The origin and intention for trialing was and is to establish a credible standard that will insure breeding quality performance. Anyone can say that "Jake"is the best ol bird dog that ever lived, but ....without a way for there to be proof, "Jake" might just be mediocre at best. When "Jake" takes his turn in a trial one day,his owner might find that ol "Jake" is maybe not the wonder dog that his owner thought he was... We have a picture of "a field trial dog" as some wild eyed, run away, maniac that field trialers chase on horses and have to be ran down on a horse in order to be caught. An all age dog will do/be the following: heel on lead or off lead, from horse back or walking. Stop to fl ush... which means that should a dog happen to run over a bird or a bird should happen to flush on it's own the dog will come to a complete stand still and watch the bird fly away with no pursuit of any kind. When the dog has a find and does establish a point it will stand the point to the flush and shot. Take a line when released and in no way pursue a marked bird. Delayed chase. The judge will tell the handler to "pick him up". Be force broke to retrieve and back another dogs point on sight. Not only do they perform in the ways listed above, but they also must not be out of bounds or out of judgment for any extended period of time and a handler must be able to "produce" his dog any time a judge considers the dog might have went "self employed". Tall order for any dog to fill.... Then top it all off with nose. A dog that has FC, AFC, NFC, NAFC or CH in front of it's name didn't get it there without "out nosing" a lot of dogs. The dog with the best nose finds the most birds. When a NSTRA champion has 6X CH or 10X CH in front of his name or a AFTCA champion has 10X in front of his name, can you imagine how many other good dogs he had to beat to have those titles .... amazing.
A lot of us have a real misconception of what compiles a "Field Trial" dog and most of us just want to have a "real good" bird dog to hunt with. What we don't realize is that without Field Trials, in their many various forms, there would be no "real good" bird dogs to hunt with.... The things that make a good dog good are established and maintained in the dogs we breedthrough the process of competition. Without a way to evaluate the characteristics that make a "good" dog "good"we wouldn't have the ability to maintain the level of excellence that we are able to have in our breeding efforts only because of Field Trials and Field Trial dogs. We owe all of those who compete or campaign these dogs competitively a big thank you.... because without these dogs being campaigned competitively we wouldn't even have"good" bird dogs. Things like nose, desire, athletic ability, prey drive, intelligence and train ability are proven in the Tests and Trials. All "good" bird dogs have proven genetics because of Field Trials... We should all recognize the efforts of the owners,trainers, handlers, judges, trial Chairman, Bird Dog associations and clubs all across the country for the breed pillars and foundation dogs that allow each of us to even have the opportunity to own "good" bird dogs to hunt and trial with.
"I came across your web site and in looking at pedigrees I wanted to say that I owned, trained, trialed and hunted FC AFC Zimmerman's Sepp von Greif. He finished as AKC FT Champion at a 25 dog Gundog stake at the Buckeye GSP Club, Spring Trial in Ohio and finished as a AFT Champion at the GSP Club of Michigan, both in 1977. A lot of the pictures on your website are marked very similar to Sepp. One of my fondest memories was a day of partridge hunting along the tag alders of a small lake. I saw Sepp do one his classic stylish points. I moved in, flushed and shot the pat as it flew across the lake. Sepp remained steady to the shot, marked the drop. I sent him for the retrieve. He swam out to the bird, some distance, engaged the bird and swam back to me. He gently put his front paws on my chest and handed me the bird. Enjoyed your website" Bob Zimmerman...
I enjoy the Fun Trials. Fun means that the trial is not for any sanctioned venue and there is no champion points or national accreditation. Fun trials are put on by your local clubs or associations. Are they as competitive as any sanctioned event? Of course they are and the level of competition is just as stiff. We have trials based on NSTRA rules, Beat your brace mate tournaments, Buddy Hunts and puppy events. My favorite is Buddy Hunt. Two dogs, two hunters, eight shells and five opportunities to score. Ten points for a pointed bird, ten points for a retrieve, and five points for a back. Thirty minute brace. A perfect score will be five scored finds, five retrieves and five backs. One hundred twenty five points. In case of multiple perfect scores time will be the deciding factor. If you finished with ten minutes remaining that would beat someone with five. If you run out of shells you are finished. When a dog runs over a bird that it didn't get pointed it is still an opportunity to score but didn't. So with four solid points, four solid retrieves and four backs your score would then be one hundred points. The brace is over on the fifth opportunity or time runs out, which ever comes first. Are our trials competitive? Very seldom will anything but a perfect run be winner and usually time will tell. We have six clubs from Missouri, Oklahoma and Arkansas thateach send their six top high point dogs of the year to a Gun Dog Championship. A thirty six dog two day trial. There will be nothing but "good" dogs there. I don't know exactly how to direct you to your local clubs should you be interested in trialing with your dog, but Ican tell you that Quail Unlimited, Pheasant Forever, Quail and Upland Wildlife Federation are all good places to start looking. There will probably also be a bird dog club or field trial association in your close vicinity. A lot of good people and a lot of good bird dogs.... how can you beat that!