Kennel Club Field Trial Regulations

As at 1st January 2019
Any numbered/lettered lists are in order for easier reading although they may not correlate to the complete kennel club text. All references remain accurate.

Excerpts relevant to Handlers and Judges

  1. Introduction
    1. Field Trials shall be conducted in accordance with the Kennel Club Rules and Regulations.
    2. Game that has been handled in any way, either dead or alive, must not be used for testing dogs in any part of a Field Trial, except that dead game may be used in the conduct of a water test.
    3. The Field Trial Year ends on 1st February and begins on 2nd February in each year.
    4. If, in the opinion of the General Committee, a dog is of savage disposition it shall be ineligible for entry in any Field Trial, Gundog Working Test or Show Gundog Working Day held under Kennel Club Rules and Regulations. No activity shall be conducted which permits, encourages or develops aggression in a dog.
  2. Welfare of Dogs
    1. A competitor whose dog is entered at a Kennel Club licensed event should take all reasonable steps to ensure the needs of their dog(s) are met, and should not knowingly put their dogs’ health and welfare at risk by any action, default, omission or otherwise. A breach of this Regulation may be referred to the General Committee for disciplinary action under Kennel Club Rules and Regulations.
  3. Stakes
    1. A Field Trial meeting may consist of one or more Stakes which are separate competitions at that Trial.
    2. Stakes may be run for any of the four sub-groups of Gundogs recognised by the Kennel Club under the Regulations for each sub-group.
    3. The four sub-groups are as follows:
      1. Retrievers (including Irish Water Spaniels).
      2. Spaniels other than Irish Water Spaniels.
      3. Pointers and Setters.
      4. Breeds which Hunt, Point and Retrieve.
    4. The following are definitions of certain Stakes:
      1. Open
        A Stake in which dogs have the opportunity of gaining a qualification towards the title of Field Trial Champion (K Regulations refer) and towards entry in the Championship or Champion Stake for its breed; in which entry is open to all dogs of a specified breed or breeds except that such Stakes may not be confined to Any Variety Spaniel [except Spaniel (Cocker) and (English Springer)]. It may be limited to a prescribed number of runners (J4 refers), in which case these shall be decided by a draw conducted in accordance with Regulation J7.i., so that preference is given to previous performance.
      2. All Aged
        A Stake which is open to all dogs of a specified breed or breeds without restriction as to their age, but which may be restricted by any other conditions which may be determined by the society subject to the approval of the General Committee of the Kennel Club.
      3. Novice
        Retrievers, Spaniels and Breeds which Hunt, Point and Retrieve: A Stake which is confined to dogs which have not gained a place which would qualify them for first preference in the draw for Open Stakes.
      4. Puppy
        A Stake which is confined to dogs under the age of two years at the scheduled date of the Stake.
      5. Other Stakes may, with Kennel Club approval, be promoted by societies, but all Stakes must be clearly defined in the schedule.
  4. Numbers of Runners
    1. To qualify for entry in the Kennel Club Stud Book the numbers of runners permitted is as follows:
      Hunt, Point and Retrieve

      1. Open Stakes – maximum 12, minimum 10.
      2. Other Stakes – maximum 12, minimum 8.
  5. Application and Documentation
    1. Schedule
      1. A society must issue a schedule for a Field Trial, such schedule to follow the layout of the specimen schedule provided by the Kennel Club and conform with Kennel Club Regulations. The schedule must contain:
        A statement that the Field Trial is to be held under Kennel Club Rules and Regulations.
        The definition of each Stake to be held and the maximum number of runners permitted in each Stake.
        The date and place of the Field Trial and, where the time and place of meeting are not included, a statement that the time and place of the meeting will be communicated to competitors separately, and by what means.
        The order in which the Stakes will be run.
        Save in exceptional circumstances, the names and ID numbers of the Judges.
        The details of fees for entry and of prizes offered.
        The latest date for receiving applications for entry.
        The date, place and time of the draw and the method of notifying the full result to all entrants.
        A statement that should circumstances so dictate the society, in consultation with the Judges, may alter arrangements as necessary. Such changes and the circumstances surrounding them must be reported to the Kennel Club at the earliest opportunity.
        A statement, if applicable, that the society may reserve to itself the right to refuse any entry, except that this shall not apply in terms of the preference in the draw Regulations (ref J7.i.). The Kennel Club must be notified in writing of all such refusals with the society’s reason.
        Notice of any restrictions or conditions attached to the Stakes, including arrangements for the substitution of dogs.
      2. No modification may be made to the schedule after publication except by permission of the Kennel Club, followed by advertisement in appropriate journals if time permits before the closing of entries.
      3. The schedule must be accompanied by a separate nomination or official entry form on which the wording of the declaration to be signed is in accordance with the specimen issued by the Kennel Club.
    2. Card
      1. A society holding a Field Trial must publish a card which must include:
      2. On the front outside cover or title page:
        1. The name of the society and its ID number.
        2. The breed(s) and type of Stake(s) to be run at the Trial.
        3. Date(s) of the Trial.
        4. Names of the Judges and their ID numbers.
        5. Name of the Chief Steward.
        6. Venue of the Trial.
      3. Contents
        1. A statement that the Field Trial is held under Kennel Club Rules and Regulations.
        2. definition of each Stake to be run at the Trial.
        3. The prizes offered.
        4. Entries listed as follows: Registered name and number of dog and/or Stud Book number. Name of owner(s). Breed of dog. Address of owner(s), unless requested by the owners(s) to be withheld for publication. Sex of dog. Date of birth of dog. Registered name of sire and dam. Name of breeder. Name of handler.
        5. A statement that the society accepts no responsibility for injury, loss or damage to person or property however occasioned.
        6. Veterinary Support: The name, address and telephone number of the Veterinary Surgeon, Practitioner or Practice supporting the Trial.
    3. Veterinary Support
      1. Veterinary support compatible with the arrangements for the Trial should be made by the organising society.
  6. Judges
    1. Appointment
      1. The Judges shall be appointed by the society holding the Trial which must satisfy itself that the persons being invited to judge have practical experience of both Field Trials and the shooting field.
      2. Judges may not shoot at a Stake which they are judging.
      3. Judges may not enter a dog for competition at a Trial at which they are judging.
      4. Judging appointments should be confirmed in writing by both the Society and the Judge. When confirming an appointment the Society should include the following wording: “In accepting this invitation you agree to be bound by Kennel Club Rules and Regulations and the Kennel Club Code of Best Practice for Judges. In doing so you also recognise that you are obliged to notify us in writing of any change in personal circumstances which will affect your ability to fulfil this judging appointment. You should also note that we reserve the right to cancel the contract before the date of the appointment if there is a change in your circumstances, which in our reasonable opinion would adversely affect your ability to fulfil the appointment.”
      5. All judging contracts are subject to cancellation at the discretion of the Kennel Club in the event of the judge being subject to relevant disciplinary action.
    2. Compulsory Judges for Stakes
      The required number of Judges for Stakes and the number that must be Panel Judges are as follows:

      1. Hunt, Point and Retrieve Breeds – 2 Judges
        Open Stakes: both Panel Judges, one of whom must be an A.
        Other Stakes: at least one A.
    3. Qualifications for Panels
      1. The General Committee shall issue to Field Trial societies the official lists of Panel Judges for Retrievers, Spaniels, Pointers and Setters and Breeds which Hunt, Point and Retrieve which will be subject to adoption annually by the General Committee.
      2. Before a Judge can be considered for addition to any panel he must be recommended by a Field Trial society which is approved to hold Open Stakes for the appropriate sub-group and for which he has judged within the previous five years. Before considering the addition of any candidate to a panel the Field Trials Sub Committee will seek reports from all ‘A’ Panel judges with whom the candidate has judged during the last 5 calendar years and in the case of a candidate for the ‘B’ Panel for Retrievers or Spaniels from 1 January 2010 onwards, all ‘B’ Panel judges with whom the candidate has judged on or after that date and for a period not exceeding the last five calendar years. All reports to be received by the Kennel Club within 30 days of the date of the trial.
      3. Judging experience must include Stakes judged at Trials held by at least two different societies. Before being added to the Panel for Retrievers or Spaniels candidates for the B Panel must have handled a dog to win at least one Field Trial Stake for the appropriate sub-group and have considerable Field Trial experience. Before being added to the A Panel, candidates must have handled a dog to win at least one Open Stake or in the case of Retrievers, been placed 2nd in a 2-day Open Stake and, since being added to the B Panel, have substantially increased their Field Trial experience.
      4. Before a Judge can be added to a Panel he must have judged:
        1. B Panel: over a minimum period of 36 months, and a maximum period of 60 months: HPRs – a minimum of 4 Stakes with at least 4 different Judges.
        2. A Panel: over a minimum period of 36 months, and a maximum period of 60 months, subsequent to their appointment to the B Panel: HPRs – a minimum of 6 Stakes of which at least one must have been Open. Reports must be available from at least 4 different A Panel Co-Judges.
        3. Re-Applications: HPRs – A further four Stakes with at least 4 different A Panel Judges. Note: For the A Panel at least one Stake must have been Open. Except in exceptional circumstances, for re-applications reports must be available from all Co-Judges.
      5. To be included on a judging panel, all judges must attend a Kennel Club Judges’ Training Programme seminar on Kennel Club J Regulations for the appropriate sub-group and must pass the examination. This regulation is effective from 1 January 2022.
  7. Entries
    A dog must, at the time of entry for a Trial, be registered as required by Kennel Club Rules and Regulations in the owner’s name (or registration of transfer applied for). In the case of joint registered owners the full name of every registered owner must be given. Where an owner makes an entry on behalf another joint registered owner(s) or where an agent enters on behalf of a single or joint registered owner(s), such person must have the authority and consent from the single or joint registered owner(s) to sign the entry form on their behalf thereby binding them all to Kennel Club Rules and Regulations. In the event of any dispute, evidence of such authority and consent will be required. A dog acquired subsequent to entry having been made at a Trial may compete as the new owners property provided that an application for the transfer has been forwarded to the Kennel Club before the Trial, and the new owner has undertaken to abide by the Regulations and conditions of the original entry form (and in accordance with the conditions set out above).

    1. An entry is an application, on a copy of an official Kennel Club entry form supplied by a registered society, for a named dog, registered at the Kennel Club or which has an Authority to Compete (ATC) number, in the name of the owner, to run in a Stake, subject to any conditions laid down in these Regulations and must comply with Regulation B20 in the Kennel Club Year Book (Regulations for Classification and Registration).
    2. A nomination is a request by a named person to enter a dog. In the event of a ballot, those drawn for places will be sent an Entry Form for a named dog, which is eligible for the Stake and registered at the Kennel Club, in their name.
    3. A society may make its own arrangements as regards the pre-payment of entries, dates of closing of entries or nominations and, except where otherwise defined in the Regulations, conditions of Stakes.
    4. A society may reserve to itself the right to refuse any entry or nomination, Any such refusals must be reported to the Kennel Club.
    5. If entries or nominations exceed the number of permitted runners, the right to compete in a Trial shall be decided by ballot (subject to Regulation J7.i. which relates to preference in the draw for Open Stakes). Societies must ensure that all eligible owners/members are given the opportunity of having their preferred dog entered into the first ballot (see J7.j). The society must publish the result of this ballot in full to all applicants. Where an online system, approved by the Kennel Club, has been used to take entries, the ballot must be carried out using the same online system, and the result forwarded to the Kennel Club at the same time as the competitors are notified.
    6. After an applicant has been successful in the draw for a place in a Stake, or as a reserve has accepted an offer of a run, if the run is not taken up the applicant may become liable for the full entry fee except :-
      1. Where the applicant has qualified out of Novice Stakes (where applicable) or
      2. Where the dog drawn to run has qualified for the Championship after entries have closed or
      3. On production of a Veterinary Certificate confirming that the dog entered for the Stake is unfit to compete or
      4. On production of a medical certificate that the applicant or the applicants nominated handler is unable to compete or
      5. Where the dog drawn to run is withdrawn more than 7 days prior to the stake.
    7. Societies may, or may not, after an entry has been accepted, allow an applicant to substitute a dog before a Trial with another dog owned by him or her, the dog must, however, be eligible
    8. A society which runs two or more stakes of the same denomination in a season which are drawn on the same date may ask a member, who has been successful in the draw for more than one stake, which of the Stakes he/she wishes to run in. Similarly, where a society holds two or more stakes in a season of the same denomination which are not drawn on the same date, it may have discretion to give priority in any subsequent draws to members who were not successful in the previous draw/s. This must be clearly stated on all relevant schedules.
    9. Preference in the draw for Open Stakes
      1. Breeds which Hunt, Point and Retrieve
        A First, Second or Third in an Open Stake.
        A First or Second in an All Aged Stake or First in a Novice Stake.
    10. Open stakes
      i. Members’ first preference dogs which have gained places as
      shown above.
      ii. Members’ second preference dogs which have gained places
      as shown above.
      iii. Non-members’ first preference dogs which have gained
      places as shown above.
      iv. Non-members’ second preference dogs which have gained
      places as shown above.
      v. Members’ dogs which have gained other places.
      vi. Non-members’ dogs which have gained other places.
      vii. Other dogs.
      The foregoing places must have been gained in a Stake qualifying for entry in the Kennel Club Stud Book.
      (2) Novice Stakes
      i. Members’ first preference dogs.
      ii. Members’ second preference dogs.
      iii. Non-members’ first preference dogs.
      iv. Non-members’ second preference dogs.
  8. Awards and Prizes
    1. An award is any placing in a Stake decided by the Judges which may be First, Second, Third or Fourth.
    2. The following may also be conferred at the discretion of the Judges: at a Championship, Diplomas of Merit and in other Stakes, Certificates of Merit.
    3. A prize is a reward for merit in competition.
    4. All prize money must be paid within one month of the date of the Field Trial, and paid subject to return in the event of a subsequent disqualification.
    5. The amount of prize money offered by a society may be varied to relate to the number of entries received and may be reduced if the full number of entries is not received.
    6. Awards at a Field Trial must be discrete; equal awards are prohibited.
    7. The Judges are empowered and instructed to withhold any prize or Award if, in their opinion, the dogs competing do not show sufficient merit.
  9. Control of Dogs and Competitors under Trial
    1. Management
      The management of a Field Trial shall be the responsibility of the society to which the licence is issued.

      1. A Chief Steward, who should be present throughout the Trial, must be appointed by the committee of the Society and shall be responsible for ensuring the regulations are observed. The Chief Steward must not interfere with the Judges’ decisions which are final but should, however, decide upon any matter not related to judging which is not provided for in the rules and regulations. The Chief Steward may call upon the Judges to assist with such a decision and that decision shall be final.
      2. Societies must ensure that the draw for the initial order of running shall take place as stated in the schedule, and each dog entered must be given a number that accords with its place in the draw.
      3. A handler and dog must always be available to pick up wounded game when required as agreed between host and society.
    2. Handling and Competing

      1. All competitors must be present when the Chief Steward announces that the Trial has commenced, and subsequently when required by the Judges. However, a competitor who is not present when the Chief Steward announces that the Trial has commenced, and whose number has been allocated to the next available reserve, forfeits his run in the Trial. Should a competitor be delayed by circumstances which are exceptional in the opinion of the Chief Steward of the organising society, then the competitor may still be allowed to take the run, in order of draw, providing he/she is available when required in line by the Judges.
      2. No person attending a Trial may allow a bitch in season to be on the Field Trial ground or to foul any ground to be used by competing dogs.
      3. If, after consultation with the Judges, the Chief Steward considers a dog unfit to compete, by reason of contagious disease or physical condition, such a dog shall be required to be removed immediately from the ground and from the Trial.
      4. Any person in charge of a dog at a Field Trial must at all times ensure that the dog is kept under proper control whilst at the meet, or venue of the Trial, and while travelling to or from the meet or venue in any transport provided for that purpose.
      5. All handlers must carry out the instructions of the Judges who are empowered to turn out of the Stake any dog whose handler does not obey them, or whose handler wilfully interferes with another competitor or dog.
      6. Except in the Championships, no handler may handle more than two dogs in a Stake for Retrievers, Spaniels or Breeds which Hunt, Point and Retrieve, or more than 5 dogs in any Stake for Pointers and Setters. (See also J7.g).
      7. An owner, having deputed the handling of a dog to another, may be in the line while the dog is working, but must take no part in the working the dog.
      8. There shall be no substitution of handler once a Stake at a Field J 10 Trial has commenced.
      9. A handler must ensure that only the number of the dog being handled at the time is displayed.
      10. No person shall carry out punitive correction or harsh handling at a Field Trial.
      11. Only in cases of physical disability, and with the permission of the Judges, may a handler carry a stick whilst working his dog.
      12. No competitor may withdraw a dog or leave the Trial ground without the permission of a Judge or Chief Steward.
      13. The Kennel Club’s Codes of Conduct specify the sort of behaviour expected of those who take part in competitive gundog work. Participants should be aware of their contents and in particular, should never publicly impugn decisions of the Judge or Judges. Neither should they criticise the host, ground or guns.
  10. Championships and Champion Stake
    1. The following Championships and Champion Stake may be held annually:
      1. (5) The Hunt, Point and Retrieve Championship.
    2. The conditions governing the Championships and Champion Stake and the lists of societies approved to hold Open Stakes shall be reviewed annually by the General Committee and published as early as possible each year in the Kennel Gazette.
  11. Removal of Dog(s) From the Trial
    A dog shall be removed from the Trial if it is:

    1. A bitch which is in season
    2. Suffering from any infectious or contagious disease.
    3. Interfering with the safety or chance of winning of a fellow competitor.
    4. Of such temperament or is so much out of control as to be a danger to the safety of any person or other animal.
    5. Likely to cause suffering to the dog if it continues competing.
  12. Objections
    1. An objection to a breach of Kennel Club Regulation(s) may be made direct to the Secretary of the Trial before the end of the Trial. As an alternative, an objection may be lodged directly with the Kennel Club within seven days after the last day of the Trial, and under these circumstances a copy of the objection must be sent to the Field Trial Secretary.
      When an objection is lodged the following information must be given:
      A statement detailing the objection, quoting the relevant Regulation(s).
      The objection fee of £35, or such amount as may from time to time be decided by the General Committee.
      The name and address of the objector.
      The name and address of the owner of the dog (if relevant).
      All relevant evidence.
      The objection fee may be returned after consideration of the objection.
    2. The right to lodge an objection to a dog or any action taken at a Trial is limited to anyone in attendance at the Trial, or the owner of a dog competing or his accredited representative, provided they are not under a term of suspension imposed by the Kennel Club.
    3. No objection shall be invalidated solely on the grounds that it was incorrectly lodged.
    4. With the exception of objections made under J11, the dog should be allowed to compete and a full report made to the Kennel Club.
    5. Objections or alleged breaches of Kennel Club Regulations shall be referred to the General Committee of the Kennel Club who have the power to delegate the hearing of the objection or breach of Regulation to the relevant sub-committee or may decide to refer the matter for disciplinary action under Kennel Club Rule A11.
    6. Any appeal against the relevant sub-committee decision must be lodged within fourteen days of the decision being given and will be subject to the prescribed appeals procedure as shall be determined by the General Committee from time to time.
  13. Disqualification and Forfeit of Awards
      1. To have undergone surgical interference with the structure of the vocal cords for non-therapeutic reasons.
      2. To have been entered for a Field Trial not recognised by the General Committee.
      3. To have been entered by a person disqualified or suspended under Kennel Club Rules.
      4. To have been entered for a Field Trial not in accordance with the Regulations of the Kennel Club.
      5. To have been registered or recorded as owned by one of the scheduled Judges within a period of twelve months prior to the Trial. This provision does not apply to Judges appointed in an emergency.
      6. To have been handled at a Trial, boarded or prepared for competition by one of the scheduled Judges within the previous twelve months prior to the Trial. This provision does not apply to Judges appointed in an emergency.
      7. To have been the subject of any other default, omission, action or incident occurring at or in connection with the Trial rendering it unfair that the award should be allowed to stand.
      8. If a dog be disqualified, the prize to which it would otherwise have been entitled shall be forfeited. The Committee may at its discretion move up the dog or dogs next in order of merit (up to and including reserve or fourth place) to take the prize or prize(s).
  14. Fraudulent or Discreditable Conduct at Trials
    1. The organising society of a Trial must immediately report in writing to the Secretary of the Kennel Club any case of alleged fraudulent or discreditable conduct, or any default, omission or incident at, or in connection with, the Trial which may come to its notice, even where parties concerned have indicated that they intend taking no action. The society, at the same time, must forward to the Secretary of the Kennel Club all documents and information pertaining to its report.
    2. If evidence is placed before the General Committee to its satisfaction that undue influence has been exercised by any person, or that any improper means have been adopted to obtain, or interfere with, the appointment of a Judge or the participation by any dog at any Trial under Kennel Club Regulations, the General Committee may require all correspondence and evidence in connection with the case to be produced in order that it may deal with the offenders under Rule A11 of the Rules of the Kennel Club.
  15. Penalties
    The General Committee shall have power to impose any of the following penalties upon any person for any breach of Kennel Club Regulations subject to a right of appeal, notice of intention of which must be lodged within 14 days from the date on which the decision is given and subject to the prescribed appeals process as shall be determined by the General Committee from time to time;

    1. Warn
    2. Censure/Reprimand
    3. Apology directive (Conduct Regulation or the Control of Dog Regulation)
    4. Fine
    5. Award disqualified
    6. A dog’s registration record may be marked ‘incident recorded’
    7. A dog’s registration record may be endorsed ‘not eligible for entry in any event held under Kennel Club Rules and Regulations, nor any unlicensed event recognised by the Kennel Club.’
    8. In the event of any fine not being paid, or non compliance with any apology directive issued within the time stipulated by the General Committee, then that person may, at the discretion of the General Committee, be dealt with as if a complaint under Kennel Club Rule A11 had been lodged and proved to the satisfaction of the General Committee.

Annex A to J regulations

The Management, Conduct and Judging of Field Trials

  1. General
    1. A Field Trial should be run as nearly as possible to an ordinary day’s shooting.
    2. All Competitors, Judges and Officials must be present when the Secretary or Chief Steward has announced the Trial has commenced or when the Trial is deemed to have commenced.
    3. The Chief Steward should liaise closely with the Steward of the Beat who will have planned which ground is to be used for the Trial. He or she should, where necessary, welcome all on behalf of the society and introduce the Host, Steward of the Beat, Judges, Guns and other officials. The Chief Steward, moreover, should explain the outline of the day, with instructions about transport, lunch, toilets and other arrangements. The Chief Steward should also issue warnings on safety.
    4. At the end of the day, the Chief Steward should ensure that the Host, Guns, Judges and officials are properly thanked.
    5. Dogs must not wear any form of collar when under the orders of the Judges except for identification where necessary.
    6. Dogs must be excluded from further participation in the Stake if they have committed an ‘eliminating fault’. The Judges may also discard dogs for ‘major faults’. Where a dog is eliminated for ‘hard mouth’ all the Judges must have examined the injured game before the dog is discarded. The handler shall also be given the opportunity of examining the game in the presence of the Judges, but the decision of the Judges is final.
  2. Water Tests
    1. a. A Water Test requires a dog to enter water readily and swim to the satisfaction of the Judges.
    2. b. If a separate Water Test is included as part of a Stake, all dogs placed in the awards must have passed this test.
    3. c. A handler is not entitled to ask for a shot to be fired.

    Where a Special Water Test is conducted for part qualification for the title of Field Trial Champion (in accordance with the provisions of Kennel Club Regulations for entries in the Stud Book, Champions, and Warrants, paragraphs K2.c(3) and K2.c(6)), it must be held between September 1 and April 1 inclusive.

  3. Judging
    1. The task of the Judges is to find the dog which, on the day, pleases them most by the quality of its work from the shooting point of view. They must, therefore, take natural game-finding to be of the first importance in Field Trials. A Judge must also have a very good working knowledge of the breed or 14 Annex A to J Regulations breeds under Trial and have the interest and future of the breed or breeds at heart, since final placings may influence breeding plans and so determine the course of breed development.
    2. No Judge should accept an invitation to judge a Trial, and no competitor should enter a Trial, unless they are fully conversant with the current Field Trial Regulations. The Chief Steward of a Field Trial should ensure that each of the Judges at a Field Trial has a copy of the current Field Trial Regulations.
    3. Judges are responsible for the proper conduct of the Trial in accordance with Kennel Club Rules and Field Trial Regulations and the Schedule for the Stake. Judges are also expected to maintain and abide by the highest standards in accordance with the appropriate Codes of Best Practice as published from time to time.
    4. All Judges, Chief Stewards and others responsible for the organisation of the Trial should be courteous and co-operative with the Host and Steward of the Beat and fall in with their arrangements to achieve the best result possible in an atmosphere of friendliness and confidence.
    5. At the start of the day, the Judges should be introduced to each other and decide their positions in the line which will remain the same throughout the body of the Stake. The Judges should brief the guns and handlers and if, at any time, conditions force them to depart from the arrangements they have set out the Chief Steward should be informed so that he or she can advise the competitors, guns and others affected.
    6. Judges should also make themselves aware of any special prizes which are to be awarded in the Stake.
    7. Judges should ask the Steward of the Beat what the game position is likely to be and regulate the amount of work or number of retrieves for each dog accordingly. At driven Trials Judges should, after consultation with the Steward of the Beat, ensure that dogs sitting at a drive are positioned as to have the best opportunity to retrieve runners or wounded game during the drive only when it is practical to do so (they should also, however, be mindful of Regulation J(A)4.b). They should moreover satisfy themselves that arrangements have been made for the collection of dead or wounded game not gathered by the competing dogs and where necessary its humane despatch.
    8. Judges should make sure that they have the correct dogs in the line.
    9. Judges should be careful for the safety of dogs and should not require them to negotiate hazards such as dangerous barbed wire fences, ice on ponds, unsupervised roadways or walls with high drops. Whilst Judges should take reasonable precautions for the safety of competing dogs, it is also the duty of the handler to satisfy himself or herself that their dog is suitably trained, physically fit and prepared to undertake the work allocated by the Judges before directing it to carry out the task specified.
    10. A higher standard of work is expected in Stakes which carry a qualification for the title of Field Trial Champion.
    11. All Judges must certify on the Game Certificate that they have been satisfied that the conditions at the Stake were such as to enable the dogs to be satisfactorily tested. If there is not sufficient game the Stake must be considered void.
    12. It is the duty of the Judges to give dogs every opportunity to work well by seeing that conditions are, as far as possible, in their favour. In all Trials the work of the dog is much affected by the way the handler behaves. Noisy handling, however occasioned, is a major fault. A good handler will appear to do little but watch his dog while maintaining at all times perfect control over it.
    13. Judges should keep their opinions strictly to themselves and act on what happens on the day or days of the Trial at which they are judging, forgetting past performance.
    14. At the end of each retrieve or run, Judges are advised to place each dog in a category such as A or B (+ or -) according to the work done. Such gradings may, quite properly, be supplemented on occasion by additional notation for reference purposes when Judges are going through their books. It is, however, imperative to appreciate that gradings must never be retrospectively adjusted. Neither should there ever be any attempt to sum sequences of grades to produce a single letter grading of a dog. When all dogs have been seen by a Judge, or Judges, they will wish to confer to determine which dogs they wish to discard or retain; it is vitally important for Judges to make short notes of each dog’s work. Judges should never expect to be able to trust to memory.
    15. Judges on the A Panel and the B Panel should bear in mind that they will be asked for assessments of B Panel or non-panel Judges, as appropriate, with whom they officiate.
  4. For all Sub-groups Required to Retrieve
    1. A dog should be steady to shot and fall of game and should retrieve tenderly to hand on command. Handlers shall not send their dog until directed by the Judge.
    2. Judges at Open Stakes and Championships should ask their guns not to shoot directly over a dog when it is already out working on a retrieve. In other Stakes, Judges should ask their guns not to shoot when a dog is already out working on a retrieve unless by so doing they are certain there would be no chance of distracting the dog from its task.
    3. All wounded game should, where possible, be gathered and/or despatched immediately. Unless exceptional circumstances prevail then wounded game should always be tried for before dead game. If game cannot be gathered, the Judge must depute this task to the official handler and dog appointed for this purpose.
    4. If game is shot very close to a dog which would make a retrieve of no value, the retrieve may be offered to a dog under another Judge. During the first round of the Stake dogs should, whenever possible, have the opportunity to pick game shot by their own guns.
    5. Handlers should be instructed where to try from and be given reasonable directions as to where the game fell. If the dogs tried fail to complete the retrieve the Judges should search the area of fall and, if they find the game, the dogs tried, save in exceptional circumstances, will be eliminated. However, should a dog or dogs prove to have been tried in the wrong area they should not be so penalised.
    6. Good marking is essential in a retrieving dog as it should not disturb ground unnecessarily. Judges should give full credit to a dog which goes straight to the fall and gets on with the job. Similarly, the ability to take the line of a hare, wounded rabbit or bird should be credited.
    7. A good retrieve will include a quick and unfussy pick-up followed by a fast return. The handler should not have to snatch or drag game from the dog’s mouth. Whilst Judges should not penalise a dog too heavily for putting game down to get a firmer grip, they must never, however, condone sloppy retrieving.
      A good game-finding dog should not rely on the handler to find the game. It should, however, be obedient and respond to its handler’s signals where necessary.
      Dogs showing game-finding ability and initiative when hunting and retrieving should be placed above those which have to be handled to their game. Usually, the best dog seems to require the least handling. It appears to have an instinctive knowledge of direction and makes a difficult find look simple and easy.
    8. If a dog is performing indifferently on a runner, it must be called up promptly. If more dogs are tried on the runner, the work of all these dogs must be assessed in relation to the order in which they are tried. The handlers of the second and subsequent dogs down may be allowed to take their dogs towards the fall, as may the handler of the first dog if it has not had a chance to mark the game. Game picked by the second or a subsequent dog constitutes an “eye wipe”. Dogs which have had their eyes wiped during the body of the Stake, however it may have occurred, will be discarded. All eye wipes should be treated on their merits.
      If the first dog sent shows ability by acknowledging the fall and making a workmanlike job of the line or the area, it need not automatically be barred from the awards by failing to produce the game provided that the game is not collected by another dog tried by the Judges, or by the Judges themselves, when searching the area which they directed the handler to search. Moreover, there will be occasions when circumstances make it impossible to send a dog promptly. If this happens and a significant delay ensues, a dog disadvantaged in this way should not be penalised as a first dog down.
    9. All game should be examined for signs of hard mouth. A hard-mouthed dog seldom gives visible evidence of hardness. The dog will simply crush in one or both sides of the ribs. Visible inspection and blowing up the feathers on a bird will not disclose the damage, digital examination is imperative.
      Place the game on the palm of the hand, breast upwards, head forward, and feel the ribs with fingers and thumb. They should be round and firm. If they are caved in or flat this may be evidence of hard mouth. Be sure the game reaches the co-Judges for examination.
      Judges should always satisfy themselves that the damage done has been caused by the dog, not by the shot or fall. Judges, for instance, must be clear about the difference between damage to the ribcage caused by shot and the quite distinctive damage caused by a dog.
      Handlers must be given the opportunity of inspecting the damaged game in the presence of the Judges, but the decision of the Judges is final.
      A sure sign of good mouth is a dog bringing in live game whose head is up and eye bright. Superficial damage, if any, in this case can be ignored. At times, the rump of a strong runner may be gashed and look ugly. Care should be taken here, as it may be the result of a difficult capture or lack of experience in mastering a strong runner by a young dog.
      There should be no hesitation or sentiment with hard mouth. The dog must be eliminated.

Annex E to J Regulations

Breeds which Hunt, Point and Retrieve

  1. Basic Requirements
    Dogs shall be required to quarter ground systematically in search of quarry (hereafter game), to point game, to flush on command, to be steady to flush, shot and fall, and to retrieve tenderly to hand on command from land and water. Any dog which does not fulfil the basic requirements shall not receive an award or a Certificate of Merit.
  2. Number of runners
    With the exception of the Hunt, Point and Retrieve Championship, to qualify for entry in the Kennel Club Stud Book, the number of runners permitted in Stakes is as follows:

    1. Open Stakes: maximum 12, minimum 10.
    2. Other Stakes: maximum 12, minimum 8.
  3. The Trial should run as nearly as possible to an ordinary day’s rough shooting for a small party of guns, numbering not more than 4 in total.
  4. Competing
    Dogs shall be run singly in order of the draw under two Judges judging as a pair. A dog, unless discarded must have been tried at least twice in the line, and complete a water test on the day of the trial, before it may receive an award or certificate of merit.
  5. Credit Points
    Systematically quartering with stamina pace and style.
    Hunting with drive and purpose.
    Good marking.
    Style on point and production.
    Quiet handling.
    Dropping to wing.
    Good water work.
    Speed and efficiency in retrieving.
  6. Eliminating faults
    Hard mouth.
    Whining or barking.
    Flushing up wind.
    Out of control.
    Running in or chasing.
    Failure to hunt or point.
    Blinking a point.
    Changing game whilst retrieving.
    Being eye wiped.
    Picking wrong retrieve.
    Refusal to retrieve or swim.
    Missing game on the beat (excluding hare and snipe).
    Without merit.
  7. Major faults
    Poor ground treatment.
    Stickiness on point.
    Persistent false pointing.
    Disturbing ground.
    Not stopping to flush down wind.
    Noisy handling.
    Not acknowledging game going away.
    Catching unwounded game.
    Failing to find dead or wounded game (subject to J(A)4.h.).
  8. Judges should define the beat to be worked. As much discretion as practical should be left to the handler as to how to work the ground.
  9. Judges must judge as a pair, but record their assessments independently having established the categories to be marked. They should see as much work as possible from every dog, particularly those which impress most favourably, and assess this work carefully in every aspect. Judges should remember that the main work of a dog which hunts, points and retrieves is to find game, and present it to the guns so that they have a good chance of a reasonable shot. Particular note should be taken of the following:-
    1. Game Finding Ability. This is of the highest importance. The Judge must assess game finding by observing the way the dog works its beat with regard to the wind, covers all likely game holding pockets and responds to scent generally, and also by its drive and sense of purpose.
    2. Ground Treatment. In all stakes it is highly desirable that all dogs be worked into the wind wherever possible. Dogs should quarter the beat systematically and with purpose, regulating their pace to suit the type of ground and cover. If a dog flushes game upwind it should be discarded, but if it is working downwind and flushes or runs sideways into game having had no chance to wind it, these do not constitute eliminating faults. However, the dog should always acknowledge game so flushed and stop.
    3. Pointing. Credit will be given to the dog that acknowledges game scent positively, draws in deliberately, points staunchly, flushes only on command and is subsequently steady. Persistent, false or unproductive pointing is a major fault. False pointing may be recognised by the dog leaving its point and immediately showing no further interest in the scent that apparently brought it on point. Unproductive pointing is where the dog points residual scent. Less experienced dogs tend to persist on such unproductive points, thereby wasting time, whereas a more experienced dog will recognise this residual scent for what it is and quickly resume hunting. If, when pointing game, a dog blinks by leaving the point and continues hunting that dog must be eliminated.
    4. Retrieving. All retrieves should be completed as quickly as possible so that the progress of the Trial is not interrupted unduly. e. Style. Before final assessments of the work are made, Judges should consider the style of the dogs. Credit should be given to a dog which embraces grace of movement, stylishness when pointing and retrieving and which shows keenness and competence in what it is doing. Judges should recognise that each breed within the Hunt, Point and Retrieve sub-group has its own individual style, and they should acquaint themselves with these differences.
  10. Water Retrieves
      1. In Open and All Age Stakes, the water retrieve is a blind retrieve from across water. If a dog returns by land, it should not be penalised for this unless it wastes time thereby.
      2. In Novice Stakes, the water retrieve is a marked retrieve from water with a shot fired.
      3. To receive an award, normally a dog must complete a Water Test on the day of the Trial. If, due to unforeseen circumstances, a Water Test cannot take place, or when there are no facilities for a Water Test nearby, a potential award winner may take a Special Water Test allied to that Trial, at a later date, conducted by two Judges, one of whom must be on the A panel.

    Having been given a blank Special Water Certificate, it will be the responsibility of the handler of a potential award winner to get the dog tested within three weeks of the Trial. The Water Test may take place at another Trial or independently by arrangement with two Judges. Upon successful completion of a Special Water Test, the handler should send the signed Certificate back to the organising society’s Field Trial Secretary who should then forward it on to the Kennel Club so that the award can be confirmed.

    The organising society must notify the Kennel Club that this special arrangement is taking place.

Annex F to J Regulations

Show Gundog Working Certificate

  1. The Show Gundog Working Certificate is not a qualification in itself, however, when awarded it enables the “Sh” to be removed from the title of Show Champion. In no circumstances can the letters SGWC be placed after a dog’s name.
  2. A gundog which has won a Challenge Certificate or previously qualified for Crufts through a breed class may be entered for a Show Gundog Working Certificate at a Field Trial or a Show Gundog Working Day for its sub-group, licensed by the Kennel Club, with a minimum of two Judges officiating, of which at least one must be an A Panel Judge.
  3. The permission of the society holding the Trial must be obtained and the dog must be entered on the entry form of the meeting. The fee charged by the society should be the same as that for dogs entering the Trial.
  4. Societies which are registered with the Kennel Club and which have been authorised to organise Field Trials may apply for permission to organise a Show Gundog Working Day for their relevant sub-group.
  5. Retrieving breeds should be tested on freshly shot, unhandled game
  6. The granting of a Show Gundog Working Certificate shall be at the discretion of the Judges at the meeting and all Judges must sign the Certificate.
  7. Before signing a Certificate the Judges must be satisfied that the dog fulfilled the following requirements:-
    1. The dog has been tested in line.
    2. The dog has shown that it is not gun-shy.
    3. For a Hunt, Point and Retrieve Breed that it hunted, pointed game and retrieved tenderly.
    4. For all retrieving breeds, that the dog entered water freely, swam and retrieved. [If a natural retrieve from water is not possible then a dummy may be used and if suitable water is not available the dog is permitted to undertake a Special Water Test as soon as possible after the day, but between 1 September and 1 April, which will be recognised by the issue of a Certificate, to be signed by two Field Trial Panel Judges, one of whom must be on the “A” Panel.] Annex F to J Regulations 32
    5. That the dog has not whined or barked in line, subject to the Breed Standard.
    6. That the dog has been under reasonable control, absolute steadiness is not essential.
  8. Judges should be aware of their responsibility when awarding a SGWC, that the dog has been thoroughly tested and shown sufficient merit to become a Champion. (Regulation J(A)3.a. refers.)

Excerpt from K

Regulations for Entries in the Stud Book, Champions and Warrants

As at 1st January 2015

  1. Stud Book Qualifications
    1. An entry in the Stud Book shall consist of the registered name of the dog, its sex, colour, date of birth, owner, breeder and an extension of its pedigree limited to three generations, or a Stud Book Reference within that limit.
    2. All dogs must be entered in the Stud Book in the name of the registered owner at the time of qualification.
    3. A Kennel Club Stud Book number will be assigned to each dog accepted for entry.
    4. A neutered dog, which has qualified for an entry in the Stud Book will be listed therein with the letters ‘NEUT’ appearing after its name.
      1. Dogs winning First, Second, Third or Fourth awards, Diplomas of Merit or Certificates of Merit at Field Trials held under Kennel Club Field Trial Regulations.
  2. Championship Qualifications
    1. Title of Field Trial Champion (FT Ch). The following dogs shall be entitled to be described as Field Trial Champions. All first place awards are confined to Open Stakes for which a Field Trial Certificate will be awarded to each winner:
      1. Breeds which Hunt, Point & Retrieve
        1. A dog placed first in the Championship for Breeds which Hunt, Point and Retrieve.
        2. A dog which gains two first awards in Open Stakes for breeds which Hunt, Point and Retrieve under two different Panel ‘A’ Judges. In the event that the same Panel ‘A’ Judge officiates at both Stakes, the dog will be entitled to the title of Field Trial Champion provided the co-Judge at one Stake is also a Panel ‘A’ Judge. In order for the Stakes to qualify there must be no fewer than 10 runners. For the dog to be entitled to the title of Field Trial Champion one of its wins must be in a Stake open to all breeds which Hunt, Point and Retrieve.
    2. Dual Champion. Any Gundog which has been awarded the title of Show Champion & Field Trial Champion