Field Trials were developed to test the working ability of Gundogs in competitive conditions. Trials resemble, as closely as possible, a day's shooting in the field and dogs are expected to work with all manner of game, from rabbits and hares, to partridges and pheasants.
Many of our best loved breeds were traditionally developed to help us when hunting. Labrador Retrievers gathered game in the field; Cocker Spaniels flushed and retrieved game; Pointers and Setters ranged over the fields helping us seek out birds and rabbits for the table. A great many still help us in shooting and hunting today.
Field Trials are very popular, attracting hundreds of competitors and are still very much part of our countryside sports. If you have a love and understanding of the countryside and like to see dogs working as they were intended to, this friendly and relaxed sport may be just what you are looking for.
Gundog Working Tests are competitions which, by artificially simulating shooting day conditions, seek to assess, without game being shot, the working abilities of the various breeds of Gundog.
Gundog Working Tests are run for any of the three sub-groups of Gundogs recognized by the Kennel Club as detailed below:
Retrievers and Irish Water Spaniels
Sporting Spaniels other than Irish Water Spaniels
Breeds which Hunt, Point and Retrieve
The following classes of competition are recognized by the Kennel Club:
OPEN. Open to all dogs of a specified breed or breeds, although preference may be given to dogs which have gained a place or certificate of merit at a Field Trial, been placed First, Second or Third in an Open GWT, or won a Novice GWT.
NOVICE. Confined to dogs which have not gained a place or certificate of merit at a Field Trial, been placed First, Second or Third in an Open GWT or First in a Novice GWT held in accordance with Kennel Club Rules and Field Trial Regulations.
PUPPY. Confined to dogs of specific breed or breeds less than eighteen months of age on the date of the test.
UNCLASSIFIED. Open to all dogs of a specified breed or breeds, but may be restricted by conditions as determined by the society. To include Water and Team Tests. A Water Test can include dogs of any sub-group competing together. However, if dogs of more than one sub-group are competing as a Team, each sub-group will compete and be judged in accordance with the Kennel Club Gundog working Test Regulations relating to that group.
Next Test: 2024