Retriever Advisory Committee Rule Change Proposals Part II
Proposal No. 3
After 3. Amateur Definition (d.) as written add the following paragraph:
“A Field Trial Committee’s determination rejecting a person’s Amateur All-Age entry for lack of Amateur status made solely on its own volition shall not affect that person’s Amateur status for any future trials.”
So that Paragraph 3 (d.) in its entirety will read:
(d.) The determination of amateur status under these directives for the purpose of any particular field trial shall be made by the field Trial Committee for that trial.
A Field Trial Committee’s determination rejecting a person’s Amateur All-Age entry for lack of Amateur status made solely on its own volition shall not affect that person’s Amateur status for any future trials.
Further Discussion of 3.(d.)
A person’s Amateur status may also be questioned by a person filing a protest under chapter 10, Section 1 stating the dog’s ineligibility to run in the Amateur stake due to the handler’s lack of Amateur status. If a protest is filed it precipitates a field trial committee misconduct hearing, with a full report of the proceedings sent to the AKC. The individual that is found to be a professional by a Field Trial Committee under these circumstances will remain a professional unless he appeals the decision to the AKC and secures a reversal, or fulfills the requirements outlined in paragraphs 3 (a.) and (b.)
CONCERN Layout Blinds
At our meetings we have encouraged discussion about the use of layout blinds. When a straw vote has been called the results have been about equal yes and no; however, the reasons not to use these blinds seem much more compelling to the Committee than the ability to hide a bird thrower. The chances of both dogs and bird boys sustaining a serious injury when lying in these blinds is real. The temperature turning hot puts the bird boy at high risk, as well as a dog stepping on the blind being a physical danger to both the dog and the layout blind occupant.
There are a variety of camouflages designed for grass lands put out by sporting goods stores that could be used to conceal bird throwers in these situations.
Proposal No. 4 Layout Blinds
Under STANDARD PROCEDURE FOR NON-SLIP RETRIEVER TRIALS, No. 8, 3rd paragraph, (page 28) after the sentence ending the distinctive shape of the blind insert the following: and in no event shall gunners or throwers be instructed to lay down on the ground in layout blinds or like configurations for hiding purposes.
So that No. 8, 3rd paragraph in its entirety will read:
“Retired Guns, throwers and blind planters should be concealed by a blind that provides complete coverage, adequate space, and natural camouflage to conceal the distinctive shape of the blind and in no event shall gunners or throwers be instructed to lay down on the ground in layout blinds or like configurations for hiding purposes. The blind must be so located as to minimize the development of a trail that will lead the running dog away from the area of the fall. In no circumstances should the judges have the guns move to another position to mislead dogs in their marking. No blinds shall be placed in the field in a marking test except in accordance with the provisions set forth in this paragraph or for the purpose of protecting the running dogs from injury by unseen hazards.”
Excessive waits in minor stakes.
It has come to the subcommittee’s attention that the minor stakes are being shut down on a more frequent basis and for extended periods of time while they await dogs and handlers from the major stakes. Usually, this delay is caused by the major stakes’ marshal and/or judges’ insistence that their dogs run in order. That and the major stake handlers staying put with no one directing them to proceed to a shut down or soon to be shut down minor stake.
The above situations can be largely avoided under the existing rules by the Field Trial Marshal acting pursuant to Section 4(a) of Chapter 14 of the Retriever Rules (Page 18 in the Rule Book). This provision gives the Field Trial Marshal the authority to overrule the major stake judges and marshal whenever a change in the running order will affect two or more stakes. The Field Trial Marshal is tasked with communicating between the stakes. When he thus sees a looming delay in a minor stake he should step in and direct the needed minor stake handlers to leave the major stake and proceed to the affected minor stake despite this changing the running order in the major stake.
The subcommittee hopes that awareness of and application of these provisions of the Rule Book will substantially reduce most of the minor stake delays now being experienced.