To eliminate a whole class of good handlers is not "leveling the playing field", it's making that "Q" less competative.
I think Golden Boy is just stating a loop hole in the O/H Qualifying stake that some Pros take advantage of and he feels it is unsportsmanlike and I agree. Just because you can doesn't mean you should.
Now with that being said I could personally not care because I run AA stakes and handle my own dog, so it's not like I'm not gonna run into most of the Pros eventually in the Open, so if I can't beat them in a Q I've got others things to worry about.
On the other hand, when Pros take advantage by co-owning dogs just so they can run them in an O/H Q that does detract from what I would consider the intent of the O/H Q especially in conjunction with a HT. Which in my opinion is to try and encourage participation by HTers who normally would not attend a weekend FT.
The issue that Golden Boy is bringing up is no different than the ramblings you hear about Amateurs co-owning dogs just so they can run them in a O/H Am. Co-owning a dog just to skirt the rules is not very sportsmanship like, period. There are and will always be a legitimate reason for co-ownerships, but in the case of a Pro co-owning a dog with a paying client does not pass the sniff test.
How is this a loop hole this is not an Amature stake it is an owner/handler.
It's a loop hole when the pro really does not own the dog. The name is just on the paper, solely for the purpose of O/H Quals.
Or, sometimes, the name is just on EE as owner. They don't bother to actually change the registration.
Some FT Secs, check this. Some places have been removed.
will explain my feelings a little better regarding this issue. Field trials are competitive regardless of the stake. You will be running against pros and amatures and professional amatures there is no way around it. I cannot see any advantage to creating a venue that waters down the reality of the game. Personally I disagree with the idea that owner handler qualifyings bring new handlers to the game I think it just gives field trial credibility to dogs that for the most part are not competing against field trial dogs when the events are held in conjunction with a hunt test.
Just my 2 cents