This thread gives one the impression that politics and screwings are rampant in FTs. I have been running FTs for 8 years and can think of only one trial that we got a jam when I thought we should have placed in a Q. I can think of more times that we placed and I thought we might have been dropped on the water blind if I'd been judging. Maybe politics is more prevalent in other areas but I've just not seen it.
In FTs there are many variables that can affect your success. Lighting,changes in visibility, whether you run early, wind changes, tests set ups that favor your dogs strengths( or not )are all things I find much more important to our success at a given trial than politics.
Most FT folks I know of don't measure success with the results of one trial. They run multiple trials and hope for success in one or more. As time goes on you hope your percentage of successful trials increases but you always know the variables are part of the sport. It seems to me after judging quite a few minor stakes that quite a few hunt testers try ONE trial and base their opinions on success or not in that single experience where they don't always know what is expected moving from HT to FTs.
If you want to know how your dog stacks up don't just run one trial.....enter several, train with folks that know what's expected, come to the line, hope the stars align ,and maybe things work out to get a colored ribbon.