I witnessed a similar occurrence at the GRCA Specialty Field Trial held at FT AP Hii,VA in 1978 or 1979.
The dog picked up the second bird while retrieving the long bird. Did not drop either bird on the return. The judges, as I recall, made a minor point deduction on trainability.
Certainly not for marking or perseverance or style.
The dog placed in the ribbons, i don't recall the placement,The dog was an FC/AFC before the FT, so the ribbon was not a "Golden Gift."
The "gallery lawyers" were buzzing as would be expected, but the judges, with "common sense", prevailed.
It was noted that none of the "lawyer" could support their erroneous conclusion(s). Even with the FT Rule in their hands.
They had the book, but not the Chapter or verse!
"The Rightous are not always right" I read that a long time ago and have found it to be a valid observation.