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Thread: AKC Field Trial Rule Question

  1. #1
    Senior Member Gerry Clinchy's Avatar
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    Default AKC Field Trial Rule Question

    I'll start off by saying this has nothing at all to do with any recent trial ... lest anyone think that it is any critique of any judge(s). Just one of those "what-if" conversations that went off on a tangent.

    Secondly, it is unlikely that it would ever occur in a major stake. It is also likely that it would be an extremely rare situation in almost any field trial.

    Must a 1st placement be awarded in a field trial stake?

    There IS a rule that: a first placement cannot be withheld if other placements are awarded. Evidently, that rule evolved from a situation where judges withheld the 1st & 2nd placements in a Qualifying stake because they felt that none of the dogs who completed the tests were of QAA caliber. This was related to me by someone who actually remembers the event, which goes back some time ago. That created quite a hoo-ha, and AKC responded by making the rule that would preclude that occurring again.

    How this rule came to be explains why it is likely to be an extremely rare occurrence. It also explains why it is pretty inconceivable that it would ever occur in a major stake. And since Derby placements don't carry any official AKC designation of any kind, it would not be of much consequence there.

    However, this rule would not seem to preclude the judges withholding ALL the awards, if they were adamant that none of the dogs were deserving of QAA status.

    We are all familiar with the rule that says if a win is cancelled, the next placement moves up. Withholding 1st & 2nd placements would seem equivalent to "cancelling" those placements, and then move 3rd and/or 4th upward into 1st & 2nd placements ... effectively nullifying the judges' opinions that none of the dogs should be given QAA status.

    So, the question really becomes whether the judges are allowed to withhold all the awards v. being compelled to give at least a 1st placement.

    To Lab people this is, I am sure, of little consequence since there are more Labs who receive FCs and/or AFCs in a given year than all the dogs of the other retriever breeds combined who reach just QAA status in that year! To those other breeds, however, who have smaller field-capable gene pools to work with, the QAA status is necessary factor for maintaining more genetic diversity in breeding programs. Goldens, since 2000, have averaged only about 25 new QAA achievers each year. I'm not sure what the numbers are for the other breeds, but I'm guessing that the numbers are even smaller.

    Back to the regularly scheduled programming ...
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Ken Bora's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gerry Clinchy View Post

    So, the question really becomes whether the judges are allowed to withhold all the awards v. being compelled to give at least a 1st placement....
    yes they are allowed, as far as I can find.
    say they just let the dogs play. Only fold up the sheets of the dog that just failed and handler picked up. They go through the land series. Land blind, water blind. only calling back the dogs that got a bird. Get to the water marks. Test dogs slams it and none of the say 14 dogs do the test for one reason or another. What are judges to do? Do they go through the crumpled sheets and see who flocked up the least? How can they as all are handler pickups? I know of 2 NAHRA field tests that no dog compleated the test. I am sure at one time or another there has had to have been a trial that no dog compleated. Has to be.
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    Senior Member DoubleHaul's Avatar
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    Yes. Judges can withhold all placements. They just can't skip placements. So if you award first but no second, there can be no more placements or JAMs.

    From Section 3:
    As a matter of general policy, this Section means that Judges may withhold all placements, or any placements following placed dogs, provided vacant placements do not occur between placed dogs, or between placed dogs and Judges Awards of Merit. Whenever a placement is withheld, no additional placements or Judges Awards of Merit (including Reserve) can be awarded after the withheld placement.

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    Senior Member JS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Bora View Post

    .....

    Get to the water marks. Test dogs slams it and none of the say 14 dogs do the test for one reason or another. What are judges to do?

    .....
    I'm thinking the judges probably scrapped that 4th and started over when they saw what was happening.

    JS
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    Senior Member John Robinson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JS View Post
    I'm thinking the judges probably scrapped that 4th and started over when they saw what was happening.

    JS
    You're right, but the judges better know the rule that they need to scrap it before all the dogs ran. If they let every dog run and fail, too late to scrap the test. I once scrapped a water blind with two dogs to run, only two dogs had not picked up. My co-judge wanted to run the last two dogs and see what happened, I had to remind him of the rule, otherwise we might have gone to the fourth with two dogs.

    John

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    Senior Member DoubleHaul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Robinson View Post
    You're right, but the judges better know the rule that they need to scrap it before all the dogs ran. If they let every dog run and fail, too late to scrap the test. I once scrapped a water blind with two dogs to run, only two dogs had not picked up. My co-judge wanted to run the last two dogs and see what happened, I had to remind him of the rule, otherwise we might have gone to the fourth with two dogs.

    John
    We always do our best work in the series that are eventually scrapped

  7. #7
    Senior Member huntinman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleHaul View Post
    We always do our best work in the series that are eventually scrapped
    Or... Are sure we could have (if we didn't get to run it!)
    Bill Davis

  8. #8
    Senior Member John Robinson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleHaul View Post
    We always do our best work in the series that are eventually scrapped
    My dog saves his best work for when he's running test dog in the forth series.

    john

  9. #9
    Senior Member Gerry Clinchy's Avatar
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    Thanks for the answer!

    The end result is that if there is only one placement, that placement will be a first place ... but there is also an option for there to be no placements at all.

    As John says, the judges should know the rule so they can make the right decision about scrapping a test when things are not going as anticipated.

    My dog saves his best work for when he's running test dog in the forth series.
    Imagine there are many who know that feeling Don't forget "bye" dog, too.

    Just in case, it seems safer to run "bye" dog. If test dog messes up, everyone is watching. If bye dog messes up, everyone went back to their vehicles when the bye dog left the line
    G.Clinchy@gmail.com
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  10. #10
    Senior Member Ted Shih's Avatar
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    Many many moons ago, I ran a derby with Freeridin Wowie Zowie at Topeka. Third series was very hard water double. Zowie crushed it. Dog after dog handled on the memory bird. As the last dog was running, no one other than Zowie getting both birds without a handle (in the days when a handle did not mean elimination, the judges announced that they were only going to score the first mark. Zowie bobbled a bird in the fourth and got green. Judges apologized. But that's the way it goes sometimes
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