Justin Aimone dog 46...Amateur trained.
Justin Aimone dog 46...Amateur trained.
"If you run Field Trials, you learn to swallow your disappointment quickly."
"Field trials are not a game for good dogs. They're for great dogs with great training." E. Graham
I don't know if it is "special" recognition, but I think folks who are amateurs take note and give recognition to those dogs who have not been trained by pros and who have been trained and handled by their amateur owners and have done well. The amateur trained and handled dog deserves this recognition of their success as does their amateur owner-trainer-handler. Why? Because amateur trained and handled dogs who reach the National Am level are few and far between.
I think that is important and useful to recognize those dogs and their amateur owners because it gives every amateur to believe that they, too, can also be successful with their dog -- and be in a National Amateur some day.
Field trialing is a tough, competitive game. I don't have the percentage, but I will guess that most dogs running in Amateur stakes at weekend trials are dogs who have been pro trained. It's been my observation that the owner takes them off the pro's truck and runs them, and then they go back on the truck. Some are successful in the Amateur, some are not. There are FC's out there who have no AFC title.
Caveat: a successful amateur owner-handler on the West Coast is Andy Kahn. Andy has very good dogs who have had pro training since they were little. Andy also trains his dogs a lot with his pro trainer. He isn't just an owner who shows up Saturday morning to take his dogs off the truck to run them in the Amateur. Andy also worked hard to learn to become a good handler. Thus, Andy is an amateur-owner-handler who is successful. He works hard at it; he has earned his success which is why he qualified 3 dogs for this year's National Am.
Last edited by helencalif; 06-19-2013 at 03:13 PM.
I just don't think we need to make any change the the eligibility requirements for the Amateur stake to recognize these special amateurs and I doubt that if they thought about it they would want such a thing.
I also tip my hat to the few amateurs who, whether their dogs are pro or am trained, can take the dog and win opens with it. Many amateurs can win Ams but fewer can handle with the big dogs.
Re my caveat: another successful amateur owner-trainer-handler on the west coast is Michael Moore. The same things I said about Andy Kahn could be said about Michael. His dogs are good. They have received training by a pro, but Michael also trains his dogs. He worked hard to become a good handler. Michael Moore is an amateur who is successful. He works hard at it. I rank his bitch Brook as one of the best females that has ever run on the west coast. I am glad I have been able to watch her in trials since she was little. Now Brook is a Grand Old Lady running her umpteenth National Am. She's #115 and is going to be running the 6th series. Cheer for her. She deserves every accolade.
It can be done. I had two dogs in the 2005 National Am when I was retired and did all their training. I would get two bird boys and head to my land in Loyal OK, which has a thirty acre pond, great terrain, a really nice summer training spot in Oklahoma where you can run long marks in shallow water. Big league blinds too. I would run a complete field trial consisting of land triple, three peat land blinds, big water blinds, and a big triple water test. I also ran an ABCD drill every time out. We would be done in three hours and home by noon in the summer. My dogs were very competitive and one was an AFC.
Now I work and try to get in training at the house. I have a nice technical pond and some decent land, but it's not the same. The dogs know all the blinds and all the spots that marks ought to be thrown. I have often said that I have best non-trained dogs in our circuit! Time is the most precious commodity for an Amateur trainer with no pro help.
"For everyone to whom much is given, of him shall much be required." -- Luke 12:48
Raven - Moneybird's Black Magic Marker***
(Esprit's Power Play x Trumarc's Lean Cuisine)
Mick - Moneybird's Jumpin' Jack Flash***
(Clubmead's Road Warrior x Oakdale Whitewater Devil Dog)
Peerless - Moneybird's Sole Survivor
(Two River's Lucky Willie x Moneybird's Black Magic Marker)
A lot of what everyone has said about this is true. I was wondering if there was an actual amateur trainer that has kinda done it on thier on. That seem to be to me someone that would really deserve the highest praise. To go up against such tough professionally trained dogs & come out the victor. They would really have to be very proud of themselves & that fine dog they have too.
It also would be nice even if there was only one event a year to have a truly amateur event. I really don't know how you could do that. When I think of amateur trained, I think of someone using more books, advice & help of that nature than paid labor & then I can take it from here type training. To the ones that are doing amateur style at that level WOW I really do wish I could do what you are doing. Very nice job guys & girls.
I don't know how you could get people to be honest enough to say thier dog is really amateur trained & it really be, but it would be nice for all amateur trainers to at least step to the line knowing that in this event there are going to be better dogs & better handlers than you, but it is because you a amateur trainer did not do as good a job with your dog as the next amateur. Not because 60 hours a week of professional training was behind your dog.
Just more of a level playing field.
I know we all have self confidence, but can you imagine being in the holding blind (Mr True Amateur) & at the line is Danny Farmer & behind you is Mike Lardy. Really! Nothing amateur about that.