Marking test, Open, first series.
Triple with two retired guns. Combination of marks being done by land and water. The direct line to the long memory mark which is retired is through heavy cover up front followed by 25-30 yards of swimming water followed by 75 -90 yards of heavy going through bull-rush and marsh flora with the dog often out of sight in the swimming / lunging water. Judges and handlers could follow the direction by the sound and the movement of the cover.
Only two dogs go directly to the bird of the entire field, the rest take the initial heavy cover hit the water, swim for a few yards and bail hard left to the grass bank and do a variety of questionable jobs. Some go out of sight over the hill and after a long hunt come up with the bird by winding it as the are all down wind of when they are
on the land well left of the the water and the heavy cover.
The remark from a long time field trial competitor and judge was that we should consider the dog that "got there fastest" by baling out and running down the bank ahead of the dogs that went directly. A supplement to the person's initial response was that we are getting away from what a good hunting dog should do.