Just received this today
This is to inform your club of a recent change to the Field Trial Rules and Standard Procedures forRetrievers effective March 2, 2020. This change originated from the Retriever Field Trial AdvisoryCommittee and was approved by the AKC Board of Directors.
This change requires that when setting up a blind retrieve, the blind should be clearly marked with aconspicuous object, so it is visible to the handler.
The exact wording of this change is underlined and will appear in the next printing of the rules as follows:
Supplement to The Standard Procedure. Part I – Trial Procedure. Paragraph 8.
On “blind” retrieves, whenever possible, the Judges should plan their tests in such a way that theytake advantage of natural hazards, such as islands, points of land, sand bars, ditches, hedges, small bushes,adjacent heavy cover, and rolling terrain. Despite such natural distractions, it should be possible, at least intheory, for a dog to “find” a well-planned blind-retrieve on the initial line from his handler; that he will doso is highly improbable because of those natural hazards, so he must be handled to the “blind.”Nevertheless, the test should be so planned that the dog should be “in-sight” continuously. To further theprior principle, the blind must be clearly marked with a conspicuous object. A blind retrieve is a testof control, and a dog which is out of sight for a considerable period cannot be said to be under control.Utilizing natural hazards should obviate the need for Judges issuing special instructions about the manner ofcompleting a blind retrieve, other than to “get the meat” by the shortest, fastest, or most direct route.