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When retriever field trials began in the US professional trainers were treated more as domestic help than equals. They were required to use the domestic help entrance into the house never the front door. It was inconceivable to the rule makers that professional trainers occupied any stature beyond that of hired hand. Today there exists this totally unfounded idea that professional trainers who if allowed to judge would be biased for their clients, former clients, and previously trained dogs. It remains unconscionable to many in the hierarchy that professional trainers should judge field trials. I have championed the idea for years but mostly receive silence, guffaws, or looks of disgust.
Thank you .(y)
Similarly , in the UK , when FT's first started , The rules of the IGL (International Gundog League) constitution was written by wealthy, who owned dogs and trainers. Since the evolvement of KC (UK,kennel club formation) 1873 and subsequent FT committee.
These days almost all competing and judging at championship FT retriever level ,as well as entry level working tests would fall in to the category of a US 'Pro' , and many it is their sole income of breeding/selling/competing/training their own and others dogs .
 

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That could be $100-$125 per dog? 10 dogs in the open, 4 or 5 in the Q, Two or three in the derby?

I’m sure there are always pros in both stages.
No one has ever advocated a requirement that pros judge, it would be by invitation and each individual makes a decision based on his or her availability, the time off required, and any monetary consequences they might suffer. The same decision those of us who judge make every time we are invited. It has been suggested that the pros could judge twice a year and never on the circuit they typically run. If it is a young or struggling trainer they could simply decline the invitation. Another solution to the judging dilemma would be a pool of qualified paid professional judges as they do in the conformation world. The cost would be borne by the clubs and would significantly increase the expense of hosting an event.
 

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From one standpoint, I'm paying a lot for dogs in training. I want my dogs to have as good as a chance as possible to get points and qualify for nationals.

Not many Pros take time off for themselves as it is but, taking time off to judge a weekend would lower entries and reduce their clients chance for success on that weekend.

From a club standpoint, that pro isn't bringing his/her 20 entries. With smaller trial clubs that's a profit killer.
 

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From one standpoint, I'm paying a lot for dogs in training. I want my dogs to have as good as a chance as possible to get points and qualify for nationals.

Not many Pros take time off for themselves as it is but, taking time off to judge a weekend would lower entries and reduce their clients chance for success on that weekend.

From a club standpoint, that pro isn't bringing his/her 20 entries. With smaller trial clubs that's a profit killer.
They would not judges those trials, they would judge off circuit. If the clients prefer they not judge that would be their choice, we need not litigate that point. A not so notable Cowboy running back several years back commented on his failure to appear a voluntary mini camp, Darren Hambrick “what do voluntary mean”?
 

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They would not judges those trials, they would judge off circuit. If the clients prefer they not judge that would be their choice, we need not litigate that point. A not so notable Cowboy running back several years back commented on his failure to appear a voluntary mini camp, Darren Hambrick “what do voluntary mean”?
Off weekends in another circuit would usually mean a travel day, set up day and 3 trial days. Taking 5 days off from a serious training schedule during the season would be a tough choice for most professionals. You're either skipping precious training between trials on your own circuit or, skipping a trial.

There are a few Pros I'd love to run under. I think starting a picnic trial circuit and a pool of professionals to judge would be a start.

From running a club standpoint, I've never flown in the minor point judge. Getting a Pro to 8 points would take a while.
 

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All your points are valid Ed but I agree with Paul here.
Sure the pros would judge off circuit but if they are judging they are not running a trial somewhere. Those guys are on the road a lot. They are losing money and so are the clubs putting on trials where they would normally run. As Paul said they dont get much time off for themselves so I dont think it's fair to ask them to judge a trial on their time off. Also I think on their time off they would rather be doing something besides dogs.
I dont think it necessary to have pros judge. What would be the ratio of pros that could judge compared to amateurs? IM sure the number of amateurs available to judge FAR out number pros.
Im sure pros would make the best judges I just think the reasons for them not to judge outweighs the reasons they should.
 

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Another solution to the judging dilemma would be a pool of qualified paid professional judges as they do in the conformation world. The cost would be borne by the clubs and would significantly increase the expense of hosting an event.
I am not opposed to pro trainers being eligible to judge. I would oppose having paid judges. The expense is one thing, emulating anything from the conformation world is another.
 

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I find it interesting that most compelling argument against professional trainers judging is the potential effect on their ability to earn a living, they always have the option to say yes or NO.
 

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I find it interesting that most compelling argument against professional trainers judging is the potential effect on their ability to earn a living, they always have the option to say yes or NO.
I haven't heard any compelling argument against pros judging.
 
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Not everything in life is measured in dollars.
Rather, I am pointing out that Field Trials only happen when people - from all walks of life - make sacrifices
Both valid points but neither is helpful in advancing the cause of pro's judging.
If there were valid reasons for that happening one would only need to look hard
at the logistics of minimal loss of income. The bias thing could be handled by
having them judge in time Zones off their circuit or any circuit influenced by the
actions of their normal competition.

Several clubs in this part of the country are kept alive by pro's. Judging is only one part of the total effort required
to put on a trial. While quality judges are always desired, in more cases than not that does not happen.

Personally, I believe a better case can be made for previously successful retired from competition amateurs
being encouraged to continue contributing. Just because one is moving on does not mean they have lost all
interest in the success of the sport.
 

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I find it interesting that some feel it's OK to ask a Lawyer, Doctor, Veterinarian, Business owner, Plumber etc. to give up the chance to run their own dog(s) and 3 to 5 business days in order to judge the Pro's dogs, but not OK to ask a Pro to do the same to judge the Amateur's dog.
We all have to earn a living .....
 

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I find it interesting that most compelling argument against professional trainers judging is the potential effect on their ability to earn a living, they always have the option to say yes or NO.
There is a lot of unwritten pressures for different contributions in this game.
 

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Are you saying most placements and titles are undeserved?
If I ever come to believe that most judges are dishonest or incompetent I'll quit entering trials.
 

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Another interesting aspect of the difference in AKC rules for AKC events. In hunt tests, professional trainers can judge. In fact, a couple of weeks ago two admired, popular hunt test professional trainers talked about their decision to try to give back more to the sport by judging more. They view judging as not only giving back to the sport but a means to help grow the sport. Smart guys! If you help grow the sport, then your skills as a pro trainer will be even more in demand.

I wonder what the respective organizations representing the various retriever breeds think about pros judging field trials. Might be interesting to hear what the Labrador Retriever Club of America, the golden club, plus the other retriever/IWS clubs think about it.

I wonder why the AKC allows pros to judge hunt tests but not field trials. It would be interesting to hear from some AKC delegates on the issue. Most of them probably don't even know about the issue because the AKC board and decision-makers are mostly conformation people.

It is sad the AKC allows very little representation from the field sports people.
 

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Most (your word) is > than more often than not (my words).

Example: 5 available trials in the fall - 1 is out because of the family gathering @ the ocean,
1 has a quality set of judges, the remaining 3 have 5 of 12 as questionable with only a good
set in 1 stake. Is it worth the preparation for that one trial & one stake? 5 of 16 questionable
is not most but still eliminates most trials.
 
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