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Attended our first Field Trial (Qualifying Stake) this weekend and noticed that the judges didn't take retrieved birds from handlers until after the handler sent their dog for the next mark. In the Hunt Test world it seems more common for the judge to take the retrieved bird as soon as the dog delivers it to the handler (i.e. before the handler lines the dog for the next send). Wasn't sure if this difference was real and/or intentional (either by rule or tradition) or simply a preference of the judges I watched. I know that some HT judges employ the practice of not taking birds directly from handlers but in that case the handler typically places the bird in a bucket before lining and sending for the next retrieve. Probably a minor distinction but ain't it always the little things that get you?
 

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One positive side effect of covid has been the handlers dropping birds in a bucket instead of a judge taking them.
The judge typically takes the bird after the send for the next mark so as not to interfere with the handler. Some handlers prefer to hand the bird to the judge before sending and will signal the judge to take it. The judges will be watching and can usually read what the handler wants.
 
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