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Am I correct that it takes 10 points for an FC title and 15 for an AFC? If so, I would like to hear the reasons why.

If it is considered easier to earn an AFC, why would that be? Wouldn't it be about the same because an amateur is handling against other amateurs in amateur stakes?

Are amateur stakes significantly different in difficulty than open? How so?
 

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Points are hard to come by in either the Open or Amateur. For an AFC from the Rule Book: "At present, to acquire an Amateur Field Championship, a Retriever must win: (1) a National Championship Stake, handled by an Amateur, or a National Amateur Championship Stake or (2) a total of 10 points in Open All-Age, Limited All Age, Special All-Age or, Restricted All-Age stakes, or a total of 15 points in Open All-Age, Limited All-Age, Special All-Age, Amateur All-Age, Owner-Handler All-Age, or Restricted All-Age Stakes which may be acquired as follows: In each Open All-Age, Limited All-Age, Special All-Age, Restricted All-Age, Amateur All-Age, or Amateur Handler All-Age Stakes there must be at least 12 starters, each of which is eligible for entry in a Limited All-Age, Special All-Age Stake or Restricted All-Age Stake, and the Handler must be an Amateur (as determined by the Field Trial Committee of the trial-giving club), and the winner of first place shall be credited with 5 points, second place 3 points, third place 1 point, and fourth place 1 ⁄2 point, but before acquiring a championship, a dog must win a first place and acquire 5 points in at least one Open All-Age, Limited All-Age, Special All-Age, Amateur All-Age, Owner-Handler Amateur, or Restricted All-Age Stake open to all breeds of Retriever, and not more than 5 points shall be acquired in trials not open to all breeds of Retriever. "
 
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Are amateur stakes significantly different in difficulty than open? How so?
Open tests are typically more difficult but not always nor significantly. The difference, the competition, you are running against many of the same amateurs plus the pros, most of whom run 8-15 dogs and sometimes more, which gives the handler a decided advantage. It is very hard for an amateur who doesn’t have an exceptional dog to win an open. In my lengthy career I have run 8 titled dogs, 5 of them were FC-AFC, 3 were AFC only lacking either the total points and/or the win for an FC.
The simple answer to your question, yes it is easier to earn an AFC for the above reason.
 

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In our retriever sporting dog world it is my humble opinion that the FC and AFC titles are the most cherished titles other than the NFC and NAFC titles
Saying that it took me 17 years to earn that first AFC title and another 2 years to earn a 2nd AFC and another year to earn my first FC. Nothing is easy at this level of competition your team must be physically and mentally ready and I ll add balanced each time you step out of the holding blind.
The Field Champion title came about I believe in 1941 and the Amateur Field Champion title in 1954 or 1955. There was a lot of history and judging from the correspondence; pushback about having an AFC title even being established
It would be fun and interesting to read more about that.
dk
 

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J. Marti,

I asked the same question shortly after Chupa won his first Amateur. After that win, he went on a tear of 4 place finishes. I was thinking "good lord this is going to take forever to get to 15 points a 1/2 point at a time."
 

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Am I correct that it takes 10 points for an FC title and 15 for an AFC? If so, I would like to hear the reasons why.

If it is considered easier to earn an AFC, why would that be? Wouldn't it be about the same because an amateur is handling against other amateurs in amateur stakes?

Are amateur stakes significantly different in difficulty than open? How so?
"easier" is relative. Nothing easy about an Amateur. Half of the field is pro trained dogs and several more are excellent Amateur trained/handled dogs and then of course you have several wannabe yahoo's like me...
 

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In general - again in general -
The Open has the more difficult grounds
The Open has the more experienced judges
The Open has the more experienced handlers
The Open has more dogs
The tests tend to be harder

I find that to win an Open, the dog must be almost perfect
I have not found that to be the case in the Amateur
 

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I think you are very low on the percentage of pro trained dogs in most Amateurs.
I think that varies in different parts of the country and also depends on your definition of professionally trained. Was the dog with a pro for basics or was it fully trained to all age level by a pro. In my personal training group there are 10 dogs, 3 are/were trained professionally. Another larger amateur group in my area has no professionally trained dogs. The most recent Amateur stake I ran in December was abut 50:50.
 

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I think that varies in different parts of the country and also depends on your definition of professionally trained.
I think there are more truly amateur trained dogs at events in Texas, Georgia Florida...., largely becuase of dedicated old farts that travel south in the winter.
 

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I think there are more truly amateur trained dogs at events in Texas, Georgia Florida...., largely becuase of dedicated old farts that travel south in the winter.
The ones I identified are all non migratory and many of them are far from old. I have knowledge of them and their dogs, such is not the case for carpetbaggers
 

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I think that varies in different parts of the country and also depends on your definition of professionally trained. Was the dog with a pro for basics or was it fully trained to all age level by a pro. In my personal training group there are 10 dogs, 3 are/were trained professionally. Another larger amateur group in my area has no professionally trained dogs. The most recent Amateur stake I ran in December was abut 50:50.
If you would, please, what is your definition of a pro trained retriever?

Mine is if the dog Has been trained for and usually is being run in Derbies, Quals or Opens by a Professional trainer.

Not being judgmental at all, but let's call a spade a spade....
 

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I look at the 15 vs 10 points as having more stabs at an AFC. Open points count towards the amateur title. Amateur points don’t count towards the FC title. Basically have two chances each weekend vs one.
 

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If you would, please, what is your definition of a pro trained retriever?

Mine is if the dog Has been trained for and usually is being run in Derbies, Quals or Opens by a Professional trainer.

Not being judgmental at all, but let's call a spade a spade....
I think that is a more or less a standard definition. I guess professionally trained means different things to different people.
I don’t think you were being judgmental just disagreeable and seeking a debate over semantics.
 

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The first series (at least) of a large entry Amateur can be a very humbling experience for many.
That's the truth! I almost packed up my dog and left at my first Amateur but then figured "what the hell" and gave it our best shot. When all was said and done I was glad I stepped up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks for educating me once again, dear folks.

One of my recent reading forays partially prompted my question.

The curly-coated retriever Ch. Sarona Sam of Marvadel would have had 10 of the 15 points needed for his AFC if AFC titles were awarded back in the late 1930s/early 1940s. Found his list of Amateur stake wins in an old Labrador Retriever club book. And, yes, there were at least 12 entries in both of the amateur-handled stakes he won.

Kind of bittersweet for me because I think the breed could have kept up with at least Goldens and Chessies in trial success if not for World War II and breeders after the war primarily breeding for coat and the show ring.
 
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