Wildrose Kennels Annual British Working Test 2002

Vic Barlow and Mike Stewart

UPDATE - 2002 Winners and Pictures

Registration Forms (4K .pdf file)
Wildrose Kennels will hold its second annual Working Retriever British Field Trial in Oxford MS on Saturday, March 23rd, 2002. There will be a two-day Retriever Handlers Workshop on the preceding Thursday/Friday, 21st/22nd and second workshop immediately following the trial on Sunday/Monday 24th/25th.

Vic served as the British Judge at last year's inaugural event and was overwhelmed by the depth of interest shown by owners / handlers and we were unfortunately unable to accommodate all those wishing to enter. This year we expect this event to spark even broader interest from retriever enthusiasts as the trial will be more challenging and exciting for participants and spectators alike. In 2002 we intend to increase the field to a maximum of 24 retrievers of any breed. The trial is open to all retriever breeds, both English and American.

Each selected participant must meet the following standards:
  • Walk to heel off lead and retrieve only on command.
  • Stop on the whistle.
  • Cast on land and water.
  • Work through decoys
  • Honor without interference from the handler.
  • Deliver to hand.
  • Take a line on blind retrieves.
  • All handler/owners must be of amateur status.

    The First Prize will be the prestigious Wildrose 'British Champion Retriever Cup' which will be held for one year and engraved with the name of the winning dog and handler. The winner will also be presented with a small replica to keep plus additional valuable gifts from Wildrose Gundog supply sources. Second Place prize will be for the 'British Field Trial Trophy' which will be kept by the prize winner. Third Prize will be for the 'British Field Trial Salver' to be kept by third prize winner. There will be rosettes for Fourth Place and 'Guns Choice' (Best dog selected by the gunners). All awards are imported directly from England and are especially designed for this event.

    Trial Standards
    The main body of the trial will take the form of a walk-up, simulating an upland game drive. On the command, 'Walk On,' all dogs/handlers, judges and gunners will form a straight line and walk the field. Birds (cold game) and bumpers will be "shot" in front and behind the line. Handlers must send their dog ONLY on command from their respective judge. In the event that more than one bird is down handlers must pick only the nominated bird. (See page 36 of the November/December, 2001 Retriever Journal for details of last year's event.)

    The two judges will each score two dogs/handlers walking and working under their supervision on their side of the line. Dogs under the judges will be off lead at all times and must walk obediently to heal and not interfere with the retrieving dog. Handlers/Dogs, not under the judges, must stay with the gallery and senior Dog Steward ready to be called up.

    The water test will include a double from a duck blind through decoys with honor dogs sitting in the blind. The double will include a poison bird which the honor dog will be asked to pick up as the primary dog returns in the 2nd retrieve. The judges will score them for steadiness, delivery, marking ability and handling if required.

    Contestants have 10 weeks to prepare for this unique event and we suggest that you give a lot of attention to steadying your dog as last year's event proved this to be the most difficult test. Training with other dogs/handlers is an excellent way to teach steadiness. (Please see Vic's article in the Jan/Feb 2002 edition of the Retriever Journal Page 32 entitled 'Brit Dog'.)

    Dogs will be scored, but not eliminated, in the First Field Series which will commence with an easy retrieve to acclimate both dogs/handlers to the Trial conditions. Dogs will be eliminated from Series Two onwards for Eliminating Faults including:
  • Failure to complete the retrieve
  • Breaking (more than once)
  • Barking or whining
  • Dropping the bird/bumper before delivery
  • Failure to walk to heel
  • Interfering with other dogs and/or retrieves
  • Failure to enter water
  • Gunshyness

    Dogs must not wear collars of any kind or be disciplined during the trial.

    This is a unique event on the American Retriever Calendar and we are anticipating both a large gallery and press attendance for this exciting competition again this year. The trial is open to all retrievers of all breeds-- English or American. Visitors are welcome as part of the gallery or to participate in the trial itself as officials, guns or throwers.

    Mike Stewart and I look forward to welcoming you and your dogs to Wildrose Kennels which is home to British Field Trial Winners: Bonnie, Sheila, Drummer, Holly, Jet, Sweep, Millie; British Field Trial Champions: Tommy and Angus as well as the most talented British Dog on American soil, British Field Trial Champion Sangarrrilyn Jess. (We will run demonstration with many of the above dogs at the March Workshops.)

    The trial will be held at the Wildrose Training Facility.