The Kennel Club Ltd held an HPR 2 day Championship stake at the Swinton Estate on the 15th and 16th November 2013. Judges were Anne Johnson and Godfrey Card. This was the first HPR Championship to be held in 17 years. The HPRFTA had discussed the idea at its AGM and conference (see below). The Association was delighted the KC felt the time was right to revive the event.
Photo courtesy of Penny Simpson
WINNER OF THE HPR CHAMPIONSHIP 2013
Mick Canham’s FT CH Jhebron’s Nephrite of Stubblemere (GSP)
Congratulations from the HPRFTA
Congratulations to the 20 qualifying dogs that entered the 12th HPR competition to be held. Six breeds were represented, GLP, GSP, GWP, HV, HWV, LM, and SRP. Two dogs were withdrawn leaving 18 to run. 1st place and Gun’s award went to Mick Canham’s GSP FT CH Jhebron’s Nephrite of Stubblemere2nd place, Chris Grey’s GWP FT CH Trudvang Balder, 3rd place, Rob Gould’s GLP Wamilanghaar Cara, 4rd place Adrian Blackledge’s HWV Kerride Henry and COM to Jim Field’s GSP Deepthatch Pocona. A dinner was held on the Friday evening where 53 attended. Many spectators enjoyed two glorious days of sport amongst which it was estimated 18 A- Panel Judges were in attendance including those competing. The event was sponsored by Skinners who provided a welcomed hot soup at the end of the day for all. A video of the event will be available in due course from the Kennel Club.
The HPRFTA was formed:
To provide a common forum for HPR breed clubs/societies to voice their opinions on Field Trial matters.
In the Association archives is a document written by Lord Joicey in the early 1980s in which he discusses the need for a consultative committee to deal with Field Trial concerns rather than these being dealt with by individual breed clubs. The idea being that a representative from each HPR club/society would meet regularly to discuss issues surrounding the HPR Group.
It was back in the 70s that the GSPC ran a FT and they formulated the rules for trials and judges. These then became adopted by the KC. Lord Joicey was sufficiently moved to ask at the time; “Are all the various breeds involved today happy that the rules written for GSPs are equally applicable to them, or would they like some amendments?” particularly in light of the many different breeds and their different working styles, which were then competing in trials. Interestingly, he then wrote of the possibility of the HPR Group running their first Championship Stake and it would appear that there was a much concern about this, advising; “That the majority of members of the Field Trials Committee of the Kennel Club are not sympathetic to the holding of a Championship Stake at the present time (early1980s). The standard of work at one day trials, which has come to the notice of various members of the Kennel Club Field Trial Committee at various times, has not been good and thus giving rise to the feeling that it is too early in the career of the HPR Group to hold a Championship Stake.” This may be of particular interest to those who may have heard the well-worn comment that, ‘the standard was considerably better in by-gone years, than in recent ones!’
One of the HPRFTA’s major achievements was to run the first Championship Stake for the HPR Group in 1886. But by 1998 there were insufficient qualified dogs in the HPR Group. Holding a Championship fell out of favour by the Kennel Club and that comment raised its ugly head again.
The HPRFTA have continued to apply to run a Championship for the Kennel Club but this has been denied.
The HPRFTA have taken initiatives to run Field Trial seminars and Practical Training days for prospective Judges and were the first to host the Kennel Club Seminar and Guide on the ‘J’ Regulations and Exam for Field Trial judges 2007, I know because I was one of the first guinea pigs!
HPRFTA AGM: The AGM took place at the Kennel Club Building, Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire on 10 February 2013 and was attended by 6 representatives of the 9 associate member Clubs and included 2 attendees. Clubs represented were the BCGB, BWWGS, GLPC, GWP, LM and WCGB.
John Anderson (BCGB) was elected Chairman, Peter Hobson (LM) Vice Chairman and Christine Carpenter (Secretary and Treasurer).
HPRFTA Conference 2013:
This took place immediately after the AGM and was the first conference to be held in over a decade. Nowhere else is there an opportunity to bring everyone together, Judges FT Secretaries and competitors with a view to discuss Field Trial Matters. Some have expressed reservations about what in practical terms can be achieved by such a conference. It was convened after many years as it was felt that the time had arrived for ‘Mutuality’ – a common understanding of issues. It would be for the individuals to take the discussion back to their breed clubs for further consideration. If any issues need KC involvement then it is for the clubs to put forward proposals.
WAS THE TIME RIGHT FOR AN HPR CHAMPIONSHIP? Trevor Horsefield recently produced statistics which showed, at the time 18 dogs had qualified over the past few seasons to run in a Championship with five dogs being made up to Field Champions during the 2011/2012 season. Is this sufficient for the Kennel Club? In the past the HPRFTA have had the privilege of being asked to run it on the Kennel Club’s behalf. The Kennel Club J regulations which govern all our Field Trials no longer show the rules for HPRs Championships, as it does for other gundog groups. It was felt that to improve the standard of dogs that more qualification for entry into open should be supported. This may be in the form of a win in a Novice and a win in All Aged for preference in the draw. This would in addition make the All Aged stake more attractive and encourage entries which have declined of late. If all Clubs are united in support of this issue then it should be brought before the Kennel Club.
Field Trial Grounds: Do we have a sufficient diversity of grounds? The answer is yes. Are they all suitable for HPRs? Perhaps not and some are thought to be overused in a season. All grounds should have been previously vetted by an A Panel Judge before arrangement are finalised with the host. HPRs should be adaptable to all grounds, but some will suit certain breeds more than others. Maize, game cover and brambles should be avoided in favour of open bottomed woodlands, moors, sugar beet and turnip stubble. Should there be more Open Trials? The Kennel Club at the present time allows 16 Clubs to run an Open Trial with only two clubs - the GSPA and GSPC - allowed to run two. They turned down an all gundog breeds clubs request this year to run a second Open Trial.
New Marking System for Judges: The A/B grading system used by the other gundog groups is not compulsory, only advisory, and should, if used correctly, make it easier for judges to determine the best dogs and the positions for awards at the end of the day.
Requirements for Appointing Non-Panel Judges: It is essential that non-panel judges get as much experience in the field as possible before taking a first appointment. Club sponsorship is the normally route to start. As potential judges are no longer permitted by the Kennel Club to ‘carry a book’, they no longer get the benefit of this system. A good ways of gaining experience are: volunteering to take the Red Flag, stewarding, judging Pointing Tests or Gundog Working Tests, and attending Judges’ Practical Management Training days. The HPRFTA maintains a list of non-panel judges with CV details for use by Field Trial secretaries and their committees to assist them in recommendations for appointments. However, please note that the list is not endorsed by the KC nor are the judges on the list endorsed by the HPRFTA.
All Aged Water Tests: There is valid argument that there should be a difference in the water test at the end of a Field Trial between All Aged and Open. This would help in ensuring a clearer graduation between trials.
HPRFTA Newsletter, Facebook, Website:
This is the first newsletter we have produced. We have recently set up a Face Book page (FB) Hprfta (couldn’t make it work in capitals) where suggestions and ideas for mutual benefit can be placed. We have acquired a website domain name and are making progress in setting up a website but this will take a little longer. I am not computer savvy, but I know a man who is!
We hope by bringing the HPRFTA into the 21st century that you can see more clearly that we are proactive in the HPR Group and that we have organized and promoted the interests of HPRs and will continue to do so in future working on behalf of all the HPR breed clubs and societies.
We hope that a further conference will be arranged in 2014 and would invite clubs to submit items for discussion.