Field Trials are competitions conducted under normal hunting conditions on wild game - usually rabbits. Retrievers are required to hunt, flush and retrieve game and the handler must carry a gun and shoot any legal game found. Field Trials encourage the maintenance and development of the natural working ability of gundogs.
Field Trials test the dogs under normal hunting conditions to evaluate their natural ability and performance. Field Trials are divided into three types; Spaniel and Retriever Trials; Pointer and Setter Trials and Utility Trials. Golden Retrievers are eligible to compete in Spaniel and Retriever Trials.
The aim of the dog in a field trial is to find game by quartering at high speed while scenting the air and to find and flush the game, before retrieving it. The dog must be under control at all times. In a field trial a brace of two dogs compete against each other and are judged on the following – ranging and quartering, drawing and roading, staunchness, steadiness, obedience, action and style, , game finding, seeking dead or retrieving and acknowledgment of flushed game.
Field Trial Champions
A Field Trial Champion (FT Ch) must have shown exceptional natural ability as well as obedience and specialised training for the type of work required. Even then, no dog can become a Field Trial Champion unless he has beaten all the available competition on at least two occasions at an open level.