FIELD TRIALS

Paul Rawlings

The first thing to do would be to get to know some like-minded people by joining one of your local clubs or societies that run field trials for cockers and, perhaps, working tests for springers.

Details of all the clubs in the UK can be obtained by visiting the Kennel Club website, www.thekennelclub.org.uk, or directly from the organisation?s field trial department, tel 020 7518 1059.

There are, of course, regulations and a certain etiquette around the sport of field trials, and it must be understood that it is not a spectator sport.

However, that does not mean that you will not be made welcome to attend, though your dog will have to stay at home unless it is entered for a trial.

As you become more involved, you may be invited to help in some way, and perhaps to go into the line to watch some of the dogs competing.

This provides a great way to learn what will be required of you when eventually you start competing.

The trials that take place on open moorland for rabbits are excellent, as they enable one to see quite well from the spectator gallery ? unlike the first time I went to a trial, when all I could see were people coming in and out of line in the thickest of woodland.

I didn?t see a single dog work, but from that day I was hooked, and the field trial bug took over my life for many years to come.